CHRONIC FATIGUE AND ADRENAL FATIGUE SYNDROME
My struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been an ongoing experience for my entire life. It has to be one of the most frustrating and debilitating health issues that most doctors will not diagnose correctly. I have tried the traditional medical route and have seen countless doctors in Los Angeles none of which have helped. I have even gone to a psychiatrist and tried 5 different medications for depression – all of which made me feel worse.
I wanted to write this article with the intention of helping anyone who is having similar symptoms and has been told by their doctor that it is either psychosomatic or that their blood work is normal and they just need to sleep a little bit more. In my search for better health I have come across a variety of extremely useful supplements, energy exercises, health lab tests, and techniques which will help a person who is experiencing chronic fatigue to feel better probably within a few weeks to a month.
All of my life I have been really active and healthy. Pretty much always sporting the six pack on the outside, but this picture of health has always been a facade. On the inside I have felt crippled, anti-social, exhausted and really just depressed. I wasn’t sure what the cause was but knew that it wasn’t normal to feel this way. I wanted to share this information with you so that you won’t experience the same misery or exhaustion that I have felt in my lifetime.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue?
Let me better define Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS is an umbrella term which includes many symptoms with an uncertain cause. From my experience there can be several causes: faulty digestion, poor sleep, hypoadrenia or adrenal exhaustion, Candida (bacteria overgrowth), parasites, and/or simply too much stress.
As a side note, there have been many books written about Candida which you can probably come across on a Google search or search on Amazon. Candida simply is a yeast overgrowth which can cause a host of debilitating symptoms which include fatigue. A great book that I read recently on Candida was “The Yeast Syndrome” by Trowbridge and Walker.
I have personally suffered from Hypoadrenia or Adrenal Exhaustion. The main causes for Hypoadrenia is severe allergies, internal and external stress, and lack of sleep all of which can severely tax your adrenal glands. Over that past 10 years, or ever since I graduated from UCLA in 1998, adrenal exhaustion has been an ongoing relentless health issue. It is until recently, or over the past couple of years, that I finally feel better – actually, I feel incredible. This amazing life changing event has been due to a combination of certifications, conferences, collaboration with other health practitioners and my continuing research in this area. At this point, I’ve began helping clients with adrenal fatigue and improving their overall work performance and energy. Here’s a video that discusses Adrenal Fatigue and Hormonal Imbalances.
For more information on what causes adrenal fatigue please see my other website at www.chronicfatigue.me.
Biography: Shawn Phillips is a well-known Holistic Personal Trainer in Los Angeles and Certified Nutritionist specializing in body sculpting, nutrition, lab testing, and exercise coaching. For a FREE consultation call him at (310) 720-8125.
Symptoms of CFS
The following is a list of symptoms that are common for people who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue and CFS:
- Tendency to gain weight and unable to loose it, especially around the waist
High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual
- Tendency to tremble when under pressure
- Reduced sex drive
- Lightheaded when rising from a laying down position
- Unable to remember things
- Lack of energy in the mornings and also in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm
- Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal
- Often feel tired between 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed
- Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning
- Crave for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese
- Increase symptoms of PMS for women; period are heavy and then stop, or almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day
- Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reasons
- Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation
- Difficulties in getting up in the morning
- Mild depression
- Food and or inhalant allergies
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Increased effort to perform daily tasks
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Dry and thin skin
- Low Body Temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
If you think you are experiencing CFS or adrenal fatigue please feel free to contact me for a phone consultation.
Tests and Supplements
I would like to share with you several tests that I feel have been extremely helpful for me to optimize my body and to take my health to the pinnacle. I feel like a new person and I hope this information will help you with your quest to perfect health.
The first test is the “205 hormone test” by Biohealth:
Specifically focusing on the following tests which are a reflection of your adrenal health and overall hormones:
- Cortisol (AM, noon, afternoon, PM)
- 2 types of estrogen
Initially, my tests showed that my hormones were low across the board. The lack of optimization of hormones are associated with poor motivation, low energy, unable to lose weight, and depression. My melatonin was low making it hard to fall asleep. My overall cortisol levels were low which makes it difficult to control blood sugar and my testosterone levels were low making it harder to lose weight and gain muscle. For further reading, visit my new blog about testosterone and weight loss.
