Stress is a normal part of life. Every day, we are faced with stimuli, called stressors, which can elicit the body’s “fight or flight” response, setting off a cascade of physiological reactions and resulting in emotions ranging from mild to intense. While occasional stress is natural and even healthy, chronic or acute stress has a negative impact on our adrenal health. As adrenal glands become increasing compromised, adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion may develop. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include but are not limited to:
- Lack of energy to carry daily activities
- Tired upon waking
- Decrease in energy during afternoon
- Easily overwhelmed by emotions
- Restless, agitated, anxious, and irritable
- Poor memory or concentration
- Frequent/chronic infections
- Low blood pressure
- Lightheadedness upon rising or standing from a kneeling or sitting position
- Low blood sugar/hypoglycemia (i.e. headaches, sleepiness, mood swings, and anxiety if skipping meals)
- Problem falling or staying asleep
- Crave salt or salty things
- Multiple points in the body when touched are tender or painful
The adrenal glands are small (5 grams) glandular tissues lying atop each of the kidneys. The inner portion, called the medulla, secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine and is an extension of the sympathetic nervous system. The larger outer portion, called the cortex, is responsible for secreting various steroid hormones. Of the nearly 30 steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex, the principal ones include aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid), cortisol (a glucocorticoid), and various sex hormones (testosterone, progesterone and estrogens) and their precursors (DHEA, androstenedione). The mineralocorticoids play an essential role in regulating potassium and sodium levels and water balance. The glucocorticoid, cortisol, is a key player in the adrenal glands stress response mechanism. Sex hormones, DHEA and its metabolites have diverse effects during the lifecycle of the individual. As such, taking preventive or restorative measures to support the health of your adrenal glands is important for your whole health and wellbeing.
Our Personalized Health Plan includes:
- Comprehensive Health Intake by a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in natural hormone therapy
- Physical Exam
- Comprehensive Salivary Adrenal Rhythm and/or Serum Evaluation
- Customized Treatment and Prevention Plan
- Continual monitoring and evaluation of symptoms
Adrenal Fatigue Testing: 4 point cortisol rhythm, DHEA and/or 17-Hydroxy Progesterone
The human adrenal gland does not secrete steroid hormones at a constant level throughout the day. The hormones are actually released in a cycle, with the highest value in the morning and the lowest value at night when functioning properly. This 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm. Therefore, we utilize four saliva samples taken at specific time points throughout the day to get a snap shot of your cortisol rhythm generated in response to real-life stress. Together with DHEA and/or 17-Hydroxy progesterone, the data will be used to narrow down the most appropriate modalities for your treatment.
Holistic Adrenal Fatigue Treatment and Prevention Plan
Adrenal fatigue (also called “adrenal exhaustion”) can be prevented and reversed by simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
Good nutrition, well-timed meals and snacks, avoiding allergic foods, routine daily exercise, and scheduled daily relaxation. Our approach to adrenal fatigue treatment involves a three-step process moving from more gentle treatment to more supportive measures depending on the needs of each individual woman.
STEP 1: Diet and Lifestyle
Through our experience, we have found that supporting the body naturally with diet and lifestyle modifications and nutritional supplementation can significantly relieve the strain on your adrenal glands and bring your body back to a state of balance. The small choices you make in regards to your nutrition and eating patterns will make a difference.
STEP 2: Botanical Therapy
We utilize specific herbs ( adrenal adaptogens) that have been researched and studied for their medicinal benefits for the treatment of symptoms related to adrenal fatigue. Many patients can comfortably control their symptoms and feel great on STEPS 1 and 2 alone.
STEP 3: Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
When more support is needed, natural adrenal hormone replacement therapy may be the best option. Hormone therapy is used at the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time to help restore your adrenals to a level where you can continue your adrenal restoration to the optimal level with Steps 1 and 2.