4 Vital Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

When you go to the doctor, typically the first thing the medical technician does is obtain your vital signs, including your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. Vital signs are a simple way to assess basic body functions. In most cases of adrenal fatigue, these signs are on the low side, but some may be high.

There are many general symptoms are associated with adrenal fatigue, but here are four very specific vital signs of the condition:

  • Dizziness when standing: One symptom is Ragland’s sign. Normally, when you stand up, your blood pressure rises to accommodate the change in position. If your blood pressure doesn’t increase when you stand or your blood pressure decreases, that’s a strong sign that you have adrenal fatigue.

  • Back pain: Another common sign is Rogoff’s sign, named after the physician who discovered it. This sign amounts to pain in the mid-back, where the ribs are. The pain may come and go. The pain can be very similar to the pain of a kidney infection or a pulled muscle or a strained ligament, and it can even be confused with pain due to gallbladder inflammation.

    Unlike the pain of a pulled muscle, which is self-limited or may go away after a trial of rest and anti-inflammatory medication, the back pain associated with adrenal fatigue pain seems to persist. If you’re experiencing this pain and it’s not going away (or it keeps coming back), you likely need evaluation for adrenal fatigue.

  • Unreactive pupils: The third sign comes from a pupillary test. Basically, a healthcare provider briefly swings a small flashlight in front of a person’s eye. If the pupil fails to constrict and narrow, that can be a sign of adrenal fatigue.

  • Lower-than-normal body temperature can be a sign of adrenal fatigue, especially in the latter stages of adrenal fatigue. Know what your normal body temperature is. For most people, their normal temperature is about 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 degrees Celsius). For some people, the normal baseline body temperature is lower. Some may notice a minor decrease in their normal body temperature over time.

Don't panic. “Normal” body temperature varies a bit, depending on where you take your temperature and even the time of day. Although the most accurate way to obtain an accurate temperature is with a rectal thermometer, a thermometer under the tongue is usually more practical. Think about buying a good thermometer; it's not expensive.

If you notice that your body temperature is lower than normal, take your temperature on a regular basis, at least three times a week, and record the results. If you've begun a treatment program for adrenal fatigue, early on you want to measure your body temperature at least twice a week.

Besides adrenal fatigue, other causes of lower-than-normal body temperature include hypothyroidism (which can slow down your body's metabolism), kidney disease, and acute infection. If you find that your body temperature has dropped to an unusually low level, see your doctor immediately.

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