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  • I recently attended an endocrinology seminar on Adrenal Fatigue. It is something I am seeing more and more of in clinical practice. The adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and their main job is to regulate our stress responses. They recover and function quite well with everyday, short term, acute-type stress, but with prolonged periods of stress things start to change. Sleep patterns, blood pressure, metabolism, hormone balance, mood, energy levels can all be affected negatively.
  • The following is a SAMPLE of the Questionnaire I give to patients I suspect have adrenal fatigue, there are approximately 100 questions in the original version I use in clinic. It is taken from Dr James Wilson's book Adrenal Fatigue:The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. If you experience these frequently and/or intensely, then please consider consulting with a Naturopath. Medically, most GP's do not recognise this as a health problem and/or are unaware of how to treat it successfully.
  • Predisposing Factors:
    -   I tend to gain weight, especially around the middle
    -   I have experienced long periods of stress that have affected my wellbeing
  • Energy Patterns:
    -   I often have to force myself to keep going, everything seems like a chore
    -   I often have an afternoon low between 3-5pm
  • Frequently observed events:
    -   I get coughs/colds that linger for several weeks
    -   I have allergies to several things in the environment
  • Food Patterns:
    -   I need coffee or some other stimulant to get going in the morning
    -   I crave sweet and salty foods
  • Aggravating Factors:
    -   I do not exercise regularly
    -   I have little control over how I spend my time
  • Relieving Factors:
    -   Regular meals decrease the severity of my symptoms
  • Aggravating Factors:
    -   I become dehydrated easily
    -   I have frequent unexplained diarrhoea
  • There are several approaches I take to this problem, including Herbal Medicines such as Rhodiola, and Withania, minerals such as Magnesium and Zinc, and vitamins, especially the B vitamins and Vitamin C (it is crucial that these nutrients are given in a highly bioavailable form). Also, some regular exercise, and perhaps yoga, meditation, bowen therapy, or counselling depending on the individual. From a dietary perspective, it is important for me to review the intake of alcohol and caffeine, sugar and white processed carbohydrates, as well as ensuring an adequate supply of healthy fats and good quality protein. If sleep is an issue, then we discuss sleep health protocols and perhaps the use of relaxant herbs, homoeopathic melatonin, and magnesium salts bath/foot soak.
  • It is important to allow a minimum of 12 weeks naturopathic treatment to restore your adrenals to good health.
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