Check this out: tiredness and low energy are some of the biggest reasons why patients seek medical help. Despite this fact, doctors still have a tough time diagnosing what’s really going on.
Adrenal fatigue may be the cause. Not only can it lead to tiredness and low energy, but it can also lead to low testosterone. Wondering if this is what you are experiencing? Read on to learn more about low testosterone and how to cure adrenal fatigue.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
We’re not going to lie – understanding what adrenal fatigue is can be a bit confusing. That’s because there are a lot of experts out there who are putting out conflicting information. However, luckily for you, we’re here to set the record straight.
So, what’s the real deal about adrenal fatigue? To tell you the truth, it seems like adrenal glands have been getting a really bad rap recently. However, they can indeed cause a ton of crazy issues in your body.
Meanwhile, making sure that your adrenal glands are functioning properly can also boost your performance and health. Let’s face it: everyone knows that malfunctioning adrenal glands can cause a whole host of issues in your body, impacting your ability to train as hard as you used to.
But here’s the thing. It’s not exactly your adrenal glands fault when they go haywire. In fact, your adrenal glands are really only doing what your mind is instructing them to do on a regular basis.
To really understand what is going down, your adrenals are a triangular-shaped pair of glands that are perched above your kidney system. Why are they there? The answer is simple: to assist your body with surviving and managing during severe times of stress.
For example, think about a situation where you are sitting in your car on the way to a heavy workout at the gym. All of a sudden, a huge truck darts right in front of your vehicle, almost causing you to get into a big auto collision. Fortunately for you, you’re able to swerve away from the incident.
Are your palms sweating afterward? If so, you’re not alone, especially since most people would naturally feel a little shaken up following a close call. That’s where your adrenal glands come in.
Physiology of Adrenal Gland Fatigue
Okay, so let’s go back to the whole car accident analogy. Once you’ve recovered from the shock of a near collision, your mind shoots a so-called “nerve impulse” to the preganglionic sympathetic fibers in the adrenal medulla. For those of you who are feeling confused out there, all that you have to know that this process triggers an adrenaline rush.
Also called epinephrine, adrenaline rushes can result in the following symptoms:
- Increased blood pressure
- Raised respiration rate
- Faster heart rate
- Increased glucose
- Dilated pupils
How do we know this? Because these natural responses to adrenaline rushes are essential for getting you out of a potentially tricky situation. The craziest part is that all of these reactions are automatically caused by your brain’s signals as well.
Here’s where it gets wild. When the brain sends its emergency nerve impulse signal, it also sends a dose of corticotrophin-releasing hormone, or CRH, from your hypothalamus too.
At this point, your pituitary gland shoots out its dosage of something called adrenocorticotropic hormone. In case you’re still scratching your head, this is the essential hormone that commands your adrenal glands to create more cortisol.
Clearly, this slow-moving signal takes a while to travel through your bloodstream. Once cortisol gets to the right place it’s job is to raise your levels of glucose in your blood to fuel your brain and muscles during stressful incidents.
You might be surprised to find out that there’s another hormone added into the mix as well. Known as aldosterone, it’s what’s called a mineralocorticoid. For the uninitiated, this is what helps moderate the levels of potassium and sodium in your body.
What happens when your cortisol levels are thrown off? We’ll cover that below.
Is There Anything Adrenal Glands Don’t Do?
News flash: unfortunately, people that have elevated levels of cortisol can experience a whole range of issues with their pituitary glands. Of course, this leads directly to low levels of testosterone as well.
But honestly, is there anything that adrenal glands don’t do? Fair question. Before we dive into this discussion, let’s talk about the outdated view of adrenal glands that many health practitioners follow.
To put it clearly, old-fashioned wisdom about adrenal gland functioning states that their stress response goes a little something like this:
- Alarm reaction
Just in case you have no idea what an alarm reaction is, we’re here to break it all down for you. An alarm reaction is your body’s first response to any stressful situation that is normally charactered by elevated levels of cortisol.
Then there’s the resistance reaction, which means that prolonged stress can result in your adrenal response becoming way more exhausted than usual. Thus, this leads to additional hormones such as pregnenolone to help produce more cortisol. While your levels of cortisol may not be sky high during this time, you can still experience super-low levels of DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, at this point.
As we stated above, this can have a negative impact on the healthy production of testosterone in your body. How about the whole exhaustion factor? You know the feeling: low DHEA, cortisol, and adrenal levels.
This is the phase where most people usually call the doctor about their issues with adrenal fatigue symptoms. Besides the fact that this old model is inaccurate, it also falsely states that we need more vitamins B and C to reboot our adrenal gland functioning.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms: What Can Go Wrong?
When it comes to the impact of adrenal fatigue symptoms on an individual, this has to do with differences in the endocrine, immune, and brain system. Known as neuroendocrine immunology, this branch of alternative health has to do with connecting issues with these symptoms into a comprehensive diagnosis.
