Most conventional doctors don't believe that adrenal fatigue actually exists, according to MayoClinic.com. Many alternative practitioners, however, diagnose adrenal fatigue in people who have several non-specific symptoms, including fatigue, weight loss, body aches and skin rashes such as hives. The stress of life and the constant stimulation of the adrenal glands, which release adrenaline, causes the adrenal glands to wear out, according to practitioners who treat adrenal fatigue. Hives can occur as a chronic condition or as part of an allergic reaction. Adrenal fatigue differs from adrenal insufficiency, which is an established medical disorder.
Hives differ from other skin rashes in that they're raised welt-like lesions of varying sizes. Hives might be red, pink or normal skin tone in color, and they move from one area of skin to another. Large hives can blend to form a larger swollen area of skin. Hives blanch, or turn white, when your press down on them. They might itch. Hives can cause airway swelling and difficulty breathing, in some cases, usually related to severe allergy. Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe hives and trouble breathing.
According to supporters of the adrenal fatigue diagnosis, multiple undiagnosed food allergies can cause constant stimulation of the adrenal glands 1. Over time, this leads not only to a decrease in adrenal hormones but also to damage to the intestines, called leaky gut syndrome. In leaky gut syndrome, according to those alternative practitioners who support this theory, proteins leak out of the intestines and into blood vessels, where they cause skin reactions such as hives. Hives often occur as part of an allergic reaction but can also occur as a stress reaction in some people.
To decrease symptoms such as hives, proponents of the adrenal fatigue diagnosis suggest repairing your adrenal glands through more rest, improved diet -- with an emphasis on high protein and low sugar -- decreasing stress and exercising. Most also suggest adrenal gland supplements, which include magnesium, vitamin C and the amino acid GABA. To treat the hives themselves, take antihistamines, if your doctor approves.
If you have a group of non-specific but real symptoms that affect your life, not getting a diagnosis causes fear and frustration. It's important to ensure you're getting the right diagnosis, however, according to MayoClinic.com. Treating hives by addressing adrenal fatigue won't help you if that's not what's causing your symptoms. Ask your medical doctor before starting any type of alternative treatment.
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