2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Solving Adrenal Imbalance

They’re about the size of walnuts, your two adrenal glands. Picture them there, resting comfortably, one on top of each kidney. If you reach around your back with your hands open, your thumbs will be about where your adrenal glands are perched.

There are two parts to your adrenals: inner (medulla) and outer (cortex).
The medulla responds to emergency signals from your brain, releasing epinephrine (adrenaline) that puts your whole body into emergency super-high gear. When you read about a 90-year-old woman beating back a mugger with her umbrella, you can be sure she has an enviable pair of adrenals.
The cortex responds to long-term stress, producing DHEA (a pre-hormone that makes other hormones), cortisol, and some of your sex hormones, progesterone and testosterone.

When nutritionally oriented doctors talk about adrenal fatigue, they’re referring to the depletion of DHEA and cortisol, a condition virtually always caused by long-term stress. When life’s pressures become insurmountable–job, money, relationships–and you feel “fried,” that’s adrenal fatigue. It’s the afternoon crash when you reach for some coffee or sugar to keep you going.

One problem patients face when dealing with adrenal fatigue is that it’s not an actual disease and so, like low blood sugar (also not a disease), a lot of conventional doctors question its existence altogether. But were they to measure your pathetic cortisol levels and see how they plummet as the day progresses, they’d be convinced.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue Fatigue, mainly, especially in the afternoon when your adrenal glands start running out of steam. (Before assuming you have adrenal fatigue, however, your doctor should rule out other causes of fatigue, like anemia or an underactive thyroid.) Other symptoms of adrenal fatigue include lightheadedness, especially when you stand up too quickly, and craving salt, sugar, and caffeine. But mainly it’s fatigue.

Testing for adrenal fatigue is easy You order a small kit and collect samples of saliva four times throughout a single day. The test is generally covered by your health insurance, but if you go that route, your doctor has to order it through her office. If you have adrenal fatigue, you’ll see low levels of cortisol, low levels of DHEA, or both.

If you can reduce the relentless stress that’s depleting your adrenals, the glands will heal themselves. However, about a third of women with adrenal fatigue need to also boost their stress-buffering serotonin (this is described in my book The Triple Whammy Cure). Take this online quiz to see if you’re among the Triple Whammy set.

Otherwise, treatment can usually be managed without medication. A good adrenal restorative, like Adreset, contains the herbs and nutrients your adrenals crave. If your DHEA is low, you can add this as well, but every couple months you should re-measure your DHEA so you don’t overshoot the amount you need. The main symptom of too much DHEA is mild acne, which disappears within a couple weeks after you stop the DHEA.

Some people also need temporary low doses of cortisol to jump-start their adrenals. Cortisol, however, is available only by prescription.

It’s not your imagination that you’re exhausted at 3 in the afternoon. And yes, you can successfully treat it yourself.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Covid-19 Worries

    You may have noticed fewer Health Tips about Covid-19 recently, which might have struck you as odd given our dreadful numbers here in the US. Well, there was a reason for this. WholeHealth Chicago was one of hundreds of health-oriented websites that were sent cease-and-desist warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging widespread promotion and selling what they called “unproven therapies.” In other Read More

  • You Probably Don’t Need A Colonoscopy

    Quite often the patient sitting before me helpfully finishes my sentence. “Yeah, yeah, I know, I need a colonoscopy.” This happens in person or during a Telemed visit when I remark how they’re approaching (or recently turned) 50, 60, or beyond. Or they’re a few years beyond 50 or 60, and I genially ask, “Your colonoscopy current?” I do not willfully induce the stricken look Read More

  • Returning To School + Phosphatidyl Choline for Chronic Illness and Anti-Aging

    Before I start this Health Tip on phosphatidyl choline I want to voice a quick opinion about kids returning to school in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. The stance of the Chicago Teachers Union seems totally correct, that the decision should be based on a meeting of the minds: those of teachers and those of scientists (who, you’ll remember, were once taught by teachers). Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!