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Burned Out? How Adrenal Fatigue Can Wreck Your Hormone Balance

Understanding Burnout in a World That Never Stops

Depressed black woman sitting in room

In our fast-paced, productivity-obsessed world, it’s no wonder that stress – and burnout – is skyrocketing. Today, at least 70% of people have experienced burnout, with women, millennials, and Gen-Z being the most common groups under pressure. 

Burnout isn’t just a different way to say you’re tired; it’s a collection of physical and mental symptoms (including poor adrenal function) that have significant effects on all aspects of our lives, from work to personal relationships to our overall well-being.

While stress may be inevitable, you don’t have to live with burnout. Let’s explore why burnout and adrenal fatigue happen, how they impact our bodies, and the steps to take to reclaim your balance.

 

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue isn’t a disease, but rather a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that occur when the adrenal glands, which sit atop each kidney, become overworked and underperform. 

The adrenal glands play a key role in regulating our body’s response to stress, as they are in charge of producing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and aldosterone. When they’re functioning optimally, these hormones help us manage stress, maintain energy levels, and keep our immune system in check.

However, when the adrenal glands have to work overtime, the adrenals become “fatigued” and these hormones fall out of balance. So, what causes adrenal fatigue?

While the exact causes of adrenal fatigue are not fully understood, there are some potential reasons why the adrenal glands stop working properly:

  • Chronic Stress and Burnout
    Stress triggers the production and release of adrenal hormones. When we are constantly exposed to stress, whether from work, relationships, or other sources, this puts excessive demands on the adrenal glands and they eventually break down.
  • Lifestyle Choices
    As with any health condition, issues like poor diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and substance abuse will affect the adrenal glands’ ability to function.
  • Illness or Injury
    Serious illnesses or traumatic events can strain the adrenal glands, making them more susceptible to fatigue.
  • Chronic Inflammation
    Conditions that lead to chronic inflammation, such as autoimmune disorders, can tax the adrenal glands over time.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can vary widely from person to person. However, there are some common signs to watch out for:

  • Fatigue
    Persistent, unexplained fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest is a hallmark symptom of adrenal fatigue. It often leads to a feeling of being constantly drained.
  • Sleep Issues
    Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even if you’re exhausted, is a common complaint among those with adrenal fatigue.
  • Higher Sensitivity to Stress
    An increased sensitivity to stressors, both physical and emotional, can make even everyday life feel overwhelming.
  • Brain Fog
    Many individuals with adrenal fatigue report cognitive issues like difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and decreased mental clarity.
  • Mood Swings
    Emotional shifts, anxiety, and depression can be exacerbated by adrenal fatigue.
  • Weight Changes
    Some people experience unexplained weight gain or loss, often accompanied by changes in appetite. Many people also tend to crave salty foods, sweets, or caffeine.
  • Digestive Problems
    Adrenal fatigue can also affect digestion, leading to issues like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

 


At Moringa Natural Health, we have treatment plans for menopause and hormone imbalance. We personalize each plan according to each person’s unique biological makeup. Want to learn more about our treatment plans? Schedule your free appointment with Dr. Fernandez today!


What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion often brought on by prolonged periods of chronic stress, overwork, or a combination of stressors. Many people who are “burned out” feel depleted and drained – both physically and emotionally.

Are You Experiencing Burnout?

  • Emotional Exhaustion
    Individuals experiencing burnout often feel emotionally drained. They may find it challenging to muster enthusiasm or care about their work or other responsibilities.
  • Detachment
    Burnout can often lead to feelings of cynicism and detachment from work or other parts of your life you were once invested in. As your brain and body desperately try to reserve energy, it’s also common to become more distant and less empathetic in your interactions with others.
  • Reduced Achievement
    Those with burnout feel a reduced sense of personal achievement and accomplishment, even when they are still performing well.
  • Physical Symptoms
    Burnout can manifest physically with symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and muscle tension.
  • Low Brain Power 
    Cognitive difficulties, such as decreased concentration, memory problems, and reduced problem-solving abilities, are common in burnout.
  • Lack of Motivation
    People experiencing burnout may lose their motivation and passion for the tasks they once found fulfilling.

 


At Moringa Natural Health, we have treatment plans for menopause and hormone imbalance. We personalize each plan according to each person’s unique biological makeup. Want to learn more about our treatment plans? Schedule your free appointment with Dr. Fernandez today!


