Do you suffer from fibromyalgia? Do you find yourself feeling constantly run-down, lacking energy? Then you may also be a victim of hypoadrenia, or adrenal burnout, a form of chronic fatigue. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands have had to work continuously to produce cortisol for a long period — typically several months. After this time, they cannot continue to produce a steady supply of the hormone, and begin to produce it in a haphazard, random way.
What Do Your Adrenal Glands Do?
You may be familiar with the adrenal glands as producers of adrenaline (known to scientists and the medical community as epinephrine). Adrenaline is the fight-or-flight hormone, supplying a burst of energy when we feel threatened or find ourselves in a situation of extreme stress. But these glands, situated on top of the kidneys, do far more than this. They also produce aldosterone, one of a class of hormones that control blood pressure. They even produce androgens and estrogens which affect the growth of the sex organs. And they produce cortisol.
Cortisol performs several functions. It helps manage blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and controls blood pressure.
Fatigue: It’s Not A One-Size-Fits-All Condition
Understand that having fibromyalgia coupled with fatigue does not necessarily mean you have adrenal burnout. Fatigue has plenty of causes, from lack of sleep to a chronic infection to dietary issues. You may have trouble sleeping due to, as an example, construction noise in your neighborhood. This lack of energy and focus will likely go away after a few nights of proper sleep. It is clearly not brought on by adrenal burnout.
Some adrenal fatigue symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty getting out of bed
- You suffer from exhaustion throughout the day
- Stress can cripple you
- You crave foods with high quantities of salt
- Your energy levels go up in the evening
- You find yourself dependent on stimulants such as caffeine
- You are prone to illness and infection, indicating a weakened immune system
Click here for a handy questionnaire that can help determine if what you’re feeling truly is fatigue, as opposed to merely tiredness or temporary exhaustion.
Adrenal burnout is common in those who suffer from fibromyalgia. If you do experience chronic fatigue, your fatigue likely has adrenal insufficiency as one of its causes.
Treating Adrenal Burnout (Hypoadrenia)
If you suspect you have this condition — or even if you have some kind of ongoing fatigue you cannot explain — consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. There are saliva tests that can determine whether your cortisol levels are fluctuating in ways that indicate adrenal burnout.
Treating this condition can be done with a course of supplements and diet. Don’t expect instant results. In fact you may not see results for more than a month, as your system can take at least this long to begin to normalize.
If you find that your fatigue fits the symptoms here and you suspect a link with your fibromyalgia, it’s vital that you don’t despair; your fatigue is treatable and manageable. You don’t have to live with it. If you’re in Hong Kong, call my office today at (+852) 2523 8044 to make an appointment.