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ADRENAL FATIGUE

Why is it that you can’t get a flippin’ doctor to diagnose, aka give you an answer as to WHY…you feel
so lousy!?  You have all the symptoms of low thyroid…
fatigue, exhaustion, weight gain, thinning
hair, dry skin, depression
…but they swear your thyroid is “fine.”  And there’s even more…

You also have trouble sleeping even though you are exhausted.  When you do get some sleep, you
don’t feel rested.  And little things, like standing up quickly from the couch, and being outside on a
bright sunny day…seem to be a challenge.  (you feel dizzy…your eyes hurt!)  Maybe you feel thirsty,
but the more you drink, the more you pee (or sweat).  And if your lunch is delayed, the people near
you are at risk for death!! (irritability).   You might also crave salt and sweat very easily…and your
muscles twitch or cramp.

Most people don’t have every symptom of Adrenal Fatigue, but if you relate to some or most… you
probably have
Adrenal Fatigue, also known as adrenal insufficiency, adrenal stress syndrome, and
adrenal exhaustion.  Whatever name you prefer, it means the hormonal production of the adrenal
glands is low, just like the thyroid in hypothyroidism.  

And it feels very much like low thyroid function.  WHY??…why do you feel lousy when your thyroid is
low or your adrenals are low?  
Because they both influence your rate of energy
production
…and if you slow the process of making energy, you store energy (FAT), and you can’t
think, sleep, or poop right, because these functions NEED ENERGY.  Same with growing thick and
healthy hair, skin, nails…these functions NEED ENERGY!!  

“Ok…makes sense…why doesn’t my doctor check me for this?”   All I know is that medical texts
dispute the existence of Adrenal Fatigue.  They acknowledge a condition called Adrenal
Insufficiency…which has many of the same symptoms I just described.  But from what I can gather,
they view it more as a medical crisis.  The testing is more invasive…they have to inject you with a
synthetic pituitary hormone that stimulates the adrenals...then measure the hormones of the adrenal
glands after the injection…and if they are low, you qualify for the condition.

But be wary…if you do qualify, the treatment is prednisone, which has significant side effects!  If I had
to guess…they rarely test for it, because they don’t want to give the treatment, which carries a high
probability of a malpractice claim!?  But I don’t know.  

I do know that I have only met ONE PATIENT ever tested for adrenal insufficiency.  Maybe they test
quite frequently, but my patients include many thyroid patients that still feel lousy on thyroid
medications, or are unable to qualify for thyroid meds.  (“Your thyroid tests FINE!”)  In that database, I
have NEVER had a patient that had this test.  

They tested them all for qualifying to use thyroxine (Synthroid).  But NONE of them were tested for
qualifying for the use of prednisone.  And yet they sent them ALL home feeling lousy.  
What do YOU think it means!?  

I have no interest in being “right” about the existence of Adrenal Fatigue.  So, maybe they are right…it
doesn’t exist.  That’s fine…but if your car won’t accelerate on the freeway, you don’t accept a
diagnosis from your mechanic that your car is FINE.  So just keep asking questions.  “Doc, there has
to be something wrong…I feel lousy (list symptoms, just like at the mechanic).  What IS it, if not my
thyroid? (or adrenal fatigue)?  Don’t be aggressive…just be curious.  “You are my health expert…and
I don’t feel healthy…what do you think it is?”

Take a deep breath…stay calm…you MIGHT get the answer that you are depressed or “doing it
wrong.”  You might get offered Prozac or another antidepressant.  You might be told that you are
stressed out…not eating properly, or not getting enough exercise.  With calm, just be honest… “I   
don’t feel depressed…if anything is depressing me, it is having no answers for my (list of symptoms)!”  
“If it is stress, diet or lifestyle…how would we know…wouldn’t my cholesterol or blood sugar be up if I
am eating an unhealthy diet?”  “I will take your advice and test ANY theory…just tell me what to do to
feel better.”  

If we want to solve a problem, we have to be logical, right!?  Science is very logical…it goes like this.  I
want a different result, so I have to change some variables.  I would like to have a sound theory,
perhaps even a diagnosed REASON for my current results…but at least a THEORY…to base my
variable changes upon…and then we test that theory…through changing the appropriate variables,
and noticing the RESULT.  If the result is preferred, the theory was valid…if not…then…NOT!  
Simple…right?

If your doctor will not provide a reasonable or rational theory, or even an UN-reasonable theory…to
test and notice the results, then perhaps you need to look outside the box for theories and variables.  
Now you have a BUNCH of symptoms that might make you think your NEED is thyroid repair, healing
or replacement (replacement is the medical model).  Fatigue, weight gain, depression, dry skin,
thinning hair…and more specific to the ADRENAL GLANDS…insomnia, sweating, dizziness when you
stand up, sensitivity to bright sunlight, and hypoglycemia.  

