The Dr. Lam Show

Why Conventional Medicine Rejects Adrenal Fatigue

February 15, 2021 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
Why Conventional Medicine Rejects Adrenal Fatigue
Chapters
The Dr. Lam Show
Why Conventional Medicine Rejects Adrenal Fatigue
Feb 15, 2021
Dr. Lam

Adrenal fatigue isn’t well understood or recognized in the medical establishment, so information is slow to spread in the general population as well. If you’re not sure whether you should be concerned about this disorder, then here are some facts about it from an adrenal fatigue expert.

Trying to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor who understands what you're going through? Lam Clinic does Telemedicine all over the world and is only a phone call away.

1. Educate yourself by visiting our website: www.lamclinic.com

2. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to schedule an appointment.

FIND US ONLINE HERE:
» Website: https://www.lamclinic.com/
» Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamclinic
» Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lam_clinic/
» Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@lamclinic
» YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWtdb4L5h5EuxKvkNq3M7yw

Show Notes Transcript

Adrenal fatigue isn’t well understood or recognized in the medical establishment, so information is slow to spread in the general population as well. If you’re not sure whether you should be concerned about this disorder, then here are some facts about it from an adrenal fatigue expert.

Trying to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor who understands what you're going through? Lam Clinic does Telemedicine all over the world and is only a phone call away.

1. Educate yourself by visiting our website: www.lamclinic.com

2. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to schedule an appointment.

FIND US ONLINE HERE:
» Website: https://www.lamclinic.com/
» Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamclinic
» Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lam_clinic/
» Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@lamclinic
» YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWtdb4L5h5EuxKvkNq3M7yw

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Are your adrenal glands healthy? How can you tell? Your adrenal glands are often forgotten and a little known part of your body, but they are essential to your good functioning, and they're even more important if you're under stress. This is The Dr. Lam Show empowering you to take control of your health. Today, we're going to talk about adrenal fatigue. I'm Dr. Carrie Lam.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

And I'm Dr. Jeremy lam.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

In today's podcast, we're going to do a deep dive into adrenal fatigue, and address some questions you may have about this condition and how it could really affect your body and health.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Let's go first with describing a typical adrenal fatigue sufferer and what they kind of go through. Now, the typical sufferer has usually a long history and they look back and it could be 5, 10 years, or could be much longer than that. Or it could actually be triggered from a very acute event, such as a traumatic accident or a relationship problem. But usually, there's a first crack where you experience a little drop, and then your body tends to recover. Now, this recovery can take weeks, months, or sometimes just even days, but normally our adrenal fatigue sufferers can point to a certain event where they experienced this crack, and they know that kind of, that's when their body started heading downhill.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

You're right. Ones that I've heard very often is sometimes a hysterectomy, or sometimes when they got put on antibiotics, or when they underwent some dental procedure. And that just really stressed out their system or a significant life event where someone inyour family died or they get down with an illness, whether it's Lyme disease or some other infection, and they've had to really tackle that.Those are some of the triggers that are very common.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

These new acute stressors kind of attack the body when you already have underlying stressors coming on. When we don't remove the underlying stressors, then the body keeps repeating over and over, and the stress tends to do more harm than good.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

In the beginning of adrenal fatigue, you might not even think that you have adrenal fatigue. In early stages, you might just say, "Oh, wow, I'm a little tired this morning, I need to drink some coffee." So you drink a cup of coffee, or you take some sugary foods assnacks because you feel that dip in energy in the midday and you're able to get going like no problem. But as time goes on, and you feel worse and worse, not only just one cup of coffee is going make you feel better. You might go and see your doctor and they might put you on thyroid medication or things like that to help stimulate your body. Or you feel like taking a nap, you might need to take afternoon naps to feel better and pretty soon those stop working too until you get to more of an adrenal exhaustion phase. There are differing steps to adrenal fatigue. It's not necessarily that you have to be bedridden, which is the very later stage, in order to have adrenal fatigue.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Oftentimes, that's the symptoms that we see with adrenal fatigue or like you said, just feeling very tired. Sometimes hormone imbalance or dysregulation, heart pounding, or palpitations, electrolyte problems with maybe getting lightheaded with standing, sometimes also just feeling jittery, and also feeling wired and tired, feeling like you have a heavy burden on your shoulder. That's one of the more common complaints as well. Also, just migrating joint aches or salt, or sugar cravings. As you can see, these symptoms are all very just all over the place. As in that they're not very specific to a certain disease or condition. And that's what makes adrenal fatigue, so complicated and also difficult to deal with, because it's a syndrome of these different symptoms that when you look at it individually, it doesn't really point to any disease process. But when you look at it as a complete picture, then it kind of points to maybe something underlying going on with the adrenals.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

