Because so many people are fatigued and stress is so common today, here I focus on the glands and the little powerhouses they produce called hormones. This is where health can begin to break down; it may be related to hormone imbalances.
Stress can come from toxins in the air, food or relationships, but the body deals with all types of stress by making and releasing certain hormones into the blood. This is the point where imbalance in your health usually begins. Adrenal fatigue is usually a good indicator that something in your lifestyle may need attention.
Lack of energy is one of the most widespread yet unrecognized health problem of all time. So many people suffer from low energy and fatigue that it’s more or less accepted as normal. One learns to live with depleted energy levels.
Granted, low energy is not as serious as some other conditions, or is it? Your fatigue (and body) may be sending you signals, for example, prolonged stress and high cortisol levels can wreak havoc on the thyroid, the major energy gland.
How your body produces energy
We get our energy from food, of course, but food is ultimately broken down to release chemicals. Working together, the thyroid and adrenal glands supply the body with about 98% of its energy: the adrenals release simple sugars which the thyroid uses for fuel to function.
The thyroid releases T3 hormone (triiodothyronine) which enters specific cells and organs of the body, for example the heart:
Although some people suspect they may have a poorly functioning thyroid, very often conventional blood tests are not the best for diagnosing this condition. This is because there are many thyroid hormones and they perform different functions. Conventional thyroid testing has a reputation, at least among nutritionists and naturopaths, to be faulty because only a fraction of the function of these hormones is tested, and there is a history of big marketing tactics.
Two major hormones produced by the adrenal glands are cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is your body’s most power anti-inflammatory and when levels are high, can cause a decrease in thyroid function. Adrenaline is what I call the ‘Tarzan’ hormone because it provides the body with incredible short-term strength. However, when both these hormones are being manufactured by the body continuously, when you are under stress for very long periods, the hormones get unbalanced. Unless you are being careful about what you ingest, you may become very depleted if stress is not managed. Adrenal fatigue, or even exhaustion, can be suspected if you’ve been under chronic stress.