You’ve heard the term adrenal fatigue before. It’s a phrase that seems to be popping up all over the place—in magazines, blogs, and books. You may also have seen the word on your doctor’s diagnosis form, but you have no idea what it means.
The general understanding is that adrenal fatigue means a reduced ability to cope with stress, but this is only part of the story. Although traditional medicine sees adrenal fatigue as a condition in itself, functional medicine looks at it as a sign that something else is going on inside your body.
A Closer Look at Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is a health condition where the adrenal glands—small glands located on top of each kidney—cannot produce sufficient amounts of hormones. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones that control metabolism, blood pressure, and the body’s response to stress.
In the case of adrenal fatigue, the body’s response to stress diminishes, leading to a plethora of symptoms, such as lack of energy, low blood pressure, immune system dysfunction, leaky gut, and dizziness. Adrenal fatigue symptoms can also include hypoglycaemia, memory problems, low blood pressure, and poor concentration.
Ways Functional Medicine Tests for Adrenal Fatigue
Functional medicine practitioners test for adrenal fatigue similarly to how they test for anything else. They start with a detailed history to find adrenal fatigue, checking for factors that might lead to an adrenal fatigue diagnosis, such as stress, diet, and sleep patterns.
They may perform an adrenal test, which is an adrenal saliva test to measure cortisol, aldosterone, and DHEA levels. They may also perform a comprehensive stool test, which checks for gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria) and autoimmune markers.
Treating Adrenal Fatigue with Functional Medicine
Once a patient is diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, functional medicine practitioners work to pinpoint its underlying cause. This is because adrenal fatigue is not an autonomous condition. In other words, adrenal fatigue symptoms are typically related to an imbalance in one or more body systems.
For instance, a leaky gut, an overgrowth of candida, or a magnesium deficiency can cause adrenal fatigue. Functional medicine practitioners treat the condition by addressing its root cause.
They may use herbal medicine, diet changes, stress management techniques, supplements, homeopathic remedies, and more.
It’s hard to say exactly how functional medicine treats adrenal fatigue because each patient is different. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for adrenal fatigue, some general strategies can be applied to most patients.
For instance, improving your diet is important because imbalances in the gut cause many chronic conditions. You can attain this by sticking to a diet rich in vegetables and herbs, adding good quality protein, removing sugar, excess salt, and saturated fat, taking a daily probiotic, and removing gluten from the diet.
Say Goodbye to Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is a very common condition, but people often misunderstand it. While it’s true that adrenal fatigue can happen due to stress in some cases, it’s also likely that it’s one symptom of a much larger problem. In the eyes of a functional medicine practitioner, adrenal fatigue is a symptom of poor health, so treatment must focus on correcting the root cause.
Are you looking for an effective adrenal fatigue treatment? Balanced Body Functional Medicine provides personalized medicine in East Texas. Get in touch with us today!