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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Adrenal Fatigue -- Really Good Article

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Author Topic: Adrenal Fatigue -- Really Good Article
homelandstockfarm
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My guess is that the vast majority of Lymies suffer from adrenal fatigue.

http://www.project-aware.org/Resource/articlearchives/adrenalfatigue.shtml

Surprisingly, the most common test for adrenal fatigue is not mentioned -- taking the blood pressure with the patient sitting and then standing up -- the blood pressure should increase and not stay the same or drop.

On 2nd thought maybe that is the postural hypotension test that is mentioned -- a much more sophisticated and expensive version of this test is the tilt table test.

WV Hillbilly
-------------------------------------------------

Adrenal Fatigue
by Vicki Wade, Pharm. D
January 2005

Have you recently experienced a major stress in your life, be it illness, job, death, children, etc? After this stress, have you felt as though you just cannot seem to get yourself together, or at least back to where you used to be?

Are you usually tired when you wake up, but still "too wired" to fall asleep at night? Is it hard for you to relax or to get exercise? Do you find that you get sick more often and take a long time to get well? If so, then you, like many other Americans may be experiencing symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is not a new condition. People have been experiencing this condition for years. Although there is increasing physician awareness, many are not familiar with adrenal fatigue as a distinct syndrome. Because of this lack of knowledge, patients suffer because they are not properly diagnosed or treated.

Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which the adrenal glands function at a sub-optimal level when patients are at rest, under stress, or in response to consistent, intermittent, or sporadic demands.

The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit over the kidneys and are responsible for secreting over 50 different hormones--including epinephrine, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone.

Over the past century, adrenal fatigue has been recognized as Non-Addison's hypoadrenia, subclinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, and adrenal apathy.

Generally patients who present with adrenal fatigue can often be heard saying, "After______, I was never the same."

The onset of adrenal fatigue often occurs because of financial pressures, infections, emotional stress, smoking, drugs, poor eating habits, sugar and white flour products, unemployment and several other stressors.

After experiencing many of these events over a long period of time, the adrenal glands tend to produce less cortisol, the body's master stress hormone.

Cortisol's main role in the body is to enable us to handle stress and maintain our immune systems. The adrenal gland's struggle to meet the high demands of cortisol production eventually leads to adrenal fatigue.

Patients with adrenal fatigue have a distinct energy pattern. They are usually very fatigued in the morning, not really waking up until 10 AM, and will not usually feel fully awake until after a noon meal.

They experience a diurnal lull in their cortisol (the stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland) and as a result, they feel low during the afternoon, generally around 2-4 PM.

Patients generally begin to feel better after 6 PM; however, they are usually tired after 9 and in bed by 11 PM These patients find that they work best late at night or early in the morning.

Some key signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue include 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, as well as many others.

Although there no specific tests that will provide a true diagnosis of adrenal fatigue there are tests that may contribute to an assessment, such as a postural hypotension test, an AM cortisol test, or an ACTH stimulation test.

It is customary for a physician to assess the adrenals together with thyroid tests to rule out insufficiency, which sometimes occurs in long-standing hypothyroidism.

A single determination of plasma cortisol or 24-hour urinary free cortisol excretion is not useful and may be misleading in diagnosing adrenal insufficiency.

However, if the patient is severely stressed or in shock, a single depressed plasma cortisol determination is highly suggestive. An elevated plasma ACTH level in association with a low plasma cortisol level is diagnostic.

Treatment for adrenal fatigue is relatively simple. Lifestyle modifications can be initiated to treat this condition.

Simple changes such as more laughter (increases the parasympathetic supply to the adrenals), small breaks to lie down, increased relaxation, regular meals, exercise (avoiding any highly competitive events), early bedtimes and sleeping until at least 9 AM whenever possible can all benefit those experiencing adrenal fatigue.

A diet that would be conducive to treating adrenal fatigue includes one that combines unrefined carbohydrates (whole grains) with protein and oils (nuts and seeds) at most meals--olive, walnut, fiber, flax and high-quality fish oil.

It is also important for patients to eat regular meals, chew food well, and eat by 10 AM and again for lunch. Patients should look to avoid any hydrogenated fats, caffeine, chocolate, white carbohydrates, and junk foods. Diets should have a heavy emphasis on vegetables.

It may be of additional benefit that patients add salt to their diet, especially upon rising and at least a half-hour before their lowest energy point of the day. (Preferably, 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoonful of sea salt, Celtic salt, or sea salt w/kelp powder added to an 8 oz glass of water).

In adrenal fatigue, one should not follow the USDA's Food Guide Pyramid, as these patients tolerate fewer carbohydrates and need more protein.

The addition of nutritional supplements may also offer additional benefits to patients experiencing adrenal fatigue. They should consider the addition of:

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

Some herbal remedies that have been noted as possible therapies include Licorice, Ashwagandha, Maca, Siberian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng.

Note: Licorice can and, if taken over time, does have a propensity to elevate blood pressure. It should not be used in persons with a history of hypertension, renal failure, or who currently use digitalis preparations such as digoxin.

