Myth #1: My fatigue is due to low thyroid function and has nothing to do with the adrenals
Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue can have very similar symptoms. Body temperature, however, is consistently low with Adrenal Fatigue. Regular thyroid laboratory tests can be normal or low in both cases. If you are on thyroid medications and are still symptomatic, or if you continue to require more and more thyroid medications to sustain the same energy level, you should be on the alert for Adrenal Fatigue as the root cause, not hypothyroidism. Restoring adrenal health often leads to improved thyroid health and reduction in thyroid medications. Increasing thyroid medication will only aid primary thyroid dysfunction. If low thyroid function is secondary or due to Adrenal Fatigue, increasing thyroid medication to enhance energy and reduce fatigue only puts the adrenal glands on overdrive at a time when it needs rest. As you will also see in the other common myths about Adrenal Fatigue, this will often lead to worsened adrenal function and increased adrenal crashes.
Myth #2: I will never recover as I have tried everything and nothing works
This is not true. Many achieve full recovery. The natural progression of Adrenal Fatigue, if nothing is done, is continual worsening of symptoms over time. The majority of self-navigation programs and many professionally guided programs fail due to the lack of training or experience. Your body possesses self-healing properties if given the correct natural tools. The key is not to give up but to continue your search for a qualified physician specializing in Adrenal Fatigue. That is the single most important key to your recovery.
Myth #3: Adrenal Fatigue is psychological
Adrenal Fatigue represents a mind-body condition where the stress-controlling center of the body is breaking down due to stress. Stress can be physical, emotional, or mental. Emotional stress and toxic relationships are the leading stressors of Adrenal Fatigue. The resulting dysfunction has both a physical dysfunction and a psychological component, both of which are biochemically mediated thought hormones. Recovery needs to incorporate a total mind-body approach. Both emotional healing and body chemistry rebuilding are required. Adrenal Fatigue affects every area of life. However, friends, family and employers are usually unaware of this, thus making the situation worse by their lack of understanding. Educating those who are not aware is the key.
Myth #4: People in Adrenal Fatigue have no energy and cannot work at all
Most in Adrenal Fatigue are holding full-time jobs and are very active. While they look good on the outside, they are often stressed on the inside. The majority of those in Adrenal Fatigue are in Stages 1 and 2, where symptoms of low energy are intermittent in nature and can be compensated with a sugar fix, rest, or coffee. Those in advanced Adrenal Fatigue (Stages 3 and 4) are very physically drained of energy, though many are still able to hold down a job. Common symptoms include hypoglycemia, low blood pressure, and insomnia. Only those in late Stages 3 and 4 are generally bedridden.
Myth #5: Steroids are a fast and effective way to overcome Adrenal Fatigue
While the use of steroids (such as hydrocortisone) can be useful under proper circumstances, widespread use of powerful hormones as a way to help Adrenal Fatigue has many drawbacks, including many well-known side effects. Many people recover from Adrenal Fatigue without steroids. They use proper and gentle nutrients to nurture the body, which allows the body to heal itself. This nurturing process should be considered the first line of defense before embarking on steroids, as it is a far gentler approach Those who are sensitive or have weak constitutions may actually do worse on steroids.
Myth #6: Taking herbs and glandulars for a long period has no side effects on Adrenal Fatigue.
While certain herbs and glandulars can be beneficial to help adrenal function during early stages of Adrenal Fatigue, they can backfire and in fact make the condition worse over time if the dosage is not modulated and adjusted professionally. One of the triggers of adrenal crashes is, in fact, improper use of such natural compounds.
Myth #7: There is no such thing as a bad nutrient as long as it is natural
Due to individual variations and degrees of Adrenal Fatigue, nutrients that are fitting for one person can actually be toxic for another. The more advanced the Adrenal Fatigue, the more important it is to understand this as the more frequently this occurs. This is applicable even to some of the most basic nutrients such as vitamin C. Inappropriate administering of nutrients without careful consideration of the intrinsic constitution of the body and the stage of Adrenal Fatigue is a common cause of recovery failure.
Myth #8: My primary care physician is the best person to help me with Adrenal Fatigue
Unfortunately, most conventionally trained western medical physicians are not trained in Adrenal Fatigue. This lack of training results in wide-spread practice of prescribing anti-depressants as well as thyroid hormones as a way to suppress symptoms of fatigue by stimulating the adrenals and increasing energy without consideration of the root cause. This often is a failed strategy and will eventually lead to adrenal crashes once the maximum stimulatory tolerance is reached. A physician who does not understand this is unlikely to help you.
Myth #9: Adrenal Fatigue can be determined by CT scans or blood tests
A CT scan cannot diagnose Adrenal Fatigue. One of the hallmarks of Adrenal Fatigue is a usually normal routine blood test. There are currently no blood tests sensitive enough to detect Adrenal Fatigue. Even saliva tests can be misleading unless done in a series over time. The best way to know if you have Adrenal Fatigue Treatment is to consult a physician trained and experienced in this area.
Myth #10: Vigorous exercise is good for Adrenal Fatigue
Vigorous exercise can help increase energy and may be beneficial for those with Stages 1 and 2 Adrenal Fatigue when the body’s reserve is still ample. Excessive exercise however is a trigger of adrenal crashes as well, so the intensity of exercise is a double-edged sword in Adrenal Fatigue. Vigorous exercises can drain the body of valuable energy reserves and should be avoided by those in Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue. Exercise can worsen the condition unless under close supervision. Those in adrenal exhaustion need to reduce exercise to a minimum during the initial healing phases. Five to ten minutes of walking every other day may be all that is tolerated for some. Not exercising helps conserve energy and allows the adrenals to rebuild when reserves are low. As the adrenal function improves, gradual scaling of the proper exercise will enhance recovery, including stretching, toning, and strength rebuilding. Due to individual variation, a personalized exercise program specific for adrenal recovery is best. Properly completed adrenal breathing exercises are an exception and beneficial in all stages of Adrenal Fatigue.
