Adrenal fatigue and adaptogens for lymies 101- easy to get confused, dont

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astroman
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   Posted 12/11/2017 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I sense adrenal fatigue and treatment can be a source of confusion sometimes.

A common test for this is the ZRT 4 point, 24 hour adrenal saliva test, about $150. This is not recognized by conventional medical Drs, but some know about its popularity. Its a good "guide".

Adrenal fatigue is not the same for everyone, so the best supplements will not be the same. Its a general term for adrenals that are not adjusting to your ambient needs, like overreacting to small stressors in a nervous system sort of feeling, not necessarily in terms of temperament..

Adrenal fatigue can make you
1) tired
2)"wired"
3) both at different times of the day. Plus "wired" will make you tired after the "wired" time.

As some read this, they might be thinking, "oh, I thought adrenal fatigued people are tired all the time".

NOPE. They can also have periods of over stimulation/hyperness. Almost like hyper thyroid.

When the adrenals are stressed, they can go haywire and overreact also. And have daily repeated "flip flop" pattern.

Ancient Ayuredic practice in India "rates" these adaptogens from "cool" to "hot", although you wont find this mentioned much anymore. I like to say, mello to revving, since thats the range of what they can do to your energy. And you match that with what herb you need.

There are easily 7-10 or so adrenal adaptogen herbs depending on your goggle "landing". I used to have a good bookmark that "stacked" these in "energy" order as a guide (until my hard drive blew). When reviewing these, pay attention to cortisol height reduction or gain, or whatever equal definition they chose to use. They all somewhat "level" the adrenal energy, but some are more mellowing and some are more energetic. When you adrenals are toast, this difference is usually noticeable in feel..

When someone says "I felt better on this" its not really saying anything at all without the details as to what your symptoms were and the outcome after said supplement use. I think this could be a common answer if someone did not know the different variations of adrenal fatigue or adrenal stress.

For this reason, study before you buy. I liked the individual ones, and they dont cost much. The "mixed" adrenal adaptogen herbs better say what to expect, like more energy or calming energy, if not, your gambling on the outcome.

NOTE: Remember the extreme variations of this are actual diseases and tested by conventional medicine known as Addison's and Cushing's, and treated with Rx's or sometimes tumor removal. Conventional medicine only recognizes extreme high or low cortisol. The blood test is compared to a early or late AM range. They do have a urine test to, I think its a 24 hr, but average.

/www.rnpedia.com/nursing-notes/medical-surgical-nursing-notes/addisons-disease-vs-cushings-disease/

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional notes:

Adrenal wise, I'm mostly better now compared to how messed up I was. But with Hashimoto thyroidities, even with optimal treatment, Adranals rarely work as they once did. The thyroid and adrenal have a puish / pull effect , working, ot tyring to work as a team.

I had all three tests I mentioned in the post abouve- 24 hr saliva, + the two conventional tests: 24 hr urine average, and AM olny blood . The convention ones did show I was at the top of the morning AM range. But then they dont bother with the rest of the day LOL. I'm thinking having cortisol levels the top of the range is only good for a super hero.

I took "cooler" (mellow) adaptogens like holy basil in the AM and before bed, and the more "hotter" (energetic) ones like gensings in the afternoon - to match my desired energy needs.

Ashwagonda and Rhodilia were NOT calming for me, actually a little to energetic for AM use.

Note: there are four different energy levels in the gensing family (4 diff gensings) alone!!. The other adaptogens are not like that.

hope this helps some people, I've been working on adrenals for 4-5 years and a lot better now.
Had initial lyme symptoms late 80's, then again w/with bullseye early 90's. Ended ABX for Lyme in 2015. Rebuilding / repairing / fine tuning since then; member "10 Percenters Lyme Club". What an adventure this has been. Did I mention Hashimoto sucks?

Post Edited (astroman) : 12/14/2017 10:29:38 AM (GMT-7)


LymeSick 🌟
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Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/11/2017 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I did the ZRT 4 point saliva test.

My cortisol was very much below average on all 4 points, or maybe 3 of the 4, I don't remember exactly.

It was quite a shock.

