Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adrenal Fatigue | Part Two: 

Is Adrenal Fatigue “real”?

Not to most western medical doctors, but ask the patient or even an alternative doctor or healthcare practitioner and you will get a resounding, yes. In the medical model, your adrenal glands can be functioning 20 percent below the mean average of cortisol levels and the rest of your body can be experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, yet most mainstream physicians won't recognize that you have a problem. So, why don't doctors recognize adrenal fatigue? In medical school, they are only taught to look for extreme adrenal malfunction -- Addison's Disease, which occurs when the glands produce far too little cortisol, and Cushing's Syndrome, which stems from excessive cortisol production. They check adrenal function by testing ACTH levels, using a bell curve to recognize abnormal levels. This is where the problem occurs. ACTH tests only consider the top and bottom two (2) percent of the curve as abnormal, yet symptoms of adrenal malfunction occur after 15 percent of the mean on both sides of the curve.

Adrenal Fatigue is real to a lot of people. Adrenal Fatigue can be caused by chronic exposure to stress, poor nutrition, a diet depleted of vitamins and minerals, high in sugar, caffeine, and toxins, long-term illness or untreated conditions such as arthritis, lack of sleep, or a depressed immune system.

Contemporary lifestyles and eating habits contribute to the widespread incidence of adrenal depletion with issues ranging from mild to serious. Some of the symptoms and corollary conditions to adrenal depletion are insomnia and/or hypersomnia—a sense that one cannot get enough sleep, vulnerability to colds, aches in joints and throughout the body, general fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome(CFIDS), difficulty exerting energy, even in small spurts, poor digestion, difficulty deriving energy from food, and mental “fuzziness.”  

Common to most people with Adrenal Fatigue is the use caffeine and sugar to get by. As much as you may feel you need your three o’clock coffee and sugary snack, the caffeine and sugar spike causes your adrenals to pump out more stress hormones, eventually leaving your body more drained than it would have been without your “pick-me-up.” Tomorrow we will list out the rest of the most common recognizable ways to tell if you have Adrenal Fatigue.