What Are The Signs Of An Adrenal Fatigue Problem
Adrenal fatigue is a cortisol production problem.
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that fine-tunes your response to the challenges of everyday living. Its important for many bodily processes, including growth, immune function, cognition, behaviour, and reproduction. The correct balance of cortisol levels is important, as too little or too much can result in poor health.
Symptoms of high cortisol can include:
- Bone loss
High cortisol is usually the first sign of an adrenal imbalance. But if stress persists, this can deplete our physiological resilience and metabolic reserveeventually leading to low cortisol production.
Low cortisol has a bigger impact because of prolonged wear and tear on the body. Sign of low cortisol can be:
- Chronic fatigue
- Lowered immunity
DHEA is another hormone produced in the adrenal glands, as well as other areas in the body. It follows a similar daily pattern to cortisol.
Low DHEA can mean your adrenals are out of balance. Both high and low cortisol can result in low DHEA. DHEA levels may also be linked to other conditions, including thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity and rheumatologic diseases .
Q: Why Is A Multidisciplinary Approach So Important
A: After ruling out possible endocrine disorders, your endocrinologist can refer you to other specialists, including urologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, allergists/immunologists and infectious disease physicians.
If youre diagnosed with POTS or another disorder, these specialists will work together to manage your health and develop a targeted treatment plan putting you on the path to symptom relief.
Q: Whats The Best Approach For Managing A Suspected Adrenal Problem
A: If youre just beginning your quest for answers or have already been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, consult your family doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist. Because the symptoms of an adrenal issue may be nonspecific, its important to figure out if theres an underlying issue causing your symptoms in order to help manage your health properly.
To assess adrenal function, your healthcare provider will conduct a one-hour ACTH stimulation test, which is safe and reliable. They will likely 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 patients problem.
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But Is Adrenal Fatigue A Real Disease
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and produce several hormones, among them, cortisol. When under stress, we produce and release short bursts of cortisol into the bloodstream. The adrenal fatigue theory suggests that prolonged exposure to stress could drain the adrenals leading to a low cortisol state. The adrenal depletion would cause brain fog, low energy, depressive mood, salt and sweet cravings, lightheadedness, and other vague symptoms.
Numerous websites mention how to diagnose and treat adrenal fatigue. However, the Endocrinology Society and all the other medical specialties do not recognize this condition. The Endocrinologists are categorical: “no scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition.” This disconnect between conventional and complementary medicine adds to the frustration.
What Are The Complications Of Adrenal Insufficiency
You may have sudden severe symptoms. This is called acute adrenal insufficiency, or Addisonian crisis. This can occur when your body is stressed. That can happen for many reasons, such as an illness, fever, surgery, or dehydration. You may also have a crisis if you stop taking your steroids or lower the amount of your steroids suddenly. The symptoms of an Addisonian crisis include the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency or Addisons disease. But if an Addisonian crisis is not treated, it can lead to:
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How To Produce Saliva For Adrenal Fatigue Saliva Test Instructions
Adrenal fatigue test kits usually come with a collection device and clear instructions on how to take samples and label each specimen. Its important to follow the instructions carefully as there are several saliva collection techniques and their testing methods vary in reliability and sensitivity .
People dont normally have issues with producing the saliva needed for testing, but some companies will advise that staying hydrated or looking at food can help.
How To Test For Adrenal Fatigue: 6 At
Thegood news is that there are a variety of simple but effective options forassessing your adrenal gland function from the comfort of your own home .
The following six at-home health tests are useful tools for learning more about the health state of your body, specifically with regards to potential adrenal abnormalities.
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Causes Signs Symptoms Treatments And Controversy
With James L. Wilson, PhD
Excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.
If you’re feeling tired and fried, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s what’s causing your lack of oomph? Let’s investigate.
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
James L. Wilson, PhD, who coined the term adrenal fatigue in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome, describes the adrenals as two little glands that sit over your kidneys and are about the size of two large grapes and weigh about five-to-eight grams.
According to Wilson, The adrenals put out over fifty hormones. We often only hear about DHA and cortisol, but forty percent of womens estrogen or progesterone are made in the adrenal glands and about forty percent of testosterone in males is made in the adrenal glands.
Key Points About Adrenal Insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands dont make enough of the hormone cortisol.
The primary kind is known as Addisons disease. It is rare. It is when the adrenal glands dont make enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone.
Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary gland doesnt make enough of the hormone ACTH. The adrenal glands then dont make enough cortisol.
Mild symptoms may be seen only when a person is under physical stress. Other symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.
You will need to take hormones to replace those that the adrenal glands are not making.
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Supporting The Thyroid & Adrenals Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting the adrenals and thyroid , caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up , in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the whys around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day . Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
Adrenal Fatigue Test At Home
Since scientific research hasnt shown adrenal fatigue to be an official diagnosis, it isnt recommended that you carry out adrenal testing at home.
However, if you choose to do so, depending on your states laws, you may be able to order the tests online.
These include cortisol and glucocorticoid stimulation or suppression tests, which are frequently ordered by doctors to diagnose diseases of the adrenal glands, as well as the thyroid, ACTH, and DHEA tests.
Neurotransmitter tests, which require a urine sample, are often marketed for this purpose too, but
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The Cardiovascular System And Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is one of the conditions we look at when someone comes to us with unstable blood pressure, whether low or high. Its the result of facing chronic stress and the subsequent exhaustion of the adrenal glands. The adrenals have to overwork to produce cortisol and other stress hormones to fight that stress. But if the stress is chronic, they can get so overworked that they dysregulate.
Symptoms of AFS include fatigue, sleep problems, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, brain fog, anxiety, mild depression, hair loss, dry skin, loss of libido, PMS, infertility, hypoglycemia, salt and sugar cravings, lowered immunity, food and drug sensitivities, estrogen dominance, unstable blood pressure, heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, POTS-like symptoms, and atrial fibrillation.
The last few symptoms are, in fact, due to how dysregulated adrenals affect the NEMs Cardionomic Circuit. As the adrenals start to produce either too much or too little stress hormones, that has an impact on the cardiovascular system in several ways. And it also affects the nervous system, including the ANS, which is what controls things like blood vessel constriction and heart rate.
But even then, there is a high likelihood that these two components will become dysfunctional as they face the same stress that took out your adrenals. Lets take a closer look at how this progression affects your blood pressure.
Who Should Be Tested For Adrenal Tumor As Cause Of High Blood Pressure
- Resistant hypertension
- Hypertension requiring two or more blood pressure medications
- Hypertension requiring being on Spironolactone , Eplerenone or Amiloride
- Hypertension of any grade, without known risk factors such as age, smoking. kidney problems, diabetes, obesity, etc
- Hypertension at a young age
- Hypertension with low blood potassium .
- Hypertension with an adrenal incidentaloma
- Hypertension and sleep apnea
- Hypertension and a family history of early-onset hypertension or stroke at a young age
- Hypertension in a family with any family member with an adrenal tumor
- Hypertension that is episodic – it comes and goes
Important to know! There are other causes of secondary hypertension not related to the adrenal gland. One such disease is primary hyperparathyroidism, due to one or more parathyroid tumors. Please review parathyroid glands, hyperparathyroidism and parathyroid surgery at our sister page . Endocrine hypertension can also be caused by diseases of the thyroid gland. Learn about thyroid tumors, thyroid cancers, and thyroid surgery here. Other rarer causes of secondary hypertension include those related to changes in the major blood vessels in your body.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Adrenal Disorders
The symptoms of adrenal disorders vary depending on which hormones are involved. Many of the symptoms of adrenal disorders are similar to those of other illnesses.
Symptoms of high levels of cortisone include:
- Upper body obesity, while arms and legs stay thinner.
- Being tired and confused.
- Developing high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Skin that bruises easily.
- Developing a greater sex drive.
Developing masculine traits is called virilization.
Take The Right Supplements
While itd be great if we could get all of our daily nutritional requirements from food alone, its rarely possible. The way in which food is grown, stored, processed and cooked destroys much of its nutritional value. Although most whole foods still harbor plenty of health benefits, they may not have enough of the vitamins and minerals you need to recover from adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue also wreaks havoc on the ability of your gut to absorb nutrients from food, as chronic stress hinders normal digestive function. Thats why supplements are a great way to top up your bodys nutritional needs, especially when your stores of a certain nutrient have been depleted for a while.
Here are some of the best supplements to help you recover from adrenal fatigue:
This group of vitamins is the first step in getting your mind and body back into gear. B vitamins work together in helping the body create energy from the food you eat, while also supporting brain function and healthy skin, hair and muscles. Although the role of each B vitamin differs slightly, theyre all vital for a healthy metabolism and energy production.
