Every day I see women who are working so hard that they are at risk of burnout but they don’t know it. If you have been running a business for a few years, raising a family, being a supportive friend, being part of a community, being a loving partner/daughter/sister then it is likely that you might be closer to burnout than you think.
So what is burnout aka Adrenal Fatigue?
Burnout also called adrenal fatigue is a group of signs and symptoms that occur when your adrenal glands can no longer function at an optimal level. According to Dr James Wilson (author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome) adrenal fatigue affects about 80% of the population. I am not sure if the number is really that high but I do know that many people have adrenal fatigue and don’t know it.
Adrenal fatigue syndrome is not recognised by many in the medical profession, primarily because it is hard to diagnose and the presenting symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions. Measuring cortisol levels (an adrenal hormone) is one way of diagnosing adrenal fatigue but looking at all of the presenting symptoms and really listening to the person with these symptoms is another way. Personally I am not a big believer in the use of labels to diagnose women, I work in a more holistic manner and look at the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person’s stress ad life.
Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Waking tired after 8 hours sleep
- Holding excess weight around the tummy that is hard to shift despite exercise and diet
- Craving salty or sugary foods
- Low libido
- Feeling dizzy when you stand up
- Mental exhaustion or depression or anxiety
- Lowered immunity, you catch a cold that never seems to get better
- Sleep issues, you have trouble falling asleep despite feeling very tired
- Gut symptoms eg diarrhoea, constipation, IBS, nausea, vomiting
- Problems with your menstrual cycle, heavy periods, pain, mood changes, bloating
If you are experiencing more than 4 of the above symptoms (without having any medical diagnosed cause) then it is likely that you are suffering to adrenal fatigue syndrome.