Depressed But Antidepressants Don’t Work? Adrenal Fatigue or Neurotransmitter Imbalances May Be Responsible.

Determining the root cause or causes of depression is not an easy matter. Symptoms of depression include persistant feelings of sadness or even despair, difficulty concentrating, impair memory, sleep problems, weight gain or loss, loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, lack of energy, fatigue, being unable to feel adequately rested, anxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughts, slow speech and slow movements, digestive pain, head aches, and other pains.

Many of the psychosocial situations that create depression can also cause neurotransmitter imbalances and adrenal fatigue. Job problems, the illness or death of a loved one, divorce, an abusive spouse, child custody battles, and many other common problems can create the symptoms of depression. But knowing that some or all of that list of symptoms of depression are present does not tell you the underlying cause with any certainty. Yet doctors often simply assume they “know” that since you have a stressful situation that your depressive symptoms must be treatable with an SSRI antidepressant. If only it were that simple!

Why SSRI Antidepressants May Not Work

Having low serotonin levels is often spoken of as being “the cause” of depression, almost as if there is no other possible reason. But that is far from the case. Most of these symptoms of depression listed above also apply to a variety of neurotransmitter imbalances apart serotonin.

If you have been diagnosed with depression and have tried antidepressants and find they are not effective, it is very possible that your symptoms may have nothing to do with low serotonin. But low or high levels of many neurotransmitters can also cause a variety of symptoms similar to low serotonin. Without testing, it is difficult to know the real cause.

High levels of epinepherine (adrenalin) can cause sleep difficulties, anxiety, and problems with attention and concentration. Low levels of epinepherine can cause fatigue, lack of attention and concentration, and weight gain or difficulty losing weight. High and low levels of norephinepherine can have similar effects as high and low levels of epinepherine, but high norepinepherine might also raise blood pressue. The same problems can occur from other out-of-range neurotransmitters including glycine, taurine, GABA, glutamate, PEA, and histamine.

Yet low serotonin is the first thing that comes to mind for most doctors when they hear of somebody with symptoms of depression who has psychosocial reasons for it. And when they think of serotonin, it is like their minds fixate on the big pharma literature message of “SSRIs are the answer to all depression — just keeping trying them until you find one that works for this patient”. Out comes the prescription pad, and probably the first drug that will pop into mind is whatever the latest and greatest SSRI being touted by the big pharma rep who just took the doctor to dinner or golf or the one at the top of the “cost effective” list published by the HMO. It’s a very common mistake to jump the gun like this.

The most common antidepressants today are SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) that work by modifying the availability and action of the important neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. But people who are suffering from other neurotransmitters imbalances and/or adrenal fatigue could have all the above symptoms and yet have normal or even high levels of serotonin. That means that many of the most common SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, and many other variants are probably not going to do a thing to help you. They could instead just make matters worse, causing troublesome side effects while draining your wallet and misleading you from getting a real cure.

So if you’ve tried various antidepressants and are having no luck, consider getting your adrenal function checked. You should get tested for your cortisol levels four times during the day, at waking or 8am, noon, 4pm, and bedtime or midnight. You should also get your DHEA level tested. Low DHEA can present some of the same symptoms as the low cortisol levels that often come from adrenal fatigue. In fact, the adrenal glands are involved in making both the DHEA and cortisol hormones.


Adrenal Insufficiency

Every one of the above-listed symptoms of depression can also be caused by a condition known as adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue.

Very severe adrenal gland failure can be caused by Addison’s Disease. Most of the time that is caused by an autoimmune reaction that severely injures or destroys the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is generally not as severe in its impact to hormones, but can come close.

Often adrenal fatigue is caused by long-term chronic stress and environmental factors that are similar to those that are traditionally thought to be connected with low serotonin related depression. Damaged adrenal glands often fail to produce enough hormones, particularly cortisol and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). This often causes the same set of symptoms typically associated with low serotonin related depression although the physiological cause is entirely different. Adrenal gland damage can be insidious, taking months or years before the damage is severe enough that the symptoms because intolerable.

Adrenal problems can generally can be detected by testing for cortisol and DHEA levels as those are two of the major hormones produced by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and they pump out a variety of important hormones besides cortisol and DHEA including pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone, corticosterone, and aldosterone. If this hormone factory isn’t working well, the impact to the body can be staggering and pervasive and can cause a range of symptoms including every one of the symptoms of depression listed above.

