Professor & patients' paper on the solvable biological challenge of ME/CFS: reader-friendly version
Simon McGrath provides a patient-friendly version of a peer-reviewed paper which highlights some of the most promising biomedical research on ME/CFS ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Do I have Adrenal Fatigue or Cfs ?

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by plaruno, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes:
    6,218
    Southern California
    FWIW, the Mayo Clinic doesn't know anything about ME/CFS either, though it claims to. They are going to make a few corrections to their website but still insist that GET and CBT are the best treatments for ME/CFS, and they will be comparing PEM to an "allergy" to exercise.
     
  2. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

    Messages:
    518
    Likes:
    792
    United States, New Hampshire
    Respectfully, Your posts suggest that adrenal fatigue is real. What if you are wrong? You suggested to @adreno to keep an open mind to the possibility that he is wrong.

    Isn't it fair that you do the same? What if you are wrong and leading someone down the wrong path for them?
     
  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes:
    3,405
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Every article that I see about GAS is always by Hans Selye or referencing his work. There doesn't seem to be anyone else confirming his theory. Surely if this was a legitimate condition, 70 years later there would be much more written about it by other doctors and medical researchers.
     
  4. Kina

    Kina

    Messages:
    10,132
    Likes:
    17,219
    Sofa, UK
    There is no such a thing as 'adrenal fatigue'. It is not a medical diagnosis. Our glands do not get 'tired or fatigued'. If there is an issue with them -- it's either mechanical or a problem with the feedback loop. There is 'adrenal insufficiency'. This is a real medical condition that is diagnosed via lab tests. Google Addison's disease.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2017
    barbc56, svetoslav80, aimossy and 6 others like this.
  5. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes:
    6,218
    Southern California
    @plaruno - unfortunately you inadvertently sparked an ongoing debate on this forum regarding whether adrenal fatigue is real or not. I wish the debate would be taken elsewhere.

    I believe there is fatigue related to the adrenal glands. I don't want to get into a debate about this. I've had severe fatigue hit after certain stressful events - e.g., when my house was flooded, and this fatigue was alleviated by an adrenal glandular supplement. So perhaps my adrenals were not "fatigued" per se, but the fatigue was related to my adrenal glands. I don't have Addison's disease.

    So @plaruno, as there is no definitive test for ME/CFS, I was going to suggest that you might try an adrenal glandular supplement and see if it helps you. The adrenal glandular does help me when I get stress-related fatigue; however, unfortunately, it does nothing for PEM. So this might be one way for you to try to determine what the heck is going on.

    I also found that extra pantothenic acid was helpful for my adrenals. And, as you seem to be aware, you need to minimize stress as much as possible. Meditation can be helpful also.
     
  6. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    Yes there has been. Do some research if you are interested. x
     
  7. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    Yes its sad to see some users argue the validity of conditions that they dont have but then claim they have a condition that many don't believe exists either.

    Definitely some good points there from Mary, Pantethine (b5 purest form), Vitamin C and a good glandular are massively important and can really stop things progressing into Secondary AI like it did in my case. Once you have your system support, meditation, stress reduction, yoga (if manageable) will all contribute to healing and no stimulants! (be it meds, food substances etc).If the medical community understood more about this complex condition, many would not be put on the Pysch med enslaught which often leaves them far far worse in the long run.

    Adrenal Glands do become tired and exhausted, this is shown the Stage 4 extension of Hans Seyles GAS model, and this is then shown in Secondary Adrenal Insuffuciency, which once treated with a prolonged period of steroids, can recover - this is what the STTM Group (stop the thyroid madness) promote as their treatment protocol for AF, and I've seen it work many times as I have many friends with SAI.

    As I said OP, read some of the links provided, and you will probably see such similarities between your condition and AF/GAS, and there are multiple treatment protocols - you may not get the right one the first time but keep at it, and you'll come out the otherside. By all means get an ACTH test done to check you havent entered secondary AI yet, but 9/10 it will come back as ok.
     
    pamojja likes this.
  8. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    Whats the lab tests performed to diagnose ME/CFS? Please dont include tests that are done as exclusion tests.
     
