Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sleep apnea and adrenal fatigue

Sleep apnea has many side effects like day time drowsiness, potential risk of heart disease, diabetes among other things. The lack of sleep makes your tired and less alert; your overall mood is probably down also. Well there is also something called adrenal fatigue that causes much the same symptoms.

What is adrenal fatigue syndrome?

At the top of our kidneys sit the adrenal glands. They produce hormones and adrenal that is needed by the body for stressful time and for infection. Needless to say they are very important. The adrenal glands also produce something called cortisol which helps fight infection and stress, but too much cortisol can cause Cushing syndrome. The symptoms of this disorder are excess weight gain, high blood pressure, skin problems, feeling weak, and many other symptoms. However if you don’t get enough cortisol your problems will be even be worse, they could be fatal. So it is very important to have the right amount of cortisol produced.

Sleep apnea certainly interrupts your sleep which would have an effect on the functions of the adrenal glands. As anyone who has sleep apnea can tell you this disorder can produce stress in a big way, which in turn makes works the adrenal glands too much (fatigue) causing them to be less effective in fighting stress.

It is important to note that sleep apnea isn’t the only sleep disorder condition that causes adrenal fatigue. Other sleep disorders like insomnia can also play havoc on your adrenal glands.

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  1. Hi fellas one important thinl.The term "adrenal fatigue" is used by some practitioners of alternative medicine, who claim that adrenal fatigue is too mild to be picked up on standard blood tests of adrenal function[citation needed]. The concept has given rise to an industry of dietary supplements claiming to treat this supposed syndrome.

  2. Thanks Andrew for the clarification

  3. While there are always opportunists for everything in life (re: Andrew's comment), Adrenal Fatigue is a very real thing. It can devastate someone's life if not taken care of and handled properly. There are some great resources out there to help but don't expect your endocrinologist to acknowledge the existence of AF. You will likely be laughed out of their office (I was). Many things in life contribute to AF and sleep apnea is just one. It can peck away at their reserves, though, and end up causing symptoms that we often associate with apnea. It is important if you have sleep apnea or any other physical or emotional stress going on that you support your adrenals by lowering as much stress elsewhere that you can, nourishing your body with wholesome foods that don't spike your blood sugar (no sugar, refined foods, fruit by itself, pop, fruit juice, etc), keep some fun activities going, learn how to deal calmly with stress in your life, do gentle exercises that calm and help the body. There is more but that is a good start :o)

  4. Good advice and thanks for the comment