What we need to do is give our bodies time, and to understand why our bodies are producing low cortisol. It all comes down to root causes – as it often does in many aspects of our health. When we get a better sense of why our body is reacting the way it is, than we can really approach a solution. Low cortisol output might leave us feeling fatigued, but simply bringing outside cortisol into our systems is not going to solve the problem long-term.
Toxic metals and chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Other sources are dental materials and skin contact with chemicals. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications add to the body’s toxic load. Most people do not realize that antibiotics and many other drugs accumulate to some extent in the liver and other organs. Toxins may also be generated within the body due to impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it either ferments or rots in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed into the body. A healthy body has the ability to eliminate many toxins on a daily basis. However, as adrenal weakness develops, the body’s ability to eliminate all toxins decreases. This produces a vicious cycle in which weaker adrenals impairs the elimination of all poisons, which then further weakens the adrenals.
Regardless, this topic remains a heated one in the medical community. The Hormone Health Network released a scathing piece on the issue of adrenal fatigue, essentially warning patients that it is a false diagnosis, peddled by those who profit from the “expensive” treatment methods they suggest when diagnosing the disease, with no thought for the serious dangers they may put someone in by telling them adrenal fatigue is their problem. They also (incorrectly) remind people that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. (5)
Exercise gently at least 5 days per week, preferably morning and not late in the day. Try swimming, gentle bike rides, walking, yoga, stretching, or any restorative activity that incorporates breathing. Avoid high adrenaline activities, like kayaking, competitive sports, running, cross fit or high intensity training until you are well on your way to healing.
When you experience some sort of stress (physical, mental or emotional), your hypothalamus lets go of a chemical that sends a signal to your pituitary gland and then your pituitary releases an alert to your adrenals, which then let a whole bunch of stress hormones out into your body. Your body makes adrenaline and noradrenaline, cortisol and dopamine and they’re there to help you when you’re experiencing stress. Stress can be a good thing or a bad thing. And also a very bad thing! Stress can also be emotional, mental and physical. I went under HUGE amounts of emotional stress as a child. I was highly sensitive and remember being yelled at and crying all the time because some of the people around me were very intense and angry and so I took all that on myself and it suppressed my immune system and my adrenals. Now that I look back, it all makes sense. I could feel myself being suppressed. I’m highly sensitive to what’s going on in my body, as well and so when I’m being suppressed, I notice it right away. Anything that your body must do to exert effort on these levels such as an exam, carrying heavy luggage or crying because you got in a fight with your father, is a form of stress. For example, planning a wedding can be stressful but fun. Planning a party can be stressful but fun. So, you see, stress can be fun but also have negative effects. Not all stress is bad stress. But dealing with a mean woman at work, like my days in fashion, can be a huge stress on your body. Getting let go from a job can be a huge amount of stress. Fighting with your in-laws or a customer service person can be forms of stress for your body, as well. So, what does all of this have to do with your health?
If you think you may suffer from adrenal fatigue, read this book now. I thought I might have it, and have gone though tons of tests to see what’s going on. This book helped me rule adrenal fatigue out, thankfully. But it helped my friend find answers to nagging questions and issues she has faced for years with her body. This book is great and very informational.
Just to add to my comment above. After taking Siberian Ginseng for about 8 weeks, I had a break for 2 weeks and started back on it again. Yes, taking it in the afternoon has left me with insomnia for a couple of nights and also an upset/colicky stomach so this is quite powerful stuff. I’m sure it’s brought on my next period a couple of days early too.
