Maybe you’ve heard of Dr. Bernie Siegel, maybe you haven’t. He is an oncologist that wrote a book called: “How to live your life between office visits” It’s one of those books that was a game-changer for me because it influenced me in more ways than one. From becoming a doctor, and educating the adrenal fatigue sufferer on how to live their life “between office visits”
When I read that book, I knew after that, that I wanted to be a doctor that helped people get their health back and not just give them prescriptive medications, or give a reductionistic approach to their health such telling the adrenal fatigue sufferer “you have too much of this, take that” or “you have too little of this, take that it will be higher”
Dr. Seigel’s entitled the book “how to live your life between office visits” because his patients were given this terminal life sentence of having this incurable illness like cancer, and they would ask, “what do I do now”? Dr. Siegel would say to them, what is it that you’ve always wanted to do? Inevitably, the terminal patient would say something to the effect “Well, you know, I always want to be”….fill in the blank. But for some reason or another, like taking over the family business, or having to meet family expectations, I wasn’t able to express myself or my identity.
Dr. Siegel would then recommend his patient to finally embrace their calling.
This didn’t result in a cure, but what it did result in was a lot of his patients would extend their life. Because for the first times in their lives, they were given permission to live their life on their terms, as they wanted to, and found that that was probably the best medicine that they could have ever been given,
When I work with exhausted, burnt out, adrenal fatigue sufferers, sadly, I have found that they haven’t been taught, on how to live their lives between office visits.
Unfortunately, the typical approach is to run a saliva test, determine if cortisol levels are high or low, and then recommend supplements accordingly. One of the reasons that never works is because the adrenal fatigue sufferer has a lot of deeper things going on in their bodies. Such as microbial overgrowth, detoxification, pathway issues, neurotransmitter production challenges, faulty immune system signaling, and so on.
They also present with e a slew of problems:
- getting sick all the time.
- inability to focus or concentrate.
- gastrointestinal challenges.
- no libido.
- inability to handle stress.
- crashing in the middle of the day,
- inability to lose weight, or inability gain weight.
Ultimately, there’s more going on than just the adrenal problem.
One of the most common questions that I get from adrenal fatigue sufferers is “can you recommend supplements for me”
My answer is something to the effect “Well, if I’m a mechanic, and you’re asking me can I recommend the proper service for your engine? I can’t do that until I’ve looked underneath the hood and give you some insights”.
But more important than that is do understand the road demands that your car is enduring on a day to day basis.
In order to give the best advice to the adrenal fatigue sufferer on how to live their life between office visits, I always suggest 2 major tests, to develop an accurate game plan.
2 Major Tests For The Adrenal Fatigue Sufferer
The first test is a nutrigenomic test.
Maybe you’ve heard of 23andme or ancestry.com. I prefer a test called Functional Genomic Analysis. It’s a saliva test. that looks at all the different genes and enzymes that are responsible for biochemical reactions in the body.
You may be asking “why would I want to look at that?
Well, I want to look at that because it can tell me how well your body can adapt to stress, how well does it detoxify the environment, how well does it signal its immune system, how well does it make energy at the cellular level?
The answer to these questions will help us teach the adrenal fatigue sufferer how to live their lives between office visits.
The second test I would say you need is a proper hormone test. The test I love the Dutch test. It’s a four or five-point urine test that you take throughout the day.
Some people will say it doesn’t look very well at your circadian rhythm. I would disagree with that. It looks at all the different metabolites, meaning it looks at the other enzyme or the other breakdown products of your hormones. It also looks at your HPA axis. It also looks at organic acid markers. So I can tell if you’re depleted in certain nutrients or you have some challenges with your stress hormones. It looks at your cellular level of cortisol utilization,
But those would be the two tests that I would want you to start with so that I can give you a proper assessment and come up with a game plan.
That way, we can tell you, where your weaknesses are genetically, and how it’s playing out in your hormones and your HPA axis.
Once we do that, the most common question I get is “what do I do about it”?
Developing the Game Plan:
So the first thing I would say is, there are two things that you can do about it.
The number one thing is your perception of your stress.
You may not realize this, but how you think and feel about the stressors in your life, are ultimately going to determine how those stressors are impacting you.
We use the Cohen perceived stress index which is the gold standard. Once we learn how you think and feel about stressors in your life, we can teach the adrenal fatigue sufferer strategies for living their life between office visits.
The second area of focus involves normalizing your circadian rhythms. In order to that, we suggest focusing on 3 areas.
Normalizing your sleep-wake cycle, adhering to a 12-hour time-restricted eating window, and regular activity.
When you combine that with the genetic challenges, and the results of the DUTCH test, we will be able to come up with the best strategies moving forward, so that the adrenal fatigue sufferer recovers, and has been taught, how to live their life between office visits.