Friday, April 28, 2017

What to expect as you age: 25 or under

At this age, the skin should look plump and youthful, your skin tone should be even and bright, and lines and wrinkles should be virtually non-existent- unless you have a very expressive face, in which case they might faintly appear around your smile lines, between the brows or across your forehead. One change you might notice is that your pores get a little larger, which is one of the first signs of lowering collagen levels.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Adrenal Fatigue Stage 4: Burnout

The cortisol levels continue to drop, flatlining throughout the day, This is a sign that the body is in real trouble. Your body can no longer manufacture stress hormones- all the symptoms of pre-burnout occur but they’re magnified. In some patients it gets so bad they can’t even get out of bed or do the things they love. At this point, they often visit their doctor and are prescribed antidepressants, which don’t treat the cause at all. If you stay in this burnout phase for more than a year, I’ve found it can take years to restore optimal adrenal function. It’s really important to seek help before this point.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3: Pre-Burnout

Both cortisol and DHEA levels have now plunged because the body is using up the DHEA levels to deal with the ongoing stress and the adrenals can no longer secrete high levels of cortisol to compensate. Normally cortisol must be high in the morning to wake us; the fact that it’s not means that at this stage most of my patients really have a hard time getting out of bed and continually reset the alarm to snooze. Your enthusiasm for life and your libido might fall. Your immunity is also likely to suffer, so you could find that you’re picking up more minor bugs. Insomnia is likely as are other mental symptoms, such as anxiety and even depression. This can go on for a long period- and many of us still just think we’re living a normal busy life and power through with the help of coffee, sugar and, probably, by now, the odd energy drink. But remember: every time you feel anxious or tired, this is a cry for help from the adrenal glands. They don’t want more coffee or something sweet in a can; they need TLC. Otherwise you will progress to stage 4.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Adrenal Fatigue- Stage 2: Tired but Wired

If stress continues in this state, your endocrine system starts to tire. It diverts energy into making cortisol and, as such, your production of DHEA can drop. This is the point when I most commonly see patients. They know something is not right because that combination of high cortisol but low DHEA makes them feel anxious, and some even develop panic attacks. Libido can also lower. If you’re affected you’ll find it difficult to wake up in the morning, and have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep at night, even though you’re tired because your mind is whirring. You may also wake up hungry at about 3-5am, as your blood-sugar level drops. You’re probably easily irritated, feeling more cold as the thyroid gland becomes affected and possibly gaining weight around the middle, despite exercising. Oh, and the local barista knows you by name as you need so many cups of coffee to get through the entire day.