Adrenal Fatigue Presenting as Allergies
By Dr. Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, OIM
Many people have suffered from allergies all their lives. Some will relate that they only recently developed allergies, perhaps after a prolonged grief or loss when the immune system takes a dip, or after a hormonal shift such as adolescence, pregnancy or menopause.
Although winter is not typically the season in which we think of an allergic presentation, the stress of holidays, the change in environmental temperature and dietary indiscretions can result in symptoms that present as allergies. When we inquire further, the emotional state of the individual may reveal stressors that have fatigued, if not exhausted, the adrenal glands.
What are allergies?
Allergies represent a number of conditions caused by a hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problems in most people.
Conditions that we are familiar with include: hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis.
Symptoms may include:red eyes, runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy rash, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or swelling, pain in the back or joints.
What makes you sensitive?
One of the most overlooked reason for allergies is adrenal fatigue or its second stage, adrenal exhaustion. The adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys and are responsible for managing your stress. They produce a hormone called cortisol. When a person is chronically stressed, the adrenal glands are called upon to constantly produce excessive amounts of cortisol in response to fight, flight, fear, freeze or faint calls to action. Over time, the adrenal glands become fatigued and then exhausted. They are unable to produce the amount of cortisol necessary to mount a proper defense against the stress YOU are reacting to or producing yourself.
What Causes Adrenal Dysfunction?
Emotional stress: Typically related to grief or loss.
Poor Diet: A diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods, grains and genetically modified organisms, wheat harvested with toxic chemicals such as Round Up ( buy Organic, non-GMO wheat) is a diet that destroys the adrenal glands. The cortisol that the adrenal glands secretes regulates the immune response in your gut. When the gut is stressed by poor diet, immune dysregulation ensues and the body reacts with allergic symptoms.
Chronic inflammation: Inflammation is the hallmark of every major chronic disease in some manifestation or another. Inflammation is a signal to the adrenals to “put out the fire”. It is a form of the adrenaline response fight, flight, fear, freeze or faint. Prolonged inflammation, chronic pain, stress the adrenal glands and cause allergic responses or sensitivities.
Symptoms of Adrenal Stress :
*low body temperature
*quick to lose temper
*constantly on edge
*listless, depressed or emotionally numb
*low sex drive
*overpowering urge to cry
*free floating anxiety
*feeling stressed all the time
*overwhelmed, everything feels like a chore
Adrenal dysfunction is a progressive condition that moves through successive phases. Its symptoms vary as the condition progresses and they are different for men and women. Adrenal fatigue is diagnosed in several ways. The main premise is that it must be treated holistically. That means that the whole person who is suffering must be taken into account, body/mind/emotion/spirit. The premier system of medicine that boasts a robust Materia Medica of medicines that will address the whole person who is suffering is called adaptive network nanomedicine, also know as homeopathic medicine.
A thorough intake along with history, stress assessment, trauma and grief inventory, blood work, adrenal functional assessment and salivary cortisol levels constitute a holistic approach.
Top 3 Integrative Choices:
A thorough consultation that will elicit a totality of symptoms from the mind/body/spirit realms is best done by a Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH). Homeopathy is a unique form of medicine in that it is amenable to both licensed and nationally certified healthcare practitioners. In the licensed area, MD’s, DO’s, DC’s, ND’s, RN’s are the main players. In the nationally Board Certified area, the professional homeopath who has the credential, CCH, is the person whom you would want to consult with. Adaptive network nanomedicine, also known as Homeopathic medicine will address the underlying stress to the adrenals and is the only system of medicine whose medicines address the emotional causation and maintenance of the dis-ease.
Diet can be addressed by an integrative nutritionist. Select one whose qualifications represent current training in neutraceutical supplementation and is well versed in the trending research on high fat, low sugar diets.
Chronic inflammation, pain and the diseases that stem from inflammation are the reason that people seek a first portal of entry physician, or a primary care doctor. In this instance, an integrative and holistic thinking provider will be well versed in the disciplines that will best serve the person. The hallmark of a great practitioner is to know when to refer and with whom to collaborate for the best outcome for the person.
The last word on adrenal fatigue is that it is usually overlooked until the person presents with a thyroid dysfunction. In order to avert the this, investigating the allergic presentation may be quite helpful.
Schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Nancy at www.drnancygahles.com