Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Typical Pattern of Fatigue with Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands are the size of a grape each sitting on top of the kidneys and are responsible for making stress hormones for us to respond to stress.  However, persistent, ongoing stress can drain these glands make them into sultanas.  When the glands are drained and tired, the person often feels tired on waking, and have quite specific tiredness patterns throughout the day.

According to Dr. James Wilson, adrenal fatigue has a typical pattern of fatigue different from other types of fatigue:

On waking, the patient is fatigue because the lack of cortisol and aldosterone from fatigued adrenals creating low blood glucose levels that in turn creates fatigue.  Low aldosterone also causes low blood pressure.  It may take a couple hours to 4 hours to finally wake up.

After lunch, there will be a mid afternoon low around 3 p.m to 4 p.m. and the adrenal fatigue patient will feel better after 6 p.m which will last till 9 p.m..  If the patient stays past 11 p.m., he/she will get a second wind and can keep going till 1 or 2 a.m.  This pattern of fatigue is typically observed in adrenal fatigue patients.

If you suspect you or a family member or friend could be suffering from adrenal fatigue, these many be some of the symptoms:

  • Tired for no reason
  • Tired even after 8-9 hours of continuous sleep
  • Feeling run down and depressed
  • Craving salt or sugar
  • Difficulty bouncing back from illness
  • Depending on coffee to keep going
  • Unable to handle stress and constantly feeling overwhelmed
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dragging through the day

We can help you and your family/friend.

Conventional medicine only recognises extreme cases of adrenal dysfunction called Addisons disease where patients are put on corticosteroids to sustain them for the rest of their lives.  This is a rare disease with an incidence of about 0.004% of the population.  There are thousands if not tens of thousands who are left unattended and are told that they are “normal” when there is nothing normal about what they feel.

Louise Thompson who published a book this year, “A busy woman’s guide to High Energy Happiness”, struggled with severe adrenal fatigue where at her worst, she was not able to get out of bed and dress herself. I can relate to this, seeing what my late father went through. In the years prior to his cancer diagnosis, he complained of fatigue every day. His doctor put it down to old age.  In Louise’s case, she underwent all the possible tests she could and was told by her doctors that she was “normal”.  In her search for an explanation for her fatigue, she was treated naturopathically for her adrenal fatigue and that turned the corner for her. Her book describes her journey and the physical and thought processes that drain us of energy. It is a hands-on book with numerous exercises about our belief system and challenges us to take energetic actions. I find this book as useful for women as it is for men.  This book is available at our clinic.

All tailored supplements mentioned in the book are available at our clinic. You can have a tailored approach to supplementation, which may include other support for your thyroid, immune, digestive or hormonal systems. 

My advice to you:  Do not confuse what is normal with what is common.  If you are commonly tired, that is not normal. Whilst adrenal fatigue may not be the cause of your fatigue, you could have other reasons why you are fatigue, most of which natural medicines, dietary and lifestyle changes can help tremendously. 

Complications from a Supposedly “Straight Forward” Medical Procedure

I recently took 10 days off and went to Malaysia to see my mum.  My mum had fallen from the stairs a few months back and had a fracture to her lumbar 1 vertebrae.  She was given a procedure of vertebroplasty on her L1 which involved pumping in medical cement, polymethylmethacrylate into her vertebrae.  A leak of the substance into her nervous system caused problems with her speech, control of arms and legs and she had some days of diarrhea. At its worst, she had no control of herself when sitting on a chair and would slip down to the floor.  I’m glad to report that she is in a much better state now.  Before she signed up for the vetebroplasty procedure, I offered her natural bone knitting options for knitting her fracture by building bones using natural calcium and symphytum but she declined my offer.  It was because I mentioned that it would take a good 3 months if not more to help the healing and she wanted "instant cure".  She was promised 6 weeks of being in a brace and then she would be well with the procedure.  However, this did not happen. More than 9 months after the procedure, she still found it painful to sit or sleep for more than 4 hours at a time.  She stopped using the brace after 6 months because it was not helping and creating other skin problems for her.  During my visit, I gave her intensive acupuncture therapy, twice a day, and that helped her pain management and sleep.  I also took her to an Atlas Profilax practitioner. 

At around the same time as my mum’s accident, a client of mine had an accident that fractured 3 of her metatarsals on her foot.  She was in a cast and wanted to expedite her recovery with natural medicines.  I put her on natural calcium and symphytum.  She was in a cast for a few months, but her x-rays showed recovery and she was ultimately taken off the cast.  She subsequently resumed her normal physical activities and went for an overseas holiday.

Moral of the story:  Natural medicines can work as well if not better than invasive medical procedures.  Remember most medical procedures are not cheap.  The vertebropasty procedure costs over $5,000.  So, investigate before you commit.  If some promises are too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!