  9. notmyself

    notmyself Senior Member

    Messages:
    307
    Likes:
    413
    my opinion is that adrenal fatigue exist..maybe the name is a little bit weird..the glands don't become fatigue or something ,they just don t work properly.The thing is that is testable, unlike ME/cfs,,there are tests to be done to see if you have adrenal fatigue or not..saliva cortisol level,DHEA and others..I've seen an endocrinologist for this, he make me run some test ,morning cortisol,saliva cortisol,2 days urine cortisol, plus a whole bunch of hormones aswell..all coem back normal so he exclude adrenal fatigue :)
     
    Mary likes this.
  10. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes:
    1,936
    Pacific Northwest
    2 years ago, I was asking the same question as @plaruno . I read everything I could on the web and a couple of books on adrenal fatigue. It was all very confusing. I couldn't figure out if I was stage 3 on one scale or stage 6 on another, and I seemed to have skipped some steps along the way.

    I'd been through stage e cancer treatment, a significant car accident, and the lengthy illness and death of a close family member all within 18 months.

    I was crashing and in a heap on the floor regularly and when my doctor had me try an adrenal support supplement and small doses of hydrocortisone, I worked up a bit at a time, and my labs has very low cholesterol, pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol levels. And my doctor addressed them, as well as arsenic, lead, and platinum toxicity.

    It belped, but didn't fix me. I was on a comprehensive nutritional supplement program, a nutrient dense diet, and removed all possible stress from my life. But I was sleeping 16 hours a day.

    I looked into mitochondrial disease, knowing if been on 3 drugs that cwould damage mitochondria. I didn't think I had the genes for primary mitochondrial disease, but took mitochondria supplements to help.

    A woman from the FDA told me to look into ME/CFS. I looked at the diagnostic criteria published by the Institute of Medicine which fit. I found doctors who could help.

    We did lab trsting and found immune system abnormalities, both underactive and autoimmune, herpes family and atypical pneumonia infections and nutrient deficiencies, as well as HPA axis and thyroid dysfunction, low ESR, gut microbiome abnormalities and other abnormalities that researchers have linked to ME/CFS.

    Not everyone will have the variation I have, as were a heterogeneous group with multiple disease triggers, but if you have a doctor who looks hard enough, there will be abnormalities that can be addressed.

    The advice to try supporting your adrenals first may help. An adrenal support supplement, B5, vitamin C and small doses of hydrocortisone may help, while eating a high quality diet, avoiding stress, and getting goid sleep.

    If that doesn't help, look into some of the tests I mentioned and read through this forum on treatments that have helped others. There is no standard treatment plan, there's not enough research, but many of us have been helped by doctors and strategies we learned about hear on Phoenix Rising.

    And, as you've seen, we're an opinionated lot - do your own research and find what works for you.

    Best wishes...
     
    ErdemX, pamojja, CedarHome and 4 others like this.
  11. JamBob

    JamBob Senior Member

    Messages:
    191
    Likes:
    764
    Dr Amolak Bansal (a respected ME researcher in the UK) gave a lecture in which he described how some patients with ME/CFS have a kind of "functional Addison's" because although their cortisol levels are normal, they have problems with their steroid receptors such that they may end up experiencing the symptoms of Addison's even though they don't in fact have Addison's.

    The talk is here...

     
    ErdemX, Mary, Learner1 and 1 other person like this.
  12. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    Messages:
    5,232
    Likes:
    31,933
    This is just one of many ideas that Dr Bansal is proposing might be a hypothesis one could test. He does not have evidence that this is the case and would not claim to (I have worked with Amolak and discussed these things in detail). As Kina says, there is no condition called adrenal fatigue. There is adrenal insufficiency in Addison's disease but not adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, ME or CFS, which is defined clinically, quite obviously exists. There are consistent epidemiological data from several countries indicating that something like 0.2% of the population have it.
     
  13. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    How was ME and CFS defined in say the 1940's?

    Oh and you also missed out Secondary Adrenal Insuffiencieny, a stage before Addisons, and a stage after Chronic Stress Syndrome (Adrenal Fatigue) as in my case or other things like a pituitary tumour etc.

    Nice to see good physicians keeping their minds opening and not accepting what is already told as truth like they did in the 40's, I'll be having a good read of Dr Bansal's work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  14. Kina

    Kina

    Messages:
    10,132
    Likes:
    17,219
    Sofa, UK
    James L. Wilson introduced the concept of adrenal fatigue in 1998.

    Wilson described adrenal fatigue as a set of non-specific symptoms associated with "below optimal adrenal function resulting from stress". The treatment for adrenal fatigue is taking supplements (which he sells).

