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Adrenal Fatigue

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Adrenal Fatigue and Homeopathy
Homeopathic care will help adrenal fatigue and rebalance the endocrine system. Contact us to learn more!

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Ten Tips for Supporting Adrenal Fatigue
Homeopathic Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue
Threes Easy Tests for Adrenal Fatigue
 

Videos
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
Adrenal Fatigue: Part 1 of 2 with Dr. Liz Lipski
Adrenal Fatigue: Part 2 of 2 with Dr. Liz Lipski
Video on Adrenal Fatigue with Dr. Anita Tannis

Symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction
Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that regulate the stress response by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. When they are not functioning properly, you can experience these types of symptoms:

  • Morning and/or evening fatigue

  • Allergies

  • Increased susceptibility to infection

  • Insomnia

  • Poor recovery from exercise

  • Apathy

  • Chemical sensitivity

  • Depressed mood

  • Unstable blood sugar

  • Low sex drive

  • “Burned out” feeling

Ten Tips for Supporting Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Don't skip breakfast!  Eat within 1 hour of waking and include protein at all means.

  2. Don't work to exhaustion, pace yourself.

  3. Attract a positive outcome.  Avoid negativity, both toward yourself and others.

  4. Say NO when you're at your limit.

  5. Set healthy boundaries and stick by them.

  6. Get 7 - 8 hours of sleep by no later than 10 pm when possible.

  7. Keep healthy snacks with protein on hand to stay energized

  8. Drink half your weight in water as oz, per day

  9. Use 1/2 tsp of unrefined sea salt on food daily to support your adrenal function.

  10. Disconnect after dinner and after work - unplug, spend time with your family, get off the internet.

Some Homeopathic Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue

  • Argentum nitricum
    For most weak and trembling patients. There is going to be periodical weakness; one day they will be well, but then, they will be overtaken by weakness. Sometimes their fatigue may become very pervasive to the point that they cannot dress themselves or even lift a book. This weakness may come with exact periodicity or more at irregular intervals. They will become irritable with a lot of anxiety.  They will start crying because they feel nothing can be done to help them. This state of debility is caused by adrenal insufficiency.

  • Berberis Vulgaris
    This remedy is best when adrenal fatigue is accompanied by chronic, yet moving pain. It is also useful for those suffering from spinal irritation and in need of regular chiropractic care.

  • Gelsemium
    For those with slow pulse, tired feeling and mental apathy. Usually there will be muscular weakness, drowsiness and even dizziness. They are sensitive to falling barometric pressure, with many symptoms aggravated by cold and damp weather. They are lethargic, dull, and apathetic to their own complaints. They want to be left alone because any excitement, even good news, will make them feel worse physically.

  • Kali phosphoricum
    These types are nervous, oversensitive and excitable. Everything is too much for them and when they get tired they get irritable. They have a feeling that something bad will happen to them; they startle easily. They have difficulty with concentration, and they are forgetful of words and names. There is a profound state of mental and physical exhaustion.

  • Nat Muriaticum
    This remedy prepares the body to be able to effectively use the salt that it receives daily. It is a slow acting remedy, and is best used for chronic fatigue conditions.

  • Nux Vomica
    Nux Vomica can be very helpful for people who have low cortisol in the morning, but by nighttime they are wide awake and not tired.  This makes it hard to go to bed early like you're supposed to for adrenal fatigue. Nux can help bring down cortisol to allow you to fall asleep.

  • Phosphoric acid
    This will be suitable for a someone presenting with extreme physical exhaustion, inertia, apathy, and sexual weakness. These people often complain about loss of hair and even change in visual acuity. Their whole pathology arises from hypo-function of the endocrine system especially of the adrenals.

  • Sepia
    Feels totally burnt out and exhausted from the care of loved ones, chronically tired, too much to do.  Especially helpful after child birth.  The exhaustion is on both a physical and emotional level.  Common remedy for busy moms with children and busy working moms with no time for themselves.  Reduced sexual desire or no interest as all.   Menstrual issues include back ache prior to menses, PMS, irritability and menstrual cramps.  Indifference to loved ones, desires to leave the family and go away, but may not act on this urge.

