If you have stage 1 or 2 adrenal fatigue, taking supplements, living a healthy lifestyle and making changes to your diet can go a long way in helping you recover faster. For those who have stage 3 or stage 4 AF, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be a viable option.
HRT has come a long way over the past 20 years. When it first came out, it was something straight out of a science fiction movie. Nowadays, HRT can be prescribed by your doctor and are of much higher quality than they were when the medicine was in its trial stages. If HRT is too costly or not an option for you, you can always try an adrenal glandular extract which is a more natural therapy, however, it does have some drawbacks.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
If you recall, back in the early 2000’s some women who had undergone HRT were finding that it caused cancer. This is due to the fact that the hormones they were given were 100% synthetic. The current hormone treatments of today are also synthetic, but the science of how they are manufactured has come a long way since 2002. This means they more closely resemble the molecular structure of natural human hormones, which makes them safer than years prior.
The bioidentical hormones are identical to natural hormones, all the way down to the molecular level. This means less chance of your body rejecting them. They are created from soy, yam or even horse urine.
In order to begin HRT you will need a prescription from your doctor. He/she will give you several blood tests in order to ascertain your deficiency levels. As you undergo HRT your doctor will probably take continued blood tests to ensure things are progressing as they should.
If you recall, AF happens when your adrenal glands stop producing beneficial hormones. Cortisol is one of the main hormones that your adrenal glands produce. Bioidentical cortisol can be prescribed as an HRT. For many years doctors have prescribed it for Addison’s and adrenal insufficiency issues. There are multiple side effects that can occur when taking bioidentical cortisol. Ask your doctor for a full rundown of the drawbacks.
Another issue is that this therapy prevents your adrenal glands from producing cortisol. This is usually a last-ditch effort by doctors to get your adrenal glands kick-started so that they begin to produce beneficial amounts of cortisol again.
Most AF sufferers have low DHEA levels. This therapy is designed to replace the missing DHEA in your system. It could potentially help your sex drive and energy levels come back to normal. This therapy will use a saliva test to ensure your DHEA levels are optimal. It’s critical that your doctor continually test your DHEA levels while you’re undergoing this treatment. It’s best to start small and work your way up.
Men and women require testosterone to function normally. Men obviously need much more than women do. If you restore your testosterone to optimal levels, it can greatly increase your endurance, mood and libido.
Pregnenolone can help those with a reduced sex drive feel normal again. It’s a secondary hormone (behind cholesterol). This treatment can be taken orally via a couple of capsules. Ask your doctor as to the right dosage to take (usually it’s recommended to start on a small dosage and then work your way up).
Most doctors prefer to give a synthetic cortisol treatment instead of adrenal extract to those who suffer from AF. The reason is dosages of synthetic cortisol can be standardized, while adrenal extracts cannot. The benefit to adrenal extracts is that it is 100% natural. It is derived from animals under strict laboratory conditions. It has been said that if the animals come from Europe (or New Zealand), then the quality is usually up to snuff.
Should everyone who suffers from AF get hormone replacement therapy? That is up to you and your doctor. Some will prescribe it, others will suggest that you first try to heal yourself naturally by eating healthy, quitting smoking and exercising. HRT will only become an option when you have stage 3 or 4 adrenal fatigue.