I found out recently that on top of my other chronic issues, I also have adrenal fatigue. That was so helpful to me, because I could not figure out why my fatigue was so bad. The fatigue is severe enough to keep me in bed at least 90 percent of my day. My doctor had ordered an adrenal test that consisted of putting a sponge-type material under my tongue; once in the morning and again eight hours later. The interesting thing is that the directions were to keep it under your tongue for two minutes, then place it in a sterile tube. Because I have very dry mouth, I had to leave it under my tongue for 10 minutes just to get enough saliva!

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and produce the hormone cortisol. It’s only one of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol helps to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, among other things. It also helps to protect our cells and keep our body systems in balance.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are. Bethany Sharp, Mrs. Tennessee 2012, shares her symptoms in a video. It causes fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, waking in the middle of the night, difficulty getting back to sleep, lethargy, decreased ability to handle stress, low body temperature, muscle weakness, and hair loss, to name a few. Dr. Jill Carnahan has a brief quiz on her website to see if you might possibly be experiencing adrenal fatigue.

Dr. James Wilson outlines a diet for adrenal fatigue on his site that includes how to combine foods, when to eat, and what fruits to avoid. He has also written a book, “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.”

My life is utterly exhausting. I’m working with my functional medicine doctor to find the best course of treatment for me. It’s my understanding that most doctors won’t test for adrenal fatigue. For that reason, I highly recommend searching out a functional medicine doctor in your area, even if you have to travel an hour or more to get to one. Perhaps you could show this article to your doctor. I know we often attribute all our symptoms to our current illness, but there are other symptoms that may need separate diagnosis and treatment.

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