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Deborah J. Beaver, MS, LMFT
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Michael Roham, PA
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Adrenal Fatigue

DO NOT SUFFER

I have dozens of patients who are on less or no meds who had adrenal fatigue and related conditions. This is a treatable conditon.

 

Are you one of thousands of Americans who struggle with Adrenal Fatigue?

                 

What it is, how to detect it and how to treat it.

                       

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue

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  Fatigue

  Feeling tired despite sufficient hours of sleep

  Insomnia

  Weight gain

  Anxiety

  Depression

  Hair loss

  Acne

  Reliance on stimulants like caffeine

  Cravings for carbohydrates or sugars

  Poor immune function

  Intolerance to cold

 

How about you?

Adrenal self screening test.

 

   Do you feel overwhelmed and find yourself crying easily for no apparent reason.

   Do you experience lack of energy?

   Are you often sick

   Do you need caffeine to keep you going?

   Are you depressed or frustrated?

   Have you been under prolonged stress?

   Is even mild exercise of any kind a burden?

   Do you tend to gain weight around your midsection?

 

If you have answered yes to three or more of these questions you might be struggling with Adrenal fatigue

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue:

Stresses of

Work

·         not enough sleep

·         financial difficulties

·         poor nutrition,

·         frequent dieting that does not work

·         unresolved emotional issues

Any of these issues as well as others can, over time cause the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol for too long putting the adrenals at risk for burnout.

This may result in adrenal fatigue or a situation where the body no longer is able to produce the amount of cortisol needed to keep up with its biochemical demands and activities.

Stressors such as a demanding job, long commutes, raising a family, caring for a sick family member, challenging or destructive relationships, a divorce can also cause the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol and consequently putting the adrenal at risk .

When the adrenal glands become overtaxed and the cortisol production is hampered the adrenals’ ability to produce and balance hormones like DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone also become impaired. 

The destructive effect of high cortisol levels

What is cortisol? Cortisol helps us meet our challenges by producing energy either by converting stored sugar from the liver and muscles when needed or by aiding in converting protein into a useable form of energy.

In addition to the energy production the cortisol is also released in order to help counteract inflammation. This type of cortisol action is normal, however, if the adrenals are forced to produce high levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time it eventually will start to tear the body down. 

 A sustained high cortisol level destroys healthy muscle and bone, impairs digestion, and slows down healing and normal cell repair. In addition, it impairs important biochemical reactions needed to make other vital hormones

In addition, it  hampers metabolism and mental functions, and interferes with healthy endocrine production as well as weakens the immune system. It is at this point that you’ll start to feel run down, depressed and unable to enjoy or do the things you normally do and you may start to experience symptoms of adrenal fatigue which are usually the following:

Fatigue

Feeling tired despite sufficient hours of sleep

Insomnia

Weight gain

Anxiety

Depression

Hair loss

Acne

Reliance on stimulants like caffeine

Cravings for carbohydrates or sugars

Poor immune function

Intolerance to cold

Adrenal fatigue may also be one of the main factors involved in fibromyaliga, chronic fatigue and hypothyroidism, premature menopause and arthritic conditions.

 

Testing For Adrenal Fatigue:

Many of the patients that come to our office with these symptoms get an adrenal fatigue test, which consists of a series of tests of salvia cortisol levels.  The results are remarkably consistent: 

A very small percentage has healthy adrenal function, while the majority have cortisol levels that range from significant adrenal stress to complete adrenal exhaustion.

In our office, we measure cortisol levels at several points in the day (between 6am and midnight) to track the adrenals’ day–night pattern (called the “diurnal rhythm”) using a simple home saliva tests.  Cortisol should be slightly elevated in the morning to help you get going, lower but steady throughout the day for sustained energy, then to fall in the evening to support restful sleep.

In the early stages of adrenal dysfunction, we find cortisol levels to be too high during the day and instead of falling through the evening it continues rise.

This is called “hyperadrenia.” As the body struggles to adjust and balance itself, cortisol may rise and fall unevenly despite the disruptions of caffeine, carbs and other factors. Levels are not normal and are typically too high at night. In advanced stages, when the adrenals are exhausted from overwork, cortisol will never reach normal levels (“hypoadrenia”).

We also find that many of our clients who test positive for adrenal fatigue and who are having constant upper respiratory issues such as post nasal drip and or sinus congestion and headaches or a long history of gastrointestinal problems such a bloating, diarrhea or constipation often have IgG mediated food allergies* such as allergies to food they craves such as bread and or diary products.

Traditional medicine is designed to only diagnose the extremes of adrenal dysfunction and only , when damage to the adrenals has already occurred (Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease).

However before experiencing those extremes, you can feel miserable and still be told your cortisol levels are normal. The good news is that by responding to early-stage symptoms of adrenal fatigue, one can reverse the developing dysfunction.

Should you get an adrenal test?

If you feel happy, have a sense of wellbeing, have steady energy and emotions, sleep seven to nine hours a night and wake up feeling rested: if you recover well from stress, and maintain a healthy weight without dieting, then your adrenals are probably doing well.

If your energy levels drops during the day, you are emotionally unbalanced, you sleep less than seven hours a night, and wake up feeling tired, you can’t lose excess weight even while dieting, use caffeine or carbohydrates as “pick-me-ups” — you might be suffering from adrenal stress and would benefit from an adrenal stress test.

 

 

 

 

 

Protocol:

How to develop healthy adrenals.

Basic steps:

   Adrenal testing (use of home salvia test kit; call our office for a free testing kit)

   IgG food allergy testing if you also have a long history of gastro intestinal and or upper respiratory issues such as sinus problems (This type of allergy testing is usually done via a simple saliva test)

   A full physical exam to rule out any other medical condition as appropriate.

General dietary changes nutritional supplement implementations

1.      Increase use of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.

2.      Use of multivitamin/mineral supplement

3.      Omega 3 fish-oil 1000mg 3 times per day with food.

4.      Other nutritional supplementation and food restriction may be needed depending upon test results and or symptoms.

5.      Moderate exercise. (Overexerting or exercising during sever adrenal fatigue is not advisable it may hamper or prolong the recovery process.) Consider use of personal trainer if not used to or familiar with an exercise routine or if unfamiliar with gym equipment.

6.      Make a list of your stressors, especially those that you experience daily

7.        Make room for some time every day when you can rest without feeling guilt.

8.        Sit 20 minutes to 30 minutes daily in filtered sun without sunscreen.

Treat your Adrenals with respect and care.  They will serve you well if you take care of their needs!!! 

Usually a $99 test can tell us where to go from here.

* IgG mediated food allergies are slightly different form the more common food allergies which are immediate reaction to food and called IgE mediated food allergies. Symptom of IgE food allergies are hives rashes and less often anaphylactic reactions. IgG medicated food allergies are not imitate and their symptom logy is more subtle and common reactions are; tiredness, depression, anxiety upper respiratory problems and gastrointestinal discomfort.

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