The 2nd test is the “101 test”
This test by Biohealth focuses on liver function, oxidative stress, and protein digestion. These group of tests measure dietary protein absorption, possible overgrowth of bacteria, parasites and/or fungus, lack of digestive enzymes and liver problems. The inability to digest protein can lead to food putrefaction and begin to affect hormone balance. My tests showed that my liver function was compromised making it harder to detox.
The 3rd test is the “304 test”
The Intestinal Barrier Function Screen assess the level of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and the levels of free IgA and IgM to combined dietary proteins (wheat/gliadin, corn, soy, cow’s milk, egg); aerobic bacteria (Escherichia coli and E. enterococcus); anaerobic bacteria (Bacteroides fragilis and Clostridium perfringens); Candida albicans yeast.
The evaluation of the intestinal mucosa is essential tool in assessing overall health status. The 304 test is a good indicator of overall immune function, nutrient absorption, and can indicate different types of infections.
My tests showed that my SigA levels were extremely low indicating a weakened immune system, an infection, leaky gut syndrome which can lead to food intolerances, and poor nutrient absorption.
Let’s start with the basics, how to heal:
- 1. Eradicate foreign invaders and boost immune function
- 2. Food Allergies
- 3. Sleep and Meditation
- 4. Lifestyle Changes and Nutrition
- 5. Labs and Supplements
In 2005 I had a doctor that correctly identified a variety of parasites and bacteria in my gut that was a major internal adrenal stressor. He did a good job killing them, but what he didn’t do was heal the gut so that my immune system would be stronger. Later in time, I just got more parasites and bacteria. A healthy gut fights off bacteria, fungus, and parasites that can be major adrenal stressors. So there are 2 parts to this story, eradicate foreign invaders and boost immune function with supplements. Foreign pathogens can be a major internal stress on the adrenal glands.
Learn about the relationship between a healthy gut and fat loss on my blog: gut health and weight loss.
Even with the best supplement protocol, food allergies are the trump card causing severe adrenal fatigue. I’ve personally have seen the dramatic changes that food allergies can cause. For example, last week I was feeling great until I ate eggs. For me, eggs is my Achilles heel – I’m severely allergic to eggs and I love eating them.
After feeling so good for so long I felt invulnerable and decided to start eating eggs again. What a mistake!!! This food allergy wiped me out for several days. It took me a few days before I started feeling better again – even with the supplement protocol below.
A great food allergy testing is the MRT test by Signet Corporation.
Sleep is extremely important for recovery. Please don’t underestimate the power of sleep. I try to go to bed every night around 10PM or 10:30PM and usually wake up at 7:45AM. Or, if I don’t have morning clients I force myself to sleep till 9AM. Also, it is very important to get 15 minutes of sunlight every morning. This helps regulate a person’s sleep cycle. Most client’s are resistant to use this technique at first, but once started they begin to feel better and attain normal sleep cycles. I wrote extensively about how getting enough sleep is crucial for your health on my blog: sleep and weight loss.
Meditation is another tool to help you with your recovery. It is a great stress management tool. For more on this topic I would recommend doing a bit of research on Google and possible buying a meditation CD. A great place to look is the Monroe Institute.
To begin the healing process you must start with the foundational principals: Sleep, rest, quality nutrition, moderate exercise, and breathing. Supplements and testing are very effective, but without lifestyle changes, they simply don’t work. You have to build a solid foundation. As a certified Nutritionist in Los Angeles, I’ve had great success with helping many of my clients with adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome because I start with the basics. My holistic approach is to focus on various foundational principals first and then subsequently focus on testing and targeted supplementation.
In order to find hidden internal stressors, I have my clients run a variety of labs. From this information, I create a targeted supplement protocol. The protocols can vary depending on the client’s internal stressor.