Cordyceps and adrenal fatigue

Adrenal glands sit above your kidneys.  Their job is to produce hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, norepinephrine and epinephrine.  These are the stress hormones that prepare humans for ‘fight-or-flight’ situations. The constant demand of these chemicals tends to overwhelm what these glands were designed for.

Over-production of these chemicals occurs typically when stressful life events occur or a long illness. These adrenal glands can become overworked and experience ‘burn out’,  The knock-on effect is that they then fail to produce the hormones needed to get you through your day.

As early as 1939, the medical establishment had identified a condition called ‘mild adrenal insufficiency’, however, this seems to have been, by-and-large, forgotten.  The condition that seems to be the only one officially recognised is Addison’s disease (known as severe adrenal insufficiency) and shows up as low adrenal function.  As a result of the fact that adrenal fatigue is a milder form of this, it does not reveal itself in standard lab tests.

SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE

Poor sleep
Adrenal fatigue often manifests itself in extreme fatigue and an inability to get enough quality sleep. Over-production of Cortisol can lead to anxiety and restlessness, despite sleep being wanted.

Feeling more alert after 6pm
Another clear sign of adrenal fatigue, with your glands struggling to wake up in the morning.  Therefore, it is common to feel exhausted in the morning and then, later, perhaps 6pm, more alert and during the evening. A sign that your adrenals may be burnt out.

Appearance of a raccoon
One of the most obvious giveaways of adrenal fatigue is the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  People tend to tell you to “get more sleep”.

Menstrual cycle disruption
Problems with adrenal glands often show up in an out-of-kilter menstrual cycle as well. The only source of testosterone in a woman’s body are the adrenals.  With insufficient levels of the latter, periods can be less frequent or last only a day or so.

Normal, everyday stresses can overwhelm you
A tendency to snap at people or being led to tears over small matters could be the result of adrenal fatigue.

Muscle and joint stiffness
Adrenal fatigue can result in increased inflammation whilst poorer sleep patterns can result in muscle and joint pain.

Exhaustion after exercise
Normally, regular exercise should leave you feeling refreshed and alert rather than exhausted.  If you discover that exercise without consequent fatigue is the norm, your adrenal glands may be burnt out.

Impaired digestion
A body heading into a state of fight or flight results in the digestion slowing in order that more blood can be sent  throughout your system. Adrenal fatigue can mean your digestion is slow and somewhat sluggish which can lead to gaining weight, chronic indigestion and constipation.