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Adrenal Fatigue…is it a thing?

Have you heard of adrenal fatigue? Adrenal fatigue is a relatively new term. It only came into existence in the late 1990s and was coined by James Wilson, PhD, a naturopath and alternative medicine expert. Dr. Wilson theorized that an overstimulation of the adrenal glands by chronic stress over time could lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the bloodstream…sometimes way too much and sometimes way too little. Additionally, people with this condition are also usually low on dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), also known as the parent hormone, because it is used in the body to produce other hormones. So what that means is, if DHEA is not doing its job, your other hormones are out of whack as well, not just the cortisol. And hormones control a lot of functions in the body…hormones drive the bus.

Adrenal fatigue is not a term recognized by the medical community because it can’t be tested through conventional means. It’s usually diagnosed through a series of symptoms that could be indicative of many other illnesses. It is also identified through saliva testing for cortisol levels at various times during a 24 hour period.

Symptoms like excessive fatigue even after a full night of sleep, certain food cravings, or a general feeling of malaise, are often present. These can also be symptoms of depression, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, among others, which, coupled with the difficulty in testing, makes the medical community discount its existence.

Adrenal fatigue is often caused by poor diet, lack of sleep, chronic stress, heavy reliance on caffeine, sugar and other substances to stay alert.  The treatment is usually a change in diet, perhaps the recommendation to take a few supplemental vitamins/minerals and maybe some lifestyle adjustments. Even if you doubt the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, following this protocol is likely to improve any symptoms you might have that are on the list. It’s really a recipe for a healthy life.
As a health coach, I work with women to find their power to overcome health challenges and live a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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  1. Dee Coxon MA MD MCMI on April 22, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Very interesting thank you for sharing

  2. Jeanine Byers on April 22, 2019 at 9:23 am

    I have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is not the same thing as adrenal fatigue, but I found that the health practitioner I worked with seemed to think that it was. I was willing to consider the possibility that I had both, but not to believe that my CFS didn't really exist. Do you also work with people who have CFS?

  3. Karen on April 22, 2019 at 9:48 am

    I do work with them and I believe both exist. These are often difficult to diagnose and are usually what is diagnosed when most other things are ruled out. I believe there is a lot that is not known about autoimmune disorders, which is what I believe is the root of a lot of ailments. If you'd like to chat about your situation privately, go to my website and book a call. Maybe I can help you.

  4. Mary Ellen Zung on April 22, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Karen. I too am a health coach, and you are absolutely right about lifestyle change as the answer.

  5. Karen on April 22, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Mary Ellen, I think there is so much that is unknown and medical doctors are trained in pharmaceuticals, not nutrition. There are a lot of bad things that can be undone with a few tweaks in lifestyle and diet. All I know is my clients feel a lot better after working with me as I'm sure yours do too.

  6. Eydie Stumpf on April 22, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    So would adrenaline fatigue be event based? Example: I volunteer at our local hospital and I put in about 5000 steps in 4 hours. I’m like the EverReady Bunny while I’m there – then I get home and don’t want to do a darn thing. I collapse for the rest of the day/evening….Totally worn out. Adrenaline fatigue?

  7. Karen on April 22, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Eydie…it could be. It's a very real issue for caregivers. If you would like to speak privately about it, please go to my website and schedule a call. Maybe I can help you.

  8. Jeanine Byers on April 23, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Thanks! Actually, a lot is known about CFS. We know its origin story, we know its symptoms, we know it isn't curable. The focus is on ameliorating the symptoms, in lieu of working toward a cure. Now we might even be able to do that if big medicine found a way to make money off of it. Oh, did I say that out loud?

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