Why Is It So Hard to Find Professionals Who Know How to Fix Adrenal Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Adrenal fatigue is widespread but not enough people know how to fix adrenal fatigue/There is no shortage of people suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. More likely than not, you know someone who has at least a mild form of Adrenal Fatigue, even if you don’t know it. That person could even be you! So if Adrenal Fatigue is so prevalent in the population today, why don’t more people know about it? And more importantly, why is it so difficult to find professionals who know how to fix Adrenal Fatigue? To understand this, let’s dive a bit into the nature of the condition.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Adrenal Fatigue involves a collection of symptoms—including chronic fatigue and pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and others—in what seems to be an otherwise healthy person. The symptoms are usually nonspecific and can range from extremely severe to functionally nonexistent. Furthermore, the presentations are often extremely different between two sufferers. Some may have particular difficulty with fatigue and lack of energy, while others can maintain a functional level of energy but have a very difficult time getting proper rest. The wide variety of symptoms, as well as the variety of presentations, between individuals suffering from Adrenal Fatigue is one of the first hurdles to proper identification of the condition.

Now, the collection of symptoms that are present in the Adrenal Fatigue sufferer also make it appear similar to other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia; they all present with the somewhat similar and nonspecific symptoms of pain, fatigue, poor mood, etc. However, CFS and Fibromyalgia both have established protocols spelled out for medical diagnosis of the condition. Without recognition that adrenal fatigue is a problem, the medical community has no insight on how to fix adrenal fatigue/On the other hand, Adrenal Fatigue does not currently have recognition from the medical establishment as a medical problem, and therefore there isn’t a diagnostic protocol or test to easily determine whether someone is suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. So when someone is suffering from these symptoms, most medical professionals follow their diagnostic protocols, which point them in the direction of CFS or Fibromyalgia; they don’t consider the possibility of Adrenal Fatigue.

So if you are trying to find a way to recover from Adrenal Fatigue, the first challenge is to correctly identify your condition; but Adrenal Fatigue presents very nebulously and with great variation. Furthermore, it is easily confused with more easily diagnosable diseases such as CFS and Fibromyalgia. This confusion means that few health professionals know how to identify the condition. Once you do find a health practitioner who has a familiarity with the condition, will you get the help you need on how to fix Adrenal Fatigue?

Knowing Is More Than Half the Battle

Unfortunately, most health practitioners who are familiar with Adrenal Fatigue still do not have sufficient experience with the condition. Even health professionals have to learn or be taught, and while medical school and continuing education for doctors cover many health conditions, Adrenal Fatigue is not one of these. Remember, Adrenal Fatigue isn’t currently recognized by the modern medical establishment, so medical schools don’t teach it, few medical seminars or conferences focus on the condition, and—with a few exceptions—there are not many published textbooks that address or cover how to fix Adrenal Fatigue. The scientific knowledge base simply isn’t large enough yet. So most health professionals are not going to know very much, except what they encounter in their own practice; and as we saw before, Adrenal Fatigue can easily be mixed up with similar conditions like CFS and Fibromyalgia. We end up with a cycle whereby a lack of knowledge causes misidentification of Adrenal Fatigue, which contributes to a lack of knowledge. And so most health professionals, even those who are aware of the condition, don’t know how to fix Adrenal Fatigue.

Now as if this isn’t bad enough, if you read about the physiology behind Adrenal Fatigue, you’ll see it is an incredibly complex condition. While the trigger is simple enough—chronic stress exhausting adrenal function—the cascade effect it has on multiple systems throughout the entire body makes disentangling the symptoms a challenge. For instance, you might take a calming pill such as Valium to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, only to find you actually get worse and have a panic attack.

This is an example of a paradoxical reaction, often experienced by those in advanced stages of Adrenal Fatigue when the extracellular matrix is congested to the point that the body cannot handle most pharmaceutical strength compounds, and in severe cases may even react negatively to food products.

Education Goes Both Ways: Learn How to Fix Adrenal Fatigue

Educating the world on how to fix adrenal fatigue starts with everyoneSo what do you do if there is no one nearby who is both familiar with and experienced in Adrenal Fatigue recovery?

You must take an active role in your own recovery. Research and educate yourself about the condition and your body. Speak with your health practitioner and engage in a two-way conversation, not just a one-way flow of instructions from professional to patient. This won’t be easy, especially if Adrenal Fatigue is part of the picture, since you may already have less energy and functional capacity. However, in order to achieve a successful recovery, you must make sure you are in the driver’s seat, not the passenger’s, on the road the recovery.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Educating the world on how to fix adrenal fatigue starts with everyone