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Doctors and Adrenal Fatigue

Posted Sep 14 2008 10:15am

One of the things I write about in my book, "Wellness Piece by Piece", is the need to take responsibility for your own health...especially in the case of chronic illness and invisible illness. Learn what works for you and have the courage to stick with it. Sometimes you have to do this even in the face of something a new doctor might be telling you.

I learned this again, quite painfully recently. I got a referral to a new endocrinologist because I have had hormonal imbalances for many years. And over the years I have pieced together things that worked for me. That brought my hormones into balance as measured by blood and saliva tests. But one of those things that worked was taking small doses of cortisol. The doc, because of her cookbook approach suggested that I try to wean myself off of it. At first I just ignored her because I knew from 12+ years of experience that taking small doses 4 times per day helped me tremendously. But eventually, after a few visits and her repeated statements I decided to try.

At first all seemed to be fine. My life was really good at the time. Little stress, everything working well. But then I took a turn for the worse. I got viral gastroenteritis for 10 days followed by me just not doing a good job of correcting the dehydration I experienced. For the next few weeks I still felt "off". One day at work, towards the end of the day, I literally wanted to put my head down on my desk and go to sleep. I asked myself "when was the last time you ever felt this way." After awhile the answer came to me "cortisol". I felt just like I used to some 12+ years ago without cortisol. When I made it home I got two doses in me in a few hours. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Over the next few weeks I felt my old self.

The body makes between 20mg's and 40mg's per day in unstressed conditions. When you experience stress of any kind your body makes more cortisol. Cortisol, is one of the bodies main long term responses to stress. And the response is a NEEDED response. Cortisol has wide ranging positive benefits within the body. In fact, if your body does NOT make enough cortisol in stressful situations you could go into shock and even die.

Rabbits that had their adrenal glands removed lived fine in an unstressed environment. But if they were subsequently stressed the rabbits would die. The problem is that we hear about how cortisol is bad for us. Well, it is. When too much is made or when we live in a overstressed environment. Today, who doesn't it seems? Cortisol is like most things in the body. Too much is bad. Too little is bad.

Traditional medicine does a great job of recognizing extremes. Cushing's disease is the name for making way too much. Addison's is the disease for too little. What medicine does a bad job is the gray area in between. Same with thyroid or sex hormones. What happens when you are not bad enough to "have the disease" but you are still either low or high? A great new book on this subject is worth the read for anyone suffering low energy conditions. "Stop the Thyroid Madness". It covers both thyroid and adrenals because they are tightly related conditions. I highly recommend it!!

When something isn't broke, don't fix it!!

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