Combating Adrenal Dysfunction

Young woman looking outside at the snow with a sad expression and in pain.

If you’re experiencing higher levels of fatigue, body aches, nervousness or digestive issues, you could be suffering from adrenal dysfunction. There are many environmental, physiological and mental triggers that affect how our bodies function, leaving them susceptible to the effects of stress. Chronic stress increases your likelihood of experiencing adrenal dysfunction, which affects how your body regulates the hormones that it needs to work properly. To determine what is causing your adrenal dysfunction, you will need a thorough examination of your bodily systems, plus it will be important to evaluate personal habits and lifestyle so that you can take the correct steps toward wellness. Find out what you need to do to combat adrenal dysfunction with this guide!

 

Types of Stress

We all experience stress in varying levels throughout our lives, but many don’t quite understand how impactful stress is on our bodies and their ability to function correctly. Some people react to stress better than others, and oftentimes we allow certain stressors into our lives that don’t need to be there. There are four main types of stress: environmental, physiological, psychological and mental. Environmental stressors include things like disrupted sleep cycles, exposure to harmful toxins and the standard American diet that is full of inflammatory foods. Next, physiological stressors involve chronic inflammatory diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and crohn’s disease, along with anorexia, excessive exercise, blood sugar imbalances and nutritional deficiencies. Psychological stressors could be unemployment, self-esteem issues, the death of a loved one and divorce/relationship problems. Lastly, mental stressors comprise feelings like guilt, anger, depression and anxiety. Each of these factors increase the levels of stress that we feel in our lives in different ways, and many of them overlap each other to create a dangerous combination for our overall health. Whenever we are feeling large amounts of stress, it can cause hormonal imbalances and changes within our body, many times leading to a condition called adrenal dysfunction. While debilitating, adrenal dysfunction is treatable and you can improve quickly if you make some minor changes in your life.

 

Adrenal Dysfunction: What Is It?Illustration of the adrenal glands in the body.

We are each bombarded by various environmental, physiological, psychological and mental stressors that impact our daily life and prevent us from feeling and acting in the ways that we want to. They eventually cause us to feel chronic stress that can harm the body and imbalance our hormones. Many times, the adrenal glands are the first organs in the body to be affected by stress, and these organs are responsible for producing the hormones needed to trigger chemical activity in all systems of the body. These glands maintain glucose levels, cardiovascular function, blood pressure, regulate metabolism and monitor the immune system’s inflammatory response, so they’re very important. Whenever these glands stop working the way that they should, adrenal dysfunction can occur. Unfortunately, adrenal dysfunction isn’t medically recognized until its later and most serious stage, called Addison’s disease. This disease is a rare disorder in which your body doesn’t produce enough hormones, like cortisol and aldosterone, and can be life-threatening. However, before this occurs, patients go through the process of adrenal dysfunction and fatigue, which is just as uncomfortable and difficult to live with. Patients suffering from adrenal dysfunction typically report symptoms of fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, hair loss, headaches, weakness, weight gain, poor memory, severe PMS or menopausal symptoms and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation or indigestion. As mentioned earlier, the adrenal glands are in charge of the hormones in our bodies so whenever they’re damaged, patients can experience many of the aforementioned symptoms. If you believe that you’re suffering from adrenal dysfunction, it’s important that you receive medical care before your condition escalates to something worse, like Addison’s disease.

 

Treating Adrenal Dysfunction

If you’re suspicious that your symptoms point to adrenal dysfunction, you will first need a medical diagnosis by a doctor or medical provider to begin treatment. Multiple tests are involved during this process, including blood, urine, thyroid and toxin tests. Some of these require GI evaluations to determine gut health, hair analyses and food allergy assessments. After testing is done and it is determined that you have some form of adrenal dysfunction, a personalized treatment plan will be developed according to lab results, your symptoms and what level your adrenal glands are functioning. While there isn’t a “one size fits all” plan for patients, most treatment plans will include dietary guidelines, adrenal hormone replacements, a stress reduction program, exercise regimen, nutritional supplements and herbal therapy to improve glandular function. This is the most natural approach to treating adrenal dysfunction without the use of invasive surgery or addictive medications.

 

In some cases, though rare, your adrenal dysfunction could be caused by a cancerous tumor and will need to be surgically removed. If the tumor is non-cancerous, then medications will be prescribed to eliminate your symptoms. Your treatment plan entirely depends on what your test results show and what you’re comfortable implementing into your life. For this reason, the first step that you should take to take control over your health again is to meet with a medical professional for an official diagnosis of your symptoms.

 

Eliminate Your Fatigue With Our Help!

At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, we focus on treating our patients’ symptoms through a natural and medicine-free approach so that their bodies can heal on their own. The different types of therapy that we provide necessitate your willingness and active involvement so that you can start feeling better quicker. Healing takes time, but your body will appreciate the effort you put in to get better. Call our office today at (970) 631-8286 to schedule a consultation and get your health back!