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Chronic/Pain Conditions  >>    Adrenal Fatigue

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses what your symptoms indicate and what you should be aware of when making a choice with your health.

Having any symptom is NOT NORMAL. Understanding what the symptom means and supporting balance within the body is prudent for health.

Adrenal Fatigue is an epidemic here in the US and the Medical solution is to ignore it or have you go talk to a Psychiatrist.  This will not address this serious problem and is probably robbing you of your health.  Don't let this be you!

Dr. Huntoon is ready to help you heal when you are.

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Adrenal Fatigue Click Here

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. Adrenal Fatigue is usually the result of long term physical or emotional stress, and can lead to symptoms like low energy levels and weakened immunity.

As you might expect, fatigue is one of the most common Adrenal Fatigue symptoms. However, it is far from the only one that you might experience.

What Are The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

What is Adrenal Fatigue and how can you recognize it?

Adrenal Fatigue leads to lower levels of a number of hormones and neurotransmitters, changes that can affect every single part of your body. Every individual with Adrenal Fatigue tends to have a slightly different set of symptoms, although there are always common complaints.

You can split up Adrenal Fatigue symptoms into two sets. The most common symptoms are those that are experienced by most (if not all) Adrenal Fatigue sufferers. These include symptoms like fatigue and food cravings. Then there are the less common symptoms, which are only experienced by a smaller set of patients. These include low blood pressure and frequent urination. Typically, an individual with Adrenal Fatigue will have most or all of the main symptoms listed here, along with a handful of the less common symptoms. Take a look and see how many apply to you.

The signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue include:

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • High levels of fatigue each day
  • Cravings for salty foods
  • Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Higher energy levels in the evenings
  • A weak immune system

Do any of these sound like your experience of Adrenal Fatigue? Read on to find out more about each symptom. And if you read on to the end of the page, I’ve included a list of 18 less common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.

Difficulty Getting Up Each Morning, Even After A Long Sleep

One of the major causes of Adrenal Fatigue is getting insufficient sleep. Getting more rest is therefore one of the best ways to recover.  However, when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue many patients wake up extremely tired and ‘foggy’, even after getting a long sleep.

This can be caused by one of two factors. Adrenal Fatigue sufferers in the early stages of their condition tend to be under significant stress, and therefore their adrenaline and cortisol levels are high. This interrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of cortisol levels, leading to a state of alertness in the evening that prevents restful sleep.

Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning (cortisol regulates blood sugar too). Your body realizes it’s hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better night’s sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.

High Levels Of Fatigue Each Day

Do you feel that your energy levels are just at a permanently lower level than they used to be? Aging is often a factor in this, but chronic stress can be a major contributor too. If you’re one of those people who find themselves drinking more and more coffee just to get through the day, it might be time to look at the underlying cause behind your tiredness.

In the later stages of Adrenal Fatigue, your adrenals become depleted and unable to produce enough of the hormones that you need. This means that your levels of cortisol, along with neurotransmitters like adrenaline and norepinephrine, are generally lower than they should be.

The relative lack of these crucial hormones explains how patients suffering from Adrenal Fatigue find it difficult to ‘lift’ themselves or maintain any kind of reasonable energy level throughout the day. There is one exception though (see below) – Adrenal Fatigue sufferers sometimes experience a bounce in energy in the late evening.

If you want to get your energy levels back to where they were, there are a few things that you need to do. Improving your diet will give your adrenals and HPA axis the raw materials they need to recover. Removing sources of stress from your life will eliminate one of the causes of your Adrenal Fatigue. And changing your lifestyle will have a measurable impact on your ability to handle stress.

Cravings For Salty Foods

A part of the adrenal glands named the cortex is responsible for producing aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid which works with the kidney to regulate our fluid and mineral excretion. When the adrenals become fatigued, we produce less aldosterone and tend to excrete large amounts of important minerals in our urine. Individuals with depleted endocrine systems often report frequent urination, which is often attributed to age but may actually be caused by depleted adrenals.

This means that Adrenal Fatigue sufferers effectively lose the ability to balance the levels of minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium in their blood. In turn, this leads to cravings for foods which will replace the sodium that we have lost. If you find yourself suddenly craving salty snacks, you could be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.

