The Impact of Chronic Stress on Your Adrenal Glands - dummies

The Impact of Chronic Stress on Your Adrenal Glands

By Richard Snyder, Wendy Jo Peterson

To deal with a constant barrage of stress, your adrenal glands are producing mega amounts of hormones, especially cortisol. Your adrenal glands eventually become fatigued; they simply can’t keep up with the demand that the continued stress has placed on them.

People also make unhealthy choices as they go throughout their day, increasing their stress. Poor nutrition (lack of breakfast and/or lunch), lack of exercise (taking the elevator instead of the stairs), not taking any breaks during the day (no chance to meditate, walk during lunch, and/or take any time for themselves) — these poor choices only exhaust the adrenal gland reserves even further. They deplete already depleted adrenal glands.

Many people are so entrenched in the comings and goings of their daily lives that they don’t recognize symptoms of chronic stress, which may be emotional, mental, or physical:

  • Emotional: Emotional symptoms may include anger, depression, or a combination of the two. You may be unable to relax, or you may find yourself tense all the time, ready to jump down someone’s throat at the slightest irritation. You may be emotionally fatigued all the time but unable to sleep.

  • Mental: Confusion or difficulty concentrating is an often unrecognized symptom of stress. Having problems with short-term memory, feeling stuck, and feeling spacey can also result from chronic stress.

  • Physical: Physical symptoms include chest pressure and/or pain, palpitations (heart pounding), sweating, nausea, and insomnia.

Anxiety or panic attacks can manifest in a variety of ways, including chest pain and palpitations. Don’t ignore these symptoms and simply attribute them to stress or anxiety. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to be evaluated by a health professional immediately. A lot of medical conditions can cause chest pain and palpitations, angina being the first that comes to mind.