In summary, I think both of these doctors offer a tremendous service for people suffering with adrenal fatigue syndrome. In May of 2014 I had what was likely a major adrenal crash, I now understand from reading the work of these two men. (I have a similar story to many of you - spent 14 years going from doctor to doctor, GPs, endos, integrative docs, and none was able to help me.)
Eating right for one’s type of metabolism will help to ensure the proper amounts of sodium and potassium levels as well as raw materials for one’s unique biochemistry. In addition to this, understanding the regulatory effects that the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system has with the endocrine system is also a very important part of the picture.
Rethinking Fatigue: What Your Adrenals Are Really Telling You and What You Can Do about It is a book by Nora Gedgaudas, the author of Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and A Longer Life. With expertise in both nutritional science and neurofeedback therapy, Dr. Gedgaudas brings a fresh voice to the debate concerning fatigue and adrenal function.
He also spends a great deal of time targeting the root causes of this fatigue, linking these causes to one common factor: stress. His central premise is one that has been taken up by other authors in other forums, which is just one indication of how influential he has been in this area of health. That premise is simple: adrenal fatigue is the result of massive amounts of stress overwhelming the adrenal glands’ ability to manage and then recover from the effects of the stress response.
I had a bilateral adrenalectomy 30 years ago. I take Prednisone and Flourinef replacement steroids. But I’m tired and depressed all the time. I’ve never taken DHEA and wondering if would help me? I’m menopausal. I’m 57 years old. I don’t have osteoporosis. My adrenal glands were removed when I was 17 – I was diagnosed with Cushings Disease. Later on I had a pituitary adenoma removed. I still have my pituitary gland. It’s functioning properly. My fatigue interferes with my life.
Part II will help you determine if you indeed have adrenal fatigue and if you do, how severe your burnout is. There’s a very detailed questionnaire, advice on self-tests you can do by yourself, and a guide to getting lab tests done, too. (The questionnaire blew my mind, and helped me see how much my health has improved over the last 18 months. I also saw that I still have a lot of room for improvement!)
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)
The key message to understand here is that when your body is stressed out and the stress does not go away and it’s not taken over by your relaxation response, then your body is in fight/flight mode and you’ll start to see all of your organs slowly shut down and you’ll experience awful symptoms. I’m talking about your digestion, your immune system and your reproductive organs (I had lots my period for years because of this and the Lyme). Everything is connected folks. That’s key to understanding your body!
Some people call the time when the "camel's back" finally breaks a "nervous breakdown." However, nerves really don't break down; adrenal glands do. A "nervous breakdown" is actually adrenal fatigue, or when the adrenal glands can't deal with the amount of stress they're given. Adrenal fatigue used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as allergies.
I had my saliva tests done, and the results showed that my cortisol level wouldn’t even register a number after 11am, dipped further off the grid at 4pm and a slight surge at 11pm. Understanding the inverse relationship with DHEA, that level was “off the chart high”. I’ve been on Adreneltone and cortisol manager supplement for almost 3 months and the fatigue only seems to be the same if not a little worse (I actually fell asleep during my daughters dance competition! )