Fatigue is one of the most common complaints that people present with and is generally the body’s way of responding to physical, mental & emotional stress. The primary stress response of the human body is governed by our adrenal glands, two small glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They produce our primary stress hormone cortisol and adrenalin and noradrenalin, the key hormones involved in our ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Throughout evolution this stress response enabled the human body to react quickly and efficiently in the face of danger. In modern society we are rarely faced with dangerous scenarios that threaten our survival, instead our stress is felt at a more continuous and chronic level as a result of juggling busy careers, family commitments, financial challenges, social calendars and lack of sleep.
Ultimately our adrenals can only withstand this burden for so long before burning out causing hormonal disruption which has widespread effects within the body. Some of which include: acne, allergies, anxiety, brain fog, chronic fatigue, immune impairment, depression, digestive disturbance, fatigue, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, hirsutism, hypoglycaemia, impotence, infertility, insomnia, insulin resistance, irritability, low libido, obesity, osteoporosis, panic attacks, PCOS, sugar and/or salt cravings.
The analogy of ‘flogging a dead horse’ is well illustrated by our use of caffeine and other stimulants to re-fuel our exhausted body’s. A good indicator of whether or not you’re consuming too much caffeine is to stop using it, if you suffer withdrawal symptoms you are consuming too much.
Exhausted adrenals can collapse our entire energy system, which can trigger or worsen other conditions. By addressing our diet and nutritional status, rest and sleep patterns and also mental and emotional wellbeing, we can revitalise our adrenal glands.
Emma has a particular interest in the use of herbal medicine in treating adrenal fatigue, combining adaptogenic and restorative herbs in bespoke formulas for each individual depending on their needs. Emma may also encourage nutritional supplementation as well as lifestyle advice to address the mental and emotional aspects of stress. Salivary hormone testing may also be suggested in some cases.