Are stress and fatigue feelings you have come to accept as normal? Do you find that your memory or attention span has reduced? Do you struggle with your moods? Is your stress tolerance lower than before? Do you experience more food cravings?
These are all potential signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue or ‘burn out’, which occurs as a result of excessive and/or prolonged stress.
Acute stress is actually a beneficial response to assist humans during times of danger or heightened importance- our bodies enter ‘fight or flight’ mode, where numerous hormones are released from our HPA axis (Hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands) that are designed to help us either run away from predators or take them. This physiological response causes our hearts to beat faster, blood vessels to dilate, blood to be sent away from our digestive systems and towards muscles and the brain, and digestive secretions to reduce.
The demanding and fast paced nature of our modern day lives see this stress response played out over and over again, with no time to properly recover and allow the body to return back to normal functioning homeostasis. This is when the function of the HPA axis may become compromised, resulting in chronic stress and ‘burn out’ or ‘adrenal fatigue’.
Chronic stress not only causes undesirable symptoms in the present moment, but can also increase our chances of developing some chronic illnesses in the future. See below 3 holistic approaches to both recover from, and help avoid, adrenal fatigue or burn out