I was on Google looking for some more natural sleep aids since I’m in an insomnia cycle right now. I take catnip and it helps, but I can’t use it all the time.
One of the results I got said that insomnia could be a symptom of adrenal fatigue syndrome. I had no clue what that is or what its symptoms are, so I looked it up.
This is copied directly from Jigsawhealth.com:
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome comes from a failure of the adrenal glands to efficiently produce hormones. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol, a hormone fundamental to optimal health. An excess of cortisol in the body can lead to severe problems, including Cushing’s syndrome. However, when released in normal levels by the adrenal gland, cortisol is essential to helping our bodies cope with stress and to fight infection – without cortisol the body cannot sustain life! Balance is crucial. Cortisol affects every tissue, organ, and gland in the body. When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they do not supply the body with enough cortisol. The body does what it can to get by, but it is not without consequences. As such, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome generally precedes other chronic conditions.
I am intrigued now, so I go on to look at the symptoms of this condition. Again, directly from the above website:
- Fatigue, lethargy:
- Lack of energy in the mornings, and also in the afternoon between 3 and 5 pm.
- Often feel tired between 9 and 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
- Lightheadedness (including dizziness and fainting) when rising from a sitting or laying-down position.
- Lowered blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering (brain fog).
- Consistently feeling unwell or difficulty recovering from infections.
- Craving either salty or sugary foods to keep going.
- Unexplained hair loss.
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
- Mild depression.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Sleep difficulties.
- Unexplained pain in the upper back or neck.
- Increased symptoms of PMS for women – periods are heavy and then stop (or almost stop) on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
- Tendency to gain weight and inability to lose it – especially around the waist.
- High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases – plus a tendency for them to last longer than usual.
All of these symptoms might be caused by an inability of your body to produce enough cortisol – the root cause of adrenal fatigue syndrome.
I don’t have all of those symptoms, but I have enough of them to make me wonder.
A common cause of adrenal fatigue syndrome, according to the website, is being under a constant level of stress–be it physical stress (from illness, infection, or disease) or emotional stress. It gets to the point where the adrenal glands basically burn out, can’t keep up with the constant demand for cortisol, and simply stop producing enough.
There are tests that can diagnose it and it can be fixed, the websites say. I’m going to be doing more research on this, as it explains a lot of things that have been happening to me for years.