A true adrenal crisis makes people very very sick and hospitalized and they can die.
However, I have many patients saying that they have adrenal fatigue.
At the Functional Medicine course I took, there was a very useful chart. It showed the metabolism of cholesterol.
"Normally, we metabolize cholesterol to thyroid hormone and sex hormones," says the speaker. "But if we are stressed, we metabolize cholesterol to adrenalin and cortisol, the stress hormones."
Ah! Guess how many of my patients complain that they are tired all the time, they aren't interested in sex, they feel wired and stressed and anxious and don't sleep well.
The conference recommended that I sell these people a lot of supplements out of my clinic, which would make me rich. I don't like pills and I am skeptical and anyhow, aren't we papering over aka drugging the problem?
Also, let's look at the statement. "Normally." Uh, is a lack of stress NORMAL? Maybe responding to stress is ALSO NORMAL. Isn't it nice that we have evolved systems for when we can relax, reproduce, have fun, etc and then systems for when the shit hits the fan?
I blame the founding fathers for putting the "pursuit of happiness" in the constitution. Somehow many US citizens think that they are in the greatest country in the world and they ought to be happy all the time, pain free, energetic, thin, sexy and live until 100 dying on the day they want in their sleep with no illness or broken bones or problems ever before that. This is stupid. Go ahead, pursue happiness. I don't think you will catch it unless it's in the form of prozac or pot.
We need to reexamine our expectations. What is stress? Is it an attitude? Do we need it? Can we "positive think" it away? I do not think so. I think our brains LIKE problems, like to work, like to play and if we run out of stress, we happily go create some. We get BORED. We won't EVER find balance: everything changes all the time. If you are bored, add some new things. If you are too stressed, what can you cut back?
And quit looking for a pill to fix it.