Adrenal Fatigue and Chiropractic Care
At one time or another, most people will feel fatigue. When you experience unusual fatigue, extreme weariness, and are constantly exhausted — “adrenal fatigue” may be playing a major role in why you are feeling this way.
Our bodies have a built-in fight or flight response to deal with stressful situations. This is a part of our natural defense mechanism for dealing with stress. During periods of stress, our adrenal glands will secrete hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol to help us respond to the situation. But our adrenal glands can become overworked if we are under constant stress for a long period of time, or if we experience various different stressful situations at the same time.
Some in the medical community feel that “adrenal fatigue” has not been proven in medical theory, and because of this do not believe adrenal fatigue is an acceptable medical diagnosis. This is extremely frustrating for anyone dealing the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. The problem is, one of the most commonly used tests doctors use to check adrenal gland function (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone or ACTH test) only detects extreme under- and over-production of your hormone levels often failing to recognize hormonal changes related to adrenal fatigue even though it is happening. An inexpensive salivary cortisol test recognizes adrenal fatigue at every stage and is much more accurate.
Symptoms of Adrenal Stress
- Brain fog
- Craving salty or sweet snacks
- Decrease in sex drive
- Difficulty overcoming illness
- Fatigue for no reason
- Incapable of getting a restful sleep
- Inability to think clearly
- Low energy levels particularly in the morning
- Muscle and bone loss
- Muscular weakness
- Poor memory
- Weakened immune system
The Main Cause of Fatigue
The primary cause of fatigue is stress that is not properly managed. According to Webster, stress is, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” While every individual has a different tolerance for stress, there are numerous universally recognized causes of stress that we all deal with from time to time.
Common Causes of Stress
- A lack of sleep
- A poor unbalanced diet
- Death of a loved one
- Financial problems
- Lack of exercise
- Relationship issues
- Responsibility of taking care of ill family members
- Work stress
- And many more!
Lifestyle Fatigue or Self-Induced Fatigue
Believe it or not, the lifestyles we choose can harm our adrenal glands. Often we are not even aware we are harming ourselves. One factor is we do not know how our bodies work, heal, and reset. The systems in our body, including the adrenal glands, use the time between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. to recharge and reset. When we don’t allow this to happen we have started down the path to self-induced fatigue.
The second factor is the modern conveniences we take for granted. Light bulbs, TVs, computers, iPad, and smartphones allow us to stay active when we should be sleeping, upsetting our natural circadian rhythm. Some of us even work night shifts. TVs, computer screens, LED lights and other light sources operate in the blue light spectrum, which is particularly adept at interfering with our ability to get a good night’s sleep. So watching TV at night makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Apple computer has a setting available in their iPads and iPhones under the “Display & Brightness” setting called “Night Shift,” which will allow you to reduce the amount of blue light coming from the screen. You can set this up to automatically help reduce the amount of blue light spectrum you expose yourself to at night, but it is not as good as turning it off. Remember, our natural circadian rhythm has been linked to sunrise and sunset for millennia. Besides, you can always DVR that late night show you want to watch.
Our body warns us when we aren’t allowing our adrenal gland to recharge. Whenever you get that burst of energy we call the “second wind” late in the evening you have prevented your adrenal glands from recharging. What you are really experiencing is your adrenal glands kicking in ready to start a new day — without getting the chance to recharge.
Avoid setting yourself up for fatigue. Strive to be asleep by 11:00 p.m. and let your adrenal glands and the rest of your systems have the chance to recharge and be ready to face a new day.
How to Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
Unfortunately sleeping in on the weekends is not enough to allow your body to fully recover once you’ve started down the path to adrenal fatigue. Recovery is not an instantaneous occurrence. It will take some time to recover just as it took time for you to burn out your adrenal glands.
Here are some steps you can take to recover from adrenal fatigue.
- Go to bed early so you are asleep by 11:00 p.m.
- Eat healthy so your body will get the nutrients that it needs.
- Remove the TV from your bedroom and sleep in the dark.
- Sleep in a cool room.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid stimulants like soda and coffee, particularly at night.
- Rest when you feel tired. Short, 30-minute naps can be very helpful.
- Avoid sugars and wheat to help keep your blood sugar levels even.
- Make sure your breakfast is not sugar or carb heavy. Proteins and healthy fats are better.
- Take the time to relax. Many find prayer and meditation helpful.
- Have regular chiropractic adjustments to keep your immune system and central nervous system performing optimally.
- Eat small meals or snacks every 3-4 hours to keep your energy levels up.
- Avoid big meals.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Drink plenty of filtered water.
Be patient and consistent. It may have taken you years to burn out your adrenals. It can take from 6 months to 2 years for complete recovery depending on how severe your fatigue is.
Chiropractic Care Helps Reduce Stress
As we noted previously in this article, stress is a major cause of adrenal fatigue. Stress can be physical, chemical, mental/emotional, or a combination of these 3. Stress can cause a subluxation (misalignment) to the spine. Subluxations put pressure on the nerves and cause your body to underperform. Chiropractors are able to correct the subluxations and restore function to your nervous system. The adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, are served by the nerves in the T11-L2 section of the spine. If there is pressure on these nerves, your adrenal glands will not be able to function as well as they should, leading to adrenal fatigue.
The nerves in the upper portion of the cervical spine (neck) assist in the function of our immune system, process emotions, control sleep patterns, as well as help you think clearly and respond to stressful situations. So, you can readily see how subluxations in your neck can put more pressure on your adrenal glands and the job they need to accomplish.
When a chiropractor corrects your subluxations, your body and nervous system are able to respond better to every situation, including stress, and the ability of your adrenal glands to function properly will be enhanced.
Chiropractic Care Can Help You Avoid Adrenal Fatigue
In an ideal world, you would be able to avoid adrenal fatigue altogether. Regular patient care can help with that. Many patients seek regular adjustments just to make sure their nervous system is functioning optimally. This strengthens their immune systems, reduces stress, and helps their entire body to function better.
At World Class Chiropractic, Dr. Steve Silverston will find and correct any subluxations or interference to your spine and nervous system, helping to restore normal nerve function. By doing this, he is able to help you make sure that your internal organs, including your adrenal glands, are functioning as they should.
Additionally, World Class Chiropractic provides guidance and education on exercise and nutrition, as well as how you can manage emotional and mental stress properly. A healthy lifestyle will allow you to handle stress better.
If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, or feel fatigued regularly, please contact World Class Chiropractic and arrange for a consultation with Dr. Silverston. Call us at 410.461.3435 today. If you have friends or family that may find this article helpful, please recommend it.