B12 is particularly important in fact, its commonly referred to as the energy vitamin. Its needed for nerve function, mood regulation and the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, which aids energy production in the cells. Vitamins B12 and B6 are also linked to positivity and mental alertness.
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Got Stress Here Are Four Adrenal Fatigue Tests You Can Do At Home
Nearly all of us experience adrenal fatigue at some point in our lives, and thats not a problem if the stress is short-lived. If the stress is chronic, however, metabolic disorder and a shorter, unhappier life could be the result. Here are four do-it-yourself tests that you can do it home to discover if youre experiencing adrenal fatigue.
Watch the video here.
THE FIRST thing I need to convince you about is that healthy adrenal gland function is critical to a happy, hale and long life.
The second thing I need to convince you about is that even if you do not feel stressed, your adrenal function may still be subpar.
Its estimated that 80% of people experience adrenal fatigue and the physical symptoms of stress at some point in their lives. If left unchecked adrenal fatigue can compromise thyroid function and thereby your entire metabolic system.
In this article, I review four do-it-yourself adrenal fatigue tests that you can do at home, and then present some things you can do to make them healthy.
The four adrenal fatigue tests are:
But, before we get into the tests, lets review some anatomy and biology, and then get a handle on why managing stress is a life saver.
Nhs Adrenal Fatigue Test
There isnt a specific medical test for adrenal fatigue.
If your GP suspects you have an underlying condition or Addisons diseasea medical condition in which your adrenal glands are unable to produce the necessary hormonesthey may refer you to an endocrinologist.
An endocrinologist will run additional blood tests and an adrenocorticotropic stimulation test to measure adrenal hormone function . If youre diagnosed with Addisons disease, the treatment will require synthetic hormonal drugs to replace what the adrenal hormones would make under normal circumstances.
Thankfully, Addisons disease is rare. If you are experiencing symptoms of burn-out and exhaustion, its more likely you have a hormone imbalance due to adrenal dysfunction .
Unfortunately, symptoms of dysfunction are not yet recognised by traditional GPsbut thats where Functional Medicine Practitioners come in. They will use adrenal testing to evaluate your stress response, recommend targeted nutritional supplements and address the root of your symptoms.
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What Is Adrenal Fatigue
The adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, support us through stressful events. They secrete hormones that make us resilient in times of difficulty, like a sleepless night, illness, surgery, stress at work, stress at home, loss of a loved one, meltdowns at the store with toddlers, financial pressure, etc. The challenges whether theyre short-term, long-term, severe or relatively mild can sometimes overwhelm the adrenals. Because the effects of stress on the adrenals are cumulative, multiple sources of stress tend to compound the problem.
Unfortunately, some types of stress are hard to spot. In his book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Dr. James Wilson mentions a study which measured the stress hormones of a group of nurses working in a pediatric unit. They werent aware of any particular stress in their lives, but their lab tests told a different story. According to Dr. Wilson, they were totally unaware of being under stress, but their cortisol levels were elevated by 200-300%.
When our adrenals help us through stressful times perceived or not they need a recovery phase afterwards. Just like weight lifters need to take a break between workouts so their muscles can rebuild, the adrenals need rest to stay strong.
If The Tiger Doesnt Kill You The Traffic Will
The Adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and produce the hormones aldosterone and cortisol.
Unhealthy levels of aldosterone cause either hyperaldosteronism or hyporaldosteronism disorders. The reason you have never heard of these is because theyre uncommon.
What is common is stress, and the stress hormone is cortisol.
When facing that tiger, cortisol kicks in and prepares you for flight or fight. In either case, the tiger will soon eat you and the high levels of cortisol surging in your body will be irrelevant.
When facing bumper-to-bumper traffic, however, the cortisol stays elevated theres no tiger to end your misery. Repeat this often enough and youre dealing with chronic stress and sustained, unhealthy levels of cortisol.
This can result in adrenal fatigue and an unhappy life one by the way that may be unnecessarily short. Thats because chronic stress can reduce telomere length.
Why should you care about the length of your telomeres? Because their length is a good predictor of your lifespan.
Telomeres are protective caps of DNA at the end of your chromosomes. They protect chromosomes from the critical shortening and damage that may ultimately lead to cellular death and loss of health.
Telomeres protect against chromosomal damage
Back in 2009, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel Prize by showing how chronic stress causes telomeres to shorten. That stress can be measured by the cortisol that your adrenals produce.
So, just how stressed are you?
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