I just wanted to thank Dr. Carnahan and all the staff for a wonderful visit. What a great experience from start to finish. Of course, Dr. Carnahan is the icing on the cake! (Hmmm …need a healthier analogy) Anyway, I’m feeling excited optimistic, and hopeful after all these years of being sick. Again my thanks and blessings to you all. Warmly, Roberta
Your adrenals produce your stress hormones, which are super important for your metabolism and they totally effect your thyroid so it’s key to look at these glands when you’re dealing with any sort of thyroid issue. If you’re in that amped-up mode that causes you to feel stressed all the time (and you feel like you can’t turn it off), you’re headed for some degree of Adrenal Fatigue. In this state, your cortisol is chronically elevated or it’s high when it should be low (at night). Adrenal Fatigue is when your cortisol is chronically low when it should actually be elevated. Your production of stress hormones declines and leaves you with low adrenaline and low cortisol–feeling depleted.
The problem here is that if someone does not need florinef, and takes it anyways, it can result in higher blood pressure. But, for some, it can be incredibly helpful. There is also research that shows the benefits of florinef when it comes to speech anxiety. Because it helps with blood pressure, it can help with standing for long periods at a time. When you speak in front of a crowd, and you are standing, this can be a distraction that disappears when your blood pressure is lower.
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To assess adrenal function, we conduct a one-hour ACTH stimulation test, which is very safe and reliable. We also look for thyroid issues and diabetes. After checking for a variety of endocrine disorders using testing and symptom assessment, we start working with a multidisciplinary team of doctors to figure out the root cause of the patient’s problem.
Spending more time outside in the sun also helps boost levels of vitamin D, because your body manufactures this important vitamin/hormone when it senses sun on your skin. Vitamin D, is responsible for regulating over 200 genetic pathways, so make sure your levels are high enough. I recommend an optimal range of around 60 to 80 ng/ml. Ask your doctor about a simple blood test to help you keep track.
Stress is not a bad thing. We all have stress in many forms but the key is to be able to handle it and to balance your life in a way so that you do not stay in the fight/flight mode all the time. When that happens, you’ll have insomnia, belly issues/digestion issues, exhaustion, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, thyroid issues and many other symptoms. Your immune system will also be very suppressed so you’re susceptible to getting infections and viruses/colds or even catching something like Lyme disease. Sound familiar? I’m pretty much telling you what happened to me. My nervous system was knocked out of balance so much that my body couldn’t perform it’s regular duties and everything started to shut down because of emotional, physical and mental stressors that I was put under when I was younger, which is why I was a prime case for Adrenal Fatigue Treatment.
If the individual has reached Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue, treatment will likely take much longer. At these stages both the adrenal glands and the rest of the endocrine system are beginning to get severely fatigued, and production of at least a few of our hormones has started to flag. The diurnal cortisol cycle has begun to be disrupted. To rebuild adrenal strength requires lifestyle changes, a nutritious diet and proper supplementation. This takes some time, and you can anticipate the process taking at least 6 months.
My lingering issue is urinating frequently. Sometimes every hour (no infection gng on either- been gng on for abt 3 yrs. I’ve asked many Dr’s. and they have no idea- along with having hot flashes when my bladder wld get full. This goes on day & night-so to say I am sleeping soundly wld be a major stretch. I recently read an article that said the adrenals cold be the culprit. Can’t wait to get results from the labs this new Dr will draw. I’m soon to be 55 if the matters.Wondering if anybody else has experienced the freq urination/hot flash combination?
Less obvious but no less important stimulants may include anger, rage, arguments, hatred, unforgiveness, loud music, tragic news, and even movies with suspense or excessive violence. Other activities that may act as stimulants include vigorous exercise or recreational drug use. Even high risk sports, like surfing, diving, or extreme climbing if done in excess may deplete the adrenals. Most of these activities provide a temporary “high”, which is caused in part by the secretion of high amounts of adrenal hormones. Over time, however, this weakens the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal depletion and insufficiency.
For those of us deep into Stage 4, where levels of both the sex hormones and stress hormones have dropped substantially, treatment will take even longer. You should expect a treatment period of at least 12 months, possibly involving bio-identical hormone replacement as well as the dietary changes, lifestyle changes and supplementation mentioned above.
