Recovery speed from adrenal fatigue varies greatly from person to person. Under expert guidance, the process normally takes a few weeks in mild cases to a few months in moderate cases. In severe cases, much longer time might be needed.
Many people question whether a total and complete recovery from adrenal fatigue is possible. The answer is yes in the vast majority of cases, but only if done right. Adrenal fatigue often takes a decade or more to develop. It is important to allow the body time to recover. A few months of recovery is considered a short time within this time horizon. Time is a great healer when the body is given the proper nutrients along with proper lifestyle and dietary protocols. Those who demand a quick recovery invariably become disappointed because the body is not a light switch that can be turned on and off at will. A systematic and logical approach works the best under professional guidance.
The recovery curve is a graphical representation of how the body recovers on the vertical axis plotted against time on the horizontal axis. A good recovery curve usually consists of multiple mini-cycles. Each cycle has three sequential periods, resembling an "S" curve that last from 1-6 months each. The overall successful recovery plan consists of multiple "S" curves in an upward sustained series without allowing any major downward crashes. Over time, this will resemble a series of stair-steps upwards, as illustrated in the graph below.
Let us look at this cycle in more detail. The overall recovery curve is composed of multiple mini-cycles. Each mini-cycle consist of three periods:
As a person goes through multiple successful mini-cycles without major setbacks, the overall sense of well-being gets better with each cycle. Though the most dramatic improvement often comes in the first few cycles, one accumulates more energy with time, and fatigue becomes less pronounced. Any setbacks between the cycles are often less severe as the previous crashes. One archives a higher high and a higher low in terms of well-being with time. This is recovery at its best. The body is allowed to rest after each upward movement. It has time to build up reserve before ascending again. This reserve building time is critical. Proper nutrients administered here strengthen the adrenals and cushions the mini-crashes and setbacks so frequently experienced by all. Having enough reserve allows the body to continue its rebuilding process on a sustained basis while withstanding insults from daily life.
Most people have a mistaken belief that the hallmark of a successful recovery program has an early onset of increased energy and fatigue removal. They expect this to be sustained on a linear basis uninterrupted in an upward trend line. This ideal situation only occurs in a minority of cases where the fatigue is very mild and under expert guidance. For most cases, due to internal derangement of the adrenals, the road to recovery is laden with pot holes and crashes.
Most self-guided programs achieve success in ascending the first cycle. Those who take stimulatory nutrients often experience an initial sense of well-being, followed by a prolonged plateau that is unable to ascend further. We call this "hitting the wall". Regardless of what nutrients are given, the body fails to gain more energy. Fatigue continues, as illustrated in the graph below in line A
Overtime, the body starts to decompensate, and with a stressful event, a crash is triggered and the recovery process goes backwards down a few steps. The body returns to a function worse than before. It then stabilizes for a while, but is unable to regain its composure. Extraordinary effort is needed to gain a small incremental sense of well-being. With each succeeding stress, the body decompensate further. Stressors can be physical such as excessive exercise, emotional such as mental strain, or nutritional such as taking more nutrients that are thought to be good but cannot be processed or assimilated. The overall recovery curve resembles that of a stair step going down, with lower lows and lower highs as illustrated in line B
Those whose bodies are constitutionally sensitive may not even experience the initial onset of energy. They crash right from the beginning and never fully recover from it, as illustrated in line C.
Message from Dr. Lam
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. If you have areas you don't understand,
or if you have a specific health concern, feel free to write to me by clicking here.
About The Authors
Michael Lam, M.D., M.P.H., A.B.A.A.M., is a western trained physician specializing in nutritional and anti-aging medicine. Dr. Lam received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine where he has also served as a board examiner. Dr. Lam is a pioneer in using nontoxic, natural compounds to promote the healing of many age-related degenerative conditions. He utilizes optimum blends of nutritional supplementation that manipulate food, vitamins, natural hormones, herbs, enzymes, and minerals into specific protocols to rejuvenate cellular function.
Dr. Lam was first to coin the term, ovarian-adrenal-thyroid (OAT) hormone axis, and to describe its imbalances. He was first to scientifically tie in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) as part of the overall neuroendocrine stress response continuum of the body. He systematized the clinical significance and coined the various phases of Adrenal Exhaustion. He has written five books: Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs, The Five Proven Secrets to Longevity, Beating Cancer with Natural Medicine (Free PDF version), How to Stay Young and Live Longer, and Estrogen Dominance. In 2001, Dr. Lam established www.DrLam.com as a free, educational website on evidence-based alternative medicine for the public and for health professionals. It featured the world’s most comprehensive library on AFS. Provided free as a public service, he has answered countless questions through the website on alternative health and AFS. His personal, telephone-based nutritional coaching services have enabled many around the world to regain control of their health using natural therapies.
Dorine Lam, R.D., M.S., M.P.H., is a registered dietitian and holistic clinical nutritionist specializing in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and natural hormonal balancing. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Nutrition, and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Loma Linda University, in Loma Linda, California. She is also a board-certified, Anti-Aging Health Practitioner by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She coauthored with Michael Lam, M.D., the books Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs and Estrogen Dominance and numerous articles on Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Her personal research and writing focuses on the metabolic aspect of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. She is married to Michael Lam and is an integral part of the telephone-based nutritional coaching team helping people overcome Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.
For More Information
DrLam.com makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, as to the protocol or protocols sent to your personal library (the "Protocol").
You expressly agree that your decision to follow any part of the Protocol is at your sole risk and that DrLam.com will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from your use, application or interpretation of the Protocol, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.
The ideas, doses, concepts and opinions expressed in the Protocol are intended to be used for educational purposes only and they are not intended to be specific medical advice specially tailored for your unique medical needs, nor is the Protocol intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.
Before you decide to follow the Protocol you should check with your Physician, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have a known medical condition, are under a physician's care, taking prescription medications and/or over-the-counter medications or have any sensitivity or allergy to certain specific dietary ingredients.
It is important that you not use the supplements recommended by the Protocol as a medical prescription to treat your specific health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider or licensed physician ("Physician"). Also before you begin to follow any part of the Protocol, you need to receive full medical clearance from a Physician.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the contents of the Protocol.
Some of the supplement dosages and application methods contained in the Protocol may be different from those recommended by supplement manufacturers on their supplement bottles.
Nothing contained in Protocol is intended to create a physician-patient relationship with DrLam.com. You must stop immediately and NOT follow the Protocol if you feel if you feel very faint, dizzy, sick or unwell at any time.
Ownership and Use
This Web Site and all content and materials included on this Web Site, including without limitation all information, text, graphics, illustrations, photos, video, sound and software (collectively the "Content"), are copyrighted and protected under U.S. and international copyright laws, trademark and other intellectual property laws and treaties and are the exclusive property of Dr. Michael Lam. Dr. Michael Lam hereby retains all right, title, and interest in the Content.
All rights are reserved. You may not store, modify, create derivative works of, translate, distribute, publish, transmit, sell or participate in any sale of, or exploit in any way any Content in any form or by any means. You acknowledge that you do not acquire any ownership rights by downloading material from this Web Site. You are authorized to view this Web Site for informational purposes only. No part of this Web Site or Content can be redistributed, copied, adapted or reproduced without the prior written consent of Dr. Michael Lam.
© 2005 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.