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Recovery Time For Adrenal Fatigue?
Posted by: Chuck
Date: January 9, 2001 4:02 AM

How long does it take to recover from adrenal fatigue? I've been drinking licorice tea and taking adrenal pills for a little over a month and haven't noticed any improvement. Should I be concerened, or does it just take much longer than that to take effect? (I've had the adrenal fatigue for about 7 years - undiagnosed until just recently - and it's to the point where I can't hold a job anymore, to give you an idea of where I'm at.)

It was diagnosed by with and "adrenal panel" or some other such "panel" in which the adrenal levels were tested along with other things . And although my level was in the "normal" range, the doctor said that it seemed strangely low for someone my age (43). He also said that my DHEA levels were low too, and that these two things should probably not be attibuted simply to aging because my testosterone level is still quite high . He said although he wasn't positive this was causing my fatigue, it was the only thing he could see from his testing that didn't seem quite right. Thus the adrenal pills and DHEA that I'm taking. He never mentioned licorice tea, but I read about it here and so have included that on my own. I'm also taking a whole host of vitamins. And am also taking Medi-Tropin at the doctors recommendation

As for the symptoms, it's been a long, slow descent into fatigue over the past 7 years. It wasn't like something "snapping"; it's been a very slow slide. There's a a kind of sleepiness that always hangs over me now, even though I get 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. And my eyes seem more sensitive to light than they used to be. Any kind of exertion other than simply moving around wipes me out. I used to be a regular jogger but noticed myself feeling much worse after exercise and so I eventually had to cut jogging out. I went to a doctor a few years ago and he said everything checked out fine, but I knew that there was definitely a real problem in my body somewhere, and so ended up very frustrated with the whole experience. I even asked him if there was a kind of fatigue so deep that it couldn't be fixed by simply resting, and he said there was no such thing. And yet my instincts told me that it was something along those line. I finally went to a doctor again a couple of months ago, one who has a lot of experience in both traditional and alternative medicine, and he turned up the adrenal fatigue theory which I am now working on to correct, but without any improvement yet. Incidentally, I did try ginseng for a little over a month about a year ago without any noticable effect.

RE: Recovery Time For Adrenal Fatigue?
Posted by: Chuck
Date: January 9, 2001 6:54 PM

I believe it was called an "adrenal panel" or some other such "panel" in which the adrenal levels were tested along with other things . And although my level was in the "normal" range, the doctor said that it seemed strangely low for someone my age (43). He also said that my DHEA levels were low, too, and that these two things should probably not be attibuted simply to aging because my testosterone level is still quite high . He said although he wasn't positive this was causing my fatigue, it was the only thing he could see from his testing that didn't seem quite right. Thus the adrenal pills and DHEA that I'm taking. He never mentioned licorice tea, but I read about it here and so have included that on my own. I'm also taking a whole host of vitamins. And am also taking Medi-Tropin at the doctors recommendation

As for the symptoms, it's been a long, slow descent into fatigue over the past 7 years. It wasn't like something "snapping", it's been a very slow slide. There's a a kind of sleepiness that always hangs over me now, even though I get 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. And my eyes seem more sensitive to light than they used to. Any kind of exersion other than simply moving around wipes me out. I used to be a regular jogger but noticed myself feeling much worse after exercise and so I eventually had to cut jogging out. I went to a doctor a few years ago and he said everything checked out fine, but I knew that there was definately a real problem in my body somewhere, and so ended up very frustrated with the whole experience. I even asked him if there was a kind of fatigue so deep that it couldn't be fixed by simply resting, and he said there was no such thing. And yet my insticnts told me that it was something along those line. I finally went to a doctor again a couple of months ago, one who has a lot of experience in both traditional and alternative medicine, and he turned up the adrenal fatigue theory which I am now working on to correct, but without any improvement yet. Incidentally, I did try ginseng for a little over a month about a year ago without any noticable effect.

RE: Recovery Time For Adrenal Fatigue?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: January 10, 2001 12:48 AM

Adrenal fatigue can be diagnosed properly by only two tests. One is the ACTH Stimulation Test. This involves a serum cortisol test, followed by an IV dose of ACTH (the hormone your pituitary makes to stimulate the adrenals) and another serum cortisol 30 minutes later. To be normal, the adrenals must be able to at least double the serum concentration of cortisol within those 30 minutes. The other is a 24 hour urine test which measures all the adrenal steroids produced in those 24 hours. As all these hormones vary up and down over the day, the only test which gives an overall picture or adrenal action is the 24 hour urine collection analyzed for total hormone output over those 24 hours. Blood and saliva tests are snap-shots of what is going on at that moment the blood or saliva is collected. What we want is a film of the entire day.

I have found adrenal fatigue to be greatly over-diagnosed. When you hear hoof-beats in Texas you look for horses, not zebras. When a patient describes fatigue you look for toxicity (metals and organic toxins), chronic infections (particularly of the intestinal wall) and compromised digestion. Frequently these come together as they are causally related. In a sense, the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue (and hypothyroidism) have become scapegoats to explain a more complex, but far more understandable process.

And, of course, one does not want to forget the issue of carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin resistance (also called Syndrome X and adult onset diabetes) can manifest as hypoglycemia and result in intermittent fatigue. There are simple tests to evaluate this possibility - fasting glucose, Hemoglobin A-1-C and the four hour GTT (glucose tolerance test) with concurrent insulin levels.



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