Adrenal Fatigue: What is Adrenal Fatigue?
The hotly debated term ‘adrenal fatigue’ 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 individual posting claim to coining the term ‘adrenal fatigue’ claims:
“Adrenal fatigue is produced when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress….It is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a “syndrome,” that results when the adrenal glands function, but not at their optimal level. During adrenal fatigue your adrenal glands function, but not well enough to maintain optimal homeostasis because their output of regulatory hormones has been diminished – usually by over-stimulation.”
Over one century of scientific research has never corroborated the above statements. 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, 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 the neuroendocrinological system.
When a person discovers they have low cortisol, the most important question to ask is why. The reason will never be ‘exhausted adrenals’.