In this video, Dr. Minkoff from Lifeworks Wellness Center discusses adrenal fatigue, a condition often overlooked in conventional medicine.
Adrenal Fatigue & Stress
Discover the crucial role of the adrenal glands and their hormone production in maintaining balance and managing stress.
Learn how chronic stress, physical exertion, infections, and toxins can exhaust the adrenals, leading to symptoms such as low blood pressure, allergies, autoimmune issues, and profound exhaustion.
Explore the concept of adrenal fatigue, its impact on daily life, and the potential for hormone replacement therapy to restore vitality and well-being.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about a real and treatable condition that can significantly improve quality of life.
Understanding Adrenal Fatigue
Watch now and take the first step towards understanding and addressing adrenal fatigue.
Hi, it’s Dr. Minkoff, LifeWorks Wellness Center.
I want to talk to you about adrenal fatigue.
Now this diagnosis is pretty much unacceptable in normal medicine but it’s actually a real thing. So we have these glands, they’re called adrenal.
Renal is kidney, ad renal is on top of the kidney or next to the kidney.
So your kidneys are in your back, above the last rib and they’re about probably a little bit smaller than your fist and you have one on either side and your kidneys process water. On top of the kidneys are little glands, they’re probably the size of walnuts and those glands have two major functions, they make different types of hormones. So in the adrenal gland there’s an outer core and an inner core and the outer core is called the cortex or the adrenal cortex and it makes two major, three major hormones.
One of them has to do with electrolyte balance, salt balance and that’s called aldosterone. Has to do with blood pressure as well. The other one is called hydrocortisone, cortisol. Cortisol’s anti-inflammatory. It’s triggered when there’s a big stress reaction, like you’re running for your life or you got scared to death, cortisol or you get a big inflammation, you get trauma or you get an infection, cortisol will be triggered to like prop up your blood pressure, reduce allergy, get your system so that it can use proteins to make energy. The inner part of the adrenal gland makes adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine, it’s the fight or flight hormones.
So it makes the heart beat fast, makes you breathe faster, makes you run, gets blood to your muscles.
Now when we talk about adrenal fatigue usually the part we’re talking about is that the adrenal cortex has been called upon so many times because of a chronic stress situation or situations.
Now this can be mental emotional stress compounded by physical stress over work, over exercise, compounded by the stress that comes from infections and toxins and the adrenal gland basically gets so tired that it can’t produce enough of these hormones, especially hydrocortisone, to keep the body up and balanced when it’s in a stress situation and so these people look pale, they look kind of thin, their blood pressures are low, they’re super sensitive to everything, they tend to be allergic to everything, they have autoimmune things where their immune system is attacking them and they feel exhausted.
And one of my best questions to sort of tease this out with people is when you first wake up in the morning is it full vitality ready to take on the day or on the other side… dead.
And the adrenal fatigue people are in the dead.
Like if it’s a one to ten, tens up here one’s down here, they’re in the one to one point two to one point five, they’re like dead.
And usually that means if we measure their adrenal hormones, like we can measure blood levels or saliva levels of hydrocortisone, another hormone called DHEA and we can measure aldosterone, and those hormone levels especially the hydrocortisone are going to be really low.
Then when that person runs into a situation the stress of I’ve got to get up in the morning and get out of bed and walk to the basin and go to the bathroom, that stress is more than they can actually even muster enough hydrocortisone to meet and so they just can’t do it.
So when this is, and there’s varying degrees of that. So some people are okay a little bit of the day and they’re not the rest of the day and some people it’s the whole day.
So these are things that we commonly measure, these hormones we measure in people and we can see, hey look normally the graph for hydrocortisone is it’s real high in the morning,
it’s a little bit lower in the, in the noon, it’s a little bit lower in the afternoon and it’s low at night and then during the night it starts to come back up and then when you wake up in the morning you get a burst of cortisol in the morning, that’s what wakes you up and then you go through the day and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
But if you do the graph on the person of a cortisol every six hours during the day you see in the morning it’s really low, at noon it’s really low, in the afternoon it’s really low, at night is really low, like they’re exhausted and that person needs to have some hormone replacement, they need to have hydrocortisone and so we give them back hydrocortisone.
The catch-22 in this is that the brain sends the adrenal gland instructions in the brain is the sensor for how much cortisone is in the blood.
And when the brain gets the stress of I’ve got to get up, I’ve got to run a race, I’ve got to give a presentation in front of someone and the brain’s like we need some cortisol.
So it sends a messenger hormone from the brain to the adrenal that says make some cortisone. Now when the guy can’t make cortisone that brain hormone is still going strong it’s like I need cortisone, now you get some cortisone up here or we’re going to all die and the adrenal gland is saying I can’t, I’m done okay.
So we got to shut that off.
So we give them some cortisol, so we give some in the morning, brain’s like oh good, he doesn’t have to send that messenger down there. Give some at noon, okay he doesn’t have to send it again. Okay give it in the afternoon, doesn’t have to send it again.
Now the brain’s like I’m happy you’re doing good and now the adrenal gland’s not getting that message and the message is basically a stick, it’s a whip and now the adrenal gland can start to heal and then we get to sleep in and we get the nutrition in, we get the infections under control and we get the guy doing a little bit of walking and we get him some sunshine and over time six months a year, the adrenal gland heals then they don’t need the hydrocortisone.
The hydrocortisone can be weaned off.
Now the brain and the adrenal gland are back in sync and as long as the lifestyle is kept together then the body will operate again. So usually in most people this is healable and their sensitivities to everything like they can’t eat anything and you know my skin is itchy all the time and I’ve got rashes and I’ve got all this stuff, it’s just a lack of hydrocortisone because there’s nothing turning down inflammation, this is a major hormone which reduces inflammation and it just isn’t enough there to control it.
So this is a real thing.
This is like a miracle, like sometimes I can prescribe something for someone and in a week they’ll come back and you’ll say my life you saved my life, my life I am back.
I can actually function and all I did was give them a little bit of hydrocortisone three times during the day and now their system can operate. Okay so this is a real thing, it’s a significant thing that people can really get help with. It’s rarely recognized by regular medicine so if your doctor probably hasn’t checked your cortisol level and probably hasn’t offered you therapy for it um but it’s a fixable thing, okay. So that’s adrenal fatigue, it’s hydrocortisone.
It underlies many cases of chronic fatigue, of fibromyalgia, of brain fog, of low blood pressure, of low energy and uh a little bit of bioidentical this isn’t a drug, it’s actually the same hormone that the body makes given back to the person can just uh really turn their life around. Okay, so that’s adrenal fatigue, hope this helps.