by chiropractor and naturopath James Wilson, Adrenal Fatigue - otherwise known as 21st Century Syndrome - is now a real ailment. It is believed the cause of Adrenal Fatigue is stress. Not any ordinary stress, no sir. The stress of the world. Think about it -- everyday you are exposed to the multiple horrors of bad news. Another pedestrian died in Toronto; 140,000 people estimated dead in Haiti after the earthquake. Osama Bin Laden keeps threatening to kill Americans.
Back in the 1970's and 1980's, Dr. Wilson uncovered a common thread in his patients that eventually led him to coin the cluster of seemingly unrelated symptoms Adrenal Fatigue
, or 21st Century Syndrome
. Symptoms include
"... tired for no reason; having trouble getting up in the morning; need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going; feeling run down and stressed."
What happens, Wilson explained in a recent blog
post, is a chain reaction of normal human physiological response to stress factors that have no let-up. The non-stop barrage creates a situation where adrenal fight-or-flight reaction in the body becomes a normal state of being -- until the adrenals are depleted. If not stopped, the body's stress reaction becomes itself a stressor on the body and you become fatigued. Dr. Wilson offers an on-line quiz
to help people assess whether or not they might be suffering from 21st Century Syndrome.
Wilson estimates that at any given time, up to 80 percent of the population in industrialized nations are experiencing adrenal fatigue. However, while the medical profession has known about the effects of stress
on people, adrenal fatigue was not accepted as a diagnosis. An astonishingly wide variety of illnesses or physical conditions in people have been linked to stress: infertility, high blood pressure, sleeplessness ... along with a host of other disorders, including mental health.
However, now that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized
adrenal fatigue syndrome as being a real condition, it is likely that your doctor might acknowledge the syndrome in the near future. Sources
of stress include post-traumatic stress following accidents, marital stress, work-related stress, and depression or anxiety due to job loss, widowhood or adjustment to retirement. However, there are more sources of stress than one can shake a stick at, and some stresses have more negative impact than others. Work-related stress, for example, is the number one
source of stress for the majority of people in industrialized nations.
If your doctor is still behind the times on the topic of adrenal fatigue syndrome, don't stress out! Dr. Wilson recommends eating healthy foods and ensuring intake of vitamins and minerals; cutting back on junk foods, sugar and caffeine; and regular exercise. His blog
offers other tips and ideas to help cope with stress.