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

Friday, May 25, 2012

What Is Adrenal Fatigue? What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?

A subject near and dear to my heart, because I struggle with adrenal fatigue. Fortunately, I have a doctor who takes it seriously and checks my cortisol levels regularly. 

Because I deal with a chronic pain issue from a car accident years ago, my body is always under stress.  Add to that that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the accident (I'm much better than I was, but it's still there) and I am always somewhat on "high alert". An optimal cortisol level is under 10 (blood test), mine has been as high as 19.7.  It rose way high late last summer and early fall when I was involved in a bullying situation ------ I was kicked out of a knitting group and it was very hard to find out that people I thought were friends were just using me. 

I have to be very aware of my stress level, and one of the things I have found with my new iPad is that there are some great meditation apps ----- I'm using them, not as consistently as I need to, but it's progress.  I also take two supplements to help manage my cortisol levels.  Ortho Molecular makes AdreneVive:

 and I take two capsules every morning. 

At night, about an hour before bedtime, I take one Cortisol Manager (it's manufactured by Integrative Theraputics) tablet, and in times of high stress or high pain level, I take two Cortisol Manager tablets.

Just had my cortisol level checked again when I went to see Dr. Carr last week.  Last September (in the midst of a lot of turmoil) my cortisol level was 19.7.  Had it checked again in December, and managed to get it down to 17.5.  Last week it was down to 14.6, so I am making progress! My goal now is to get it under 10, and I will feel very accomplished when I do.  The biggest effect I feel from the decreased level is less craving for salty/sweet foods, which of course helps the bottom line weight wise.  I also feel more energetic in the mornings when my levels are better controlled. 

Check out this article from Medical News Today.com.  It gives a pretty good overview of what adrenal fatigue is, how to lower your levels, and the controversy surrounding it.  Many "mainstream" practitioners do not acknowledge that it exists (which is surprising as cortisol levels can be checked with a blood test or a saliva test, so there is definitive evidence that it exists), but it is gaining wider acceptance and that's a good thing.

Have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget, especially if the weather is getting hot where you are (like here in the Southeast) that you need to take extra care to stay hydrated. I feel like I am still catching up on my hydration after flying across the country Monday......I'm still sucking down water like crazy!