Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome Stage 3B Preview
This is Dr. Lam welcoming you to our discussion on stage 3B adrenal fatigue syndrome. Stage 3B is also called hormonal axis imbalance. Remember that the whole Stage 3 itself is called Adrenal Exhaustion. It has four phases, and stage three A is usually characterized by HPA-axis dysregulation. While in stage 3B we’re starting to see a hormonal axis imbalance which we are going in to more now. Now remember that the body's hormonal modulation is controlled by different axis, and axes are simply a way for us to group the function of the hormones from various glands into one single unit because they tend to behave as a consolidated item. Now there are upstream axes which includes the HPA axis: hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis that modulates the adrenal call backs function in terms of steroidal hormone synthesis.
There's also the HPG, or the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal hormonal axis, which governs the females ovarian and menstrual cycle. One axis that is seldom looked at is the OAT axis. Now, remember the HPA as well as the HPG axis, what we call upstream axis in the sense that they connect the brain which is the hypothalamus to the endocrine organ. Now the OAT axis governs the function between the ovarian system, the adrenal system, as well as the thyroid. That's why it's called the OAT axis as you can see from this diagram here. That’s the OAT axis. In Stage 3B, as HPA dysregulation occurs in 3A leading to hypoglycemic low blood pressure and, slight anabolic state advances, then in woman the downstream hormonal axis becomes further deregulated and in men, it will have the dysregulation of the AT axis.
Now we will go into OAT axis first, and it's important to understand that in the woman while we concentrate more on the OAT axis, the application is same for male, except of course you take away the ovarian system, but the person does have low libido. So taking a step back, what we'd like to know is to see that the ovarian system, the adrenal system, and the thyroid system are well-balanced. They are like a three legged stool, and you cannot really sit safely on this stool unless all three are in good balance. Now the problem clinically is what we see when you have an ovarian adrenal thyroid axis imbalance because you see the symptoms are really convoluted because they represent dysfunction of all three groups and they can be quite misleading.
So, the common symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, myalgia, weight gain, joint pain, exercise intolerance, brain fog, sugar intolerance, baby borderline diabetes, dry skin, feeling cold, slow metabolism, inability to lose weight, PMS, endometriosis, irregular menstrual cycle, fiber cystic breast disease, anxiety, depression and accumulation of fat at the waistline. Now this group off common symptoms is overwhelming to even the best off physicians, because they are simply quite massive in nature, but generally you can divide them up into three classes. Obviously all the PMS and endometriosis symptoms represent estrogen type problems that are tied into the ovarian system. The dry skin and the low metabolism are tied into the thyroid, and the rest ties into the adrenal system. That is very important. You have to understand, is that even for a woman that has had her ovaries removed, they can still have the OAT axis imbalanced because estrogen production and modulations are involved not only in the ovaries, but also at other places including the adrenal glands as well as the fat cells on the adipose tissues where estrogen has produced.
So, therefore those who have stress as well as overweight are particularly vulnerable to estrogen dominance even though they may have a complete hysterectomy for whatever issues they had before. Now, OAT axis imbalance is still a very new entity. What we know comes from clinical observation, and much more research is needed. So at this point we need to make sure that we don't call this a disease state because we still have much we don't know. But what we do know is that this situation is very common and when the OAT axis is not balanced you can have many, many other problems that arise.
Let's go through the following key points. First, the body's hormonal organs are tied closely together through various axes. The lesser-known OAT axis, as well as the better known HPA axis regulates the stress system. Number 2, When the OAT axis is disrupted, there’s an imbalance of hormones that leads to symptoms of estrogen dominance, low-energy--which is adrenal involvement, as well as hypothyroidism. Number 3, each portion off the OAT axis affects the other imbalances of one versus the other and vice versa.
Such as estrogen dominance will worsen adrenal function, which in turn, will aggravate estrogen dominance. Adrenal fatigue syndrome also lowers thyroid function, which in turn, will worsen adrenal fatigue itself. The OAT axis imbalance is often missed. Symptoms of ALS and hypothyroidism are very similar and therefore sufferers are often times treated for hypothyroidism when the underlying problem is adrenal function.
It is very common to stimulate the thyroid function in an attempt to reduce fatigue. This strategy often fails over time, and makes AFS worsen if, indeed, adrenal fatigue is the problem. Within the OAT axis each component of the axis is not equally damaged. One of the components is usually more damaged than the others and presents itself as a dominant symptom, and therefore, it masks the other symptoms.
Knowing which component axis is dominant is important because this will allow the condition to structure a recovery program that's the most appropriate. This is Dr. Lam, and I hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion on the Stage Three B ovarian adrenal axis imbalances as well as the AT axis imbalance which is classical for hormonal axis imbalance as a whole the characterizes this stage of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.
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