First, remember that any new dietary regimen or addition of supplements in your lifestyle should be implemented under the supervision of a physician/naturopath you trust. In general, introducing more plant-based foods into your lifestyle and eliminating stimulants, sugary foods and processed items with a ton of sodium or chemicals added to them is going to help you feel and live better, regardless of conditions you may or may not have.
Testing can be an important part of the process. The patients have often been given saliva tests for cortisol, so Nieman tells her patients that saliva tests are not considered reliable. She explains that the standard test is the corticotropin (ACTH) stimulation test — and that if the adrenal glands can respond to the stimulation by releasing cortisol, it disproves that theory that the glands are burned out.
This is a test that is rarely conducted by doctors, and even then usually only on hyperthyroid patients. However it can give a useful insight into the overall function of the thyroid. T3 is produced when TSH stimulates the thyroid. When used in conjunction with the other thyroid tests, this helps to give a complete picture of why the thyroid is underperforming. Optimal values should be somewhere in the 300-450 pg/ml range. However, the typical lab range allows values as low as 230 pg/ml.
Adrenals. Ahhhhhhh, how I wish I knew about these guys a decade ago before my doctor put me on steroids in my 20’s, which took away my pain but also destroyed my adrenals!!! It’s taken me over 10 years to build back my adrenals. So much fun. Let me tell you. This has become part of my life so I love learning new ways to heal myself and my adrenals have been anything but easy to heal. They’re tricky and they’re exhausting and you end up feeling depleted, tired and fed up most of the time. When I learned about adrenal fatigue treatment from my Functional/Integrative M.D.’s I was amazed at all the knowledge I found on how I could start to heal these babies, which were KEY for my thyroid health. You’ll never have an optimal thyroid if your adrenals are out of whack. So, let’s talk about what adrenals are and how you can make sure they’re in tip-top shape. As Susan Blum, M.D. (she was my 1st Functional MD) mentions in this article for Well&Good, 8 Signs You Have Adrenal Fatigue, “When there’s severe, chronic stress, the adrenal glands can stay in the ‘on’ position, making extra amounts of these stress hormones.”
Although a concept that is sometimes uncomfortable and foreign to traditional medical styles of thinking, the need for multiple interventions is required for effective treatment of such complex illnesses like CFS and adrenal fatigue. The HPA axis works as the body’s energy and hormone regulator. An imbalance between any part of the axis can affect the entire body system and treatment for such disorders requires a well-rounded approach to restore function. Therefore, adrenal and pituitary dysfunction often require treatment with several hormones. When treatment is received, individuals with devastating syndromes like CFS, adrenal fatigue and fibromylagia can “get their lives back” despite the fact that they were previously told, “there is nothing that can be done.”
One of the most commonly overlooked causes of Adrenal Fatigue is intestinal infections that gives rise to an inflammatory response. Such infection can occur sub-clinically with no obvious signs at all. Infections in the gut, including giardia, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), fungal dysbiosis, and h. pylori infection are just a few that may contribute to adrenal dysfunction.
Adrenal Fatigue for Dummies is a book written by Dr. Richard Snyder and nutritionist Wendy Jo Peterson. As the title suggests, this is another in that series of “Dummies” books that are not really written for “dummies” at all. Like others of its kind, this book is written for those who currently have little understanding about the nature of adrenal fatigue – which would include most patients suffering from exhaustion, as well as their attending physicians!
Located near the top of each kidney, your adrenal glands release hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol) that help your body respond to stressful situations (by briefly pumping up your energy levels, for instance). Research suggests that when you're constantly suffering physical, mental, or emotional stress, your stress-hormone system may become "worn out" and actually produce fewer stress hormones. This state of exhaustion — commonly known as adrenal fatigue — is associated with chronic tiredness, food cravings, mood swings, and weight gain.
No ground is left uncovered in this book, as Dr. Wilson brings all of his experience and knowledge to bear in a Herculean effort to bring some semblance of ordered understanding to what had previously been a chaotic stew of confusing and sometimes contradictory assumptions. Everything is methodically explained, referenced, and indexed so that curious readers can do further research on their own to confirm the author’s premise and findings. He even includes a Glycemic Index table, a glossary of terms, and a host of illustrations scattered throughout the book’s various pages.
