Most common complain an Integrative Functional Medicine practitioner hears in their clinic is chronic fatigue! well there can be multiple underlying causes for this.
What causes fatigue? It can result from several disorders and diseases, however, the most common cause is adrenal gland dysfunction, this happens in most of the urban population working in-corporates and is associated with constant stress. The adrenal glands secrete hormones that direct your body to “speed up” or “slow down”. however stressed out adrenals can negatively impact the delicate balance of hormones. This imbalance can lead to other hormone imbalances such as thyroid dysfunction, Insulin resistance, weight gain, and insomnia.
Signs of adrenal fatigue are:
1. Constant fatigue
2. Headaches with stress
4. Get shaky if you miss a meal
5. Irritable if you’re hungry
6. Sluggishness in the morning
7. cravings for sweets, caffeine, cigarettes
8. Fatigue reduces on eating
9. Difficulty falling asleep
10. Cannot complete 8 hours of sleep, wake up at 3-4 a.m.
The adrenal glands secrete three main stress hormones, cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline. The production of these hormones varies in a 24-hour cycle called the Circadian Rhythm. Abnormal hormone production can cause problems in many bodily functions such as:
• Energy Production – abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of the cell mitochondria to produce ATP for activities of daily living. Low cortisol( Cortisol exhaustion) is a common cause of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
• Severe hormone imbalances
• Accelerated aging
• Muscle and joint function – chronic pain from a decreased ability to repair tissue can be a result of abnormal adrenal function.
• Bone Health – Osteoporosis can be a result of too much cortisol production
• Immune deprivation – short and long-term stress is known to weaken the immune system resulting in more frequent colds and infections.
• Sleep Quality – the ability to enter “REM” sleep cycles. The regenerative portion of sleeping is interrupted by abnormal levels of cortisol. Chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce mental vitality and induce depression.
• Skin Regeneration slower – Our skin regenerates mostly during the night. An abnormally high cortisol level slows this regenerative process. normal cortisol production is essential for optimal skin health.
• Wheat or grain intolerance
“If you suspect you have overstressed adrenal glands, we help you with our High dose Vitamin C protocols and adrenal support natural therapies.
Dr. Kalpana Shekhawat M.D
Functional Medicine specialist, Freedom Age
Founder Chairperson FMMA