to Forum discussion.
One of the conversations we're going to conduct in the Undoctored
world, starting in the Undoctored book, and then carried on in
the Undoctored websites, is that of adrenal dysfunction. Some people
call it adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal dysfunction can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
It can come as fatigue in the afternoon. It can express itself as
a very difficult time in getting up in the morning — low
morning energy, and an inappropriate surge late at night, like
9 or 10 at night, and some other forms. We won't cover all that now.
But there's a point I'd like to make about adrenal dysfunction.
One of the forms of adrenal dysfunction is an excess cortisol
level. This is most common in stressful situations. I mean
prolonged, severe stress: financial ruin, caring for someone who
has dementia or a child with some long-term problem like autism —
very stressful — and responsibilities that are very hard to
get out of, right? I mean these are very very serious responsibilities,
It's that kind of stress, long-term profound stress that can raise
cortisol levels. Long-term it can often lead to low cortisol levels, but
if you have a high cortisol level identified, the point I'd like to
make is: it's not so much the stress (I think that's an
imprecise way of looking at it), it's the helplessness of the stress
that is causing the very high cortisol levels. This has been shown,
over and over and over again in psychological studies, that it's
stress, yes, but more specifically, more precisely, it's the
Now why do I point that out? Because if you recognize it's a
feeling of helplessness, it can be the first step to
understanding what to do about it, in taking back control
over your life. Now some of these situations you simply can't
get out of. If you have an 80-year-old parent that you're
taking care of, it's not easy. Recognize it's the feeling of
helplessness that is leading to high cortisol levels.
If you can find a way to deal with that helplessness:
finding help, taking control of life in other ways,
it can be part of the path back, to turning off that high
cortisol level. High cortisol levels are among the
hardest of things to turn off. It is key to understanding
that it's not just the stress. It's the helplessness
you feel. Understand that principle, and it might be the
first step in allowing you do undo that high cortisol level.