Adrenal Fatigue

I find that more I learn about Naturopath’s the more I trust them. They explain things better, they take time to listen to you,they think outside the box.

My Naturopath Dr Danni is great she listens, actively listens when you talk to her.

My endocrinologist hears but doesn’t really listen. This happens often.

He finally listened to me when I asked for a Thyroid Antibody rest because I had a feeling for years I had Hashimoto and hypothyroidism. I mean you can’t feel this exhausted and foggy for no reason.

But many just snubbed me thinking they knew more than I did.

I was also told by many MDs adrenal fatigue doesn’t really exist……really?

So I did some checking…..

What Is It?

The term “adrenal fatigue” was coined in 1998 by James Wilson, PhD, a naturopath and expert in alternative medicine. He describes it as a “group of related signs and symptoms (a syndrome) that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level.” He says it’s usually associated with intense stress and often follows chronic infections like bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia.

Wilson says people with it may not have any physical signs of illness but still may feel tired, “gray,” and have fatigue that doesn’t get better with sleep. They also crave salty snacks.

The Theory Behind It

Your body’s immune system responds by slowing down when you’re under stress. Your adrenal glands, which are small organs above your kidneys, respond to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol. They regulate your blood pressure and how your heart works.

According to the theory, if you have long-term stress (like the death of a family member or a serious illness), your adrenal glands can’t continuously produce the extra cortisol you need to feel good. So adrenal fatigue sets in.

There’s no approved test for adrenal fatigue. Blood tests can’t detect a small drop in adrenal production.

The suggested treatments for healthy adrenal function are a diet low in sugar, caffeine, and junk food, and “targeted nutritional supplementation” that includes vitamins and minerals:

• Vitamins B5, B6, and B12

Vitamin C

Magnesium

Probiotics and a variety of herbal supplements are also recommended to help your body make more cortisol.

Is It a Myth?

There’s no science to back it up. The Endocrine Society, the world’s largest organization of endocrinologists (people who research and treat patients with diseases related to glands and hormones), flatly says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. And it says the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so general, they can apply to many diseases or conditions (depression, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia) or stem from everyday life.

And the society says some of the treatments can be dangerous. Improving your diet will probably make you feel better, no matter what ailment you have, but taking supplements to help your body produce extra cortisol if you don’t need them may cause your adrenal glands to stop working, it warns

What Else Could It Be?

Symptoms such as being tired, lacking energy, and sleeping all day long could be signs of depression, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, or a condition called adrenal insufficiency.

What Is Adrenal Insufficiency?

Unlike adrenal fatigue, this is a recognized disease that can be diagnosed. There are two forms of this condition, and both are caused by damage or problems with your adrenal glands that result in them not making enough of the hormone cortisol.

Symptoms of both forms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, weight loss, and stomach pain. You might also have nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhea, depression, or darkening of the skin.

Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed with a blood test that checks to see if your cortisol levels are too low. If you have it, you’ll need to take a hormone replacement.

This taken from Web MD

Hmmmm so I personally don’t agree with all of that.

*Let’s read what a Naturopath says*

Adrenal Fatigue Explained

By Catherine Clinton, ND, Clinic of Natural Medicine

Questions about fatigue are some of the most common that naturopathic physicians hear from patients. We all become run-down now and then due to the stresses of everyday life and the demands of our busy schedules. Over extended periods this can overburden our bodies, creating a situation that’s not so easy to bounce back from. In particular the adrenal glands, being in charge of the release of various stress hormones, can become exhausted and unable to effectively do their job. This is referred to as “adrenal fatigue.” When this happens our fatigue can become chronic and be joined by other symptoms such as pain and inflammation.

The adrenal glands have many functions, including the secretion of cortisol and other hormones in response to stress. Stress can come from an emotional trigger like a fight with a loved one, trouble at work or a physical trigger like an injury or motor vehicle accident. When prompted by pain or inflammation cortisol is released from the adrenal glands into the blood. Cortisol modifies the inflammatory pathways resulting in a decrease in inflammation and pain. When a drop in blood sugar occurs cortisol is secreted to help balance the levels of sugar in the blood. Cortisol is also released from the adrenal glands in a 24 hour daily rhythm with a burst in the morning to help us awake and a decrease in the evening to help us sleep. When adrenal glands are required to secrete at high levels for extended periods of time due to prolonged stress, pain, or blood sugar imbalances, they can become fatigued or begin to secrete cortisol at lower levels. When this occurs it is common to see an increase in fatigue, pain and/or inflammation.

Naturopathic physicians usually test adrenal function with a salivary cortisol test. From this test naturopaths can effectively diagnose and treat adrenal issues. Some common treatments for the adrenal glands include:

• Rhodiola: This botanical has been extensively researched in Russia for its ability to increase physical stamina and increase the body’s resistance to stress. It is categorized as an adaptogen by Russian researchers due to its observed ability to increase resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. Naturopathic doctors use it in adrenal fatigue treatments to combat stress and increase energy.

• Ginseng: The three ginsengs; Siberian, American and Asian, are all used to treat adrenal issues. Research shows that they increase energy, stamina, and reduce stress. A recent study in 2003 demonstrated how ginseng can effectively help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels as well.

