Obvious forms of stress that affect the adrenal glands: schedules, traffic, financial problems, arguments, job loss and many other emotional and psychological challenges of life. But other factors not commonly considered when people think of "stress" place just as much of a burden on the adrenal glands. These include blood sugar swings, gut dysfunction, food intolerances (especially gluten), chronic infections, environmental toxins, autoimmune problems, inflammation and overtraining. All of these conditions sound the alarm bells and cause the adrenals to pump out more stress hormones.
Adrenal stress is probably the most common stress management problem we as complementary doctors encounter in functional medicine, because nearly everyone is dealing with at least one of the factors listed above. Symptoms of adrenal stress are diverse and nonspecific, because the adrenals affect every system in the body. But some of the more common symptoms are:
Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up
Sugar and caffeine cravings
Irritability or lightheadedness between meals
Eating to relieve fatigue
Dizziness when moving from sitting or lying to standing
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