Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
In cases of adrenal fatigue, the adrenal glands produce hormones, but not enough to help the body cope with the stresses that it faces. A balance of adrenal hormones is necessary to help maintain a state of positive well-being. If the adrenal glands are chronically overworked, they may not be able to catch up with the body's need for their activities, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
In some cases, the chronic overstimulation of the adrenal glands through stress can effectively wear them out, causing them to produce fewer hormones for you when you need them. A single, traumatic event, be it physical, psychological, or emotional, can also strain the adrenal glands, and you will experience adrenal fatigue until the glands recover.
Conventional Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue syndrome is not currently recognized as an medical diagnosis by most doctors.
Patients Medical's Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
To combat the many layers of symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, we offer a many-layered approach to our adrenal fatigue therapies at Patients Medical. We will begin with a comprehensive medical interview to get a full picture of the symptoms you have been experiencing. To discern whether it is adrenal fatigue you are experiencing, we will perform an ACTH stimulation test. ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) is the hormone produced by the pituitary gland that normally stimulates the adrenal production of cortisol in response to stress. Blood will be drawn before and after injection of synthetic ACTH to check for baseline levels of hormones, as well as any response from your adrenal glands to produce more of them. An adrenal function test (AFT) can also be performed on saliva to get a comprehensive look at other adrenal hormones. We may also recommend blood work to examine blood sugar, vitamin, and nutrient levels, as well.
Following a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue syndrome, our integrative physicians will help design a therapy program for you that will help alleviate your symptoms while re-establishing a healthy adrenal balance. Because adrenal fatigue is initiated and perpetuated by stress, reducing stress and increasing relaxation is paramount. To help you reduce stress, we will begin by helping you uncover your sources of stress and teach you ways of dealing with them. It is impossible to make life stress-free. As mentioned earlier, a certain amount of stress is actually healthy! Instead of training you to avoid stressful situations or talk yourself into the idea that things aren't stressful, we will teach you healthy ways to channel and process those stressful feelings. We can teach breathing techniques, meditation exercises, and massage therapies that you can also perform at home with the aid of a partner. In some cases, we may suggest the addition of exercise to your relaxation regimens, such as yoga or tai chi. Even a daily walk through a park can go a long way toward helping you think through things and reduce your stress levels.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mind-body medicine may also prove beneficial in your recovery from adrenal fatigue. Both of these therapies help you recognize and eventually modify the patterns in your thinking that are increasing your stress. By defining these patterns and looking at them closely, you can begin to change them, channeling the energies that are taxing your adrenal gland in positive ways to help you overcome your stressors. We may also recommend infrared light therapy (for your adrenals), hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or adrenal hormone supplementation.
We also have a variety of natural supplements available to help buffer your responses to stress and support adrenal health. Some have reported benefits from including licorice and sea salt in the diet, as well as maca and ginseng. Andreset® is an herbal supplement containing ginseng, rhodiola, and cordyceps. Each of these herbs is considered adaptogenic, meaning that they are beneficially in helping buffer the physiological responses to stress while reducing fatigue and anxiety. For adrenal support, we also recommend Cortico-B5B6®, which contains vitamins and minerals, as well as bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids have antioxidant activity and have been shown to reduce inflammation, quell allergic responses, inhibit infections, and potentially decrease the risk of cancerous transformation of cells.
Start Your Road to Health with Patients Medical
Be informed, inspired and transformed with your own personal holistic consultation at Patients Medical. For those that can make the journey, we are happy to welcome new patients to our medical center in New York City. Call us at 212-794-8800. We are here to listen and help.
We are located at: Patients Medical PC, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 900 (Between 42nd & 43rd Street), Manhattan, New York, NY 10017.