And… why your MD might not test for Adrenal Fatigue…maybe it doesn’t exist…or the treatment, if
you have Adrenal Insufficiency, the medical condition, is reserved for HEALTH CRISIS, because it is
dangerous!  I don’t know…feel free to ask!  

I offered a few questions you might ask your “body mechanic” to get to a testable theory.  And a
caution that some people don’t like to be questioned!  If you have discovered that your doctor is not
willing to offer a testable theory…here is the Adrenal Fatigue Theory:  

The adrenal glands are known as the “stress glands,” because they are designed to support your
needs during famine and drought.  The hormone aldosterone causes the water and salt in your body
to be retained.  The hormone cortisol signals to activate release of “stored energy” in response to a
lack of food.  

If the adrenals are fatigued or exhausted, they fail to produce adequate hormones, and you trend
toward hypoglycemia and dehydration.  Are you constantly thirsty or crave salt?  Do you get shaky
and irritable if your lunch is pushed back an hour?

These are the messages that I associate with Adrenal Fatigue. And why wouldn’t…couldn’t…your
Adrenal glands have LOW function, just like your thyroid gland?  

The messages of Adrenal Overload, which might be even earlier messages, indicating that your
adrenals are working too hard (producing too much hormone…a more acute stress response)
…include heavy perspiration or urgent urination, afternoon sleepiness with trouble falling to sleep at
night, increased heart rate, dry eyes and allergies…

I lived Adrenal Overload…I was the sweaty palm kid…anxious, nervous, allergies,  high heart
rate…and the “hilarious” result of too much cortisol over time….gender reversal.  I developed breasts
in high school (gynecomastia)…and women in the same situation grow a moustache and/or beard.  
(Truly…NOT funny!)

With the help of another natural doctor, I resolved my sweaty palms and anxiety…but before I truly
understood Adrenal Fatigue…I did it again.   In my case, I got into a habit of eating a protein bar for
lunch, and nothing else for a 10 hour work day.  And let’s face reality…even though I picked a
healthier version of these bars, they are still not whole foods.  This one used xylitol to sweeten the
bar, which doesn’t convert into glucose (so seemingly good for people with high blood sugar, and at
least better than a candy bar), and 170 calories in the form of protein and fat.  

I could probably do that once a week forever…but I created a habit of doing that most days!  Are you
following what I did?  I created a mini “night shift recall” because of calorie deprivation (almost fasting/
glucose famine).  The night shift workers are the adrenal glands.  You are fasting from water and
food, and they slowly release hormone through the night to keep fluid and glucose levels stable,
which allows you to stay in a deep sleep, and not wake up due to low blood sugar or having to
urinate.  

And I called my Adrenals BACK to work in the middle of the day…too many days in a row!  

If you’ve ever had the displeasure to work nights, and were asked to stay on to work a double…how
many days in a row could you handle that?  Could you last a week working doubles…a month?  Some
tough individuals could last longer, but we all have a limit, and our adrenals have a limit.  

When your “little habits” finally hit that tipping point, you will get SICK or EXHAUSTED!  In my case, I
got a sinus infection…an intense pain that peaked in the first week, with me lying motion-less on the
bed because ANY movement spiked the head pain…and lingered for months!  That’s my “weak link,”
(Sinus and allergy) perhaps genetically, but for sure related to the loss of my spleen from an
autoimmune disease as an infant.  

That adrenal fatigue illness I experienced taught me a lot about supporting my adrenals!! (and my
missing spleen.)  

Every person has different needs and weak links…caused by genetics, habits, or missing
organs…which means that every person will have a different response to reaching that “tipping
point.”  Sinus or pneumonia…hypothyroidism or diabetes…cancer or heart attack!

What other habits, besides meal skipping (mini-famines), or drinking diet Mt Dew instead of water
(mini-droughts) will result in adrenal burn out?  

Junk food is the most common cause.  Junk food provides NO nutritional value (vitamins, minerals) yet
plenty of glucose, resulting in “reactive hypoglycemia.”  When we eat sugary foods, our blood sugar
rises quickly…causing the pancreas to rapidly release insulin, which as we know, LOWERS blood
sugar.  Fast up…fast down…and who takes the HIT??…the adrenals glands have the job to control
LOW blood sugar!  

Remember, the adrenal glands are there to prevent low blood sugar when food is scarce, but are
FORCED to respond to ANY drop in blood sugar, ie. reactive hypoglycemia from sugary foods.  
As the adrenal glands begin to fatigue, the backup system for preventing severe blood sugar drops
starts to kick in.  The outside layer of the gland produces our famine and drought hormones, and the
core of the adrenal gland (adrenal medulla), produces our SURVIVAL hormones, the main one being
adrenaline.

