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EarthMother

Adrenal Fatigue

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I got a call from a Doctor I saw probably three years ago ... she works in the medical group with my primary physician and had heard that I was had taken a downhill turn and wanted to talk to me about some new information on adrenal fatigue she had come across. She is an regular MD but also acupuncturist and specialist in Chinese medicine. I think highly of her and really respect her insights and was frankly very surprised that she even remembered who I was after all this time. She said she had learned a lot more since I worked with her a few years back and in looking at some of the old saliva tests I had done back then and based on what she knows now, she says it was clear I was circling the drain (not her words, but you get the idea -- a crash waiting to happen.)

Long story short, she asked me to come in and look at some of the new findings and discuss what diet/herb alternatives might be helpful to me at this stage of the game. Citing that in my case, she remembers that traditional western medicine does not work well with my system.

I think I recall that Flop was working with a practitioner on adrenal fatigue. Does anyone have any research or insight into this?

As soon as I can get myself together enough (and arrange rides etc.) I plan on meeting with her and will let folks know what I learn.

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Hi EM,

I would love to hear how it goes and what she tells you/gives you. Please pass on as much info as possible! I've got adrenal problems although they aren't 'clear cut' from acth tests, etc. But my doc knows they aren't up to par. Not suprrising after life threatening hemorrhages I guess. Anyway I also just learned yesterday that I have low testosterone - also produced by the adrenals. So I haven't had a chance to talk to my doc about this yet but I guess its just another thing pointing to adrenal problems.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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My endocrinologist did an Insulin Tolerance Test and from the results decided my adrenals do not handle stress as well as they could. My cosyntropin stim test was normal.

Do you ever feel "dead", too tired to move, think? Beyond exhausted? Do you "crash"?

In any event, whatever you answer, I feel like that sometimes. Exercise or activity can bring it on, also illness. Recovery from illness is prolonged. I've decided, along with my endocrinologist, to be on a very low dose of Cortef. I take 1 5 mg pill with breakfast, 1/4 of a pill at lunch and 1/4 of a pill at 4 PM.

In my case, it helps prevent the "I am dead" crashes. And I mean I feel like I'm one step away from "dead" sometimes.

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My dr. had did a saliva test on my adrenals..cortisol..on me a few years ago.... though I had a normal rhythm of up in the a.m. etc... I was low on the charts.. so based on that the report said I was borderline hypocortisolism. I started licorice.(yuck),,I also took an whole food supplement adrenal booster..(can't remember the name anymore), then took a powder adrenal booster-Dr. Wilson's Super Adrenal-. I'll have to look back in my records to see what else I took. I go through periods of being really tired,,constant yawning even with 8 or more hours of sleep, achy joints and muscles, brain fog..feel like I can't even muster enough energy to move from sitting.. it is like a crash. Crash and burnout to be exact and it can last for a while. Usually it comes on from not taking care of myself as well as I should.

I'd like to hear what this Dr. suggests for you. Interesting to learn new things. Very nice she remembered you and took an interest. There really are good ones out there. :)

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Id be interested to hear what happens too. When i first got sick one of the medical professionals went to was a natropath. she looked at my iris and said that it was adrenal fatigue. i took her concoction of herbs for a while and did improve a little but was still having major problems.

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A naturopath had me do a saliva test to look at cortisol, diagnosed me with this and gave me supplements that did nothing. I am suspicious of this diagnosis for this reason.

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Yep it is me that had adrenal fatigue. I was tested by my health practitioner (not a doctor) by doing 4 saliva samples through the day.

The early morning cortisol result was higher than the others (normal diurnal pattern) but it was below the normal range, all three other samples were very low 1 or less than 1!

There was another hormone that she tested an the levels of that were also low so the lab said this was grade 4 adrenal fatigue (severe).

I am normally very dubious of non-standard medical tests so I did a lot of reading and research about adrenal fatigue.

I had an ACTH stimulation test done in 2005 just when I was diagnosed with POTS (I asked for the test as I was worried I might have Addison's disease ie adrenal failure). My baseline 9am cortisol was 980ish (normal 550-800) so my natural cortisol was too high. After the ACTH me level only went up to 110 (properly the cortisol should double, so mine hardly rose at all). At the time the doctor said the test was "normal".

In 2008 I had a repeat baseline 9am cortisol taken (no stim test this time). This time the result was 570 (normal 550-800). My result was only just in the bottom of the normal range. My doctors haven't compared the two results from different years but I have.

From what I now know, my high cortisol levels from 2005 actually demonstrate grade 1 adrenal fatigue. The body is under stress and pours out loads and loads of cortisol. Over time the adrenal glands can't keep up with the massive demand for cortisol so the levels drop back into the normal range (grade 2 adrenal failure), then they drop below normal (grade 3) then the other hormone level also drops (grade 4), eventually the adrenal gland fails and you get Addison's (grade 5).

Basically I am still undergoing treatment but feeling loads better than I was last summer when I did the tests. When I have finished treatment I will do the saliva test again to "prove" that it has worked.

