Do you constantly feel “wired but tired”? If you’re fatigued and lethargic but anxious and irritable at the same time, you might be dealing with adrenal insufficiency. At Darien Integrative Medicine in Darien, Connecticut, Dr. Michael E. Doyle helps patients recover from adrenal burnout and other hormone-related disorders, using both traditional and alternative therapies.
Adrenal Insufficiency Q & A
What causes adrenal insufficiency?
Your adrenal glands make a variety of hormones that are essential for your body’s proper functioning. When you have adrenal fatigue, it compromises your production of these hormones.
Adrenal insufficiency can be primary or secondary. In the primary condition, called Addison’s disease, the adrenal glands are damaged to the point where the body can’t produce enough cortisol. In secondary adrenal insufficiency, the pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough of the adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the production of cortisol.
Factors like the following can trigger both forms of adrenal insufficiency:
- Physical, mental, and emotional stress
- Diet (including a high consumption of caffeine or alcohol)
- Lack of sleep
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Food sensitivities
- Emotional trauma
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What are the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency?
Adrenal insufficiency can sometimes be hard to diagnose, as the symptoms are varied and can manifest differently from one person to the next. Some common signs might include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Body aches or soreness
- Disruptions in sleep
- Digestive issues
- Weight loss
- Hyperpigmentation of the skin
It’s possible to have adrenal insufficiency for a long time without knowing it. In some cases, a stressful life event can worsen existing symptoms and trigger the need for treatment.
In the case of an “adrenal crisis,” a person with Addison’s disease can experience a sudden worsening of symptoms, such as severe pain in the back, legs, or abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, dangerously low blood pressure, dehydration, or loss of consciousness.
How is adrenal insufficiency treated?
Dr. Doyle treats adrenal insufficiency by restoring the balance of adrenal and thyroid hormones. This is often accomplished with the use of bioidentical hormones, which are natural hormones identical to the ones produced by your body. The body can utilize these added hormones, and your adrenals can recover over time.
In addition to hormone therapy, Dr. Doyle helps you adopt lifestyle and dietary habits that support your adrenal health. Those might include reducing your intake of inflammatory foods or foods that disrupt hormone balance. Adrenal health is also contingent upon proper sleep and stress reduction, which may be a large part of your recovery.
As one of the area’s most knowledgeable integrative medicine practitioners, Dr. Doyle can help cure adrenal insufficiency and balance your hormones for long-term health.