The most obvious sign of adrenal fatigue is of course, fatigue. The kind of exhaustion that comes with AF is of a special sort, and it can be confusing and frustrating. Let me explain.
If you’re a person who’s experienced fatigue, then you know that there are different flavors. The type that comes with AF, in my experience tends to have two things in common:
- Mornings are difficult
- You “pay for” exertion
Mornings Are Difficult
It’s hard to get up and get going in the morning. You may feel like the ‘walking dead’ when you roll out of bed, no matter how early you went to sleep the previous night. Some people even feel mildly ill or nauseated. You feel like you don’t really wake up until at least 9am, maybe later. If you have to get up an hour or more earlier than your usual time, it makes you feel worse; a jittery inside shaking feeling.
Paying for Exertion
This may be one of the most confusing aspects of AF. Even though you’re tired all the time, most often you can still rise to the challenge of a big day. Whether it’s helping a friend move, doing yard cleanup, painting a room in your house – you can find the energy to do these tasks, but you “pay for it” afterwards with having to take a day or even a week to recover. It’s normal to be a little tired after you have a big day, but when a big day knocks you off your feet for days and leaves you with profound fatigue it’s time to work on your health.
Additional signs your adrenals aren’t functioning well include:
- Tend to be a “night person”
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Slow starter in the morning
- Tend to be keyed up, trouble calming down
- Blood pressure above 120/80
- Headache after exercising
- Feeling wired or jittery after drinking coffee
- Clench or grind teeth
- Calm on the outside, troubled on the inside
- Chronic low back pain, worse with fatigue
- Become dizzy when standing up suddenly
- Difficulty maintaining manipulative correction
- Pain after manipulative correction
- Arthritic tendencies
- Crave salty foods
- Salt foods before tasting
- Perspire easily
- Chronic fatigue, or get drowsy often
- Afternoon yawning
- Afternoon headache
- Asthma, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Pain on the inner side of the knee
- Tendency to sprain ankles or “shin splints”
- Tendency to need sunglasses
- Allergies and/or hives
- Weakness, dizziness
- Decrease in libido
- Changes in monthly cycle (spotting before periods, increased PMS)
If you’ve experienced some of the long term stresses I talked about in my previous article, and you identify with any of the symptoms listed above (especially getting dizzy when you stand up suddenly) then you’re likely experiencing some degree of adrenal fatigue.
I’ll talk about the most accurate way to get tested in my next article.