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.
Interpreting the results correctly can be difficult for a physician without experience of Adrenal Fatigue. The reference ranges supplied by labs are so wide that they only flag up extremely low cortisol levels. So your doctor will need to look at the levels provided and make his or her own judgment. This is where the importance of using an optimal range, rather than the reference range, becomes clear.
Of course, that money trail is only part of the story. While the lack of patentable treatments for adrenal fatigue is a prime reason for medical science’s failure to recognize it (the pharmaceutical companies have no interest in conditions that offer no real possibility for profitability) there is also the issue of the restrictions placed on doctors by licensing boards and insurance companies. Today’s doctors are simply much more conventional and conservative in their approach to medicine, and rely on consensus rather than their own experience and knowledge. Laboratory results and tests are now the mainstay for almost all forms of diagnosis, and adrenal fatigue is notoriously elusive when it comes to those tests.
First, I want to talk about the concept of adrenal fatigue really quickly. When we think about the body being fatigued, sometimes we immediately assume that our bodies are unable to do something. In the case of adrenal fatigue, that’s not really how it works. It is not that our bodies cannot produce cortisol, it is just that they do not want to. So, the adrenals actually are not “fatigued” at all.
The adrenal glands secrete over 50 hormones including the metabolic intermediates (known since 1965). The adrenal glands are important glands to keep us balanced. Norepinephrine fight or flight hormones are needed the first part of stress response. Most of adrenal glands regulated by blood flow – HPA Axis and hormones. Most of our hormones are secreted by adrenal glands so if are adrenals are tired and overworked then the hormones may become below normal levels. The sex hormones and the stress hormones need to work together. Blood sugar is important to keep normal during stressful situations. If adrenals are not functioning their best, then we can’t perform as well as we need to. If cortisol is too low or too high, then other hormones may be out of balance- the body is very delicate and has innate intelligence to keep functioning with daily demands of life.
It is the observation of these scientists that suboptimal health, as an “in-between” status before disease, is a precursor to many health conditions and has been exacerbated by the culture shifts in the last several decades like Western lifestyle habits, pollution, poor diet and tobacco use. This study, intended to expand over subsequent years by large numbers, is an effort to legitimize some of the oft-ignored benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (15)
I have Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue. I don’t know what’s causing my adrenal fatigue or how to find that out. Is it the autoimmune attack? Gut infections? Food sensitivities? The fact that I’ve been to like 50 doctors and nobody can help and they make me so stressed I want to yell at them? I also go to bed really late like 4am. And my blood sugar is chronically low despite eating protein and fat with each meal so I have these awful blood sugar swings which I’m sure is hard on the adrenals. I just don’t know how to figure out the cause and reverse it. Can you reverse it without figuring out the cause by taking a B complex and Vitamin C?
This book was a huge step in the right direction for me. I'm so glad I found it. For me, one of the best parts of the book was that I walked away more in-tune with my body and feelings ... giving myself permission to slow-down and avoid anything and everyone who unnecessarily drained my energy. As of today, I would suggest Nutritional Balancing with Dr. Larry Wilson to correct Adrenal Fatigue. I discovered I actually had something called 4-lows through the use of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. .. ...more
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.
Loaded with relevant information for any person wanting to know about and heal from adrenal fatigue. There is even a self-assessment in the book to determine if you have AF and to what degree (mild, moderate, severe). This book teaches what AF is, how it occurs and most of all what to do about it. There are also a few case histories, which illustrates how AF can present and that you can recover your health.
A relatively new term, “adrenal fatigue” was proposed as a new condition in 1998 by Dr. James L. Wilson, a naturopath and chiropractor. His assumption was that an overstimulation of the adrenal glands (or “adrenals”) by chronic stress over time could lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream, sometimes far more than normal and at other times, far too low. In addition to this overload or improper cortisol level, people with adrenal fatigue often don’t have enough DHEA, the “parent hormone” responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.
After that, she offers the outline for how you can be healed from adrenal dysfunction. This includes advice on diet, blood sugar maintenance, meal plans, and addressing digestive issues. Lifestyle changes are also a big part of this process, with sleep, relaxation, and exercise being major components of the recovery plan. There is even a section on supplements and extracts.
So how widespread is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome? Some practitioners believe as many as two-thirds of Americans have suffered from some degree of adrenal exhaustion. But while some of us can bounce back relatively quickly from a period of stress or trauma, others find it more difficult. Left untreated, Adrenal Fatigue can gradually worsen until simple everyday tasks become a challenge. That's why it is important to address the cause of your Adrenal Fatigue early, and begin a restorative treatment to rebuild your health, vitality and energy levels.
