This is where you lose your capacity to accelerate towards a goal or away from a situation. When you put your foot on your accelerator nothing happens as you simply do not have the reserves to respond. This can be the underlying cause of fear and anxiety and often chronic pain.
In addition when you recognise that change needs to happen, your capacity to make that change can be overwhelming and that is why this condition takes time to resolve as the only way to come back from this state is by taking small steps.
Do you have adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism or both? Knowing this is important for treatment and so hair, blood and urine tests help to define this.
|Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
What causes adrenal fatigue?
- Excesses e.g. work, stress, lifestyle – expecting too much of yourself. Living in the Coffs Harbour area as beautiful as it is especially if you have moved here from the city helps, but we still have all the stresses of a modern lifestyle.
- You run out of cortisol. Triggers that increase cortisol production by your adrenals include:
- Inflammation – from chronic disease, infection, stress, cancer treatment
- Allergen exposure – food and environment,
- Toxic metals – Copper, Lead, Mercury, Tin, Cadmium, Arsenic, Aluminium, etc.,
- Extreme heat,
- Insomnia or poor sleep quality,
- Changes in life – menopause, andropause, pregnancy and child birth,
- Emotional stress – work load, financial debt load, relationship problems, grief,
- Exposure to fluorescent light – working inside all the time for long periods,
- High intensity exercise, surgery, injury or other physical excess,
- Diets high in sugar, preservatives, colourings and flavours – including the way food is packaged, stored, cooked or processed,
- Prolonged use of pharmaceutical cortisone and cortisol drugs.
- Not ensuring that health is a priority as everything else seems to be more important.
- Poor recognition of boundaries or difficulty enforcing these – often from demands made by other people in your life.
What is the first step? Reduce the demands on your adrenals by reducing cortisol production:
- Eat smaller meals 5 times a day.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Read and follow the sleep prescription I give you.
- Reduce physical stress – stop going to the gym and go for a walk instead.
- Rest – ensure that you have 2 days off in a row each week to potter around your house, garden, go to the beach, spend time with friends, and laugh. This is the time to think about a meditation class or discover Yoga. Massage is great here too.
- Reduce your inflammation by making small changes to your diet.
- Remove caffeine from your diet – 1 real coffee in the morning is fine. A cup or 2 of green tea is fine too but only herbal tea after 10am. If you feel you can – remove all caffeine.
- Avoid all soft drink.
- Set yourself boundaries – structure work by setting reasonable work hours and learn to say no to the people who are making demands. Stop making demands of yourself as well.
- Turn off your mobile phone from 8pm to 8am to reduce hyper-vigilance – this allows rest.
- You are allowed to slow down.
What is the second step?
- Make a decision about how ready you are for change.
- If you wish to gain a few simple strategies including nutrient support then fine. By doing that you will move closer to being able to make change later.
- If however you decide that you wish to resolve the problem(s) now then you will need a program to actively fix them otherwise, depending on how out-of-balance you are, this condition can linger for many years and that can take over your life. Even with a program it may take 12 to 18 months to resolve.
What is the third step?
- Tell me your decision. If you wish to go ahead with a full program then:
- I will need to:
- Investigate factors that are causing this exhaustion – Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis for toxic metal exposure, nutrient levels and ratios; Blood tests to measure Cortisol, DHEA, General chemistry, Iron studies, Autoantibodies for thyroid, fasting homocysteine and Cholesterol are a good idea and you may have had them already done so bring a copy of any blood or urine tests with you when you come. As treatment progresses re-measuring and monitoring your physical change will help you to see the actual change you have achieved.
- Review your full list of symptoms together so that we have a baseline to monitor progress.
- Design a diet that is more structured and that reflects what you actually need in order to change the mineral ratios in your body and to detoxify any heavy metals found. The Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis will determine your deficiency and excess.
- You will need to:
- Do the MDA – Mood Disorder Appraisal. This is a questionnaire that I send you on email that uses symptoms to highlight problems with your levels of brain chemicals – they are impacted by stress and adrenal and thyroid fatigue.
- Follow the diet I give you to reduce your allergen exposure and eat regularly.
- Take the supplements to support change.
