Category Archives for "Adrenal Fatigue"

Sleep, Stress & Adrenal Fatigue Misconceptions

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue & Solutions

So your stressful life has contributed to sleeping issues? You have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue or all at the very least the symptoms seem to fit. Your energy levels have dropped off significantly over the years and it’s especially problematic during afternoons.

However, there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue. Unless you have Addison's disease, your adrenal glands are working as intended. It’s the signaling upstream that is the problem.

Adrenal glands don’t excessively secrete cortisol to the point where they can’t produce unless damaged. This is the finding by the vast majority of scientific research. So why do adrenal fatigue support formulations work? It’s because the effective formulas are resetting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) just as the vitamins, minerals and herbs previously mentioned.

Whether we referred to this as Adrenal Fatigue or HPA Axis Dysfunction, the best natural remedies combine:

B-Vitamins, Magnesium, Adaptogenic Herbs, Critical Amino Acids like GABA.

Why is this distinction important? If only your cortisol levels are tested a patient can get a false negative for “adrenal fatigue” or worse. Then the patient is given cortisol that might exacerbate the situation. This is one more reason to always choose well-formulated herbal based supplements rather than synthetic stimulating or suppressing cortisol drugs.

Cortisol plays a critical role in sleep, stress and inflammation. Our cortisol levels should be highest when we first awake so we are alert and then it tapers off quickly. When perceived stress or chronic inflammation occurs, cortisol secretion is initiated. During times of stress it boosts our system in a threatening situation. Where there is chronic inflammation, cortisol reduces the inflammatory response to protect us from the aging process. Unfortunately sleep is interrupted when cortisol is secreted anytime other then early in the day.

There are four triggers causing HPA axis imbalance between these three glands mistakenly referred to as, “adrenal fatigue,” according to Dr. Thomas Guilliams, an expert the field of Molecular Immunology.

  • Perceived Stress
  • Inflammation primarily in the gut caused by small bacteria or candida overgrowth
  • Sugar Dysregulation
  • Circadian Dysregulation
  • While this topic deserves a deeper dive, the important takeaway is that the HPA axis includes a set of neurotransmitters with self-regulating feedback loops. When the body isn’t in balanced, the pathways either no longer result in cortisol secretion or the cells become cortisol insensitive like a diabetic in the presence of too much insulin. This is the body’s system of checks and balances.

    To address the four triggers, incorporate stress-reducing behaviors like mediation, yoga, essential oils and supplements like Zen Calm and Zen Sleep. Begin by reducing inflammation in the gut by eating a healthy diet reducing sugar and eliminating rancid vegetable oils. Try to get outside and take in natural light and stay away from your computer screen late at night.

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined as intense exhaustion for 6 months or more. Some people find they can’t function without chemical stimuli like coffee or stronger stimuli, although the benefits eventually wear off and their suffering continues. It is often associated with these common symptoms: 

    sleeping, headaches, brain fog, mood swings, allergies, joint pain, sore throat and memory issues.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined as intense exhaustion for 6 months or more. Some people find they can’t function without chemical stimuli like coffee or stronger stimuli, although the benefits eventually wear off and their suffering continues. It is often associated with these common symptoms: 

    Although doctors are unclear on the causes, there have been two common hypotheses about the underlying reasons for chronic fatigue syndrome.

    1. Adrenal Fatigue – Cortisol level cycle and constant high stress creates a situation where the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) produces cortisol “stress hormone” all day.
    2. Leaky Gut contributing to NAFLD (non-alcohol fatty liver disease)

    Leaky Gut

    When the increase in harmful bacteria and yeast (candida) within the intestine reaches a tipping point, the intestinal wall is breached. This is in part caused by the aldehydes released when candida are in such high concentrations that they stand in competition with each other. The aldehydes that are secreted to ward each other off, breakdown the soft tissue holding our intestinal cells together called "desmosomes". This subsequent breach allows food particles to pass through the intestine wall and the immune system becomes overwhelmed. The liver, which receives 70% of its blood flow from the intestine, is charged with detoxify the blood.

    If the necessary compounds for gluthione replenishment, methylation, acetylation are are in short supply the liver simply shuttles the toxins into fat cells to keep them from invading the rest of the body.3 These fat cells are stored in the liver and elsewhere throughout the body. This was the reason we developed Hepatiben, which contains the ingredients that can perform these activities and support proper liver function under these conditions.

    In addition to finding a good natural supplement, find ways to alleviate stress and adjust your diet. Studies show that reducing stress and taking an adrenal support supplement in this regimen significantly speeds up recovery.

    Inflammation Fighting Foods

    Inflammation Fighting Foods

    It is now common knowledge that the way to live a long and high-quality life is to reduce inflammation; it’s the root of most aging and diseases including: heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Inflammation in general is a positive as it wards off infection and helps repair damaged tissue. However, low-grade chronic inflammation was not how the body was designed and does long-term damage to the body.

    Foods To Avoid

    Fried foods, soda, HFCS, sugar, processed oils, vegetable oils, GMO foods.

    *Note: an important supplement that aids in reduction of inflammation is Serrapeptase, a naturally occurring proteolytic enzyme. Our enteric coated 80,000IU Serrapeptase is pharmaceutical grade

    Anti-Inflammatory Foods

    CELERY – We all know the body pH plays a role in inflammation. Celery is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; consuming it helps reduce body acidity.

    GARLIC & ONIONS – Onions contain quercetin, a flavonol known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic has been used by cultures for centuries if not millennia and contain sulfur compounds that help the immune system.

