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My Adrenal Fatigue Family

  • Hereditary Influence seems to be a major cause of adrenal fatigue.
  • The youngest sibling may experience the largest hereditary impact.
adrenal fatigue hereditary

How come some people can run marathons for years and not develop adrenal fatigue?

But others end up with Adrenal Fatigue even though they have had little stress in their lives

Some shows signs of extreme stress even as infants (asthma, eczema).

Where does an infant get stress from?.... Can't be too many bills to pay at that age.

I was hospitalized for childhood asthma, which has been connected to pre-natal stress4. I also had eczema so bad as an infant that my skin would bleed. Infant eczema has also been linked to pre-natal stress5

  The results of this study suggest that stress-related maternal factors during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of childhood eczema during the first 2 years of life5

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From observing my family, I am convinced that hereditary influence is one of the main causes of adrenal fatigue.

The work of Dr Hans Selye shows that you can go through the Stages of Adrenal Fatigue without any hereditary influence.

However, it seems that hereditary factors can cause you to be stuck in a state of fight or flight...... even when there are few external stressors.

Large Family - Stuck in Fight or Flight

  • I have a very large family, most of which suffers from chronic stress and eventually Adrenal Fatigue.

My mother was one of 16 I have lots and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews to observe.

When I crashed in 2003, I started to slowly learn about chronic stress and adrenal fatigue.

At first I thought I completely did this to myself by over training and generally being a thrill seeker.

As I began to learn about the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, I began to see the same symptoms in many of my relatives.

I started to watch and listen to my family. Sort of taking notes of health complaints or issues they had. A couple of my sisters and I started to compare notes of observations of relatives.

We gradually came to realize that our entire family (on our mothers side) is suffering from this.

However, most have not had an unusually stressful life. Nothing out of the ordinary.

We all just seemed to come into the world stuck in a state of fight or flight, which eventually leads to adrenal fatigue.

See the article Is Adrenal Fatigue Hereditary? , which explains how it can be inherited.

Symptoms Common In My Family

If you haven't already, you may want to review the list of Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms.

The following are symptoms I have observed or discussed with family members. Some of these are really symptoms of chronic stress, and not related to the adrenal glands.

No Energy during the day: All 4 of my sisters have had this. Nieces and nephews also complain of this. Some have commented they get a boost of energy in the evening around 8:00pm..... which is a classic adrenal fatigue symptom.

Insomnia: Everyone in the family has insomnia. An aunt mentioned once that she often doesn't sleep one minute through the night, but is usually so exhausted the next night, she sleeps better. (Her son, my cousin, takes anti-anxiety meditation). I often see posts on Facebook from relatives saying they can't sleep.

Bruxism: Grinding of teeth at night, which is a sign of chronic stress. One of my uncles mentioned he has lost teeth because of this. His daughter does this as well. I have lost a couple of teeth because this. One of my sisters has worn a bite plate while sleeping for years due to bruxism.

Anxiety: Many of my relatives have Anxiety. My sisters, many of my cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews suffer from anxiety. Many are taking anti-anxiety medication, sleeping pills and anti-depressants.

Eye Floaters: Chronic stress leads to collagen breakdown, which lead to Eye Floaters. I had them even as a child, my mother had them, my oldest sister has them, my aunt had them, and so does her daughter (my cousin).

Startle Reflex: Many of my family members have complained about this. Chronic stress leads to hypervigilence. This causes you to jump when someone comes up behind you, for example. 87% of visitors to this site said they have an exaggerated startle response. It is a classic symptom of being stuck in fight or flight.

Frequent Urination: Needing to urinate soon after drinking fluids. Frequent urination can be a sign of stress. Two of my sisters have mentioned that they had this for years. This symptom is most noticeable when you go for a long drive in the car....having to stop to urinate more frequently than others.

Loss of Muscle Mass: We joke about how our family has skinny legs. I didn't always have skinny legs. They arrived at the same time I crashed and many other symptoms appeared. Up until my mid-30s, I had big legs from skiing and other sports. Chronically high cortisol leads to collagen / protein breakdown. My mother had this since her 40's. And my sister experienced rapid muscle loss soon after the stress of our mother passing away.

