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Lessons from ME/CFS: Finding Meaning in the Suffering
If you're aware of my previous articles here at Phoenix Rising then it's pretty clear that I don't generally spend my time musing upon the philosophy of the disease. I find it better to spend my time reading research and trying my best to break it down to its core elements and write...
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Adaptogens for Adrenal Fatigue

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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    View the Post on the Blog

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  2. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I take Astragalus daily. The Rhodiola Rosea is in one supplement I take also.
  3. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

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    I tried various types of the ginseng. Made me nervous, anxious, seemed to cause teeth grinding and messed with my sleep. I had gotten the root from a Chinese herbalist and chewed on it. Overall, would say that my experience with it was like having all the negative effects of an amphetamine in a nasty tasting root. Gingko Bilbao did nothing noticeable for me.
  4. wdb

    wdb Admin

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    Just for a little balance,

    By Steven Novella, clinical neurologist, assistant professor and Director of General Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine. Link

  5. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    [/quote]
    It surely shouldn't be so difficult to see that there is a middle ground somewhere between "adrenal fatigue" and "adrenals are perfectly healthy". And that middle ground just happens to lie in the brain - specifically the HPA axis.

    It's just as ridiculous to deny that endocrine issues, particularly with the adrenals, don't play a part in the symptoms many people experience as a part of ME/CFS as it is to persist in calling it "adrenal fatigue". More modern research has shown that the adrenals do not actually "fatigue" but react to a specific set of excitatory or inhibitory impulses from the brain. If these signals are off, so will the endocrine responses. This does not mean that there are not endocrine problems though, because there are. Ignoring them does not make them go away. In fact, it may make them worse because the endocrine system is also tightly tied to the immune system.

    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here! It's time to accept that for many ME/CFS is a neuro/ENDOCRINE/immune illness. Let's open our minds to explore how treating all those systems as a part of a whole might actually make people feel better rather than nitpicking over definitions. Not everyone who believes in endocrine problems outside of the limited ones described by endocrinologists is a shyster out to separate you from your money.

    As far as the adaptogens, they may be useful for some with very mild symptoms. But most "adrenal" formulas contain so many ingredients in some "proprietary" formula that it is impossible to know what is doing what. Some ingredients may actually act in contradictory ways to other ingredients (ie ginseng which is usually stimulating and holy basil which generally lowers cortisol). It is important to research thoroughly (hopefully in concert with a medical professional that has studied herbal medicine as well) to know which adaptogen may be most suitable. A few sentences on the Internet is not going to help one make an informed decision in my opinion. It takes more time than that!

    Adaptogens could certainly have a role, especially for those with high or swinging cortisol levels as shown on a salivary cortisol test, but for those with low cortisol, it will usually not be enough to create meaningful change by itself. Insufficient cortisol can become a medical emergency and should be treated as such.
    Beyond, Lou and heapsreal like this.
  6. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    None of the supplements that I know of is tested by an entity not controlled by the supplement mfr for assurance of what's actually in it. They could have more, less, or none of the advertised ingredient. I use SAM-e, but have to take it on faith that it contains the amount and type of stuff marked on the package. If I had a choice I'd get the same stuff from a source that has inspectors, licenses and lawyers to worry about.

    All of these items are exempt from FDA regulation, so one can source them from anywhere and add/subtract most anything to the ingredients.
    barbc56 likes this.
  7. highwaykind

    highwaykind

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    Everywhere online it says that you shouldn't take ginseng for prolonged periods, apparently 2 weeks on 2 weeks of for a few weeks is the 'max', and using it for longer than 3 months at a time is advised against.

    Seems like something you should add in an article like this.

    You can buy the Red Korean Ginseng as 'tea' (tiny granules that will dissolve in hot water).
    Tastes pretty good with a little sugar.
    The Red Korean Ginseng Paste is much 'stronger' and takes some getting used to taste-wise.
  8. laura

    laura Senior Member

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    Consumerlab.com is an independent organization that tests supplements for content and contamination, and they gather together the latest research on each supplement they test.
  9. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    The best brands are very reliable.
  10. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    Who pays for their testing?

