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How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

16th October 2013

flickr: JoyTek, used under cc by-sa 2.0

People have always been busy. But these days, the busyness seems to be at an all-time high.

To the unprecedented amount of daily activity and expectations we place on ourselves, add in the fact that we are constantly connected to work, friends, and family through our mobile devices, and it’s no wonder we feel tired all the time.

But is this constant fatigue a sign of something serious? Some experts say yes—that our constant connection and crazy schedules, paired with modern-day nutrient-poor diets and lack of exercise, are combining to create a toxic environment of adrenal fatigue.

When functioning correctly, our adrenal glands take care of our body’s chemical responses to stress. But, according to some, when we are constantly stressed, our adrenal glands can’t take the pressure and burn out.


tired hiker image

“flickr: Lee J Haywood”

You may be suffering from adrenal fatigue if you experience these symptoms:

  • Constant tiredness that isn’t relieved by sleep
  • A general sense of being unwell
  • Dependence on coffee and other sources of caffeine and other stimulants to get through the day

daily fatigues

“flickr: rrrtem”


We asked our resident whole body vibration expert and physiotherapist, Gabriel Ettenson, about what can happen when the adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly. Here’s what Gabe had to say:

“The adrenals secrete cortisol through a complicated series of events that also involves the brain and the pituitary gland (called the ACTH Axis). This occurs as a result of ‘fight or flight.’ Fight or flight was developed for primitive purposes (running from a saber-tooth tiger etc.), but now occurs chronically in most people because of physical and psychological stresses that they endure daily.

So, in the beginning, the adrenals over-produce cortisol and also lose their ability to regulate the amount they produce; little issues cause a large production. This is destructive and causes all sorts of problems. Weight gain could be considered one, but it really is about how the whole system gets thrown off in the body.

After a while, the adrenals begin to fatigue and this causes an underproduction of cortisol. This causes all sorts of problems on its own, including increased thyroid activity.”

So “adrenal fatigue” really just describes one point in a timeline of chronic stress disease.

Ettenson says that adrenal fatigue isn’t technically acknowledged as a legitimate clinical diagnosis. He says that western medicine typically refuses to acknowledge the kinds of psychological stress that cause the disorder.

The good news is exercise can help your body process the cortisol that builds up when you are stressed.


Research studies show that exercise reduces cortisol levels–in other words, it helps normalize the production of the hormone. Whole body vibration is an ideal exercise method because it produces the benefits of a full workout without overexerting someone who is already fighting fatigue.

Interested in how whole body vibration can help you fight back from chronic stress and fatigue symptoms? Watch Gabriel discuss the benefits in our video chat on whole body vibration.




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