Chronic Fatigue and lack of energy are some of the most common symptoms that cause patients to look for solutions that are often linked to hormone replacement therapy. There are many potential reasons for these symptoms. The best approach when evaluating these types of symptoms is to have a specialized hormone specialist conduct a complete evaluation, including medical history, physical examination and diagnostic lab testing. Adrenal Fatigue may be often mentioned in relation to adrenal system exhaustion, but there are many factors which may in fact be causing these symptoms.
Adrenals and Stress
When under stress, the adrenal glands produce and release bursts of cortisol into the bloodstream. The theory is that when people are under constant stress, the adrenal system reaches a burnout phase where the adrenals can’t keep up, thereby triggering a low cortisol level. Low Cortisol could cause symptoms of low energy, depression, lightheadedness and sleep issues. Although this is possible, there are many other factors and variables than can contribute to these types of symptoms.
But what you do if you have these types of symptoms?
Have a complete medical evaluation that looks at your comprehensive health and life style. There are many reasons for these types of symptoms including hormone deficiency and imbalance; anemia, sleep disorders; stress; cardiovascular health; depression, anxiety and kidney / liver function, just to name a few.
Is Cortisol replacement an option?
Cortisol replacement can be dangerous even in small dosages. Cortisol treatments may result in unintended consequences including diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain and cardiovascular disease.
What’s the difference between adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency?
While the adrenal fatigue theory is questioned in medical circles, adrenal insufficiency is a real medical condition. Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce adequate amounts of the necessary hormones that your body requires. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by adrenal gland disease or a pituitary gland issue. It is the pituitary gland that signals the adrenals to produce cortisol.
Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may be dehydration, confusion, or unexplained weight loss. Patients may also experience symptoms of weakness, fatigue, feel dizzy or have low blood sugar. Other symptoms may include digestive issues including stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Too often, some clinical practitioners have focused very narrowly upon cortisol and the adrenal fatigue hypothesis, and as a result, may overlook real problems that may be causing such symptoms and conditions including anemia, hypothyroidism, hormone imbalance, growth hormone deficiency, or general hormonal decline often referred to as menopause and andropause.
Lifestyle factors: People can often become deconditioned within a sendentary lifestyle, if they don’t exercise. Today, people are often so stressed that they decline the time to take care of themselves. In cases such as these, solutions may be as simple as modifying one’s lifestyle, eating a healthier diet, taking the proper supplements, getting enough sleep, exercise, and minimizing potential sources of stress from their lives.
The key hormones produced by the adrenal system include:
Cortisol helps control the body’s use of fats, proteins and carbohydrates; suppresses inflammation; regulates blood pressure; increases blood sugar; and can also decrease bone formation. Cortisol also controls the sleep/wake cycle. It is released during times of stress to help your body get an energy boost and better handle an emergency situation.
This hormone plays a central role in regulating blood pressure and certain electrolytes (sodium and potassium).
DHEA and Androgenic Steroids
These hormones are precursor hormones that are converted in the ovaries into female hormones (estrogens) and in the testes into male hormones (androgens).
Epinephrine (Adrenaline) and Norepinephrine (Noradrenaline)
Among other things, these hormones are capable of increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles and brain, relaxing airway smooth muscles, and assisting in glucose metabolism. They also help maintain blood pressure while increasing blood pressure in response to stress. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are often activated in physically and emotionally stressful situations when your body needs additional resources and energy to endure unusual strain.
Excess of Cortisol: Cushing Syndrome
Cushing syndrome results from excessive production of cortisol from the adrenal glands. The symptoms may include weight gain, increased body fat, especially in the face, or below the back of the neck and in the abdomen. Other symptoms may include thinning arms and legs; purple stretch marks on the abdomen; facial hair; fatigue; muscle weakness; easily bruised skin; high blood pressure; diabetes; and other health issues.
RenewFX Health delivers a total care, concierge healthcare approach. You will feel special with a level of attention to detail and patient follow-up not often seen in healthcare circles these days. Bottom line is that we truly care about ensuring that you are happy, healthy and getting the best results possible, every step of the way for life.