Do You Have Adrenal Gland Fatigue?
When I was speaking with a patient today, one of her first health concerns was the idea she was suffering from adrenal gland fatigue. She went on to tell me that she has been struggling with her symptoms for years, and doctors are not listening to her and only want to prescribe her anti-depression medications! “I am not depressed. I don’t like how I feel, but I am not a sad person that needs medication to help me feel better. I just want to feel better!”
First, you need to know what the adrenal glands are: they are your stress glands that respond to physical, chemical and emotional stressors.
When the adrenal glands are functioning properly, they help your body respond to stressors by releasing hormones that help to regulate sleep, digestion, metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure.
5 Signs Your Adrenal Glands Are Not Functioning Properly
Patient X, let’s call her, Shania (I was in love with Shania Twain when I was younger ), went on to explain her symptoms to me:
- Difficulty falling and stay asleep
- Gaining weight around her hips and abdomen, despite low calorie diets and exercising several hours, 3-5 days a week
- Craving salt, all of the time
- Having joint pains recently, despite eating a Paloe type diet
- Short term memory loss (recently, despite not having any head trauma)
Without running any specialized adrenal gland tests (I like the hormone test from www.dutchtest.com) , I told her it sounds as if her adrenal glands are having some trouble.
However, let’s test them and then figure out WHY they are not functioning properly.
Triggers That Can Stress Your Stress-Glands Out
After looking at Shania’s hormones (female and adrenal hormones), I was able to determine how to support her adrenal glands. However, I told Shania that we needed to calm down the triggers that caused her adrenal glands to malfunction.
After discussing her lifestyle, exercise routine, sleep patterns, and looking at other blood work, I discovered she has some of the common adrenal gland stressors I see in patients. Here are some of the big ones:
- Lack of eating: A lot of women try to lose weight by cutting calories. When most people cut calories, they only eat a couple meals per day. This caused Shania’s blood sugar to drop, kicking her adrenal glands in the butt to work harder and to raise blood sugar.
- Infections: I always run basic blood tests on my patients (67 markers in total, CLICK to download Dr. King’s Basic Blood Panel markers) before I look at anything else. Shania had two infections, a parasitic infection and a viral infection. Infections cause stress on the adrenal glands.
- A lack of a normal sleep routine. Shania travels a lot with work; both, flying and driving. Multiple time zones each week were causing havoc on her adrenal glands, not to mention family life.
- Hypothyroidism: this means her thyroid gland was not working up to par. In reality, I discovered that Shania not only had hypothyroidism, but that she was suffering from Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (this is an autoimmune condition). When the thyroid gland is under-functioning, this puts more strain on your adrenal glands to tell the brain to release more thyroid hormone.
- Food sensitivities! Yes, eating foods that your body has an allergy to/reacts to, can cause abnormal stress on the adrenal glands, forcing them to work harder in order to help your body’s immune system combat the “foreign invaders” that shouldn’t be there.
Ok, now that we discovered some of her triggers causing the adrenal gland insufficiency, what was the game plan to help get her better?
How to Improve Your Adrenal Glands
I had to teach Shania how to eat properly. Food sensitivity testing helped us narrow down what foods she was able to consume and which foods she must stay away from. Once we knew what she could and couldn’t consume, I set up an eating plan to help her stabilize her blood sugar throughout the day.
The one thing I needed to do, ASAP, with Shania was get rid of her infections. I started her on some natural products to accomplish this, while not destroying her good gut flora.
While I couldn’t tell Shania to quit her job (she was the sole bread winner for the family), we devised a plan to help her balance out the jet lag, time changes, and sleeping in hotel rooms several nights per week. I think her family appreciated this more than anyone.
Managing an autoimmune condition is difficult but here are a few steps we took to manage Shania’s Hashimoto’s Disease
- Healed her gut lining (I know, I didn’t discuss this as part of the problem, but for Shania it was)
- Supported her thyroid with natural thyroid support
- Detoxified her liver and gallbladder as those two organs play an important role in thyroid hormone utilization
But My Doctors Aren’t Talking to Me About This, What Do I Do?
I hear this A LOT! Luckily for you, you have made it to the end of the article, and I am about to tell you to…CALL ME! I specialize in working with patients like Shania and you, and I LOVE my work.
First things first, gather up your blood tests your doctors have been running on you. If you don’t have copies of them, call your doctor’s office and request them (they are yours by law, but you may have to sign some release forms). Now, see if your doctor ran the markers that I mentioned above. Again, (CLICK to download Dr. King’s Basic Blood Panel markers).
Just in case your doctor didn’t run those markers, don’t fret, I can get them run for you. I use a Co-op to order all my patients’ blood work through. The Co-op gives me the blood markers at a VERY reduced price. I run my blood work the same way patients do, even though I have a great PPO insurance plan, because the doctors never want to run the markers I ask them for.
If your doctor ran any specialized adrenal tests, I want to see those as well. The more pieces of information I can see, the better I can help you. Schedule a complimentary consultation to get started.
Once you are ready to schedule a time to speak with me, simply give me a call, (714) 731-7680. I like to speak to all new patients first, before we ever look at blood markers or any specialized testing. The call is complimentary and will last about 10-15 minutes. This is my way of seeing if I will be the right doctor for you.
OK…grab your phone and give me a ring! I look forward to speaking with you soon!