All the lab results are in from my blood work and from the saliva hormone kit I sent out!
If you haven’t yet read the first post in this series, check it out here. It’s called My Functional Medicine Experience: First Impressions. Just to recap, my Functional Medicine doctor originally suspected I may have Hashimoto’s (instead of hypothyroidism), adrenal fatigue and insulin issues.
The great news is, I do not have Hashimoto’s or insulin issues. Praise God!
So here are my lab results…
- My adrenal glands are “flat-lined”, in the words of my doctor. Cortisol levels are severely low all day, as well as my EQ (E3 / (E1 + E2)) Ratio (Estrogen Quotient), progesterone and Pg/E2 Ratio (Progesterone to Estrogen).
- Hypothyroidism is still my body’s thyroid disease of choice.
- Lab results concluded that my vitamin D levels are at a 12 (should be between 60 and 90).
This doesn’t sound all that bad, right? What’s a little adrenal fatigue? In fact, adrenal fatigue is so insignificant to conventional doctors that I’ve yet to find one that will even slightly consider it as an issue. Adrenal fatigue symptoms are considered so general (to mainstream medicine) and as a result it’s rarely entertained as a root cause.
In fact, most don’t even recognize adrenal fatigue as being real at all.
In 2016, São Paulo university released an article with the title: “Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review.” It’s conclusion was that, “there is no substantiation that “adrenal fatigue” is an actual medical condition.” (1)
While that’s incredibly discouraging, we know the findings of conventional medicine research cannot be blindly trusted, especially when “the main issue seemed to be study design, rather than hard results.” (2)
The low cortisol levels that define adrenal fatigue to a Functional Medicine doctor fall “within the normal range”, according to conventional medicine. Similarly, the treatment for adrenal fatigue is supplements, a nutrient dense diet and healthy lifestyle changes, which a large majority of the mainstream medical community does not see as legitimate medicine.
Lab Results: Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Increased Forgetfulness
- Foggy Thinking
- Mood Swings
- Fluid Retention/Bloating
- Decreased Mental Sharpness
- Morning Fatigue
- Afternoon Fatigue
- Evening Fatigue
- Excessive Worry
- Decreased Stamina
- Diminished Motivation
- Ringing in Ears
- Dizzy Spells
- Sugar Cravings
- Food Cravings
- Hot Flashes
- Night Sweats
- Weight Gain
- Decreased Labido
- Decreased Flexibility
- Burned Out Feeling
Let me tell you, these symptoms are real. These symptoms are my every day. I am so thankful for Functional Medicine and the fact that I no longer need to rely on the medical “expertise” of conventional practitioners.
Lab Results: Adrenal Fatigue Resource
If you would like a credible resource on what adrenal fatigue truly is and what causes it, see this post series by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD of The Paleo Mom titled: “Demystifying Adrenal Fatigue, Pt. 1: What Is Adrenal Fatigue?”
My doctor and I deduced that the cause of my severe adrenal fatigue was and is lifelong, chronic emotional stress. My body no longer has the chemical ability to release cortisol as it should or the above named EQ hormones and progesterone. The supplements we are using to combat all of this will most likely be required the rest of my life. Maybe one day I’ll go into what attributed to this level of emotional stress but for now I’m not ready for that.
Let’s talk about the trail of questions asked by my Functional Medicine doctor that lead to the suspicion and discovery of my deficiencies.
For anyone interested, you can click here to view a blank copy of all the paperwork I filled out as a new patient, complete with the Metabolic Assessment Form that contains approximately 150 questions focused on revealing areas of concern.
Oh, and the pricing sheet, which is the most important deciding factor for many… including myself!
Please understand these documents are for use as an example only. All Functional Medicine doctors will have their own version and pricing will vary! My hope is that access to this information provides you with some clarity as to what you should expect going into a first appointment and motivate you to take the first step. ♥
(Clicking the link above will simply open up a free 10 page PDF file in a new tab.)
My doctor, who is amazing, was able to navigate my health based off the answers I provided. After much conversation about how I feel, my history with other doctors and my concerns, we began to discuss which tests would be most beneficial and gain me the most lab results for the least amount of cash. We established exactly which tests I was comfortable with and could afford. Only then did he order them. This doctor was considerate, handed me tissues when I cried, spent TIME with me and truly listened to everything I had to say.
I was blown away.
Needless to say, Functional Medicine is the way to go. Please consider it for yourself!
The next few post in this “My Functional Medicine Experience” will be about the supplements I am taking under the direction of my FM doctor. 🙂
Axe, Dr. Josh, DC, DMN, CNS. “Adrenal Fatigue: What Is It? Plus 3 Steps to Overcome Naturally” DrAxe.com, November 1, 2018. https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-heal-adrenal-fatigue/
Cadegiani FA, Kater CE. “Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review.” PubMed.com, August 24, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27557747
Ballantyne, Dr. Sarah PhD. “Demystifying Adrenal Fatigue, Pt. 1: What Is Adrenal Fatigue?” ThePaleoMom.com, December 5, 2016. https://www.thepaleomom.com/adrenal-fatigue-pt-1/
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