You're right. So if you were to go to your doctor with some of these symptoms, let's say you had palpitations, they might send you to a cardiologist. Or let's say you have problems sleeping, they might give you a sleep medication or if you are depressed, they might give you an antidepressant, but who is actually looking at the whole

big picture of:

are these all related? Are these all symptoms related to each other? And should we be only giving medications as band aids? Or should we try to get to that root cause of what could be causing all these symptoms? So that is very important.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Along that route is just the keys to be able to step back and look at this almost as if the body's trying to send us a signal. Your body's trying to tell you that, "Hey, medically, you're okay because the labs are normal, but I'm alerting you that I'm not happy, my body inside is not happy." And that is the picture that most people unfortunately ignore. And also, doctors, unfortunately, are not able to be alert to be able to pick up these signals that the body is telling us. And so things just get worse and worse over time. These are adrenal fatigue sufferers who actually go through multiple doctors and get multiple treatments. The treatments from medical doctors are very heroic, as we mentioned earlier, because from hormone replacement, and thyroid replacement, it's what we're trained to do, and what we can kind of use as band aids. But again, it's not getting down to the underlying root cause.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

And they might.. they do want to find out so they do labs, and a lot of times the labs do come back normal, and you're like, "Well, what is wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way, even though you say I'm medically okay?" So, somehow, there's a disconnect of the picture not being taken into account. The people that we see for adrenal fatigue, usually they've gone and seen many, many doctors, and they don't feel like they're improving. Unfortunately, it's because conventional medicine does take into account a good majority of people like the bell curve, 95% of the people can be taken care of very well. But how about on the the sides, the the people that are very rare or have very specific reactions to things or are very sensitive, they get tossed to the side, because no one knows what to do with them. Those are the people that we definitely see a lot that fall into this adrenal fatigue picture. It's very important to not brush them aside, but to listen to all those signals that the body is sending. As things get worse and worse, your body will send you stress response symptoms. And that's what we go into our NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response, where the stress doesn't only affect one system, like the adrenals, but affects all organs and all types of systems in your body, the thyroid, the hormones, the gut, the brain, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the metabolism. Stress, we tend to brush off also, because we are a society that wants to be efficient and wants to be successful. But in reality, stress is what is causing a lot of these issues in our body, and if we don't take care of it, we can only worsen with time.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

There are multiple reasons that some patients are not able to recover from treatments, such as what we mentioned above, and because they're not going for the root cause of the problem. And maybe they're not on the right path of really an adrenal fatigue suffer. There are people who go on the internet, trying to find the right path, also trying to go on the medical encyclopedia to kind of see if there's a standard protocol for recovery. However, from our experience, it really takes a personal approach to find the right recovery process. And it applies from person to person, because everyone's physiology and body makeup is very different. Especially if you find that you're very weak and fragile person, then what works for another person might even backfire on you. So it's very important, age can play a factor. Your different genetic components can also play a factor. Your underlying medical history also plays a factor. So it really takes a personalized approach to be able to get on the right track towards recovering your health.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

If you're looking for someone to help you with that personalized approach, and looking at the big picture, not just finding a symptom and giving you a band aid, in getting to the root cause, you can definitely give our office a call at Lam Clinic. Our phone number is (714)-709-8000,and set up an appointment to talk to one of us to be able to get you on the right track of your health.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Along with that line, oftentimes self navigating is perhaps one of the most common mistakes that we see in a lot of people. It's because when you're self navigating you don't have experience, and you really don't know whether you're doing the right thing or not, you're just trying one thing or the other. Trial and error is great when you are young, and when you're strong, and when you're able to rebound. But in a lot of adrenal fatigue sufferers, your body is weak and fragile, so trial and error can actually be very devastating. You don't want to put your body through that. So it's better to undergo an experienced provider who can help guide you through that, so then your body doesn't go to further crashes.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Because everything that is personalized really means it's personalized. Somebody who's able to take vitamin C might not be able to take glutathione or something like that. It also depends on the dosage and the delivery system. There's so much information out there that can be very confusing, and for each person, someone might tolerate 10 grams of vitamin C, and another person might only tolerate 500 milligrams. So it is all dose dependent, based on what the person's needs are and nutrient needs. There's their constitution of the body and like you said, the genetics and the toxins that they've undergone previously. So it's very important to look at the big picture. Don't worry. If you're feeling like you're giving up hope and you don't know what to do, the best thing instead of self navigating is find an experienced healthcare practitioner who knows what they're doing to help guide you along. If you have any questions, you can call our office 714-709-8000, make an appointment with our functional medicine clinic.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Now we have one question that we hear all the time at the clinic and that's about how people's lack of belief in adrenal fatigue or why adrenal fatigue is not more recognized in the medical society. Dr. Carrie, why don't you try to explain that more to us?

