Is Adrenal Fatigue real?

There has been some controversy on whether or not adrenal fatigue is real. Medical science journals refuse to acknowledge adrenal fatigue, yet millions of Americans suffer from it. This is puzzling because we’re looking at two sides of the same coin.

Medical science recognizes Addison’s disease, which is when the adrenal glands completely shut down and stop producing the hormones required for your body to deal with stress. However, medical science has not looked at what happens when the adrenal glands slow down their production of hormones. This is where adrenal fatigue comes into play. Your body has gone through a lot of stress over a period of time and your adrenal glands simply cannot produce enough hormones as they were designed to.

The inability of your adrenal glands to produce the amount of hormones required to deal with stress result in you being tired, fatigued and in an overall lethargic state of mind. Being that the glands are designed to deal with stress, the cure is a holistic, natural one. It is advised that you reduce the amounts of stress in your life, which includes any drug or alcohol abuse. As the stress in your life lowers, your adrenal glands should heal themselves and get back to normal.

There are three main reasons why medical science refuses to acknowledge any form of adrenal fatigue.

#1 Not Enough Scientific Data

Science has studied many parts of the human body, but there are a few that have not been studied as much. The adrenal glands are one of those body parts. It is well known what happens when the glands shut down and stop producing the hormones required for your body to be healthy. However, it is not known how much hormones the adrenal gland should produce on a regular basis and it is also not known if the glands themselves can become fatigued from having to produce a lot of hormones in response to repeated stress in your life.

Without this data, the doctors are reluctant to make a diagnosis. Every disease and condition out there is given a medical code by the World Health Organization. The WHO has given Addison’s disease (wherein there is a severe deficiency of adrenal) a code of 27.1. This code allows doctors to bill insurance companies for treating Addison’s disease. There is not a code for adrenal fatigue (which is a mild deficiency of adrenal). So doctors are very reluctant to diagnose adrenal fatigue because they won’t get paid by the insurance companies.

#2. Inconclusive Lab Tests

Labs use a wide range of tests to look for diseases. There is not a test currently available that will determine that your adrenal glands are producing less-than-optimal amounts of hormones.  Cortisol and DHEA are the two hormones whose levels are very low in cases of advanced adrenal fatigue.

Cortisol is best measured at several points during the day time. The lab and/or your doctor is not going to keep you in the office to test and record the range of differences throughout the day. So they’re going to pick one point and use that as a reference. The problem is that there is a wide range of “acceptable levels” of cortisol in the human body. Throughout the day your levels can fluctuate greatly.

So if you’re given a lab test at 9am in the morning, and then you’re given one at 1pm, the results can very as much as 97%.  So any tests that come back would be inconclusive and left open for interpretation. Considering there is no medical code for adrenal fatigue, it’s very likely that a doctor would hesitate to diagnose it based on that and the inconclusive data from the lab tests.

#3 Medical Experts Shun Adrenal Fatigue

Being that there is no conclusive test for adrenal fatigue and that it hasn’t been studied in full, the medical community tends to shun a diagnosis of “mild adrenal insufficiency”. This is strange because a severe adrenal insufficiency is a medical condition otherwise known as “Addison’s disease”.  The medical community does not recognize a milder form of Addison’s (which is Adrenal).

Adrenal fatigue can be caused by a wide variety of external and internal factors. So it’s hard for a doctor to say that a patient has a mild form of adrenal insufficiency. They would rather look for and treat other factors which may or may not wind up fixing the problem.

As time goes by, more and more doctors are recognizing that adrenal insufficiency in a milder form could be a real thing. After all, it stands to reason that before your adrenal glands shut down completely, they are probably running very poorly for an extended period of time. Perhaps in a decade or so medical science will stop and take a look at more milder forms of conditions that affect people.

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