I also got tested for pregnenolone, and it was almost non-existent in my blood.

I'm not sure if I should increase cortisol by going the pregnenolone route or the adaptogen route.

The strange this is that my blood test cortisol came back normal several times.

But the saliva one didn't.

astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/11/2017 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine was both on the 24hr saliva, which is why I comment on adrenal posts a lot LOL.
Had initial lyme symptoms late 80's, then again w/with bullseye early 90's. Ended ABX for Lyme in 2015. Rebuilding / repairing / fine tuning since then; member "10 Percenters Lyme Club". What an adventure this has been. Did I mention Hashimoto sucks?

LymeSick 🌟
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/11/2017 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you're going through that. I wish I could help. But I don't know what to do myself.

I wonder which test to believe, the blood one or saliva, do you know?

astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/11/2017 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
LymeSick 🌟 said...
Sorry you're going through that. I wish I could help. But I don't know what to do myself.

I wonder which test to believe, the blood one or saliva, do you know?




Past tense, I'm mostly better now compared to how messed up I was.

I had all three tests I mentioned in the post. The convention ones did show I was at the top of the morning AM range. But then they dont bother with the rest of the day LOL. I'm thinking the top of the range is only good for a super hero.

I took "cooler" (mellow) adaptogens like holy basil in the AM and before bed, and the more "hotter" (energetic) ones like gensings in the afternoon.

Ashwagonda and Rhodilia were NOT calming for me, actually a little to energetic for AM use.

Note: there are four different energy levels in the gensing family. The other adaptogens are not like that.

Post Edited (astroman) : 12/14/2017 10:29:01 AM (GMT-7)


astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/14/2017 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
bump up for views

Heathersdad
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Total Posts : 1159
   Posted 12/14/2017 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Astroman- I agree that "adrenal fatigue and treatment can be a source of confusion sometimes." I certainly don't claim to be an expert, but I have learned a few things about the topics during the last 10 years of having to deal with my daughter's situation of low cortisol production. I don't take issue with your point that lyme sufferers may experience adverse symptoms due to adrenal fatigue or stress. I also agree that adaptogens are often a useful tool for treatment. However, I disagree with the presupposition that seems to be expressed at the beginning of your opening post on this thread.

Your post opened with these statements:

"I sense adrenal fatigue and treatment can be a source of confusion sometimes.

A common test for this is the ZRT 4 point, 24 hour adrenal saliva test, about $150. This is not
recognized by conventional medical Drs, but some know about its popularity. Its a good "guide".

The presupposition seems to be that the ZRT saliva test tests for the presence of adrenal fatigue. The problem is this presupposition makes the test say more than is possible for it to accurately say. Additional testing would be necessary to determine whether "Adrenal Fatigue" is involved. The saliva test can only test saliva cortisol levels and cannot determine whether the source of low cortisol is a problem with the adrenals or elsewhere. The saliva test is an excellent screening test, but it is very incomplete.

Two blood tests were also mentioned as followup testing. They are also excellent tests, but they are both incomplete. These particular blood tests can only test blood cortisol levels and cannot determine whether the source of low cortisol is a problem with the adrenals or elsewhere.

The fact is that many people may have insufficient cortisol due to a problem originating other than in the adrenals themselves. Mainstream medical literature presents this situation as fact, and it was medically and scientifically proven to be the case with my daughter.

Heather experienced abnormal fatigue for at least 6 years prior to being tested with a 4 point saliva test at the end of 2012. The test demonstrated that she had very low cortisol levels- almost Addison's Disease! The next month she was tested with a followup blood cortisol level test which confirmed the low blood cortisol level.

She also received an ACTH Stimulation Test. ACTH is the Pituitary hormone that stimulates the Adrenals to produce cortisol when needed by the body. The ACTH Stimulation Test is performed by injecting a certain amount of ACTH into the body to stimulate the Adrenal Glands to produce a spurt of cortisol, which can then be measured with a followup blood cortisol test. Heather's Adrenals responded with a good robust production of cortisol which they probably were unable to do for several years. My point is that it would have been inappropriate to label her low adrenal cortisol production as "Adrenal Fatigue." It would also have been inappropriate to believe that the adaptogenic herbs she was taking were addressing Heather's low cortisol levels. They weren't able to help the real problem- the Pituitary Gland or perhaps the Hypothalamus Gland. The HPA Axis works as a unit to produce cortisol.

