Adrenal Fatigue? How do I know if its a real issue?


jtota

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I keep seeing a lot about adrenal fatigue. What are the symptoms? I just took 4 weeks of recovery time from running etc because I felt over trained, I kept getting injured, I was exhausted, moody, my periods almost stopped. Could the be some adrenal fatigue issues as well?

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DHEA taken carefully can help... it's produced by the adrenal glands and is a precursor to most hormones in the body. (If you over supplement your adrenals can stop making it, to the best of my knowledge... I took a time-release version from GNC daily for 10 days, then every other day for a week, now am down to a couple of times per week).

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I would encourage you to see your doctor and have a few test run if your issues are concerning to you. They can run a cortisol test to check your adrenal function, although sometimes it's not the most reliable but at least it's a a starting point. Some doctors offer a 24 hour saliva test for cortisol, which is probably more accurate, but it's not always widely accepted in the traditional medical community. I'd also consider asking to have your thyroid checked, too, as that can affect your cycles. I'm sure there are a few other things to have checked out, too, but those are the ones I have experience with. I wouldn't suggest you start supplementing with anything until you have more information, but that's just my opinion.

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First, I sympathize. I had AF a few years ago, and it took a long time to heal. This book on Adrenal Fatigue was an interesting read, but I got more out of Safe Uses of Cortisol by Dr. Jeffries. My own doctor borrowed the book when I asked if she'd be willing to put me on a trial dose. If AF is what you have, you will very likely need to educate yourself.

Second, don't self treat! Absolutely go to a doctor. Look for someone who practices integrated medicine. Many/most allopaths don't understand hypoadrenia and recognize only Addison's and Cushing's, which is a shame.

You will want to have your morning cortisol tested (serum), and it would also be really interesting, as the others have said, if you could take a salivary ASI (adrenal stress index), which measures cortisol's duirnal patterns. Depending on your insurance, you might have to pay out of pocket for the ASI (mine was covered), but if you can swing it, do it. It let me know when my levels were especially low, and I was quite sick. My dx was "maladaptive phase II." I hardly remember what that means now, but I do know my adrenals were sputtering out, and I was exhausted and sick all the time.

DHEA supplementation can help support the adrenals, but you must have your DHEA-s levels checked first. Not DHEA levels, that number is useless. You want DHEA-sulfate tested. Also, be aware that DHEA supps are hormones, not vitamins. We can get them OTC in the US, but they are illegal in Canada. So taking DHEA when you don't need it could have averse affects, like acne, road rage, increased testosterone levels, and hair loss ... among other things. Get tested. Know your numbers.

There are also more natural vitamins you can take (B5, Biotin, C, E, D3 for sure! and so on) to support your adrenals, and you can heal naturally, without pharmaceuticals, but you need to commit to lifestyle changes. If you're doing a Whole30 or eating paleo, you are definitely on the right path. Sugar is one of the worst things someone with AF can consume.

Also, you should know in advance that the healing process is in no way linear. I'd have good days and then big setbacks, but the trend, overall, was up toward better health.

There are (enlightened) doctors who will prescribe physiological doses of hyrtocortisone (cortisol), which if I recall is 4x weaker than the Big Guns, like prednisone. If you go this route, you must be monitored because these are steroid hormones, which suppress the immune system. It sounds counterintuitive, but you'd take only enough to replace the levels the adrenals would put out on their own so the adrenals can heal (anywhere from 5-20mg a day, in divided doses, is typical). As you get better, you wean off very slowly. Cortisol is not something you can buy OTH, but it's been in use since the early 20th century, I believe. It's very safe if used with intelligence and under the guidance of a physician.

Good luck and do treat yourself gently.

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  • 4 months later...

It's essential to understand there are natural options for adrenal fatigue. As a former adrenal fatigue sufferer, it's essential to understand that other medication is dealing with this and also have found a method to improve. You can find information here http://www.medstorer...ry-disease.aspx ,which provides detailed information on adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is very hard to treat. an extended process of nutritional and supplemental protocols.

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