The treatment of Adrenal Fatigue syndrome depends on the signs and symptoms it manifests. It is important to know what hormones are abnormal and the proper way of correcting them. It is also important to be able to give supportive medications to reduce the effects of this ordeal to the patient. We can detect these abnormalities by ourselves by simply observing changes in our day to day activities.
Most signs and symptoms are associated with the hormones produced from the Adrenal glands. The usual signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome are the following:
The low levels of Glucocorticoids cause a negative feedback mechanism that stimulates an increase in Adenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) production. Low Cortisol causes hypoglycemia because there will inhibition of gluconeogenesis that forms glucose. Hypoglycemia will manifest as weight loss, weakness, somnolence, depression, nausea and vomiting. The increase in ACTH levels will manifest as hyperpigmentation in the skin because ACTH will increase Melanocyte Stimulating hormone that produces skin pigmentation called melanin. This is treated by administration of Glucocorticoids and mineral corticoids.
Aldosterone, a hormone produced in the Adrenal cortex will also decrease causing ECF volume contraction, hypotension, hyperkalemia which causes cardiac arrhythmias and a severe form known as metabolic acidosis. Correcting Aldosterone deficit is very crucial in the management of Adrenal Fatigue.
Abnormalities in Androgenic hormones or the sex hormones levels will manifest as hair loss, decrease sex drive, virility, obesity and impotence. The treatment is hormonal replacement with injectable estrogens and testosterone.
Another hormone affected in Adrenal Crisis is the endorphins, known as the natural analgesics. Abnormality of this hormone will be seen as inability to have a sound sleep, irritability, agitation, anxiety and inability to concentrate.
Other hormones that are not secreted by the Adrenals are also affected like the production and action of the thyroid hormones, the neurotransmitter dopamine that is used in the brain for conduction and is the deficiency in Parkinson’s disease. This is the reason why some cases of Adrenal Fatigue will be misdiagnosed as Parkinsonism or Thyroid disease. Management must be precise. The physician must be keen to find out the real cause of the abnormality in order to treat it appropriately. Certain tumors may also cause adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is also associated with the recurrent viral infections like Influenza and Pneumonia caused by viruses. Treatment of these diseases must be done immediately to prevent severity. Preventive measures may be best seen in the form of vaccinations and immunizations especially to the younger age group and to the elderly.
Adrenal fatigue can be prevented by avoiding exposure of too much stress. Stress comes in many forms such as physical stress, emotional stress, psychological stress and stress from trauma. Exposure to stress will stimulate the Adrenal Glands to respond because that is its function. However, when stress exposure is repeated, the Adrenals burnout causing Adrenal fatigue. Certain Neuroendocrine tumors also because adrenal fatigue, it is important that we must visit our doctors annually for check ups in order to detect abnormalities and health problems early.