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  • Night sweats can be very troublesome. In my July article, Night Sweats? No Sweat!, I discussed estrogen and testosterone deficiencies as a possible cause. Today I’m going to discuss another common cause affecting people: adrenal issues—a condition that not only causes night sweats, but also difficulty falling asleep, and waking in the middle of the night.

    You likely have adrenal problems if you identify with the following:

    1. You’re irritable when hungry (often to the point your crankiness triggers relationship problems).
    2. You have low blood pressure or sometimes experience lightheadedness when you stand.
    3. Your mind seems wide-awake at bedtime. This is often because your cortisol levels, despite being too low during the day, are too high at night.
    4. You experience night sweats. Drops in blood sugar are a common cause of this.

    If this sound like you, taking a supplement called Adrenaplex® in the morning and Sleep Tonight™ at bedtime can be life changers in many beneficial ways. These can be found at and most health food stores

    Adrenal Exhaustion

    Adrenal exhaustion is a common condition caused by the stress of modern life. Estimates are that it affects 16 percent to 67 percent of the population at varying levels of severity.

    The adrenal is your body’s stress handler. You probably learned about the "fight or flight" response to stress in grade school. When you're under threat of attack, your adrenal glands fire to raise your blood sugar to supply quick energy to fight or run. In distant human history, this might have occurred every couple of months. But today, with the increased hustle of modern life, fight or flight can be triggered dozens of times a day! This frequency of stress can exhaust your adrenal glands and cause a malfunction in their normal day/night cycle behavior.

    With adrenal fatigue, your blood sugar levels repeatedly drop during the day. This causes moodiness, fatigue, and anxiety, which can leave you feeling completely stressed out. Sadly, most physicians aren't trained to look for and treat adrenal fatigue. They're only trained in illnesses that destroy the adrenal gland (Addison's disease), which only affects one in 10,000 people.

    Getting "Hangry," The Easiest Sign You Need Help
    The easiest way to tell if you need adrenal support is if you get irritable or angry when hungry, a condition often referred to as being "hangry." I've seen many couples that developed relationship problems because one or the other becomes "hangry" unpredictably. In these cases, treating the underlying adrenal fatigue often repairs the relationship. And at 40 cents a day, this is a much better approach than marital counseling or divorce lawyers.

    So, if you find yourself feeling "hangry" from time to time, ask your partner to not try to reason with or console you when this happens. Ask them to simply feed you. If your bad mood is from adrenal fatigue, it'll be gone five minutes after eating. (Note: If you're a woman and your mood swing is around your menses, then low progesterone is more likely the major culprit.)

    The Vicious Cycle of Stress and Fatigue

    Chronic stress causes adrenal fatigue and low blood sugar levels, which then triggers anxiety and fatigue, which then results in even more stress. It's a vicious cycle that can spiral your health downward.

    Fortunately, this cycle can be easily broken. Supplementing with adrenal glandulars, vitamins C and B5, licorice and tyrosine will usually take care of the problem within a week. All of these can be found in combination in Adrenaplex (for just 40 cents a day). In addition to helping the night sweats, anxiety, moodiness, stress, and fatigue, this also decreases your sugar cravings, which along with the stress, worsens adrenal fatigue.

    You'll also feel more energetic and improve your stamina if you increase your salt, protein and water intake, eat frequent small meals, and avoid excess sugar.

    Low Cortisol Levels
    If in addition to having some of the other symptoms I've described you also feel like your mind is wide awake and "wired" at bedtime, then you probably have a malfunction in the day/ night cycles of your cortisol level. This is when your cortisol adrenal stress handler hormone is too low during the day and too high at night. But then it also plummets in the middle of the night, causing your blood sugar level to drop and leaving you wide-awake with night sweats.

    If this is the case, try eating a 1–2 oz high-protein snack at bedtime such as a hard-boiled egg or some cheese, meat or fish. Don't eat anything sugary or high in carbohydrates, as that will actually make the problem worse. You'll know if this is helping after one or two nights.

