Common Sense Solutions for Health
In the first segmentwe discussed how a sluggish thyroid could take part in overall fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is another important piece of the puzzle to analyze. If you are tired all the time, feeling burnt out and can’t seem to get on track; it may be your adrenals.Do you crave coffee and candy, have trouble getting up in the morning, crave salty foods, or have a sweet tooth? Did you have adult onset allergies or asthma? Do you take forever to shake a cold, that only a few years ago would have lasted 3-4 days? Have you started to gain weight on your hips, abdomen, thighs and buttocks in the last few years? … then read on.
First, let’s take a look at what the adrenals are, and where are they located. Actually the name tells us everything about the location. Renal is a word for kidneys. Ad/Renals means above or on top of the kidney. It looks like a small, elf’s cap on top of each kidney, weighing only a few grams.
The adrenal glands directly or indirectly have an affect on almost every cell in your body. The adrenals are the “stress gland” of the body, secreting hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, aldosterone and norepinephrine. The bodies’ physiological response to stress and its ability to react and adapt to that stress is largely the job of the adrenals. Any gland that overworks will eventually under function. This in a nutshell is what happens to the adrenals. Low grade, long term stress, coupled with bad habits of too much coffee, sugar, salt, alcohol, and refined carbs, along with lack of exercise and poor sleep, accelerate the decline of the vitality of this gland.
The hormones secreted by this gland have so much to do with utilization of carbohydrates and fats, and the conversion of protein and fats into energy. When this gland is out of balance you will find people start to gain weight around the trunk of their bodies. Patient with multiple chemical sensitivities, and unrelenting allergies, may find some of their answers in their adrenal health.
Your ability to fight chronic diseases is sometimes influenced by how healthy this gland is functioning. That is why as a “natural doctor” I always try to clean up my patients diet, make sure they are sleeping well, pooping well, and drinking plenty of water. I want to get their thyroid and adrenals on board, if necessary. No matter what the condition. The basics mentioned above are always important.
The medical term for adrenal fatigue is hypoadrenia. The condition can be found in medical textbooks dating back over a hundred years ago. But, it is hard to diagnose, and most mainstream doctors often don’t even look for it.
Here is a list of symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue found in the book, Adrenal Fatigue, by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., and PhD.
Difficulty getting up in the morning.
Continuing fatigue, not relieved by sleep.
Craving of salt or salty foods.
Lethargy (lack of energy).
Increased effort to do everyday tasks.
Decreased sex drive.
Decreased ability to handle stress.
Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma.
Light headed when standing up quickly.
Less enjoyment or happiness with life.
Symptoms increased if meals are skipped or inadequate.
Thoughts less focused, more fuzzy.
Memory less accurate.
Finding people in your life to be more irritating.
Some of the factors listed in the same book.
Coffee, emotional stress, allergies, smoking, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, marital stress, death of a love one, financial stress, psychological stress, fear, lack of relaxation, lack of exercise, to name a few.
I enjoy working with this issue. It is something that I deal with myself, and I have learned to identify and troubleshoot this condition quite well. I use a combination of diet, stress management, and specific nutritional supplement protocols. Practicing in NYC, I see my fair share of patients that present with the issues discussed. In other words, very stressed out people! It is fun to see the recoveries, which are often dramatic.
I remember one patient a few years ago. She came to see me a few months after her 4th child was born, and only a few weeks after her husband walked out on her. Her stress was causing insomnia, and even severe alopecia (hair loss). Clumps of hair were coming out everyday. In 10 weeks of strictly following a diet and supplement regimen, she made a full recovery. Within 5 months her hair was restored, too.
Be careful not to cover up and ignore fatigue with medications. Many people rely on sleeping pills, and antidepressants, without getting to the root cause of their fatigue.
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Read: Part One on Thyroid