Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Adrenal fatigue is a vague term used to refer to numerous different symptoms, including general aches and pains, tiredness, and difficulty sleeping. The diagnosis is not recognized by modern medicine, but is used extensively in alternative healing practices, where ongoing stress is thought to be the primary cause. Before you decide to try adrenal fatigue supplements, speak with your doctor to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by another underlying condition, and discuss possible drug interactions that might result from adding a supplement to your diet. When choosing supplements, working with an alternative medicine practitioner can help you determine the best products for your needs.
The adrenal glands, located above your kidneys on both sides, play a major role in controlling the hormones that react to stressful situations. These hormones include epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, and aldosterone. Cortisol levels in particular can have a large impact on the body’s functions, since they are responsible for releasing proteins and other compounds for use in the body during highly stressful times. This hormone also plays a role in moderating energy levels throughout the day. Many adrenal fatigue supplements claim to balance cortisol levels, which is intended to improve energy levels.
Although adrenal fatigue is not technically an accepted medical diagnosis, adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addison’s disease, is a very real and very serious condition. If you are experiencing symptoms commonly associated with adrenal fatigue, such as fatigue, weight loss, fainting, or vomiting, it is important to talk to your medical doctor immediately, as the condition can become serious enough to require hospitalization.
Once Addison's disease has been ruled out, if you want to adopt an adrenal fatigue supplement, you should carefully examine the ingredient lists of potential options. Some supplement manufacturers avoid disclosing their products' exact ingredients by claiming that they contain "proprietary blends," but this practice can be very dangerous for people with certain allergies. Supplements can cause just as many side effects as traditional medicines can when used incorrectly, or when used by those with certain medical conditions. If companies refuse to disclose the ingredients in their supplements, consider looking for alternative sources.
Keep in mind that some supplements that are marketed as adrenal fatigue supplements may contain the exact same ingredients as a less expensive vitamin blend. For example, iron, zinc, and copper are popular ingredients in adrenal fatigue supplements, and these same minerals are also part of many generic multivitamin complexes. Vitamin C is also a popular ingredient, as scientific research indicates that it can help decrease the levels of cortisol in the body. If you are only looking for one or two specific vitamins or minerals to supplement your diet, it is usually more cost-effective to buy generic versions individually rather than as part of brand-name compounds.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!