January 1, 2018

452 Adrenal Fatigue [1 Jan 2018]

This is the first column of 2018 and the beginning of my last year – I plan to retire this column at #500 sometime next December.

In March 2015 [#311] I discussed the three stages of adrenal fatigue: wired & tired; stressed & tired; and burned out. In #312 I listed the 9 healing steps used by Dr Robin Berzin in her practice with patients with adrenal fatigue. I reviewed this information in August 2016 [#380]. This week I will share new information from Dr. Philip Rouchota’s naturopathic practice.

Philip begins by cautioning that there is not a lot of scientific research on the topic as mainstream medicine does not recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition. This is puzzling to me because diabetes is well recognized as the pancreas’ inability to produce sufficient insulin, and hypothyroidism as the thyroid’s inability to produce sufficient thyroid hormones. Adrenal fatigue is simply the inability of the adrenal glands to produce sufficient cortisol, with predictable signs and symptoms.

There is a lab test for it, called Adrenal Stress Index, but this is costly so practitioners usually rely on clinical presentation including: high level of stress, extreme fatigue, afternoon crash, awake feeling unrested, and overuse of caffeine.

Mental health issues like depression, anxiety and insomnia frequently occur along with AF. Dr. Rouchota treats these first, which usually clear in 3 months, before addressing the remaining fatigue. AF is slow to resolve, often taking 4-6 months to see any improvement.

The treatment for AF is the same for all stages and the goal is the same – to normalize cortisol production. Dr. Rouchota’s protocol includes:
• Mediterranean diet
• Meditation breathing – shown in studies to normalize cortisol and reduce anxiety
• A good multi or B complex
• Adrenal glandular concentrate
• Cordyceps mushroom extract
• Adaptogen herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Astragalus, Passionflower
• L-theanine – relieves stress and relaxes without drowsiness
• Melatonin – to ensure sufficient quality sleep

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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