You may have noticed the list of hormones above didn’t include forms of estrogen such as estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Those are derived from androstenedione and testosterone, so a shortage of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands may also impact the various estrogen levels, too.

Also of note is that if you have noticed very rapid weight gain, it is possible that your cortisol levels are too high and you might be suffering from something called Cushing’s syndrome. Many of the symptoms of high cortisol are like those of low cortisol. This make it all the more important to run tests before trying a treatment for an illness that may be related to imbalanced cortisol.

Differentiating Between Conditions With Depression Symptoms

Sadness, anxiety, insomnia, low energy, extreme fatigue, chronic pain, and painful intestinal problems are also among the more common symptoms of the health conditions fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, and probably many others. There is research that shows unbalanced hormones, particularly the adrenals cortisol and DHEA and the thyroid hormones, are often found in people diagnosed with any of these conditions.

One person can have multiple interrelated health conditions with overlapping symptoms. This makes it particularly difficult to figure out what is wrong. If you are suffering from symptoms that match multiple conditions then you are going to need to do some testing to narrow down the most likely root cause or causes and then start working on correcting them one or two at a time.

A common thread to the findings of people with any of these types of disorders is that they often see their test results look OK when they feel OK and look bad when they feel bad. So you may need to test on different days, with lab slips or test kits ready to go based upon how you are feeling. Often times, if you can see a pattern that affects how you feel then that is a hint to the underlying conditions. For instance, if you feel far worse at night and morning and better in the afternoon or evening, it may have something to do with a hormone that varies by the time of day. Cortisol is particularly likely to vary by time of day, but other hormones may also vary in this fashion.

Why is there so many commonality of symptoms across so many differently named conditions? One obvious reason is that the body’s symptoms are heavily interconnected, thus making problems in one area likely to cause problems in another particularly when it involves something with actions throughout the body like hormones. Another obvious reason is that many of these conditions worsen inflammatory reactions and those reactions when chronic tend to produce lasting pain and cause the body’s repair mechanisms to go haywire.

Distinguishing Between Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism

It is often very difficult to distinguish between low thyroid function and adrenal fatigue, especially when both are present at once. Dr. Lam’s website contains a chart comparing the characteristics of adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism which is very helpful. You’ll notice there is a lot of commonality of symptoms.

It is entirely possible to suffer adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid problems simultaneously. Doctors with expertise in treating both have found that trying to fix the hypothyroid problem without fixing the adrenal fatigue problem is possibly going to worsen the overall health condition. The general rule is that poorly functioning adrenals are likely to cause the thyroid to function poorly, also.

As a result, doctors who have expertise on treating both conditions tend to treat the adrenal fatigue problem first and foremost and then monitor the thyroid problems to see how they change. They may wait to directly treat any remaining hypothyroid condition until after determining that adrenal function has improved measurably.

On the web page with the chart I mentioned earlier, Dr. Lam offers a good explanation for why treating hypothyroidism without treating adrenal fatigue can cause worse health problems. The essence of the explanation hinges on the observation that reduced thyroid hormone levels are often the body’s way of protecting itself from excessive energy demands by ramping down metabolic rates. If you force the thyroid function to increase by adding more thyroid hormones but the adrenal glands are damaged, it can put much more stress on the adrenals and cause them to fail even further.

Two really easy measurements that can help distinguish between the conditions are body temperature and blood pressure. Low body temperature is often present in both conditions, but with adrenal fatigue it is more variable. You’ll need to measure it a few times per day, try to base it upon consistent times after waking and measure it apart from meals or physical activity. Measure it a couple of hours after waking, then four hours after that, then another four hours later, and again just before bedtime. For instance, if you wake at 8am, then try 10am, 2pm, and 6pm (just before dinner), and just before going to sleep at 10pm. If you see a lot of variability in temperature from the average, it is more likely you have an adrenal fatigue problem.

