September 15th, 2016 •
Comments Off on 16 Adrenal Fatigue Myths
Adrenal Fatigue can be very confusing and it can really be hard to understand the truth behind it. There are a number of myths that people who suffer from adrenal fatigue may have heard or believe that are detrimental to recovery. Learn the truth about these myths so that you can treat your adrenal fatigue successfully.
Myth 1: Everything I Have Tried Failed, So Nothing Works
False. Treating adrenal fatigue is tricky and if you have been trying to treat it on your own, you have likely run into a number of roadblocks. Adrenal fatigue gradually gets worse over time and trying to treat it yourself can actually make the condition worse.
If you feel like you have tried everything and anything in order to treat your adrenal fatigue but still the symptoms get worse, then it is likely that you are misunderstanding how to recover in the best way. The key to recovery is educating yourself on adrenal fatigue and finding a physician that is familiar with adrenal fatigue and knows how to treat it. The best approach is multifaceted combining adequate rest and sleep, supplements with diet, fluid intake, stress management and exercise.
Knowing how all these different components interact and knowing just what to do is very tricky and the answer varies from person to person. So if you feel like you will just never get better, you don’t want to give up. It is still possible to reach full recovery even if you have progressed into the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue.
All it takes is time and a carefully constructed plan that will step gradually through the recovery process. You will want to be monitored and aided by a health professional throughout your entire recovery process so that your plan can be adjusted as you progress.
Myth 2: Adrenal Fatigue is All in My Head
False. Adrenal Fatigue may start in your head but it progresses to real physical symptoms that need a clinical response. Adrenal fatigue is a response to stress and stress can come from many different sources. Although the stress that spurs the adrenal fatigue can be in your head, such as anxiety or problems with those you are with.
However it can also include physical stressors or emotional stressors so it is incorrect to state that the problem is all in your head. The real truth of the matter is that it is a bit of both. Yes the stress is somewhat in your head because it is how your mind is reacting to the situation, but the chronic stress is having a physical effect on the body. Once that physical effect begins then you need more than just a reduction in stress to recover.
Adrenal fatigue can affect every part of your body and every aspect of your life, so it is important to treat it. This can be hard when friends, family and employers may not understand what adrenal fatigue is and how it affects the body.
The key is to educate them and let them know that this is not something that is just in your head or just something coming from having a stressful day. It is a long term chronic condition that you cannot recover from overnight.
Myth 3: Adrenal Fatigue is Physical
False. Again there are several components working together to make adrenal fatigue happen. While there is a huge physical component where the adrenal glands are overworked and they can no longer function properly on their own, there is also a mental and emotional aspect as well. This mental and emotional aspect is the perceived stressor, whether it is stressing out about things at work, things at home or that you are anxious about certain things.
This is what is causing your adrenal glands to overwork themselves, so it is not purely physical. It could even be argued that the stressors themselves are environmental so there is also an environmental component. The reason why adrenal fatigue should not be considered a purely physical ailment is because simply treating the physical aspects will not lead to lasting recovery.
There also needs to be a focus on removing the stressors that caused the problem in the first place. This can mean lifestyle changes or mental changes to affect how you react to common stressors. Some people will find that they simply need techniques for dealing with stress or take time to relax more often than they would prior.
If one only works on the physical symptoms the adrenal fatigue could occur all over again as the chronic stress continues to put a drain on the adrenal glands. Often a physician will tell you that the first step you need to take is finding a way to remove as much stress as possible from your life.
Myth 4: All Supplements are Natural and Therefore Good for You
False. Every person is unique and every case of adrenal fatigue is unique. Therefore, suplements that may help one person recovery may cause another person to get worse. As adrenal fatigue gets worse so does the potential damage the wrong supplements can do. Some people find that they can get better just by taking a certain supplement every day, others may find that exact supplement and dose causes their symptoms to get worse. The risks of backfire increase as you add different supplements together because they all interact in different ways.
In some cases you may have the right selection of supplements but the dose is wrong or the method is wrong. Using nutrient compounds incorrectly is actually one of the most common causes for adrenal crashes. You should never take nutrients or supplements or try to recover from adrenal fatigue without the help of an experienced professional who is familiar with all the treatment options and how they interact.
It is very complicated to understand this process and it may take some trial and error. So even if a supplement starts to help with your symptoms your body may adjust or as you recover the dose may be off, and this can then cause your symptoms to return stronger than before.