- Go for a walk for at least 40 minutes a day or another gentle form of exercise like swimming, surfing, easy gardening, tennis, dancing, yoga, etc.
- Follow the sleep prescription sheet I give you.
- Reduce the demands you make on yourself and the demands of others.
- Read the Chemical and Environmental Check list that I give you and reduce your exposure to environmental allergens, and
- See me every 2 weeks for 2 months for support and to monitor your progress. After 2 months we can cut that back to once a month and then every couple of months.
- Retesting will be discussed during these visits depending on how well you are doing.
Adrenal and thyroid fatigue can be a reflection of the signs and symptoms of mineral imbalance in your body and the ratios at which they exist is why some people get some symptoms while other people get other symptoms. The length of time you have been out-of-balance can also affect the type and severity of your symptoms.
If you wish to do a Hair Mineral Analysis Test first before making a decision about a full program then that is fine too. You must NOT have dyed your hair for 2 months prior to a sample being taken.
As you move through life exposure to bacteria, viruses, parasites, pathogens and also toxic metals and substances, affects the way you absorb and use your nutrition. For example if you get a virus (e.g. the flu, warts, cold sores, etc.) your immune system needs to consume zinc to fight it. If you get a bacterium (e.g. staph or strep) your immune system needs both zinc and copper to kill it off. Your actual levels of copper and zinc reduce with the severity and length of infection.
This can put your copper and zinc ratio out of balance. When your body has ↑ copper to ↓ zinc levels the copper repels zinc absorption from the diet making it worse. Or ↑ zinc to ↓ copper can oppose the absorption of copper. Imbalanced copper to zinc ratio leads to problems with molybdenum and manganese – problems with allergies, sugar handling and joint instability.
The use of hair as a mineral measurement has advantages over other tissues. Monitoring minerals in urine measures the component that is absorbed but excreted. The blood measures the component that is absorbed and is temporarily in circulation before it is excreted and/or stored in other areas of the body. It is your tissue level that indicates what you have and what you use to maintain health and vitality. However when dealing with hormonal issues blood and urine tests are essential to investigate the whole picture.
There are two basic relationships that exist between nutrients. In some instances they work together = synergistically. At other times nutrients work against each other = antagonistically. They do this within the cell on a metabolic level. They aid absorption from the intestinal tract. For example the minerals iron and copper are closely related and are needed by the body in the right proportions to make red blood cells. However too much iron can inhibit the absorption of copper and too much copper can reduce iron absorption resulting in anaemia and fatigue.
Toxic minerals such as Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Nickel, Tin, Aluminium and Mercury can synergistically or antagonistically affect the absorption and use of minerals. For example Lead opposes Calcium absorption and use and displaces calcium at the end of long bones. This can lead to problems with hip and knee joints. Cadmium, Lead and Mercury reduce zinc absorption leading to problems with your immune system especially with cancer.
As with minerals, a similar relationship exists among the vitamins. For example people who take high dose vitamin C long term can result in copper deficiency yet it causes excess iron retention. High iron has its own problems. Too much copper in the body increases the body’s need for Vitamin C and niacin – a form of vitamin B3. To make more B3 your body requires more tryptophan (an amino acid from protein) so then there is not enough to make serotonin resulting in insomnia and sleep cycle problems. In the body everything affects everything else.
This is why taking random supplements does not tend to solve your problem. Understanding what is going on in your body is needed first.
We absorb nutrients through our diet – food and water. We also absorb nutrients and other substances through our skin from jewellery, cosmetics, hair dyes, creams, detergents, etc. You will need to investigate and limit your exposure to sources of toxic metals and substances as they impact your nutrition and health.
One way your body controls levels of nutrients is through elimination. For example your body needs copper so you need it in the diet. Your body absorbs it then stores it in the liver and brain. The liver incorporates it into Ceruloplasmin for use in the blood and it is used as a component of bile. To remove copper from the body you need to eat good fats to trigger the release of copper containing bile. A good bowel movement every day for excretion is essential.
Treatment strategies will always need to address the five (5) areas below:
|1. What you need to eat
2. What you can digest and absorb
3. What you need to use
|4. What your genetic inheritance implies
5. What you eliminate