Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Exhaustion Disorders – Treat the Root Cause
Exhaustion disorders have many names. Exhaustion disorder treatment typically focuses on herbs, supplements or medications to give the patient more energy. This treatment strategy does not address the root cause of the exhaustion. The root causes are often not well understood by practitioners. Left untouched, the root causes of exhaustion can turn into all kinds of symptoms and diseases later in life. The information presented here is a summary of years of practitioner visits, thousands of dollars, and many, many years of exhaustion.
Exhaustion is Often Considered ‘Normal’
Exhaustion is debilitating. It is often diagnosed as adrenal fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and even fibromyalgia. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with Hashimotos thyroiditis and adrenal fatigue until after I had my children. In hindsight, I had these problems for quite some time. My body was able to compensate pretty well before I had kids. The symptoms were ‘normal’ to me, since that was the way I always felt. After resolving the root cause of the exhaustion, I now have more energy than I have had in 20 years!
Conventional Adrenal Fatigue Treatment and Exhaustion Disorder Treatment
The road to finally healing my adrenal and thyroid issues was neither easy nor straightforward. I went to multiple practitioners who prescribed various medications, herbs, supplements, vitamins and acupuncture. They made me feel less exhausted and helped me function better. As soon as I would go off of them, even after 6-12 months, my exhaustion would come back. Right back to where I started. Stay on herbs and supplements for the rest of my life? Possible, but I was worried that something more fundamental was going on.
The answers and my path to adrenal health were a total shock, not obvious either to me or practitioners. When I go back to those practitioners now, I tell them with joy that I finally finally figured out my exhaustion and Hashimotos. Don’t they want to hear what it was? They just look at me with a funny face and shake their heads. Sadly, many of them aren’t even interested.
Root Cause Adrenal Fatigue Treatment & Exhaustion Disorder Treatment
Because I’m that kind of person, let me start with a list. In rank order, the most important to least important for eliminating exhaustion disorders:
- Lifestyle– food, sleep, exercise, stress. Get that all dialed in.
- Hidden dental infections – look at root canals, implants, and extracted teeth, even if no obvious symptoms in the mouth.
- Hidden parasitic infections – most of us have them in the US but no one is diagnosing or treating them.
- Methylation – exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms of methylation dysfunction.
- Healing Leaky Gut – chronic infections in the gastrointestinal tract can also cause exhaustion disorders.
- Heavy Metals and other toxins – I don’t think one needs to get rid of all heavy metals and toxins before energy can be regained. Good energy can often be achieved with the above items plus opening drainage and detox pathways for toxins to start to flow. However, decreasing the body burden of toxins and heavy metals will make it harder for parasites, dental infections, and dysbiotic gut bacteria to take hold.
The most important step in getting the body back to working properly is lifestyle. Lifestyle means: food, sleep, exercise and stress. Get all of those dialed in first, or there’s really no hope. Sound easy? It’s not. Totally not. Our modern lifestyle centers around eat-junk-on-the-run and work-all-night. I can’t do better than Sarah Fragoso, Jason Seib and Robb Wolf at explaining lifestyle details, giving advice, and offering support. These people have it nailed, and I absolutely honor and thank them for figuring this out for all of us! There are lots of free podcasts, recipes and tips on their websites. Here are a few: Real Deal Adrenal Fatigue, Jassafit Podcast 105, and Mark’s Cortisol Article to get started. Fixing lifestyle issues and changing habits is extremely difficult for most of us. For additional support on changing habits, I turn to the advice of Dr. Christine Carter and in her book The Sweet Spot. The one piece of good news is that fixing lifestyle issues is relatively inexpensive.
For some of us, we get lifestyle dialed in alright, but still struggle on the border of exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong – I felt much better once I dialed in my lifestyle. However, if I made one little slip up (eg staying up an hour late working or having a meal at a restaurant), I found myself back on the borderline of exhaustion. I stuck to my lifestyle and felt much better, but sill wondered if something else might be going on. I lived like this for several years.
Long story short, all of my family’s health issues forced me to find my root cause – hidden dental infections and parasitic infections. Wala! Who knew that these are related to adrenals and thyroid?? It finally made sense – my body was busy fighting multiple infections for me in the ‘background’. I had these infections for 25+ years. The ‘symptoms’ of these infections seemed normal to me. I never really noticed them, I assumed that my body was health. I had no clue how much better I could feel without these infections!
For me, once I cleared up parasites and infections in 3 out of 4 of my wisdom-tooth-extraction sites, my chronic adrenal fatigue and exhaustion melted away! Getting the 4th dental infection taken care of helped too, but I was actually ready to rock and roll after just clearing up three out of four infections. I still stick to the same lifestyle because it makes me feel better, but it wasn’t until the dental infections were resolved that I really felt like I wasn’t on the exhaustion borderline anymore. I can also now push workouts further (if I want to!) without worry of adrenal relapse. I can go out for business lunches without being in bed the whole next day from eating foods I don’t normally eat.
So here’s my big take-away: exhaustion for many of us is probably lifestyle. Get that going first. However, hidden infections, be they dental, parasitic or bacterial can also drag down adrenal and thyroid function. So be sure to look for those too. Diagnosis and treatment of these hidden infections often alludes practitioners, so check out these sections at the above links if you need them.
If lifestyle is dialed in and there are no infections to be found, the other place I would look is methylation. One of the most common symptoms of methylation dysfunction is exhaustion. Unfortunately MTHFR treatment is also often not well understood, so check out this section if you need it.
Finally, getting Hrid of heavy metals and toxins can also help increase energy. Start with opening detox and drainage pathways. Pulling out body burden of toxins and metals is a long process, but I do think it makes one more robust to lifestyle ‘glitches’ that sometimes occur. (Overscheduling and work deadlines are my two big glitches!)
Q: I need massive lifestyle work in all areas. Where to start?
A: I would start by working on sleep and exercise first. Try going to bed at the same time every night and allowing yourself 8 hours to sleep per night. For exercise, start with an evening walk after dinner around the neighborhood. Once those new habits are in place, I would start working on diet & stress.
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