Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe the state a person is in when their adrenal glands decrease hormone production in response to a stressful lifestyle.
Those experiencing adrenal fatigue may struggle just to get out of bed in the morning, suffering from chronic fatigue, feel tired after waking in the morning, or have trouble thinking with clarity or completing tasks. Adrenal fatigue can make it difficult to fully function.
There are 2 important reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible:
Treatment depends on the severity of the problem. When adrenal fatigue is caught early, in stages 1 or 2, dietary changes and herbal supplements can sometimes naturally balance hormone levels and increase adrenal gland production. However, patients who are in stage 3-4 adrenal fatigue typically require bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Most traditional doctors will not treat adrenal fatigue; they’ll test for underlying conditions and if none are detected, they’ll prescribe medication to improve sleep or wakefulness. While these solutions may help temporarily, they don’t address the real problem: decreased hormone production of the adrenal glands.
A regenerative or integrative medicine doctor understands the dramatic impact adrenal fatigue can have on the patient’s life and knows how to screen for and treat the decline. Finding a doctor who is Fellowship trained and board-certified in regenerative medicine, like Dr. Monaco at Nashville Hormone & Integrative Medicine, is imperative in ensuring treatment is both safe and effective. An integrative medicine doctor will not rule out underlying causes but screen for those as well before making a determination.
DHEA is the most common steroid hormone in the body. It’s produced mainly by the adrenal glands, and to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the body. DHEA can be metabolized into other sex hormones including testosterone and estrogens and up to 150 individual metabolites. Because it’s metabolized into other hormones, DHEA may allow the body to choose which hormone is needed, then synthesize that hormone from the available DHEA.
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