by Shawn Phillips
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What doctors don’t tell you about adrenal fatigue
I’ve put together several topics that are relevant to general symptoms, anti-aging, adrenal fatigue, and chronic fatigue syndrome:
Why are food sensitivities a huge internal stressor on the body?
Food intolerances can cause systemic inflammation and can damage the mucosa barrier reducing nutrient absorption. This damage can further exacerbate the issue by causing leaky gut syndrome and gut dysbiosis. These topics are all linked together and food sensitivities can cause a chain reaction which can disrupt overall gut function. In order to heal the gut, a client should be advised to take an MRT test and avoid foods that are yellow and red. This will allow the gut to heal faster. Also, this stress can affect the health of the adrenal glands. The body does perceive food intolerances as an internal stressor which can further stress adrenal function. By removing this stressor, the adrenal glands are better able to heal.
The link between adrenal fatigue and the gut: What is the Mucosal Barrier and what is its primary function? What might we expect to see if it is not functioning correctly?
The mucosal barrier is the tissue or surface area from inside the mouth to the anus. It is the first line of defense against pathogens. 75% of our immune response is based on the mucosa barrier, specifically the gut. Secratory Iga is one way to test immune function and whether or not the body is responding to a foreign pathogen such as a fungus, bacteria or parasite. As our immune system is compromised due to stress, poor nutrition and/or antibiotics, the health of the barrier begins to decline.
Also, this barrier is involved with the absorption of nutrients. Part of the barrier is the microvilla which is a critical component. It is involved with the absorption of food. As the microvillia become damaged due to drugs, poor nutrition, etc, the nutrient absorption rate begins to decline. The fewer nutrients the body has, the faster the physical decline which leads to symptoms and disease.
An unhealthy mucosa barrier can lead to leaky gut syndrome. This occurs when a food particle leaks thru the lining of the gut through junctions and ends up in the blood stream. At this point the body attacks the food particle as if it is a pathogenic invader. This is a huge stress on the body and can lead to many symptoms – rashes, fatigue, acne, etc.
What might you expect to see with a damaged barrier? Symptoms can vary: adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue, acne, digestive issues, diarrhea, hormone dysfunction, dizziness, poor immune function, allergies, sleep issues, etc.
When the mucosa barrier is poor and the gut has shut down, this leads to an overgrowth of bacteria, fungus and/or parasites. At this point a client’s SIga level will be extremely low and unable to launch an attack on these pathogens. This event can be extremely stressful and can tax the adrenal glands to the point of malfunction – simply put causing an inadequate production of cortisol. Also, this can cause sleep issues. A spike in night time cortisol is common when a person has an infection. This can be a vicious cycle. As the gut dysbiosis affects sleep, clients’ sleep less which leads to a weaker immune system. A weaker immune system leads to further and more pronounced dysbiosis which leads to more poor quality sleep – the downward spiral continues…
The repair protocol would begin with focusing on both internal and external stressors. External stressors reduce gut function and Siga levels. The external stressors could be addressed with: lifestyle changes, quality nutrition, stress management, sleep and rest, restoration exercises, a moderate exercise.
The internal stressors can be addressed with lab work and targeted supplements based on that lab work. The lab work will uncover specific causes of gut dysfunction and damage to the mucosa barrier. Gut health can be determined by the 401h and 304 tests. Please see the link “testing”.
7 Important Hormones
4 Cortisol – Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands. One function is to respond to stress and lower levels of glucocorticoids. Its primary function is to increase bloods sugar, suppress immune function, and assist in fat, carb and protein metabolism. It can also decrease bone density. Cortisol also prevents the release of substances that cause inflammation.
Dhea – dhea is produced by the adrenal glands. Increased levels of DHEA improve sense of well being, sex drive, alertness and stamina. DHEA is important because of its ability to help optimize the following hormones: testosterone, growth hormone, and estrogen. Low levels of DHEA are associated with high levels of stress and adrenal fatigue.
Melatonin – Melatonin is the “sleep hormone”. It is converted from serotonin. 75% of melatonin is produced by the gut, the other 25% is produced by the pituitary gland. Low levels of melatonin are associated with sleep disturbances and a possible gut infection.
Testosterone – Testosterone is primarily secreted by the testes in men and ovaries in woman and small amounts are produced by the adrenal glands. It is the primary male sex hormone and anabolic steroid. Testosterone is important for muscle growth, bone density, growth of body hair, enhance well being and can prevent osteoporosis.
Estradiol – Estradiol is about 10 times as potent as estrone and about 80 times as potent as estriol in its estrogenic effect. Estradial is produced primarily by the testes in men and the ovaries in women – small amounts are produced by the adrenal cortex. Estrogen is considered to play a significant role in women’s mental health, with links suggested between the hormone level, mood and well-being. Sudden drops of sustained low levels of estrogen may be correlated with significant mood-lowering. Estradiol is used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation. Other uses include prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Estriol– Estriol (E3) is only produced in significant amounts during pregnancy as it is made by the placenta from 16-Hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (16-OH DHEAS), an androgen steroid made in the fetal liver and adrenal glands. Levels of estriol in non-pregnant women do not change much after menopause, and levels are not significantly different from levels in men.
