It's the end of the cycling season, and you have no excitement for the bike. You feel gray, tired and struggle to get through a regular day. If this is you, there may be a culprit you haven't considered: adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a form of hypoadrenia and its most obvious symptom is, of course, fatigue. Most people believe that fatigue is normal, especially after hard workouts. But there may be more to it, so don't just shrug it off. More often than not, adrenal fatigue is missed during diagnoses of your symptoms.
One of the reasons why adrenal fatigue goes unnoticed so frequently is because today's blood tests are not sensitive enough to detect a decline in cortisol associated with your symptoms. No adequate test means no diagnosis and no interventions to treat the disorder. Of course, the human body is sensitive enough to notice the changes that are occurring.
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Dissecting the Adrenals
As an athlete, it's important to understand what your adrenal glands are, what they do and how you can support them.
Your adrenal glands help your body cope with stress and can't differentiate one source of stress from another. Your resiliency, energy, endurance, ability to cope with stress and your joy for life, depend on the proper functioning of your adrenal glands.
No bigger than a grape, each of your two adrenal glands sit on top of one of your kidneys. These small glands affect the functioning of every tissue, commanding powerful hormones to influence the entire body. They also affect how you think and feel. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing four major stress hormones: cortisol, DHEA, norepinephrine and adrenaline.