Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Are You Tired? Is That Normal?

We live in a medical age where the priority is to diagnose the disease and then mask the symptoms with a drug … fast! Our doctors are mostly overworked and have just a few minutes per patient where they are expected to make a diagnosis, give a medication and move on to the next patient.

So what happens when a patient complains of fatigue, aches and pains, poor sleep, or some other “innocuous” symptom? They’re usually told to relax, get more sleep or (my personal favorite) that they’re just getting old and that it’s normal to feel the way they do!

Nonsense. If we paid more attention to the “innocuous” symptoms we’d have less serious diseases occur.

If there was a part of the body that was responsible for creating great energy levels, maintaining deal weight, encouraging restful sleep, balancing mood, reducing pain and inflammation, preventing allergy symptoms, keeping the immune system strong, and promoting anti-aging, would it be important to take good care of it? Of course. So let’s discuss the adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands are responsible for all the above functions plus a lot more, but one of the early indicators that they’re not functioning properly is that a person can feel tired. When an individual has a symptom they often feel better when others around them share the same symptom. Perhaps it’s where the: “Misery loves company” expression came from. But a “common” symptom is not a “normal” symptom and it’s not normal to feel tired.

How does adrenal fatigue tie into gluten sensitivity? The adrenal glands are very sensitive to blood sugar levels. Some symptoms associated with unstable blood sugar are fatigue, cravings and brain fog, to name a few. When a person is gluten sensitive they are unable to adequately absorb the nutrients they take in due to the damage created to the small intestine from eating gluten. Remember the surface area of the small intestine is the size of a tennis court, thus even once gluten is removed from the diet it takes some time to fully heal an organ of that size.

Poor absorption of nutrients leads to unstable blood sugar that then leads to stress on the adrenal glands. Depending on the person, the symptoms that develop from adrenal exhaustion run the gamut from fatigue, weight gain, thyroid imbalance, hormonal disturbances, anxiety and depression, allergies, join pain and inflammation. It’s a vast array of symptoms but they all have a common thread – adrenal glands that are fatigued.

I entitled this post “fatigue” because it’s a very common symptom and due to its commonality, it’s often ignored. Normalizing adrenal function is key to regaining health. When the adrenal glands have been malfunctioning for a period of time, they need to be reset through nutritional and lifestyle changes in order for them to regain normal function. Research shows us that simply removing the stressor (e.g. gluten) is often not enough for them to regain their health. But the good news is that drugs and/or surgery are not the prescribed treatment and the best response comes from a natural program.

If you find yourself with any of the above symptoms and removing gluten from your diet has not completely allayed them, consider an adrenal functional test and a program with a clinician who regularly works with restoring adrenal function.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen

1 comment:

Cecelia said...

Wow.This was an eye opener. Can my regular PCP do the Adrenal Functional test and if not who can?