Burnout, Adrenal Fatigue, and Hormones: How Are They Linked?

Burnout, adrenal fatigue, and hormone imbalances are closely intertwined, with one often exacerbating the others.

The most direct way adrenal fatigue and burnout affect your hormone balance is via cortisol. During normal stress, your cortisol levels rise to help the body cope with the increased demands. Ideally, however, the stress would eventually subside and our cortisol levels fall back to a normal level.

With burnout, however, the stress doesn’t go away. The adrenal glands struggle to maintain this high cortisol production, which can lead to irregular hormonal patterns:

  • Elevated Cortisol
    Some individuals with burnout may experience chronically high cortisol levels, which can contribute to anxiety, insomnia, and a heightened stress response.
  • Cortisol Exhaustion
    Over time, the adrenal glands may become fatigued and are unable to keep producing cortisol. Cortisol levels fall below what the body needs for everyday functions, which results in fatigue, difficulty coping with stress, and a weakened immune system.
  • Insulin Resistance
    Chronically high cortisol levels lead to high levels of insulin. Over time, insulin resistance develops, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells. This can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and potentially increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Thyroid Hormone Imbalances
    Adrenal fatigue can lead to symptoms that mimic hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), such as fatigue, weight gain, and cold intolerance. This can occur because the production of thyroid hormones may be affected when the adrenal glands are overworked.
  • Sex Hormone Imbalances
    Changes in hormones like cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones also affect other hormones in the body – notably the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). In women, these imbalances may lead to irregular menstrual cycles, missed periods, premenstrual symptoms, and infertility. Men and women alike might experience reduced libido, anxiety, and depression – all of which can be attributed to the strain on hormones as well as the emotional and physical toll that burnout and adrenal fatigue can take.

 


At Moringa Natural Health, we have treatment plans for menopause and hormone imbalance. We personalize each plan according to each person’s unique biological makeup. Want to learn more about our treatment plans? Schedule your free appointment with Dr. Fernandez today!


Overcoming Burnout: Tips to Support Your Adrenal Glands and Find Balance

Reversing burnout and adrenal fatigue isn’t always as easy, and it often takes significant shifts in lifestyle and wellness to truly make a change. Thankfully, there are several natural approaches you can take to reduce the negative effects of chronic stress and support healthy adrenal function: 

  1. Get tested.
    Lab work is a necessary first step for those who want to restore their adrenal glands and hormone balance. We can recommend a range of tests (including an adrenal stress test) to pinpoint what exactly is causing your symptoms and create a strategic wellness plan to move forward. 
  2. Practice stress-relief activities.
    Managing stress is crucial in both preventing and recovering from burnout. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness practices daily to keep stress levels in check.
  3. Get more sleep.
    Quality sleep is essential for adrenal gland recovery. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure your sleep environment is cool, dark, quiet, and peaceful. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Balanced Nutrition
    Eat a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit or avoid processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, which can exacerbate adrenal stress. Consider IV Nutrient therapy to help you get the vitamins and minerals you need to heal your adrenals.
  5. Try herbal supplements.
    Some herbal supplements, such as adaptogens (specifically licorice root, ashwagandha, maca root, and rhodiola) may help support adrenal function and reduce stress. Schedule a consult at Moringa Natural Health Center to learn which herbal supplements would support you best.
  6. Stay hydrated.
    Proper hydration is essential for overall health and stress management. When you’re hydrated, your brain works better and you feel more energized.
  7. Exercise often.
    Physical activity not only helps you stay fit but can help reduce stress and improve mood. A run or cycle after a particularly stressful day can help process the excess cortisol in your system so your body can reset. Just don’t overdo it – excessive exercise can further stress the adrenal glands. Aim for a balanced exercise routine that includes both aerobic and strength-training exercises.
  8. Create a mindful work-life balance.
    All work and no play leads to burnout. Take breaks, use your vacation time, set boundaries, and make time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.

 


At Moringa Natural Health, we have treatment plans for menopause and hormone imbalance. We personalize each plan according to each person’s unique biological makeup. Want to learn more about our treatment plans? Schedule your free appointment with Dr. Fernandez today!


Stop the Burnout Cycle with Moringa Natural Health Center

You deserve to be well and happy. If you’re struggling with burnout, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, or simply need support in feeling your best, our team is here for you! Request an appointment or call our office at 623-266-0059 to learn more about how our services can help you find your natural balance.

Much love,

Dr. Lena Fernandez

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