Myth #11: Most people recover from Adrenal Fatigue if left to nature
In the article, learn the truth about adrenal fatigue myths an discover if what your doing is best for you. Most people do not recover from Adrenal Fatigue if they are in the advanced stages, but instead become worse with time when self-navigating. The most common reason is not having a solid education about Adrenal Fatigue, improper use of nutritional supplements, and inexperienced self-navigation. Optimum recovery is very much possible under professional guidance, but few seek help until the adrenals are quite damaged and weak. Despite this, the body has the ability to often heal itself, but only if given the right tools at the proper time with the correct dosage.
Myth #12: Adrenal Fatigue occurs mainly in men
The 12th myth about adrenal fatigue is related to the vast majority of Adrenal Fatigue cases occuring in women. Over the past 50 years, women have taken on lifestyle changes well beyond what most can handle, bearing responsibility for raising a family and a career. The hormonal system is particularly stressed, and an ovarian-adrenal-thyroid axis imbalance is common.
Myth #13: Adrenal Fatigue only occurs in those with high-stress jobs and hectic lifestyles
Stress is a trigger, and so is a lifestyle that does not make provision for rest. However, Adrenal Fatigue also occurs in low-stress jobs as well. Stress affects people differently. Adrenal Fatigue occurs in all groups, regardless of occupation, income, or educational level. Those with weak constitutions might develop Adrenal Fatigue with a minimal amount of what is considered stress. What is considered slightly stressful for one person might be unbearable to another. Some develop Adrenal Fatigue after a simple dental procedure, or after a routine cold.
Myth #14: Adrenal Fatigue only comes on slowly over years
Adrenal Fatigue usually takes decades to surface, except if a person is constitutionally weak or experiences an acutely stressful event. Emotional traumas and toxic relationships occurring in rapid succession can trigger Adrenal Fatigue. Whether one goes into Adrenal Fatigue from an illness, accident, divorce, overwork or other stressors depends very much on one’s intrinsic ability to handle stress. That is a function of the constitution, rather than the absolute amount of stress.
Myth #15: Adrenal Fatigue is new and has no scientific basis
Adrenal Fatigue is as old as humanity. However, it has only been recognized as a dysfunction over the past century. Due to the lack of medical education and standardized investigative tools sensitive enough to alert the physician, it has been written off as a bona fide medical condition. Just because Adrenal Fatigue does not show up on x-rays or certain blood tests does not mean it is not real.
Myth #16: Fasting and detoxification will help Adrenal Fatigue
Accumulation of toxins in the body can trigger and worsen Adrenal Fatigue. Once Adrenal Fatigue sets in, the body gradually grows weaker. Fasting and detoxifying requires gentle professional guidance and administration to match the body’s internal clearance state. Improper detoxification is a common recovery mistake. Aggressive detoxification and fasting not only drains the body of energy but can also release more toxins into the body. Most with advanced adrenal weakness are also unable to excrete and clear toxins from the body in a timely manner, leading to a state of retoxification and worsening Adrenal Fatigue. Gentle detoxification may be considered when the adrenal function is healthy, or fatigue is mild. However, most detoxification programs can be dangerous for those with advanced Adrenal Fatigue. A gentle and complete rebuild and nourish program for the body is a far better approach. As adrenal function returns, toxin elimination will proceed on its own.
Myth #17: Adrenal Fatigue only affects one generation at a time
Children born to burn out parents are usually born nutritionally weaker and thus more prone to Adrenal Fatigue themselves due to weak constitutions. It is common to see Adrenal Fatigue in multiple generations. Mother-daughter occurrence is particularly common. Children today are thus going into Adrenal Fatigue at a younger age, starting at teens. High achievers, perfectionists, athletes, and those with toxic family relationships are particularly prone to developing Adrenal Fatigue.
Myth #18: Eliminating carbohydrates will help Adrenal Fatigue
While refined carbohydrates have a tendency to affect the metabolism and often contribute to worsening Adrenal Fatigue, some carbohydrates are necessary for maintaining proper blood sugar balance. Total avoidance of carbohydrates is not a good idea unless under professional guidance. A customized diet incorporating the body’s metabolic and blood type is important to restore adrenal health.
Myth #19: Adrenal Fatigue can recover with rest only
While rest is a good way to help the body restore some adrenal function, it is seldom enough to effect complete healing other than in the early stages of Adrenal Fatigue. Those with advanced Adrenal Fatigue (Stages 3 or 4) have multiple organ dysfunctions and their bodies are usually depleted of nutrients. Sleep alone cannot lead to full recovery without the help of personalized nutrition, lifestyle and diet protocols.
Myth #20: My doctor has never heard about Adrenal Fatigue, OAT Axis Imbalance, Estrogen Dominance, and secondary hypothyroidism
You need to educate your doctor about their existence so that she/he can give you the most comprehensive feedback about adrenal fatigue. Going through the articles on this website can answer many of your doctor’s questions. Do print out the relevant articles and take them to your doctor for his or her study. The first step to healing is knowledge.
© Copyright 2013 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
How does eating soy affect my adrenals?
There is no correlation between soy and the adrenals. But eating soy may affect your ovarian hormones and thyroid hormones, this does affect the OAT axis imbalance.