Causes of Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion
Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion arises when there is a prolonged pressure on the adrenal glands to produce the required amount of the stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, ephinephrine). This can occur when the body is under a period of physical or emotional stress.
Physical stress can occur is response to infection and inflammation. The adrenal glands release more cortisol to reduce inflammation, however at times of prolonged physical stress the adrenal glands can become exhausted due to the increased workload. This leads to a decrease in the production of cortisol and other stress hormones, which results increased inflammation and more infections. Periods of excessive emotional stress can also cause the adrenal glands to “dry up” and stop producing sufficient amounts of stress hormones.
The way we eat can also affect levels of stress hormones in our body. Eating “on the go”, or in a rush also increase levels of stress in our body, and can lead to adrenal exhaustion. A diet that is high in refined carbohydrates, processed foods and saturated fats can cause adrenal fatigue.
Eating high amounts of carbohydrates, especially foods such as bread, pasta, white rice, sugar, etc.., will cause a sudden increase in blood sugar. This is in turn causes extra pressure on our adrenal glands to produce the stress hormones.
Nutritional deficiences can also contribute to this condition. Most diets are also low in nutrients that are vital for healthy adrenal function. These include the B Vitamins, especially Vit B5 (panthothenic acid), Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc, Co-enzyme Q10, Chromium and Selenium.
The “coffee culture” that is widely prevelant in our society plays is one of the main contributing reasons for the increasing numbers of people that are developing adrenal exhaustion and general lack of energy. Having a cup of coffee a day is perfectly healthy, but many of us have developed a more frequent habit. Our dependence on coffee providing us with energy or a pick-up, can eventually lead to a “burn-out”. Over a period of time, you will require more coffee to provide the “pick-up” to get going and this can lead to an even higher work load on the adrenals. This is because coffee and other stimulants, such as caffeinated energy drinks over-stimulate the adrenal glands to release stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, ephinephrine). As I mentioned earlier, the odd coffee is not going to cause any problems, but regular consumption will cause extra stress on the adrenal glands.
We hope you found our article on adrenal fatigue and exhaustion useful. Please let us know by rating it above.