Signs and Symptoms that Your Stress is Caused by Exhausted Adrenals

When you are more tired than you should be, feeling overwhelmed or sick too often, does your partner tell you it is just stress? And you kind of know that is true, but you aren’t sure what to do about it.

You could say that everything is stress because that is the only thing that causes anything to go wrong in the body. It is how the stress hits us, and how the body responds, that makes the difference and creates the symptoms. If you are in perfect health, with very little demand of any kind on the body, you will have plenty of energy and feel fine. Except that you might be bored, and that can also produce stress!

But in today’s world hardly anyone is in perfect health. We have a very compromised food supply, so that even the organic vegetables don’t have the nutrition they had 50-75 years ago. We have staggering amounts of environmental toxins that over-burden our detoxification organs. We have to process too much information, and we sit in traffic too long trying to get somewhere we need to be, which takes up too much time, leaving us feeling that life is moving too fast.

The ability of the body to adapt to all that we experience in life is moderated, to a great extent, by those little glands on top of our kidneys called adrenals. The walnut sized adrenals produce four different hormones, but these have a powerful influence on the body. The adrenals get depleted when they run out of the materials needed to make hormones.

Because of our high-stress lives, the adrenals over produce cortisol. The circulating cortisol signals the body to eat more, to stay alert at night rather than sleep, and to store fat. Or you may be so sluggish that you can’t stay awake when you want to. And you are hungry, gaining weight, but you don’t seem to get the benefit of your food even when you eat well.

Let’s look at how the body views stress.  If you are standing at the top of a black diamond (very difficult) ski run, and you are an excellent skier, you are pumped and excited about the run. Your body gets primed because you know you are going to ski fast, and your knees are going to be pumping to keep you gliding over the bumps, and your heart is going to be working over-time to keep the blood circulating to your muscles. That is all physical stress on the body, as well as the emotional stress of the anticipation and exhilaration.

If you are a novice skier and you ended up at the top of the black diamond run by mistake, you look down the steep bumps with fear or even terror. You wonder if you will make it down in one piece, or if the ski patrol will have to bring you down on a stretcher. Your mouth goes dry, your arms and legs get stiff, and your heart pounds with anxiety. You may also be a bit embarrassed that you are going to have to slide and scrape down the hill, instead of gliding gracefully like the pros. (I can personally testify to this!)

Our bodies don’t really know the difference between the two experiences. Both create a demand that exceeds the norm, and that produces extra stress.

Here are the symptoms of weak and exhausted adrenals:

Gains weight easily or can’t lose weight. When severe, can’t gain weight.

Thin and wispy hair, dry, falls out easily, may become straighter or straw-like

Exhausted or easily fatigued

Chronic fatigue

Wakes between 3-4 pm and cannot return to sleep

Gets sick easily and stays weak afterwards

Racing heart or palpitations

Panic and anxiety

Asthma or allergies, seasonal or food

Pain and inflammation

Dizziness, or gets dizzy when standing suddenly

Constipation, diarrhea, IBS or other bowel disorders

Auto-immune disease such as Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Celiac

Hot flashes

Mental sluggishness


Sparse hair on legs and arms

Dry skin

Eyes sunken

Poor circulation

Swollen ankles

Craves salt

High blood pressure

Pallor-very pale skin that is not natural looking

Frequent urination, especially at night

“Double jointed” or lax ligaments

Can’t hold Chiropractic adjustments

Vitiligo or white patches on skin

You may be asking yourself why your medical doctor does not recognize these symptoms and have you tested. Pharmaceutical does not have any answers for adrenal issues, except psychiatric medication when the anxiety and panic are a problem. They have inhalers and allergy medication, and sleep drugs.

These drugs may treat the symptoms, but they do not heal and repair the adrenal glands themselves. So, millions of people are trying to operate their bodies with depleted adrenals and suffering the effects, or they are suffering the side-effects of drugs that never get to the underlying issue.

Once you understand that all of life is basically an adrenal challenge, you can plan to keep your adrenals up to the job. That means getting enough sleep, avoiding sugar, eating whole foods regularly and avoiding processed chemical foods. The adrenals need and store large quantities of Vitamin C, so they need fresh fruits and vegetables to operate well. And there are many adrenal supplements, both herbal and nutritional, that can restore burnt out adrenals quickly. If you have any kind of physical, emotional or psychological stress, you may need supplements and lifestyle changes to keep your adrenals strong.

“Adrenal glands produce hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, steroids, cortisol, and cortisone, and chemicals such as adrenalin (epinephrine), norepinephrine, and dopamine. When the glands produce more or less hormones than required by the body, disease conditions may occur.” Medline Plus[i]

At Well Body Clinic, we find the exact adrenal support that is right for your body. And we can address the other symptoms, such as anxiety, allergies, sleep, hair and skin issues, with a complete natural medicine approach. You don’t have to be sick and tired and, worse, wondering what is wrong with you. Functional medicine means finding out what part of your body needs support to function correctly, and removing any barriers that are preventing you from feeling good and being well. For real. Long term.

Call us to book your adrenal consultation. It usually only takes a few days to start noticing the difference in your symptoms. Life is a challenge, and you can make sure that your adrenals are helping you to keep up.