    "Whose bread I eat, whose song I sing"
  11. satoshikasumi

    satoshikasumi Senior Member

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    Why limit the list of adaptogens only to exotic-sounding herbs? Some very common and popular substances also support the body's response to stress and improve exercise performance.

    The most obvious of these are quality teas and coffees, some of the highest sources of antioxidants in the modern diet. "Exercise physiologists have studied caffeine’s effects in nearly every iteration: Does it help sprinters? Marathon runners? Cyclists? Rowers? Swimmers? Athletes whose sports involve stopping and starting like tennis players? The answers are yes and yes and yes and yes." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/health/nutrition/26best.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    CFS patients are sensitive to medications may have trouble tolerating energy drinks and concentrated forms of caffeine, but relatively weaker sources of the drug that are high in antioxidants can be very useful.

    Coenzyme Q10 has been found in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to benefit Gulf War Syndrome, an environmental illness that is probably a subgroup of ME/CFS. http://cdmrp.army.mil/gwirp/highlights.shtml#1_12

    Creatine, used by bodybuilders, could also potentially help ME/CFS, by improving the functioning of the anaerobic metabolism, which is the part of the exercise response that is less impaired in ME/CFS.
  12. satoshikasumi

    satoshikasumi Senior Member

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    Creatine relates to physical and mental fatigue. http://www.livestrong.com/article/470792-creatine-tiredness/
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    australia (brisbane)
    It surely shouldn't be so difficult to see that there is a middle ground somewhere between "adrenal fatigue" and "adrenals are perfectly healthy". And that middle ground just happens to lie in the brain - specifically the HPA axis.

    It's just as ridiculous to deny that endocrine issues, particularly with the adrenals, don't play a part in the symptoms many people experience as a part of ME/CFS as it is to persist in calling it "adrenal fatigue". More modern research has shown that the adrenals do not actually "fatigue" but react to a specific set of excitatory or inhibitory impulses from the brain. If these signals are off, so will the endocrine responses. This does not mean that there are not endocrine problems though, because there are. Ignoring them does not make them go away. In fact, it may make them worse because the endocrine system is also tightly tied to the immune system.

    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here! It's time to accept that for many ME/CFS is a neuro/ENDOCRINE/immune illness. Let's open our minds to explore how treating all those systems as a part of a whole might actually make people feel better rather than nitpicking over definitions. Not everyone who believes in endocrine problems outside of the limited ones described by endocrinologists is a shyster out to separate you from your money.

    As far as the adaptogens, they may be useful for some with very mild symptoms. But most "adrenal" formulas contain so many ingredients in some "proprietary" formula that it is impossible to know what is doing what. Some ingredients may actually act in contradictory ways to other ingredients (ie ginseng which is usually stimulating and holy basil which generally lowers cortisol). It is important to research thoroughly (hopefully in concert with a medical professional that has studied herbal medicine as well) to know which adaptogen may be most suitable. A few sentences on the Internet is not going to help one make an informed decision in my opinion. It takes more time than that!

    Adaptogens could certainly have a role, especially for those with high or swinging cortisol levels as shown on a salivary cortisol test, but for those with low cortisol, it will usually not be enough to create meaningful change by itself. Insufficient cortisol can become a medical emergency and should be treated as such.[/quote]

    Doctors dont recognise anything when its breaking down only when its broken. Just because a 30 y/o can have the dhea levels just within the normal range which is equal to most 70 y/o, why should they treat this as its within the normal range. Just because this 30 y/o feels like crap, what he is experiencing doesnt mean anything, doctors should only go by the broad lab ranges that incoporate the sick, elderly as well as healthy people. Maybe if they moved to a different state where the lab ranges are different this 30 y/o might be then in the low range and can get treatment, maybe the latest SNRI. Herbs and vitamins just make your urine expensive just like fruit and veges. Oh salivary 4 times a day cortisol test isnt accurate, that 1 morning cortisol blood test is enough to know that your cortisol levels at 9pm at night are ok, anyway that same SNRI will fix this issue. If u still feel like crap then u just need to exercise more. Thanks doc your the best.:thumbsup:
    Beyond likes this.
  14. laura

    laura Senior Member

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    This is what ConsumerLab.com puts on their website regarding income:

    OWNERSHIP, AFFILIATIONS, AND SOURCES OF REVENUE:
    ConsumerLab.com, LLC is a privately held company based in New York. It is not affiliated with manufacturers of health and nutrition products. Revenues are derived primarily from sales of online subscriptions. Revenues are also derived from sales of books, survey reports, advertisements on its Web site, Voluntary Certification Program fees, and license fees from the re-publication of its proprietary information and authorized use of the CL Seal of Approval.
  15. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    The above are red flags for a less than stellar lab and the highlighted portions show a conflict of interest which would make me suspect of lab references as well as quality of service.

