• Annette Hurn

Who Gets Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue can be experienced by anyone. People who constantly drive themselves to perform in their job, those with a tendency to perfectionism, people who have poor sleeping patterns, or those under long-term stress are all candidates for adrenal fatigue, regardless of their age.

Another large group of people who are susceptible to adrenal fatigue is mums with young children, and particularly if they are also working a job outside the home as well.

Those who work in high-pressured corporate environments are at particular risk of experiencing adrenal fatigue. The constant pressure of meeting deadlines, travelling through different time zones, sleep deprivation, drinking large amounts of coffee and/or alcohol, as well as trying to maintain personal relationships, can all take their toll on the adrenal glands.

Shift workers who work alternating shifts are another group who are susceptible, due to the fact that their sleeping patterns are constantly changing, and the body never has a chance to settle into a permanent wake/sleep cycle. Establishing normal hormonal patterns for this cycle can take up to weeks, so the adrenals are always trying to adjust to the change in times of the body being awake and asleep. There is often the added stress of caffeine and other stimulants being used to help with staying awake when the body naturally wants to sleep. This is particularly hard on the adrenals.

Something that needs to be taken into consideration regarding adrenal fatigue is that stress has a cumulative effect in the body. When something causes a stress response and the stress is not dealt with, your adrenal reserves become depleted until eventually, the effects of multiple stressors takes its toll and adrenal fatigue is the result. This fact in, and of itself, means that anyone has the possibility of experiencing adrenal fatigue.

However, as with most things health-related, each person is an individual and the journey on the adrenal fatigue continuum may be longer for some and shorter for others. Your ability to withstand stress may be easier at times, but at another time, that same set of stressful circumstances may be an overwhelming experience that causes you to fall in a heap. The best way to avoid this from happening, is firstly to recognise when you aren't coping too well, and secondly, to find a way to deal with the stress or find help so that you can.

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