Fatigue, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, indigestion and mood changes may sound like minor symptoms, but they’re a tip-off that your adrenal glands are exhausted and can’t produce essential hormones. Dr. Shaw takes a holistic approach to treating adrenal fatigue, considering all aspects of your medical, emotional and environmental health to restore adrenal function and bring a healthy balance back to your life.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a state where fatigue is one of the primary symptoms. You may have adrenal fatigue if you experience:
- Weight gain
- Sleep disorders
- Digestive problems
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are organs that produce essential hormones like sex hormones and aldosterone, which regulates the balance of sodium and potassium in your body. These glands protect your body from stress by releasing cortisol, which boosts your glucose levels so that you have enough energy to deal with stress.
What causes high cortisol?
Your body has a well-tuned, fight-or-flight response that helps you face threatening situations. However, this system is only intended for short-term threats. It boosts hormones to abnormally high levels temporarily so that you can respond to stress, but those levels return to normal as soon as the stress is relieved.
When you face frequent or constant stress, cortisol levels stay high at all times. Even stress that seems normal causes high cortisol, whether it’s pressure at work or emotional distress. High cortisol levels take a big toll on your health, resulting in:
- Weight gain
- Mood disorder
- Memory loss
But it gets worse: Eventually, high cortisol levels can lead to:
- Blood sugar imbalance and diabetes
- Immune system suppression
- Cardiovascular disease
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
What causes adrenal fatigue?
When your adrenal glands are called upon to constantly produce cortisol, they eventually lose their ability to respond and do their job properly. As a result, they don’t produce enough cortisol or other hormones necessary to keep your body healthy.
How is adrenal fatigue treated?
Treatment for adrenal fatigue starts with:
- Eliminating stress – or at least managing stress that you can’t avoid
- Making dietary changes to boost your health and balance your blood sugar
- Taking herbal or nutritional supplements
As a specialist in functional medicine, Dr. Shaw takes a holistic approach that includes a thorough physical examination and assessment of your:
- Exercise habits
- Medical history
After considering how all of the aspects of your life contribute to adrenal fatigue, he will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.