How do doctors diagnose adrenal fatigue?
Medicine generally only recognizes Addison’s disease, which is the most extreme end of low adrenal function. Doctors who are familiar with the varying degrees of decreased adrenal function usually test the adrenal hormone levels in your saliva. This is an accurate and useful indicator of adrenal fatigue that is simple and relatively inexpensive. A test kit can be obtained from the lab and the test completed at home by simply spitting into the test tubes 4 times throughout a 24 hour day and filling out an activity sheet to go with the saliva samples. There are other common lab tests that can be used more indirectly to detect adrenal fatigue if the practitioner knows how to interpret them. So if you suspect you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, seek out a healthcare practitioner who is familiar with this problem.
What helps someone with adrenal fatigue?
For most people, a focused program of lifestyle modifications, body-mind practices, specific nutrients and targeted supplementation for adrenal support can help revitalize adrenal function and greatly enhance stress hardiness. In adrenal fatigue, hormone therapy with corticosteroids is usually not necessary or desirable. In fact, taking adrenal steroid hormones suppresses adrenal function and can exacerbate adrenal fatigue. This situation differs from Addison’s disease in which the adrenals are incapable of producing adequate adrenal hormones and an external source is required for continued survival. With adrenal fatigue, the adrenals are still functioning and are capable of returning to optimum with proper support.
What keeps the adrenal glands healthy?
The guidelines for keeping your adrenal glands healthy are very similar to the overall principles of good health but there are a few factors especially important for adrenal support and building stress resilience: Eat regular meals with good quality food that combines balanced amounts of protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates at every meal and snack – including breakfast; avoid sugar and stimulants like caffeine (even though it temporarily makes you feel better, it only depletes your adrenals more); exercise moderately; get adequate rest (go to bed by 9:30 PM and sleep in as long as you can in the morning); learn to manage your stressors. Because modern life is so stressful, nutritional supplements designed specifically for adrenal support may also be a great help.