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What is Adrenal Fatigue and CFS?

Answer: Adrenal Fatigue is a set of signs and symptoms known as chronic fatigue syndrome that results when adrenal glands starts functioning below the normal level. It is mostly allied with stress but can also arise during or after chronic infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. Most of the times people looks normal, act normal and may not have any obvious sign of physical illness but there are a sense of not feeling well, tiredness & other problems inside which is affecting their professional & personal life.

What causes Adrenal Fatigue and CFS?

Answer: External and Internal Stressors

  • External stressors are excessive work, relationship problems, financial problems, anxiety, constipation, sleep disorder, surgery, a death in the family, etc.
  • Internal stressors are overgrowth of fungus, bacteria, and/or a parasites, pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, poor gut function, poor liver function, unhealthy foods, food intolerances and leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, etc.

Example: Take a person that has both internal and external stressors that are listed above.  These stressors are enough to tax the adrenal glands.  This can raise cortisol levels which could place a person in stage 1 adrenal fatigue.  Over time the body’s ability to respond to this stress is reduced and at this point a person could move into stage 2 adrenal fatigue.  Usually during stage 2 adrenal fatigue is when clients really start to notice a variety of symptoms.  As stressors are not changed a client could invariably end up in stage 3 adrenal fatigue.  The level of adrenal fatigue (stage 1,2, or 3) is reflective of the severity of the stressor and the length of time the person has endured the stressor.

The body’s ability to cope with these types of stressors will be reduced over time so that given the same amount of stress the body will be unable to cope.  At the same time a person will begin to exhibit a variety of symptoms – the main one being fatigue.  Other symptoms include:

  • Tendency to gain weight and unable to loose it, especially around the waist.
  • High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual.
  • Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
  • Constipation.
  • Sleep disorder.
  • Reduced sex drive.
  • Lightheaded when rising from a laying down position.
  • Unable to remember things.
  • Lack of energy in the mornings and also in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
  • Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
  • Often feel tired between 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
  • Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
  • Crave for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
  • Increase symptoms of PMS for women; period are heavy and then stop, or almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
  • Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reasons .
  • Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
  • Difficulties in getting up in the morning
  • Lightheaded
  • Mild depression
  • Food and or inhalant allergies
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Increased effort to perform daily tasks
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Sleep disorder
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low Body Temperature
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitation
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia

As a client moves from stage one, to stage 2, to stage 3 adrenal fatigue, a person will get more and more tired.  In order to alleviate these symptoms, a person should be advised to make changes in his or her life. 


The Process of Healing: Time frame and how long it will take

The process looks and feels like the following — taking 2 steps forward and one step back.  Certain days you feel great, while other days you feel crappy.  This is called the “die off” effect.  As unhealthy bacteria, fungus, or parasites leave your body, you will experience certain symptoms (headaches, fatigue, hunger, etc.).  Usually they only last a day or so and then fade away.  As you move further into the process, you’re symptoms begin to subside and you start to feel better.


Time Frame: How long will it take?

Also, it is important to understand that the healing process does take time.  Usually, most clients will take 6 months to 2 years to fully heal.  Remember, this is probably many many years in the making.  Please be patient with the process.  Usually the saying in functional nutrition is that for every year you endured the symptom it takes at least a month to heal.  For myself, I’ve had certain symptoms such as poor immune function since childhood.  Given the duration of how long I had symptoms, my expectation for healing were about 30 months to fully heal.  However, most clients will start to feel better between month 1 and month 5.

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