Three Easy Tests for Adrenal Fatigue - You Can Do at Home
(from Dr. James Wilson's Book on "Adrenal Fatigue: 2st Century Stress Syndrome")

Test #1: Iris Contraction Test
Equipment required: chair, small flashlight, mirror, a watch (with a second hand), and a dark room.

In a darkened room, sit in a chair in front of a mirror. Holding the flashlight at the side of your head, shine it across one eye (not into the eye). Watch what happens in the mirror.

You should see your pupil contract immediately after the light hits the eye. The pupil will normally stay contracted, but if you have adrenal fatigue, the pupil won't be able to hold its contraction and will dilate. This dilation will take place within 2 minutes and last for about 30-45 seconds before it contracts again. Time how long the dilation lasts and record it along with the date. Retest monthly as it serves as an indicator of recovery.

Test #2: Blood Pressure Test
If your blood pressure drops when you stand up from a lying position, this almost always indicates low adrenals. This can be measured with a blood pressure gauge (a sphygmomanometer), which you can buy at a drug store. Make sure to purchase the type that doesn't require a stethoscope to take your blood pressure.

Make sure to do this test when you are well hydrated or it could give you a false positive. Lie down quietly for about 10 minutes, then take your blood pressure (while still lying down). Then stand up and measure your blood pressure immediately upon standing. Normally blood pressure will rise 10-20mmHg from standing up. If your blood pressure drops, you likely have adrenal fatigue. The more severe the drop, the more severe the adrenal fatigue.

Test #3: Sergent's White Line
This is only present in about 40% of people with Adrenal Fatigue, but if the test is positive, it's a "slam dunk" confirmation.

With a ballpoint pen, take the cap end of the pen and lightly stroke the skin on your abdomen, making a mark about 6" long. Within a few seconds, a line should appear. In a normal reaction, the mark is initially white, but reddens within a few seconds. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, the line will stay white for about 2 minutes and will also widen.

Tips for Adrenal Fatigue

  • Test for Adrenal Fatigue: Be sure to get multiple saliva tests. Single cortisol tests are useless because cortisol levels peak around 8 a.m. and fluctuate widely during the day. Order a home saliva test kit for adrenal fatigue.

  • Don't take extracts of bovine adrenal cortex: These are absolutely ineffective because the hormones are present in extremely low concentration and, as they occur in nature, cannot be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract," said Dr. Seymour Reichlin of Tufts University School of Medicine.
  • Consider supplements from a class called adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs, like ashwagandha, rhodiola, licorice root, ginseng, schizandra and maca. They help support adrenal function. Use them under the guidance of a trained integrative provider.

Herbs for Adrenal Fatigue

Herbs for adrenal health are best used in combination, but need to be individualized to each person's specific needs Herbs can be used to modulate adrenal secretion or to increase the body's ability to respond to stress which is called an "adaptogenic" approach.  It took a lot of stress to reach the point of adrenal fatigue, and the problem cannot be resolved overnight. Herbal therapies for adrenal fatigue usually require 30 to 60 days for noticeable effects.

Here are some of the most commonly used herbs:

  • Ashwagandha supports the restoration of inner core for strength, libido, and endurance.
    It is an ancient Indian herb with a history of therapeutic use dating back to at least 1,000 BC. It has direct and beneficial effects on adrenal tissue and function. Because of its anti-inflammatory action, it is used for treatment in rheumatic pains, inflammation of joints and other related conditions that are commonly seen in states of adrenal fatigue. Ashwagandha is considered to be an adaptogen. An adaptogen is any substance that helps the body function more towards its normal level. Studies have shown it is capable of normalizing cortisol levels, whether they are too high or too low.  This herb is becoming recognized for its multiple health benefits and especially for its value in adrenal fatigue.

