Health and Adrenal Fatigue Coaching: Do They Work?
Health coaching in general has gained a large number of adherents recently. Multiple health conditions have been handled by this method, so it’s reasonable to take a look at adrenal fatigue coaching and determine how it works and whether it is effective.
What is Health Coaching?
It is important to discuss what health coaching is and how it works. The information about health coaching will apply to adrenal fatigue coaching as well.
The major goal of health coaching is to help people make changes in their health behavior that are long-lasting and become the foundation for overall wellness. It is an attempt at helping you fit recommendations from your healthcare professional into your hectic life.
With every medical condition, your healthcare professional will make suggestions about what you can do to improve your condition that are in addition to any medications prescribed. Very often, these suggestions fall on deaf ears because of a number of factors in people’s lives.
Health coaching is a way to reinforce these suggestions in a professional, yet friendly way in an effort to enable you to blend them into your life. These contacts with a health coach occur over the telephone, on the web, or through videoconferencing if such technology is available.
Health coaches are trained in dealing with sensitive topics that come up in this kind of contact. They are willing to listen to your concerns, take the time necessary to understand where you’re coming from, and help you develop the motivation required to actually implement the suggestions from your healthcare professional.
Health coaches will help you set goals you can achieve in improving your health, either overall or in specific health conditions such as adrenal fatigue coaching. Too often, people set goals for themselves that are impossible to meet, fail in their attempts, and give up.
Health coaches know how to help you set goals you can reach in a reasonable time. The shorter intervals between contacts enable them to show you how you’re improving and reinforce you for your efforts. This is particularly helpful in health conditions that require frequent follow up for best clinical outcome.
Is Health Coaching Effective?
There have been several studies regarding the effectiveness of health coaching that should, once again, apply to adrenal fatigue coaching as well.
A presentation at the International Liver Congress in 2018 highlighted a study showing a lifestyle coaching approach via the web to be effective in dealing with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This approach appeared to show positive and significant results compared with group-based lifestyle counseling.
Health coaching through videoconferencing was investigated regarding efficacy compared with in-person and control groups. The target behaviors were weight loss, metabolic markers, and physical activity. More positive results were reported with the videoconferencing approach than the other two groups. This indicates very significant efficacy with this approach in getting obese adults to increase positive health behaviors.
Improvements in adherence to medication recommendations have been shown in research studies regarding health coaching. These improvements also included increases in the subjects’ self-efficacy, behavior changes, knowledge about diabetes in one case and about other chronic conditions in other cases, and in skill in dealing with the conditions.
All of these improvements should generalize to adrenal fatigue coaching as well. Everyone who suffers from this condition needs to increase their knowledge and skill regarding the condition and should learn better nutrition habits in particular.
Significant improvements in weight management have been shown to occur by way of coaching over the telephone. Since weight gain, particularly around the middle of the body, is a symptom of adrenal fatigue, this finding is important.
People in a coaching program for coronary heart disease showed a significant decrease in LDL-C cholesterol through this program. In addition, they increased weight loss, increased exercise, lowered anxiety levels, and generally improved their health status.
Tobacco use cessation has been another area of health concern that improves with coaching. One study showed a 32% rate of quitting compared to 18% of people not participating. For those in the coaching program who were ready to quit, 44% succeeded.
Overall, it appears health coaching is an effective approach for those who are motivated to make changes in their health status and have more serious conditions. Motivation such as this is one of the changes that health coaching is most beneficial for.
Those people who are disadvantaged may benefit the most from health coaching. The process may take more time with this group.
No evidence has been provided that suggests health coaching that occurs in-person to be more effective than that conducted over the telephone. There is evidence that both in-person and telephone-based coaching are more effective than solely automated health information.
It appears that health coaching is effective for a number of health conditions. Adrenal fatigue should be no exception.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that can occur when your body is exposed to continuous stress. When stress from any source hits, your body responds with activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The end result of this activation is the secretion of cortisol by your adrenals. This is the stress fighting hormone in your body. If stress continues, your adrenals can become overwhelmed and not produce enough cortisol. This begins the symptoms of AFS, which can become debilitating with time.
Most conventionally trained physicians don’t have the knowledge needed to assess and remediate AFS. Their approach is to deal with individual symptoms or organs. A better way is the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. This approach says there are six circuits in the body consisting of organs and systems. These circuits inter-relate when stress hits to deal with the effects. This approach allows for more comprehensive assessment and remediation efforts rather than a piecemeal approach.
Adrenal Fatigue Coaching
Because few health practitioners are experienced and literate in adrenal fatigue and clinical consequences of neuroendometabolic disruptions caused by stress, finding such qualified practitioners is challenging.
Adrenal Fatigue Center involves custom telephone nutritional counseling for those suffering from AFS. This approach to adrenal fatigue coaching recognizes the value of a custom-designed nutritional cocktail that is geared specifically for you. Any approach that suggests a random number and amount of herbs, minerals, adaptogens, vitamins, and glandulars is designing a program for failure. Without considering your specific needs and tolerances, this kind of program may make your condition worse.
One example of the necessity of individualizing any approach to adrenal fatigue coaching is the use of Vitamin C. This is an important vitamin in combating AFS, but different people need different types. Some people can handle large doses of vitamin C while others can’t take 10mg. Some need buffered vitamin C while others can handle ascorbic acid. Knowing this difference can have a great impact on success or failure of adrenal fatigue coaching. Plus, a customized approach can increase the bioavailability of the nutrition utilized, thus increasing the likelihood of success and healing.
When developing an effective adrenal fatigue coaching plan, taking into consideration the well-accepted suggestions that everyone knows like cutting out sugars, decreasing caffeine, and increasing activity is good.
At the same time, it is important to know what you can tolerate and make the plan around that. Are there evidences of genetic mutations like COMT or MTHFR that can impact metabolism? These must be considered also.
When considering increasing activity level, how much reserve energy does your body have? There must be sufficient energy to engage in the exercise that will benefit you. At different points in AFS, your energy supply will vary greatly.
Knowing where you are in the stages of AFS and your core energy ability is important in establishing an exercise regimen that you can handle and will be effective for you. Only a professional with the required experience and knowledge will think about these things and know their importance.
Your adrenal fatigue coaching plan must take all of these factors into consideration to avoid adrenal crashes, detoxification reactions, and overstimulation that can make your condition worse.
A major factor involved in an effective adrenal fatigue coaching plan has to do with paying attention to the body’s comprehensive response to stress through the neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response, especially as it relates to the detoxification and inflammation circuits. Particular attention should be paid to nutrition and gut health. Your gut is implicated in the development and continuation of AFS symptoms. Both toxins and nutrition enter your body through your gut. Therefore, your diet must be tailored to your needs to be certain your body gets the nutrients necessary for improving your adrenal health. Proper diet also will help your body detoxify itself adequately.
Some people can handle a plant-based diet while others need fats and protein. Knowing this and how your body can deal with different types of foods will make your recovery from AFS more likely. The idea is to help your body heal itself naturally. Consuming the best kinds of foods for you is the beginning of this healing. Many health coaching plans are devised to help people lose weight. This may not be the best thing for you; indeed, it may even worsen your condition.
You can see how important individualization of your adrenal fatigue coaching plan is for your best recovery from AFS.
© Copyright 2019 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
What is adrenal fatigue coaching?
Adrenal fatigue coaching is a new and effective approach to providing the best health care to sufferers of AFS. It has been shown to be effective in helping people recover from this condition. It is as effective as face-to-face health coaching.