When your body is alarmed by a stressor (an illness or surgery, family stress, work deadlines, financial worries, etc,) it immediately goes into fight-or-flight mode. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands to help give you the boost you need.
In Phase 1 of Adrenal Fatigue, you can get through your normal routine and daily functions, but your overall performance may not be at its peak. You may be forgetful and somewhat scattered as you are forced to multi-task.
Your senses are heightened and in some ways you might be able to accomplish more than you thought possible. Generally, you find you can “push through” and meet the demands on you.
It’s common to have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep in this phase. You may experience some mild to moderate fatigue depending on how much sleep you are losing at night, but it doesn’t hinder you from getting through your day. After one or two nights of restorative sleep, your energy levels can bounce back when you are in this stage.
Your appetite may or may not be affected, but balanced meals probably are not be your first priority right now. For sustenance and quick energy, you find yourself reaching for carbs and caffeine. If you can find the time to exercise, it does seem to help you feel better and recharges you.
If the stress diminishes and you can get adequate rest and the proper nutrients, you can recover fully from this phase. If the stress continues, or if you cannot get proper rest and recuperate, you’ll find yourself in Stage 2 of Adrenal Fatigue.