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Adrenal fatigue - woo?

(26 Posts)
BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 17:51:51

I have a long, long list of physical and mental medical conditions that cause fatigue (and pain too, just FYI). A while back I was referred by my rheumy to to the OT who specialises in fatigue due to rheumatological problems. I saw her for the first time today and she has diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue rather than the fatigue being due to existing problems, as well as insomnia.

So I get home and look for more info (as she recommended), and adrenal fatigue seems to be a bit of a woolly, non-diagnosis - apparently common in self help books but not very popular with real doctors.

Is anyone able to advise on this?

Dozer Wed 14-Sep-16 17:52:52

An occupational therapist said that?!

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 17:53:40

Here's one of the pages I found, but there are others along the same lines...

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 17:55:48

Web MD (US)

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 17:56:38

Googling adrenal fatigue and nhs only brings up Addison's disease.

yeOldeTrout Wed 14-Sep-16 17:56:51


BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 18:03:40

So if I go to my gp and say the OT is pedalling woo, I'm not going to be looked on as that awkward patient? grin

PigPigTrotters Wed 14-Sep-16 18:06:00

I was diagnosed with ASD earlier this year, I had a post diagnosis session with the psych and asked her about aspie burnout (which fits how I've been feeling for the last year or so), she mentioned adrenal fatigue, as a result of living on my nerves for so long.
Reading this has reminded me of that. No idea if it's real or not though!

PigPigTrotters Wed 14-Sep-16 18:07:07

Beyond, tell the GP you're going to cure it with homeopathy, that'll do it winkgrin

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 18:07:32

I have asd too, and yes she said something similar about living on my nerves smile

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Wed 14-Sep-16 20:10:18

Bump for the evening crowd smile

Davinaaddict Wed 14-Sep-16 21:19:54

The logical part of me says it sounds like it could be a real thing as it makes sense, but I actually have no idea grin

Fatigue is a symptom of sooooo many things, so I'm intrigued as to why she thinks it's adrenal fatigue, and not the things you've actually been diagnosed with?

sentia Wed 14-Sep-16 21:33:33

I think lots of health care professionals agree that burnout exists. I don't think the mechanism is really understood, which is where the woo bit comes in. As far as I know, there is no evidence that your adrenal gland gets "tired".

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Wed 14-Sep-16 21:33:49

Have you had any tests to confirm this diagnosis? If not I would advise a 4 point saliva test for cortisol levels throughout the day. Blood tests don't give an accurate level as it is likely that you will be high at some points and low at others. You can take various things to lower your highs, including Holy Basil, PS (Seriphos) or zinc if you've had your zinc levels tested too and they are low, but then there can be issues with copper too.

I am not an expert by any means but can point you in the right direction of some help if you'd like to PM me xx

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Wed 14-Sep-16 21:35:52

also, have you had thyroid tests done and if so, are you well within range or just at the lower end of normal? This can make a huge difference to how you feel and yet plenty of Drs don't allow patients to reach the top end of normal even if they feel better there.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Wed 14-Sep-16 21:36:54

sorry, meant to add, by lowering your highs your lows will naturally rise.

Also, have you had thyroid tests done and if so, are you well within range or just at the lower end of normal? This can make a huge difference to how you feel and yet plenty of Drs don't allow patients to reach the top end of normal even if they feel better there.

PunkrockerGirl Wed 14-Sep-16 22:21:24

OT's are not qualified to make a medical diagnosis. I would be contacting the rheumatologist who made the referral and expressing concerns that the OT considers it appropriate to make a diagnosis, instead of offering the support which is within their remit.
Stay away from Dr Google and Dr Mumsnet grin Every symptom known to man gets attributed to 'thyroid problems' on here!
Sorry you've had a bad experience, definitely tell the rheumatologist that the OT he's asking to review patients is at best lazy, at worst a dangerous practitioner.
No you won't be regarded as an awkward patient if you go to your GP. Tell he/she about your 'lazy adrenals' - any GP I know would be horrified that an allied health professional is attempting to 'diagnose' their patients, especially with such woo bollocks as this.

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Thu 15-Sep-16 08:10:21

She did offer support too, but it was around the idea that my adrenal gland is tired. Though I guess the suggestions will probably be the same regardless of the cause of the fatigue? So I can do them anyway smile

Re my thyroid, my dad has hashimotos, but mine has only recently been tested (they only did TSH and T4, but they were normal)

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 15-Sep-16 08:46:26

Punk - * Every symptom known to man gets attributed to 'thyroid problems' on here* that's because those of us who have suffered with it have mainly been ignored and left feeling absolutely terrible with 'every symptom known to man' being fobbed off, until one day they finally do the right test or you discover the right medication and - bingo - you feel better!

Beyond normal is quite a wide spectrum and if you're low on the normal range you may still be hypo, especially with a family history of it. Do find out the numbers (your level and the reference range) and at least if you have another blood test in the future you can see if it's moving in a certain direction.

Davinaaddict Thu 15-Sep-16 15:37:16

Also, you should be tested for Hashimotos properly with your Dad having it. TSH and T4 will not tell you if you have it or not.

lljkk Thu 15-Sep-16 20:42:53

...unless a woman has even slightly different periods (different from whatever they usually were), and then all her symptoms relayed to MNers are due to perimenopause. And HRT is the miracle answer.

PunkrockerGirl Thu 15-Sep-16 21:32:37

I appreciate that FeedMe
I've been through the whole spectrum from an overactive thyroid (which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy) to an underactive one following the radioactive iodine treatment. It was grim until the correct dose of medication was reached.
But surely you must have read the posts where every sniffle, bit of tiredness, sore leg etc is responded to by the MN armchair medics saying 'well it's obviously your thyroid, even if its already been tested the results are clearly wrong, go and demand a retest from your gp'. They're like a dog with a bone and apart from anything else, run the risk of steering the poster away from something more serious which may be causing the perceived symptoms.
I feel sorry for the Gp's having to deal with the continual flow of 'Ive been diagnosed with a thyroid problem on MN, I demand blood tests now' brigade. And even when the results come back clear, MN medics will insist that they're incorrect so what are you going to do about it

lljkk Fri 16-Sep-16 05:33:47

No no no, Punkrocker, perimenopause explains all on MN even when the blood tests don't indicate anything. Because GPs are "ignorant, dismissive and out of date". Whereas MN armchair medics "really know their stuff".

For under 25s, presumably unwelcome unexplained health systems are all bizarre immuno problems, too. But I don't read those threads so I'm not sure what their fashionable disorder is.

PunkrockerGirl Fri 16-Sep-16 07:43:00

grin grin

BeyondASpecialSnowflake Fri 16-Sep-16 15:43:25

Is 30 too young for perimenopause? wink

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