We have talked so much today about the importance of understanding the state of your adrenals. This is going to inform so much of your health, and is going to keep you away from potentially dangerous adrenal medications – for those who do not need them. Take great care of yourself, and check in on the state of your adrenals by taking the adrenal quiz today.
Kathryn Simpson‘s 2011 book, Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue: How to Restore Hormonal Balance and Feel Renewed, Energized, and Stress Free, carries with it the experiences and advice of someone who has suffered adrenal fatigue (and multiple sclerosis), fought against its effects, and secured the victory that only comes with full recovery. Today, she continues her efforts to share her story and the lessons she learned with other patients in similar situations, even as she works to further the scientific community’s understanding of hormones.
Very few people visit their doctor because they believe they have adrenal fatigue. Some people who experience unexplained tiredness and lethargy believe it is the result of an under-active thyroid, or a hormone imbalance. Many conventional doctors do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a proven medical condition and perform no testing on the glands, so adrenal fatigue is rarely diagnosed.
In her book, this Certified Nutrition Specialist presents her central premise that the brain – not the adrenals – bears the most responsibility for what we commonly view as adrenal fatigue. Like Dr. James Wilson, Gedgaudas uses much of Hans Selye’s pioneering research into stress and our response to stressors as a starting point for her work. Unlike Wilson, however, she turns her attention almost completely away from the adrenal glands and toward the patient’s brain. In her view, it is the brain that is most at risk in our modern world, and it is the impact of stress on the brain that is at the root of most of modern man’s fatigue issues.
This test tells us which point along the Adrenal Fatigue pathway the patient might have reached. In the initial stages of a stress reaction both cortisol and DHEA will be high. But as the body begins to struggle to produce sufficient stress hormones, DHEA levels start to fall. Put very simply, this is because the stress hormone production ‘steals’ resources from the sex hormone production. Further on in the development of Adrenal Fatigue, cortisol levels will begin to drop too. So this ratio, combined with other tests and information, helps us to determine which stage of Adrenal Fatigue the patient has reached.
Toxic chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Sources may also include dental materials or beauty products, such as shampoo, lotions, make-up. Cleaning our home with toxic chemicals may also take it’s toll. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications also add to the body’s toxic load. Check out these 10 Tips to decrease your exposure. Toxins may also be generated internally due to microbial imbalances in the gut and impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it may ferment in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed through the intestinal lining. 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.
This syndrome develops due to the malfunction of the adrenal glands in producing hormone competently. The adrenal gland secretes cortisol which is a hormone essential to optimal health. Cortisol in the body in excessive amounts may lead to problems that are severe such as Cushing’s syndrome. But, if released in amounts that are common by the gland, cortisol is a hormone that is vital to helping the body fight infection and deal with stress – without cortisol the body is not able to sustain life. Balance is crucial as well. Cortisol has an effect on every tissue, gland and organ in the body. When these glands are tired, they don’t provide the body with adequate cortisol. The body does what is necessary to get by but it is not without penalties. As such, this syndrome normally precedes other chronic situations.
Sorry this was so long but I felt I needed to offer some hope for you, as when I first started things seemed so overwhelming, expensive, hard to do, but I came along some good blogs that said, start with babysteps, I’ve been at this for about 9 months now, I still have a ways to go i’m sure, there are still times I have problems and issues, and I ask for advise that so many will offer readily especially if they have something to gain, and much of it’ll be contradictory. read it with some skepticism, and do the AA motto take what you want and leave the rest. My biggest things is I now try to get the things I need from foods, not supplements. start slow especially with things like ferments and detoxes/cleanses, as your body can go into what is called a healing crisis, basically all the bad stuff in your body is killed off to quickly and overwhelms your body as it tries to get rid of it. So time, patience, babysteps, and most of all listen to your body and yourself, and forgive yourself. Good luck hope you feel better I know it is an uphill battle sometimes, but worth it in the end, Oh and one thing I forgot is get some exercise everyday even if it’s in small bursts, I personally like yoga.
Because so much of adrenal fatigue is really brain-based, most of the natural medicines I use focus on supporting optimal brain health and the brain’s response to stress. Explore blends of adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, eleuthero ginseng, holy basil, and rhodiola rosea to give your adrenal axis some TLC. I also incorporated phosphatidylserine supplements into my routine. (Of course, consult your doctor before implementing any herbs or supplements.)
Medicinal Mushrooms: Because of the way mushrooms such as cordyceps and chaga interact with the body and various medications, it is recommended that pregnant or nursing mothers never use them. In addition, anyone with autoimmune conditions, diabetes or a bleeding disorder should not use medicinal chaga or cordyceps. These is one case report of chaga supplementation causing kidney damage in a woman with liver disease who took chaga every day for six months. This mushroom also contains oxalates and may inhibit some nutrient absorption in large doses. (45)
Pick begins by covering a number of important topics: the nature of adrenal dysfunction, the effects of chronic stress, and how you can identify your own “adrenal profile.” From there she moves on to solutions that encompass a thirty-day period of concerted recovery efforts. That plan includes dietary changes, supplement advice, exercise, and a focus on the emotions that is often lacking in other books. There’s even a complete 30-day eating plan with recipe ideas. The book then addresses life after recovery, and attaches a number of reference guides, resources, and an index at the end.
Did you know that MDs receive less than one day of nutrition training during their entire 4 years at medical school? A 2006 study found that the average MD received only 23.9 hours on this vitally important subject. Modern healthcare has drifted away from promoting things like nutrition, emotional wellness, and exercise, and has become almost exclusively focused on treating acute, life-threatening conditions. Again, that's not so helpful if you are suffering from a condition like Adrenal Fatigue.
While this may be discouraging to some, one issue I have with this assessment is that the main issue seemed to be study design, rather than hard results. The failure of scientists to conduct adequate tests does not immediately equate to the falsity of adrenal fatigue as a whole. In addition, a diagnosis for this condition is difficult because these cortisol levels fall in what conventional medicine would call “inside the normal range,” although the symptoms are clear to those suffering from the condition. Lastly, treatment for adrenal fatigue consists mainly of diet and lifestyle adjustments, which traditional doctors do not see as legitimate medicine. (That’s okay; we know that food is medicine, no matter how often the medical community fails to recognize this fact.)
Addisonian crisis: Causes, symptoms, and treatment An Addisonian crisis can cause weakness, nausea, fever, and even death. It is caused by a dramatic drop in cortisol levels. Cortisol helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, so a shortage can be dangerous. Read on to learn more about this condition caused by an adrenal gland failure. Read now