Tue, Feb. 18

Adrenal fatigue really does exist

Magdalena Romanska

Magdalena Romanska

Let's talk today about something that does not exist: adrenal fatigue. Many of us do or will suffer from it. However, the mainstream medical community does not recognize it as a disease, so there is no official treatment protocol.

The big question is: why isn't it recognized as a physical ailment that needs healing? There are several factors. Adrenal fatigue is one of those conditions that can be effectively treated by lifestyle changes, rather than having to take a daily or weekly pill indefinitely.

In my opinion, as the pharmaceutical industry does not see any potential money to be made, they are not investing in research for a cure or advocating that it be officially acknowledged. Medicine is also a business, and insurance companies only pay physicians for diagnosing and treating an officially recognized ailment. Without that diagnosis number, it technically does not exist.

It's a frustrating, vicious bureaucratic cycle. Rather than investigating what circumstances lead to the problem, the adrenal fatigue sufferers are left in limbo.

Every day our adrenal glands produce stress hormones, most notably cortisol and adrenaline. However, thanks to our ever-more-hectic modern lives, that hormone production does not slow down when it should, especially at night.

The combination of constant hormonal imbalance, chronic stress and sugar-and-coffee-driven days finally takes a toll: our sleep cycles are negatively impacted, so we wake up feeling sluggish and tired instead of refreshed and alert. Mental and physical fatigue also leads to overeating throughout the day. With adrenal fatigue, the weight we gain loves to settle in the area where our waistlines used to be.

Then comes the Catch-22 of dieting. Trying to lose weight through food and caloric deprivation stresses our bodies even further, resulting in an even higher production of stress hormones. It's another vicious cycle.

Then, when dieting does not work, some of us start working out obsessively. Our limbic brain cannot distinguish between emotional stress and the stress from excessive training.

It sends out the fight-or-flight signal, which results in, yes, the production of even more stress hormones. This is why, after a few weeks of dieting and/or exercising, we hit the notorious weight loss plateau, and no matter how much we try, the scale doesn't bulge.

So what does this tell us? We have to destress our life! I know, easier said than done. We have to nurture, not starve, our bodies; and we must keep exercising.

So, try to work out several times a day -- including some weightlifting -- for shorter periods of time. Also, talk to your doctor about consulting with a functional medicine specialist to learn what supplements might help restore your body's hormonal balance.

The path back to health is long, but with some patience you can do it!

Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training and Wellness Studio ( Her Be Fit Fit blog is available on

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