10 Root Causes of Adrenal Fatigue – Adrenal Series #2

10 Root Causes of Adrenal Fatigue - Adrenal Series #2

Knowing the root causes of Adrenal Fatigue is probably the most important part of your adrenal healing journey because if you know what caused it, you’ll also know how to counteract it. Unfortunately, very often all the focus is placed on stress, while in reality there are so many other reasons why someone’s adrenals start malfunctioning. From hormonal imbalances and mysterious bacteria to T4 only thyroid medication, these are the 10 most common root causes of Adrenal Fatigue.

Cause 1: Low Thyroid Function

When your body doesn’t get enough active thyroid hormone, it will compensate by revving up the production of the adrenal stress hormones in order to get enough energy for normal functions in your body. It’s a coping mechanism. Adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones get increased, which works for a while until, sooner or later, everything gets depleted.

Cause 2: T4 Only Thyroid Medication

This includes T4 only thyroid medications, such as levothyroxine or its branded version called Synthroid. A lot of thyroid patients, especially women, have trouble converting FT4 to FT3. FT3 is the active form available for the body to use. FT4 still needs to be converted.

More F4 for someone like this only makes things worse because not only does the FT4 pool in the blood but also a hormone called Reverse T3 gets raised. Having high Reverse T3 levels is essentially like having thyroid hormone resistance. Not fun!

Naturally, just like untreated hypothyroidism, this scenario puts a lot of pressure on the adrenal glands because they have to compensate once again.

Cause 3: H. Pylori Bacteria Infection

H. Pylori is a very common stomach bacteria. It interferes with nutrient absorption, messes with the immune system, and there is probably no part of the body that isn’t affected by it. A lot of people report their adrenal issues resolving or getting much better after getting rid of H. Pylori. That was the case for me, too.

Cause 4: Hormonal Imbalance or Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance means that estrogen is too high compared to progesterone levels (progesterone should always be the dominating hormone in a female body). Estrogen is excitatory, it can cause anxiety. While progesterone is calming. When the ratio between the two is off with too much estrogen, stress reactions get out of control and even completely innocent evens or thoughts start causing intense stress, anxiety, and adrenaline surges.

There is also something called “progesterone steal” where progesterone is converted to cortisol during stressful times. As you can imagine, the stores of progesterone aren’t endless. Sooner or later, it will run out bringing cortisol levels down, too.

Cause 5: Chronic Sleep Deprivation

Adrenal glands repair themselves from 10PM, so it’s important to go to sleep early and to sleep enough. Not getting enough sleep messes up hormones, increases cortisol, and in the longer term it can cause Adrenal Fatigue.

That’s probably one of the reasons why women experience Adrenal Fatigue for the first time after the birth of their children, when sleepless nights become the new norm.

Cause 6: Restrictive Diets

Restrictive diets cause the body a lot of stress, increase cortisol, mess up female hormones, and also don’t provide all the necessary building blocks for healthy adrenal function. For example, not eating enough fat means that the body won’t be getting enough cholesterol, which means that you won’t have enough building materials  for progesterone. And without enough progesterone, you can’t have enough cortisol, either.

Cause 7: Over-Exercising

Over-exercising is so common nowadays, especially among women.I see it all over Instagram and YouTube, too. Exercising for an hour or more every day, not giving  your body enough time to recover, pushing yourself too much (to the point of puking – huh?), this whole “No Pain No Gain” attitude – all of these are very straight roads to Adrenal Fatigue.

Plus, couple that with a restrictive diet – disaster!

Cause 8: A Bad Flu, Infection or Trauma

A bad flu or a serious infection, even a trauma or surgery, can put a serious toll on your body and it can be the last drop for your adrenal glands. Often, people notice that their anxiety, heart palpitations, excessive sweating and other signs of adrenal troubles started after a bad flu or surgery. In my case, things got much worse and never recovered after a bout of swine flu a few years ago (yes, lucky me, I managed to catch it in London!).

In the case of chronic infections, they can also cause Adrenal Fatigue by themselves. Things like Lyme Disease, Mononucleosis, Mycoplasma, and parasitic infections could be behind your adrenal issues.

Cause 9: Nutrient Deficiencies

It’s about the nutrient deficiencies of the vitamins and minerals that are the most important ones for healthy adrenal function: things like Vitamin B5, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and all the other B vitamins. Correcting deficiencies often restores or at least improves adrenal function.

Cause 10: Chronic Stress

None of us can escape stressful periods in our life or chronic stress – we all experience them at some point in our lives. But if there is something that is chronically stressing you out, you really need to manage it. Brainstorm solutions, walk out, challenge the person responsible for the stress, change your job. ask for help – do whatever it takes to get yourself healthy. You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.

Acute stress is something we all deal with from time to time, and it makes us stronger. But the chronic stress is what really causes the most damage. If you can’t change the circumstances, at least learn to limit the effect of stress by meditation, exercising, walking in the nature, destressing with a good book, having a long bath, switching off for the weekend, or even having that occasional piece of cake.

Weak Adrenals Can Be Inherited

People can also inherit weak adrenals from their mums. But the truth is that genes don’t rule our lives. We do! Weaker adrenals can be strengthened. We are in control of our lives and health.

Here’s a video of me talking about this:

These are the ten most common causes of Adrenal Fatigue. I’m sure some of these will be surprising for you. I hope this information has given you food for thought. Thank you for watching/reading!

In the next part of this series. I’m going to talk about ways you can test for Adrenal Fatigue at home without spending any money.

Read Part 1 of the Adrenal Series here: Adrenal Fatigue – What It Is, Stages, Symptoms (Part 1)

Wishing you lots of healing,
Vita xx

Disclaimer: my videos aren’t meant to give medical advice, treat, or diagnose. All I do is share everything I learn during my own healing and self-improvement journey. Please do your own research before trying anything and remember to always make well informed decisions because knowledge is power.

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  1. […] videos/blogs in the Adrenal Series: 10 Root Causes of Adrenal Fatigue Adrenal Fatigue Stages and Symptoms My Saliva Cortisol Test Results How To Lower High Cortisol […]

  2. […] desiccated thyroid if you’re taking T4 only thyroid medication – as I mentioned in the 10 Root Causes of Adrenal Fatigue, taking T4 only medication for a long time can eventually cause Adrena Fatigue and low cortisol. […]

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