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CFS and Adrenal Hormones

The adrenal glands produce the hormones cortisol and DHEA--key
components involved in the body's physical reaction to stress. Cortisol prolongs the "flight or fight"` response--helping the body rise to the challenge at hand by promoting a sustained "rush" of energy. But over time, over secretion of cortisol--triggered by daily stress from work, family, or other sources--can wear the internal system down and cause fatigue.

For example, one study found that working mothers with children still at home produced 36% more cortisol than other working women.1 Workers exposed to high noise levels also show increased levels of cortisol and, concomitantly, a greater sense of cumulative fatigue.2 This "wear and tear" of cortisol overproduction on the body is even more pronounced when accompanied by low levels of the hormone DHEA--which protects cells from much of the physical and mental damage caused by stress.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is different from ordinary exhaustion or fatigue. CFS is characterized by persistent or relapsing disabling fatigue for at least 6 months in the absence of any other definable diagnosis--that is, the source of the fatigue is unknown. Some researchers believe that CFS is actually a type of adrenal disease.3 With CFS, however, the adrenal dysfunction is precisely the opposite of that seen in ordinary stress-induced fatigue. Without sufficient action of cortisol and other stress hormones, the body cannot sustain the healthy "nervous energy" it needs to perform routine tasks. So patients with CFS typically show low free-cortisol levels and adrenal insufficiency.4 In fact, raising cortisol levels by even small amounts has been found to improve "unexplained" chronic fatigue symptoms in many patients.5

The Adrenal Stress Profile measures the activity of cortisol over a 24-hr cycle, and includes an assay of DHEA, revealing adrenal imbalances that may be significantly affecting energy levels. Imbalances can often be successfully treated with changes in diet, exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and/or the use of supplements.

References:1 Suarez E, Williams R. 18th Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1997.

2 Melamed S, Bruhis S. The effects of chronic industrial noise exposure on urinary cortisol, fatigue and irritability: a controlled field experiment. J Occup Environ Med 1996;38(3):252-6.

3 Demitrack MA. Chronic fatigue syndrome: a disease of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis? [editorial] Ann Med 1994;26(1):1-5.

4 Demitrack MA, Dale JK, Straus SE, Laue L, Listwak SJ, Kruesi MJ, et al. Evidence for impaired activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Clin Endocrin Metab 1991;73:1224-1234.

5 Jefferies WM. Mild adrenocorticol deficiency, chronic allergies, autoimmune disorders and the chronic fatigue syndrome: a continuation of the cortisone story. Med Hypotheses 1994;42(3):183-9.
Call my office to schedule a nutritional consultation so we can determine the cause of YOUR hair loss, so that tests can be performed and a comprehensive strategy of lifestyle, dietary modification and nutrient supplementation can be implemented to aid you in reversing this disorder.

Call my office to schedule a nutritional consultation so we can determine imbalances, so that tests can be performed and a comprehensive strategy of lifestyle, dietary modification and nutrient supplementation can be implemented to aid you in reversing this disorder.

Teresa Rispoli has her Ph.D. in Nutrition, is a licensed Acupuncturist and clinical researcher. She has been in practice for well over 25 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights into chronic health conditions. If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you owe it to yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

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The information herein is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or a cure. Should you have a medical condition please seek the advice of your medical doctor.

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Teresa Rispoli has her Ph.D. in Nutrition, is a licensed Acupuncturist, Master Herbalist, Certified Functional Nutritionist, has a Doctorate in Naturopathy and is a clinical researcher, and Licensed Esthetician. She has been in practice for well over 27 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights into chronic health conditions. If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you owe it to yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

Remember that the body can heal itself if given the proper nutrients with the right environment and lifestyle.

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Yours For Inner Health and Outer Beauty,
Teresa Rispoli, DCN, CFN, LAC.

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