Take your blood pressure lying down or sitting down and then again immediately after standing up. Healthy people or those with early adrenal fatigue are likely to see their systolic blood pressure increase a bit when they stand to help maintain the overall diastolic blood pressure. People who are suffering from high cortisol levels will often have higher blood pressure than before their cortisol levels rose from stress. Those with late stage adrenal fatigue and low cortisol will see their systolic blood pressure drop, sometimes by 5 or even 10 mmHg after standing. This is because the adrenal glands cannot pump out enough hormones to help the body quickly regulate blood pressure. Often these people will experience dizziness from standing, too. There of course could be other reasons for these symptoms, but they are a solid clue suggesting that you need some more definitive testing to better understand your adrenal function.

Ordering Cortisol, DHEA, and Neurotransmitter Tests

It is often difficult to get mainstream doctors to order appropriate tests. Psychiatrists in particular often dole out SSRI prescriptions one after another, trying every variant under the sun, without it working and without running any tests to see what really is wrong. As a result, you may need to see an integrative medical practitioner or take matters into your own hands and order your own tests. Ordering your own tests can often save you a great deal of money. You can take the results to a doctor after reviewing them yourself to get additional help.

Strangely enough, you may actually need to explain some of the test results to many mainstream doctors who are not familiar with using them. Be prepared to do some reading to understand them. If you’re stumped, you can leave a comment on this message and I’ll help you try to make sense of your results. For privacy reasons, please don’t use your real name.

For the best understanding of your cortisol levels, you really need to run tests at four times of the day. Probably the most convenient way to do this is via saliva tests. Unfortunately, some people have a lot of trouble making enough saliva so you may need to pick a day that you can stay at home and relax while you do collect test samples every few hours.

A few good sources for cortisol saliva tests you can order on your own include:

ZRT Labs Diurnal (4 times) Cortisol saliva test kit

ZRT Labs Cortisol and DHEA tests

PrePaidLabs / Labcorp Cortisol Saliva Diurnal (4 times) test set

If you haven’t had any other hormone testing recently, you may want to pick a set of tests that include testosterone and estrogen, also, as imbalances in those hormones are particularly common in aging men. Such tests that can be done at home via saliva collection include:

ZRT Labs Saliva Tests (Estradiol, Testosterone, DHEA-Sulfate, Cortisol 4 times) and Blood Spot (TSH, free T3, free T4, and TPO thyroid tests plus vitamin D, 25-OH test

Adrenal Hormones Saliva Testing Kit from ZRT labs (Dirunal Cortisol and DHEA-S)

If saliva testing or blood spot testing is not going to work for you because you can’t make enough saliva or have difficulty pricking yourself to get a blood drop, you could use blood draw tests instead.

Life Extension / Labcorp Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) Blood Test

You could use an AM/PM cortisol blood test to get a better idea than you would get from just one cortisol measurement per day. This may be enough for some people, but four tests in a day is better.

Life Extension / Labcorp Cortisol AM/PM Blood Test

Life Extension’s Male Weight Loss Panel Blood Test and Female Weight Loss Panel Blood Test cover pretty much everything listed above other than the cortisol and TPO (a thyroid antibody test), plus they also include a number of other measurements that are helpful for evaluating overall health status that are not included in the saliva and blood spot tests listed above. Those include C-Reactive Protein, a marker for inflammatory conditions, and homocysteine which is a marker for cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

For neurotransmitter testing, one option is to order a NeuroRelief NeuroScan urine test kit online. It includes a consultation with a licensed nurse practictioner regarding your results. A more comprehensive test covering the same neurotransmitters plus saliva DHEA and cortisol tests is the NeuroAdrenal Profile test kit. These tests from NeuroScience are also often available from doctors and clinics, but they often cost more.

Please see my previous article 40% of US Population May Have Hypothyroidism for more discussion on thyroid testing as many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to adrenal fatigue and neurotransmitter imbalances. It is actually very common to have low T3 and T4 thyroid hormones in combination with adrenal gland problems so testing for this is a good step to take.

Related Books

Further Reading

Chronic Stress Kills: High Cortisol Levels Damage the Brain, May Lead to Shorter Life and Neurodegenerative Diseases Such As Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Cortisol Imbalances May Cause Weight Gain, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia

Low Cortisol, Low CoQ10, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Often Found in Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Patients

Melatonin Helps Improve Sleep and Boost Immune System, Little Sign of Toxicity Even At Very High Doses

40% of US Population May Have Hypothyroidism

Meaning and Interpretation of Medical Tests

Adrenal Disease

Adrenal Fatigue: Do You Have It?

