The Real Epidemic: Our Adrenals and Fatigue!

Okay, not. Not really. Scott Gavura reviews the quackery that is adrenal fatigue over at Science-Based Medicine today.

Boy, I bet most of us have those symptoms. We're tired. All the frakking time. How wonderful to have this ready made answer of adrenal fatigue. Why, there's all sorts of products out there that will promote adrenal functioning! Thank the alties; there's a cure!

Hey, it must be real if Mercola's all over it, and you know that he is! Mercola writes "When your adrenal glands are fatigued, a condition known as adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion, your entire body feels it and suffers from extreme exhaustion as well."

Oh no! Say it ain't so. One of my favorite people in the world has Addison's, which is a serious disease which leads to death when not treated. It is scary shit, to say the least, although it can be  managed relatively well. It's always a factor, though, not something one can ever forget she has. Stresses, illnesses, traumas require increasing the dosage of hydrocortisone to help the body handle the situation since someone with Addison's no longer makes her own glucocorticoids (and some don't make mineralocorticoids).

It's frustrating to have a family member have such a significant and very real disease and see woo-nuts like Mercola try to convince the masses that they have a less extreme form: 

"When your adrenal glands become depleted, it leads to a decrease in certain hormone levels, particularly cortisol. The deficiencies in certain adrenal hormones will vary with each case, ranging from mild to severe.
In its most extreme form, this is referred to as Addison’s disease, a condition that causes muscle weakness, weight loss, low blood pressure and low blood sugar, and can be life threatening."

Mercola's source for his adrenal fatigue is the same James Wilson that Gavura skewers in his post. It's like the quacks have this private club where they get together to conspire to sell each other's made up diseases and made up cures. And lest you think that About.com has a lock on being science-based because they've got a medical review board, it appears like their review board is more than a bit like Huff's review board.

Of course, Mercola's got a whole string of suggestions, too. And boy, this one is a keeper: "Probably the single most important area is to have powerful tools and strategies to address the current and past emotional traumas in your life. Prayer, meditation and meridian tapping techniques can be very helpful here. If you were to focus only on one area it would be best to concentrate in this area as this really is the central key to restoring your adrenal health." Seriously, go check out his link on meridian tapping! And hey, if tapping doesn't work for you, it's your own fault: "some people may have a hidden agenda for maintaining their life the way it is, and therefore resist changing. There are people who don't want to face the changes that getting rid of a phobia would require of them."

You know, them meridian tapping techniques are so important, and can cure everything if only you believe! Wow, but you know, you've got adrenal fatigue and sometimes, you need more than tapping; it's not like you can tap yourself to an instant cure, you know. You are powerfully ill, and it's gonna take shitloads of time to get better: 

  • "six to nine months of recovery time for minor adrenal fatigue
  • 12 to 18 months for moderate adrenal fatigue
  • Up to 24 months for severe adrenal fatigue[10]"
Oh dear gods, let's say you bought this crazy shit. And let's say you really actually had Addison's. You do Mercola's suggestions and you'll be dead. Addison's kills. You have to get it caught, identified and begin replacement glucocorticoids or you will die. No doubts about it. Woo can be dangerous and looking on the internet for the answers to your health problems instead of seeking medical care is stupid. Of course, if you really have Addison's, you will be too ill to do the google searches.

Listening to quacks to diagnose real medical conditions is a risk I'm not willing to take; no one should be. Real fatigue and exhaustion can signal real health crises. It may be yet another case of folks using words vaguely again, which is a kick in the ass to people who are incredibly ill. Addison's literally puts a person down for the count; she is unable to rouse the energy to get to the bathroom, let alone carry on the daily activities. Death seems preferable to what the person is feeling. I've watched my loved one too many times go through Addison's crises to think much of folks who take a very real, very dangerous disease and pretend that they suffer from a more mild version.

What Mercola, Wilson, and other quacks are promoting is catering to folks who are busy, don't eat right, don't exercise, and don't sleep enough. They offer them a catchy title that fits right in with our busy, stressful lifestyles. Indeed, Mercola's suggestions for treatment gives many the permission to slack off, take it easy, sleep in:

  •         "Listen to your body and rest when you feel tired (this includes during the day by taking      
                  short naps or just laying down)
  • Sleep in (until 9 a.m. if you feel like it)
  • Exercise regularly using a comprehensive program of strength, aerobic, core, and interval training
  • Eat a healthy nutrient-dense diet like the one described in my nutrition plan, according to your Nutritional Type
  •           Avoid stimulants like coffee and soda, as these can further exhaust your adrenal    

 I don't know that this will fix anything, other than get you in trouble at your job if you consistently sleep in and lie down on the job. We all know, though, that eating right, exercising, and sleeping enough are important for feeling well. 

Of course, Mercola doesn't stop at the whole eat, sleep, and move suggestions: "You may also want to see a physician well versed in bioidentical hormone replacement, and get tested to see if you could benefit from the use of DHEA. DHEA is a natural steroid and precursor hormone produced by the adrenals, and levels are often very low in people with adrenal fatigue. Keep in mind, of course, that DHEA is not a quick cure, and should not be used as a sole treatment."

And there's more. You have no idea of just how many adrenal stressors there are! Holy cow, we are doomed! We need to head over to Wilson's site and buy his products

Hey, there are tests, you know! Spit in a tube, and you too can know if you have adrenal fatigue! For less than 200 bucks, you can know, so that you'll be able to order the right stuff from Wilson's site! 

It's a scary, scary syndrome, you know; Jigsaw Health reports that "Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, affects an estimated 80% of adults at some point in their lives. Yet, it is one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the U.S. Often, patients go from doctor to doctor trying to find out why they feel exhausted and sick. Too often they’re told that there is nothing wrong with them or, worse, they are made to feel like hypochondriacs." You're gonna need a lot of products to deal with it, of course. Imagine, 4 out of 5 of us have this and don't know it! Drats. That's okay, though, we can get this all in one from Jigsaw, for only 70 a month!

Adrenal fatigue is huge, at least as far as the quacks are concerned. There's lots of money to be made off people, especially if you can convince 4 out of 5 folks they've got it. 


kathleen said...

I was going to take a class in meridian tapping..but my adrenal exhaustion stopped me...hee!

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KWombles said...

Roger, I linked to the science-based article in my post. :-)

I doubt there's any woo that some parent hasn't touched on. Sigh.