liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

Adrenal Fatigue

--adrenal glands not functioning at optimal level
--when at rest, under stress, or in response to consistent, intermittent, or sporadic demands
--adrenals secrete 50+ hormones incl: epinephrine, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone
--adrenal fatigue aka Non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, subclinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, and adrenal apathy

ETIOLOGY
--financial pressures, infections, emotional stress, smoking, drugs, poor eating habits, sugar and white flour products, unemployment and several other stressors-->adrenals produce less cortisol
--onset after major stress: illness, job, death, children, after which you can't get yourself back together
--"After ____ I was never the same."

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
--salt cravings
--increased blood sugar under stress
--increased PMS
--perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms under stress
--mild depression
--lack of energy
--decreased ability to handle stress
--muscle weakness
--absent mindedness
--decreased sex drive
--mild constipation alternating with diarrhea, more.
--distinct energy pattern: fatigued in the morning, not really waking up until 10 AM, and not fully awake until after lunch. Diurnal lull in their cortisol so low energy in afternoon, 2-4pm. Feel betteer after 6pm, usu tired by 9 and in bed by 11. Work best late at night or early in morning.
--tired when waking up but too "wired" to fall asleep in the evening
--hard to relax
--not getting enough exercise
--get sick more often, don't get well fast enough

DIAGNOSIS
--nothing that says "adrenal fatigue" alone
--elevated plasma ACTH with low plasma cortisol is diagnostic
--postural hypotension test
--AM cortisol test, or all day, spit test
--ACTH stimulation test
--customary for a physician to assess the adrenals with thyroid
--longterm low thyroid lowers adrenal fx
--test serum potassium and sodium
--if pituitary gland is cause of adrenal failure electrolyte levels are usu normal
--extremely low cortisol levels = Addison’s disease = medical emergency

TREATMENT is mainly lifestyle modifications
--laughter
--breaks
--lying down during the day
--increased relaxation
--regular meals
--chew food well
--eat by 10am and again for lunch
--exercise (no competition)
--early bedtimes
--sleeping until 9am whenever possible
--diet: general: get lots of protein and reduce carbs, eat veggies, whole grains, protein
--good quality oils: nut & seed oils, olive, walnut, fiber, flax and high-quality fish oil
--avoid hydrogenated fats, caffeine, chocolate, white carbohydrates, and junk foods
--salt esp at breakfast and 30 minutes before lowest energy part of day
--supplements
--Vitamin C 2,000-4,000 mg/day Sustained Release
--Vitamin E w/mixed tocopherols 800 IU/day
--Vitamin B complex
--Niacin (125-150 mg/day) – as inositol hexaniacinate
--B-6 (150 mg/day)
--Pantothenic acid (1200-1500 mg/day)
--Magnesium citrate (400-1200 mg)
--Liquid trace minerals (zinc, manganese, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, copper, iodine)– calming effect
--If depression is present – Add SAM.e 200 mg bid; DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) 500 mg bid
--herbal remedies: Licorice, Ashwagandha, Maca, Siberian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng.
--Note: Licorice taken longterm elevates BP. CI's: Hx of hypertension, renal failure, or with digitalis/digoxin
--DOC may advise hormone supplementation with DHEA, Pregnenolone, and Progesterone
--last resort: hydrocortisone (Cortef®) may be necessary, may have dramatic results but can weaken adrenals
--Tx may continue 6 months to 2 years.

SOURCE
http://www.project-aware.org/Resource/articlearchives/adrenalfatigue.shtml
Vicki Wade, Pharm. D
January 2005

more notes from elsewhere:
--Avoid all stimulants incl: ephedra, guarana, kola, alcohol, sugar, nicotine (does yerba mate count? it is a xanthine so probably so....)
--avoid allergens (histamine is stimulant)
--ashwaganda
Tags: adrenals, cortisol, diet, hormones, progesterone, stress, testosterone, thyroid
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