Marla Ahlgrimm Explores Facts and Myths Surrounding “Adrenal Fatigue”

Marla AhlgrimmThere is a common belief that a condition known as “adrenal fatigue” can cause stress, insomnia, and the feeling of general subjugation. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, adrenal fatigue is not a medically diagnosable condition. Adrenal insufficiency is.

Q: How is adrenal fatigue diagnosed?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are no tests that can determine adrenal fatigue, since it is a theoretical condition.

Q: What is the difference between the idea of adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Adrenal insufficiency is a diagnosable condition, detected via blood test. A person with an adrenal insufficiency may experience constant fatigue, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, intestinal pain, confusion, and dehydration. Adrenal insufficiency is treatable with medicines that replace the hormones typically produced by the adrenal glands.

Q: I have a friend that practices holistic medicine and she says I have adrenal fatigue. What should I do? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Most doctors would agree that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with so called adrenal fatigue, you should seek medical treatment. Fatigue, depression, and insomnia may be related to serious health problems including adrenal insufficiency and potentially-fatal obstructive sleep apnea.

Q: Should I take an adrenal hormone supplement if I have not been diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Adrenal hormone supplements should only be used by individuals with confirmed adrenal insufficiency. When you take a hormone supplement that your body does not need, it may cause that gland to stop working. In this case, the adrenal gland can become inactive and remain so for several months after the supplements have been stopped. If the adrenal gland doesn’t “wake up” in time to return the body’s hormone levels back to normal, it may develop into a life-threatening condition known as adrenal crisis. Always talk to your doctor before supplementing with any hormone replacement or holistic alternative.

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