Adrenal Insufficiency vs. Adrenal Fatigue: There Is A Difference Between The Two

The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, produce a variety of essential hormones. When these glands don't produce enough of one or more of these hormones, a number of symptoms can result.

When people talk about adrenal deficiency, they may be referring to either the medical diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency, which can manifest as Addison's disease or adrenal fatigue, which is a term found in popular health literature but not a diagnosis recognized by the professional medical community.

Adrenal insufficiency, which is an actual medical term, refers to inadequate production of adrenal hormones due to disease. It can be diagnosed with a blood test and has symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, weight loss, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and hair loss.

Adrenal fatigue, which is not an accepted medical term, refers to a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress. Proponents believe that it causes enough of a decrease in hormone production to cause symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances, and digestive problems, but the decrease is not great enough to be measured by existing blood tests.

Adrenal fatigue is a convenient explanation for a group of symptoms that may have an elusive diagnosis, but it is important to recognize that it is not an accepted medical diagnosis. While it is not necessarily wrong, there may be other known disorders like depression or fibromyalgia that also explain these symptoms.

Photo: Pexels

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

How should this medicine be used?

Zoloft or Sertraline comes as a tablet and concentrates to take by mouth. It is usually taken once...

A team of neuroscientists from the New School for Social Research in New York has announced that not only are the areas of the brain responsible...

Lexapro is an SSRI antidepressant that is FDA approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is one of the antidepressants...

The revised psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, has an interesting addition: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

So ladies, if...

This article was written for Living With Anxiety by Sam Kaplan, a student at Colby College. This is his story of life with a panic disorder....

More Articles

Uncontrollable shaking can happen when your arms, hands, legs and even your entire body may feel shaky or like they are trembling.

Some...

A study published in the journal Archives of Psychiatry has found that anxiety and mood disorders are more common in people with low incomes....

When you struggle to fall asleep night after night due to severe anxiety, you may find your symptoms getting worse; lack of sleep is one of the...

If you're suffering from anxiety, one of the first things you should do is see a doctor to make sure your anxiety isn't a symptom of an underlying...

When you consider common symptoms of anxiety, such as a pounding heart, sweating, and dizziness or lightheadedness, it seems obvious that anxiety...

This is a topic I have wanted to touch on for a long time. There are so many people that deal with this fear on a day to day basis. Unable to...

Making choices can be anxiety provoking, especially if our ideas about the decision are riddled with judgments.

Getting rid of self-...

Anxiety can be so overwhelming that it is easy to forget that there are things you can actively do to combat it. One simple technique that many...

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, more commonly known as SSRIs, are a class of prescription drugs first developed to treat depression....

Although people typically think of anxiety as a mental condition, it causes a number of physical symptoms. Severe anxiety, particularly...

People who are anxious may demonstrate a heightened sense of smell, according to new research being conducted at the University of Wisconsin at...

If you experience anxiety in various unfamiliar situations, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from situational...

One of the most prescribed drugs for the treatment of acute anxiety, valium has a host of other uses. It can treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms,...

Getting around town during peak traffic hours can bring stress to even the most relaxed of us, but what if just getting in your car is enough to...

Dysthymia is a chronic depression that is less severe than major depression, but which can last for years at a time. While people with dysthymia...