Adrenal Fatigue: What is Adrenal Exhaustion?
The hotly debated term ‘adrenal exhaustion’ has evolved over the past two decades to signify a condition whereby the adrenal glands lose their ability to produce stress hormones, mainly cortisol, under the duress of chronic stress. The result is complete ‘exhaustion’ of the adrenals. One avid proponent of the term ‘adrenal exhaustion’ states:
WARNING: ADRENAL EXHAUSTION AND INSUFFICIENCY ARE NOT RECOGNIZED MEDICAL DIAGNOSES
“The medical profession is far behind when it comes to understanding adrenal gland problems. In 2011, they still do not recognize adrenal insufficiency, adrenal exhaustion or adrenal burnout as real health conditions. This is very sad, as the situation is so common.”
Over one century of scientific research has never found ‘exhaustion of the adrenal glands’ to be the cause of low cortisol. For this reason, it is important for the millions of people suffering from states of low cortisol (more correctly termed ‘hypocortisolism’) to learn and understand the true reasons underlying their condition.
Thanks to the advances offered by modern medical technology, the true causes behind stress induced low cortisol states has shown that the process through which stress induced low cortisol states occur is sophisticated and complex. The adrenal glands are just one of many organs and structures involved in the stress response system. And as members of a system, they cannot and do not act independently. Other extremely influential factors are command centers in the brain, other hormones, the immune system, genetics, toxic exposures, nutrient deficiencies, and a person’s individuality (personality type, early life experiences, perception of stress, etc.). To promote the adrenal gland as being an independently functioning, central component of the stress response system is not only inaccurate but also diminishes the true complexity of our stress response systems.
For those who truly believe they suffer from ‘adrenal exhaustion’, the future is bleak since one proponent of this concept claims, “Most people never recover from burnout”.