Since my horrific experience with Lyme and Babesia, I have been a major advocate of being proactive in your health. This includes listening to your body and following those signals that it sends out. It also includes thinking outside the box; also, following the less-travelled roads, unlike many in the medical community frown upon, which I attribute to how well, I have been. Lately, it seems that I have been dead tired for no reason, having trouble getting up in the morning, just feeling run down and dragging throughout the day, and just simply too tired to do anything. There are periods of the day, particularly, around mid-afternoon that I just could fall asleep instantly. Oh yes, did I mention I also found myself craving something salty and sweet at the same time and searching for a trail mix or for a candy bar such as snickers or salted nut roll. Well, I am sure some of you have already guessed it-the culprit, adrenal fatigue. If you look up adrenal fatigue, you will find the following, with the belief that there is no such thing: “Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia is a term used in alternative medicine to describe the belief that the adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol. The term ‘adrenal fatigue’ may be applied to a collection of medically unexplained symptoms, but there is no scientific evidence supporting the concept of ‘adrenal fatigue’ and it is not recognized as an actual diagnosis by the medical community. This is distinct from recognized forms of adrenal dysfunction such as adrenal insufficiency or Addison's Disease.” (Wikipedia) Or, you may find the following on the Mayo Clinic website: “Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. The term often shows up in popular health books and on alternative medicine websites, but it isn't an accepted medical diagnosis.” Then you will also find adrenal fatigue described as follows by Dr. James Wilson: “Adrenal fatigue occurs when adrenal gland function becomes less than optimal—usually as a result of stress. It is not the same as Addison’s disease.” “The adrenal glands…play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and testosterone. “ …”The adrenal glands are responsible for many of the functions we need to stay alive and healthy, including:” Energy production; fat storage, i.e. cortisol; control immune system; normalizes blood sugar; and regulating blood pressure. For instance, “it controls the strength of the immune system: Too much cortisol weakens the immune system, setting the motions for increased susceptibility to infections and cancer, while too little leads to an overactive immune system and autoimmune disease.” “Along with several other key responsibilities, your adrenal glands’ primary purpose is to help you survive in the face of a threat, rallying all your body’s resources into ‘fight or flight’ mode by increasing production of adrenaline and cortisol. Healthy adrenals instantaneously increase your heart rate and blood pressure, release your energy stores for immediate use, shut down digestion and other secondary functions, and sharpen your senses.” It seems that oftentimes when I feel this way, I am feeling stressed emotionally or physically. It could be family or financial matters. Or, in the last few instances, I was fighting a virus that was going around but hadn’t quite come down sick just yet. During my treatment for Babesia and Lyme, it was the physical stress of my body fighting those nasty little beasts that was often the perpetrator of my adrenal fatigue/stress. Then, I ask myself: Is it Lyme or Babesia which also cause severe fatigue or adrenal fatigue? There are several other sources that stress the adrenal function: Metal toxicity or chemicals can play a major role. In my case, my mercury levels were very high. “Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Other sources are dental materials and skin contact with chemicals. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications also add to the body's toxic load.” “Nutritional deficiencies are a common cause. When under stress, the need for nutrients is much greater. Carbohydrates, when excessive in the diet, stress the adrenals. Diets low in protein may also create deficiencies and inadequate or poor quality water affects oxygenation of the tissues.” This can also mean poor nutrition by not eating right. Intake of too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Poor digestion and elimination stresses adrenal function. If the body doesn’t digest or eliminate substances within the body properly, it can cause build up in toxicity or cause infection. Emotional stress such as anxiety, depression, over working, over stimulation can stress the adrenal function. “Other stressors in city life include noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers, and appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and computers give off strong electrical fields.” In life, I have found that unless you don’t have first-hand knowledge or have taken the time to research and learn about certain things in life, you will often discount them. With this, I take the time to learn or find out more about what I don’t know. Many times I speak with my Osteopath and he is a wealth of information on conventional and unconventional medicine. That is why I tend to search for osteopathic doctors rather than the norm. (This would be another great subject for a blog in the future.) With that being said, I listen to my body’s signals and my doctor’s advice and follow through to support my adrenal function. I’d have to say, that within a few days I do notice a difference and within a week or so, a major difference. I have more energy, I don’t feel like I’m going to crash in the middle of the day and I wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the day. Listen to your body, work with your doctor, and be proactive. What more did I learn about adrenal fatigue? See next week’s blog. See next week’s blog. Sources: Wikipedia, Adrenal Fatigue, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_fatigue Nippoldt Todd B., M.D., Adrenal Fatigue: Is there Such a Thing? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adrenal-fatigue/AN01583 Mayo Clinic, April 30, 2011 Veracity Dan, Recovering from adrenal fatigue: How your body can overcome chronic stress and feel energized again, http://www.naturalnews.com/019339.html Natural News, April 06, 2006 Pick, Marcelle, OB/GYN NP Adrenal imbalance — the effects of stress and high cortisol levels http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalhealth/effectsofhighcortisollevels.aspx Women to Women Clinic, April 15, 2011 Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion http://www.womenlivingnaturally.com/articlepage.php?id=6 Women Living Naturally.com Wilson, James L., Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/health-books-cds-1/adrenal-fatigue-the-21s... Smart Publications, 2001 Wilson, James L., AdrenalFatigue.org, The Original Source, http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/ Pick, Marcelle, OB/GYN NP Adrenal Health in Women http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalhealth/default.aspx Women to Women Clinic, April 15, 2011 Strasheim, Connie, Is it Lyme or Just Adrenal Fatigue? http://lymebytes.blogspot.com/2007/06/is-it-lyme-or-just-adrenal-fatigue... Lyme Bytes, June 9, 2007
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