Just to recap, your adrenals can’t become fatigued or broken, as we discussed in the last post called Is Adrenal Fatigue A Real Thing? However, your adrenal hormone output can become dysregulated, which can result in a real clinical condition called HPA-D (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction). This term includes how your adrenals and brain communicate. When your brain senses danger, it signals your adrenals to release stress hormones, including cortisol. When the danger cues are acute or sustained, this line of communication can become disrupted, resulting in dysregulated cortisol output over a 24-hour diurnal rhythm. Fortunately, this is a condition that can be measured and healed. But first and foremost, it must be addressed in a lifestyle-forward approach.
You can’t medicate or supplement your way out of HPA-D!
We wish you could take a magic pill for this, but alas, it requires work! It takes lifestyle changes and consistency to turn things around. In functional medicine, we call these “modifiable lifestyle factors.” These include specific ways to adjust your sleep, stress, nutrition, and movement to support healthy adrenal hormone rhythms. It’s crucial to modify these lifestyle factors in order to heal HPA-D. The good news is that these modifications/hacks are in your control. However, the adjustments needed will vary according to what pattern of HPA-D you have. That’s why testing is useful to understand your cortisol pattern, so you can apply the specific lifestyle hacks you need.
Supplements and herbs can certainly help your healing process; however, these also need to match you—or more specifically, your cortisol pattern. You need to know if your project is to raise, lower, or regulate cortisol and your HPA axis. Purchasing an “adrenal supplement” doesn’t guarantee that the ingredients will address your expression of HPA-D. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach!
Both lifestyle hacks and supplement prescriptions need to be personalized to fit you as an individual. We know it can be overwhelming and confusing to search the internet to find what’s right for you. That’s why we offer 1:1 appointments where you can get the right testing and action plan to heal your HPA-D. You can even order adrenal labs first, so that when you have a new patient appointment, you already have the results in hand to jumpstart your healing journey.
Introducing the Fix Your Adrenals course!
For those who don’t have access to 1:1 appointments, we created a DIY course just for you called Fix Your Adrenals. All of our DIY courses offer the means for you to apply a customized functional medicine approach to your situation. We teach you about your symptoms and underlying root causes, assist you with ordering the appropriate labs, show you how to assess your results, and walk you through applying the lifestyle hacks and supplements that match you as an individual.
In the Fix Your Adrenals course, you’ll learn to assess your own cortisol pattern (with or without labs), and hone in on the right lifestyle hacks and supplements for your situation.
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