Adrenal Fatigue—"You'd be amazed how many people have adrenal insufficiency," says Burr-Madsen. The reason? Stress. "If you want to whip your adrenals into a frenzy, eat a lot of sugar and caffeine, and work overtime, over-stimulate your adrenals." Adrenals are our "fight or flight" mechanism, and in today's stressed-out society, many of us are at risk of burning them out. Warning signs include severe fatigue, lack of alertness, inability to concentrate, anxiety, blood-pressure fluctuations (especially low blood pressure), mood-ness and low immunity. Although Burr-Madsen relies on muscle testing (applied kinesiology) to locate adrenal dysfunction, many practitioners use saliva tests, measuring cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands) at several points throughout the day. Abnormal cortisol patterns point toward adrenal trouble. Stress reduction is key to recovery, so diet and lifestyle changes are essential, including adquate rest, more "quiet" time and a nutrition-rich diet devoid of caffeine, sugar and other stimulants. Siberian ginseng, licorice root, L-tyrosine and B-complex vitamins are among the recommended supplements.
Most M.D.s don't acknowledge adrenal fatigue—and therefore don't generally test for it.
Heavy-Metal Toxicity—While conventional medicine may not dispute the health-damaging effects of toxic metals, when was the last time you were tested for mercury, cadmium or lead? "Metal poisoning is a very common problem," notes local acupuncturist Scott Sommer, L.Ac. (Licensed Acupuncturist), and it's really no surprise: Toxic metals are everywhere, from the water we drink to the amalgam fillings in our teeth. Like most holistic practitioners, Sommer routinely tests for toxicities of these and other dangerous environmental substances, such as pesticides. Although he believes hair analysis also is an accurate means of measuring metals, Sommer uses muscle testing;. gauging the patient's response to each of the offending substances. If a response to a particular substance is weak,.toxicity is indicated. By using herbal and nutritional supplements in conjunction with acupuncture, Sommer says, He is able to "pull out" the toxins and restore wellness.
Intestinal Dysbiosis—Don't let the fancy name scare you: Intestinal dysbiosis is just a term for altered intestinal bacteria. "It can be an overgrowth of problematic bacteria or a displacement of a good bacteria," explains Carolyn Weisswasser, N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor), of Whitewater Naturopathic Medicine in Grass Valley (Her husband, Gregory, also is an N.D, Repeated or long-term use of antibiotics increases the odds of developing dysbiosis, Weisswasser says, because such medications kill both "bad" and "good" bacteria, creating an environment in which yeast (such as Candida), parasites and bacteria can thrive. "It's a relatively common problem," says Weisswasser, who uses comprehensive digestive stool analysis as a diagnostic tool. Conventional doctors tend not to test for dysbiosis and would instead .... more