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The following article is Part II describing problems that effect many people with "low energy".  It is written by a colleague and mentor, Dr. Weatherby.  If you have questions or want to schedule for an initial evaluation  for your symptoms, please call the office at 614-529-8171....

Low Energy States- Part II
Dicken Weatherby, ND

In Part 1 of this series of article on the low energy states we looked at the following as being major contributors of low metabolic energy:

  • The thyroid gland cannot produce enough T4. The body is trying to produce less energy because it is trying to conserve energy.
  • Adrenal glands that are too weak to deal with the body's increased metabolic activity, which forces the body's energy production to slow down.
  • The actual chemical creation of ATP can be compromised by chemical interferences such as increased levels of metabolic toxins, a lack of essential ingredients (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other accessory co-factors), inhibitory factors such as Trans fatty acids, or a general breakdown in the energy production system due to auto-immune disease or viral damage.
  • Imbalances in essential hormones such as Human Growth Hormone (HGH), Testosterone, Progesterone, or Estrogen.
  • Severe calorie restriction.
  • Nutritional deficiencies

When one or more of these factors begins to emerge we see the symptoms of low energy start to emerge.

Some of the Symptoms of Low Energy States

Low Energy States in the body can produce a myriad of signs and symptoms that we must be aware of. Although many of these symptoms appear to be unrelated, they share a common root in a low metabolic energy.

General Symptoms

  • Low body temperature
  • General feeling of cold
  • Low energy, also described as fatigue
  • Slow wound healing
  • Difficulty gaining or losing weight

Cognitive Function

  • Mood disorders: depression, anxiety
  • Cognitive problems: poor memory and focus
  • Sleep problems: insomnia

Cardiovascular

  • Blood pressure abnormalities: high or low
  • Raynaud's disease and capillary problems

Neurological

  • Increasing numbness in hands and feet
  • Loss of senses: vision, smell, taste

Gastrointestinal

  • Tendency towards constipation
  • Gas or bloating
  • IBS

Dermatological

  • Tendency towards dry skin
  • Acne
  • Skin pallor
  • Brittle hair

Endocrine

  • Infertility (both male and female)
  • Menstrual irregularities and disorder
  • Low libido

Musculoskeletal

  •  

As you probably worked out the above list is a mix of symptoms of both low thyroid and low adrenal function. The diagnosis for these symptoms is low energy, the cause is due in most cases to either an adrenal or a thyroid abnormality. In order to get to the true cause of a patient's low energy state it is essential to be able to sort out a patient's symptomology in terms of the adrenal and thyroid function. Each of these dysfunctions have a unique symptomology profile that will help you key in to the causative factor.

The symptomology patterns of adrenal and thyroid dysfunction are about 90% opposite of one another. Recognizing this can have profound effects on the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of low energy states. There are of course non thyroid and non-adrenal causes of low energy, and there are a number of symptoms that are shared by both the adrenals and the thyroid (hair loss, poor memory, poor concentration and focus).

Dr. Bruce Rind, a medical doctor who has pioneered much of this work, has made some interesting observations about the different symptomology presented by men and women:

"Women have a much higher ratio of low metabolic energy problems due to adrenal and thyroid dysfunction. The ratio is roughly 8:1."

"Light skinned individuals have a tendency towards weaker adrenals and dark skin individuals have a tendency towards weaker thyroids, while olive skinned individuals tend not to have weak adrenals or thyroids."

The following is a summary of some of the most important differentiating symptoms (S/SX) of Adrenal fatigue and low thyroid function.

S/SX

Thyroid

Adrenal

Eyebrows

Tend to lose outer 1/3 to 1/2 of the eyebrow

Tend towards fullness

Tissue under and around the eyes

Tend to have puffy eyes with bags underneath the eyes.

Dark circles under eyes. More sunken than puffy.

General body type

Tendency towards weight gain. Weight can be global or localized. Weight is very hard to lose.

Tend to be thin and cannot gain weight easily

Facial color

Red and ruddy complexion

Pale color especially around the mouth

Hair

Tend towards coarseness. May be sparse.