Adrenal Fatigue and How to Beat It

Ovarian-Adrenal-Thyroid (OAT) Axis Imbalance


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this post and on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information presented here is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice. Please obtain medical advice from qualified healthcare providers.


Comments

Depressed But Antidepressants Don’t Work? Adrenal Fatigue or Neurotransmitter Imbalances May Be Responsible. — 18 Comments

  1. Pingback: 40% of US Population May Have Hypothyroidism | EmediaHealth

  2. Pingback: Cortisol Imbalances May Cause Weight Gain, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia | EmediaHealth

  3. I heard about this article and bought a four times saliva test kit because the adrenal exhaustion symptoms fit my condition to a T. Low and behold — the tests did show consistently low cortisol levels!

    My doctors didn’t even consider this possibility. They didn’t do any testing to understand my problems, just wrote prescription after prescription for drugs that usually didn’t help at all. Some just made me sicker. They thought Addison’s Disease was the only kind of adrenal failure that is a problem. They thought wrong.

    You need to find a doctor who actually understands this condition from personal experience treating it or suffering from it. Look for somebody who treats many patients with conditions known as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome because adrenal problems are often involved in those diseases. Ask the doctor to explain to you why a single cortisol test isn’t enough to rule out adrenal gland problems. If a doctor can’t explain that, the doctor will be worse than useless to you by wasting your time and money and keeping you sick for years when you could have been helped.

    A lot of people think adrenal failure comes from an infection or from the body attacking the adrenal glands in an autoimmune reaction. But it can be caused by abusive relationships, too. I was emotionally and verbally abused for years by my ex-wife. But what she has done in the divorce is far worse. My health is miserable because she has been abusing me for most of my life. But now I know my adrenals are kaput, there is at last some hope for recovery because there are several treatments for this.

  4. What have you tried for the low cortisol? I am confused. Doctor says hydrocortisone is too strong, won’t prescribe. But it is supposed to be same chemical as cortisol?

    I have tried IsoCort and licorice root. Both help. IsoCort can be bought without a prescription and contains cortisol. I think it works better than licorice root.

  5. Doctors are often scared to prescribe hydrocortisone because of horror stories from high dosages. They view it as a steroid and dangerous. But if you keep the amount of replacement cortisol under around 20mg per day, it is unlikely to cause problems for a person who suffers low levels of cortisol.

    You can help monitor for safety with daily personal observations of your sleep, anxiety, weight, blood pressure, and body temperature to verify that you’re not pushing up your cortisol too much. Too much is bad just as too little is bad. It is a matter of balance.

    If you’re getting too much cortisol, you’ll probably see periods of the day in which you become more anxious, your body temperature is higher than other times of the day, your blood pressure increases, and you’ll start gaining weight. People with too little cortisol have the opposites — they tend to have low body temp, low blood pressure, and may be losing weight. They probably also feel more tired and wiped out than anxious and wired.

    For most people, it’s best to take replacement cortisol after waking and during the morning and afternoon. Don’t take it too late in the day or it will probably keep you awake and anxious.

    I’ve been using IsoCort since my doctor didn’t want to prescribe hydrocortisone, either. I find that I can feel when the cortisol in it starts to wear out. I get more dizzy and tired then. So I was tempted to try taking more of it, even later in the day after dinner. But sometimes it worsened my sleep. I had to experiment some with the dosing to find something that works well. I try to take no more than two of them at a time, but sometimes if I feel really wiped out I might take 4 at waking.

    I’ve also been using licorice root, ashwagandha, and vitamin B5. It’s hard to tell if the vitamin B5 is helping, but I could tell the licorice root (it must the kind with glychyrrhizin) does help keep my cortisol levels up some. It is way cheaper than the IsoCort, but has a more mild effect.

    I think the ashwagandha for me helps normalize the cortisol preventing lows and highs. It seems safe for people with unstable cortisol levels that vary widely, maybe one of the few good choices for them because IsoCort, hydrocortisone, and licorice root might all ramp up cortisol excessively in such cases.

    You might consider trying the IsoCort in the mornings and licorice root in the evenings to help the cortisol last a little longer in the night without getting the levels too high for good sleep. Don’t be afraid to experiment some, but do keep a journal or a notebook with observations on how you are feeling and when you take each supplement or medicine so you can get a better sense of how the dosing pattern affects your symptoms.

