I am starting this thread as I see a lot of women with this problem , but I dont think the general population really understand the mechanics.
OAT Axis Imbalance.
In the women, there is an very strong interlinked relationship between the ovarian ,adrenals, thyroids, and system. These three organs are intimately co-dependent on each other for optimal function. This axis , also called the Ovarian Adrenal and Thryoid axis ( OAT) must be balanced if a women is going to feel good. If the adrenal is weak, cortisol production will be affected. Excessive cortisol creates a condition of thyroid resistance. Thyroid hormone may be low or normal, but tissue fail to respond as efficiently to the thyroid signal. This resistance applies to nearly all other hormones such as insulin, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. That is why stress, when chronic , makes you feel so rotten, like a slow-motion train wreck in progress. None of the hormones are allowed to work at optimal levels. Sugar level becomes imbalanced, blood pressure regulation is affected, Menstrual flow can become irregular. Even the brain is less sensitive to estrogen. Estrogen replacement often becomes ineffective, and symptoms of estrogen dominance like weight gain at the hips, water retention, moodiness is commonly observed despite normal estrogen levels. Hot flashes persists. Any serious attempts to normalize this triad must consider adrenal recovery as the first step.
The use of anti-depressants, thyroid replacements, and ovarian hormones often makes women with OAT axis imbalance worse. Physicians become confused. Patient becomes frustrated. It seems that nothing helps as the patient enter a downward spiral and cascade of multiple symptomatology surfaces, including depression, insonomia, fatigue, metabolic and hormonal imbalances that only seem to get worse the harder they try to get better. Failing conventional therapy, many turn to natural compounds. There are a wide variety of nutrients for the adrenals, thyroid ,and ovarian system. . Its not unusual to see many people take a full battery of these nutrients, like Vitamin C, DHEA, pregnenolone, natural progesterone, and natural thyroid replacement, just to name a few. In the beginning, this may be helpful. Unfortunately, a short-gun approach by taking many nutrients at the same time seldom works and may even backfire. The higher the dose the worse the patient becomes.
All thought on this is welcome. I have been helping women with this imbalnce for many years and on the verge of doing more clinical research on this. Because I see most advance stage adrenal fatigue cases that is refractory to convention and alernative therapies, I like to get a feel from the board the extend of interest in this
>>>If the adrenal is weak, cortisol production will be affected. Excessive cortisol creates a condition of thyroid resistance. Thyroid hormone may be low or normal, but tissue fail to respond as efficiently to the thyroid signal. This resistance applies to nearly all other hormones such as insulin, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. That is why stress, when chronic , makes you feel so rotten, like a slow-motion train wreck in progress
My 77 year old father, and I, both had the saliva tests done, through an ND--he also had us do blood testing just to see where the thyroid was at. Looking at the blood tests for both of us-- MD's have told us our health was very good, no problems with the glands...the saliva tests showed a much different story.
What you are saying about the ovarian connection, is also what we've discovered with my father after having had brachy radiation treatments for prostate cancer...and 2 shots to kill the testostrone. That was 3 years ago, and the "hot flashes" have continued--not as bad as they were, but he still has them.
Also, just before we discovered the prostate cancer, my mother had just died several months before that--they had been married close to 50 years. Alot of chronic stress.
His adrenal test is showing that his adrenals are extremely exhausted. Ref. values are 23-42 for the total of the 4 taken...his is at 9.
As expected..his DHEA is depressed
His insulin is elevated: (range 5-20) his is at 46
Progestrone is low (optimal 22-100) his is 16
Total Salivary SIgA is depressed (normal 25-60) his is 19
He tested positive for Gliadin intolerance (positive over 15) his is 32
and positive for Eggs intolerance
In his androgen pathway,
the FSH (Follicle Stimulating hormone) normal for all ages is below 125--his is 173
LH (Luteinizing Hormone) normal for all ages 10-25--his is 62
MUCH MUCH different story than what the MD's have seen on regular blood tests for thyroid panel. It showed within the "normal" range for both of us.
In the muscle testing the ND has done for my glands- hypothalmus/pituitary have been very weak, along with the adrenals/thyroid. He's had me (both of us) taking natural supplements for the glands.
My test wasn't as bad as dad's--my cortisol was above normal; DHEA below normal; SIgA was also depressed.
I had celiac confirmed in an endoscopy and blood test 2 years prior to the saliva test--my Gliadin was within the normal range--dad's was way above it...and the ironic thing was that I had him take the blood test when I found it in myself because it runs in families and my brother has it--his blood test showed fine...
His saliva tests, especially, told a much bigger story about why he has been so exhausted (besides the stress he'd been under).
thank you for your detailed post. This kind of imbalance is quite consistent with my eexperience. Most MDs are not trained in recognizing this imbalance.
By the way, a bit of natural progesterone may help the hot flashes in your dad's case if it bothers him. I see male with enlarged breast as well and applicaton of the cream on the breast can be very helpful . Just a tip.
THank you for posting here! I see alot of people on CZ that have an idea they have adrenal problems, and assume it's just the adrenals that need to be addressed. As you said, "Axis"- how the glands all affect other glands. Hypothalmus/pituitary/thyroid/adrenal Axis)
I did also buy the James Wilson book and supplements to try to treat myself...and felt somewhat better, but the book made much more sense to me after I had gone through the saliva testing, and had a better understanding of how the glands are supposed to work together.
The ND mentioned it as being like a "train wreck" too-- with the hypothalmus being the engine of the train, and how when the glands are out of balance, the train gets derailed.
Thanks for your suggestion for the progestrone for dad too--when the shot was given to kill the testostrone, they told him to expect that he would have the hot flashes for about 6 months--that was 3 years ago, and he's still having them. Not as frequently as he did, they were awful for the first couple of years.
thanks for your kind words.
The HPA axis has been well defined, but the OAT axis is much less, and that is what I am working on.
For males in general , only 5 mg of natural progesterone is needed to keep the estrogenic effect at bay which is far lower than female. he may be interested to read about it in my article called progesterone and another one called prostate in my public educational website
I am glad you have a good handle on adrenals. be careful on too many supplements. They tend to work well in the beginning and then stop "working' at some point for a lot of people, and then they feel worse. Those are the ones that seek me outfor help.
Dr. Lam, oddly enough I just finished reading on your website about the OAT axis...
I am currently struggling with low thyroid, low female hormones, low potassium, low vitamin d, and low iron...that I know of. That said, I also believe I have adrenal fatigue from a life filled with stress and from dealing with what has been diagnosed as BP for the past 8 years... I also belong to a group on power-surge.com where many women seem to be suffering from these problems but doctors seem to be unable to resolve these issues. Many of the women are on hydrocortisone, female hormones, and thyroid meds but can't seem to get relief.
I've read that the adrenals have to be treated first, but how does one survive if you are just treating the adrenals when you are also suffering from thyroid and female hormone deficiencies that are debilitating for us?