Since they’re so intimately connected, it wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about one of these symptoms without mentioning all of the others. To put it simply, your adrenal glands are basically the manufacturers of your hormones, releasing them whenever your body commands them to.
For instance, if someone is battling with symptoms of low levels of cortisol, it may not be the adrenal glands that are responsible for this problem. Surprisingly enough, there could potentially be another system in your body that is telling your adrenal glands to slow down on your cortisol production.
Nowadays, scientists know that they need to look at the relationship between the immune system, hormones, and neurotransmitters first. However, to do so, you’ve got to think about the problems that can come up with your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as well.
What is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis again? Allow us to enlighten you. Essentially, extremely high levels of testosterone can become a really big deal, particularly when you’re trying to get swole at the gym.
Here’s a look at what kind of negative impact that high levels of cortisol can have on your body:
- Suppressed levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones
- Less conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 to the thyroid hormone T3
- More production of the thyroid hormone reverse T3
- Decreased binding of your cellular thyroid receptors
- Higher levels of blood glucose
That’s not all. As if that’s not enough, raised levels of cortisol can lead to reduced detoxification of your liver and increased inflammation of your gut!
Adrenal Fatigue and Low Testosterone — What’s the Link?
As we mentioned above, having too much cortisol in your body can cause a variety of horrible issues. But did you know that high levels of cortisol can lead to reduced functioning of your immune system too?
Yes, you read that right. Naturally, having an impaired immune system could lead to higher chances of developing a nasty infection as well. Not to mention that insomnia is another symptom of high levels of cortisol in your body.
It gets worse: having way too much cortisol in your body can also lead to certain neurodegenerative disorders. That includes things like the destruction of your hippocampus and the degradation of your blood-brain barrier. Nobody wants that, right?
The result is decreased functioning of your pituitary system, which can cause low levels of testosterone as well as low luteinizing hormones. On the flip side, those that have too little cortisol in their bodies suffer from the following symptoms:
- Higher levels of inflammation
- Hypoglycemic symptoms due to insulin spikes
- Fluctuations of normal blood sugar levels
- Decreased functioning of your immune system
What does this have to do with your circadian rhythm? We are glad that you asked. If your circadian rhythm is thrown off, this usually has to do with an issue with your hippocampus. In case you didn’t know, your hippocampus is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm.
Now that we’ve got that covered, most people experience surges of cortisol levels early in the morning or late at night. But those with an “inverted circadian rhythm” can experienced memory and learning issues. In addition to that, difficulty sleeping and insomnia also very common problems.
Consider this: it takes the hippocampus, the hypothalamus, and mesencephalic reticular formation to maintain healthy adrenal glands and cortisol levels.
Stress and the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
What’s the real deal about stress and the symptoms of adrenal fatigue? Medically speaking, the paraventricular nucleus, or the PVN, is known to be the last structure to react to stress in your body.
Think about it this way. When the cytokines in your immune system combine with the neurotransmitters in your nervous system, they rely on your emotions and your hormones to create the right response to stress. Here’s a secret – this occurs at the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is located at your paraventricular nucleus.
Have you ever heard of the neurological term “central integrative state?” If not, this means that your brain’s output on your body is a result of inhibitory and excitatory inputs. In laymen’s terms, this means that the combo of stimulus in your cytokines, hormones, and neurotransmitters can lead to an extra excited state of mind.
The result is this: a natural boost of levels of cortisol in your body. In spite of this fact, if there’s more of an inhibitory and an excitatory input, then your body will shut down its production of cortisol altogether. This is a huge red flag for a bout of adrenal fatigue.
What can raise your cortisol levels again? We’ve done all of the hard work for you. This can include things like:
- Elevated epinephrine
- Increased norepinephrine
- Th3 cytokines
On the other hand, the following can make your cortisol levels drop dramatically:
- Low epinephrine
- Decreased norepinephrine
- Endothelial nitric oxide
- Tumor necrosis factor
- Th1 cytokines
If that’s not enough to make your head spin, then we don’t know what will. So, whenever your buddy tells you that your suffering from adrenal exhaustion, just tell them that you inhibited your paraventricular nucleus.
Not Sure How to Cure Adrenal Fatigue?
If you’re still not sure how to cure adrenal fatigue, we’ve totally got your back. For those of you who are so over the adrenal exhaustion phase, it’s important to take a look at the bigger picture first. Once you get to know what’s really doing on in your body, getting your hormones back on track should be a piece of cake.
Suffering from the effects of higher levels of inflammation and hypoglycemic symptoms due to insulin spikes? Ask your doctor about adrenal fatigue treatment now!
Want to learn more about low testosterone treatment? Don’t hesitate to contact us today!