    BERRIES – We list berries meaning all berries here, but the standout is blueberries. They contain high concentrations of anthocyanins, which are very powerful antioxidants and help reduce inflammation.

    TART CHERRIES – Some studies have shown the anthocyanins contained in tart cherries have as comparable a pain relieving affect as aspirin, along with its other powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

    GREENS – This includes spinach, kale and collards. All contain two very important anti-inflammatory phytonutrients: flavonoids and carotenoids. They also contain Vitamins A, C and K, which are very effective anti-inflammatory compounds in their own right.

    PINEAPPLE – This fruit is particularly good at reducing inflammation in the gut as it contains the digestive enzyme bromelain. This is a strong anti-inflammatory and additionally contains vitamins and minerals that boost immune effectiveness.

    TURMERIC – Contains curcumin, which is a very strong anti-inflammatory used in many cultures to increase overall health. It is very effective at inhibiting inflammatory enzymes and reducing inflammation especially in the liver.

    GINGER – Ginger works very similar to turmeric and is particularly good at reducing the pain associated in arthritis. The anti-inflammatory compounds such as gingerols, shogaol, and paradols have also been shown to be a cancer fighting food according to The International Journal of Preventative Medicine. 1

    TOMATOES – Most people are aware that tomatoes contain lycopene, which is beneficial for prostate health in men. But lycopene also decreases inflammation making it a good addition to this list and your diet.

    OLIVE OIL – Containing omega-3s and oleocanthal, it is an excellent source for anti-inflammatory compounds and is especially helpful for joints. It should be noted that extra virgin oil should never be heated as it turns into a pro-oxidant, a toxic compound.

    NUTS (almonds, cashews) – This relates to the increase in omega 3 in our diet. Both omega 3 and 6 are important but our diets typically have lots more omega 6 than 3 and when this is out of balance it creates inflammation. Bringing the proper balance back will reduce inflammation. We should also include chia seeds and flaxseeds for the same reason.

    AVOCADO – High in carotenoids and monounsaturated fats, this food packs in the anti-inflammatory benefits.

    FISH (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines) – We are again adding foods that have omega 3 to bring back into balance the omega 3 and 6 in the body to reduce inflammation.

    Cleanse: Where To Begin

    Cleanse: Where To Begin

    A Simple Approach to Detox

    It’s practically common knowledge that one must cleanse the body to stay healthy. People are more aware than ever that our environment and foods contain endocrine disrupting compounds, herbicides and pesticides that need to be filtered from the body and needing our help to do so. It is not however, common knowledge how to begin detoxification.

    Where To Begin

    There are two main areas of the body that should consider a focal point; our intestinal tract and liver. Breaking down nutrients, absorbing those nutrients while defending against harmful organisms and chemicals is the very complicated balancing act performed by our intestinal wall. When health is compromised the gut is often where the problems first arise, so it’s important to incorporate a detox regimen that focuses here.

    Probiotics and the prebiotics that stabilize and feed the new and beneficial microbes is important. There are situations where harmful bacteria and other organisms have gained a foothold and they need to be cleansed from the gut so the benefits of probiotics can be realized.

    A cleanse focused on rebalancing candida would be a great first step since most people have candida overgrowth, which often leads to increased permeability of the gut lining (leaky gut). There are many natural ingredients that safely support this rebalancing and the best approach combines enzymes with oregano oil, caprylic acid and anti-parasitic compounds (these and more can be found in

    Drink Water!

    Always drink plenty of water during these cleanses. A typical cleanse should run for two weeks to two months depending on the supplement(s), intensity of the cleanse and the person’s current state of health. A good guide for daily water consumption is take the pounds an individual weighs, divide by two to arrive at the correct number of ounces.

    Die-Off: Defend Yourself!

    During these cleanses, many toxins are released into the blood stream. Often people complain about the side effects of a successful cleanse. They range from chronic fatigue to headaches and joint pain. It’s considered best practice to compliment any cleanse with a liver supplement or liver detoxifying foods. This is especially the case with candida cleansing as it releases over 70 endotoxins during a “die-off”. Taking a liver supplement like Hepatiben is good practice not only to mitigate cleansing side effects, but also to help reduce the build-up of stored toxins in the liver.

    The liver conducts over five hundred chemical reactions and regulates everything from DNA repair to blood glucose levels, fat-soluble vitamin storage and ongoing toxin removal. If the liver is burdened by toxin buildup, the liver’s ability to perform these functions will be compromised. Recent studies show a negative impact in diabetes, adrenal health, LDL cholesterol levels, chronic inflammation and even cognitive decline in people with toxic livers.

    Combining intestinal cleanses with liver cleansing supplements or foods are great ways to reboot for maximum nutrient absorption, increasing energy levels and reducing the likelihood of disease long-term.

    Common Detox Regimens Recommended by Our Physicians:

    Drink 20oz of water with lemon first thing in the morning. This initiates toxin filled bile to flow into the intestines from the liver washing the gallbladder in the process. Then follow these supplement steps below.

    Morning: 1 Candida / 1 Serrapeptase 
    Afternoon: 1 Candida / 1 Serrapeptase 
    Evening: 2 Hepatiben [takes advantage of your liver detox cycle] 

    Advanced Use: Morning: 2 Hepatiben / 1 Candida / 1 Serrapeptase Afternoon: 1 Candida / 1 Serrapeptase Evening: 2 Hepatiben