Under the supervision of a physician hormone supplementation with DHEA, Pregnenolone, and Progesterone may also offer some benefits. There are several glandular extracts on the market that contain adrenal, hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, and gonadal that are also often recommended.

Sometimes the initiation of hydrocortisone (Cortef) may be necessary as a replacement hormone when cortisol is not being produced by the adrenals. While the initiation of corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone may have quick and dramatic results, they can sometimes make the adrenals weaker rather than stronger.
As a result, the initiation of hydrocortisone is usually a last resort.

It is important to note that patients may have to undergo treatment for 6 months to 2 years.

While a cortisol measurement may be helpful to confirm any thoughts or ideas that a patient may have decreased adrenal function, typically blood cortisol levels would be tested along with blood levels of potassium, and sodium.

If the pituitary gland is the cause of adrenal failure electrolyte levels are usually normal. Practitioners usually pay attention to extremely low cortisol levels, which generally diagnoses Addison's disease--a condition in which the adrenal glands are completely depleted, also considered a medical emergency.

If you think you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue or if you are unsure, feel free to contact one of the consultant pharmacists at Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions at 1-800-728-0288.

Copyright 1997-2005 ProjectAWARE. All rights reserved.

Posts: 48 | From Five Mile Creek, WV,USA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
homelandstockfarm
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Up
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Healing in Santa Cruz
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Thanks Homeland, I just found out this is 1 of my problems. Hard to believe U could be a lymie without having this. This desease is NOT just about Lyme.
Thanks for posting. I shared it with alot of people. Joyce

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NP40
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My son has been on this vitamin/supp regimen for about 6 weeks. He's doing much better and has been abx free for 6 months. Had some residual aches and pains, fatigue, which has cleared with the vit/supp regimen.

It absolutely works for us, though we were taking much higher doses of vit.c, almost 10,000mg p-day initially. Backed off some now because of stomach upset. Will probably add charcoal to help the stomach problems.

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hopeful123
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thanks for all that good info...someday when my head is a little clearer i'll read it through

got a lot out of the bit i read

[hi]

--------------------
some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield  -

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seibertneurolyme
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Up for Newbies
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ESG
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I recently started taking an organic adrenal glandular (found it on iHerb.com) and I have to say this has been a miracle supplement for me - not only do I have more energy, I am also simply feeling happier & more relaxed.

Right now I seem to have more energy than my damaged-from-Lyme body/muscles can keep up with!

Today I was in the YMCA pool at 10 AM instead of in bed, dreading getting up.

I did have to stop going to Dr. H. before I ever took the saliva test they wanted me to take for adrenals and for DHEA, which is too bad - I might have felt this much better 2 years ago.

I am not "All better" but this adrenal glandular has made a huge difference in how I feel.

ESG

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Peacesoul
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quote:
Originally posted by ESG:
I recently started taking an organic adrenal glandular (found it on iHerb.com) and I have to say this has been a miracle supplement for me - not only do I have more energy, I am also simply feeling happier & more relaxed.

Right now I seem to have more energy than my damaged-from-Lyme body/muscles can keep up with!

Today I was in the YMCA pool at 10 AM instead of in bed, dreading getting up.

I did have to stop going to Dr. H. before I ever took the saliva test they wanted me to take for adrenals and for DHEA, which is too bad - I might have felt this much better 2 years ago.

I am not "All better" but this adrenal glandular has made a huge difference in how I feel.

ESG

Here is an article y Dr Andrew Weil about the dangers of taking adrenal glandular

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA354425

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DoctorLuddite
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Just to put my own 2 cents in, I skimmed through the article, it's a long one, and didn't see anything about coffee...If you have adrenal fatigue and drink coffee to try to over come its daily drag, you create a cycle that it is hard to break out of. On the other hand, if you quit coffee cold turkey, you set yourself up for a horrible headache...
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ESG
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Dr. Weil simply mentions that taking adrenals can affect hormones. And Lyme Disease affects adrenals and hormones as well: both my teen daughter and I stopped getting periods until after years of treatment for Lyme.

So maybe: no adrenals = no hormonal balance, support adrenals = regain hormonal balance. Hence, affecting hormones by supportin adrenals is exaclty what some of us need, not what we need to avoid.

Dr. Weil would not approve of most things we Lymies do, BTW. And other Weil-like docs do believe in adrenal therapy. We have to make our own choices, do our own research, read all the opposing viewpoints and then decide what to try next to help ourselves.

All I can say is that I feel so much better physically and mentally since taking the adrenal support, but without the jitters brought on by thyroid support as prescribed by a doctor.

My thyroid experience (done twice) was that at first I felt great on thyroid, then by the 2d week I was jittery then by the 3d week outright paranoid & jumping out of my skin. Even on half the smallest dose. So thryroid was helping in some way, but it was not quite the right thing for me.

I have since found articles saying to treat the adrenals first and my current experience is that this works for me.

ESG

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seibertneurolyme
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Esg -- Hubby tried the oral glandular adrenal supplements before he was diagnosed or had any treatment for Lyme and tickborne diseases. At that time it didn't do much, but he was so sick that nothing helped.

