Manage episode 302531359 series 2630153
Between the latest online fads and the crazy media headlines, it’s easier than ever to get confused about your health. If you want to make better decisions about your health today so you can feel better and live longer, you’ve come to the right place.
Is adrenal fatigue a real thing? Is it the culprit behind some of your most frustrating chronic symptoms? Do low levels of cortisol mean that your body is unable to make cortisol? The balance and rhythm of your cortisol levels are immensely important to your health and can be one of the biggest predictors of your longevity and wellbeing, but regulating your cortisol levels can be an unnecessarily frustrating journey with misinformation at every turn.
I’m joined today by Ari Whitten to dive into some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding cortisol. Ari is a best-selling author and the founder of the Blueprint Energy System. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology doing masters work on human nutrition and functional medicine, Ari is an expert on all things cortisol. He addresses the most common misunderstandings surrounding cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue, explains several of the studies that have been conducted on the topic, and shares the one factor that is most likely to point to low levels of morning cortisol levels.
[1:06] Today’s topic is adrenals and cortisol levels and the impact they have on your overall health and fatigue.
[2:10] Ari defines adrenal fatigue and explains the role of cortisol and its role in stress response, fatigue, depression, brain fog, cravings and more.
[6:22] The three basic phases of adrenal fatigue include the acute, intensitory, and exhausted phases, but there is zero science to support any of these phases.
[8:01] Doctors diagnose adrenal fatigue every day while the endocrine society has stated that adrenal fatigue is not a real medical condition — who is telling the truth?
[11:48] Is adrenal fatigue the cause of your symptoms of chronic fatigue and to what extent is chronic stress linked to the wearing out of the adrenal glands?
[14:08] Ari shares the results of his deep dive into the data regarding adrenal fatigue, and how you can break down and understand these studies.
[23:12] A breakdown of the conflicting results and statistics of 59 adrenal fatigue syndrome studies conducted from 1995 to 2010.
[28:15] Is there evidence that people with lower morning cortisol levels have more symptoms than those who don’t?
[34:00] Studies focusing on burnout and cortisol levels show inconsistent results and bring the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy into question.
[38:01] Is HPA slope and stability an accurate predictor of long-term health outcomes? Ari breaks down the variations in and statistical significance of various effect sizes.
[44:05] There are no studies that show a relationship between low morning cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue.
[46:03] Factors that are consistently linked to low morning cortisol levels include circadian rhythm disruption, sleep disruption, and being a night owl.
[48:24] Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover? Contact me on Facebook or Instagram using #medicalmyths.
To learn more:
“There really is no solid evidence supporting a progressive series of events as far as how adrenals respond to cortisol levels.” — Ari Whitten
“Even if you analyze the data in such a way that statistically speaking people with fatigue syndrome lean to slightly lower cortisol levels, the effect size is tiny.” — Ari Whitten
“There is zero indication that any fatigue syndromes are reliably linked with a clear low cortisol pattern.” — Ari Whitten
“I absolutely think that high cortisol levels are a huge problem.” — Ari Whitten