I had heard the term “Adrenal Fatigue” thrown around on various podcasts and health shows in the past, but this book was eye opening. The most important take away from the book is that these grape sized glands called adrenals are very complex, and involve the release of many hormones that effect the body’s ability to deal with stress, blood sugar, the production of sex hormones and other processes. It also became clear that overall lifestyle has as much to do with adrenal fatigue than anything else. This gave credibility in my mind to so called “alternative” methods of medicine that stress the importance of the mind, body, and spirit.
I was somewhat surprised to learn that many physicians do not even consider adrenal fatigue an actual disease or syndrome and that they do not properly test for it. It seems they only test for the most extreme cases known as “Addison’s disease. ” It was encouraging to learn that there is a saliva hormone test, where cortisol levels can be taken throughout the day for patients who suspect they suffer from the disorder. Additionally, The book also provides its own comprehensive test/questionnaire to further confirm or negate the extent of our own adrenal fatigue or possibly that of a future client.
From a dietary standpoint, the book reinforces many of the ideas I have read with a slight deviation on the percentage of fat in your daily intake (20-25% compared to 30%). It mirrors much of what Sally Fallon recommends as far as saturated fats being more appropriate for cooking, the rancidity of polyunsaturated oils, and the percentage of Omega 6s to 3s. The book also provides a diet specifically for adrenal fatigue, which seems a bit higher in protein, but again calls for the use of quality whole foods.
Continuing on theme of blood sugar control the book reinforces the need to avoid sugar and white flour products for their addictive properties and craving producing tendencies. They spike blood sugar and put stress on the adrenals by creating a roller-coaster ride of spiked insulin levels followed by a crash characterized by hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. The books stresses the use of other tools such as the glycemic index to help make decisions on foods to eat based on their effect on blood sugar.
The extent of adrenal fatigue is far reaching. I had not considered it affecting areas such as allergies, sex hormones, PMS and morning sickness, salt cravings and thyroid issues to name a few. The book gives great suggestions on how to improve your adrenal function through diet; supplements, herbal formulas, cortical extracts, and other prescribed medicines when needed, and allows for a moment of reflection for those who never consider the craziness of their full speed ahead day to day lives.
In fact it seems that a large portion of suggestions on the list of things to do if you have adrenal fatigue have to do with lifestyle decisions like hours of sleep, avoiding people who stress you out, keeping a journal, looking for things that make you laugh, and breathing deeply.