Adrenal Fatigue

Been doing some reading about adrenal fatigue as it relates to stress, and wondering how I should be thinking about it in the context of SUF.

Clearly the ambient stress level we ALL carry these days is higher due to the pandemic, etc. Add the physiological stress of intense workouts and it seems possible that the persistent fatigue we can feel is adrenal fatigue despite regular sleep, moderating caffeine and alcohol, and eating a healthy balanced diet.

Do supplements help? Interested to hear people’s thoughts around this. TIA!

1 Like

Very good point there. Two years into the pandemic I feel my body has somewhat normalized the high stress compared to the first year. I take B12 specifically for stress along with D and C during winter plus a couple other supplements (glucosamine, cal-mag).

When I run out of b12 there is almost a same day noticeable effect. For me, taking B12 or B50 Makes a huge difference to my level of fatigue from stress. Did pre-pandemic too.

I like pork fat and the white in grapefruit for an extra B boost :yum:

I wonder what else I could be eating for a bit of physical stress relief. (Also big fan of beets, my personal superfood)

There is a related post in here from the coaches, somewhere, but I don’t Remember it mentioning supplements.

Mmmm. Shame about those criteria above ….

On the second question - I’d be surprised. My expectation is supplements enable us to keep going longer or ‘boost’ us and just worsen the long term impact

1 Like

There may be some confusion around what adrenaline is and its role in the body.
Adrenaline is released in response to a threat and promotes the fight or flight response. This is short lived , around 20 minutes before it is absorbed by the body. It is only released again when there is a threat perceived and the same response is required. Adrenaline fatigue is not really in my opinion valid as the role adrenaline plays is to promote safety and without it our ancestors would have died out. Distress in the other hand is a state of extreme demand which is unlikely to abate, which can leave people fatigued. I suggest looking at Hans Selles book on general adaptation syndrome which encompasses psychological as well as physical ideas around eustress and distress.
Using vitamins is unlikely to yield any results, again in my opinion there is a mythology created to sell more supplements. I would suggest looking at mindfulness and stress management, such as comparing what is in our control to change and what is not and acting on what we can change without getting caught up in ifs,buts and maybe. Many of the techniques used in the mental training section of wahoo draw and build on these ideas. As the say " don’t let the b*****ds grind you down!" :grin:

5 Likes

Just done some research. Adrenal fatigue syndrome is controversial and is not accepted by the medical establishment, research is scarce and inconclusive. The Mayo Clinic advises that diagnostic suggestion by non- clinicians is unwise to follow as there are other problems such as depression are likely to be ignored.
I suggest if the symptoms experienced are debiliating then a medical professional should be consulted and a more holistic assessment can be made.

3 Likes

Adrenal fatigue is a last in the line diagnosis as you have to be cleared of a host of other issues and it is EXTREMELY rare. It does affect the body in many ways. One thing to get cleared is cancer of the adrenal gland. It is a rare but possible issue. I would look at that first.
Also, you should look into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That is very real and not fun to have.

1 Like

Just found this: “Adrenal Fatigue: Is It Real? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments” Adrenal Fatigue: Is It Real? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Maybe I just need a nap… ; )

Tbh I didn’t even think of the “adrenal” part of the thread name when I replied above, so I definitely needed a nap that day😂

Dr. Andrew Huberman, who is a tenured professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine, explains there is no such thing as ‘adrenal burnout’. There is however, adrenal insufficiency syndrome, where some people have very impaired adrenals and they cannot produce adrenaline, and that melatonin taken at very high levels for long periods of time can cause suppression of cortisol and epinephrine release from the adrenals, creating a pseudo adrenal insufficiency syndrome. Dr. Huberman does point to large number of studies that show how L-Theanine has been show to significantly increase relaxation, has demonstrated a minor affect on anxiety, and has noticeable affects in reducing stress.

For further discussion on how to manage stress, visit the Huberman Lab: Tools for Managing Stress & Anxiety

Dr. Huberman also has a great lecture on How To Build Endurance In Your Brain & Body.

5 Likes

Adrenaline insufficiency is addison’s disease which is very rare. I feel that the red herring in the adrenaline suppression discussion is the fact that anxiety is directly results in the fight or flight mechanism being triggered. Insufficiency in this would lead to a lack of response and a non perception of danger.
I am a mental health nurse of 25 years practice and have worked with many anxious individuals. Many wish they were not experiencing this fight or flight response on such a regular basis as it causes real problems. Fatigue can be caused by anxiety but for many people on this forum who monitor their heart rate regularly the initial response of fight or flight ie increased heart rate would be seen. The reports of sleeplessness are more akin to the rumination of ideas that is present in anxiety or depression. In my experience the identification of concerns worries and fears and learning to manage and give realistic weight to them is far more successful in bring life back to normal. I tend to favour CBT and ACT therapies.

3 Likes

Another great post. Well said!

Adrenal Insufficiency is without doubt a terrible condition, I was diagnosed with secondary adrenal insufficiency due to extended and excessive prolonged exogenous steroid use to treat Crohns. My pituitary had shut down and stopped sending signals to the adrenals, which in turn stopped working as well.
I was diagnosed by synacthen test (NHS), ; a stress test of your adrenal response to ACTH, as the consultant says you are given enough to start a dead horse, I failed.
I was under the care of a fantastic endocrinologist and eventually got most of the function back after a few years of living clean and being off steroids.

Addisons is primary, meaning the adrenal gland itself doesnt work as it should
Secondary means the signals arent getting generated to send to the adrenal to release cortisol, that means over time the adrenals themselves can shrink and many cant be restarted.

5 Likes

Thank you for weighing in! :heart:

1 Like