Adrenal Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

Adrenal Fatigue is one of the main causes of fibro symptoms including chronic pain, low energy, brain fog, low moods, fibro flares, and poor sleep.

Poor stress coping abilities and adrenal fatigue may contribute to a number of health conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, low thyroid, poor sleep, fatigue, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and more.

The German physician, Dr. Hans Seyle (father of modern stress theory) was able to demonstrate that under normal conditions the body is able to use its homeostatic (self regulatory system) mechanisms to counter various stresses. However these same mechanisms could be overwhelmed by too much stress. The person would then start to develop various symptoms associated with “burn out.”

A combination of minor stresses, each incapable of triggering an alarm reaction in the general adaptation syndrome can, when combined or sustained, produce an all out alarm response and lead to “burn out.” Dr. Seyle’s research led him to come up with the 3 phases of general stress adaptation – the general adaptation syndrome.

The general adaptation syndrome (GAS) is divided into 3 phases-

  1. Fight or Flight or The alarm reaction- The first phase is known as the “fight or flight response.” This response is an alarm reaction triggered by messages in the brain. The heart beats faster to provide blood to the muscles and brain. The breath rate increases to supply extra oxygen to the muscles, heart and brain. The body is now ready for any real or imagined danger.
  2. The Resistance Reaction- While the alarm reaction is usually short lived, the resistance reaction can last for quite some time. The major players in this phase are the hormones cortisol and DHEA. The resistance reaction allows the body to endure ongoing stress (pain, fatigue, injury, etc.,) for long periods of time.

However, long-term stress can generate a host of health problems including, high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, hypoglycemia, decreased immune function, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and adrenal exhaustion.

  1. Exhaustion- The third stage is a result of chronic over-secretion of cortisol. This leads to adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal exhaustion accelerates the downward spiral to chronic poor health. Chronic headaches, nausea, allergies, nagging injuries, fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, low body temperature, depression, low sex drive, chronic infections, and cold hands and feet are just some of the symptoms that occur with adrenal exhaustion.

Hypoadrenia is low adrenal function and occurs when the adrenal glands cannot keep up with continual stress and increasing demands. It displays itself in a variety of ways.

As severe depression, suicidal tendencies, asthma, chronic upper respiratory infections, hay fever, skin rashes, colitis, gastric duodenal ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, fainting spells, obesity, heart palpitations, edema in the extremities, and learning difficulties – the list goes on and on.

Persistent, unrelenting stress will ultimately lead to adrenal “burn-out.” Adrenal “burn-out” and exhaustion render the person defenseless against the continuous chemical, emotional, and physical damage that occurs with chronic stress.

Take the Adrenal Fatigue Quiz to see if you have adrenal fatigue:


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