Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are chronically overworked. The adrenal glands are triangle-shaped endocrine glands that are ½ inch high and 3 inches long that rest on top of each kidney. When under stress, they release hormones responsible for the “fight/flight” response, like cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones are very useful in acute situations like running from a bear. Cortisol and adrenaline shunt blood away from your GI tract and skin and shunts it toward organs needed during emergencies like running from a bear; muscles and heart. That is why when scared and these hormones are active; people turn “white as a ghost” because blood is being shunted away from the skin and towards muscle and heart. It also makes your liver produce more sugar (gluconeogenesis) to support your hard-working muscles and heart. That’s fine when running from a bear.
What happens if we are under stress for long periods of time, perhaps months, years, or even decades. We weren’t meant to run from a bear for months, years or decades at the time. Many things in our lives become chronic stressors; self-induced sleep deprivation or sleep apnea, unhealthy relationships at home or work, etc. Chronic stress results in chronic elevation in cortisol and adrenaline. This results in the elevation in blood pressure (hypertension), elevation in blood sugar, and insulin resistance type 2 diabetes, sugar/fat cravings, increased belly fat, moodiness, agitation, high cholesterol, etc.
After months or even years of too much cortisol being produced, our adrenal glands get “burned out” and then adrenal fatigue develops. Too little amounts of these hormones get produced and symptoms worsen. The energy level will plummet and stamina will be nil to the point where not even sex will be enjoyable or worth the effort!
When Dr. Li meet patients for the first time, they frequently say, “I am so tired, sex isn’t even worth the effort.” Many times there will be digestive problems and the body will be riddled with aches and pains. Sugar, fat, and salty (chips) food cravings predominate. Some will continue to gain weight, while others will lose weight due to a loss of appetite. Sometimes lightheadedness and worsening sleep disturbances will ensue.
The earlier this is diagnosed and treated, the better. We have several tests that we perform that are not performed by traditional medicine. All are FDA approved and scientifically proven and will enable us to outline an individualized plan for you. Once adrenal fatigue is properly treated, the difference can be amazing.