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Adrenal fatigue is not a conventional medical diagnosis. Meaning it's not in the ICD 10 codes where insurances use to bill based on certain diagnoses. But there are diagnoses like chronic fatigue syndrome, or depression or insomnia. When you think about it, isn't fatigue really just a symptom? Like what makes it a diagnosis? Like diabetes, you actually have pathology. You have an issue with your pancreas or you have insulin resistance. There's objective labs to be able to diagnose and then when you have depression, there's certain criteria of symptoms that show up that you can say, "Okay, this person has major depression". Chronic fatigue as a diagnosis, you have to just be fatigued for more than six months and, you also have to have some form of exercise intolerance or dizziness when you stand up. Adrenal fatigue is a relatively new discovery and has not reached that point of actually developing all these criteria, because of the fact that it has so many symptoms that are spanning so many other different diagnoses, it is hard to also be able to diagnose because there's no objective laboratory or structural issues in the adrenals that can be able to diagnose adrenal fatigue. There are issues in Addison's disease where you really don't have cortisol output, or on the other spectrum is you have Cushing's disease, which is you have too much cortisol output from the adrenals, For adrenal fatigue, if you were to cut open the adrenals, everything looks normal, right? Or if you were to do the labs, they would also come back normal. For this reason, it's been hard to assign this terminology to people in the medical world because it's not very easy to be able to say this set of people have adrenal fatigue. So it might be hard for your doctors to understand, "Hey, but I'm having all these symptoms and it sounds like it's adrenal fatigue", they would probably say, "No, it's probably you have insomnia as a diagnosis, you have depression, you have anxiety, you have palpitations". But really, those are all just sets of symptoms, and adrenal fatigue is a collection of those symptoms. We have this general understanding that no, it's not a medical diagnosis and we can help people nutritionally with it. But now what we're looking at is more of a stress response and we want to help the whole body deal with stress.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

So what you're actually saying is, it might not just only be the adrenals but other systems that are involved, right? Our research has actually shown us over the years that yes, the adrenal system is responsible for many hormones that regulate the body for well function. But the body's response to stress is actually much more comprehensive than just the adrenal system. Because stress is just so constant in our daily lives, it's really important that our body has a well maintained system. The system involves the stress response, including the adrenals, but then also includes multiple circuits, and we call it the NeuroEndometabolic stress response, as Dr. Carrie mentioned before. That stress response has six circuits, then neuroaffect circuit, the hormonal circuit, the detoxification, the immune, cardionomic, and then also the bioenergetic circuit. These circuits have multiple systems in it and they're all designed to act in unison, to work together when stress arrives, and try to deal with the stress and fight off the stress.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Thanks for explaining about the NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response. Everyone probably has the burning question, "Well, now what do I do? If I have all this stress, and I am having these symptoms, what is the best thing for me to do?", Dr. Jeremy?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

The best thing to do is to look at your whole body and try to look at which of your circuits are not functioning properly, and which one is dysregulated. Normally, the weakest circuit is the one that presents most of the symptoms at first. So targeting that circuit, would be the first step. Not only really targeting that circuit by really understanding and approaching it from a systematic approach. So you have to look at your body, and make sure we're looking at the circuits that are involved, but also taking a look at your other circuits to make sure that they don't become even worse in the process of while we're trying to help you know what to do your weakest circuit get better.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

For example, if it's the hormone circuit, we want to look at the adrenals, the thyroid and the reproductive organs, and then we help nutritionally with each organ system. The adrenals, they probably need vitamin C, vitamin B5, and the thyroid needs thyroid support, the hormones need hormone support. So, that's what a hormone circuit dysfunction would look like and you need to deal with that first, versus someone with a detox issue may have liver congestion that they need to clear that out in order to get rid of their paradoxical reactions to being very sensitive to supplements. Each person is very personalized, in that you need to look at which circuit has an issue, like you said, dominant and deal with that first. Then the next thing to do is provide the nutrients and the lifestyle changes to reduce the stress, but again, in a very personalized way, because not everyone can tolerate the same amount of nutrients, which we talked about previously. What is very important is that if you don't know how to interpret these symptoms that your body is producing, then there is help to guide you and to put you on this path. If you self navigate, sometimes you could get worse sometimes you might get better. If you are tired of going down this downhill spiral and you've been tired for many years then we are here to help you, again at our office, and you can call us (714)-709-8000 for appointments. We do telemedicine, we also do in person visits. So if no one is understanding what you're going through, it's very important to speak to someone who is because know that you are not alone, and we are here to really empower you to take control of this stress response that you're going through and get to the root cause of the issue.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

That's right. If you've enjoyed this information or found it useful, please subscribe to our podcast channel. This is the Dr. Lam Show podcast. Thanks for being with us today, and remember that we're here to empower you to take control of your health.

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