I recently ordered a hormone test kit from John Lee's website, in an effort to figure out some health issues I was having. I included cortisol levels in the kit, because I am a type-A person and figured my cortisol levels were high and perhaps that contributed to the issues. Surprisingly, my cortisol levels were low at all 4 times of the day tested. A good doctor I showed the results to said "You have adrenal fatigue" and recommended an adaptogen called Adreno-Mend. As a retired RN, I felt a bit stupid and in an attempt to educate myself I ordered this book. I had no frame of reference for adrenal fatigue and this book provides an excellent explanation, as well as a framework to overcome the life style choices that have contributed to your adrenal fatigue. The endocrine system is so complicated, I don't pretend to understand it all, but rest assured, if one thing is out off order, it affects all your other hormones so they cannot function optimally. That includes all your glands regulating metabolism, digestion, immunity, quality of sleep, etc. I'm sure in our busy culture there are millions of people who suffer needlessly because they are unaware and they have a doctor who is not tuned in to all this. I had enough insight to order the test kit, maybe because I'm a nurse, maybe God steered me there. Once I had the results, I made an appointment with my family doctor (who I like a lot), to discuss it with him. He looked at the report and said "This is not mainstream medicine; you don't need hormone replacement; this is a natural part of aging." So, even if you go to a board certified internist who you like, you can't depend on them to be enlightened and pro-active on your behalf. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates many aspects of our health and/or illness so it is beyond me how it is not "mainstream medicine"; this author even states that many people who come to physicians with these symptoms of stress, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc, are given anti-depressants or sleeping pills or told to seek pyschiatric care. He makes the point: You are not crazy, there is a physical cause for what is happening and you can have understanding and some control over your symptoms.
Very clear, medical explanation of adrenal fatigue and why today's doctors prefer to ignore it (no big pharma money in it). The questionnaire is thorough, and there's an extremely detailed guide to how to recover, especially using diet. I need to read this part again to absorb it properly - it's overwhelming at first. I may return and give this five stars when I'm able to absorb and maybe even implement all the details on how to recover.
But can stress cause extreme fatigue? Yes, it absolutely can. One study found that students undergoing chronic, long-term stress when prepping for medical exams at the end of their educational careers impaired the students’ cortisol awakening response. (10) By limiting this surge in cortisol that naturally occurs every morning when you wake up to help you feel alert, stress inhibits your ability to wake up fully, no matter how much sleep you get.
Due to a lack of supporting research, it's too soon to recommend any natural remedy for adrenal fatigue. If you're considering using alternative medicine, talk to your doctor before starting your supplement regimen. Keep in mind that natural remedies should not be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of a chronic health condition.
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The light should cause your iris to contract, making your pupils (the dark spot in the center of your eye) smaller. Normally, they should stay that way, but if you have adrenal gland fatigue, the iris will be weak and will not be able to hold the contraction, it will either waver between contracted and relaxed, or will contract initially, but then open up after 10-30 seconds.
For a little over two years I have been suffering from erectile dysfunction, I have tried different medications such as Viagra to no avail. Also, recently I have donated blood after which time my symptoms of ED seemed to disappear, however, recently, they came back. Also, I do feel tired throughout the day and had liquid come out the anus many times. My main concern is that it feels like my sex drives almost disappeared. Lastly, this condition started in late 2015 as I was taking Allopurinol prescribed by my doctor for the treatment of gout. Surprisingly, I have not had a gout attack since these problems started and had discontinued Allopurinol and still to this day have not had an attack. Is the Allopurinol partially or all to blame for this condition? Prior to me starting the gout medication I never had any such problems. Thank you for your help!
Written as one part case study and one part treatment guide, Heineken’s book covers such topics as the different aspects of Addison’s disease when compared to adrenal fatigue, basic details about the adrenals, symptoms that can help you recognize your ailment, and testing methodologies. There is also information detailing her experiences with a variety of recovery options presented as practical advice to aid in the development of your own treatment plan.
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This same vague collection of symptoms is called something entirely different in the alternative health world. It’s branded “adrenal fatigue,” an invented condition that’s widely embraced as real among alternative health providers. There’s no evidence that adrenal fatigue actually exists. The public education arm of the Endocrine Society, representing 14,000 endocrinologists, recently updated their advice on a common medical question, noting:
What is endocrinology? An endocrinologist specializes in all things relating to our hormones. Conditions affected by hormones range from thyroid problems to diabetes and insomnia. Here, we look at the endocrine system, the organs that make more than 50 hormones, why they often go wrong, and why you might want to consult an endocrinologist. Read now