Overuse Of Stimulants Like Sugar And Caffeine

Are you one of those people whose day revolves around finding your next shot of caffeine? If so, you’re not alone! Millions of people rely on stimulants like coffee and sugar to lift them up when they get tired. However, there’s a big difference between drinking an occasional coffee and consuming stimulants all through the day.

The problem is that stimulants tend to lose their effect over time. As chronic stress takes its toll on your endocrine system, each cup of coffee or sugary snack gives you less of an energy boost. Caffeine can prevent you from getting a good sleep too. The more stressed and tired you become, the more stimulants you need. This vicious cycle is how many people unwittingly accelerate their decline into hormonal dysregulation and extreme fatigue.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Simply becoming more mindful of your caffeine and sugar consumption will often help to reduce it. Limit yourself to one or two coffees each day at first, then try to give it up entirely. Eat a nutritious, healthy diet, and try some low sugar recipes. Look for low glycemic fruits instead of sugary dried fruits or fruit juices. Learn how to improve your sleep hygiene so you won’t feel the need for those stimulants. And identify ways to work more efficiently during the day, so you take rests when needed.

Inability To Handle Stress

Do you find that the slightest amount of stress leaves you feeling overwhelmed? Adrenal Fatigue sufferers often have a difficult time dealing with physical or emotional stress. Things like:

  • Bills
  • Mortgage
  • Relationship problems
  • Children
  • Family Expectations
  • Taxes
  • Deadlines
  • Harassment on the Job
  • Bullying
  • Poor Eating Habits

 

This is for exactly the same reasons that are behind that unrelenting feeling of tiredness. It all comes back to the low hormone levels associated with late-stage Adrenal Fatigue.

When we encounter stress we depend on our adrenals to release hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These hormones regulate our stress response and allow us to increase our strength, focus and awareness when we need it. However, when the adrenals are fatigued they struggle to release the necessary amount of these hormones. Patients with Adrenal Fatigue often report a lack of enthusiasm, feelings of apathy or disinterest, irritability and anxiety.

There are many strategies that you can follow to improve your ability to handle stress. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, light exercise, and the use of essential oils can all help.

Higher Energy Levels In The Evenings

The lower levels of cortisol can play havoc with our energy levels throughout the day. In a healthy person, cortisol reaches its highest level early in the morning before declining gradually throughout the day. However, some Adrenal Fatigue sufferers experience spikes in cortisol in the late afternoon and evening, often leading to insomnia.

A typical progression is to find yourself tired all day, then suddenly get a bounce in your energy levels late in the evening. This tends to occur in the earlier stages of Adrenal Fatigue, when the adrenals are still capable of producing significant amounts of cortisol and adrenaline.

A Weakened Immune System

Cortisol has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to regulate your immune system. Inflammation is often simply a sign that your body is fighting an infection, but cortisol prevents this reaction from getting out of control. Maintaining a balanced cortisol level – not too low and not too high – is an important part of our health.

If stress is causing your cortisol levels to be elevated, this anti-inflammatory effect becomes too strong. This effectively stops your immune system from working as it should, and this weakened state can last for the duration of whatever is causing the stress. Without a properly functioning immune system, you become vulnerable to disease. Conversely, a lower level of cortisol allows your immune system to over-react to pathogens. This can lead to chronic inflammation and a number of respiratory or auto-immune diseases.

So what does this mean for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers? It depends on which stage of the condition you have reached. In the early stages, consistently high levels of cortisol suppresses your immune response and leaves you vulnerable to infection. In the later stages of Adrenal Fatigue, low levels of cortisol can lead to chronic inflammation, allergies and autoimmune diseases. Neither is a good outcome, and so your Adrenal Fatigue treatment should focus on restoring cortisol to a sustainable, balanced level.

18 More Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue

There are a large number of other complaints that are associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Many of these are linked directly to one of the more common complaints listed above. Depending on which stage of Adrenal Fatigue you have reached, you may be experiencing a handful or a large number of these symptoms.

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma, allergies or respiratory complaints
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Extreme tiredness an hour after exercise
  • Frequent urination
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Lines in your fingertips
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low sex drive
  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness in your fingers / Poor circulation
  • Weight gain

Adrenal Exhaustion...The New Epidemic

If you want to see how many people suffer from Adrenal Fatigue, just take a look around you. How many of your friends and family complain of being continually tired or having a weak immune system? You probably know moms or dads who spend long hours at work but don't get any rest at home. You might see other friends drinking several large coffees a day, yet still experiencing almost constant fatigue.

