Adrenal Fatigue / Chronic Fatigue Q & A
Adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome can diminish the quality of your life, and be frustrating to deal with since it’s hard to know the cause of your underlying symptoms. Dr. Kalpana Patel is a leading environmental and integrative-functional medicine specialist at the Environmental Health Center–Buffalo (EHC Buffalo), who provides comprehensive diagnostic testing and natural therapies to help you manage symptoms of adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome. If you live in or around Buffalo, New York, call the office for a consultation or schedule it online. Phone consultations are also available.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a multifaceted disorder brought on by chronic stress. Typically, your adrenal glands produce the hormones your body needs to function optimally. But, when you’re under constant stress, these glands may become overworked, leading to hormone imbalances.
Part of a natural response to stress is when your adrenal glands to send cortisol into your bloodstream during a stressful situation to help with the heightened “fight or flight” state. However, when your body is under continual stress, your adrenal glands may not be able to keep up with sufficient cortisol production or may flood your body with too much cortisol and your biorhythm may change. Thus, you may have very high cortisol level in the evening and you may have a sleep disorder.
These effects often include:
- Insomnia and trouble getting out of bed in the morning
- Extreme fatigue throughout the day or as the day goes on
- Higher energy levels in the evening
- Salty food cravings
- Digestive problems
- Overuse of stimulants
- A weak immune system
- Body aches
- Feeling overwhelmed by daily situations
- Anxiety or depression
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Low blood pressure and lightheadedness
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Like adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disorder for which there is often no identifiable underlying medical issue identified by orthodox traditional physicians, but there are problems at the molecular level in mitochondria which are the energy factory of your cell. Many identifiable factors are responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction. Your connective tissue matrix may be full of toxins — such as biotoxins, mycotoxins, pesticides, and toxic metals — and not be able to communicate with the neuro-immune-endocrine system. You may develop mitochondrial dysfunction and multisystem symptoms which don’t follow any pattern.
Sometimes patients are misdiagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome, but chronic fatigue is a symptom — it is not a disease. Therefore the molecular-root cause of this symptom must be looked at. If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, you typically don’t feel better with adequate rest, causing even more frustration and daily stress.
Symptoms of this syndrome include:
- Extreme exhaustion and difficulty concentrating
- Enlarged lymph nodes and a sore throat
- Headaches, neck pain
- Joint pain and muscle pain
- Difficulty with memory, concentration and/or focusing
- Short attention span, forgetfulness
How are adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed and treated?
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome are suggestive of other types of underlying health conditions, Dr. Patel performs a comprehensive evaluation by doing detailed timeline history and physical examination, then may order blood and/or urine tests to rule out or confirm other conditions and causation. The hormone blood tests may indicate which hormone levels may be low, so she can customize a treatment plan to help get your levels back to where they should be.
Low thyroid hormone levels can be a sign of thyroid problems, too, and if that is the case, Dr. Patel treats your thyroid as well. If she finds chronic infections, she also treats them depending upon each individual’s condition. If toxins are an issue, then appropriate treatment is directed to this problem as well.
Some effective treatment options for hormonal imbalances occurring with adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome may include:
- Environmental control- when mold and mycotoxins are the root cause
- Dietary changes and nutritional counseling
- Mind-body exercises-EFT-Meditation to relieve stress and anxiety
- Minimal-to-moderate, gradual exercise only if doable, like stretching a few minutes each day to increase endurance
- Intravenous Vitamins- minerals-and antioxidants
- Oral Vitamins- minerals-and antioxidants- herbal supplements when necessary to optimize mitochondrial function
- Hormone supplementation when endocrine are the issue
- Antibiotics for chronic infection
- Homeopathic- herbal remedies
If you have symptoms of adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, don’t ignore them. Even if more traditional medical approaches haven’t helped your condition, or you’ve been unable to get to the bottom of what’s causing your symptoms, Dr. Patel can help. She takes a holistic, whole-person approach to uncover root causes, including hormonal imbalances, a poorly functioning thyroid, and nutritional deficiencies. Doctor Patel has a special protocol to recognize and treat patients with natural thyroid too when necessary.
Call the EHC–Buffalo office for a consultation or schedule an appointment online to get effective solutions that can improve the quality of your life.