Whilst a stress response is normal in some circumstances, we are often living in a constant state of stress that undermines our health long-term.
The initial stage of the stress response is the alarm phase. It is normal to feel the effects of the stress response when we are in danger. It is a defence mechanism that has developed to help protect us in dangerous situations.
It may even be normal to briefly feel the effects before an exam or job interview, but we are seeing an alarming number of patients that are stuck in this stress response constantly.
Although we think of ‘stress’ as emotional or mental stress, it is actually a physical pathway in the body in which the adrenal glands increase output of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
Early signs of adrenal fatigue often start with fatigue that is worse in the afternoon, poor concentration or brain fog, anxiety or irritability and sleep difficulties.
Unfortunately, we often don’t listen to our body – after all, isn’t everyone stressed these days?