There are many ways to exhaust your adrenal glands and endocrine system, and most are connected to the stresses forced upon us by modern life. The burdens that we place on ourselves today, in terms of our time management and our finances, are totally different from those faced by previous generations. In the 1960s a one-income family could afford a nice house and a very comfortable life. That seems almost inconceivable for most families today, who have to stretch their budgets, work long hours and earn two incomes just to keep their heads above water.
There are numerous supplements you can use for adrenal fatigue but remember, you have to get to the root cause of WHY you have adrenal fatigue before you start your adrenal fatigue treatment. If you don’t, the supplements will just be a waste of money! Talk to your Functional MD about the following supplements to support your adrenals. But please know that anything that supports your adrenals will increase your estrogen so this may lead to worse PMS, acne, weight gain or mood swings- something NO ONE told me about until recently. Probably because no doctor understood this!
And I still feel that way, except maybe I will do it tomorrow . . . after a long siesta. . . or later, like when the cows come home. Because frankly, my “Need To Do” list (go to the grocery store) and my “Want To Do” list ( take a NAP) have not been getting along lately. Yes, I love life and want to do ALL THE THINGS, but maybe I shouldn’t try to do them all at once, you know?
I was found to have adrenal fatigue a year ago via salivary 4 point testing — showed low salivary cortisol in the morning and throughout the day – 4, 2, 2, 1. total 9nM). Also mildly elevated DHEA (11 ng/mL). I am doing all the lifestyle/dietary things you list and in the past tried both adaptogenic herbs (Thorne Phytisone) and adrenal glandulars for about 6 months with little improvement. My doctor wants me to try an adaptogen again and I am wondering if either of the formulas you recommended would be worth trying. Thank you for your time.
Are you tired of being told that you need an antidepressant when you feel sick? Or of being told that your fatigue is just part of the aging process ( when you are 30!)? This book will help you to put a finger on the origin of your fatigue, and if you are a thyroid patient, could help you break away from the Stepford Endicrinologist synthetic T4 protocol that has been our only option for years.
I’m trying to find info for treating during pregnancy the adrenal hpa axis dysfunction. I’m very concerned because I am 8 weeks pregnant and I just found out about a month before i got pregnant, through a saliva test ,showing flattened cortisol levels, and the lab doctors that reviewed my hormone test said it looks like I have the hpa axis adrenal dysfunction. There is so little info I have been able to find on suppliments safe during pregnancy to help this. This condition is causing low progesterone even with being on progesterone prescription and topical pro-gest emerita, and i got one progesterone shot,levels only went from a 15 to 18.5 in 3 weeks on supplimenting. I’ve been doing a lot of research and found out how dangerous this can be if not corrected during pregnancy. If you can help in anyway I will be so thankful!
In the early stages of adrenal dysfunction, cortisol levels are too high during the day and continue rising in the evening. This is called “hyperadrenia.” In the middle stages, cortisol may rise and fall unevenly as the body struggles to balance itself despite the disruptions of caffeine, carbs and other factors, but 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”).
The effects of adrenal dysfunction can be profound: fatigue and weakness, suppression of the immune system, muscle and bone loss, moodiness or depression, hormonal imbalance, skin problems, autoimmune disorders, and dozens of other symptoms. The good news is that adrenal fatigue can almost always be relieved. Let’s look at the relationships between stress, high cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue, and then we’ll look at how you can give your adrenals more support.
If you want to get your energy levels back to where they were, there are a few things that you need to do. Adopting an adrenal fatigue diet will give your adrenals and HPA axis the raw materials they need to recover. Removing sources of stress from your life will eliminate one of the causes of your adrenal exhaustion. And changing your lifestyle will have a measurable impact on your ability to handle stress.