Tends to be thin and wispy. Dry and may fall out easily.
Sparse hair on forearms or lower legs.

Skin

Poor healing. Normal thickness though may easily bruise.

Dry and thin. May notice that the fingerprints are smoothed out. Look for longitudinal wrinkles over finger pads (Dr. Rind)

Ligaments and general connective tissue

Not that flexible.

Tend towards lax ligaments. May be "double jointed". may complain of joint sprain or strains.

General state of fluids and secretions

Skin tends towards the oily. Fluid retention common, especially in the pre-tibial area.

Tend towards dryness and cannot hold onto water well.

Sensitivity to light

Not really that susceptible to night blindness or light sensitivity.

Often have light sensitivity and tends towards night blindness. May report that they see a strong after image when a strong light is shone in face (Dr. Rind)

General pain pattern

May complain of muscle and/or joint pain esp. in feet or lower legs

May complain of headaches and/or migraines. Pain usually in muscles rather than joints, though can strain or sprain joints easily.

Temperature patterns

Tend towards a low body temperature usually below 97.6. The temperature is low, stable and does not fluctuate very much. May be in low 90's

Adrenal types are known as thermal chameleons as their temperature is never stable. Hot when it is warm and cold when it is cool. Cannot regulate temperature very well. The body temperature is low and usually below 97.6. The important part is that the temperature is low and always changing.

Perspiration

Tend to be more oily than sweaty.

In early stages of adrenal fatigue they may show marked perspiration. Cannot sweat in advanced stages.

Mood

Tendency towards depression. Little to no anxiety.

Tendency towards anxiety, panic attacks, and insecurity. Little to no depression.

Stress

tend to be able to tolerate a marginal amount of stress.

Cannot tolerate stress. It overwhelms their system.

Sleep patterns

Tend towards sleepiness and sleepy type of conditions (narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and waking unrefreshed)

Tend towards sleeplessness (insomnia, waking up at night unable to go back to sleep, waking unrefreshed.)

Exercise tolerance

Exercise tires them out. Can't exercise much.

Exercise causes fatigue. Body temperature drops after exercise (Dr. Rind)

Orthostatic hypotesnion

No

Yes

BP

Normal to very high. Poorly controlled by meds (Dr. Rind)

Tends to run low. Ranges from 110/70 to 80/50.

GI

Tend towards poor digestion but often say that it is good.

Hard time digesting protein due to low stomach acid or hypochlorhydria. May say that they have hyperacidity when it is clear that they tend towards a low gastric mucosal barrier, which causes gastric irritation. Better with supplements to protect mucosa such as DGL or cabbage extract.

Bowel transit time

Slow transit time leads to constipation. May actually be due to poor peristalsis.

Fast transit time causing an irritable bowel. Poor enzymatic digestion of food leads to a strong tendency to malabsorption. May do well with pancreatic enzyme supplementation.

Food cravings

Fat

Sweets

Blood sugar regulation

Tend towards high blood sugar (>100 mg/dl)

Tend towards low blood sugar and hypoglycemia. Lack of cortisol output to raise blood sugar via gluconeogenesis causes hypoglycemic crashes and a need for small meals.

Immune function

Tends towards infections due to underactive immune system.

tends towards allergies, sensitivities and autoimmune problems due to an over-reactive immune system.

My recommendation is to see how many symptoms your patients have from each column. This will tell you which system is predominant for low thyroid or low adrenals. None will have all of the above symptoms, but the more they have the more severe the condition.

I hope you find this useful. In part 3 I will take a look at the thyroid panel and present a new and interesting way to interpret your patients' thyroid values on a chem. screen. Part 4 will focus on the latest methods of assessing low energy states using body temperature testing.

Until next time,

Dicken Weatherby
© 2005 Weatherby & Associates, LLC

Dr. Dicken Weatherby is creator of the best-selling 'Full Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis System". To learn more about Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis and to sign up for his FREE Functional Diagnosis articles and FREE audio class, visit www.BloodChemistryAnalysis.com

Note:  The link for this article will be useful for health professionals, though not for patients...Dr D.

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