Progesterone – Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands and, during pregnancy, in the placenta. Progesterone is also stored in adipose (fat) tissue. Progesterone can be converted into either testosterone or cortisol depending on pathway efficiency and what the body needs. Progesterone is used to support pregnancy. Progesterone is also used in nonpregnant women with a delayed menstruation.
In the deviation from homeostasis what are the five stages of disorder?
Stage 1 – Deviation from Homeostasis: due to internal and external stressors, cells, organs or systems lose balance. If this is not corrected, a client moves into stage 2.
Stage 2 – Patho-Pathophysiology: Body is compensating but not responding. Catabolic action occurs and cells and tissues begin to breakdown. Cells, organs and systems enter a dysfunctional state. If this persist, a client moves into stage 3.
Stage 3 – Pathomorphology: Out of balance, dysfunctional and compensating. The body still tries to move into the previous phase, but is unable to without help. Continuous malfunction leads to changes of the structure within cells. A state of “dis-ease” exist. If this continues, then the body moves into stage 4.
Stage 4 – Symptomatology: Body unable to return to previous phase. Compensatory mechanisms weaken and viability of the organism is challenged. Normal function is lost. Body begins to breakdown and symptoms become chronic which can lead to the final stage.
Stage 5 – Death: Symptomatology subjects the body to a permanent cessation of vital function.
What is H. Pylori?
H. Pylori: Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria often found living in the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as the liver. H. pylori which infects up to 50% of the human population is pathogenic to humans as it is strongly associated with peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis, duodenitis, and stomach cancer. H. pylori is a bacteria that is found in the gastric mucous layer. H. pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers.
Approximately one-half to two-thirds of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori. Infected persons have a 2- to 6-fold increased risk of developing gastric cancer and mucosal-associated-lymphoidtype (MALT) lymphoma compared with their uninfected counterparts. Helicobacter pylori-related symptoms:
- Upper abdominal
- Headaches –especially
- Undigested food in stool
“Gliadin reactives are not an allergy but an autoimmune process”. Gliadin reactives are a genetic inability to digest gliadin. In a Celiac, the body attempts to make enzymes to digest gliadin but produces an enzyme and gliadin reaction, forming a complex, triggering your own immune system to attack the enzyme (transglutaminase). This process can be the cause or at least associated with RA, MS, cancer, crohn’s, IBS, and thyroid issues. European and north European are most affected by this issue. Over time gliadin can damage micro villa which reduce nutrient absorbtion. Gliadin will also reduce Siga levels or immune response making the client more prone to dysbiosis.
Candida: a secondary infection
Candida is a fungus that can be a secondary infection. Fungus is more opportunistic and will multiply if the immune function is weak due to low siga levels. What causes the immune system to become weaker? Answer: Parasites and unhealthy Bacteria.
It is important to understand that a person may have a fungal overgrowth because of a bacteria and/or parasite infection which will reduce siga levels and immune function thereby creating an environment for fungus and candida (“a secondary infection”) to expand and multiply beyond a healthy amount.
Therefore, parasites are eradicated first because they are the biggest stressor on the body – then bacteria and last would be fungus. You could eradicate them at once but this is a heavy stressor on the body and best to take it in steps. So, in order to reduce the candida you must focus on them all but must eradicate them in a particular order.
Also after a protocol, Candida will not be completely eradicated because the body needs some candida to function.
Why is the liver important?
The liver has many functions, but 3 important functions that functional nutrition focuses on is 1) detoxification 2) breaking down estrogen (important if estrogen dominant) 3) protein synthesis. The liver is important because it is one of the main detoxification organs. When the liver is congested due to toxicity (chemicals, pathogen fecal matter, etc), the body will become more toxic which can leads to symptoms. The liver is vital to longer term success. A great way to test the function of the liver is with the UBAS test (101 test).
Reed Davis’s “Wellness Meter” and its link to modern medicine. The wellness meter is a scale numbered 1 thru 100 – “1” being optimal health and symptom free, “100” meaning poor health, tons of symptoms, and a possible disease.
This concept illustrates the difference between modern medicine and functional nutrition. The meter is based on a scale from 0 to 100. As a client moves closer to 100 they have more symptoms and their body begins to malfunction. As a client gets closer to 100, they move closer to a disease state.
Modern medicine primarily focuses on symptoms vs. the root cause. As people get closer to 100 they seek out medical attention and are treated with drugs. The problem is 1) they never address the root cause, 2) they don’t not focus on prevention, nutrition, lifestyle changes, 3) modern medicine focuses on symptoms and drug therapy, 4) people get confused between “common” and “normal” 5) people don’t get help until they get closer to 100.
Simply put, it is common that people have tons of symptoms but it is not “normal”. Clients will tolerate symptoms until their body is in the red zone. Functional nutrition emphasizes prevention and focuses on optimizing the following functions: hormones, immune system, detoxification system, and digestion. This clearly is a different and more effective approach to symptom medicine. While there is a need for traditional medicine, it is important to also focus on other useful tools such as lifestyle changes, quality nutrition, functional testing, and targeted supplements. Once starting making the appropriate changes, symptoms begin to fade away.
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