There has been evidencereported that adrenal dysfunction is commonly found in patients with ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic and well-known CFS/Fibromyalgia physician, recommends using small doses of cortisol to treat adrenal dysfunction.
The adrenals are glands about the size of a pea located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing hormones that help us deal with stress. When the adrenal glands are not properly functioning, as is seen in CFS & FM, it becomes impossible for these patients to deal with stress without causing further fatigue and symptoms.
Adrenal fatigue is typically caused by prolonged or extreme stress or can happen after an acute or chronic illness/infection. This is particularly true with upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
I know I am physically unable to deal with stress. As soon as I get in a stressful situation, my body shuts down and I can’t function.
Which comes first -the adrenal dysfunction or the chronic illness? The symptoms of ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia alone would be enough to wear out the adrenal glands. But is it the initial adrenal dysfunction that causes these symptoms and causes the body to start breaking down, making it more vulnerable for illness?
Adrenal fatigue shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can cause many physical problems. See if any of these sound familiar to you:
- low blood pressure or hypotension
- low blood sugar or hypoglycemia
- dizziness when initially standing
- decrease in metabolism
- weight loss
- muscle and joint pain
- hair loss
- weakened immune system
- excess facial and body hair
- diarrhea and/or constipation
- excessive skin color changes
- craving salty foods
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are very similar to those of ME/CFS:
- muscle/joint pain
- sleep disorders
- heat/cold intolerance
In more severe cases of adrenal fatigue, the person can bepractically bedridden. The more severe the adrenal insufficiency, the more every organ and part of the body is affected. Adrenal fatigue can last for as little as a few days and as long as years or a lifetime.
Any chronic illness will have an effect on the adrenal glands. If you have a chronic illness where one of yoursymptoms is morning fatigue, your adrenal glands are most likely not functioning properly.