Mental and Emotional Components of Adrenal Fatigue - dummies

Mental and Emotional Components of Adrenal Fatigue

By Richard Snyder, Wendy Jo Peterson

Some people who have adrenal fatigue present with minimal physical complaints. For them, the initial hint that adrenal fatigue is present is confusion, especially brain fog. Don’t ignore the mental and emotional effects of adrenal fatigue.

Brain fog as a adrenal fatigue indicator

Brain fog is a symptom that can occur early in the course of adrenal fatigue. Technically, the field of medicine calls this condition clouding of consciousness. With brain fog, you may experience the following:

  • An inability to concentrate on simple tasks

  • Problems with short-term memory

  • Misplacing things and having trouble finding them

  • Forgetting something that someone just told you

Brain fog can be a big problem at work; your productivity is likely to be dramatically affected.

People with brain fog often wonder if they’re experiencing early onset dementia. Probably not. Be aware that brain fog affects short-term memory; your ability to remember your mother’s birthday shouldn’t be affected. Dementia is a process that occurs over time; brain fog is more of an acute process that occurs over a shorter period of time.

Brain fog is the combined effect of increased cortisol levels, sustained inflammation, and decreased sleep quality and quantity. In other words, adrenal fatigue is a cause of brain fog.

Depression as an adrenal fatigue indicator

Depression, a state of low mood, can be an initial indication that adrenal fatigue is present. Hormonal imbalances have a direct effect on mood. The decrease in adrenal hormone production, especially the sex hormones, can be a direct cause of depression in adrenal fatigue.

Here are some signs and symptoms that can indicate depression:

  • You lack interest in daily activities.

  • You eat a lot or hardly eat at all.

  • You sleep many hours of the day or suffer from insomnia. If the depression is related to adrenal fatigue, insomnia is more likely. Poor sleep due to adrenal fatigue can also contribute to the development of depression.

  • You gain or lose weight. Concerning depression as it relates to adrenal fatigue, weight gain is more common. The increased production of cortisol can cause weight gain, especially the deposition of belly fat on the anterior aspect of the abdomen (the belly).

Treating your depression is a lot more involved than getting a prescription. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, you need a comprehensive and personalized evaluation to look for nutrient deficiencies, anemia, hormonal imbalances, and organ dysfunction (including dysfunction of the adrenal glands, liver, thyroid, and/or kidneys) that can contribute to the development of depression.