Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How To Manage Adrenal Fatigue

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When Stress Becomes Distress

How to manage ADRENAL FATIGUE with TSW #tsw #topicalsteroidwithdrawal #adrenalfatigue

The dark side of chronic hypervigilance is anxiety! Your brain and body get stuck in survival mode, and you end up with:

  • Afternoon fatigue, caffeine, or sugar cravings
  • Allergies, food reactions, hives
  • Perfectionism, feeling that youre never doing enough
  • Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up still tired

Fatigue In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CFS is a diagnosis used for patients who present severe fatigue for more than six months, not explained by any hormonal, metabolic, inflammatory, or other disorders. Correlations between CFS and the HPA axis have been studied and the results are shown in Table .

Table 4 Studies in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : Methods of assessment and respective results

Extreme Fatigue But Blood Tests Are Normal

When reporting extreme fatigue, a doctor may do blood work to rule out causes including low iron levels/anemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, celiac disease, inflammation, liver or kidney function problems, or specific infections. If these tests come back normal, it just means these are not the causes, and more tests may need to be done.

However, chronic fatigue is common and can be caused by myriad issuesmany of them not discoverable through blood work. A doctor will also ask about your sleep habits, diet, exercise regimen, stress levels and medications to consider how these may be contributing to how you feel.

If your extreme fatigue is accompanied by abnormal bleeding severe headache chest pain shortness of breath irregular heartbeat severe abdominal, pelvic or back pain or lightheadedness, seek treatment immediately.

Also consider that errors on lab tests do occur. You are free to ask your doctor how often false-negative or false-positive results occur with your specific tests, or whether a retest could be done under different conditions . You can also get a second opinion.

Consider creating a symptom journal to track how you feel and when. Doing so can help you connect whether specific actions or foods are contributing to a feeling, or whether any changes to your routine are helping.

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The Story Behind Adrenal Fatigue

The human body wasnt built for chronic stress, but rather immediate danger. Cortisol causes changes in our bodies to ensure our survival in the face of danger. Imagine a tiger jumping out from behind a bush. Cortisol increases the blood sugar in our bodies to ensure our muscles and brain have the fuel needed to run from the tiger.

Cortisol activates part of our immune system to produce inflammation in case the tiger bites our blood will clot well so we can keep running. It also suppresses another part of our immune system the part that helps us fight viruses and cancer the body isnt worried about cancer when we are facing a tiger! Additionally, blood flow to our intestines decreases because the body isnt concerned with digesting and absorbing food in that moment.

While these bodily changes are important for our survival, they exist for short, intermittent periods of time. If cortisol levels are too high or too low for a prolonged length of time, they cause detrimental changes in the body. Consistently increased blood sugar leads to weight gain and diabetes. Chronically increased inflammation leads to numerous medical problems including hypertension, asthma, allergies, arthritis, obesity, and muscle and joint pain. When our natural killer cells are constantly suppressed, we have an increased risk of viral infections, autoimmunity, and cancer. Low blood flow to the intestines over time causes constipation, diarrhea, or an irritable bowel.

Don’t Forget About Self

How To Manage The Effects Of Adrenal Fatigue

Self-care should be viewed as a necessity, not a luxury. Without adequate self-care, your ability to dedicate yourself to others and your daily tasks will be significantly limited. Think about what activities you enjoy but might no longer be doing due to a perceived lack of time or energy. Examples include cooking nourishing meals, going on walks, watching a good movie, taking a warm bath, reading, journaling, or being out in nature. Try to prioritize time for a variety of these activities on a daily or weekly basis.

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Amazing Adaptogenic Herbs For Adrenal Fatigue

If you feel run-down and unfocused, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Adaptogenic herbs may be able to help.*

Whether it’s a stressful day at work, a challenging interaction with a loved one, or just the go-go-go cadence of life, we all experience moments that demand a lot of our mental, emotional, and physical energy. When this happens, our adrenal glands take a hard hit and we can feel generally off.Here, we discuss the science and symptoms of adrenal fatigue and how adaptogenic herbs may be able to help restore balance to your tired body.*

The Adrenal Fatigue Solution

  • A comprehensive ebook on Adrenal Fatigue by Fawne Hansen & Dr. Eric Wood
  • Tips on how to reduce your stress levels and restore your emotional balance
  • Lists of foods to eat and avoid, including the superfoods that are most helpful for adrenal exhaustion
  • A simple 5-step plan to design your treatment regimen and start recovering your health and vitality

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It Is Possible To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue

Yes, it is! Finding a functional medicine practitioner is the first step. As already stated, it can take one to two years to recover from adrenal fatigue. It may even take longer for some people. You must be gentle with yourself. You must be kind to yourself. Dont be too hard on yourself. Dont be excessively demanding on yourself. Give yourself a break. If you give your body and your mind the opportunity to rest and recover, you will heal.

Get Serious About Meditation

Wired but Tired? Doc’s tips for managing adrenal fatigue

Meditation of any kind is one of the most powerful ways to deal with stress, and it can go a long way toward normalizing your cortisol levels and treating adrenal fatigue.

