Have you checked your adrenals?
As a physician, I am frequently reminded of just how fragile our bodies are to fall ill. At the same time, I am amazed at our ability to recover once the root cause is detected and corrected.
A concerned husband recently asked if I would meet with his wife, Patty. “Normally a fun-loving woman, fully engaged in life, she had become listless, moody, thrown ‘out-of-sorts’ by petty things for months now.” She had seen her primary care physician who diagnosed depression and placed her on an antidepressant.
When she entered my office, she fell into a chair as if she were throwing herself into bed for a long nap. It was only 10:00 in the morning!
“I’ve always made myself available to my husband and children,” she lamented. “Now, I don’t have the energy to keep up. Everything seems impossible for me. The worst part is that I can’t explain why I feel so exhausted – and guilty for not being able to keep up.”
“To make matters worse, I own a growing, successful business. I can’t keep up there either. Bickering and gossip among the staff has taken a toll on me. I can’t handle it anymore. I dread going in this morning. I just want to go home and sleep for a few days – but I can’t.”
“The fatigue has made it impossible to keep up with my social calendar. I’m missing out on gym classes and girl time with my friends. They’ve given up asking me to join them. Forget keeping up with the kids’ school events."
“What to do? I’m exhausted but can’t sleep, hungry all the time, and gained so much weight – frustrating!”
Sometimes it’s easier to see from the outside looking in. We can all get ourselves overly committed as our modern “pedal to the metal” lifestyles start whirling out of control.
Like Patty, every one of us will have periods of fatigue. But, after taking some time off - a vacation, a little sleep - we recover. Patty was not recovering in the way she was used to and she knew something was wrong. Based on her symptoms, I suspected an issue with her adrenals and, just as suspected, her lab tests revealed a condition called “Adrenal Fatigue.”
Jacqueline Redmer, MD, MPH explains, “Subclinical Adrenal Fatigue or burnout can develop when the adrenals (two small but very important glands that manage stress) have been working too hard for too long to keep up with high physical, psychological, emotional or toxic stress.”
In Patty’s case I advised:
- Reduce commitments and add in more fun, free time, and things you enjoy.
- Set goals to obtain adequate sleep.
- Laugh as much as possible.
- Make good dietary choices – Limit alcohol and sugar.
- Hire a business coach to help with the office.
While lifestyle changes are a must, this did not reverse all Patty’s symptoms. Her Integrative Medical Plan to boost recovery included:
- Herbs and vitamins (based on lab tests) to assist her adrenals.
- Natural Hydrocortisone until her own adrenals picked up.
A few weeks into treatment, Patty was feeling better. Within two months, she weaned off the antidepressant – didn’t need it. She began to feel like her old self again, only now she has gained a new perspective on how to care for herself.
At The Renewal Point, we've helped thousands of men and women recover from adrenal fatigue. In Patty's case, lab testing revealed that the solution would be supplements and natural hydrocortisone. In other cases, testing reveals that toxins, genetics, or an underlying illness is at fault ~ in which case there may be a different plan of care. This is why we always start with testing ~ it assists us in quickly getting to the root cause of the problem in order to determine the most appropriate action to take.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we can help! For more information or to set up an appointment, you can give us a call (941-926-4905), email us (firstname.lastname@example.org), or come to one of my upcoming seminars.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue: Fatigue, Difficulty waking in the morning, Prone to infection, Craving sweets and salty foods, Difficulty concentrating, Irritability, Depression, Increased P.M.S.
Key Words: Adrenal Fatigue as opposed to Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison ’s disease) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (C.F.S.).
J.L. Wilson: Clinical perspective on stress, cortisol and adrenal fatigue.Adv Integr Med. 1 (2):93-96 2014
K.A. Head, G.S. Kelly: Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep.Altern Med Rev. 14 (2):114-140 2009
Rakel, David. (2017). Integrative Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.