I have experienced chronic adrenal fatigue and completely understand what you may be going through. It is frustrating to feel like something is not right in your body and no one can tell you what is going on.
In my practice, I often use a car as an analogy for adrenal energy. When a car is well maintained it can take us anywhere we want to go - fast or slow - it gives us freedom and mobility. Yet, when life gets in the way, and oil changes are neglected, the engine starts burning through more gas and runs slower.
Imagine your body is a car: There are two type of energy that body needs to function:
- The Engine: In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this is called Yang Energy. Similar to an engine, this energy is what gets things moving.
- The Gas Tank: In TCM this is called Yin Energy. This type of energy is what nourishes or feeds your body. Remember that the engine won’t run without gas.
Type of Energy
Gas Tank 1/4 full
These individuals tend to look after themselves however they push too hard. I often refer to them as ‘Wired but Tired’. They are able to nourish their adrenals and body, but burn through all their energy stores causing them to burn out for periods of time. Sometimes weight gain in the mid-section starts to set in along with food intolerances. In other words, they feel like they are functioning at 50%.
Gas Tank On Empty
This is true burnout - Chronic Adrenal Fatigue. This is when you do not have enough energy stores to get you out of bed in the morning. It can take an hour and a couple of cups of coffee to even see straight. Stimulants are often used to help deal with frequent energy crashes throughout the day. You are so exhausted that it does not matter how long or well you sleep - you always feel tired. There is a notable increase in weight (particularly around the mid-section and thighs) and it does not matter how much you work out - you always feel tired and your weight does not change.
Gas Tank Full, Engine Needs an Oil Change
Your body is asking for a tune up - things may take a little longer to get moving, but once you are going it is full steam ahead. Inflammation plays a significant role as it slows the body down. The root cause is often linked to poor digestion and compromised nutrient absorption. There are numerous other causes such as hormone imbalances, mitochondrial dysfunction, certain medications, candida, and SIBO that cause you to feel tired.
It is important to get to the root of why your body is not operating optimally. My favourite lab to run is our BCB Gold (Organic Acid Test and Comprehensive Blood Work Panel). This allows me to quickly understand the root cause.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue mirror quite a few conditions ranging from thyroid problems, hormones imbalances, anemia and even poor digestion! For this reason, I strongly suggest that a full review be completed. This takes the guess work out and allows your treatment to be more precise.
Suggested Laboratory Testing
- Thyroid Panel: TSH, T4 and T3 - We should always consider the HPA axis when evaluate fatigue.
- Iron Level: Ferritin/TIBC - Iron deficient anemia and hemochromatosis are more frequent causes of fatigue that you would think.
- Hormone Panel: FSH, Estrone, Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone - hormone imbalances play a significant role in fatigue for both men and women.
- Serum Cortisol and DHEA - both are produced by the adrenal gland.
* Note: These tests are included in both our BCB Silver and BCB Gold lab packages
Gold Standard Adrenal Panel
- Salivary Cortisol Test: This test provides accurate information how your adrenals are performing throughout the day. We can also test your sex hormones using saliva.
To learn more about Body Chemistry Balancing, and whether the BCB Test is right for you, give our clinic a call or send an email.
About Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui, ND
Dr. Yousuf believes that the foundation of health is digestion. Healing the microbiome, decreasing inflammation, eliminating parasites, and improving nutritional absorption can have a profound effect on the rest of the body. His clinical focus extends to Men and Women’s Sexual Health and hormone regulation with treatments including bio-identical hormones and desiccated thyroid.