The adrenal glands are part of our ability to deal with stress on a day to day basis. They sit on top of your kidneys and release the hormone adrenaline that produces the fight or flight reaction.
Trouble is, with our chronic stress lifestyles, your adrenal glands can become fatigued leading to chronic tiredness and needing to kick-start your system each day. Here’s some clues that you might have adrenal fatigue.
- Are you having difficulty sleeping at night because you’re too alert?
- Finding that you need to take that first hit of coffee to get going for the day?
- Do you get overly anxious for no reason or emotional at the drop of a hat?
These could be indications you are suffering adrenal fatigue.
But My Doctor Says Adrenal Fatigue Doesn’t Exist
According to the Mayo Clinic this is a term that has become popularised of late but is really a collection of symptoms indicative of mild adrenal insufficiency.
The medical term adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) refers to inadequate production of one or more of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands, including Cortisol adrenaline and DHEA among others, as a result of an underlying disease.
Signs of more severe adrenal insufficiency include:
- Body aches
- Unexplained weight loss
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of body hair
This is diagnosed by blood tests that show inadequate levels of adrenal hormones.
Adrenal fatigue however, is proposed to be caused by chronic stress, such that your adrenal glands are unable make enough hormones to meet the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good.
Should I Just Drink More Coffee?
Caffeine is shown to block the neurotransmitter adenosine from signalling to your brain that you are tired, leaving you over alert, and unable to go down to sleep. It might make you feel better in the short term, but it’s not really a long term fix. In fact it can make the problem worse by stressing already overworked adrenal glands.
Sensitivity to caffeine depends on the individuals age, their BMI, how often they consume caffeine, how stressed they are to begin with, when and how they consume caffeine, sleep hygiene, and their genetics.
Caffeine has a half life in the body of about 5 hours, meaning if a cup of coffee is consumed at 6 am and has 100mg of caffeine, 50 mg will be left to process at lunchtime. If you have what is known as a “SNP” of the CYP1A2 Gene you may be 70% slower to remove that caffeine, meaning you’re still processing that caffeine much later in the day, and stressing your adrenal glands for longer.
This was why vBeans was developed. It has less caffeine per cup but still maintains the full smell, flavour and crema of an expresso. That means you clear the coffee more quickly from your system and stress your adrenal glands less.