Since starting tickborne treatment, over the last 4 - 5 years he has mostly tried nutritional supplements and herbs for adrenal support. The ones that have been the most helpful I think are B5 (pantothenic acid). Jarrow makes a brand called Pantethine which is supposed to be more active I think.

Also, one supplement not on the list I would add is P.S. (phosphatidylserine) -- 100 mg up to 3 times daily.

Herbalist recently recommended Ashwaganda, but hubby couldn't tolerate that. Any of the adaptogens such as ginseng should theoretically support the adrenals.

I also think higher doses of vitamin C than those in the article are often needed -- there are instructions available from various sources on how to do a challenge test to see how much vitamin C a person needs as there are significant tolerance levels between individuals. Generally the sicker you are the more you need.

Were you taking Armour Thyroid or Synthroid? Most people do better on Armour which is a combo of both T3 and T4 -- it is manufactured from pigs but I'll take my chances with a more natural supplement than a chemical drug.

Bea Seibert

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lymie_in_md
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I'll pass the following link for your perusal. It is about a herb called rhodiola that essentially reduces cortisol and stabilizes adrenal function.

http://www.centerfornaturalhealing.com/gaia/products/phytocaps/rhodiola.pdf

I haven't tried it yet, I'll probably search for a reasonable product at the right time. [Smile]

--------------------
Bob

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ESG
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Thank you Bea - I have written down quite a list of the suggested supplements for adrenal fatigue, and already take most of them. But not the 900-1500 mg of B5, although I have added a B Complex & I take a liquid multi vit-min.

RHODIOLA: scared me and I will never take it again! I took one 60 mg capsule (that's a low dose for Rhodiola) at noon one day, went to bed at midnight (so, 12 hours later), and was wide awake speeding my brains out all night, while at the same time having a surreal feeling of being outside of myself watching myself lie in bed.

Rhodiola somehow revs up the body & mind to help the body cope with "stress induced fatigue". I was looking for adrenal support/nourishment.

I realize Rhodiola is the supposed to be great (adaptogen, anti-cancer, etc.) but not for me!And I found internet article warnings to take it only for 2 weeks or less, then take a break from it, but not on the bottle itself.

Luckily the health food store gave me my money back as it was not cheap either, and they were the ones who recommended it when I asked for something for adrenal support.

I did research it and it looked great on paper, but it sure did a number on me!

ESG

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seibertneurolyme
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Bringing this back to the top.

Bea Seibert

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Hoosiers51
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Has anyone ever heard of a pregnant woman taking one of those natural adrenal glandulars?

I am thinking it is probably not safe, but I thought I would see if anyone had heard of it, and if it is something I could look into (I am pregnant).

I was about to do adrenal saliva testing when I found out I was pregnant, so then my doc told me to not bother b/c it might be skewed from the pregnancy and I can't take Cortef now anyways.

But I was thinking if my adrenals are messed up (it seems like they are b/c i get wired at night and have bad fatigue), I wonder if that is bad for the baby? So then I was wondering if there is ANYTHING I could take to help out my adrenals right now.

If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to PM me. Sorry if this is throwing this thread off.

I was taking Phosphatidyl Serine, and doc told me to stop that with a bunch of other supps, but it doesn't seem like it would be harmful in pregnancy, so I wonder if he was just being cautious.

Sorry I know this doesn't apply to most people, I just have no where to turn right now....no one seems to know what to tell me to keep taking and what to stop, so they just say stop it all, which is making me sicker.

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seibertneurolyme
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Hoosiers -- Sent you a p.m.

Bea Seibert

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Abxnomore
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AdreCor contains Rhodiola, which is an excellent adaptagen and is one of the best adrenal formulas

out here. The lab has a whole line of products designed for each person's individual needs based on their testing results.

Phosphatidylserine is used to bring down high cortisol levels, so if you have low cortisol levels don't use it.

I'd personally would stay away from glandulars due to the risk of prion diseases. I know very few alternative doctors who use them anymore. They haven't for years now.

Ashwagandha is another excellent adaptagen

Just remember that some people with adrenal issues have low cortisol and some have high cortisol and these supplments,unless they are an

adaptagen, are use to bring up cortisol levels or reduce them so you need to know what your situation is and you should be doing this under the care of a doctor.

There is a fine art to balancing the adrenals and getting them functioning properly again. Supplements have powerful affects and if you are

taking the wrong ones and not getting proper and on going testing you could be making things worse.

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Abxnomore
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Here's a link for Adrecor that shows what's in it:

http://www.evitalhealth.com/AdreCor.html

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Hoosiers51
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Thank you for posting these things.
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Melanie Reber
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This was also interesting to me because my tests are way off too. And I still don't know what to DO about it.

My cortisol is way high
Insulin is way low
SigAs are either low or borderline

The only things witin normal range are DHEA and Progesterone.

What's a Gal to do???

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Jane2904
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My daughters pediatrician said that her high result of insulin was from her weight gain.

She said nothing to worry about, she should exercise and lose some weight.

Glucose was normal.

Does that sound right? Maybe Lyme may cause an elevation?

Posts: 1357 | From Massachusetts | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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