If you want to take your meditation to the next level, I suggest 40 Years Of Zen. It uses advanced neurofeedback technology to give you the brain of a lifelong Zen monk in five days. You can also check out this Biohackers Guide To Meditation for other ways to improve your meditation and find more inner calm. If youre new to meditation, start slow, with just 5 minutes a day, and work your way up.

Related: Use This Guided Meditation to Clear Your Mind and Find Happiness

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Engage In Gentle Exercise

While exercise can be excellent for stress management, you’ll want to take precautions when dealing with adrenal fatigue. To an overworked body, strenuous exercise can come as an additional stressor. For this reason, it’s best to stick to gentle exercises.

Start slow with low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, and light resistance training. These activities provide the benefit of clearing your mind and getting your blood flowing without the risk of overdoing it or potentially causing more harm.

Debunking The Myths: What Adrenal Fatigue Is And Isnt

Even though Adrenal Fatigue is not yet recognized by mainstream medicine, it doesnt mean that its not real. From the decades of my own experience with sufferers, as well as the experiences of scores of other health professionals that deal with and recognize this condition, I believe its only a matter of time until it becomes accepted by the mainstream medical community.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic condition that manifests in many nonspecific symptoms that vary in severity and effect. It is referred to as a syndrome precisely because of the different symptoms that sufferers have in common, symptoms that frequently come together, even if, at first, they dont seem to come from any one specific cause.

And thats the crucial difference between seeing a health professional with experience in AFS and one that has no experience in it. The one with experience will understand that this conditions diagnosis has to be a holistic one, considering your whole person, mind, body, and spirit. They are focused on understanding how the different symptoms tie together and the various stressors contribute to the conditions development.

Your primary care physician will run standard blood tests, such as the ACTH challenge test, which looks for extreme underproduction or overproduction of hormone levels the top and bottom two percent of a bell curve. These tests wont detect adrenal dysregulation that is less extreme than Addisons Disease or Cushings Disease.

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Is It A Myth

Thereâs no science to back it up. The Endocrine Society, the world’s largest organization of endocrinologists , flatly says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. And it says the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so general, they can apply to many diseases or conditions or stem from everyday life.

And the society says some of the treatments can be dangerous. Improving your diet will probably make you feel better, no matter what ailment you have, but taking unidentified supplements to help your body produce extra cortisol if you don’t need them may cause your adrenal glands to stop working, it warns.

Here Are 20 Steps To Heal Adrenal Fatigue:

5 Ways to Manage Adrenal Fatigue in 2020

1. As soon as you wake up, drink a glass of water along with 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Then, throughout the day, have a pinch of sea salt with each glass of water and also use it to season your food. Daily total consumption of about 2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt is a good place to start. The 80+ minerals in the salt will help nourish the adrenals and endocrine system.

2. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking. If you wait any longer than this, it can cause your blood sugar levels to decrease too much and your adrenals can start producing excess cortisol.

3. Eat regular meals throughout the day and include some protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat in each meal. I know this is a simple step, but skipping meals can put a strain on the adrenals.

4. Remove all processed foods from your diet. Processed foods are a stressor on the body, and the goal is to remove stressors as much as possible to help support the adrenals.

5. Only do low-impact exercise like walking, pilates, gentle yoga or stretching. High impact exercise puts strain on the adrenals, especially when the adrenals are already fatigued. If youre having trouble losing weight, I know this can seem counter-productive, but Ive seen clients lose weight by resting and following the steps Im listing here.

8. Spend more time outdoors. Getting fresh air and being in nature helps reduce the stress response in the body.

13. Consider taking B Vitamins I recommend Cataplex B from Standard Process.

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Q: Why Is An Accurate Diagnosis So Important

A: Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue doesnt truly explain whats going on in your body, which can lead to misdiagnosis, mistreatment and unpleasant side effects. Even more concerning: A diagnosis of adrenal fatigue can potentially mask something else going on in your body something that should be further explored with your care team.

Sometimes, patients who have been misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue are prescribed prednisone or advised to purchase expensive adrenal supplements to replace the cortisol that is presumed to be missing. But patients experience no benefits from taking these medications and in fact, taking prednisone can result in negative side effects and could ultimately even suppress your bodys own ability to produce cortisol.

Often, it turns out that patients misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue actually have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , a surprisingly common condition. Patients may also have various underlying illnesses, making a thorough workup with your primary care team a vital part of your care plan.

Its very important that doctors spend enough time gathering your history details and performing tests before diagnosing the problem and beginning treatment. Sometimes, we can start to help a patient immediately by making modifications to their diet, prescribing an exercise regimen and/or recommending specific supplements.

Symptoms Of Addison’s Disease

Early-stage symptoms of Addison’s disease are similar to other more common health conditions, such as depression or flu.

You may experience:

  • loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
  • increased thirst

Over time, these problems may become more severe and you may experience further symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting, cramps and exhaustion.

You may also develop small areas of darkened skin, or darkened lips or gums.

Although these symptoms are not always caused by Addison’s disease, you should see a GP so they can be investigated.