    Taking the supplement Sleep Tonight an hour or two before bedtime can also help. This mix of ashwagandha and phosphatidylserine will lower your cortisol levels so your brain can shift into sleep mode (it can be taken with any other sleep supplements or medications).

    Topsy-Turvy Cortisol
    The common conception of adrenal-exhaustion-related fatigue is that your adrenal glands are tired and so can't generate stress-fighting hormones. But it's a little more interesting than that.

    Before your adrenal glands hit rock bottom, they can cause you to go through a period when the normal day/night cycle of cortisol, called the "circadian rhythm," reverses. Instead of being high during the day as they should be, your cortisol levels are too low, leaving you feeling exhausted. And instead of being low at bedtime, which is critical if one is to fall asleep, your levels are too high, leaving you wide-awake with your mind racing. What can you do?

    I've found that if you try taking Adrenaplex (in the morning) and Sleep Tonight (1–2 hours before bedtime) for a few days, and you find that it helps, then you probably have reversed cortisol levels. It's not only a better indicator than any medical test you could take, but it also takes care of the problem! If you'd like to see if you might benefit from adrenal support, try taking the Energy Analysis Program, a free 10-minute quiz (at — click on Step 3) that can analyze factors impacting your energy level.

    Meanwhile, give yourself permission to quit doing some of the things that feel bad in your life. Learn to say no to things that don't feel good. You can blame it on me —just say it's doctor's orders!.

  • Many people have food sensitivities that force them to live on a restricted diet. In some cases, sensitivities continue to develop, and with them even more food restrictions. The restrictions can mount to such an extent that living with them can paint you into a “dietary corner” with virtually nothing you can eat.

    What Causes This?
    There are three main health issues that trigger food sensitivities:

    1. Incomplete digestion of proteins because of insufficient stomach acid or digestive enzymes.
    2. Leaky gut from infections, especially Candida, and other causes. Anti-inflammatory arthritis medications such as ibuprofen are major triggers for leaky gut as well.
    3. Adrenal fatigue.

    Your digestive system is one of your main protective barriers between you and what's unhealthy in the outside world. Because of this, your immune system patrols your gut pretty aggressively. When eating food, especially proteins, these border guards check to make sure that what you've eaten has been properly broken down into their component amino acids.

    You can think of proteins as being long sentences made up of letters called amino acids. The letters by themselves have no meaning, but they represent important building blocks that your body uses to make a wide array of necessary things. But if your body absorbs a long string of these into your blood without properly breaking them down (i.e., an incompletely digested protein), your body will treat it like an outside invader and form a sensitivity to a food.

    So, if your digestive system doesn't completely break down the food you eat, or if its border patrol isn't doing its job and allows incompletely digested food to be absorbed into your body (called “leaky gut”), your body will react. Normally, this reaction is tempered by a healthy adrenal gland. But if your adrenal gland is fatigued and fails in its tempering responsibility, you'll have a perfect trifecta for developing food allergies.

    And it gets worse. When your diet becomes limited, you can be left eating disproportionately large amounts of just a few different kinds of food. Unfortunately, your digestive system is geared towards breaking down wide varieties of foods, and doesn't work as well when it sees the same foods over and over again. When you're forced into this eating pattern, you can find yourself spiraling towards ever more sensitivities with ever shrinking foods to choose from.

    Sensitivity Versus Allergy
    Medically, a sensitivity and an allergy are two very different things. An allergy is when one specific part of your immune system is getting triggered (e.g., IgE antibodies and histamine). Sensitivity is a more generic term for when your body and immune system react adversely to something.

    Most people have food sensitivities, and not allergies. Sadly, most physicians are unfamiliar with food sensitivities and often believe they don't exist.

    Food Allergy Testing
    Most food allergy blood tests are, IMHO, worse than useless. A study done by Bastyr Naturopathic College showed that if you have three tubes of blood drawn, and send them to the same lab (fibbing and writing different names on the three tubes), your results will come back showing you to be allergic to about 20 to 30 foods. But each lab result will show a totally different mix of food allergies — even though all three tubes were drawn from you at the same time! (I should note that the lab ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, founded by Dr. Russell Jaffe, seems to have avoided this “random results” problem.)

