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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder or Adrenal Fatigue?

"Hi Gary, 
  I just saw your video on youtube and in your video you mentioned that we can email you with details if I think I may have adrenal fatigue.  I've attached the link here:

Here's my situation

About 4 months ago completely out of the blue I started getting serious anxiety problems. I would feel anxious all the time and almost couldn't get into work because of it.  I had tight chest, shortness of breath, heart pounding, dizzyness, upset stomach, etc.  I had just finished stressful summer classes and had just begun a new internship.  I had been drinking a lot on the weekends and had been having personal relationship problems as well.  

At first I thought I had somehow developed generalized anxiety disorder and went to seek therapy.  While the therapy helped me bring my anxiety down to a manageable level, it didn't really get rid of it and I couldn't help but think that this anxiety is physical and not mental.  At that point I still had pretty significant symptoms of poor short term memory and "brain fog" or lack of concentration.  After a couple months of research I came across adrenal fatigue and realized my symptoms matched up pretty well with the condition.  I had gained weight in my midsection (I have a fast metabolism and have never had weight problems whatsoever) which was unusual and I had been experiencing mood swings and slight phases of depression as well as lower sex drive, etc. 

I finally found the pupil dilation test online and tried it out and to my surprise, my pupil would contract for just a few seconds and then dilate and then contract again and so on and so forth.  It would sort of try to contract but could not.  This really piqued my interest so I consulted my doctor and got a hormone blood test.  All my hormone levels came back normal.  

So now I'm sort of confused and my question to you is the following.  Is the pupil test a conclusive test?  Could I possibly have Generalized Anxiety Disorder which is causing me to have skewed hormone levels which throw off my pupil contraction?  Is the hormone blood test accurate or would I have to get a saliva test for cortisol?  I just want to see if there is any way I can absolutely confirm that I have adrenal fatigue before spending so much money on the Dr. Wilson supplements that you showed in your video. 

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back from you."

Thanks for writing in with these questions.

What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder? (GAD)

Referring to Wikipedia:

ICD-10 criteria
F41.1 Generalized anxiety disorder
Note: For children different criteria may be applied (see F93.80).
A. A period of at least six months with prominent tension, worry and feelings of apprehension, about every-day events and problems.
B. At least four symptoms out of the following list of items must be present, of which at least one from items (1) to (4).
Autonomic arousal symptoms
(1) Palpitations or pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate.
(2) Sweating.
(3) Trembling or shaking.
(4) Dry mouth (not due to medication or dehydration).
Symptoms concerning chest and abdomen
(5) Difficulty breathing.
(6) Feeling of choking.
(7) Chest pain or discomfort.
(8) Nausea or abdominal distress (e.g. churning in stomach).
Symptoms concerning brain and mind
(9) Feeling dizzy, unsteady, faint or light-headed.
(10) Feelings that objects are unreal (derealization), or that one's self is distant or "not really here" (depersonalization).
(11) Fear of losing control, going crazy, or passing out.
(12) Fear of dying.
General symptoms
(13) Hot flushes or cold chills.
(14) Numbness or tingling sensations.
Symptoms of tension
(15) Muscle tension or aches and pains.
(16) Restlessness and inability to relax.
(17) Feeling keyed up, or on edge, or of mental tension.
(18) A sensation of a lump in the throat, or difficulty with swallowing.
Other non-specific symptoms
(19) Exaggerated response to minor surprises or being startled.
(20) Difficulty in concentrating, or mind going blank, because of worrying or anxiety.
(21) Persistent irritability.
(22) Difficulty getting to sleep because of worrying.


Gosh!  If we only need to tick a handful of these to be diagnosed with GAD, then we might as well all be on anti-depressants and receiving counselling!  A diagnosis of GAD does nothing for treating the underlying causes of illness.  It only identifies symptoms.  Drugs for GAD only treat the symptoms.  While these may give relief to symptoms this is only temporary and the underlying causes will eventually break through.  The consequence is more medication being prescribes, steady loss of quality of life and more complications such as addiction.

For example:  The cause of tingling, numbness, passing out, depersonalisation, dizziness and difficulty swallowing are all symptoms that may be caused by shallow breathing (hyperventilation).  All that the person may need for lasting cure is some Yoga breathing lessons - not drugs!

Most of this checklist above describe the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.
Refer here:

Manifestations of adrenal fatigue:
  • Alcoholism
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety, anger (short-fuse), irritability, depression
  • Arthritic pain
  • Asthma
  • Adult-onset diabetes - Type 2 Diabetes
  • Auto-immune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ulcerative colitis, many more)
  • Confusion, poor concentration, and memory recall
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cravings for salt or sweet foods
  • Decreased immune response - recurrent coughs, colds, flu
  • Difficulty during menopause (the adrenals take over the role of the ovaries after menopause)
  • Fatigue inspite of sufficient sleep
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Hypoglycemia  - erratic or abnormal blood sugar levels (very common)
  • Increased fears, anxiety, and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Libido issues
  • Premenstrual tension
  • Post viral syndromes (history of glandular fever)
  • Reliance on stimulants such as coffee, tea, energy drinks
  • Reliance on alcohol to "unwind"
  • Reliance on sleeping pills, anti-depressants, and a host of other pharmaceutical medications related to stress-induced diseases.
  • Thyroid problems (many hypothyroid patients potentially have Adrenal Fatigue)
  • Weight gain
Treating adrenals, counselling (such as CBT) and teaching a person how to breath deeply and slowly treats causes and not symptoms.  This holistic approach to the problems being described by "D" can be extremely effective.
Testing cortisol saliva levels over the day is an accurate way of assessing adrenal function.  The pupil dilation test is very helpful.  In the case of "D" who had medical tests for his hormones coming back as "normal", the test would be quite inaccurate if it was, say, a 24 hour urine test.  What this test does not tell us is the circadian fluctuations that occur during that 24 hour period.  Cortisol levels can vary wildly over the 24 hours.  The only way to know what is going on is to take saliva samples every few hours and then test each one separately then compare.
Although I can order the saliva test, I do not bother with it but make good use of the pupil dilation test.  When combined with this self-assessment here we can be pretty sure whether or not there is adrenal fatigue:
Especially when these tools are combined with a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis which accurately shows adrenal and thyroid function by way of mineral patterns.
Dr Wilson's supplements are high quality and more expensive than anti-depressants.  There are no subsidies for non-drugs therapies such as offered by Dr Wilson.  Sadly, this distorts the market, pushing people towards dangerous drugs that are heavily subsidised by you - the taxpayer.
Dr Wilson's pills do come with side effects that are stated as follows:

Looking good and Feeling Great!

If the diagnosis is either GAD or Adrenal Fatigue, I would probably recommend a course of a combination of Dr Wilson's products.  Good health is worth their cost.  

A healthy investment

About this website
The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,
I appreciate your posting up a blog on my specific issue. While all the doctors I have seen say I don't have anything wrong with my adrenals, I am thoroughly convinced that I do. There are too many symptoms that match up. And they refuse to do a saliva test for cortisol and are only basing their decisions off my cortisol blood tests which came back fine. Do you know any place where I can get a tried and true recovery program? I'm willing to give the Dr. Wilsons adrenal glandular a try. Where can I find some info as to a complete recovery plan? Thank you again for you help, I appreciate it very much.


Gary Moller said...

Re the above post...
Here is one of the most informative websites on the topic of adrenal fatigue.

I am a registered practitioner with Dr Wilson's service.

With technologies like Skype distance is not that much of an issue, so I am available to help.