I haven't got my results and treatment plans with me right now but if you want more details send me a PM and I'll get back to you.

Flop

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I saw a naturopath who said I had adrenal "exhaustion." I took Standard Process's Drenamin supplement, which was basically cow adrenal glands all ground up in pill form. It smelled awful and did nothing for me. However, my mother-in-law takes it because she suddenly had high blood pressure, and she no longer has the high blood pressure.

So I don't know, but thought I'd share that. It's a common "diagnosis" in the naturopathic and Chinese medicine fields. The question is, why are the adrenals exhausted? It doesn't get to the root of the problem.

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I'd be reluctant to take a supplement from any cow organ--I don't think the US supply of cattle is bse free, and the problem is most likely to be found in "glandulars."

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I started with POTS too, thinking that I finally had reached the core of my health issues but... Dinet mentioned about adrenals and I did my research...

Although more than 50 steroids are produced within the adrenal cortex, cortisol and aldosterone are by far the most abundant and physiologically active. My aldosterone was nearly non detectable and cortisol low, too.

I have Adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism.

Aldosterone deficiency results in sodium loss, hyperkalemia, and acidosis. Hyperkalemia stimulates aldosterone release to improve potassium excretion. Aldosterone is the first-line defense against hyperkalemia...

Some of the signs of adrenal insufficiency are often similar to those found in persons who are hypoglycemic. These chief complaints listed in order of prominence are:

1. Inability to concentrate

2. Excessive fatigue

3. Nervousness & irritability

4. Mental depression

5. Apprehensions

6. Excessive weakness

7. Lightheadedness

8. Faintness and fainting

9. Insomnia

Patients with low adrenal cortex function may have hypoglycemia (or disturbed carbohydrate metabolism) although not all hypoglycemic patients have low adrenal function. A low flat glucose tolerance curve obtained from an oral glucose tolerance test suggests hypoadrenocorticism but can also reflect reactive hypoglycemia, some form of allergy, gouty or rheumatoid arthritis, or schizophrenia.

When patients receive support for their adrenal cortex (such as with Adrenal Cortex Extract injections), they often report improvements in arthritis, pain in shoulders and back muscles, allergies, premenstrual problems, headache, migraine, ringing of the ears, tension, depression, suicidal thoughts, nervousness, apprehensions, noticeable heart action (palpitations), gastrointestinal problems, heat exhaustion, and an inability in handling stress.

The following physical findings suggest low adrenal function.

1. Skin thin and dry or scaly, pigmentation of temples, red palms or fingertips, and cold clammy palms.

2. Deep Tendon Reflexes are exaggerated.

3. Lymph Gland inflammation of the neck (swelling, pain, or tenderness).

4. Blood Pressure is usually low, and drops upon standing (105/60) and then elevated to (120 or 130/70 or 80) on reclining (postural or orthostatic hypotension). This change from low to higher when lying down may be the reason why many patients find it difficult to fall asleep. It is conducive to falling asleep to lie in a semi-reclining position for 15 or 20 minutes. Another way to describe postural hypotension is that there may be a sudden drop in blood pressure to below normal upon suddenly arising from bed, or from standing still, causing temporary darkening of vision, dizziness, light-headedness, faintness, or fainting.

5. Body Conformation is of the thin muscle-type (this is called asthenic habitus). The typical person is also tall with an angular appearance but a shorter person may have what we call "signs of tallness" - a moderately long neck, an index finger longer than the 4th (ring) finger, and a 2nd toe longer than the big toe. There are long arms and legs, and the arm span is greater than the height.

6. Hair is sparse on the body but there is usually a full head of fine and abundant hair. The typical person is blond and blue eyed, or red headed. A tall, thin blonde with skin allergies can be diagnosed immediately.

7. Dentition shows crowded lower teeth with a high palatal arch (roof of mouth).

8. Pain and tenderness over adrenal area of mid-back when pressure is applied (called Rogoff's sign).

9. Urination is either very frequent in small amounts or infrequent in large amounts. This person usually does not do well in the heat or in the summer, particularly in conditions of high temperature, high humidity, and low barometric pressure.

10. Scanty perspiration (except under arms or hands and feet). This person may be a "salt loser" (the tendency is to lose salt and to retain potassium). The urine and perspiration of the salt loser is saltier than normal and there is consequently a greater salt concentration on the skin. Animals are attracted to the salt on the skin, and often the low adrenal patient will be a favorite of animals to lick.

11. Ankle and/or Finger Swelling. John Tintera, M.D. was an early pioneer in recognizing and treating adrenal insufficiency. He wrote that salt is a diuretic and that hypoadrenocortics (patients with low adrenal cortex function) retain fluid because the body is trying to hold onto the salt. When enough salt is consumed, the body takes what it needs and excretes the rest. If the ankle edema is due to insufficient salt, the edema will usually disappear in three days after taking adequate salt. If it does not disappear in five to six days, potassium may also be needed. Vitamin B6 is also helpful for edema not only because it has a diuretic effect but also supports the adrenal cortex.