    I am not quite sure what the last sentence means.

    Barb C.:>)

    ETA

    ConsumerLab.com has come under much scrutiny for deceptive practices. From a senate hearing:
    http://aging.senate.gov/events/hr221tc.pdf

    From the Federal Trade Commission
  16. laura

    laura Senior Member

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    Subscriptions do not constitute conflict of interest, this is the same as people subscribing to Consumer Reports Magazine. I'm not sure sale of books or survey reports are either. Somehow they have to fund their operation.

    Advertising on their website could be a conflict of interest. The only advertising they have is a page listing websites where to purchase supplements. They test some products from each websites/manufacturer listed, but not all.

    ConsumerLab.com states:
    "Many visitors to our website are looking for retailers from which they can purchase quality products. Retailers found to be reputable by CL that sell products that have passed CL testing may advertise on the CL website through one or both of the programs described below. Not all products sold by these vendors have necessarily passed CL testing. We receive no revenue from purchases."

    As far as I know, ConsumerLab.com is one of (or the?) the only labs out there that is testing supplements from a broad range of manufacturers on a regular basis. From what I can tell, they don't test the same manufacturers each time. I do know that they send out a yearly survey to subscribers, I imagine that might impact which brands they choose to test. For me, I like the information they provide.
  17. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    This is why they have been in so much trouble.
    What they say on their website as any website that sells something is not necessarily accurate.
  18. laura

    laura Senior Member

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    They may not be perfect, but I still personally believe that they provide helpful information. I can't say I could think of an alternative that would be better, only the possible conflicts of interest/etc. would be behind closed doors and so we wouldn't know about them.

    Regarding your previous post from the Federal Trade Commission, I am not so sure companies are "pressured" into paying for their voluntary certification program. If they are worried that their supplements are not contamination free, or are worried that the pills don't contain the stated amounts, then they should up their quality control. Then they would have nothing to fear from a random testing of their product. I wonder how much of this is a turf war, the FTC doesn't like people moving in on their territory, and neither does the FDA. They act like a private company cannot behave in good faith towards its customers.

    And maybe I am misunderstanding, but the quote from the letter to the senate, it seems ConsumerLab was being used as an expert source to discuss the current quality of supplements in the market today (as it relates to seniors).

    In any case, for me, their information is better than being completely blind when I make my supplement purchases.
  19. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    You are right about the first quote. I misread it. Consumerlab.com checks supplements. However, as the second quote shows there's been a lot of controversy in the way they test their products as well as the information they give and their funding sources.

    Here is a free database from Kaiser.

    https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/!ut/p/c5/dYxbcoMgAADP0hMAJmb0E6stIYpRQnT4cax2bKiKnfrk9DUH6O7vzgIJdvtyfjTl-NB92YIcyFPxRnnseQjD2I5teI7sd5eemAXxEWS78tnAf8AQUCCbVn_stwweC6GcRV94twh1Txhv5kugYrON1PCRelMozq3wi1IFeggjm66iSJo-WNmtstjtFaFcGKZywfz7wuoUMhIgRDiqSWpFJt1qIw7MTX6kl5GOTgL7zkpDrn95dUiNQNH2ba5G6BlVzuAQTMbsa5KAEd19gqFzr52DX_4AJJPq7g!!/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

    Barb C.:>)
  20. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I have had adrenal fatigue for 2 and 1/2 years now. I have found that my body was so sensitive to ANY supplement including adaptogens and glandulars that they just made my problems worse. Hands down, the best 'treatment' for me has been an organic, paleo diet where I eat a wide range of veges every day. Nothing else has worked more than that!

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