Myth 5: People With Adrenal Fatigue Cannot Work Because They Lack Energy
False. This is actually only true of people who are in very advanced stages of adrenal fatigue. In fact most people who have adrenal fatigue have very busy and active jobs that keep them very busy. These people are typically in stage 1 and 2 of adrenal fatigue and may not even realize they have a problem.
They may be treating the symptoms with coffee, sweets or a little extra rest but not doing anything to solve the long term issue. It is even possible for some people in stage 3 and 4 of adrenal fatigue to be able to keep working, it is only people who are far into stage 4 and sometimes stage 3 that will find themselves bedridden and unable to get things done.
People in these later stages may have issues with blood sugar, blood pressure and insomnia and they may be treating these symptoms. They may even be managing these symptoms so well they are not aware of the underlying problem. Therefore it is very possible for someone with adrenal fatigue to continue working and stay working throughout their recovery process. This does not mean that they are working at their best or that they always feel up to the task but they are capable of doing good work.
Myth 6: Strenuous Exercise is Beneficial for Someone with Adrenal Fatigue
Not Always. If you are in stage 1 and 2 adrenal fatigue then strenuous exercise may be beneficial for improving your energy flow. However, you should not work out until you are completely drained. For those in stage 3 and beyond, exercise should only be attempted with supervision because too much exercise can trigger adrenal crashes. It is important to keep in mind that even though exercise might make you feel better in the short term, in the long term it can cause problems for your body if you have adrenal fatigue.
That is why it is best for you and your healthcare professional to start the process gradually and see how your body reacts before increasing the intensity of your workouts. For some people, especially those in the later stages of adrenal failure, it may only be possible to walk ten minutes a day at first. While this may seem frustrating and nonproductive, especially for someone that likes to work out, this rest period is essential.
By giving your body a break you allow it to put its energy toward repairing your adrenal glands instead of putting all of its effort into your exercise regimen. This is only temporary eventually you will recover enough to go back to your old exercise habits and you will find that you have more energy and stamina than you ever did before.
Myth 7: Men are Disproportionally Affected by Adrenal Fatigue
False. This may seem like an obvious choice since men are more often in high stress and dangerous jobs than women. However, women tend to take on more stress in their life in general, trying to both raise a family and have a career.
They can also tend to take on more than they can handle and avoid dealing with their stress more often. In fact the hormone system in women is particularly stressed and there is a prevalence of ovarian-adrenal-thyroid axis imbalance. Most adrenal fatigue cases are found in women but this does not mean that either men or women should feel like they are safe from getting adrenal fatigue.
If you are in a high stress position or you feel overwhelmed in your life then it is possible that you are at risk for adrenal fatigue. Both men and women should evaluate themselves with the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and the amount of stress in their life. If you think that you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue then you should consult with a quality health professional that can help you assess your risk.
Myth 8: If Untreated, Most People Recover from Adrenal Fatigue
False. While it can be possible for people in the very early stages of adrenal fatigue to get better with rest and relaxation, if the condition is not treated it will only get worse. Even just rest and relaxation for a weekend is considered a necessary treatment for people with early stages of adrenal fatigue. However, as the adrenal fatigue reaches the later stages it is harder and harder to recover from.
If someone with advanced stages of adrenal fatigue tries to treat it or recover on their own, they will likely end up making it worse. The best chance of a complete and full recovery is under the guidance of a health professional even in the early stages. The problem is that most people do not seek help from a professional until their adrenal glands are very damaged and weak.
The good news is that full recovery is still possible under the strict supervision of a health care professional qualified to treat adrenal fatigue patients. If left alone, the fatigue and symptoms will just continue to get worse until it reaches the very late stages where the person suffering from adrenal fatigue is no longer able to function. The longer a person with adrenal fatigue waits to get help the longer it will take them to recover.
Myth 9: Only People with Stressful Jobs and Hectic Lives Get Adrenal Fatigue
False. Adrenal fatigue is not tied to the type of job that a person has but rather the amount of stress they have in their life combined with their personality. Some people can have jobs that are considered stressful but they do not let those jobs or the stress affect them. Likewise people can have jobs that are considered low-stress but they have other stressors in their life or other small stressors that have a big effect on them.
