by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
So many women come to see me suffering from overwhelming fatigue, sleep disruptions, fuzzy thinking, and irritability, inability to cope with stress, recurrent infections and low libido. Many women have seen healthcare practitioner after healthcare practitioner only to be told that there’s nothing that can be done to make them feel better. Many health care practitioners don’t acknowledge adrenal dysfunction.
Adrenal fatigue is recognized in many parts of the world, here in the US there has been much skepticism in the conventional medical world. Man physicians seem to want to point to other health issues such as hypothyroidism, depression and fibromyalgia which can cause similar symptoms to adrenal dysfunction.
Testing that conventional doctors use look only at the very extremes of adrenal imbalance. These two extremes – Cushing’s syndrome in which the body produces excessive levels of cortisol, and Addison’s disease which occurs when cortisol production is deficient- both require immediate medical intervention.
Unfortunately, many times if you your test results don’t fall within the specific test limits, its likely that you’ll be told your adrenal function is normal – even if you are very close. Sadly, sometimes credence isn’t given to the way a patient feels which can be a strong indicator of what is really going on.
In my practice, I find that saliva tests for adrenal function are more accurate. Women who come to me with symptoms of adrenal imbalance are tested to evaluate cortisol and DHEA levels and other metabolic tests to insure that there are no other health concerns present.
Out of the thousands of patients seen at Women to Women in the course of a year, less than 25% have cortisol levels which are consistent with healthy adrenal function. A resounding 75% plus have impaired function.
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