Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.

Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems, but is not a medical diagnosis.

Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones, particularly hormones your body uses to respond to stress. Adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones as a result of an underlying disease. Adrenal fatigue is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress in which your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of your stress load.

Untreated, adrenal fatigue may manifest as feelings of depression.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

Possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness

Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of adrenal fatigue treatment are to reduce your reactivity to stress, improve the capacity of your adrenal gland to respond to stress and prevent recurrence of symptom episodes.

There is no conventional medical treatment for adrenal fatigue.

Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:

  • Identifying specific treatment goals
  • Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
  • Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating adrenal fatigue may be to:

  • Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., stress, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, generally unhealthy lifestyle) or general health (e.g., anxiety) that may be contributing to development of adrenal fatigue
  • Confirm low adrenal gland function using laboratory testing
  • Support adrenal gland function using botanical (herbal) medicines
  • Address symptoms of adrenal fatigue (e.g., depression)
  • “Calm” the nervous system and prevent recurrence using botanical (herbal) medicines and relaxation (meditation) training

Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:

Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Nippoldt TB. Addison’s disease: is there such a thing as adrenal fatigue? [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2015 Mar 31]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/addisons-disease/expert-answers/adrenal-fatigue/faq-20057906.

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