    • If you’ve gone to the effort to get cortisol and DHEA testing that show you may be having adrenal problems and yet your doctor won’t prescribe hydrocortisone, you might consider trying small dosages of IsoCort at the times you have low cortisol levels and reporting to your doctor how it works.

      Just be really cautious about not overdoing it. You can make yourself much sicker with high dosages of replacement cortisol, regardless of the source being a supplement like IsoCort or a drug like hydrocortisone. Be sure to read the article Cortisol Imbalances May Cause Weight Gain, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia so that you’re aware that many of the symptoms of low and high cortisol are similar.

      Hydrocortisone probably is somewhat less expensive than IsoCort if you can get your doctor to prescribe it, particularly for those who have very large deficits of cortisol such as those with total adrenal gland failure like Addison’s Disease. People like that are going to need replacement cortisol, there is no likely way around that.

      Alison

  6. Pingback: Low Cortisol, Low CoQ10, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Often Found in Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Patients | EmediaHealth

  7. Please I am not a medical person and I am suffering dreadfully with a whole heap of problems, and most of the time my family are telling me to pull my self together and get motivated! How can I do that when I feel so dreadful, drained, depressed and despondant all the time? I don’t really understand a lot of what has been written but I did do a test which showed that I was a Fibromyalgia sufferer. I have not confronted my GP yet as I don’t think he is very sympathetic towards how I feel and I feel he thinks I am a hypocondriach! I hate being like this and it is ruining my life. I am taking a drug called Citalopram for depression, 20mg daily, but on days I do take 40mg’s! I feel do bad about doing this too! I don’t think it does actually make any difference but I get so desperate that I try anything. I tend to eat a lot of sweet things to give me an energy boost, but from what I am reading this may actually be making matters worse! I used to be so slim and active and now I just feel like I can’t be bothered and I am destined to remain overweight, depressed, in pain and unhappy for the rest of my life!

    Please if anyone does get this message could you please try and explain where I should start?

    Many thanks
    Drained Dame
    UK

    • Drained Dame,

      Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and adrenal fatigue all have many common symptoms. Depression is one of the symptoms, but unfortunately many doctors treat depressive symptoms as the root cause of the problems rather than just one of the many symptoms and therefore they do not good looking for the real cause.

      Have you gotten cortisol and DHEA tests to check for adrenal fatigue?

      You are right that high-carb diets can cause more problems. They may also hint at a serotonin deficiency as carbohydrate cravings are sometimes found to be the result of low serotonin levels. Low serotonin can be caused by many things, one of which is a lack of amino acids necessary to make it. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is necessary for making serotonin. You may want to look into getting an amino acid blood profile and seeing if that gives some clues of what amino acids may be deficient.

      Consider taking protein supplements or eating more protein-rich foods. You may also need to take enzymes (pepsin and bromelain, for instance) and betaine HCl to help digest proteins by boosting stomach acid levels. Sometimes stomach acid levels can become so low that even with a good diet a person cannot digest the proteins effectively. Adrenal fatigue and low cortisol levels are often said to be linked to inadequate stomach acid levels that impair protein digestion.

      SSRI antidepressant dosages generally should not be varied anything other than slowly because it significantly raises the risks of dangerous side effects. Citalopram (brand name Celexa) is an SSRI antidepressant. Taking 20mg many days and 40mg some days is probably not a good idea for this reason.

      There are supplements such as omega 3 fish oils and L-tryptophan that can help some people with depression. Generally speaking it is OK to be using these at moderate dosages even with antidepressants, but do watch for symptoms of serotonin syndrome because taking SSRIs with high dosages of tryptophan, 5HTP, St. John’s Wort, and some other supplements and drugs increase the risk for this syndrome in which blood levels of serotonin become abnormally and dangerously high.

      Do you have any blood test data you can share? Often this provides some good insights as to problems that can be addressed via diet and supplements.

      Hope this helps,
      Alison

  8. Pingback: Chronic Stress Kills: High Cortisol Levels Damage the Brain, May Lead to Shorter Life and Neurodegenerative Diseases Such As Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s | EmediaHealth

  9. Pingback: L-Theanine for Anxiety, Insomnia, and Depression | EmediaHealth

  10. Just be careful because there is no evidence or research to prove adrenal fatigue exists. Neurotransmitter imbalances are still theories but certain studies have been done to back them up.

