As those suffering from adrenal fatigue are aware, the condition does not happen overnight. Nor do the myriad different symptoms that may be indicators of the condition. More often than not, the efforts of conventional medicine look at addressing each of the different symptoms you may be suffering from individually, instead of looking for the single cause that presents itself as this diffuse range of symptoms. More often than note, those with this condition look at alternative forms of adrenal fatigue treatment in an effort to get healthy once more.
Adrenal Fatigue – The Medical Discrepancy
Although adrenal fatigue has been recognized as being a distinct clinical syndrome for many years, the majority of healthcare professionals are not really familiar with the condition. This is largely due to blood tests not showing an actual result for the condition, as they tend to look for certain specific markers in order to identify a specific condition. Traditional tests are not able to do this in the case of adrenal fatigue. In many instances, those with adrenal fatigue see their blood tests fall within the normal ranges when tested. Yet there is no argument that ‘something’ is wrong. This makes treatment for adrenal fatigue extremely difficult. Besides this, adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment varies from one person to the next, simply because there are different stages of the condition, symptoms from person to another varies, and the root cause in each person may differ.
As far a western medicine is concerned, medical treatment for adrenal fatigue is, basically, non-existent. In fact, the condition is not even recognized.
Two tests that use surrogate markers for adrenal function check on cortisol and DHEA by serum. They allow you to determine whether your body is either in an anabolic state (building up) or catabolic state (breaking down). They are, however, not true diagnostic tests. Another test for adrenal health is a saliva test that measures the levels of the adrenal hormones. The results of this test also do not allow for a determined diagnosis. Using several different testing methods, however, would enable to give an indication as to whether you may be an adrenal fatigue candidate. Due to the subclinical nature of the condition, however, these tests, in conjunction with symptomatic evidence, gives you the best indication as to whether you are dealing with adrenal fatigue or not. At the end of the day, adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment thereof largely depends on the stage of the condition.
One has to be cognizant of the fact that your hormone levels may fluctuate throughout the day, so the time of day tests are carried out may cause a variation in results. Any medical treatment for adrenal fatigue would need to bear this in mind. Adrenal fatigue treatment would also need to be in keeping with your particular stage of the condition.
The earlier stages of adrenal fatigue see a marked rise in cortisol levels, often resulting in a hormonal imbalance skewed in favor of cortisol. The latter stages of the condition see the reverse, i.e. very low cortisol levels. This means that any medical treatment for adrenal fatigue would need to change as well in order to compensate.
As for medications targeted at adrenal fatigue, especially when self-medicating, a number of paradoxical reactions may occur – usually because all combined factors are not taken into consideration. Some of these reactions include:
· Feeling even more fatigued
· Increase in anxiety
· Heart palpitations
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
· Brain Fog
· Sleeping problems
· Going into an adrenal crash after self-medicating
The list is long, and many of these reactions may add to or increase the symptoms you already have. This reaction may be due to a neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response which is no in a state of homeostasis. Medicating when it comes to adrenal fatigue should thus only be a consideration with the guidance of an experienced healthcare practitioner well-versed in adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment – A Holistic Solution
Those with adrenal fatigue may have myriad symptoms – with no two people’s being the same.
There is, in women, a strong relationship between ovarian, adrenal, and thyroid health because these organs are co-dependent on each other. This is often referred to as the Ovarian, Adrenal, and Thyroid (OAT) axis. If taking medication for the thyroid, for example, it may influence the ovarian cycle and thus ultimately impact the adrenal glands. The same goes for medication with regards to the adrenals or ovaries having an effect on the other two. This is, essentially, because the OAT axis, in essence, makes use of and produce hormones that work in conjunction with each other. In other words, anything that affects one ultimately affects all three. Treatment should thus take this into consideration or you end up with a hormonal imbalance – one of the most marked symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
A more holistic approach that takes into account that each part of the body has a marked influence on the performance of the entire organism thus makes sense when it comes to adrenal fatigue treatment.
Solving Adrenal Fatigue
Nobody developed adrenal fatigue overnight. In fact, it takes a long time before your adrenal glands finally decide to pack it in. So, although healing is entirely possible, it will take some time before your adrenal glands (and the other impacted functions) return to normal. But there is something anyone can start doing
· Get rid of or solve the mental stress – whether monetary, work-related or personal.
· Get enough sleep – Try for eight hours a night at least.
· Avoid the stimulants – caffeinated beverages stimulate the mind (and body) and interrupt your sleep pattern.
· Avoid electromagnetic exposure – All electrical appliances give off electromagnetic waves. These may prevent your melatonin levels from increasing for sleep. Turn off electrical appliances before going to bed, and keep them away from your sleeping space.
· Get some exercise – This does not imply you should train for a marathon. In fact, over-exercising is just as bad for someone with adrenal fatigue as too little. Gentle exercise like walking (the dog, who will be grateful), gentle aerobics, or yoga are great. Not only will you tone muscles, but this kind of exercise reduces depression, normalizes cortisol, insulin, thyroid, blood glucose, and growth hormone levels as well.
· Make dietary changes – A life of takeout may be convenient, but the additives and preservatives cause a toxic buildup on the one hand, while your body does not get the necessary nutrients needed to restore adrenal (and other) health. The adrenal fatigue diet does wonder in this regard.
· Supplements – There are a wealth of supplements that may be of benefit for someone with adrenal fatigue. Before jumping on the bandwagon and getting everything out there, however, do consider consulting a qualified healthcare practitioner first. This will allow you to ascertain exactly what supplement you may need for your particular stage of adrenal fatigue and its corresponding symptoms.
Irene Colling Boshoff is an ex-educator turned writer. Her interest in the natural health field, more especially adrenal health, came about after a two-year stint battling depression. Becoming addicted to the medication she was on at the time, Irene started exploring the reason for her condition, realizing adrenal fatigue, was, to a large extent, the underlying cause and acted on it. She has been off medication for 14 years.
Adrenal fatigue treatment does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. There are very many factors to take into consideration. In order to undertake the long journey to recovery, you need to look at all aspects of your health, as the medical field has no easy solution to the problem. You cannot overcome this condition by popping a few pills, but instead, need to make some real changes to your lifestyle and other habits.