Interviewer: What happens when you have adrenal fatigue?
Dr. Stern: So, adrenal fatigue is very rare. Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands are actually not producing hormones, at any level.
And there are a lot of different hormones that your adrenal glands produce, not just cortisol. Aldosterone is also a very important hormone, and it comes from the adrenal gland.
So adrenal fatigue is when the system itself, when the whole adrenal system has just been worn down for so long, that now the every single hormone is at a low level.
I do see cases like that, but they are few and far between. With those particular patients, you have to really nourish over a long period of time, to get their body to start producing the hormones.
Most people have adrenal imbalance, and everyone says adrenal fatigue because it sounds great, and it's catchy. Most people that have adrenal imbalance are tired, and most people that have adrenal imbalance do have all the issues that people say adrenal fatigue causes.
The problem is, it's not true adrenal fatigue. What adrenal imbalance is, and what most people are really suffering from, is the improper release of hormones, at the wrong time.
So instead of producing cortisol, at a good amount in the morning time, their cortisol levels are low in the morning, causing fatigue, exhaustion, and sugar imbalances.
It affects their thyroid gland. It affects them on a lot of negative levels, but at nighttime, their cortisol levels actually start increasing, and that has a negative impact.
So now they can't make melatonin, their sleep is disrupted, they're not getting the proper repair and healing sleep that their body needs to really function at an optimal level.
And so most people don't have true adrenal fatigue, they have adrenal imbalance.
And the reason why is the foods we eat, the stress we're under, it's a lot of tax on our adrenal system. And so the adrenals do not function the way they should, and they become imbalanced. But true adrenal fatigue is actually a much more rare condition.
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