Show 1347: How to fight adrenal fatigue

You’re probably familiar with adrenaline, the hormone that jolts your body in an emergency. As a result, your heart beats faster and harder, your hands shake, your pupils dilate, and your muscles are mobilized for rapid action. This is extremely useful in the event of a crisis. But what if your body goes into crisis mode every day, whether there’s an actual emergency or not? What happens to the adrenal glands that produce stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline? Could you be developing adrenal fatigue?

What is Adrenal Dysfunction?

When endocrinologists talk about adrenal gland disease, they think of Addison’s disease. In this condition, the immune system attacks the adrenal glands and they stop producing cortisol and aldosterone. Doctors diagnose the opposite condition, Cushing’s syndrome, when the glands produce too much of these hormones. President Kennedy may be one of the best known individuals to suffer from Addison’s disease.

Enlaces Patrocinados:

Your body is a system and all the glands that make hormones communicate with each other. When you take this into account, it seems less surprising that a person with an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might also be susceptible to problems with the adrenal glands. Dr. Izabella Wentz says it happens more often than we might imagine.

Recognizing Adrenal Fatigue:

Dr. Wentz suggests that some of the symptoms that signal your adrenal glands are having trouble could be nonspecific, perhaps even common. He suggests that anxiety and brain fog could be blown out. Inability to tolerate bright light, unexplained pain, libido disorders, and fatigue even after sleeping through the night are other symptoms. Sure, sleeping through the night is often a problem. Sufferers may have difficulty getting the sleep they need. Other symptoms: craving for salt and a tendency to feel lightheaded if you get up too quickly. (Doctors call this orthostatic hypotension.)

When we asked Dr. Wentz to diagnose adrenal dysfunction, she suggested a series of saliva tests to determine cortisol levels. Normally, you start the day with a relatively high level of this hormone, which gradually decreases throughout the day. If your levels don’t go down or if the pattern is in reverse, you may need to take steps to correct it.

What can you do about adrenal fatigue?

For those who have trouble sleeping, Dr. Wentz recommends making sure you have enough magnesium in your system. Rather than taking supplements, he suggests soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath before bed. Your skin will absorb some of the magnesium you need and the warm bath will help you get sleep which is essential.

Maintaining a good balance of blood sugar, neither too high nor too low, is another good way to help coax the body out of chronic stress mode. Avoid carbohydrate-rich breakfasts like bagels or pancakes, and instead make sure you’re getting enough protein by eating eggs or drinking a shake with a good dose of whey protein, for example.

Other recommendations will sound familiar. Spend time in nature when you can. Exercise every day, but not too much and not too late. Practice relaxation or meditation. Read Dr. Wentz’s book.

This week’s guest:

Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP, is an internationally renowned thyroid specialist and licensed pharmacist who has dedicated her career to addressing the root causes of autoimmune thyroid disease following her diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in 2009. She is the author of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: lifestyle interventions to find and treat the root cause, Hashimoto’s food pharmacologyAND New York Times best seller Hashimoto’s protocol. His most recent book is Adrenal Transformation Protocol: A 4-week plan to release stress symptoms and go from survival to thrive.

Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP, Adrenal Fatigue Expert

Dr. Izabella Wentz

Listen to the podcast:

The podcast for this show will be available on Monday, July 17, 2023, following its broadcast on July 15. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free.

Download the mp3.

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