Lack of Sweating: This happened to me right around the time I crashed. All of a sudden I didn't need deodorant, and I didn't sweat. Two of my sisters have mentioned the same thing. However, it is coming back as we recover.

Loss of Hair: We have all lost hair from our legs and arms. My sisters joked how they don't need to shave their legs. There is of course the classic loss of outer eyebrow....which is more of a thyroid symptom, but related to adrenal fatigue.

Depression: Mild to severe depression is common in my family. Pretty much everyone is on anti-depressants.

Weakness in legs: My mother had this for years. I got this in 2003 when I crashed. One of sisters mentioned she has had this as well. It is getting better as I work on re-mineralizing my body. get the point. Here is a final list of symptoms that I have discussed with family members:

  • Pain in adrenal area
  • tinnitus
  • shortness of breath
  • irritability
  • cracked heels
  • Increased sensitivity to chemicals, wood dust, make-up, etc.
  • waking up with numb hands
  • painful joints
  • salt craving
  • chocolate cravingsconstipation
  • dark circles under eyes
  • low body temperature
  • heart palpitations
  • brain fog
  • poor short term memory
  • metallic taste in mouth

Youngest Siblings are Worse

In our family, the younger siblings usually have more advanced adrenal fatigue.

My mothers youngest sibling is the worst amongst the 16 siblings. I am the worst of 5 siblings. My niece is worse than her older brother. Amongst a few cousins, the youngest sibling is the worst.

Amongst all my cousins, nieces and nephews, there is only one case where the youngest is not the worst.

I am not sure of the reason. Here are a couple of possibilities.

Gene Activation in older parents?

One reason may be Epigenetics, which is a new branch of biology. Epipigenetics shows that genes can switched off and on depending on your environment.

And genes that are activated (expressed) during conception are passed on to your children. As you age, you may be more likely to have negative genes activated, which get passed on to your children.

For example, children of older fathers are more likely to develop Autism and Schizophrenia1, and epigenetics is the suspected reason.

Related to stress, one experiment exposed chickens (future parents) to a stressful environment. Stressed chicken parents had 31 specific genes that became activated or deactivated compared to non-stressed parents3.

The offspring of the stressed parents had the same 31 genes activated or deactivated. The offspring also displayed more stressed behavior (aggression, competitive) than the offspring of non-stressed chickens.3

So....future parents changed what genes they have activated or deactivated, and passed on this activation to their offspring. The baby chickens were basically born stuck in fight or flight.....kind of like all of my family.

Therefore, if an older parent has more stress related genes activated at the time of conception, their child will be born with more stress related genes activated than normal.

This might be one reason why younger siblings seem to be worse.

However.... Studies show that you can deactivate stress related genes with meditation. So even though you came into the world with them switched can turn them off yourself.

More Toxins in Older Parents?

Another possibility is that older parents have accumulated more toxins. For example, fish that live longer tend to contain more toxins, which is why small fish that have a shorter life span are safer to eat2.

So it is possible that older humans have accumulated more toxins, and therefore pass more toxins on to their offspring.

Can You Get Your Life Back?

It is a long road, but I am on the way to recovering. Lots and lots of meditation, learning to relax, getting rid of the toxins that have accumulated from years of stress.

Learning to reduce exposure to EMF with Earthing and other methods is also important. EMF is a constant source of stress that we are all exposed to.

The following article documents my progress so far with detoxification:
Trends of Heavy Metals

I am using the Nutritional Balancing program to eliminate stored toxins. It is slowly helping to eliminate symptoms I have had for years.

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1. Paternal age and psychiatric disorders: findings from a Dutch population registry.
2. Mercury in the Environment
3. Transmission of Stress-Induced Learning Impairment and Associated Brain Gene Expression from Parents to Offspring in Chickens
Prenatal stress and risk of asthma hospitalization in the offspring: a Swedish population-based study
5. Stress-related maternal factors during pregnancy in relation to childhood eczema: results from the LISA Study

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