Adrenals Part 4: Healing “Adrenal Fatigue”

To be clear, “adrenal fatigue” is not a real medical condition. It’s actually called HPA-D, which you can learn about here. This post is about healing HPA-D.

You can’t medicate or supplement your way out of HPA-D

I wish you could take a magic pill for this! But alas, it takes lifestyle work. Give yourself permission, time, and space to do this. The lifestyle aspects to assess and balance are stress, sleep, nutrition, exercise, and social support. The basics, right?

Supplements and herbs can certainly help your healing process, and with your HPA test results, you can be accurate about your treatment. For example, do you need to support more cortisol production or do you need to lower it, and when? Do you need to help your body metabolize it? I don’t recommend supplements without knowing what you’re treating.

The bottom line is that In order to fully heal, you need to do the lifestyle work as well. I can’t outline that work for you here in a blog post, because it’s incredibly individual. But I can help you see what you need to do, and give you tools and direction to do it. I can analyze your HPA test and make supplement recommendations based on the results. I did heal myself from wicked HPA-D, and it took a full year to turn my health and test results around. It’s doable! I teach you how to do it in my Fix Your Adrenals masterclass.

My HPA-D story

In 2016 I was a certifiable case of adrenal burnout (HPA-D). And I knew exactly why it happened. Four straight months of relentless STRESS. And this was years before the Pandemic.

In the fall of 2016 these things happened:
  • My special needs son got abruptly kicked out of a private school right after the start of the 6th grade.
  • We found an appropriate school but needed to move to another city to go there.
  • House put on the market, we moved into a temporary rental, and spent every weekend driving to the new town to look for a house in a very competitive housing market. 
  • During this time I was suddenly forced into figuring out how to homeschool, while working.
  • The 2016 presidential election happened during this timeframe.
  • We moved to the new town, late December. in the middle of record-breaking rainstorms.
  • Because of the rainstorms, the bridge (and mail entry) to our new neighborhood collapsed.

No wonder I gained weight, stopped sleeping, got inflamed, and was exhausted! Have you had times in your life like this, when everything explodes (or implodes) for months on end? Times like this are when the HPA axis can take a hard hit.

My 2016 DUTCH Adrenal test:
Dutch hormone test

What looks wrong with this picture? My cortisol diurnal rhythm was literally upside down. At night it was high and during the day it was low. This explained all my symptoms and made perfect sense.

I did a course of focused treatment (lifestyle and supplements) to restore my adrenal function, which always involves working with the nervous system as well. Adrenals don’t have their own intelligence, they are instructed by signals from the brain, specifically the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

My 2017 DUTCH Adrenal test:
Dutch hormone test

Look at this beautiful curve. It took roughly six months to recover from that four-month period of massive upheaval and trauma. With deep, focused healing, I managed to fix my diurnal curve. I felt so much better – with my stress low and manageable, deep sleep, and steady energy.

Do you want my help healing from HPA-D? This is my specialty! You can start with the Fix Your Adrenals masterclass. Taking an HPA-D test prior to the class helps you hit the ground running.

paris healing arts, doctor laura paris, dr. laura paris, dr laura paris

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  1. Wow. Interesting. I have done the dutch. and know some of the causes but I’d be very curious to hear your take on my lifestyle! If there is anything else I can do.

  2. Very helpful quiz! Where can someone find the DUTCH test? Does any functional medicine practitioner offer it? Or only some?

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