The job, the kids, the house – life in the 21st century is a hectic balancing act. Today a growing number of complementary medicine practitioners believe daily stress has thrown our adrenal glands completely out of whack, causing an epidemic of extreme exhaustion known as adrenal fatigue syndrome. Yet the mainstream medical community has not embraced the theory since there is no scientific proof it actually exists.
Many Americans, especially women, suffer symptoms of extreme exhaustion in today’s busy world. So it’s important for you to understand the debate surrounding adrenal fatigue and learn ways to protect yourself against extreme exhaustion.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is the term applied to a group of nonspecific symptoms including body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. Dr. James Wilson, the man who first named the condition in 1998, believes 2/3’s of all Americans could be suffering from extreme cases of it.
Stress and the Adrenal Glands
Located near the top of each kidney, the adrenal glands are comprised of 2 parts: the adrenal medulla, which secretes the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine; and the adrenal cortex, which secretes aldosterone, cortisol, corticosterone and the androgens (sex hormones).
Cortisol helps mobilize your energy levels and prepare the body for physical and emotional stress. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for the body’s biological response to danger known as the fight-or-flight response, which is characterized by heart pounding, increasing pain threshold, pupils widening, breath quickening and increased alertness.