I see it time and again in my practice: women come to see me after being dismissed by one healthcare practitioner after another. These women are suffering from overwhelming fatigue, sleep disruptions, fuzzy thinking, and irritability, inability to cope with stress, recurrent infections and low libido, but they’ve been told there’s nothing that can be done to make them feel better.
Why is it that so many healthcare providers refuse to acknowledge the possibility of adrenal dysfunction? Adrenal fatigue is recognized in many parts of the world, but here in the US there has been much skepticism in the conventional medical world. Many physicians more easily accept the idea of better known health issues, like hypothyroidism, depression, and fibromyalgia – all of which can exhibit symptoms similar to those of adrenal dysfunction. In my view, these issues are likely related to an underlying adrenal issue, and treatment with medication alone simply isn’t the best answer.
The term “adrenal fatigue” seems to put up roadblocks for conventional practitioners, and the traditional view of medical testing doesn’t help. My goal is to clear up some misconceptions, and more importantly, help you learn the best ways to restore your adrenal functioning so you can feel like yourself again!
Testing for Extremes
Adrenal imbalance centers around cortisol, and part of the problem is that conventional testing often only looks at the extremes. Cushing’s syndrome in which the body produces excessive levels of cortisol, and Addison’s disease which occurs when cortisol production is deficient, are at opposite sides of the spectrum, and both require immediate medical intervention.
But there’s a lot of middle ground, and often conventional practitioners won’t consider it at all. In their view, the medical tests are “black and white” with no room for grays. If you fall within the “normal” range – even if you’re right on the edge, you will be told your adrenal function is normal. Sadly, sometimes credence isn’t given to the way a patient feels, which can be the best indicator of what is really going on.
Blood tests aren’t the only way to evaluate adrenal function, but many conventional practitioners either haven’t heard of, or don’t trust, my preferred option: saliva tests. In my practice, I find these to be far more accurate when it comes to looking at adrenal function. Women who come to me with symptoms of adrenal imbalance are tested to evaluate cortisol and DHEA levels along with other metabolic tests to ensure no other major health concerns are present.
The results of these tests are notably consistent. Out of the thousands of patients seen at our clinic over the course of a year, less than 25% have cortisol levels which are consistent with healthy adrenal function. A resounding 75+% have impaired function.
Looking at the Big Picture
Practicing functional medicine means paying attention to all stages of a disease: its past, present and future. Adrenal health is no exception; it operates on a continuum. And that’s good news, if you’re paying close attention. It means you don’t need to reach a chronic disease state before addressing the issue. Listening closely to what your symptoms are trying to tell you gives you a perfect opportunity to heal before you get to that point.
If all of this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to take back your life! I can help. Take my easy quiz to determine which product will best help you with your individual systems — and order today! Let this be one of the last days that you feel tired instead of energized!