Note: I have over 20 questions about adrenal fatigue sitting in my email inbox, asked by visitors to Anne’s Health Place. So starting today, I’m going to do my best to answer these questions, one each week.
Is it true that once the adrenals are “used up” that they are gone and your body can’t replenish?
This is a question I ask myself almost daily. Can organs of the body heal? What is the definition of healing anyway? How do we know if we’re better? (And more importantly, will I have to cope with chronic fatigue for the rest of my life… or someday, will this all be a distant memory?)
That I ask myself this question so often should tell you something of my answer.
I just don’t know the answer.
Here are some opinions, though.
If you are “catching” adrenal fatigue early, you are more likely to make a full recovery. However, if your adrenals get so bad that they aren’t functioning much at all any more (and you’d know this because you’d either be dead or on a prescription to replace the hormones that your glands aren’t making), then I’m not sure how much you can recover.
One visitor wrote to me,
“I do not believe Addison’s disease is incurable.”
Well, I’d love to agree with her, but I’m not sure I do. You see, the definition of Addison’s disease is that at least 90 percent of your adrenal cortex has been destroyed (source). There is no documentation anywhere that the adrenal glands can regrow, like the liver can. If my hand were chopped off, could it regrow?
However, at least a portion of the adrenal cortex is probably still working, for if Addison’s disease were discovered when 100 percent of the gland was destroyed, then the poor patient would be dead! So the question might better be, Can a person function with good health on less than 10 percent of the adrenal cortex? This would be similar to asking if a person can function with good health on a partially damaged kidney or heart.
Yes, I believe that this might be possible! Again, the sooner the problem is caught, the less damage would have occurred and the easier it would be to recover.
I have listed steps to recovery from adrenal fatigue previously on my blog, as well as on Anne’s Health Place, so I won’t go over those again today. Just keep in mind that the worse the damage is, the more strict you’d obviously have to be to function with good health.
So can the adrenal gland be healed? I’m not sure. I don’t think any scientists know this either. Most doctors will tell you it’s impossible. Some alternative physicians may propose that it could happen. I just don’t know.
I’d sure like to think so! I DO know that it’s possible to live a good life, with occasional bumps in the road, even with a chronic disease. I also know that the Bible says I’ll die someday, no matter what I do to try to prevent it. I know that God is able to miraculously heal — although He doesn’t always choose to do so. Finally, I know that I can prevent some of these serious health problems in my children and grandchildren, so this is a great place to expend some of my energy.
The jury will remain out on this one. Ask me again in another 40 years. I might have more wisdom then.