Fatigue and Stress
Adrenal fatigue or imbalanced cortisol levels can occur when your body is exposed to more stress than you can handle. The longer you stay in stress mode the more demand you put on your adrenal glands. These glands can produce too much or too little cortisol or adrenaline and sometimes the body produces these hormones at the wrong time of day or night.
The adrenal glands adapt to stress by going through three stages. The first stage is called “the alarm reaction” where your body increases cortisol production to adapt to the demands of acute stress. This is also commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response, when your body is reacting to a perceived threat or dangerous situation.
The second stage is called “the resistance stage” where your body attempts to adapt to prolonged stress. In this stage your body makes a choice between making cortisol or making reproductive hormones including DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone. At this stage your hormone balance may be sacrificed to compensate for prolonged stress.
The final stage is called “the exhaustion stage” where the adrenals can no longer adapt to stress and the levels of both cortisol and other reproductive hormones are low.
Symptoms of Cortisol Imbalance
- Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep
- Craving sweets, salty, or caffeine
- Can’t skip meals
- Weight gain or loss
- Constant viral infections
- Body aches
- Hair loss
- Mood swings
While the adrenal glands can be assessed on symptoms alone, it is better to investigate further. The adrenal salivary test, for example, is recommended to help distinguish between elevated cortisol and low cortisol and to help identify your 24-hour cortisol rhythm. This information allows us to fine tune your recommended natural treatments to rebalance your adrenal glands and heal your body from the effects of chronic stress. Assessing thyroid health and gut health may also be part of your evaluation.
Naturopathic medicine takes a whole person approach to fatigue and stress. Lifestyle changes are a key component of bringing the body back into balance. In addition, nutraceuticals, herbs, and complex homeopathy can be very helpful. Drug-herb interactions are always taken into consideration, so it Is very important to disclose all the prescription medications you are taking at the initial visit.
Dr. Holly's Approach to Fatigue and Stress
Dr. Holly Castle a naturopathic doctor with almost three decades of experience. During her long career she has helped many people recover from fatigue and improve their stress responses.
She seeks to identifying the underlying root cause or causes of an individual’s health complaints by assessing the symptoms and by utilizing and interpreting conventional blood work and functional medicine tests as indicated. Her goal is to provide safe, supportive, natural wellness solutions that improve energy as well as provide a sense of calm and improve long term wellness outcomes.
Dr. Castle offers convenient and personalized healthcare in the comfort of your own home with Zoom appointments.