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CHRONIC FATIGUE / ME - in detail
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Adrenal support and nutritional factors in the stress response
The adrenal steroids are the family of hormones that permit us to make long term adjustments to stress. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis. The sequence of hormone actions begins in the brain and ultimately stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce hormones that affect many body functions.  
The adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA are steroids produced in the adrenal cortex. They are involved actively in the body’s development and growth, immune response and cardiovascular function. Cortisol affect carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism, serve as inflammatory agents, moderate thyroid function and increases resistance to stress. DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the body and produced by the adrenal gland and converted to testosterone and/or oestrogens. If low affects sex hormones.
Thus, fluctuating amounts of DHEA and cortisol may signal important alteration in adrenal function that can profoundly affect an individuals energy levels, emotional state, disease resistance and general sense of well being.
Health conditions associated with hypercortisolemia which then leads to hypocortisolemia are;
Stress
Ageing
Depression
Schizophrenia
Chronic fatigue
Insomnia
Obesity
Depressed immune function
About 1-10% of the steroids in the blood are in free state. The rest are bound to carrier proteins. This binding can be inpaired due to slight genetic abnormalities and this can lead to adrenal hyperfunction which leads to hypofunction. Only free steroids can diffuse into target tissues and are considered biologically active.
Saliva testing measures free circulating, biologically active hormones-these can be high or low. When low are a major cause of chronic fatigue.
While the variation in cortisol output is related to stress, the circadian rhythm of cortisol is linked to the sleep/wake cycle. Hence cortisol levels through the day show up sleep and energy fluctuation problems.
The brain is the primary site for control and increased anxiety from the brain due to emotional stress initially but then feeds into a viscous cycle of biochemical changes and inbalances which feed back to the brain. It becomes a viscous cycle like a vortex of decreasing health and low functioning biochemistry. Nutrient treatment is vital in this instant as drug intervention is the only alternative and drastic but may become necessary.
During times of stress, cortisol levels increase and accelerate the breakdown of proteins to provide the fuel to maintain body functions. This breakdown (catabolic effect) must be balanced with periods of rebuilding to maintain good health especially using a good diet of balanced protein and slow release carbohydrates. Under the influence of cortical steroids, humans can adapt to new stresses and survive until the defence mechanism is exhausted or until the stress subsides.
Muscle protein breakdown caused by increased stress hormones can be reduced by admininistration of amino acid’s.
However adrenal exhaustion is common and this results in chronic fatigue/ME. Radical intervention is needed and administraton of DHEA can help overcome the loss of adrenal output
Precursors of DHEA and CORTSOL is PREGNENOLONE and this can be administered by a Consultant.
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Joshua 1:9
This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.