If low cortisol production is due to an Adrenal problem, then it is called "Primary Adrenal Insufficiency." If low cortisol production is due to a problem originating from outside of the Adrenal Glands, then it is called "Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency". My daughter experienced Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency. Some researchers believe that the number of Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency sufferers is higher than the number of Primary Insufficiency sufferers. Here are links to a few articles that present the two types of Adrenal Insufficiency:

http://endocrinefacts.org/health-conditions/adrenal/2-adrenal-insufficiencies/

https://pituitary.org/knowledge-base/disorders/adrenal-insuffieciency-addison-s-disease

http://www.nadf.us/adrenal-diseases/secondary-adrenal-insufficiency/

I'm leaving out a lot of details, but relying on cortisol level tests alone will often cause misunderstanding. We had been treating Heather with adaptogenic herbs for several years, but they proved not to provide the solution that we were looking for. They were helpful, but they were not addressing the main problem which was found outside of the Adrenal Glands. Hormone Replacement Therapy provided the solution for Heather for 4.5 years, but she has now weaned off of them, and has normal cortisol levels. And yes, we do believe in the usage of Adaptogens as Heather took them while she was sick and during the weaning off process. She is in the process of weaning off of them as well.

I also started this journey with some erroneous presuppositions, and they surely delayed Heather's ultimate healing from the illness. I will close the book on Heather's hormone problems when I go into detail in a future post.

Astroman- You made some good points, but I felt that there was an omission that needed to be addressed.

Don

Post Edited (Heathersdad) : 12/14/2017 5:42:42 PM (GMT-7)


PeteZa
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 9729
   Posted 12/14/2017 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Don, it is so very good to see you again.

You are the ultimate Dad and I admire you so very much.

I had a Dad much like you that cared so much for me. It warms my heart to know that there are still wonderful Dads out there.

So awesome to see you again.

How is Heather doing now? All grown up but still waiting for Santa I hope.

astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/14/2017 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
"Astroman- You made some good points, but I felt that there was an omission that needed to be addressed."

Don"

The title of my post was Adrenal fatigue and adaptogens for lymies, nothing more. Not Adrenal fatigue, adaptogens and hormones for lymies.

However , I did mention - "Remember the extreme variations of this are actual diseases and tested by conventional medicine known as Addison's and Cushing's, and treated with Rx's" - Rx's meaning Rx hormone.

I felt the need for the basics here. No more, no less. I could have chosen to write nothing at all.

ACTH - yes, I had that one also. And a CAT scan for Pit tumor(s). Lyme and its related detective work is endless..yes, endless.

Note: Before anyone who needs to treat advanced adrenal issues with Rx hormones, they also need a full thyroid panel blood test. The adrenal and thyroid glands work as a team, influencing each other, both receiving "direction" signals from the pituitary gland.

smile

Post Edited (astroman) : 12/14/2017 9:39:34 PM (GMT-7)


Girlie
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Date Joined May 2014
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   Posted 12/14/2017 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
astroman said...
"Astroman- You made some good points, but I felt that there was an omission that needed to be addressed."

Don"

The title of my post was Adrenal fatigue and adaptogens for lymies, nothing more. Not Adrenal fatigue, adaptogens and hormones for lymies.

However , I did mention - "Remember the extreme variations of this are actual diseases and tested by conventional medicine known as Addison's and Cushing's, and treated with Rx's" - Rx's meaning Rx hormone.

I felt the need for the basics here. No more, no less. I could have chosen to write nothing at all.

ACTH - yes, I had that one also. And a CAT scan for Pit tumor(s). Lyme and its related detective work is endless.
smile


Yes, as you have pointed out Astro - there is a distinction between adrenal 'fatigue' and Addison's and Cushing's.
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Heathersdad
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Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1159
   Posted 12/15/2017 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Astroman- thanks for interracting with my post.