There are many ways to exhaust your adrenal glands and endocrine system, and most are connected to the stresses forced upon us by modern life. The burdens that we place on ourselves today, in terms of our time management and our finances, are totally different from those faced by previous generations. In the 1960s a one-income family could afford a nice house and a very comfortable life. That seems almost inconceivable for most families today, who have to stretch their budgets, work long hours and earn two incomes just to keep their heads above water.

Time pressures and financial constraints are far from the only factors in this modern epidemic. Other triggers for Adrenal Fatigue include our high-sugar diet, the rise of pesticides and chemical pollutants in our foods, the rise in food intolerances, and our sedentary lifestyles. Combine these factors with hormonal decline (which many of us are experiencing earlier and earlier these days), and you have a recipe for fatigue, sickness and loss of vitality.

So how widespread is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?

Some practitioners believe as many as two-thirds of Americans have suffered from some degree of adrenal exhaustion. But while some of us can bounce back relatively quickly from a period of stress or trauma, others find it more difficult. Left untreated, Adrenal Fatigue can gradually worsen until simple everyday tasks become a challenge. That's why it is important to address the cause of your Adrenal Fatigue early, and begin a restorative treatment to rebuild your health, vitality and energy levels.

Your Traditional Medical Perspective and Treatment Options

Traditional Medicine has slowly begun to recognize this health problem in some circles and is beginning to understand the significance of it in our society.

What Supporters of Adrenal Fatigue Say About Symptoms

James Wilson, PhD, the author of Adrenal Fatigue, writes that symptoms include:

  • Trouble getting out of bed
  • Chronic tiredness, even after you wake up in the morning
  • Trouble thinking clearly or finishing your tasks

But some doctors say these symptoms can be due to other health problems.

Robert Vigersky, MD, a past president of the Endocrine Society, says the symptoms are very common in people in general.  (That's why it is an epidemic.)

Though people often blame their hormonal glands, such as the adrenals or thyroid, for their tiredness, Vigersky says in many cases fatigue is due to common problems such as:

All of these can affect your energy level without involving your adrenal glands.  And over time, they will begin to take a toll on your adrenal glands. Therefore, Dr. Vigersky is not understanding the functional relationship between stress, the adrenal glands and the resulting symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.

Fatigue is also a symptom of many diseases such as anemia, arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure, says Janet McGill, MD. She's a hormone specialist at Washington University in St. Louis.  And each of those conditions will result in Adrenal Fatigue over time, as they will tax the system overall.

Medical Conditions That Affect Adrenal Glands

Your adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys like caps. Certain conditions can keep your adrenal glands from working well.

One of these is Addison's disease. It's sometimes referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency.

If you have Addison's disease, your adrenal glands don't make enough hormones. Unlike adrenal fatigue, this is an illness that doctors can test and recognize. In most cases of this disease, the adrenal glands have been damaged by the immune system.

Other causes of Addison's disease include:

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Cancer, such as lymphoma
  • AIDS

Addison's disease can cause fatigue. But it often triggers other symptoms, such as:

  • Dark skin on the palms of your hands, knees, elbows, and knuckles
  • General weakness
  • Dizziness when you stand up
  • Lack of menstrual periods

Addison's disease is rare, McGill says. If you do have fatigue related to your hormones, it's more likely to be a thyroid problem or diabetes than an adrenal issue, she says.

 If you’ve looked through this list and you recognize lots of the symptoms, what’s next? Treating Adrenal Fatigue is not as simple as just taking a pill each morning. It probably took a long time to get yourself into this position, so it will take some time to recover.  And this is assuming you can find a Medical Doctor who will look at this as a legitimate health concern.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Dr. Huntoon has a completely different perspective based on understandings given to him by one of his mentors, Dr. Victor Frank. 

Over the past 27 years while applying the understandings of Dr. Frank and the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Dr. Huntoon has learned to address Adrenal Fatigue by using a 7 pronged approach of addressing the Physical, Mental, Emotional, Nutritional, Allergic and Physiological components that feed the problem of Adrenal Fatigue.  We will even look at the "spiritual" aspect if asked. 