• Stress management: With adrenal issues stress management is vital to any treatment. Proper sleep, stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing or meditation and exercise can all increase the body’s ability to handle stress.

• Nutrition/Blood sugar regulation: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes that provides antioxidants and nutrients is essential for adrenal health. The adrenal glands need a good diet rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. Eating quality protein at each meal allows the body to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar without taxing the adrenals. Treating adrenal fatigue must address the diet and nutrition of the patient.

Addressing adrenal issues can have profound effects in patient’s lives. As with any medical treatment you should contact your local naturopathic physician to receive a treatment plan that fits your individual needs.

•Adrenal Fatigue

by Jennifer Abercrombie ND | Mar 11, 2013 | Articles By Our Doctors |

Do you feel exhausted in the morning or all day long, gain weight despite good diet and exercise habits, have difficulty sleeping, can’t get through the day without caffeine, have chronic gastrointestinal infections, retain excess water, have difficulty concentrating, suffer from multiple allergies, feel run down or worn out, have heart palpitations, or experience severe PMS? All of these can be caused by adrenal fatigue.

What are the adrenals?

You have probably heard about the adrenals as they are getting a lot of press lately, and for good reason. The adrenals are a big regulator in the body. They control stress and inflammation; they release hormones that control blood pressure (aldosterone), and DHEA and pregnenolone that convert to cortisol and sex hormones. Our bodies are designed as if we were still living in the era of cavemen. The stress response is designed to be a fight or flight response. Imagine you were just seen by a tiger in the wilderness, your adrenals release a relatively short burst of adrenaline that gives you heightened awareness and prepares your body to start springing if needed. But adrenaline is short lived in the blood so the adrenals then release cortisol to give you the capability to have a longer sustained muscle capacity and mental acuity to evade the tiger. Because the release of adrenaline and cortisol dramatically affect all systems in the body for the goal of saving your life from an acute threat, the body requires a period of rest and relaxation for the stress response to relax and for normal physiology to resume. This system isn’t created for the modern era where we have consistent stressors on a daily basis that do not allow the stress response to relax and recover.

What is “stress”?

Stress is more than just emotional and psychological. It can be physical such as inflammation, environmental toxins, and infections (viral or bacterial). Triggers for creating a stress response results from a poor diet that is high in simple carbohydrates and sugars, low or high blood sugar, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, menopause or andropause, environmental toxins, hormonal birth control, long term steroid use (they suppress the adrenals), street drugs, consistent stimulant use (coffee), hypothyroid state, and genetics. If your parents at conception had depleted adrenals and especially if your mother had adrenal dysfunction while she was carrying you in utero, you may be predisposed to having adrenal issues.

When stress becomes chronic

If any of the stressors become chronic and persist without giving the adrenals and the body a chance to recover, a sustained amount of cortisol is released. Too much cortisol suppresses the immune system. This is a natural defense as you don’t want to be exerting precious energy to fight off a viral infection while you are running away from the tiger.  The side effect is that you are left more susceptible to infection. When the stress stays for weeks to months, cortisol starts to get depleted as your adrenals burn through the nutrients that make cortisol. Too little cortisol from exhaustion, allows the immune system to run unchecked, resulting in increased inflammation. A heightened state of inflammation is implicated in advanced aging, hypertension, irritable bowel disease, high cholesterol, heart disease, depression, chronic disease, any autoimmune disease triggers, progressing cancers, and it creates a rocky transition into menopause.

Basic Treatments

Because everyone is an individual and the factors that create adrenal fatigue are a unique combination for each person, there is no one perfect treatment. Each person is going to require a different treatment plan. With that said, here are some basics:

• A modified GAPS/Paleo/Anti-Inflammatory diet that is specific to you

• Minimize simple carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine, and recreational drugs. Marijuana may relax you, but when used for stress management you don’t learn how to process stress properly and may become dependent on it and use it as a crutch.
• B Vitamins: whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, dark leafy greens
• Vitamin C: Fruits and veggies, especially papaya, cantaloupe, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, dark leafy greens
• Magnesium: Dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes
• Zinc: Meats, seafood, poultry, pumpkin and sesame seeds, nuts, whole grains
• Fat: Good fat (including saturated fat) is needed to make cholesterol which makes DHEA, pregnenolone, and cortisol. Good sources are: organic meats, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, organic unsalted butter, avocado, and olive oil
• Water: Stay hydrated with clean, filtered water
• Sleep: A regular, consistent sleep pattern
• Light and exercise: Go outside, feel the sunshine, and to move the body
• Re-assess: Re-evaluate the stress in your life and any negative relationships. Find out how you can make changes to lower stress
• Connect with others: Foster and build strong, supportive relationships in your life
• Don’t over do it: Even when you are starting to feel strong, don’t burn yourself out with too many daily tasks, too much on the social calendar, or over-exercising
• Release: Find a way to release your stress. Examples include meditation, journaling, hiking, surfing, beach combing, walking barefoot in the sand, etc.

What bothers me the most is that MDs think that Naturopathic medicine is new , however most people don’t understand how long it’s been around.

I will write in this in the next few days.

Reference links

http://www.nawellness.com/adrenal-fatigue/

https://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=314

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/adrenal-fatigue-is-it-real

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