You said, "I sense adrenal fatigue and treatment can be a source of confusion sometimes. A common test for this is the ZRT 4 point, 24 hour adrenal saliva test, about $150."

In your second sentence you stated that a common test for "this" (referring to the adrenal fatigue in sentence 1) is the ZRT test. Further that it was a good "guide", which i take to mean that it is a good guide as to whether a person has adrenal fatigue.

I fear that you have still not understood my point. I will articulate my objection slightly different this time:

The Saliva Cortisol Test does not test for adrenal fatigue. It only tests what the cortisol levels are at 4 points of time during a day. Also, based on what you said, it would be easy to erroneously assume that if a saliva test had low cortisol values, then the cause of the fatigue would automatically be adrenal fatigue. I am simply saying that that presupposition would often be erroneous. I would say that the saliva test is a good "guide" to determine cortisol levels, but that it is only the first of possibly several necessary tests to determine the presence of adrenal fatigue.

I see frequent posts about general tiredness, Adrenal Fatigue, saliva tests, and adaptogens on this forum, but have yet to see anyone other than myself speak of the the distinction between Primary Adrenal Insufficiency and Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency. Does anyone realize that the appropriate treatment hinges chiefly on comprehending the distinction that I am preaching about? Astroman- you have certainly gone into more detail in other threads during the last few years, but have never mentioned the issue that I am raising. Surely the distinction between PAI and SAI are "basics" when discussing cortisol and adrenal issues! This is where I am coming from.

Astroman- I am not taking issue with 95% of your post. I am only objecting to your linking of the ZRT Test to testing for Adrenal Fatigue which can lead to wrong conclusions and ineffective treatment.

You and I have gone down this road together previously. (Sigh)

Don

Post Edited (Heathersdad) : 12/14/2017 10:49:55 PM (GMT-7)


astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/15/2017 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Three examples suggesting saliva testing for adrenal fatigue/stress from people in the industry:

1) Dr Lam, adrenal guru: /www.drlam.com/blog/adrenal-stress-test-can-help-test-adrenal-fatigue/13885/ :

["A Cortisol Saliva Test Can Help Uncover Adrenal Fatigue.

Help determine your adrenal fatigue with this adrenal stress test"]

-------------------------------

2) Dr Axe: /draxe.com/3-steps-to-heal-adrenal-fatigue/ :

["Adrenal Fatigue Tests:

Tests for adrenal fatigue are, unfortunately, another source of confusion for many.....The most common of these tests include testing bodily fluid for cortisol. Blood tests are almost never helpful in this regard, but a ** 24-hour salivary panel** may help your doctor recognize abnormal cortisol patterns, including a lack or overload of stress response. Many doctors also test thyroid function in conjunction with cortisol levels because of the way these hormonal systems are interconnected."]


----------------------------------------


3) ZRT lab itself: /www.zrtlab.com/media/1491/cortisol-testing-for-adrenal-function-pds.pdf

Graphed examples of four variations of adrenal dysfunction, From ZRT website:

A)***"Stress/fatigued pattern – morning cortisol in the high normal
range or elevated, but levels drop off rapidly, indicating
adrenal dysfunction"***

B)Hypocortisolism/burnout pattern – morning cortisol surge
is suppressed and overall diurnal pattern is flattened

C)Chronic adrenal stress pattern – overall higher than normal
cortisol production throughout the day

D)Normal circadian rhythm with cortisol awakening response

---------------------------
Note: Adrenal health terms also differ within that specific part of the health industry (just to make it more confusing).

When I noted- " Its a good "guide"", I did not say its the only guide or test, never implied this and included some others.

Post Edited (astroman) : 12/15/2017 12:10:32 AM (GMT-7)


Heathersdad
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Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1159
   Posted 12/15/2017 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
PeteZa

You just made my day!!! I mean that!

I'm not really the "ultimate Dad." I definitely have my faults. Perhaps some of the forum members could even tell us what some of them are!

It is heartwarming to hear of the special relationship that you had with your own Dad. Life can be tough, but I always want Heather to know that she is loved unconditionally.

