Have you been feeling stressed and overly tired lately? Have you been told it may be because of the medication you take for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? While there may be some connection, the question is often asked as to whether Adderall can cause adrenal fatigue or whether adrenal fatigue is an actual condition.
Some people refer to a condition called adrenal fatigue and associate it with the idea that adrenal glands can get overworked when you are stressed. The concept is that the glands then stop producing the hormones you need, including cortisol. However, medical experts, including endocrinologists, say that the idea of an adrenal fatigue is a medical myth.
Dr. Anat Ben-Shlomo, an endocrinologist at Cedars-Sinai, says that “Adrenal fatigue is not an actual disease. Stress can have an impact on our health, but it doesn’t affect your adrenals this way. When you’re stressed, the adrenal glands actually produce more of the cortisol and other hormones you need. They will give you all that’s necessary.”
There is a true medical condition called chronic adrenal insufficiency, which causes fatigue in addition to joint pain, anorexia, diarrhea, low blood pressure, weight loss, and dry skin. This condition is diagnosed by a blood test that measures cortisol levels. However, chronic adrenal insufficiency should not be confused with adrenal fatigue.
Adderall and Sleepiness
When you take Adderall, it may cause you to feel sleepy or exceptionally relaxed. You may confuse this state with fatigue. However, Adderall cannot cause adrenal fatigue, which is a condition that has been debunked by healthcare professionals.
Adderall is a stimulant that works to boost your levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters in your brain that help to calm and relax you. You will then be able to focus better. However, sometimes it can cause you to be so relaxed that you feel drowsy. This condition may be confused with fatigue. Excessive sleepiness can also be caused by Adderall withdrawal that is not medically supervised.
Common Causes of Fatigue
When you are stressed, you may feel very tired. Fatigue is more than just being tired, though, as it can actually make it hard to even get out of bed in the morning. Your fatigue may not have anything to do with your use of Adderall. Rather, true fatigue can be the result of a number of lifestyle factors and health conditions, including:
- Mental health issues, such as depression, grief, burnout, or anxiety
- Endocrine and metabolic conditions, including electrolyte issues, kidney disease, diabetes, or thyroid problems
- Vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
While Adderall has not been shown to cause adrenal fatigue, there are some drugs and medications that can lead to a feeling of fatigue or exhaustion, including anxiety medications, steroids, antihistamines, sedatives, and some antidepressants.
Your activity level can also lead to a feeling of exhaustion. If you are very tired, you may not feel like exercising and that can lead to more fatigue. When you stop exercising completely, you become deconditioned and that makes it more difficult to complete any type of physical activity. On other hand, if you participate in intense or prolonged physical activity, you can feel fatigued afterward.
Conditions Blamed on Adrenal Fatigue
You may worry that you have adrenal fatigue because of your continued use of Adderall and because of the symptoms you feel. However, adrenal fatigue is not a verified medical condition so if you feel tired and fatigued every day, are having trouble waking up in the morning, or find that it is more difficult for you to handle your stress, it is not because of adrenal fatigue caused by Adderall. However, if you are concerned about your dependence on this medication, treatment options are available.
You can be proactive in managing your symptoms. Take care of your mental health to start. Establish a routine that will help you manage your stress more effectively so that you are prepared when your stress level increases because of a life change or other challenging situation.
Get enough quality sleep. Limit your caffeine intake, exercise regularly, and maintain a regular sleep routine. Reduce or eliminate the stimuli in your bedroom, such as your smartphone or television, that can interrupt a healthy sleep pattern.
When you experience depression and anxiety that affects your mood and energy levels, consult with a medical professional to determine the true cause of these issues. For example, your blood sugar may be too high or too low, which can impact your energy level. Or you may need treatment for another underlying cause of your fatigue.
Recovery Support in Hemet, California
Your mental and physical health are important as you discover your true potential. The professionals at Hemet Valley Recovery Center offer you the highest degree of medical, psychological, and spiritual expertise to guide you through mental health and addiction treatment and recovery.
It is difficult to be in recovery every day, and it can be even more challenging during the pandemic. Should you find yourself struggling at any point, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us at HRVC for more information on our addiction treatment and recovery support programs.