Adrenal Fatigue Treatment in Bryn Mawr, PA
Are you struggling with digestive problems, body aches, and fatigue? You may have adrenal fatigue, an imbalance of the endocrine system.
Conventional medicine diagnoses your endocrine system as either normal or failing (at which point you have Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease).
Functional medicine, on the other hand, observes and treats the gray states in between “normal” and “failing”, addressing not just the symptoms, but the root causes of those symptoms.
Both conventional medicine and natural medicine physicians recognize adrenal insufficiency as a condition diagnosed through blood tests.
While clinical research is ongoing, and the term is still being defined, adrenal fatigue is used in functional medicine to describe symptoms believed to be caused by the fluctuating overproduction or underproduction of the hormone cortisol.
Hormone replacement therapy may treat adrenal fatigue symptoms by addressing this erratic fluctuation in hormone levels, which present differently in each individual. If you’re looking for an adrenal fatigue specialist in Bryn Mawr, call (215) 234-1669 or contact YoungerMeMD online.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- body aches
- lower back pain
- dry skin
- frequent urination
- low blood pressure
- decreased libido
- cravings for sweet or salty snacks
- weight gain or weight loss
Adrenal fatigue can sap your energy, cause physical discomfort, and negatively affect your mood. In severe cases, adrenal fatigue may exhaust you to the point that you struggle to stay active for more than a few hours at a time.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce a variety of crucial hormones, including cortisol. Often called the stress hormone, cortisol helps regulate your immune system, blood sugar, and “fight-or-flight” stress response.
Functional medicine practitioners have observed that in times of recurring or chronic stress, the adrenal glands’ supply of cortisol-producing cholesterol and pregnenolone fluctuates dramatically. Cortisol levels can affect the levels of other hormones like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), causing the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Other causes of adrenal fatigue may include:
- chronic diseases like asthma and arthritis can cause inflammation, which triggers the production of cortisol to counteract the inflammation
- a high-sugar diet, which causes adrenals to produce more cortisol
- antibiotics and chemotherapy, which may stress the endocrine system
- physical trauma like surgery or car crashes, which may overload the adrenal glands
- chemicals like chlorine and pesticides, which may disrupt the adrenal function
According to the Mayo Clinic, severe adrenal fatigue symptoms may actually comprise the condition called Addison's disease. So, adrenal fatigue may be considered simply a mild form of Addison’s disease caused by chronic stress.
Also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s disease is a condition that prevents your adrenal glands from making enough hormones to keep you healthy. You might have Addison’s disease if you are experiencing dizziness, lack of menstrual cycles (amenorrhea), or if the skin on your palms, knuckles, elbows, and knees becomes abnormally dark. Causes of Addison’s disease can also include tuberculosis (TB) and lymphoma. Researchers at the University of Bergen are currently studying potential genetic causes of the disease. 1
How is adrenal fatigue diagnosed?
Adrenal fatigue diagnosis may involve a saliva test to help determine your adrenal stress index. Your healthcare provider may also draw blood to check your cortisol levels and evaluate your body's response to stress. If you get positive results, an experienced adrenal fatigue healthcare specialist in Bryn Mawr can craft your custom treatment plan.
How is adrenal fatigue treated?
Possible adrenal fatigue treatment may include:
- keeping your blood sugar levels steady with small, regular meals that don’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, like oatmeal, corn, and fruits
- meditation to cease cortisol production
- herbs like rhodiola and licorice root to restore adrenal function
- sleeping regularly to adjust your cortisol cycle
Many patients suffering adrenal fatigue may also experience imbalances of testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone hormones. In these cases, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) might be recommended. BHRT hormones are synthesized from compounds found in organic plants like yams and soybeans, which are structurally identical to the ones your body produces.
What can I expect from adrenal fatigue treatment?
Before your therapy begins, your healthcare provider will measure your baseline hormone levels with a blood test to determine which hormones are deficient and which you need replenished. Then you’ll craft a custom adrenal fatigue treatment plan together.
Bioidentical hormones can be administered through creams, injections, or pellets. Your treatment starts with small doses that slowly increase over time. Throughout your treatment, your healthcare provider will do regular blood tests to monitor and tweak your hormone levels as needed.
Taking extra cortisol may cause weight gain, impaired healing, and fragile skin. Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of BHRT for adrenal fatigue with your healthcare provider.
Book Your Appointment with Bryn Mawr Adrenal Fatigue Specialist Today!
While traditional medicine does not accept this diagnosis, many alternative medicine practitioners address adrenal gland dysfunction and hormonal imbalances with BHRT. If you suffer from severe fatigue or anxiety in Bryn Mawr, call (215) 234-1669 or contact YoungerMeMD online to find an adrenal fatigue doctor today.
1 Simunkova, Katerina, Bergithe Eikeland Oftedal. “Genetical causes of Autoimmune Addison’s disease.” Endocrine Medicine. University of Bergen.
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