  • Siberian Ginseng Root (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is good for women as well as men.
    It has antidepressant properties and the ability to calm anxiousness, improve sleeping, diminish lethargy, lessen irritability and induce a feeling of well-being.
    It has a wide range of activities that help support and rejuvenate adrenal function, increase resistance to stress, normalize metabolism, and regulate neurotransmitters (which are important in modifying the stress response). It counteracts mental fatigue and is known to increase and sustain energy levels, physical stamina and endurance. It is used to increased vitality and to counter depletion of the adrenal stress hormones. In addition, it has been shown to normalize blood sugar, stimulate antibodies to bacteria and viruses, increase resistance to environmental pollutants, improve absorption of some B vitamins and decrease vitamin C loss. Although it has been shown to normalize blood pressure, it should not be used if blood pressure is very high. Siberian ginseng is more normalizing than stimulatory in its effects on the adrenals.

  • Maca (Lepidium peruvianum) increase stamina, energy and endurance, and improve the ability to withstand stress.
    This is an adaptogenic herb that helps normalize the body’s response to stress, modulate cortisol levels, reduce the exhaustion that follows a stressful event, and protect the body against the negative effects of stress.
     

  • Ginkgo Leaf (Ginkgo biloba) is excellent for enhanced blood flow and anti-oxidant protection.
    It is common herb well known for its ability to enhance peripheral circulation and for its neuroprotective effects. Gingko is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps protect the adrenal glands, the brain and the liver from inflammation and free radical damage that occurs during stress.  Not all Ginkgo extracts are the same. Products that are standardized to 24% ginkgo flavones and glycosides, and 6% ginkgolides and bilobalides are recommended. 
     

  • Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale). Ginger is another adaptogen for the adrenals that helps modulate cortisol levels.
     

  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis) can provide immediate relief with quick, noticeable results.
    Licorice is a traditional medicine for adrenal insufficiency and ulcers. It contains triterpenoid saponins that influence cortisol-cortisone balance throughout the body. Glycyrrhizin is the main active compound in licorice. At higher amounts, it has a strong effect on the kidney and allows cortisol to interact with aldosterone receptors, which affects sodium/potassium balance and increases blood pressure. For this reason, patients taking higher amounts of licorice need to be monitored closely especially those with high blood pressure. Good quality liquid extracts are also available, and should contain around 30mg/mL glycyrrhizin. Licorice has been positively linked to a range of other health benefits including better blood glucosecontrol and fat modulation, improved iron absorption, reduction of coughing, improved female hormone balance, decreased inflammation and healing of the gut lining.
     

  • Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is excellent for supporting adrenal and thyroid function.
    This herb is for physical or mental exhaustion, lowered immunity and to facilitate adaptation to stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is considered a key herb for reinforcing vital energy and longevity. Recent human studies have expanded the therapeutic uses of Korean Ginseng to include improvement of insulin sensitivity, increased cerebrovascular circulation, better memory, improved cell-mediated immune function and reduced incidence of the common cold and reduced DNA oxidative damage in smokers.  There are symptom improvements in patients with depression, headache, insomnia and fatigue in women with menopausal symptoms
     

  • Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) can be effective for reducing inflammation and adrenal fatigue from a hypothyroid and hyperthyroid etiology.
    It is an herb used extensively in Chinese medicine. It is similar to licorice and can be used as both a tonic and as specific support for the adrenal glands. It is helpful for people suffering general debility, adrenal depletion, and poor immune system function, specifically in the context of autoimmune disease.
     

  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) helps improve mood, depression and libido, and improving mental clarity.
    It is another adaptogenic herb with a long history of traditional use. It also has a number of positive human trials in the areas of stress and fatigue management, enhancement of mental performance and treatment of mild depression. Rhodiola has been used successfully to increase stamina,
    prevent fatigue, improve mental function, reduce anxiety and ameliorate symptoms of mild depression.

"Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome" with Dr. Nikolas Hedberg
(1:26 minutes)

 

Adrenal Fatigue: Part 1 of 2 with Dr. Liz Lipski, Hawthorne University
(10 minutes)

 

Adrenal Fatigue: Part 2 of 2 with Dr. Liz Lipski, Hawthorne University
(10 minutes)

 Video on Adrenal Fatigue with Dr. Anita Tannis
Watch on YouTube Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldyrFOe0n3U

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