Source: drkaslow

I am on Hydrocortisone & fludrocortisone, as well as taking supplements of Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, etc.

Love,

Tessa

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I started with POTS too, thinking that I finally had reached the core of my health issues but... Dinet mentioned about adrenals and I did my research...

Although more than 50 steroids are produced within the adrenal cortex, cortisol and aldosterone are by far the most abundant and physiologically active. My aldosterone was nearly non detectable and cortisol low, too.

I have Adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism.

Aldosterone deficiency results in sodium loss, hyperkalemia, and acidosis. Hyperkalemia stimulates aldosterone release to improve potassium excretion. Aldosterone is the first-line defense against hyperkalemia...

Some of the signs of adrenal insufficiency are often similar to those found in persons who are hypoglycemic. These chief complaints listed in order of prominence are:

1. Inability to concentrate

2. Excessive fatigue

3. Nervousness & irritability

4. Mental depression

5. Apprehensions

6. Excessive weakness

7. Lightheadedness

8. Faintness and fainting

9. Insomnia

Patients with low adrenal cortex function may have hypoglycemia (or disturbed carbohydrate metabolism) although not all hypoglycemic patients have low adrenal function. A low flat glucose tolerance curve obtained from an oral glucose tolerance test suggests hypoadrenocorticism but can also reflect reactive hypoglycemia, some form of allergy, gouty or rheumatoid arthritis, or schizophrenia.

When patients receive support for their adrenal cortex (such as with Adrenal Cortex Extract injections), they often report improvements in arthritis, pain in shoulders and back muscles, allergies, premenstrual problems, headache, migraine, ringing of the ears, tension, depression, suicidal thoughts, nervousness, apprehensions, noticeable heart action (palpitations), gastrointestinal problems, heat exhaustion, and an inability in handling stress.

The following physical findings suggest low adrenal function.

1. Skin thin and dry or scaly, pigmentation of temples, red palms or fingertips, and cold clammy palms.

2. Deep Tendon Reflexes are exaggerated.

3. Lymph Gland inflammation of the neck (swelling, pain, or tenderness).

4. Blood Pressure is usually low, and drops upon standing (105/60) and then elevated to (120 or 130/70 or 80) on reclining (postural or orthostatic hypotension). This change from low to higher when lying down may be the reason why many patients find it difficult to fall asleep. It is conducive to falling asleep to lie in a semi-reclining position for 15 or 20 minutes. Another way to describe postural hypotension is that there may be a sudden drop in blood pressure to below normal upon suddenly arising from bed, or from standing still, causing temporary darkening of vision, dizziness, light-headedness, faintness, or fainting.

5. Body Conformation is of the thin muscle-type (this is called asthenic habitus). The typical person is also tall with an angular appearance but a shorter person may have what we call "signs of tallness" - a moderately long neck, an index finger longer than the 4th (ring) finger, and a 2nd toe longer than the big toe. There are long arms and legs, and the arm span is greater than the height.

6. Hair is sparse on the body but there is usually a full head of fine and abundant hair. The typical person is blond and blue eyed, or red headed. A tall, thin blonde with skin allergies can be diagnosed immediately.

7. Dentition shows crowded lower teeth with a high palatal arch (roof of mouth).

8. Pain and tenderness over adrenal area of mid-back when pressure is applied (called Rogoff's sign).

9. Urination is either very frequent in small amounts or infrequent in large amounts. This person usually does not do well in the heat or in the summer, particularly in conditions of high temperature, high humidity, and low barometric pressure.

10. Scanty perspiration (except under arms or hands and feet). This person may be a "salt loser" (the tendency is to lose salt and to retain potassium). The urine and perspiration of the salt loser is saltier than normal and there is consequently a greater salt concentration on the skin. Animals are attracted to the salt on the skin, and often the low adrenal patient will be a favorite of animals to lick.

11. Ankle and/or Finger Swelling. John Tintera, M.D. was an early pioneer in recognizing and treating adrenal insufficiency. He wrote that salt is a diuretic and that hypoadrenocortics (patients with low adrenal cortex function) retain fluid because the body is trying to hold onto the salt. When enough salt is consumed, the body takes what it needs and excretes the rest. If the ankle edema is due to insufficient salt, the edema will usually disappear in three days after taking adequate salt. If it does not disappear in five to six days, potassium may also be needed. Vitamin B6 is also helpful for edema not only because it has a diuretic effect but also supports the adrenal cortex.

Source: drkaslow

I am on Hydrocortisone & fludrocortisone, as well as taking supplements of Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, etc.

Love,

Tessa

Tessa,

If you don't mind sharing, what is your dosing schedule for the hydrocortisone, and what improvements do you see? Thanks in advance.

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Someone mentioned the safety of bovine glandular extracts (from cows). My practitioner is treating me with tablets to support the adrenal glands, she doesn't think that I need glandular extracts. I have read information about glandular extracts and the top quality ones come from New Zealand where there has never been any cases of BSE and the cattle have not been fed any risky animal-based feeds.

Flop

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