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Stress-Related Conditions Not All in Your Head

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Published on August 18, 2010 with No Comments

By Jennifer Busch

No one understood. I suddenly felt as if I were dying after the birth of my second child. My OBGYN just patted my back and said nothing was wrong and I would be better soon. I felt as if death was stalking me, and I continued to deteriorate. I knew it was not simple postpartum depression, no matter what my doctor had said. He had not ordered any tests, and this feeling was different.

From that point, I suffered with Adrenal Fatigue for over four years before even getting an absolute diagnosis (I was told by several doctors my symptoms were “All in my head”). Traditional medicine is not trained to test for low function of the adrenal glands. It is typical for a patient to be tested for no function of the adrenal glands, and no function could be a diagnosis of Addison’s disease. Yet, rarely is low function of the adrenals tested for, unless the patient is educated enough to ask.

Our adrenal glands, which are perched above our kidneys, are there to help the body cope with stress and survive. They secrete vital hormones for strength, stamina, emotional balance and more. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is chronic and debilitating, and it can be stress-induced. In particular, with Adrenal Fatigue there can be several levels or stages, and the latter stages can life-threatening.

Adrenal Fatigue is a timely subject, as the World Health Organization (WHO), recently recognized it as a real condition. Yet, you may not recognize it, because it is so misunderstood. However according to studies, 80 percent of us, sometime in our lives, will be attacked by this debilitating stress-induced illness, and it can affect our whole life.  Even our children and teenagers can be a target for this illness, because all of our lives are barreling at a faster and faster pace, and this creates increased and unrelenting stress.

Stress can cause over-stimulation to our bodies, and it can get to the point the body is in peril. Maybe it is not a physical danger, but there is great danger from emotional stress, and it can do damage. For example, you may be afraid you are going to lose your job or your business, and as you become emotionally stressed your body works to overcome and cope, even though it is not a physical danger.

What had happened to me happens to so many of us – with different variations. I worked hard, helped my husband launch and develop a successful business, and I was expecting a second child while trying to keep everything in perfect order. We become so conditioned to various stressors that bombard us on a daily basis that we don’t even identify certain stressors as a notable event. Stress is cumulative, and the systems of the body – endocrine, circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory – all are affected by adrenaline and other substances excreted by the adrenal glands.

Our bodies can only take so much stress – some more than others – and it will always take care of the most vital bodily functions and needs first. However, eventually, important systems of our bodies will decrease in function, or even shut down, and balance or homeostasis is lost. Adrenal Fatigue has been long ignored or dismissed by traditional medicine, but those who suffer with symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, such as unrelenting fatigue, insomnia or non-refreshing sleep and weight problems, know that the problems are very real. Adrenal Fatigue has the capability of debilitating the victim and stealing the enjoyment of life from everyone around, including family members and friends.

Adrenal Fatigue, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have multiple common symptoms such as the unrelenting fatigue, non-refreshing sleep or insomnia and weight issues, and a high percentage of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia patients have an underlying adrenal problem; each condition can be easily confused with other conditions. You can download a comparative symptom matrix at http://jenbusch.com/readMore.htm. You may be amazed.  In fact, I am certain you will personally know several people with these symptoms.

There had been times during my recovery I thought I would never be “normal” again.  However, my picture of “normal” may have contributed to my condition. Recovery began when I actually accepted I had a problem; this was a bitter pill for me to swallow. When I realized I was not going to be, at all times, the perfect wife, the perfect business person, or the perfect mother, my attitude changed.  When I recognized it didn’t matter if others couldn’t immediately understand that something was wrong with me because I certainly “looked okay,” I then was able to become at peace, stop agonizing – which creates more stress – and start improving.

Adrenal Fatigue is an equal opportunity destroyer, and it attacks males and females, as do chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Jennifer Busch has survived her own journey with adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and now provides hope in her bestseller book, “All in My Mind? Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia,” which she has dedicated to thousands who are suffering needlessly. Only through her determination and never-ending faith did she discover the truth and uncover the causes and the treatments that would help her once again lead a normal active life. For more information about Busch or Adrenal Fatigue, visit www.jenbusch.com,or e-mail Jennifer@jenbusch.com

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle staff.

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