    • Shaun,

      Addison’s Disease involves the total lack of cortisol. It is extremely painful and debilitating and leads to much more severe symptoms of “adrenal fatigue”. It’s clear that having low levels of cortisol is harmful to the body. Whether you want to call it “adrenal fatigue” or some other name (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.) is beside the point. It is a real problem.

      Not everybody who has symptoms similar to what is being commonly called “adrenal fatigue” actually has low cortisol levels. This is part of why I highly recommend that anybody who thinks they have such a problem get a four-times-per-day saliva test for cortisol levels.

      You could have some other problem that interferes with similar biological processes, for instance very low CoQ10 levels, a problem with levels or activity of enzymes involving in gluconeogenesis, etc. Often a person with very low cortisol will also find some level of these problems, too, if they can be tested for them. But you could have these problems without having low cortisol. Statin drugs, for instance, can totally mess up the body’s CoQ10 supply leaving a person with little energy and severe pain problems that are very much like adrenal fatigue symptoms.

      Alison

  11. Pingback: Treatment of Depression and Anxiety from Divorce and Child Custody Battles Using Antidepressants and Benzodiazipines Is Risky | angiEmedia

  12. YOU DIDN’T MENTION DOING A TMA TEST FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE. DR WILSON SAYS ITS THE BEST………..IF YOU HAVE ADREANL EXHAUSTION AND LOW NEUROTRANSMITTERS DO YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH EACH CONDITION SEPARATELY OR DOES HEALING THE ADRENALS RESTORE BALANCES OF ALL NEURRTRANSMITTERS?

    • David,

      Are you referring to the Tissue Mineral Analysis test discussed in the article The Four Lows Pattern?

      There may be value in that test, however it seems to me to be too indirect on its own. My opinion is that you might use such a test after you already have some test data on your hormones and neurotransmitters via an attempt at direct measurement of them. The TMA test may help you determine why hormones and neurotransmitters are not right. But I am not convinced that it would definitively show on its own that they are low or high, however.

      Adrenal and neurotransmitters problems could be linked. Let me give you an example. Let’s say a person suffering chronic stress for years has reached a stage with very low adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol. Low cortisol tends to result in digestive problems related to low stomach acid. Low stomach acid tends to impair protein digestion because protein digesting enzymes can not work well unless there is enough acid to “unspiral” protein molecules so the enzymes can get in there and clip apart the amino acids. This leads to amino acid deficiencies. And amino acid deficiencies can easily lead to neurotransmitter deficiencies.

      Low tryptophan will tend to lead to low serotonin. Low phenylalanine and tyrosine will tend to lead to low dopamine. Other neurotransmitters can be similarly affected.

      For such a person, taking some betain HCL with pepsin at the start of each meal, adding cortisol (probably via IsoCort, or maybe by low dosage hydrocortisone) in the mornings and maybe afternoons and licorice root (which has glychyrrhizin to inhibit cortisol breakdown and thereby helps make the cortisol last longer) throughout the day, and supplementing with protein powders and amino acid powders would likely help a lot over a period of a few months.

      Health problems like these are not generally fixed in short order. The damage to the body has often taken years to get so bad, so you have to expect it will also take at least a few months to start to show some decent signs of improvement and maybe even multiple years for a full recovery. And of course this depends upon whether the factors that triggered the health problems are still present. For many people, chronic stress life coming from abuse, war, crimes against them and their families (such as by family law courts, police abuse, harassment, etc.), and poverty and unemployment can strongly contribute to causing such problems. Unless those problems are fixed, even competent well-designed treatment programs based upon accurate diagnosis may not be able to reverse the damage. But a good program can still help stop the downward spiral of health in these people, and perhaps with time the chronic stress factors may disappear and allow the program to eventually help them make a substantial recovery.

      Alison

  13. Pingback: Depressed and Exhausted from Divorce and Child Custody Battles? You May Be Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue. | angiEmedia

  14. Pingback: Treatment of Depression and Anxiety from High Conflict Divorce and Child Custody Battles Using Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines Is Risky | angiEmedia

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