Adrenal Fatigue is the latest buzzword in fashionable twenty first ailments. It seems to be a holdall for an incredible variety of symptoms besetting the wealthy, well fed, Westerner. It is a corporate complaint, very popular among the denizens of those glass and steel city towers, as they sit at their desks confronting their computer screens. It is very easy to be cynical about the myth of modern illnesses, syndromes and chronic conditions, but a look at the evidence is what is called for.

Is it real, this Adrenal Fatigue, and what does that even mean? What is fatigued? Our ability to produce adrenaline? Epinephrine, or adrenaline, is a hormone secreted by our bodies during the fight or flight response; when humans are faced with extreme danger. It gives us extra energy to react quicker and with more force to life threatening situations. How does this relate to those suffering from a form of burn-out in today’s modern world? Well, the theory behind the condition postulates that people who work in unrelentingly stressful environments run out of their natural hormonal response to perceived stress and their immune systems are then chronically compromised.

It is this immune system failure which results in the variety and multiplicity of symptoms experienced by the sufferer of adrenal fatigue. So, you can get a diverse collection of ailments in individual cases of the condition and not the uniformity of symptomatic reactions you would usually see in more recognised diseases. It is this variety of symptomatic manifestations, which has created the distrust in many professional and lay attitudes towards the condition. Bottom line, however, is that these people are often very sick and need to be treated, effectively and, in my opinion, with respect.

Often, you will see that these people do not respond to normal treatments for things like colds and flus, they do not get better quickly, their symptoms linger. They may have difficulty sleeping and when they do sleep, they often do not feel refreshed after sleep and have trouble waking up. They are often fatigued and feel, generally, run-down. They may also share symptoms with those suffering depression, and adrenal fatigue is often misdiagnosed as depression. Which can exacerbate the problem if they are then prescribed anti-depressive medications.

There are some similarities with patients who have experienced traumas, in that their bodies do not have the ability to naturally heal themselves after severe traumatic experiences. They are burnt-out, their reserves of anti-stress responses have been exhausted. They need rest, a complete break from stressful environments, which usually entails the cessation of their work, career, whatever it was. It is time for a new start in a new direction. This fact is often the hardest thing for the sufferer of adrenal fatigue to accept; it is the first step on the way to healing a possibly lengthy illness.