Hot Flashes, Fatigue, Allergies, Anxiety…Could it be your Adrenals?

by Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. on September 11, 2012

(For this blog I need to give you a disclaimer. This blog is for informational purposes only. If the information here resonates with you please do further research and contact your doctor, chiropractor, naturopath, or other health care professional and discuss this with them)

Hot flashes, fatigue, allergies, anxiety, depression, brain fog, seeing stars when going from sitting to standing, muscle weakness, auto-immune disorders, loss of sleep or waking up at 2:00 – 4:00 AM, loss of concentration and blood sugar control issues. What might all of these symptoms have in common? These all could be due to Adrenal Burnout.

We are a society that lives in a state of Fight or Flight. Our daily stresses (traffic, jobs, kids, relationships) don’t seem to allow is to be fully relaxed. We are designed to have moments of stress (having a tiger run after us) then periods of prolonged relaxation. That is not how our life is now. We live in a perpetual state of stress (physical, emotional, environmental). Have you ever heard someone say their adrenals are “shot”. These are people who are starting to suffer from fatigue that doesn’t respond to sleep.

Our adrenal glands (small endocrine glands that sit above the kidneys) help us to cope with these stresses. The hormones secreted by the adrenals “influence all of the major physiological processes in your body. They closely affect the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fats and proteins into energy, the distribution of stored fat, normal blood sugar regulation, and proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function.” (from James Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome) These hormones are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The adrenals also release estrogens and testosterone after menopause and andropause.

Most women do not realize the adrenals are supposed to take over releasing estrogen when the ovaries start slowing down. If the adrenals are over-stressed they won’t put out the estrogen needed and the woman will get symptoms of low estrogen. I have experienced this twice firsthand. I will experience hot flashes after periods of prolonged stress and will have take the advice I am going to give you. Of course not all estrogen symptoms are due to adrenals so make sure you discuss this with your doctor.

As you can see the adrenal glands are extremely important to the function of your body. So what are you to do when your adrenals are overstressed regularly and they start to burn out or wear down? Here is my list of to do’s to get your adrenals healthy:

  1. Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
  2. Reduce stress by prayer, meditation, bubble baths, walks, deep breathing…
  3. Eat primarily vegetables, lean meat, some nuts and seeds and some fruit. Cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol and any other stimulants.
  4. Light exercise – mostly walking – no heavy duty lifting, aerobics, running until the adrenals are better.
  5. Supplement with 500 mg Vitamin C 3x day, 500 mg Pantothenic Acid 3x day, 200 mg Magnesium 3x day. The adrenals use these supplements to function and if you are low in any of them the adrenals will not have the building blocks to repair.

There are herbs on the market there that will support the adrenals but I would like you to try the basics first before spending more on supplements.

Three books about Adrenal Fatigue:

“Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James Wilson, ND, DC, PhD,

“Tired of Being Tired” by Jesse Lynn Hanley, MD

“Mastering Cortisol – Stop Your Body’s Stress Hormone From Making You Fat Around The Middle” by Marilyn Glenville

Here is to an energetic and Happy New You!

Dr. Wendy

Beth September 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Thank you for writing on this subject!!! After having many of these symptoms and struggling to find out the problem instead of masking the symptoms (I had more than one provider try to put me on anti-depressants…..I wasn’t going for it!). A naturopath finally correctly diagnosed me. After following her (simple) advise I couldn’t believe how quickly I started to spring back to normal. I’m guessing there’s an epidemic of adrenal fatigue out there. Folks just don’t know about this. Keep spreading the word Dr. Wendy!

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