When your body is faced with stress–a car about to run you over (acute) or day after day rushing around to take care of things (chronic)–your body launches into a stress response. This is a 2.5 million+ year old human response in order to survive. It is orchestrated by hormones.
Your adrenal glands are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They produce your flight or fight hormones (adrenaline, epinephrine) that increases your heart rate, breathing, etc so that you have the ability to run away or fight. These are produced in the acute stress setting. If you see a car racing towards you, you need the ability to get out of the way quickly. Now, when you are exposed to day in/day out stress your adrenal glands produce cortisol. Cortisol is there to help you survive chronic stress. The problem is that most people are in constant chronic stress stemming from psychosocial stressors and not physical stressors. The brain does not understand the difference between perceived stress and real stress. When you have continual Cortisol release, you will get an imbalance in your progesterone, estrogen, insulin, and thyroid. This hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety, irritability, fatigue, weight gain, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, etc.
Adrenal fatigue is very common and requires patience to treat. You must rest your body and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. You need to eat a healthy balanced diet full of good protein, healthy fats, and vegetables. Yoga is a fabulous way to regain your mind-body connection. You should get your hormones tested and balanced appropriately with bio-identical hormones. You can regain your vitality and live an optimal life if you are willing to invest some time and money into your health.