Burnout comes with major life changes, uncertainty, or chronic stress. After two years of pandemic living, it's no surprise that Americans are more stressed out than ever.
Severe stress - also known as burnout - can cause lots of troubling symptoms. You may feel fatigued all the time and want to nap for hours a day. Or maybe you feel wired and unable to rest. Burnout can also manifest as high blood pressure, weight changes, gut health issues, skin breakouts, depression or anxiety, or other chronic health issues.
Adrenal Fatigue and Your Hormones
Cortisol is one of the important hormone released by the adrenal glands. When you are stressed, the adrenals released greater amounts of cortisol. Science has proven that the repeated activation of the cortisol stress response takes a profound toll on psychological and physical health.
But under long-term stress, your adrenal glands may become completely overworked. As a result, they can no longer secrete adequate levels of cortisol. This is known as "adrenal fatigue," or burnout.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
Crashing throughout the day
Poor stress response
Trouble with emotions - anxiety, depression and anger
Brain fog or trouble thinking clearly
Craving junk food
Overdrinking coffee or other caffeine-based stimulants
Poor immune function
If your cortisol levels are consistently too high or your adrenals have stopped functioning properly, this hormone imbalance will cause a cascade of other issues. Your thyroid levels will also become imbalanced, and you'll struggle with blood sugar regulation.
Other Causes of Cortisol Issues
Emotional stress can certainly cause cortisol problems, but there are many other significant potential triggers. These include:
Blood sugar swings
Very hard workouts with little recovery time
Side effects of pharmaceutical medications
Other hormonal imbalances
Genetics may also play a role - some people are better at handling stress than others.
Stress plays a larger factor in your overall hormonal health. For example, in women, chronic stress triggers 'pregnenolone steal,' which triggers progesterone deficiency and makes PMS or menopause symptoms worse.
Addressing the Problem at the Level of Cause
It's important to address your chronic stress as holistically as possible. This means removing or controlling the source of your emotional stress. It also means taking good care of your body - eating a non-inflammatory diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising in a way that energizes you.
Proper testing is crucial - this will help you understand exactly what is imbalanced and why. Supplementation can help your body heal as well.
If you're looking for a more natural approach to your stress, contact our office. We're here to help.