As the body's key hormones fall below the minimum required reserve for normal function and output fails, the body may down-regulate the amount needed to preserve what is on hand for only the most essential body functions . This near-failure state (Phase D) is quite serious and requires professional attention. This is a state of extreme low energy as the body tries to conserve to survive. Normally helpful nutrients may backfire with paradoxical responses being the hallmark. Those in Phase D are usually bedridden most of the time. Normal daily chores need ambulatory help. Traditional macro-nutritional approaches may be helpful. But, the body may continue to decompensate. In these cases, a carefully titrated micro-nutritional program may be necessary to help the restore the body.
The lower levels of cortisol and adrenaline, combined with the disruption in the daily cortisol cycle, are what cause many of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. The tiredness, inability to focus, disrupted sleep cycles and more can all be traced back to our levels of these stress hormones. Other symptoms like low sex drive are related to the disruptions in our hormone cascade that result from HPA axis dysfunction. And seemingly unrelated symptoms like frequent urination or cravings for salty foods can be linked to lower levels of aldosterone, another adrenal gland hormone.
Even your propensity to develop certain kinds of diseases and your ability to respond to chronic illness is influenced significantly by the adrenal glands. The more chronic the illness, the more critical the adrenal response becomes. You cannot live without your adrenal hormones and, as you can see from this very brief overview, how well you live depends a great deal on how well your adrenal glands function. For a more detailed explanation of adrenal function, please refer to Dr. Wilson’s book: ”Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome”, and read Chapter 22: “Anatomy and Physiology of the Adrenal Glands”.