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Adrenal Fatigue: Alternative Treatments (Video)

By HERWriter
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Dr. Tori Hudson is an alternative medicine provider with 25 years of experience in women's health, in gynecological and primary care. She is well-versed bio-identical hormones, herbs, nutrition and nutraceuticals.

Here Dr. Hudson explains some things about the adrenals and what happens when they are no longer able to produce enough hormones. Since the adrenals are our primary stress adaptation organ, excessive stress reactions can have a draining effect on the hormones of the adrenal glands.

Dr. Hudson:

A lot of alternative medicine providers use a term called adrenal fatigue or hypo adrenalism and in fact, in the scientific literature I don’t think you’ll find that, you know in any real scientific book or you won’t find it in the Merck Manual of Diagnoses. The only, in conventional medicine they describe adrenal failure, which is called Addison’s disease, that’s when adrenal glands just don’t produce their hormones anymore.

The alternative medicine providers recognize there’s this whole gray zone that’s happening with the adrenal glands, which are two little glands that sit on top of our kidneys, kind of like hypothyroid, not necessarily thyroid failure but, the thyroid gland just isn’t producing enough hormones anymore. Same with the adrenal glands.

It’s like a hormone factory and it wanes in its production, one of the way it wanes is just by stress. It’s our main stress adaptation organ. So with pounding, pounding, pounding of stress, it starts producing less of some of it’s hormones, like cortisol and DHEA for example, and I talked to people about it kind of like you have the cash in your pocket and you have your checking account and you have your savings account and you have your investments. Well adrenal fatigue is, “Oops, I don’t have any cash in my pocket,” and now, “Oops, my checking account is all used up and now I am dipping into my savings account,” That’s adrenal fatigue.

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EmpowHER Guest

Why is it necessary to use the term "adrenal" when there is no measurable evidence of adrenal dysfunction; when the diagnosis can be made whether the cortisol is normal, low, or high; when hydrocortisone supplementation has been shown to make no difference to the course of chronic fatigue when trials are controlled; and when the herbal treatments make no measurable difference to adrenal function? Why do so many in the holistic health community insist on using the words and terms of physiology to describe conditions and concepts that have no relation to what doctors and scientists refer to when they describe and measure normal and abnormal adrenal function? At best it leads to confusion and reduces the chance of understanding between patients and physicians. At worst it leaves the holistic practitioners open to accusations of fraud and pretension to science. Why not use terms distinct from those that scientists and endocrinologists use, since there is so little overlap and relation between the two? Is not honesty in naming the foundation of mutual understanding and honesty of interaction and healing?

June 22, 2010 - 7:20pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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