    After nineteen years there are still no tests related to diagnosing adrenal fatigue. There is no research that provides any concrete evidence that that stress causes adrenal fatigue. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997656/)

    The Endocrine society which is made up of over 18,000 physicians and researchers around the world says that:

    Primary adrenal insufficiency (aka Addison's disease) is a real medical condition that occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones (cortisol mainly). It is caused by damage to the adrenal glands. Cortisol plays a role in bone growth, blood pressure control, metabolism, nervous system function, immune system function and the stress response. Primary adrenal insufficiency is very rare (110 to 144 in 1 million).

    Secondary adrenal insufficiency is much more common. It occurs when the pituitary gland won't produce enough of a hormone that stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol.

    Adrenal insufficiency is a serious condition that is treated with hormone substitution and replacement.

    Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are:
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Weight loss and decreased appetite
    • Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation)
    • Low blood pressure, even fainting
    • Salt craving
    • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Muscle or joint pains
    • Irritability
    • Depression
    • Body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women
    Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed via lab tests.

    Calling a set of non-specific symptoms "adrenal fatigue" and then treating those symptoms with supplements doesn't address the real issues. For example what is actually causing the underlying non-specific symptoms? -- is it a tired set of adrenals 0r is it an undiagnosed immune disorder, undiagnosed cancer, undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed sleep apnea, infectious disease, poor diet, and so on and so on.

    The adrenal fatigue quiz on Wilson's website is a joke.

    Real diseases and syndromes and real treatments have a body of scientific literature that they are built upon.
    Adrenal fatigue has no such body of scientific literature. It's mostly about exploiting those who are dealing with the common symptoms of life. It's about making money via a fake diagnosis. Unfortunately, there are many out there who have a real underlying disease and rather than pursuing a proper diagnosis they get distracted by the offer of a fake diagnosis and and easy resolution via taking supplements.

    @plaruno What you have described sounds a lot like ME and seems unrelated to any adrenal issues.
     
  15. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    James L. Wilson introduced the concept of adrenal fatigue in 1998, he focussed on Hans Seyles work on General Adaptation Syndrome and further explored the millions of cases of ill health that did not fit into 'traditional and somewhat archaic' medicines viewpoint over what could explain this ill health.

    Wilson described adrenal fatigue as a set of non-specific symptoms associated with "below optimal adrenal function resulting from stress". The treatment for adrenal fatigue is taking supplements to aid natural healing, rather than using pharmaceuticals (which are sold by companies world wide) to mask symptoms rather than allow the patient to recover. This becoming dependant on these chemicals, with little chance of full recovery.

    After nineteen years there are still no tests related to diagnosing adrenal fatigue, much like ME and CFS. There is no research that provides any concrete evidence that that stress causes adrenal fatigue, however it is portrayed on the anecdotal models, still used by pyschiatrists to explain the adaptation to stress, and then furthered into a the fourth stage by Dr Lam, to explained the malasaptation and the chronically low cortisol output through a 24 hour period, done through a 24 hour cortisol saliva testing protocol (which interestingly Barts Hospital in London and now finally beginning to trial and use - but you wont find that on the web yet so other posters cant cut and paste it, being a patient I get that advanced knowledge).

    The Endocrine society, very much built on yesteryear with ageing physicians built on outdated text book knowledge which is made up of over 18,000 physicians and researchers around the world says that

    Primary adrenal insufficiency (aka Addison's disease) is a real medical condition that occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones (cortisol mainly). It is caused by damage to the adrenal glands. Cortisol plays a role in bone growth, blood pressure control, metabolism, nervous system function, immune system function and the stress response. Primary adrenal insufficiency is very rare (110 to 144 in 1 million).

    Secondary adrenal insufficiency is much more common. It occurs when the pituitary gland won't produce enough of a hormone that stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol.


    However, to further extend on that, Secondary AI, can also be be brought on by prolonged exposure to physical and/or mental stressors, which as in my case, diagnosed by Professor Arlt, one of the European leading endocrinologists confirms.

    Adrenal insufficiency is a serious condition that is treated with hormone substitution and replacement.

    Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are:
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Weight loss and decreased appetite
    • Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation)
    • Low blood pressure, even fainting
    • Salt craving
    • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Muscle or joint pains
    • Irritability
    • Depression
    • Body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women
    Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed via lab tests.

