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- Examples of issues that over exercising can cause
- Understand why listening to your body matters
Running, or any aerobic training in moderation, has a positive effect on health. There is a point of diminishing returns, where chronic stress from overtraining, which is common in runners, may be linked to problems in the adrenal gland. Overtraining Syndrome (OS) has been linked with adrenal insufficiency. There is a direct link between stress and the adrenal glands, and the physical stress of overtraining may cause the hormones produced in these glands to become depleted.
Adrenal insufficiency: Symptoms and causes
Adrenal insufficiency refers to the inability of the adrenal glands to produce a normal quantity of hormones, which leads to a reduced ability in the individual to cope with stress. Adrenal depletion is a milder form of insufficiency, while Addison’s disease is a total adrenal gland shutdown, which involves more extreme symptoms which require longer correcting. Addison’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, which has life-threatening complications.
There are several symptoms of low cortisol levels, although they are vague and often related to other disorders. Some symptoms include:
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Ill-defined malaise
- Loss of ambition
- Increased fear and apprehension
- Scattered thinking
- Decreased concentration and memory
- Short fuse
- Hypoglycemia symptoms
- Sugar cravings
- Slow recovery from illness
- Allergies or autoimmune disease
- Increased achiness or arthritis
- Nausea/no appetite in a.m.
- Excessive consumption of caffeine or other stimulants Tendency to feel best towards evening
- Decreased sex drive
Chromic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) could be caused by or mistaken for Adrenal Insufficiency (AI). There is commonly a decrease in exercise capacity in CFS, which may be result of AI. Overtraining may contribute to or even cause AI. Cortisol levels are lowered and Adreno Cortico Trophic Hormone (ACTH) is increased during overtraining, while a reduced responsiveness to ACTH, and a reduced responsiveness to Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH) are found. If the physical stress of overtraining is not removed, adrenal issues may continue or become more severe. Severely over trained athletes may develop Addison’s Disease.
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