The adrenal glands play very crucial lives in our bodies. These glands are responsible for four major hormones; Adrenaline, Cortisol, DHEA-S, Aldosterone and Androgen. These hormones are charged with specific roles in our bodies. Both Adrenaline and Cortisol are your “flight or fight” hormones and are produced in response to stress. In particular, cortisol provides a short-term increase in blood sugar and blood pressure. By increasing the blood sugar and pressure it can be seen that the body will be empowered as it shall have enough energy to respond to any environmental stress. . When these stresses extend for a longer period of time, the Adrenal gland continues to pump out Adrenaline and Cortisol in response which will result in adrenal fatigue.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue
- Body aches
- Loss of body hair
- Skin discoloration
- Unexplained weight loss
- Low blood pressure
Just like adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia has been linked to exposure to stress. This disease is characterized by widespread muscle pain, joint stiffness, and fatigue. The condition is chronic but pain comes and goes and moves about the body. The cause of this disorder is unknown and therefore it is often misdiagnosed or unrecognized and is most of the times complicated by anxiety and mood disorders. The cause of fibromyalgia has been attributed to stress but again there is no research that has been done to prove that stress is the cause of fibromyalgia. The disease causes deep muscle pain but its cause is still unknown. Those suffering from fibromyalgia will suffer from lack of energy and will feel exhausted most of the time.
Typically, when a person is exposed to stress, the level of cortisol will be elevated so highly that its production will be maimed as the adrenal glands fatigue, and eventually become exhausted. When a person is exposed to high stress level there will be a decrease in DHEA levels with a rise in cortisol. The decrease in DHEA and rise in cortisol level will result in an increased ratio of cortisol to DHEA. As with most hormonal systems, there is a negative feedback loop that limits the production of each hormone once it hits its target level. The same occurs in the case of cortisol.
In case of prolonged stress when there is a feeling that the body is at risk and has to act in order to survive, the cortisol output will actually diminish the feedback response. This action is ultra what is expected in that instead of the feedback loop shutting down cortisol production when the levels get high, the body reacts by increasing its level even more. But since cortisol is the body’s primary anti-stress hormone, it will interpret a very high cortisol level as impending and life-threatening danger. In this situation, there is actually a blunting effect on the feedback loop allowing it to spin increasingly out of control. More cortisol will therefore be produced even though your body becomes increasingly resistant to its release. This is the way the body reacts in order to survive during high level of stress it is exposed to. However when this continues for quite a long time then the adrenal glands will become fatigued resulting to plethora of diseases
To begin with these are diseases that until now are little understood. The researchers that have worked on either of the diseases have linked their cause to exposure to high stress levels. However this theory is yet to be proved. there is still little literature in this area of medicine and hope can only be held that in the near future researchers will come up with real causes of these two disorders or better yet come up with good explanations that these two disorders are caused by exposure to high stress levels as have been speculated. It’s only prudent to work with the basis that researchers have availed and by this said I mean that when accept the theory that these two disorders are caused by exposure to high stress then the link between the two is rather easy to find. the major reasons of the adrenal glands is to release hormones that are used in fighting stress therefore when your glands are not able to do that you become more prone to stress and therefore fibromyalgia. There have been theories that adrenal fatigue can cause fibromyalgia but such theories are baseless as these two diseases are seemingly caused by one factor; prolonged stress. However these two diseases share a common symptom which is fatigue. A person who is suffering from any of the diseases will most of the time be worn out.
When it comes to treatment of these diseases, they seem to diverge. As opposed to adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia is a complex disease that has no cure. There are some medicines that can be used to help you mitigate on the debilitating effects of the disease. As for adrenal fatigue there are many ways that it can be combated. There is a lifestyle change that when adopted then the condition can be healed and the adrenal gland be restored. Better diet that is free from gluten, sleeping well for at least seven hours a night and limiting caffeine and lots of exercises can help in treatment of adrenal fatigue.
The normal stress of everyday life affects people differently. Adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia are two common diseases that occur when stressors overwhelm your ability to fight them off. At AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing the best integrative approaches to treatment of diseases. Visit as at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) will be of help.