I’m currently taking a supplement that contains bovine adrenals and bovine spleen. I have adrenal fatigue, IBS, and insomnia, and my naturopath follows the four pillars of world cuisine plan. Is it dangerous to takes glandular supplements? The product is from Standard Process and they are very reputable. Still, I have my concerns. Should I trust my naturopath on this?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the government agency that oversees most food and medical products) does not oversee nutritional supplements and vitamins. This means there is no guarantee that what's on the label of a supplement is really what's inside the bottle. In some cases, supplements have very few, if any, active ingredients. In other cases, the dose of a particular ingredient may be too high. This is true if you purchase supplements from your local drug store or a specialty pharmacy (sometimes called a compounding pharmacy) where supplements are made directly by the pharmacist.
I started taking Cortex (not Cortrex) an hour before each of my low cortisol times and it has really helped. I have had many of your same symptoms. I take two at 6:00 am and then three other times during the day. I am not a doctor so you may want to check with someone first. The Cortrex can make your heart race as it has adrenaline in it. Hope this helps!
Hi Ladies…I too have all the symptoms above and can relate to you all…I am only 39 and this is my third year…I too feel like this is never going to end.I eat very clean…no dairy wheat gluten or meat…I exercise yoga twice to three times a week and walk….I have tried every holistic avenue… But am still trying and will not give up…I do believe the way we live today is a massive cause…Being busy has become the new NORM….I wish us all love and luck…love sonia xzz
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs, by Dr. Michael Lam, is a reference guide that packs virtually every bit of information you ever wanted to know about adrenal fatigue into its massive 500-page frame. Dr. Lam has been a pioneer in the study of adrenal-related issues, and personally provides help for millions on his own website, drlam.com.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by a one-time extreme stress such as a bereavement, or by a prolonged situation such as stress in the workplace. Other factors can also play a role in adrenal fatigue and these include poor diet, insufficient sleep, substance abuse and prolonged situations that leave a person feeling trapped – such as a bad relationship, lack of financial resources and so on. Chronic illness can also reduce the function of the adrenal glands.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a very real condition, but navigating your way through all the treatment options can be difficult. Individuals with Adrenal Fatigue tend to bounce between family doctors, endocrinologists, psychotherapists and more. They are often prescribed drugs like sleeping pills and antidepressants by well-meaning doctors who simply can't figure out what is wrong with them. But the truth is that treating Adrenal Fatigue involves much more than prescribing drugs. It requires a combination of experience and knowledge of both conventional and alternative medicine.
BOTH Dr. Lam and Dr. Wilson have discovered the hypoglycemia - adrenal fatigue link, and they both offer an extended-release vitamin C as part of their supplement regimens, which is a critical component of adrenal fatigue. The blood sugar roller coaster of hypoglycemia is one of the prime reasons for adrenal-related fatigue and depression. These two doctors have made me aware of that. Dr. Lam also explores psychological aspects of adrenal fatigue syndrome, and advocates simplifying one's life as a part of recovery, as well as diet modification, reduction of chemicals, and other critical life modifications. Dr. Lam points out that stress reduction may include eliminating stressful relationships from your life (when possible).
The effectiveness of this multi-system treatment was further confirmed through the analysis of the cumulative findings of over 40 independent physicians and over 5,000 patients. Prior to the treatment at the Holtorf Medical Group, the patients had seen an average of 7.2 different physicians for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia without significant improvement.
If you take adrenal hormone supplements when you don’t need them, your adrenal glands may stop working and become unable to make the hormones you need when you are under physical stress. When these supplements are stopped, a person's adrenal glands can remain “asleep” for months. People with this problem may be in danger of developing a life-threatening condition called adrenal crisis.
Dr. Wilson describes the unique progression of adrenal fatigue throughout the day as follows: you wake up and are unable to function without a significant amount of caffeine, finally feel a boost of energy during the early part of the day, then your energy levels crash around 2 p.m., rise around 6 p.m., fall again around 9 p.m. and then finally peak again at 11 in the evening. (3)
Standard doctors often dismiss cortisol test results because they fall “within the normal range” of cortisol. But feeling like crap isn’t normal, and you shouldn’t accept it. It’s similar with testosterone: 300 ng/dL is “within the normal range,” and so is 900 ng/dL. But if you triple your testosterone levels, I promise you’ll feel a lot different.