When you produce adrenaline to support blood sugar, you feel shaky, jittery, nauseous, and irritable.  
If you produce enough adrenaline, you have an anxiety or “panic attack,” which can feel like a heart
attack, because adrenaline also causes CONTRACTION of your blood vessels and heart to pump the
blood to the extremities for fighting or fleeing.  

But there is no Saber-Toothed Tiger…nothing to run from or fight, so you go to the ER.  They tell you
that you are fine, but they don’t tell you the story of the adrenal glands.   They might even suggest
STRESS, but you think of your family, job and money… not your blood sugar!  

You found this article though, so you are “tuned in” to healing.  And here is your strategy.  Of course,
first, you have to identify and resolve the STRESS.  If you are eating processed foods, skipping
meals, or drinking water alternatives (beer, wine, soda, coffee) OR all THREE…you MUST regularly
nourish your body.  

If you are serious about feeling well again, that means eating something every couple hours.  I
generally suggest a protein snack, but I had a patient that would only respond to carbs…just to prove
the “there is an exception to every rule” …RULE.  Some food…even a handful of nuts…every couple
hours.  And WATER.  

Once you eliminate the dietary stress, you MUST NOURISH AND NURTURE your adrenal
glands…back to health…back to producing hormones…back to “doing their job efficiently!”  HOW?...
you meet their NEEDS!  What are the NEEDS of the adrenal glands??  In my experience, this is what
has worked…LOTS of green leafy veggies.  Foods that increase body pH.  Another alkalizing food
that has become my friend is almonds.  Almonds meet the need of protein every couple hours AND
alkalizing (increasing body pH) as well.  

Another lifestyle tip is to increase foods high in Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).  This B vitamin is used
in production of adrenal hormones, so is often depleted following Adrenal Overwhelm that results in
Adrenal Fatigue!  Mushrooms, cheese (if not dairy sensitive), fish (and all meats to varying degrees),
avocado, eggs, and sunflower seeds are rich sources of this B Vitamin that is so critical to adrenal
hormone production.    

And…my primary therapy for any organ or gland NEED is nature’s medicines.  

One form of nature’s medicine is animal glandulars.  That means eating the adrenal gland of an
animal.  Our culture eats plenty of beef and pork, so supplement companies can easily buy the parts
we don’t eat, like the adrenal glands, and process them to extract different components or the whole
gland into supplements you can take (and not have to eat fried adrenal glands!)  This practice is
pretty straightforward…eating the gland or supplements of the gland tend to nourish the gland.  
Makes sense, right…it would have all the nutrients a gland needs…because…it IS the gland.

Another form is plants.  I think of plant medicines as extensions of our plate.  We eat spinach, kale
and broccoli…and they nourish our bodies.  If I had a liver NEED, I’d eat more kale…if I had a gall
bladder need, I’d eat more beets.  Our foods do nourish us in different ways.  Plant medicines seem to
take it to the next level.  These plants have been shown (yup, even in real research) to HEAL organs
and glands.  They increase energy, function and repair of the organ or gland.  

The plants that seem to do this for the adrenal glands are categorized as adaptogens.  And literally,
they help us adapt to stress.  They each have a “signature” it seems…such as eleuthero, from
Siberia, an extreme climate, provides adaptation to extremes.  Rhodiola, also found in arctic areas of
Europe and Asia, seems to provide the signature of endurance.  The ginsengs from Korea and
America, have the signature of vitality…increasing energy and sexuality.

There are many others…I probably have several dozen options that I test…which I test using
kinesiology to observe what strengthens a weak muscle.  This seems to increase dramatically the
probability of a favorable result!  

If I didn’t have muscle testing, I would try an adaptogen formula such as Adaptocrine from Apex
Energetics, or Adrenal Health from Gaia Herbs (these offer several adaptogens in one capsule).  
If my adaptogen formula didn’t achieve the results I desired, I would assume (and you can assume this
diagnostically) that I have an immune challenge.  Toxicity…Invasion by yeast, mold, virus, bacteria or
parasite.  You can COUNT on it if you don’t adapt and increase stress resilience from an adaptogen
formula (or two)!  That’s another discussion, which if you want to get at, I spell out in my book,
“Thyroid Relief.”

That’s how you meet the NEEDS of your adrenal glands, through lifestyle, diet and plant medicines.  
Next, we will discuss LIFE sources of STRESS, and how to take ACTION to adapt to each source!  
Now you have the physical signs and symptoms…the messages indicating a NEED to nourish and
care for your Adrenal glands...and some nourishment ideas.

Let’s further expand on the sources of stress and resources for stress overload toward HEALING
Adrenal Fatigue.

Life stress is pretty straight forward…you increase strategies that lead to comfort and ease, and let
go of strategies that lead to stress, strain and PAIN!  Sounds easy, right?  

