Thousands of people suffer from constant fatigue, unrelieved by rest and sleep. This is the main symptom of adrenal burnout syndrome. Other symptoms may include a craving for sweets, low blood pressure and blood sugar, irritability and depression. Low energy impairs every system of the body. Secondary symptoms range from impaired digestion to infections. Toxic emotions accumulate with adrenal burnout. The world looks bad, people are evil, and a hopeless attitude is not uncommon.
The condition is also called adrenal hypofunction, adrenal exhaustion or adrenal insufficiency. Unlike fatigue, one’s energy does not return after a good nights rest. Burnout is a more serious derangement of the body’s energy system.
The adrenals are the major glands the body uses to respond to stress. Its hormones raise the blood sugar and blood pressure, and promote energy production. Adrenalin (or epinephrine) is used for emergencies. The longer-acting anti-stress adrenal hormones are cortisone and cortisol. Aldosterone, another adrenal hormone, retains sodium and increases the blood pressure. Related closely to the sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight response it is called. When the adrenals become depleted, the body is unable to handle stress.
Most physicians do not diagnose adrenal burnout syndrome. Rarely, if enough tests are run, it may be called Addison’s disease, which doctors consider incurable. Recovery from adrenal burnout, however, is definitely possible. The condition affects both men and women, and even children as well. Some children are born this way and never experience plenty of energy.
Burnout may develop slowly or be caused by a single trauma. John F. Kennedy experienced burnout during World War II. A Japanese destroyer rammed his patrol boat late one night, killing most of the crew. He never recovered from the shock. For the rest of his life, he needed replacement adrenal hormones. If he had found the right practitioner, perhaps they would not have been needed.
Causes of Adrenal Burnout
Excessive stress, an important cause of burnout, can be from many sources. Chemical toxicity and nutritional depletion are among the physical causes. Mental, emotional or spiritual stress may be a major factor. Financial, family or other stress may also contribute to burnout.
Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals, especially when weakened by poor nutrition. Working too much or emotional stress are two common causes. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, is another cause. Fast-paced, high-stress, fear-based lifestyles are a sure prescription for adrenal burnout.
Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and computers give off strong electrical fields.
Nutritional Deficiencies are a common cause. When under stress, the need for nutrients is much greater. Carbohydrates, when excessive in the diet, stress the adrenals. Diets low in protein may also create deficiencies. Inadequate or poor quality water affects oxygenation of the tissues.
Most diets are low in nutrients required by the adrenals. These include B-complex vitamins, vitamins A, C and E, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium and other and other trace elements. The reasons for this begin with how food is grown. Most food is grown on depleted soils. Processing and refining further deplete nutrients. Habits like eating in the car or while on the run further diminish the value derived from food. Also, allergic reactions to foods such as wheat and dairy products can damage the intestines and reduce the absorption of nutrients. Toxic metals and chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Other sources are dental materials and skin contact with chemicals. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications add to the body’s toxic load.
Toxins may also be generated within the body due to impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it either ferments or rots in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed into the body. Chronic infections, of dental and other origin, also contribute to the toxic load. In most people, the organs of elimination do not function at an optimal level. As a result, toxic substances slowly build up in the body, leading to adrenal burnout and many other health conditions.
Stimulants damage the adrenal glands. They whip the adrenals. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are among the most common stimulants. Less obvious stimulants include anger, rage, arguing, hatred, loud music, the news and movies full of suspense. Vigorous exercise, sexual preoccupations and other thrills may also act as stimulants.
Stimulant use, however, can also be a result of adrenal burnout. Stimulants are attractive to one in burnout to provide temporary energy. This is an appeal of the drug culture, both legal and recreational.
Unhealthy responses to stress are another cause of adrenal burnout. These include habits of worrying, or becoming angry or afraid. Don’t worry, be happy is a great prescription for adrenal burnout. This applies particularly to high-strung, nervous individuals and those with very active minds, as they are especially prone to adrenal burnout.
Many children today are born with weak adrenals due to their parents’ nutritional deficiencies. By age three or four, these children are in burnout. They are often sick, depressed and have difficulty in school.
Symptoms of Adrenal Burnout
Low blood sugar and allergies result from low levels of cortisol. Joint and muscle pain are other common symptoms. Multiple chemical sensitivities is an extreme allergic condition associated with adrenal burnout. Low blood pressure and low body temperature may also result. Later blood pressure rises as toxic substances build up in the arteries and kidneys.
Elevated copper and low zinc related to adrenal burnout impair the immune system. Chronic infections may develop. The stage is also set for the development of degenerative conditions. Cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are end-stage results of toxic accumulation and energy depletion. Often secondary to adrenal exhaustion are glandular imbalances, hyperthyroidism and more often hypothyroidism. The adrenal glands produce oestrogen and progesterone. They are the main source of these hormones after menopause. Premenstrual syndrome and hot flashes often have to do with weakened adrenal glands.
Depression and apathy are common in adrenal burnout. One may lose interest in friends, family and work. Unsure if there is energy to get through the day, anxiety may occur. Irritability is common as one is less able to handle even minor stress. Unfortunately, many with adrenal burnout function on anger and resentment. These act as adrenal stimulants, providing a negative energy with which to function. Most of the world, in fact, functions on the negative energy of anger.
Compulsiveness and OCD [Obsessive Compulsion Disorder] is associated with adrenal burnout. One may become addicted or very attracted to excessive exercise, sex, loud music or other forms of excitement. The unconscious goal is always the same, to stimulate the adrenals into activity.
When the adrenals are weak, copper builds up in the body. Elevated copper enhances emotions. Panic attacks, bipolar disorder, mood swings and schizophrenia are related to copper imbalance. As one’s energy level declines, other toxic metals build up as well. Mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic, beryllium and others contribute to hundreds of physical and emotional symptoms.