A chronic stress disorder, adrenal fatigue, has been recognized in daily life throughout the United Kingdom and Canada according to international media sources, The London Daily Mail and the Toronto Star. The term "adrenal fatigue" was first coined in 1998 by Dr. James L. Wilson, author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. It identifies a group of signs and symptoms including morning and afternoon fatigue, frequent irritability, mild depression, light-headedness upon standing, low sex drive, difficulty concentrating, salt cravings, low blood sugar, disrupted sleep patterns, and increased susceptibility to infections and allergies as a consequence of below par adrenal function resulting from stress fatigue. Despite its prevalence in these stressful times, adrenal fatigue has generally been ignored and misunderstood by the medical community.
An expert on endocrine imbalances and their impact on health, including the effects of stress on adrenal function, Dr. Wilson says that adrenal fatigue can affect anyone who experiences frequent, persistent or severe mental, emotional or physical stress. "All stress intensifies the demands on your body. Nutrients are used up faster than they can be replaced by food, toxic by-products rapidly build up, and every organ and gland, including the brain, is asked to work harder. It's the same for people the world over, whether you're an athlete or single mother; an earthquake victim or crisis responder." The onset of adrenal fatigue is usually preceded by periods of perceived or real stress. Prolonged stress can cause the adrenal glands to generate high levels hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which create an extended "flight or flight" response designed to facilitate a physically active response to the stressor. Remaining on stress overdrive, especially without a physical outlet, can lead the adrenal glands to tire and become less efficient at producing hormones. Adrenal hormones are necessary for many essential functions in the body, ranging from energy production to immune function. Even a slight drop in cortisol levels can adversely affect the body's energy producing mechanisms, inducing fatigue and making it difficult to respond effectively to or recover from stressful situations. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to boost themselves during the day. These unhealthy lifestyle choices only further strain the adrenal glands, compounding fatigue and other negative symptoms.
A scientist as well as a physician, James L. Wilson, D.C., N.D., Ph.D. holds three doctorate degrees and two master's degrees, all from different health disciplines. He is listed in The International Who's Who in Medicine (Cambridge, England), and was one of the founding fathers of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, Ontario. The success of Dr. Wilson's protocols for adrenal fatigue has given rise to international interest about the syndrome. Medical and healthcare groups across the globe from Dubai to New Zealand and multiple venues across the United States have requested his presentations. Among those seeking the information for their patients are professionals from the fields of medicine, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, anti-aging, nutrition, and ophthalmology, among others. "There is a slow but distinct shift happening within traditional western medicine that takes the whole person into account within a treatment program. The adrenal glands are pivotal in healing, especially since cortisol is the major anti-inflammatory hormone in the body and a significant ally to other biological processes, in addition to playing a fundamental role in energy generation," noted Dr. Wilson.
"In the years I've spent treating patients and researching adrenal fatigue and stress, I've seen that if the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that deal with stress are properly supported, people can withstand quite a bit of stress - yet maintain their health, their ability to function, and their optimism and ability to stay positive, an essential element of survival and success," said Dr. Wilson. "In many instances, such support may be the difference between them making it or not making it with their health intact," Dr. Wilson added.
"There is a tremendous amount we can do to naturally balance the effects of stress on our bodies and compensate for stressful life events and stressful lifestyles. With proper care most people experiencing adrenal fatigue can expect to feel good again."
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (Smart Publications, 2001), is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to uncovering, dealing with and preventing adrenal fatigue and the negative effects of stress on health.