Adrenal fatigue is somewhat unique in the sense that “fatigue” is a symptom, there are also a multitude of other symptoms as well. There are several ways you can self-diagnose, but to be sure you really need to visit a doctor’s office and undergo a series of medical tests. Then and only then can you be completely sure.
The good news is that Stages 1 and 2 of AF can be self-curable. Eat healthy, stop smoking/drinking and doing drugs and in several weeks to several months you should be feeling normal again.
The basic symptoms are fatigue and cravings for food. Less common symptoms are frequent urination and low blood pressure. Someone with AF will have most of the symptoms listed down below, but does not guarantee they suffer from AF.
Salty food cravings – When your adrenal glands stop working, they lose the ability to control and regulate the minerals and vitamins in your blood. Potassium, sodium and magnesium are just a few minerals that your glands regulate. Your brain will then start to crave salty foods in an attempt to replace the minerals that are being depleted out of your body.
Higher energy levels in the evenings – In most normal people the hormone cortisol is the highest in the morning and then gradually declines throughout the day. In people who suffer from AF, it’s the exact opposite. They are very tired in the morning and in the afternoon/evening is when the cortisol levels spike. This is why people who suffer from AF have some form of insomnia.
Abuse of Sugary/Caffeinated Beverages – This one is self-explanatory. People with AF are fatigued throughout the day. In order to counter-act this, they tend to drink a lot of caffeinated and sugary beverages to try and over compensate for the lack of energy levels thorough the day. It will then turn into a vicious cycle because after the caffeine/sugar wears off, your body will come crashing down and you’ll feel even worse than you did before. Both caffeine and sugar can over-stimulate your adrenal glands, thereby causing them to get out of whack.
Another negative is that over consumption of caffeine and sugar can lead to insomnia in most people. So you’ll wake up the next morning feeling even more tired than you did before.
Low stress tolerance – Because your adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones that regulate stress in your body, if they do not work, you’re not going to be able to tolerate a lot of stress. You adrenal glands release such hormones as cortisol, norepinephrine and adrenaline. These hormones allow your body/mind to cope and deal with the various stress levels that life throws at it. If you have AF, you might be experiencing irritability, anxiety or even feelings of apathy or lack of enthusiasm.
High levels of fatigue in the morning – When most people wake up in the morning, they feel refreshed and ready to meet the day. In those with adrenal fatigue, the morning feels like a continuation of the night before. You’re tired and restless and can’t stop yawning. You may experience a form of attention disorder in that you cannot concentrate while at work, or you find your thoughts getting away from yourself. If your adrenal glands cannot make the hormones that regulate the energy levels of your body, then you’re going to be dragging throughout the entire day. Improving your diet and getting off sugary/caffeinated beverages could be a temporary fix.
How to fix – It’s going to take you a while to be able to fix your AF. The good news is that if you suffer from stage 1 or stage 2 adrenal fatigue, there is a good chance you can self-heal. You will need to start changing your diet as well as certain things in your life. Try to remove yourself from stressful situations. This may be easier said than done as some people cannot just up and leave a stressful job or relationship. So, try to find ways to mitigate and lessen the daily stress levels that you go through. After just one week, you might find that you’re feeling a bit better than you were before.