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Stress, Adrenal Fatigue & Gut Health: PART ONE

Adrenal fatigue is a phrase that many use to diagnose an entire myriad of symptoms BUT when it comes to how to heal adrenal fatigue, we need to take a few steps back. Though fatigue is real, adrenal fatigue is actually not recognised as a medical condition and is even being questioned by many in alternative medicine.
 
Instead of talking about how to heal “adrenal fatigue”, the focus needs to be on what is actually causing your fatigue symptoms.
This is where our gut health comes into play. The truth is that your gut health along with many other things such as thyroid function, iron levels, blood sugar levels, food sensitivities, and stress tolerance are more likely to be underlying causes of your fatigue. Diagnosing and treating the true cause of your fatigue is the key to getting your energy back.
In this series, we are going to focus on what ‘adrenal fatigue’ is and how it presents and a few of these underlying causes that I see are most common.
Let's start by addressing what adrenal fatigue is (I am not a huge fan of this term because as said already it takes the focus of the actual cause and focuses on the symptom, however, I will continue to use the term to keep things simple)
 
WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Simply put, when someone is under a high amount of stress for a long period of time, they can start to become fatigued.
Normally, when you experience any amount of stress (Or I like to call this distress for better understanding) your adrenal glands respond by producing hormones known as our stress hormones which are adrenaline and cortisol. This is what is called the ‘fight or flight’ response to stress.
Adrenal fatigue is when there is prolonged chronic stress and this essentially fatigues your adrenals to the point that they are unable to respond effectively and hormone balance starts to become unbalanced.
 
HOW DOES ADRENAL FATIGUE PRESENT?
When the adrenal hormones are not responding or are off then there are many symptoms that can present. These symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue tend to be very ‘nonspecific.’ This means they are vague and could be the symptoms of many different conditions. Here are the most common:
Fatigue
Insomnia
Sugar cravings
Depression
Caffeine dependence
Dizziness when standing up quickly
A weakened immune system
Low libido
Brain fog
Because of the wide variety of symptoms adrenal fatigue can cause, pretty much everyone who has heard of it to think they have it. Many can go down the expensive rabbit hole of adrenal specific testing, supplements and diets BUT there is one very important fact that is often not addressed:
 
The adrenal glands malfunction as a DIRECT result of STRESS; therefore, the solution to adrenal fatigue is fixing the source of stress.
This is what we will be focusing on in the next coming weeks. Stress can have many forms. Some are obvious such as relationship stress, financial stress etc. Others are not as obvious such as lack of sleep, food intolerance and one major one, digestive stress.

Are you walking around drained, tired, not thinking clearly, relying on caffeine, getting sick all the time or struggling with low libido? Let me know in the comments below... the next few blogs will be very relevant to you!

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