To recover from Adrenal Fatigue and get your energy levels back to normal, you will need to follow a number of different strategies. If you don’t know where to start, a Consultation with Dr. Huntoon is a good place to start, as he can teach you everything you need to know about beating Adrenal Fatigue.

Here are a few more suggestions to get you started:

  • Drink more water. Sounds simple enough but most do not.  People have seen dramatic results when they becomes properly hydrated.  Being properly hydrated makes all aspects of the body work better and will address Adrenal Fatigue in the process.
  • Improve your diet, and give your HPA Axis the support it needs.  This is done with proper resetting of the HPA Axis and feeding the HPA Axis.
  • Consider taking some adrenal-supportive supplements.  We recommend Whole Food Supplements from Standard Process and tailor specific protocols for the individual being helped.  The protocol will change as the Adrenal Fatigue improves, which requires monitoring by Dr. Huntoon.
  • Try some of these adrenal-supportive recipes.
  • Use techniques like meditationand deep breathing to reduce your stress levels. Meditation has lots of other benefits too!
  • Get better sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.

Your Solution

Dr. Huntoon has a completely different perspective based on understandings given to him by one of his mentors, Dr. Victor Frank. 

Over the past 27 years while applying the understandings of Dr. Frank and the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Dr. Huntoon has learned to address Adrenal Fatigue by using a 6 pronged approach of addressing the Physical, Mental, Emotional, Nutritional, Allergic and Physiological components that feed the problem of Adrenal Fatigue.  

He has also seen dramatic results when someone becomes properly hydrated.  Being properly hydrated makes all aspects of the body work better and will address Adrenal Fatigue as well.

Can You Drink Your Way To Better Adrenal Health?

Finding the energy to forge through the day and stick to a wellbeing plan is no mean feat when you have adrenal fatigue! In situations when you don’t have the time to cook a nutritious dinner or grab a few extra minutes of sleep, it can really help to have a few “life-hacks” up your sleeve to see you through.

Making sure that you’re adequately hydrated is one of the most important (and easiest) things you can do to give your adrenals that little helping hand.

What does water have to do with adrenal exhaustion?

Even on the busiest of days, drinking enough fluids can make a big difference to how you feel.

Dehydration presents many problems for people with adrenal fatigue. For example, without enough water the blood can’t do a proper job of carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells, and the liver and kidneys have a hard time flushing toxic substances out of your system. Without water, your bowels soon become constipated, causing even more lethargy and sluggishness. Need I go on?

But there’s another reason why people with adrenal issues need to be aware of their fluid intake. That’s because the adrenal glands are responsible for secreting a number of important hormones that have a direct effect on your energy levels. One of these important hormones is aldosterone.

Aldosterone and adrenal fatigue

Aldosterone has the job of regulating water levels and the concentration of minerals (like sodium), in your body. If you’ve suffered with adrenal fatigue for some time, your production of aldosterone is likely to be reduced. This explains why many people with adrenal problems often have a craving for salt.

On a deeper level, vitamin, mineral and hormonal imbalances can cause a metabolic chain of events resulting in low or high blood pressure, headaches, weakness and lethargy.

Staying hydrated is therefore of paramount concern to anyone with adrenal issues. But how do you know what, when, and how much to drink?

Staying hydrated

Many people have no idea what adequate hydration is. It’s common for people to think that two cups of coffee in the morning and a few glasses of soda in the afternoon is enough to get them through the day. These beverages (along with alcohol) are called “diuretics.” They stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, which depletes the body’s fluid reserves, and takes many essential soluble vitamins and minerals along with it.

It’s best to avoid diuretics when you’re trying to manage your energy levels. In general terms you should be aiming to drink at least one quart (slightly more than a liter) of water for every 50 lbs. you weigh, every day. 

What should you drink?

It should be local bottled spring water, mineral water or Artesian Well Water. 

People often comment on how hard it is to increase their fluid uptake, for the simple reason that they don’t like water. If this sounds like you – don’t be downhearted!   You can add some lemon or lime to your water to add flavor, and appreciate that by adding flavoring, you will need to consume an additional 8 oz. on top of the correct water for your weight mentioned above.  Why?  Because in order to separate the lemon juice from the water, the metabolic process will cause you to lose more water.

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who has experience in addressing the underlying CAUSAL COMPONENTS associated with your Adrenal Fatigue is warranted.

Others have benefited from Acupuncture, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

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