Well, it IS…BUT…we have been taught, or led to believe…that sacrifice and servitude are virtuous!  
The truth is…if we don’t meet our OWN needs and desires, we have less energy to serve!  So we
need to “selfishly” serve ourselves…IN ORDER to serve others.  

Let’s look at the various ways that people get stressed out by life and relationships.  Stress feels like
a “heaviness,” while service is energizing and uplifting...stress is always depleting and exhausting.  
We’ll identify each life stress or “heaviness,” and identify the specific ACTION that will relieve that
stress.

Life can feel heavy if we experience feeling disappointed by others.  If we don’t CONFRONT (which
means to face and address, NOT FIGHT or conflict) our disappointments, it will expand into betrayal
or unfaithfulness.  

A simple way of addressing disappointment is to ASK for what you want.  I attempt to live by the rule,
“You may not be upset with me, if I don’t know what you want.”  And vice versa, of course.  
Life can feel heavy if we do not feel respected by others.  If we don’t confront disrespect, it will expand
into bossiness and even abusiveness.  

A simple way of addressing disrespect is by TEACHING.  It goes like this… “You wanted _________,
so you did __________; If you want _________, would you be willing to do _________ instead?”  A
real example… “You wanted to let me know how upset you were, so you called me an idiot…if you
want to let me know how upset you are, would you be willing to tell me the exact words or actions (or
inaction) that you witnessed, and how you felt about that?”

Life can feel heavy if we feel unappreciated.  If we don’t confront our unappreciation, it will expand into
being taken for granted, and even blamed for other people’s problems.

A simple way of addressing unappreciation is what I call ACQUIRING.  It means “to obtain, develop, or
achieve something for one owns benefit.”  You put your focus on what you want or desire, and get it.  
Think of a person who appears to be having so much fun that you want to be their friend or be more
like them.  BE that person, and anyone taking you for granted will soon be wondering how to get more
of you into their life!  

Here’s a great quote from author/teacher Esther Hicks on this topic… “Tell everyone… ‘My happiness
depends on me, so you’re off the hook.’  And then demonstrate it.  Be happy no matter what they’re
doing.  Practice feeling good, no matter what.  And before you know it, you will not give anyone else
responsibility for how you feel – and then, you will love them all.  Because the only reason you don’t
love them, is that you are using them as your excuse to not feel good.”

Life can feel heavy if you feel undesirable.  If we don’t confront that feeling or observation, it will
expand into feeling alone and even people disappearing from your life.  

A simple way of addressing feeling undesirable is ATTRACTION.  Nope, not makeup and a new
hairstyle.  Think of people who draw huge crowds…they have an interesting and unique story to tell.  
Your job is to avoid telling the story of negativity, and find what is interesting and unique (amazing,
wonderful) about your life and yourself.  It might be uncomfortable to speak directly about you, but
you can find what is interesting and unique about the stuff and people in your life.  I often tell the story
of the achievements in my practice…the results…and how we accomplished those results.

Life can feel heavy if you experience immaturity in the people in your life.  If we don’t confront
immaturity, it will expand into helplessness and dependency, even to the point of adult versions of
temper tantrums.  

A simple way of addressing immaturity is EMPOWERMENT.  Instead of trying to fix their problems, you
reflect them back…to the rightful owner of the problem.  It sounds like this… “That (problem) sounds
horrible (yes, use strong language)… what are YOU GOING TO DO?”  And then zip it!  Let them come
up with the resource or action to correct their problem or ease their suffering…even if you know
exactly what they need.  Then hold them accountable to it.  “You said you were going to do ____, to
fix that problem…how is that working out?  Oh, no…what are you going to do next?”

So…what do you have to lose?  None of these approaches include conflict or upset.  In fact, they are
far more loving and kind than trying to please, enable, fix, sacrifice for, or play servant.  They all serve
your heart…asking for more, teaching how to treat you, doing what you want and taking responsibility
for your own happiness, being more attractive, and empowering others to break through!  All serve
heart.  

If you would like more detail, visit our RESOURCE page on our website, scroll down and click on the
document titled, “The Five Energy Needs,” and you will find an expanded version of each need.  

As a patient, you must ask…
“WHY do I have these symptoms!?”  
Functional Medicine (FM)
ANSWERS this question…
and provides a clear
step by step process
to discover and resolve
the ROOT CAUSE!
Dr. Stone is a Chiropractic Physician, certified in
Integrated Natural Medicine and Applied Kinesiology, and Functional Diagnostic Medicine.  
He also has over 300 hours of post doctoral education in Functional Neurology.  
This clinic does not treat named conditions,
rather we treat each individual toward health.
AND DISCOVER HOW FM CAN
RESTORE
YOUR HEALTH!

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