Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

If you are feeling constantly tired and shaky, and you are not sure what is going on, but you know something is wrong, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Though not a medically recognised disorder, adrenal fatigue is believed to be closely related to Addison's disease, except it is caused by stress instead of an immune system malfunction.

The Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are two glands that are located directly above the kidneys. The adrenal glands are an important part of the body as they produce essential hormones that are used throughout the body. These hormones control how the body uses fat, help the inflammation process, strengthen the immune system, control sodium excretion, and maintain blood pressure and volume. The adrenal glands are also important for the production of adrenalin in the form of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are both important for the bodies fight and flight mechanisms.

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is a wide variety of symptoms all believed to stem from one common factor, the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is believed to largely come from too much stress influencing the health and operation of the body. This makes sense as the adrenal glands secret the hormones that are largely involved with the coping of mental stress. Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which the body can no longer adapt to stress and starts to physically manifest the effects of stress through a variety of symptoms. As the stress increases on the body, the adrenal glands are unable to work fast enough to physically cope with it, causing adrenal fatigue.

Internal Physical Symptoms

Internal physical symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include the following: increased susceptibility to the flu or other respiratory diseases, increased trembling during stressful situations, feeling of being lightheaded when changing body positions, low body temperature, hypoglycaemia, heart palpitations, pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back, and constipation.

External Physical Symptoms

External physical symptoms of adrenal fatigue may include unexplained weight gain, unexplained hair loss, dry or thin skin and chronic trembling. In some cases unexplained sweating without related physical activity may also be an external sign of adrenal fatigue.

Mental Symptoms

Most symptoms of adrenal fatigue are more related to mental health. These symptoms may include a lack of sex drive, lapse of memory, food cravings (largely for salty, sweet or fatty foods), depression, nervousness and overall an inability to handle stress. In many circumstances the feelings related to these symptoms can be overwhelming.


The most common treatment for adrenal fatigue is a lifestyle overhaul. The only way to remedy adrenal fatigue is to remove the stressful stimuli that are causing the disease in the first place. Adding exercise to your routine, eating healthy meals regularly, taking time to relax, taking up a relaxing hobby, taking yoga classes, meditation and any other stress relief activities will work quickly to remedy the symptoms related with adrenal fatigue. In some cases, anti-anxiety or depression medications may be prescribed to pharmacologically help the process along.

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About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.