    I generally tell people who've already had food allergy tests performed to ignore the results, especially if they were IgG antibody tests. One exception to this is if only IgE testing was done, which would be clearly shown on your lab report. If only IgE testing is done, you will probably have no positive results. And if something does show positive, you can trust that it's a true food allergy and you should avoid that food. However, this test will not look for food sensitivities. My preferred approach to testing? Muscle testing (see next section) in the hands of somebody experienced in the technique can be very reliable.

    A multiple food elimination diet is most reliable, but a nuisance. You can find a “kinder and gentler” elimination diet developed by Doris Rapp, MD.

    Eliminating Food Sensitivities
    Although allergy shots can be very effective for inhalant allergens like pollen, they're not very effective for food sensitivities. But there is a technique that is gentle, yet effective. This is called the Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique, or NAET®.

    NAET uses muscle testing called applied kinesiology to test for sensitivities. Looking at it, my first reaction as a scientist was that there was no way on earth this testing or treatment could possibly work. In fact, until my early 40s I suffered with severe hay fever (ragweed allergy). I met an NAET practitioner who said that she could get rid of it in 20 minutes. Being an all-knowing doctor, I told her “Leave me alone. That voodoo can't help me!”

    A few weeks later, when I was especially miserable, she said “Stop being a nitwit and let me treat you.” Twenty minutes later, my hay fever was gone, never to return.

    One of my mentors, Dr. Janet Travell, used to say, “First see what's going on before trying to understand it. Otherwise, you'll never see anything unexpected.” Physicians such as myself, however, are more likely to follow Winston Churchill's quote. “We often stumble over the truth. Fortunately, we get up, brush ourselves off, and quickly walk away before any real harm is done!”

    Keeping both of those thoughts in mind is part of what got me into trouble as a physician. Instead of closing my eyes to what happened and quickly walking away, I flew to California to meet Dr. Devi Nambudripad MD, PhD, RN, DC, Lac — the physician NAET is named after. Despite all the letters after her name, I found her to be brilliant, with no ego. I studied her technique, and was so impressed that I went back home to Annapolis, and married the woman who had used it to eliminate my hay fever!

    One day years later, I came to work and a little five-year-old autistic girl was in my office who my wife had been helping. I'd seen her many times and had never heard her string more than two words together. That day though, she was running around the office like little Chatty Cathy, seeming to be completely normal. The breakthrough was that my wife had desensitized her to one nutrient group that day, and her autism disappeared!

    I spoke with other NAET practitioners who found this to be a common occurrence in autism. Our foundation then funded, and I was chief investigator on, a study using NAET to treat autism. By the end of one year, 23 of the 30 autistic children were back in regular school. Zero of the 30 in the control group were!

    We published this study, and a large double-blind placebo-controlled study is currently underway. For those of you who know any autistic children, you can find information on how to enroll in the study at:

    NAET is very simple. You just hold a glass tube with the energetic signature of a food. The practitioner stimulates the acupressure points along the spine. And the next day the food sensitivities to that food group are gone.

    I know it's really hard to believe, but it actually works brilliantly. The mechanism is not clear, but it seems to reset the immune system so that it no longer sees that food as an enemy. Kind of like hitting the “restore factory defaults” setting on your computer when it goes on the fritz.

    I recommend having 15 NAET treatments performed to address each of the 15 major food groups. If it isn't clearly helping by the end of those, then it isn't likely to help. Though practitioners can be found at the NAET site, most practitioners aren't there. So, if you're looking for a practitioner to work with, search online for people in your area (although the practitioners on their website will likely be more experienced).

    I have even seen NAET by itself eliminate fibromyalgia in some people with severe sensitivities.

    To prevent the food sensitivities from coming back, it's important to take a good plant-based digestive enzyme (e.g., CompleteGest by Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.) and something to enhance stomach acid (e.g., a vinegar-based salad dressing) with larger meals, eliminate gut Candida and other infections, and address the adrenal fatigue. For the adrenal fatigue, I recommend Adrenaplex® by EuroPharma.

    Simply put, an easy and rather remarkable treatment!