"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stressing it out

Adrenal fatigue is somewhat controversial in the medical community (ok, it's actually quite controversial). Some doctors swear on a stack it doesn't even exist, but more and more doctors are taking it seriously. I have it myself, my cortisol level had risen to nearly 20 (my doctor likes it around 10). Much of my "stress" is from chronic back and hip pain from a car accident many years ago----I take medication for the pain, as well as do gentle exercises and meditate, but pain is a tremendous stressor on the body. Even bioidentically hormonally balanced, I am still somewhat of a type "A" personality, a little high strung and anxious. Dr. Carr, my own physician in CA, takes adrenal fatigue very seriously---he knows about my efforts to reduce my stress levels, and about 18-20 months ago he started me on a nighttime supplement called Cortisol Manager (it's available from his office). I started out taking 2 at night, and then was able to cut to one a night. It helps with sleep, and although I was a skeptic, it has reduced my cortisol level by 25%.

I came across this article today in the StarOnline.com, it's' by a doctor in Britain. It gives a very good overview of what adrenal fatigue is, what contributes to it, how to reduce your risk, etc. I want to point out a very important line in the article, the one about only taking DHEA under a doctor's supervision, and only after you have been tested to see if there is an insufficiency. DHEA is a supplement sold over the counter, but it is a powerful substance and should never be taken unless it's needed.

My favourite book on Adrenal Fatigue is Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Syndrome by Dr. James Wilson. Best price is at Amazon.com.

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