Friday, March 29, 2013

Are You Exhausted? You May Have Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is not generally tested for and treated in standard medical practice.  There are saliva tests that can be done to test cortisol levels accurately.  Most doctors do an AM cortisol, but I don't feel that the blood draw is accurate enough.  At the end of this post I will post a link to a quiz I found online that you can take yourself to see if you have symptoms of adrenal fatigue.  For now I'll describe what I've managed to store in my brain about the subject.

From my understanding, our adrenal glands sit right above our kidneys.  The adrenal hormone they produce is cortisol.  Cortisol is  essential to living.  Cortisol regulates all of our other hormones including the thyroid  and the sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, etc).  If you have adrenal insufficiency, you most likely cannot stabilize your thyroid or sex hormone levels.  You feel exhausted and can't fight infections.  The list is enormous!

Here is another great explanation of adrenal fatigue:

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
  • Morning fatigue -- You don't really seem to "wake up" until 10 a.m., even if you've been awake since 7 a.m.
  • Afternoon "low" (feelings of sleepiness or clouded thinking) from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Burst of energy at 6 p.m. -- You finally feel better from your afternoon lull.
  • Sleepiness at 9 to 10 p.m. -- However, you resist going to sleep.
  • "Second wind" at 11 p.m. that lasts until about 1 a.m., when you finally go to sleep.
  • Cravings for foods high in salt and fat
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
  • Mild depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Muscular weakness
  • Increased allergies
  • Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or laying down position
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Frequent sighing
  • Inability to handle foods high in potassium or carbohydrates unless they're combined with fats and protein
It's important to find a doctor or practitioner that A. believes in adrenal fatigue (they may only be slightly familiar with Addison's Disease) and B. is familiar with and knows how to treat adrenal fatigue.

I have confirmed hypoadrenalism via an extensive 30 day saliva test done by Genova Labs called Rhythm Plus.  I feel so lucky (and unbelievably grateful) that this $1000 test was covered by Medicare. It also tested my sex hormones and my melatonin levels.  Maybe I'll speak more on that later.  I am about to embark on Bioidentical Hormones starting in a few days.  Anyway, I knew it!  I suspected adrenal fatigue before Lyme, Mycoplasma, HHV-6, etc ever even came into my life.  I even hired Dr. Lam as my health coach to help me get past adrenal fatigue but the situation did not work out for me and it was costly and I didn't feel very helpful, so I gave up.

My primary care doctor (such a blessing to find down the street from my house) ran the saliva tests.  He does not find treating adrenal fatigue with cortisone to work out well for his patients.  He just wants me to stick with using herbs and glandulars.  Herbs such as licorice root, eleuthero root, and the glandular would come from bovine (cow).  It is basically the cow's adrenals.  Similar to people that take natural thyroid instead of synthetic.  It actually comes from the porcine's (pig) thyroid gland.  I was previously seeing a holistic practitioner who diagnosed my adrenal fatigue by using the tests mentioned on the Natural News website I have linked below.  He said my adrenals were "shot".

This is what my primary care suggested I take.

This is what I have taken in the past and had energy immediate improvement.  I took it with the other one below.

You can click on these pictures and it will take you to Amazon site.

**You should always consult a practitioner before you take supplements or herbs.

Here is the link to the quiz that I promised you.  You can print it, and then take the quiz yourself and score yourself.  Bring the quiz in with you to your doctor or practitioner.

Here is a site that has great info that I got the other symptom list from:

Good luck. To better health!!

xoxo Sonya

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