The stress hormone cortisol is often linked to the adrenal glands, making it seem like only the adrenal glands make cortisol. 

Adrenal fatigue is a concept that’s thrown around a lot in naturopathic medicine and the alternative medicine arena. 

Technically, the adrenals can’t become fatigued fully, otherwise you’d be dead.

While cortisol may go low when one is fatigued it’s often a sign of a bigger issue at play within the body. 

On Monday I talked all about chronic infections hijacking the immune system as well as environmental toxins and more. 

These are the things that cause cortisol to go up when the exposure occurs and down over time as your body is being taxed from something. 

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Recent research is showing that rebooting the body’s cortisol production doesn’t take years as I and many other practitioners previously thought. 

This is exciting to hear and had me thinking…

…if the source of stressor to the body that’s taxing the body’s cortisol production is identified faster, energy and health can be restored faster. 

Where else does the body make cortisol?

  • intestines
  • brain
  • heart
  • skin
  • thymus gland (immune gland that shrinks with age)

Hormones influence cortisol production as do inflammatory markers called cytokines.

Do you remember the term “cytokine storm” from the recent pandemic?

Long haul symptoms causing fatigue from “the vid” are no different than chronic reactivated EBV (mono virus), Lyme, mold mycotoxins, chronic gut infections and more!

The pandemic finally helped conventional science realms link the concept of chronic infections causing fatigue.

Something the alternative medicine field has been talking about for years.

Despite all the research out there on chronic fatigue, it’s still common thought that fatigue is normal with age!

And it’s common in the natural medicine realm to throw a lot of adaptogenic herb formulas at fatigue and keep people on them for years.

As my knowledge and practice has evolved, I’ve learned that while some people benefit from herbs that help us to adapt to life’s stress aka adaptogenic herbs, they often do not restore energy as fast as diving deeper into the areas that cortisol are being made. 

For example, if you have chronic fatigue and anxiety as your main symptoms plus you have heart palpitations, could it be possible you’re making more cortisol in your heart?

Would it then be of interest to look at how well your heart muscle is at making energy and pumping blood?

Could CoEnzyme Q10, Ginko, NAD+ or even electrolytes benefit you more?

Or what about chronic intestinal or gut issues with weight gain in the abdomen?

Why is cortisol linked to belly fat?

Could it be because the intestines make cortisol?

Then the question becomes, what’s stressing out your gut?

The gut has the ability to harbor chronic infections, imbalances or even low grade food sensitivities that keep the body inflamed and producing cytokines.

Is this more of the underlying reason why some people develop belly fat?

What about brain fog, memory issues, ADD and anxiety?

Cortisol messing with your brain function?

I bring these up for you to look at your fatigue in a broader way. 

And to see if you can connect some dots. 

Brain fog, gut and liver issues pair together often.

Hormone imbalances, belly fat and heart palpitations or anxiety are common. 

Anxiety, heart palpitations and hormone imbalances go together.

Skin conditions, gut and liver conditions often show up at the same time.

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What connections are you making in your own health status as you connect locations of cortisol production and your symptoms?

When I first learned that cortisol wasn’t only made in the adrenal glands it triggered me to think about fatigue and other common symptoms in a different way. 

I invite you to ponder that research has shown you make cortisol in your gut, brain, heart thymus and skin, not just the adrenals.  

If any of those areas find themselves with infections, decreased circulation or function there’s a chance you’ll have symptoms of cortisol triggering inflammation in those areas. 

Intrigued?  Me too. 

I’ll be talking more about this as time goes on.

Stay tuned, I’ll be talking about a medication (yes, I know!), that’s being talked about quite a bit lately in the anti-aging circles.

It’s known for helping reduce inflammation in the body related to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s.

Research has show it has helped clear up a lot of the long haul “vid” fatigue symptoms.

It’s called low dose naltrexone. 

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