Naturopathic Doctor Angela Agrios (Pacific Palisades, CA) explains how Naturopathic Medicine is able to reverse Adrenal Fatigue. Produced by Larry Cook. Distributed by Tubemogul.
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So the adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system. Endocrine is a medical term that just means hormone system. Your adrenal glands anatomically live on top of your kidneys on both sides and make hormones like cortisol and DHEA, aldosterone. Cortisol is a really important hormone. It has lots of jobs in the body. One of them that we're really familiar with is helping you deal with stress that comes your way. So when you hear about the "fight or flight" type of reaction, that's actually mediated by cortisol. So if you don't have enough cortisol, you actually can't motivate and address that situation really adequately. Another thing that's really important that cortisol does is it helps someone maintain blood sugar regularities. So we'd all love to eat every few hours if we could, but sometimes there's situations where we just don't eat for more hours, five or six hours and so it's the cortisol during that time that signals your liver to release your stored sugar, called glycogen, so that you can maintain blood sugar regularity. And lastly, cortisol is really important for helping you maintain inflammation appropriately in your body. So if you don't have adequate cortisol levels, you'll tend to see over-reactivity in your immune system, and so that's a problem you'll see. It manifests as allergies, and sometimes, in a severe condition, as an autoimmune case. So adrenal fatigue is something that's actually very common in our society. I don't think people know, the term very well, but the symptom profile is very common, and it comes about because of chronic stress essentially. So this can be mental and emotional stress from chronic studying as a student; it can be very high career stress for years and years; it can be having physical disability. So someone who has a physical condition, a health problem, for years that will often tax the adrenals. And another one that's huge in our society is diet: coffee pushes, so to speak the adrenal glands to make more hormone, and they get tired and sugar is another big one. A lot of the refined carbohydrates in sugar really stress out our adrenal glands. So when we have adrenal fatigue, what we'll see is fatigue, interestingly enough. People cannot wake up in the morning. It becomes very difficult to get going in the morning. There's not good stamina throughout the day. People feel like they want to take naps, or they're just tired. People will just come in saying, I am tired. I don't know what's wrong with me, nothing shows up on my blood record and I am just tired. What we'll also see is an inability to regulate blood sugar, so people will get shaky, all the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Sweaty sometimes, if you don't eat frequently enough, shaky, irritable. You'll also start to see a lot more inflammation reactions like allergies. It's very common for someone who's never had allergies in their life, and all of a sudden, adrenal fatigue happens, sets in, and hay fever will manifest, sometimes skin reactions they're allergic, like atopic dermatitis, or eczema reactions. This can happen when the adrenals are fatigued because there's not enough cortisol to keep down inflammation. In extreme cases, you can see initiation of autoimmune diseases or worsening of autoimmune diseases. This is very possible, but, these are all things we start to see with adrenal fatigue and you'll also see interesting food cravings like you'll start to see more sugar craving, both because of the low energy, and also because you can't regulate your blood sugar well, because the cortisol is needed to help the liver release glycogen, which is your sugar storage and then salt cravings happen because low aldosterone has happened. You can't maintain adequate blood pressure and so you'll crave more salt to keep your blood pressure up. So when patients walk into my office, and they're complaining of symptoms like extreme fatigue, or difficulty waking up in the morning, or they're having interesting sugar cravings or salt
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