I had a doctor concerned about my adrenals and suggested a saliva test in 2009 because my cortisol was testing high- I didn’t do it. In April 2012 with another doctor I did a saliva test & my adrenals were off the charts. This Dr. handed me the adrenal support tablets with her face on the bottle bottle and did no subsequent testing. In October 2013 I wound up in the Endocornologist office. Her basic blood profile showed my cortisol high because of HCTH. After more subsequent testing and an MRI was discovered that I had Cushing’s disease- my set of symptom indicators were caused by a small benign tumor in my pituitary. I had a surgery in April 2014 and have been recovering my health steadily. I share this to say… If you are having testing done that shows your adrenals over functioning or underfunctioning you may need to see an Endocornologist to really have somebody who understands it working on the behalf of your health.
Adrenal fatigue is caused when the adrenal glands can no longer meet the demands made of them because they are simply over-worked. Naturally, the adrenals help the body to deal with stress by mobilizing the hormones required to keep the body functioning properly. However, when too much stress is present, whether physical, mental or emotional, the adrenal glands become over-stimulated and start to slow down – hence the term “adrenal fatigue”.
B-Complex vitamins: Research has found that vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with stress on the adrenal cortex in some animals. (25) Vitamin B5 is another commonly deficient vitamin in people with adrenal stress. Especially if you’re reducing or eliminating meat from your diet in order to fight adrenal fatigue, it may serve you well to take a high-quality B-complex vitamin supplement.
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
I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency by a progressive doctor. She meant well, but she missed the boat completely. For some people, the adrenal-busting cycle is caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea. A healthy lifestyle alone (or supplements or other treatments that only target adrenals) can’t fix the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysruption caused by sleep apnea, and many of the systems will overlap. Nocturnal breathing pauses cause a stress response, elevating cortisol, increasing exhaustion, sabotaging sleep quality and all of the regenerative work our bodies are meant to do during sleep. For women, sleep apnea is likely to go undiagnosed, because doctors think it is so rare in women that they don’t usually consider it as a differential diagnosis (even in women with PCOS, who are known to have the same rate of sleep apnea as men). For young and slender women, sleep apnea is unlikely to be diagnosed until it has already caused long-standing biological changes, even if a woman has classic symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring, observed pauses in sleep breathing, and significant daytime sleepiness. Sleep dysruption is a form of chronic stress, so it can overlap with adrenal insufficiency, and treating sleep problems can be a big help to solving the adrenal problems.
While adrenal fatigue may not exist, this doesn’t mean the symptoms people experience aren’t real. These same symptoms could be caused by true medical conditions such as sleep apnea, adrenal insufficiency, or depression. Accepting a fake disease diagnosis from an unqualified practitioner is arguably worse. Patients don’t receive a science-based evaluation of their symptoms, and they may be sold unnecessary treatments that are probably ineffective and potentially harmful. The Endocrine Society’s guidance is entirely appropriate:
Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue from a single test or symptom is very difficult. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors and naturopaths need to look at a range of tests, sometimes conducted multiple times, and take note of every symptom. This requires experience and a thorough knowledge of the various systems in your body, as well as some patience too. It may require two or three visits to the doctor before you can be sure that you have Adrenal Fatigue.
Low energy and tiredness are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a doctor. Despite being so common, it is often challenging to come up with a diagnosis, as many medical problems can cause fatigue. Doctors engage in detective work, obtaining a medical history, doing a physical exam, and doing blood tests. The results often yield no explanations. It can be frustrating for clinicians and patients when a clear-cut diagnosis remains elusive. An attractive theory, called adrenal fatigue, links stress exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible cause of this lack of energy.
Anyway, I’ve been eating a vegan diet lately (McDougall/Esselstyn style) as there is heart disease and diabetes in my family, but seem to be be gaining weight on it, even though my calories aren’t that high. I am desperate to lose weight – I gained about 50 pounds with this adrenal thing!! I’ve tried everything and every diet out there. I found low carb dieting very difficult as my energy plummeted. I’m so confused as to what diet to follow. Any diet suggestions would be immensely appreciated!
Not included in the above piece by Dr Northrup about adrenal exhaustion is information about the affects of sustained stress on the adrenals leading to elevated aldosterone production. With work/life stress, extreme exercise and chronic dehydration (many people don’t get enough fluids) the adrenals will produce elevated levels of the hormone aldosterone in order to try to maintain a type of homeostasis. Aldosterone will push potassium, zinc and magnesium out of the body resulting in impaired immune function, poor digestion, compromised liver function, poorer iron absorption, and increased risks for oxidative stress.
You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.