To diagnose this problem is impossible almost. For a sure diagnosis, doctors or neuropaths make many tests and several times too for every little thing. This means you need knowledge and experience for a sure diagnosis. It may need a few visits to the doctor’s just to make sure you have the adrenal fatigue.
The testing can be done in few ways. There Is the hormone test, cortisol and thyroid tests among these. Then there are the more used tests by doctors and naturopaths like ratios of hormones/neurotransmitters.
At last, we have the physical testing for the early stages of the fatigue diagnosis.
For a sure diagnosis you need lab tests and also patient feedback. These are the main tests below:
- Cortisol test- this is the main one. But, it comes in various forms. The doctor might need to examine the saliva, urine or blood to see the cortisol levels. The saliva is the best accurate so far since it measures the cortisol in the cells where hormones are most vivid. You need to hydrate well before testing to get best results. Another thing is having 1 test only is not enough. For best results, at least 4 samples have to be tested during 24 hours. The cortisol can vary from high at noon, to low at night. It even drops by whole 80% and this is normal. The tester has to measure the average value here but also the morning one. Now, as far as results go, the doctor has to be a pro for adrenal fatigue signs. Labs usually tell only of low cortisol levels. At last, the doctor must order at least one test minimum for the cortisol levels. Once you get the diagnosis, you can further monitor better.
- ACTH challenge test- another test very important as well. The dose of ACTH or adrenal corticotrophic hormone is injected and the cortisol is measured once more. This impacts the output of hormones just the same as stress event. This way you see your responses in the adrenals to the stress. If the cortisol spikes high or double, the adrenal is in great shape. If it doesn’t spike too much, there is a problem.
- Thyroid test- what is the point of this test? One part of the endocrine system or HPA will not be separated from the thyroid or other parts. Everything in the body is connected so problem in one area, can be seen in another. For this fatigue, a weakened hypothalamus and pituitary gland creates low thyroid work. I.e., if the blood shows hypothyroidism the problem might be this fatigue.
Many tests show this issue and they are blood tests. The most crucial one is the cortisol among others.
- TSH- the thyroid stimulation hormone is made in the pituitary glands as a response to the work in the hypothalamus. The TSH makes T3 and T4 the most crucial thyroid hormones.
The TSH levels has to be in proportion to the thyroid. If there is too much T3 and T4 the gland makes less TSH. Also, if you have hypothyroidism then the TSH will be high since you make more hormones. This goes for cortisol too.
For fatigue patients the thyroid works slowly so the TSH will be 2.0. or more. The lab limits are between 0.50 and 4.50.
- Free T3- this is tested by doctors on hyperthyroid issues. T3 is made when the TSH is arousing the thyroid. When mixed with other thyroid tests you get a full picture of the bad work of the thyroid. The best values are between 300-450 pg/ml ranges and labs allow lowest of 230 pg/ml.
- Free T4- just like the T3, this is made when TSH arouses the thyroid. We have more T4 than T3, but the T4 has less effects on us. If we make not enough T4, the TSH rises.
- Total thyroxine TT4- this goes with the previous tests. The total thyroxine includes the T4 amounts bonded with proteins and this tells you how much T4 your body has to use up and to save.
- Integrative doctors testing- as above, different hormones are tested differently. A doctor would not order these, but naturopaths will.
- Cortisol DHEA ratio- this tells you to what stage are you exactly in this health issue. The first stress stages, cortisol and DHEA are high at this point. When the body makes efforts to make stress hormones, the DHEA drops. This is due to the stress hormone producing process steals from the sex hormone producing sources. Also, now cortisol is dropped as well. This ratio along other tests determines the stage of the fatigue.
- 17 HP cortisol- the 17 HP or hydroxyprogesterone is coming before the cortisol or in raw material that the body uses up for making the cortisol. In this fatigue issue, there are higher levels than 17 HP versus the cortisol.
- Neurotransmitter test- the neurotransmitters are the vital parts of the endocrine system. They transfer messages between cells and like the cortisol they deplete after big stresses. Recent studies compared the neurotransmitter level to the healthy levels in other patients. The test is best done in the morning through urine. Not many labs do it.
- Alternative testing- during the first cases of this fatigue, these tests were not available yet. For diagnosis, doctors made many various tests in clinics or at home. Of course they are less correct than blood or urine tests and their results can mean other issues besides the fatigue. Still, they are not to be taken less for granted.
- Iris contraction- it was first used by Dr. Arroyo in 1924 and this shows the iris when exposed to dark and light. Those with weak work of the adrenals could not have the iris contracted for long. For this test, be in a dark room in front a mirror. With a light flash in the eye, from one side. In hypoadrenal state the pupil will not be contracted longer than 2 minutes and will dilate even with the light. If you have healthy adrenals the contraction will last more.
- Postural blood pressure that is low- if you stand up and you are healthy, the blood pressure normally rises. With this fatigue, there is no change in the pressure. A severe drop in the pressure is serious fatigue. This is a simple home test: use the pressure monitor to see the pressure while resting and then stand up right away.
Do you have adrenal fatigue issues?
Are you tire all the time? During the whole day? Can you cope with stress? If yes, you have adrenal fatigue. The Adrenal Fatigue Solution is written by Fawne Hansen and the Dr. Eric Wood. In the book you will read about: diagnosing, reducing stress, diet advice, pros and cons of some foods, and a plan for improving this situation.