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NOTE: Gardening and preserving is keeping me pretty busy these days. A few articles that bear repeating will fill in the gaps on the days when the to-do list is too long. This post was originally published in August 2009.

When our oldest son was a newborn I found out that I had an underactive thyroid. We suspected that it was the reason behind me not being able to make enough milk. I did a lot of research on hypothyroidism and found the same conclusions over and over again: you can not have a healthy thyroid if your adrenals are fatigued.

When I found all of this out I didn’t even know what an adrenal was, let alone why mine might be fatigued. Now I am researching adrenal fatigue and how to heal them. From what I have read this is a common problem due to the many detrimental factors of modern society. Because it is so common I thought I would start a series in order to share my research with y’all. I am hoping that it might help any of you who may be dealing with similar health issues.

This series will in no way cover everything regarding the adrenal glands. It is merely a collection of the information that I have gathered, which means a lot of factual information may be left out. Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and in no way am I suggesting you take my word for it. I am merely sharing with you my own research and personal journey. Please seek out professional medical advice and feel free to add to the conversation with any knowledge that you might have of the adrenal glands and adrenal fatigue. So today let’s just cover what my first questions were.

What is an Adrenal?

The adrenal glands are two endocrine glands which are located on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for regulating the stress response by excreting the stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. (source) The adrenal gland is broken up into two parts – the adrenal cortex (the outer part) and the adrenal medulla (the inner part). The adrenal cortex produces steroid hormones as well as aldosterone which is involved in regulating the amount of salt and water in your body. The adrenal medulla produces hormones known as catecholamines which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. These catecholamines play a role in our response to acute or sudden stress. (source)

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands have been overstimulated (by stress, dietary and environmental factors) and are no longer working at the level needed for optimal body functioning. This then produces a host of unpleasant symptoms, which I will cover in the second part of the series.

Coming Up in This Series

In the next week I hope to address the following topics in a bit more detail, but here is a glimpse at my findings:

  • Part 2: Symptoms and causes
  • Part 3: Dietary and lifestyle changes to recover adrenal health.

So I hope you join me this week in discovering all about adrenal fatigue.

Have you heard of or been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue?