Tired? Stressed? Trouble Sleeping? Is It Adrenal Exhaustion?
Are You Tired of Feeling Tired? You're Not Alone!
To say the symptoms such as fatigue, exhaustion, stress and sleep trouble are common would be a grave understatement. Closer to the truth is that such symptoms are bordering on epidemic and we certainly see that in our medical and nutritional patients.
Living in a medical, drug-based society, such symptoms are often “treated” with advice to take it easy, receive a prescription for a sleeping pill and an antidepressant, along with a hefty dose of self prescribed caffeine and sugar to try to lift the fog of low energy.
What’s wrong with such advice?
It doesn’t get to the root cause of why the body is feeling poorly. If a drug addressed the true root cause, you wouldn’t have to keep taking it, and for it to be beneficial for you, it certainly wouldn’t have dangerous side effects. And that’s a claim no drug can make, let alone antidepressants with the known side effect of suicidal tendencies.
You Need to Know WHY You Don't Feel Well
I'm not trying to be negative, but let’s really get a grasp of what it means when your body gives you a symptom. Does your body make you have little to no energy because it’s mad at you? Is your body vindictive in some fashion? The good news is “no”.
The body gives you a symptom as a simple means of communicating that it is having difficulty adapting to some stress that’s coming its way. And when I say “stress” I don’t just mean mental stress. A stressor could be anything from a poor diet or eating foods you are reacting to, to poor digestion and hormonal imbalance. It could be the reaction to a drug or it could be an infection of a chronic nature.
The point is that once the true stressor(s) are identified and removed, the body can revert to the healthy state its designed to have.
How Does Root Cause Medicine Work?
Getting back to masking symptoms with drugs – taking a drug that makes you “not feel” a certain symptom (but does nothing to address the real root cause) is akin to taking a pain reliever because there’s a rock in your shoe causing you pain. Wouldn’t it make more sense to remove the rock?
The example is simple and you may think the human body is complex, but surprisingly, identifying the root cause of a problem is fairly easy when you’ve been trained where to look.
Let’s look at sleep problems as an example. A person complains of poor restless sleep. They may take a long time to fall asleep or have trouble staying asleep. They may be tired all day and get a second wind at night, making it difficult to “turn off”. A sleeping pill might knock them out for a while, but in my experience with patients, the sleeping pills rarely work for long before the patient is looking for a new pill.
What should be known is that the same system of the body involved in making healthy energy during the day is involved in creating deep, restorative sleep at night. Further, what allows that healthy energy to be produced is a good diet and digestive tract that turns good fuel into utilizable fuel from which to make energy.
It’s not complicated. It’s almost like wondering why your car doesn’t move when there’s no gas. The energy that creates motion in your car requires fuel. Your body is very much the same.
Look at Digestion First and Move on to Adrenals Nest
It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the first system we begin with is the digestive tract and the patient’s diet. If the food being eaten is of low quality, it won’t turn into good fuel. If the food is good, but the digestive tract isn’t working properly, again we have a fuel delivery problem. And of course if you're eating a food you're sensitive to such as gluten, again we won't have good fuel.
Once that is addressed, which isn’t at all difficult, we move on to the system that makes that energy, theadrenal glands. You may not have heard of them--but you likely know the word adrenaline, something the adrenal glands produce.
While the adrenal glands are responsible for making effortless levels of energy during the day, they also tie into creating the balance with the sleep hormone at night. In other words the adrenal glands insure great energy when you are awake, but they also feed into the creation of deep, restorative sleep at night--sleep that would be uninterrupted and allow you to bounce out of bed in the morning ready to greet your day.
Why have most people never heard of their adrenal glands?
Why do doctors never mention them to their patients who are complaining of such symptoms as fatigue, brain fog, stress and poor sleep (to name a few)?
The answer lies in our medical model that asks a doctor to take a symptom, discover if there is a disease process and then treat that disease with a pharmaceutical drug.
The adrenal glands, fortunately, do not fit into this model. The reason is that they disease rarely. There is a disease they can manifest, but it’s thankfully rare, though serious. The downside of this rarity is that doctors are disease-oriented and because adrenal disease is rare, they assume their patients won’t often have a problem that is adrenal related.
And they’re not wrong – they don’t see many patients with adrenal disease, but what they do see is a multitude of patients with adrenal fatigue. Their training doesn’t look for it or even provide a treatment protocol. Remember, it’s not a disease state. What we are describing is a malfunction of the adrenal glands.
What Do the Adrenal Glands Do?
The malfunction of the adrenals can create the following symptoms:
Weakened immune system
Anxiety, depression, mood swings
Hormonal imbalance such as PMS, menstrual cramps, infertility, etc.
Joint pain and muscle aches
Light-headedness - some people call this a "head rush"
Inflammation –the cause of most degenerative diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes
Sensitivity to bright light
That’s quite a list. And for two glands the size of walnuts, it’s a pretty impressive job description that they control all those aspects of your health.
Do you see the problem of missing the adrenal glands as the root cause of your symptoms when they are responsible for so many important jobs?
Imagine you’re tired and have muscle and joint pain and you’re prescribed a pain reliever. The pain reliever seems to do the job somewhat, although it’s temporary. Drinking several cups of coffee or soda gives some relief to the fatigue. But is either "treatment" making the adrenal glands healthier? Absolutely not. So while you may have started with two symptoms on the list above, ignoring the adrenal glands as the underlying root cause will find you in the future suffering from more symptoms or a worsening of the original symptoms… or both.
Would it be worthwhile to find out how to keep one’s adrenal glands happy and optimally functioning? Remember then adrenals also impact aging and inflammation, which is another way of saying that theyextend your life expectancy and fight against degenerative disease.
As an aside, when we wrote our book “The Gluten Effect”, the chapter on adrenal fatigue was the largest chapter in the book, now perhaps you see why that would be.
The exciting news is that the adrenal glands dislike drugs. They thrive on a natural program that is not difficult to implement.
Part 2 Will Tell You What to do Next
In Part 2 of this article, I will review what you need to do and what your doctor needs to do in order to revitalize and rebalance your adrenal glands.
It’s not difficult.
Need Help? We're Here for You!
If you felt as if I was describing you above, you are not alone. As I mentioned earlier, adrenal fatigue/exhaustion is almost epidemic. If you would like assistance and don’t have a clinician whom you feel can assist you, consider contacting us for a FREE Health Analysis – call 408-733-0400. We are a Destination Clinic and treat patients from across the country and internationally. We would be delighted to help you as we have been doing so for over two decades.
Until next time, I wish you very good health.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN IFM Certified Practitioner Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center Co-author of “The Gluten Effect” Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”