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So Whats A Person To Do

Navigating this ocean of uncertainty is not an easy task. Symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue probably have multiple causes. Frequent follow-up visits and a strong patient-clinician partnership are critical elements for success. Alternative and complementary clinicians often have better results, because the appointments tend to last longer and they view patients through a more holistic lens. An important word of caution: some medical professionals prescribe cortisol analogs to treat adrenal fatigue. Cortisol replacement can be dangerous even in small doses. Unintended consequences can include osteoporosis, diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.

Regardless of what we call it, there are millions of people suffering from similar symptoms, and a personalized plan that involves counseling, medications, supplements, lifestyle change, among others could work for many. Improvement following these programs is slow, and the evidence is weak, but I hope advances in big data, genomics, and its relationship with the environment and the microbiome, may shine a light on how to better help people who suffer from these ailments.

The adrenal fatigue theory may fit like a glove to explain your symptoms, which are very real. But before buying expensive protocols over the Internet to treat something were not even sure exists, take a deep dive and reexamine your lifestyle. The path to feeling better may be closer than you think.

The Different Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue

How to heal adrenal fatigue | Signs, symptoms, and solutions for stress and weight gain

Although AFS is caused by chronic stress, you cant simply use relaxation techniques to recover from this often debilitating condition. And suppose your doctor sends you home with some antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications and tells you to manage your stress. In that case, you run the risk of eventually reaching adrenal exhaustion and maybe even becoming bedridden, with no help in sight.

Thats why understanding exactly how chronic stress affects your adrenal glands, and your body in general, is the key to understanding AFS. It will also help you approach the recovery process more holistically and intelligently. When I talk about chronic stress as the cause of AFS, I mean any stressor that your body is exposed to on a consistent basis. This includes stressors such as:

  • An unhealthy diet
  • Overconsumption of sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods
  • Food sensitivities, such as to gluten or dairy
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Anger, fear, guilt, shame, depression, and any other extreme emotional states
  • Chronic psychological stress
  • Consumption of alcohol and/or recreational drugs
  • Certain medications

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What Is The Outlook

Most people with adrenal fatigue will recover quite quickly but severe symptoms may take some months to recover, or even longer. The time for recovery will vary enormously from person to person and will also depend on the cause of stress and the severity of symptoms. Following a good treatment plan, as described above, will help you to recover more quickly.

But To Rewind Heres A List Of The Things I Was Doing To Get All Stressed Out In The First Place

As youre reading, ask yourself : What points apply to you and your life? Is there anything you can do now to start unwinding some of your stress-inducing behaviors? I do hope this could be a wake-up call for some of you. But please be kind to yourself. Stress and our mode of operating in this world can be closely linked to our self-identity, our drive and personal vision of success. If you want to chat, just reach out at and tell me whats going on for you. Remember, Im with you!

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Distinction From Addisons Disease

Adrenal fatigue is closely related to, but not to be confused with, Addisons Disease, a disorder characterized by insufficient cortisol production due either to a pathology directly affecting the adrenals or a disruption of signaling between the brain and the adrenals. While symptoms of Addisons Disease are similar to adrenal fatigue, the primary difference is that adrenal fatigue is considered a possible result of the overuse of otherwise healthy adrenal glands due to stress.

The adrenals are necessary to have gluconeogenesis to take place in the liver, as well as the glycogen storage where it stimulates the production of blood glucose, says Dr. Wilson. So, most of the major symptoms of either adrenal fatigue or Addisons Disease are a result of either a lack of cortisol or a lack of blood glucose and the many effects that it has systematically throughout the body.

He theorizes, Unlike Addisons, adrenal fatigue doesnt have a pathological origin, with the exception of the overuse of antibiotics which may partially shut down the use of the adrenal glands. So, you do get different symptoms with versus adrenal fatigue, because youre talking about the difference between a body that cant secrete cortisol versus a body that isnt secreting sufficient cortisol.

S Used To Evaluate Fatigue In The General Study Population

How to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally in 2020

Some authors utilized more than one method to compare the different patients and were included in multiple groups. A summary of all the methods used to assess fatigue, and their results, is shown in Table . Among the 58 studies, 27 utilized the Cortisol Awakening Response to assess the HPA axis. This method is based on previous studies that indicate cortisol levels rise by 50 % on average within 30 min of waking as a physiological response to stay alert, with a blunted CAR resulting in fatigue symptoms. For the CAR, salivary cortisol is collected immediately on waking and again 30 min later , and the difference between the two measurements are analyzed. Among the 27 studies that employed CAR, fourteen showed a normal response, nine had a diminished delta cortisol, and four demonstrated an increased delta cortisol.

Table 2 Assessed methods and results of all selected studies

The direct awakening cortisol level, collected at the exact moment of waking, was used in 29 studies . Unlike CAR, DAC reflects sleep quality rather than being a possible identifying factor of fatigue , even though a poor quality sleep plays an important role in the fatigue process . In studies that employed DAC, inconsistent results were observed: normal results were found in nineteen studies, elevated levels were shown in four , and reduced levels in six .

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