I tend to be very gung ho when I do things. In the early days of the treatment of Heather's illness I was personally responsible for making Heather's herxes a lot worse than they would have had to be, due to going way overboard in trying to kill the pathogens. Eventually this gung ho tendency was useful in devising and implementing an effective detox strategy to mitigate the herxes. I could just kick myself for not being as sensitive as i could have been in minimizing her suffering in the early days.

Heather is doing quite well these days. She is with us during the Christmas break, and will return back to college to finish her last semester. We have been graced with the presence of her beloved dog as well for the next month!

PeteZa- thanks again for the kind words!

Don
I am not participating in the forum very much recently since my daughter is well, and I am pursuing other interests. However, I am available to answer any questions that forum members may have. Please do not make inquiries via the forum, but instead send an email my way. I will answer your questions within a few days.

Heathersdad
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Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1159
   Posted 12/15/2017 2:27 AM (GMT -6)   
astroman- You and I can go round and round with this ad nauseum. The point is that only 50% or less of people with low cortisol values have Adrenal Fatigue. If we assume Adrenal Fatigue based on the saliva test alone, as your post can be understood to suggest, and then treats accordingly, then that person could unnecessarily be going down a rabbit trail.

I appreciate that you have cut and pasted the "Graphed examples of four variations of adrenal dysfunction, From ZRT website" to make your point. However, have you or ZRT considered that Pituitary dysfunction can also be responsible for creating the same type of cortisol graph patterns, such as was in the case of Heather? The issue isn't whether a saliva test can be useful as an initial screening test. The issue is whether it and of itself can reliably, consistently, and specifically diagnose or rule out adrenal fatigue. It is not a "good guide" for that purpose. That would be similar to saying that the Western Blot can definitively diagnose the presence of Borrelia bacteria.

Once again, I am not accusing you of anything. I am just bringing up an important point that was not mentioned and is important to the discussion. You're the one that mentioned possible points of confusion and I brought up a fairly basic issue to consider before any targeted treatment is launched. I appreciate that you quoted physicians with national reputations, but that does not settle the dispute. As you have often stated, there is much confusion, even among big name physicians!

Don

Post Edited (Heathersdad) : 12/15/2017 12:41:28 AM (GMT-7)


astroman
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 5092
   Posted 12/15/2017 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Don- "It is not a "good guide" for that purpose." (saliva adrenal testing)

- that is your personal opinion. These nationally known "gurus" think otherwise.

There are different levels of adrenal dysfunction, I decided not to cover all of them in MY post.


I covered a starting point. I also did not cover Addisons or Cushing's but mentioned them. Does that aslo make my post wrong? - no it doesn't.

It can be debated (and has) that adrenal dysfunction needing hormone is no longer called fatigue and is temporary Addisons.

**If you read my comments, yes, I had a CAT scan looking for a PIT tumor, and had other conventional tests as well, but the saliva test showed (in my case) what those other tests failed to do.**

**In MY CASE, YES, the saliva test CLEARLY showed Adrenal fatigue.**

Again, it was MY CHOICE not to include this information as this is more advanced in MY OPINION.

This post was to clarify some current forum questions from people who did not know about the saliva test or adaptogens. My intentions were to address ONLY that and not go further.

If you dont like someones simplified informational post because you view it in a different way, well, I cant change how you perceive things.

I appreciated that you did your homework to assure your daughters health. Please try to look though the eyes of others, we are not your daughter and all have slightly different variations of what these infection can do.

You have a history of feeling the need to correct people when they are not even wrong.

I am not a perfectionist, you might be. I work with perfectionists, nothing is ever good enough for them, not from anyone.

"Adding information" to a post is different than not agreeing with or thinking someone is wrong based on your personal opinions.

My post was not wrong, you just didnt like it. Get over it.

Post Edited (astroman) : 12/15/2017 9:04:27 AM (GMT-7)


Heathersdad
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Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1159
   Posted 12/15/2017 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Astroman

Get over it? (sigh) Have a good day buddy. I'm sorry that i rubbed you the wrong way.

Don
I am not participating in the forum very much recently since my daughter is well, and I am pursuing other interests. However, I am available to answer any questions that forum members may have. Please do not make inquiries via the forum, but instead send an email my way. I will answer your questions within a few days.
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