Adrenal health and chronic Lyme disease
Due to the stress of any prolonged illness, especially chronic Lyme disease, the adrenal glands inevitably exhaust themselves leading to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a primary concern when healing from Lyme disease as it can decrease immune function and cause inflammation. Correcting adrenal fatigue is essential to beating Lyme disease and overall wellbeing.
The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. They produce hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, aldosterone, cortisol, DHEA, and testosterone.
The adrenal glands play a role in the functioning of every tissue, organ and gland in your body to maintain homeostasis (wellbeing).
The main purpose of the adrenal glands is to regulate the body's response to stress. Unfortunately living in modern society, there are stressors everywhere which overwork and exhaust the adrenal glands. Chronic illnesses, like Lyme disease, are a major and continued stress on the body. When the adrenal glands become exhausted, they function below the necessary level. When this happens it is called adrenal fatigue. When adrenal fatigue occurs, tissue damage, immune system dysfunction, and inflammation occurs. Altered cortisol production is the main reason for adrenal fatigue.
Women in or nearing menopause are particularly at risk for adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- waking up in the mid-portion of the night
- unable to fall asleep
- increased susceptibility to infections
- reduced tolerance for stress
- craving sweets and salty food
- allergies to things you were never allergic to before
- chemical sensitivities
- a tendency to feel cold
Adrenal fatigue must be addressed, especially when you are dealing with a chronic illness like Lyme disease. Balancing hormonal issues is a must. Speak with your doctor about testing your hormone levels.
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