It Could be From Your Medication or Supplements....
I frequently hear patients tell me they've been diagnosed with 'adrenal fatigue'. As an expert in the field, I'm here to tell you there's no such thing!
If your cortisol levels are low....there are hundreds of other reasons. You can only blame your adrenals if they've been removed or damaged from an infection or autoimmune disease.
So, what else can lower cortisol levels? Some very common but often overlooked culprits are prescription drugs and some nutritional supplements.
Here's some very basic science (sorry...but necessary):
1. The hypothalamus in the brain has to tell the pituitary gland in the brain which has to tell the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
2. The adrenal glands can only make cortisol if they get the memo and have the right ingredients (like progesterone)
It gets very complicated, but the simple explanation is there are several places along the 'memo line' where the 'make cortisol' command can get derailed.
Prescription drugs and certain supplements are notorious 'memo disruptors'. Here are some of the common offenders:
· Steroids (i.e. prednisone)
· Statin drugs (i.e. Lipitor)
· NSAIDS (i.e. Ibuprofen)
· Birth control pills
· Conventional hormone replacement therapy (i.e. Prempro)
· Blood pressure medications (i.e. beta blockers)
· SSRI Antidepressant medications (i.e. Zoloft)
· Benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax)
· Sleeping medications (i.e. Ambien)
· Antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl)
Supplements can also lower cortisol levels by disrupting the memo stream. These include:
· Omega 3
If your dragging through your day, and your daytime saliva cortisol pattern is flat or sluggish, check your pill list...the answer could be there.