Adrenal fatigue can happen in anyone no matter their job, income or lifestyle. The real indicator of whether or not someone is at risk for adrenal fatigue is how stressed out they feel. Someone with a weak constitution might develop adrenal fatigue even though they have what seems like low levels of stress in their life.
People who have very strong reactions to stress may even develop adrenal fatigue just from simple aspects of life such as anxiety over a dental appointment or recovering from a cold.
Adrenal fatigue should never be ruled out as a possibility just because it seems like someone lives a stress-free life. Everyone has stress in their life and the point is how they mentally and physically respond to that stress. Strong reactions to stress are what cause adrenal fatigue.
Therefore, one person may have a high-profile high-stress job that keeps them constantly busy but they may feel less stressed mentally and physically than someone who has a job that seems much more calm and relaxing. Many people cannot control how their body reacts to stress so no one should consider it their fault if they get adrenal fatigue.
Myth 10: Adrenal Fatigue Progresses Very Slowly
Not Always. In most cases, Adrenal fatigue does develop over years or decades. As the constant stress wears down the adrenal glands and the person has no idea that it is happening. It is a slow progression because there can be some moments where there is rest and relaxation to help the glands repair themselves a little.
But this is not the only way that someone can develop adrenal fatigue. When someone encounters an extremely stressful situation or lives in a very stressful situation for a period of time, even just months or weeks they can rapidly develop adrenal fatigue. It is more about how the body is reacting to the stress.
Someone with a weak constitution may have a very stressful moment that then triggers an adrenal crash and damages the adrenal glands. Therefore if you are experiencing the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and you have experienced and overload of stress recently, then you should consult a professional about your risks of adrenal fatigue.
Other things that may trigger adrenal failure include divorce, illness, an accident or injury, or just extreme overwork. While some stressors may not seem like a big deal to some, it more depends on the individual’s ability to handle stress. Some individuals are much better at handling stress than others.
Those with weak constitutions are much more likely to have adrenal fatigue after a single stressful event than those who are much more equipped to deal with stress.
Myth 11: There is No Scientific Basis for Adrenal Fatigue
False. Like most diseases and syndromes that we know about today, adrenal fatigue has always been around. However, it is only recently that we have been able to recognize it as what it is. Only over the past century have people begun to understand adrenal fatigue syndrome as a physical dysfunction that requires treatment.
Since it is only recently that greater understanding of adrenal fatigue has been developed it is not yet recognized by the conventional medical community. This is mostly due to the inability to see evidence of adrenal fatigue through lab tests and the lack of education on the topic.
Today’s lab tests are not strong enough or developed enough to be able to test for signs of adrenal fatigue. They are often very subtle within the body but they can have severe symptoms that need to be treated. So just because regular lab tests used today do not show any irregularity, that does not mean that someone is not suffering from adrenal fatigue.
There are several health professionals that have studied and become familiar with adrenal fatigue and its symptoms. They are able to show the science behind the syndrome and develop a treatment plan for recovery. You should also keep in mind that it takes a great deal of testing and years of research in order for the medical community to understand new advances in the medical field. Just because that testing and research has not been completed on adrenal fatigue does not mean that you should not get it treated now.
Myth 12: Removing Carbs from Your Diet Will Help Adrenal Fatigue
False. It can be dangerous to completely remove carbs from your diet if you have adrenal fatigue, especially if you do it suddenly. Refined carbs can sometimes affect your metabolism in a way that can make adrenal fatigue symptoms worse. However, not all carbs are bad. In fact since adrenal fatigue is closely tied to your blood sugar, some carbs are necessary.
Carbs are useful for balancing and regulating blood sugar within the body, which is something that people with adrenal fatigue tend to struggle with. Taking out carbs entirely and without warning can also trigger adrenal crashes, especially if such a big diet change causes stress. Therefore, eliminating all carbs in your diet is never a good idea if you have adrenal fatigue.
Sometimes under the guidance of a health professional an elimination of carbs can be beneficial but it must be strictly regulated and supported with the appropriate supplements. The best chance of a fast and complete recovery from adrenal fatigue requires a completely customized diet that takes into account all aspects of your health. From your metabolic rate to your blood type to the stage of adrenal fatigue, all of these must be considered when creating a proper diet for recovery.
Myth 13: Rest is the Only Way to Recover from Adrenal Fatigue
False. While rest is very important for adrenal fatigue recovery, it is often not enough on its own. In the very early stages of adrenal fatigue, it may be enough to repair the adrenal glands. Once the adrenal fatigue reaches stage 3 or even stage 2, it is not possible to completely repair the adrenal glands with rest alone. Once the fatigue has progressed to stage 3 and 4 it is affecting several different parts of the body.
