Adrenal fatigue – all too common
by Dr. Fred G. Arnold —
One of the most common symptoms patients present in my office is feeling tired and worn-out, saying they just cannot regain their normal energy, no matter what they do or how many doctors they visit. No evaluation for fatigue should be performed without evaluating cortisol production, which is produced by the adrenal glands.
Adrenal fatigue (technically called “hypoadrenia” and “hypoadrenalism”) has been one of the most prevalent yet rarely diagnosed conditions for the last 50 years. Despite being described in medical texts since the 1800s, and despite the development of the first truly effective treatment in the 1930s, most “conventional” physicians are unaware that the problem exists.
According to James Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D., “It is estimated that up to 80 percent of adult Americans suffer some level of adrenal fatigue. Too much physical, emotional, environmental and/or psychological stress can deplete the adrenals, causing a decrease in the output of cortisol.”
This lowered adrenal activity (hypoadrenia), resulting from adrenal fatigue, can range in severity all the way from almost zero to almost normal. The extreme low end of hypoadrenia is called Addison’s disease and, fortunely, it is a rare form of hypoadrenia.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue
According to the New York State Journal of Medicine, the most frequent symptoms of adrenal fatigue and cortisol deficiency include the following: fatigue (94 percent), nervousness and irritability (86 percent), depression (79 percent), apprehension (71 percent), excessive weakness (65 percent), lightheadedness (47 percent), faintness or fainting spells (42 percent) and insomnia (40 percent).
Common diseases associated with adrenal fatigue
People suffering from adrenal fatigue are much more likely to develop a host of other common diseases and syndromes in which fatigue is one of the primary symptoms, such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), altered mental states (increased fears, anxiety and depression), insomnia, respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, frequent colds, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, adult onset diabetes, autoimmune disorders and alcoholism.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Although medicine only officially recognizes Addison’s disease as hypoadrenia, you do not have to wait until your body is at this extreme level of adrenal collapse to identify and treat the problem. Adrenal fatigue can be easily determined by a review of the patient’s health history and measuring cortisol throughout the day. Although cortisol can be measured by the blood and urine, saliva is the easiest way to measure adrenal fatigue. Normally, four saliva samples are taken throughout the day at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Once results are obtained, a personalized treatment plan is developed to help patients restore the adrenal glands to a normal functioning level and improve their health. Most programs include lifestyle changes, dietary recommendations, specific supplements and intravenous therapies to rebuild the adrenals.
The Myers’ Cocktail (a vitamin IV) is an excellent way to help rebuild adrenal gland fatigue. Cortisol or hydrocortisone may be used depending upon the severity of the condition.
Since it takes six months to two years to rebuild your adrenal glands, the sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can begin to restore your health.
Reference: Wilson, James L, N.D., D.C., Ph.D., Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Smart Publications.
Fred G. Arnold, N.M.D., has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in pain rehabilitation services. He is a Fellow in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, a Fellow of American Academy of Ozonotherapy and certified in chelation and prolotherapy. He is one of the few physicians in the nation with both a naturopathic medical degree and chiropractic degree. prolotherapyphoenix.com or 602-292-2978.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 2, April/May 2015.