An overload of stress can cause adrenal gland imbalance, according to CoreOneHealth. This occurs because the adrenal glands become fatigued when they must produce large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, weakening the glands over time.
Although the production of hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine and adrenaline is a normal bodily response to stressful events, ongoing stress causes the adrenal glands to produce excess amounts of cortisol, as stated by CoreOneHealth. This causes the glands to use pregnenolone in preference of cortisol when demands are too high, eventually leading to adrenal exhaustion when the glands are no longer able to compensate for the lack of cortisol.
Adrenal fatigue is not considered a disease, and many medical doctors question whether it exists at all, as confirmed by WholeHealth Chicago. Supporters maintain that sufferers experience a measurable drop in cortisol levels throughout the day. Purported symptoms of adrenal imbalance include fatigue that is especially prevalent in the afternoon, lightheadedness, and sugar or caffeine cravings. Treatment often includes stress reduction for self-healing as well as adrenal restoratives. Those who believe they may have adrenal fatigue should consult with a doctor to rule out other conditions such as anemia and thyroid issues, which present similar symptoms.