As more and more organs become damaged due to the dysfunction in the adrenal glands it becomes harder and harder to recover. The body is often very depleted of the nutrients that it needs to function and the hormones are completely out of balance. These are problems that cannot be fixed by sleep alone.
Sleep can help alleviate the short term symptoms and give the energy that you may be lacking but it will not repair the adrenal glands or be a long term solution. Only with the complete care and guidance of a health professional can full adrenal fatigue recovery be possible. Your health professional will create a plan that incorporates your diet, lifestyle, exercise, and supplements to make sure that everything is working together and that nothing is derailing your recovery. There will also be plenty of recommendations for rest as well.
Myth 14: My Physician Does Not Know About Adrenal Fatigue
True. Unlike the other myths on this list, this one is very likely true. Few doctors today have heard or are familiar with adrenal fatigue syndrome. Because it is not yet recognized as a condition by conventional medicine most doctors have not learned about it. It is only through very specific research into the symptoms and into the adrenal glands themselves that doctors learn about adrenal fatigue.
So if your doctor tells you that he has not heard of adrenal fatigue or that it is not real, you can help him get educated on the subject. There are a number of articles that show the beginning research into adrenal fatigue and the intriguing studies that have been done on current treatment programs.
Most people who try and treat their adrenal fatigue through their doctor will find that the doctor is only treating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and not the fatigue itself. They will help you deal with the low blood pressure and hypoglycemia and fatigue with mediation but they will not treat the underlying cause because they are not familiar with it.
If you help them find the research on the subject they will be able to continue that research and learn more about it and how it can be the cause of all your symptoms. You should keep in mind that even if you do educate your doctor on the subject and they are willing to follow a treatment plan with you, they still may not be the best person to treat you.
Often conventional doctors are not familiar with the nutrients and supplements needed to treat adrenal fatigue and will therefore not be able to create a customized plan for you.
Myth 15: Blood Tests and CT Scans Will Show Evidence of Adrenal Fatigue
False. Current tests will not show that a person is suffering from adrenal fatigue. There is nothing that would indicate a problem on a CT scan of someone with adrenal fatigue. Likewise today’s blood tests are not sensitive to pick up the indicators of a problem even with someone experiencing severe adrenal fatigue symptoms. The only test that we know of that has a chance of providing definitive answers is a saliva test done in a series of a significant length of time.
Just one saliva test is not enough so it will need to be done over and over again so that the small changes can be recorded to see a pattern similar to adrenal fatigue. This can be very hard to detect and usually a qualified health professional will make an adrenal fatigue diagnosis not based on tests but based on the patient’s medical history.
The symptoms themselves and the general feelings of the patient are the best indicators of adrenal fatigue. However, unless a physician is familiar with adrenal fatigue and how it presents slowly and gradually, they will not be able to make that diagnosis. So you will want to make sure that you see a doctor that has experience and training in the area of adrenal fatigue so that they will be able to make a proper diagnosis.
Myth 16: My Doctor Is the Best Person To Treat My Adrenal Fatigue
False. Sadly, most conventional doctors do not have the training or the experience to treat or even diagnose adrenal fatigue. Because doctors are not aware of the underlying condition they will simply treat the symptoms, prescribing different medications and treatments for each one of the symptoms. So you may end up on several different strong medications to treat everything from depression to low blood sugar to hypothyroidism.
This can lead to being put on medicines that will stimulate the adrenal glands to create more adrenaline to combat the feelings of fatigue. This is the exact opposite of what someone with adrenal fatigue should do because it will only end up damaging the adrenal glands even further. This will lead to more crashes and worsening symptoms that could make the recovery process take much longer once you do find the right treatment plan.
So you will need to find a physician that has experience dealing with adrenal fatigue and has trained themselves in a thorough understanding of all the treatment options available. It can take years of study to know how all the different treatments work together to make a strong and healthy recovery from adrenal fatigue.
The longer a person goes without treatment or tries the help of an untrained physician or tries to treat themselves, the much longer recovery they will have once they do seek help from someone qualified. So if you think you have adrenal fatigue it is important to find someone experienced in that area to diagnose you and set up a treatment plan if necessary.