There are many things that cause adrenal fatigue. Stress is the most common cause. If a person experiences stress due to work, relationships, finances, or any other constant form of stress, it can tax the adrenal glands. Stress can come in other forms, however, and this can cause a downward-spiraling effect, that causes the patient to fall deeper into adrenal fatigue.
Take, for example, a case in which a patent has been under constant stress due to their finances. This chronic stress will begin their battle with adrenal fatigue, as this constant stress will put a constant demand on their adrenal glands. This adrenal fatigue will compromise their immune system, causing them to suffer from repeated respiratory infections; it will take them a long time to recover from the infections. This puts the body under the stress of fighting infection, and trying to recover. This worsens their case of adrenal fatigue. As a result, they may begin to crave sweet and starchy foods, in a bid to get a boost of energy. This, too, puts the body under further stress, because of the blood sugar spikes and crashes. Again, their adrenal fatigue has ratched up a notch, and their overall health has ratcheted down. This is the cause-and-effect spiral that many sufferers of adrenal fatigue find themselves in.
Over-exertion, especially in the form of weight-bearing exercise, or extreme sports such as running marathons can also tax the adrenal glands and cause the body to lapse into adrenal fatigue. This is why it’s important for those who do weight-bearing exercise to take a rest every other day, so that the body can recover.
The use of oral steroids (anabolic steroids for the purpose of building muscle mass, or synthetic hormones like prednisone) can cause the body to become overloaded with cortisol. This can cause the adrenal glands to stop functioning to produce cortisol. This will bring about the onset of adrenal fatigue.
As stated before, stress is the most common cause of the onset of adrenal fatigue. Often, it is one traumatic, stressful situation that causes adrenal fatigue to begin. Many times, patients can be heard to say, “I was never the same after _____.” This can be the death of a loved one, an extremely difficult illness, a painful divorce, or anything else that causes intense emotional or physical distress.