    Adrenal Fatigue symptoms can be much varied as they are very based on symptoms, very much the same as ME and CFS. Some examples of mild to moderate Adrenal Fatigue can be

    • Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
    • High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases.
    • Infections that tend to last longer than usual.
    • Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
    • Reduced sex drive.
    • lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position.
    • Unable to remember things.
    • Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
    • Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
    • Often feel tired from 9 - 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
    • Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
    • Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
    • Increased symptoms of PMS for women. Periods are heavy and then stop, or are 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 clear reason.
    • Feels better when there is less stress, such as on a vacation.
    • Difficulties in getting up in the morning.
    • Lightheaded.
    • 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.
    • Hypoglycemia.
    • Low body temperature.
    • Nervousness.
    • Palpitation.
    • Unexplained hair loss.
    • Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
    • Dyspepsia.
    Similar to ME and CFS, we have to use anecdotal and symptomatic evidence to understand this condition as best we can. Adrenal Fatigue was the terminology used to title it, although some dispute the actual meanings of the words. Treating those symptoms with supplements enables true healing rather than chemical masking. Once all other medical tests are ruled out for more mainstream illnesses, this is when the patient can look further into their condition. Lots of factors can be at play for AF and the general breakdown of the bodies ability to maintain homeostatis such as stress, toxin exposure, diet , but as Hans Seyles modelled, once the body has 'adapted' to its inability to deal with stress naturally, reversal is extremely difficult, and will be be

    The adrenal fatigue quiz on Wilson's website is just a way of helping a patient acknowledge their symptoms and bring some relief to them, to understand they actually have a real illness and to not be ignored by ignorant medical communities in their arrogance to cure all with a chemical (which has seldom ever worked)

    Real diseases and syndromes and real treatments have a body of scientific literature that they are built upon. Illnesses such as ME, CFS, and AF, dont have specific testing protocols, more exclusion protocols. The crossover between the three can be very interesting, but generally AF is more a stress syndrome as CFS is a fatigue syndrome, but they share many symptoms.

    Adrenal fatigue has no such body of scientific literature, much like ME and CFS. It's mostly about helping those who are dealing with the common symptoms of life within a dysfunction body. It, like the pharmaceutical industry does have a financial element to it, and this is unfortunate, but it promotes natural healing and not dependency on chemicals that the pharma companies will churn out daily increasing their annual turnover. Once healed from AF, you may never need a supplement again. You may need to pay to speak to an AF Doctor, but only as your insurance company or the NHS pay for you to see another type of specialist.

    Unfortunately, there are many out there who have a real underlying diseases and many who are ignored and misdiagnosed. Rather than pursuing a proper diagnosis they get distracted by the offer of a fake diagnosis and and easy resolution via taking supplements.

    Many years ago Me and CFS where seen as hocus pocus illnesses, as was Burnout (which is more akin to AF), but over the years we have seen the understanding grow, yet still there are no formal tests to diagnose this condition. Adrenal Fatigue is now, as CFS was fifty years ago, and we will see the understand of this condition rise as more and more mainstream doctors begin to acknowledge it, all we can hope is that communities such as the ME/CFS do not discount an illness that they do not understand and thus mock the sufferers by claiming its lack of validity.

    @plaruno - your symptoms are more towards AF and Adrenal dysfunction in my opinion than ME (although as i mentioned things to overlap), rule out everything else, and then once your doctor gives up and offers you SSRI's, you will be able to continue your enjoy to understand what is really going on. Good luck to you, you will recover, stay strong.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2017
    pamojja likes this.
  16. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes:
    4,755
    The other side.
    @The Chronicals

    As someone with no dog, at all, IMO you've lost the debate, at least here.
     
  17. The Chronicals

    The Chronicals The '59 Sound

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    68
    London
    I have a lovely husky, she's awesome.
     
  18. JamBob

    JamBob Senior Member

    Messages:
    191
    Likes:
    764
    In fairness, in the video I linked to Dr Bansal states he (and Julia Newton) have early evidence that glucocorticoid receptor function is reduced in ME/CFS patients compared to "normals", leading to what he called a state of "functional Addison's".

    However the video was from 2014. Perhaps he explored this area further and found no significant results, in which case it would be good if there was a publication to add to the body of knowledge.
     
  19. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes:
    23,191
    Adrenal fatigue seems to be an attempt to classify and explain the milder end of the ME/CFS spectrum. Unfortunately the explanation given seems to be incorrect.
     
    Sidereal, TigerLilea and Wonko like this.
  20. adreno

    adreno PR activist

    Messages:
    4,843
    Likes:
    11,027
    It might be so. But reduced glucocorticoid receptor function is a vastly different thing than "fatigued glands". Besides I am pretty sure that recommended treatments for AF such as B5 and vitamin C does exactly nothing for this.
     
  21. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    Messages:
    5,232
    Likes:
    31,933
    I think there is no publication because nothing came of it. I think I would have heard if it had.
     
    TrixieStix likes this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page