|Animal-based|| Urine Therapy
Glandular / Live Cell Therapy
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
| ||If cortisol levels are low, one of the ways to sustain more normal levels is to slow or inhibit its breakdown. This can be accomplished naturally.|
The only known readily available inhibitors of the enzyme that deactivates cortisol (11 beta-HSD) are glycyrrhizic acid (found in licorice root extract), progesterone, and flavonoids (in grapefruit). The concept of extending cortisol bioactivity via 11 beta-HSD inhibition is well established, but the manner in which progesterone alters 11 beta-HSD is not currently clear. You could eat 10 to 15 grapefruits or take licorice root extract to sustain cortisol levels. However, licorice root used regularly in large doses can produce high blood pressure, water retention, potassium wasting, and breast enlargement in men. A Naturopathic Doctor should be able to guide you in using licorice root alone or in combination with other adrenal agents.
Ginseng, Korean - Chinese / Asian (Panax ginseng)
| ||Both Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) are known to exert beneficial effects on adrenal function and enhance resistance to stress.|
Ginseng may prove especially effective for the restoration of normal adrenal function and prevention of adrenal atrophy associated with corticosteroid administration. In rats, ginseng has been found to inhibit cortisone-induced adrenal and thymic atrophy. Ginseng could be combined with other botanicals with adrenal enhancing activity in the treatment of adrenal atrophy.
| ||Caffeine raises adrenaline levels and heavy coffee consumption can lead to a state of adrenal gland exhaustion, where the adrenal glands are no longer able to adequately respond to stress by releasing enough adrenaline.|
Conventional Drugs / Information
| ||The use of hydrocortisol to supplement low cortisol output by weak or failing adrenal glands is essential.|
Hydrocortisone / Trial
Test Adrenal Function
| ||Adrenal function can be evaluated in several ways by blood, saliva, and/or urine testing. Your doctor should know the best test to use depending on the suspected severity of the condition.|
Test / Monitor Hormone levels
| ||Although not a sex hormone, cortisol is an important hormone. A deficiency can cause fatigue with a resulting loss of sexual desire.|
Increased Salt Consumption
| ||Sea salt should be included in the diet, unless contraindicated for other reasons, as it benefits adrenal gland function. When seasoning foods, use as much salt as tastes good to you.|
| ||In a pioneering book, The Safe Uses of Cortisol Dr. Jefferies, with 1,000 patient years of experience using cortisone therapy, explains the sources of confusion about cortisone, the significance of normal adrenocortical function and accepted uses of physiological dosages. Then he goes on to discuss using cortisone in gonadal dysfunction, rheumatic disorders, allergies and other autoimmune disorders. He closes with chapters on respiratory infections and other conditions that could benefit from physiological dosages of glucocorticoids. There may be subsequent books available at less cost, but this book was historic for me.|
Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr. James Wilson, is a self-help lifesaver for everyone who suffers from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue is also related to several other chronic health conditions including: frequent infections, chemical sensitivities, allergies, autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, chronic fatigue syndrome, PMS, difficult menopause, loss of libido, chronic anxiety, and mild depression.
TMG (Tri-methyl-glycine) / SAMe
| ||The adrenal gland uses nutrients such as TMG (betaine), tyrosine, vitamins B5, B6 and C to maintain function and produce its hormones.|
| ||When midnight cortisol levels are elevated, supplementation of an additional nutrient is indicated. High midnight cortisol levels denote stress maladaptation - the loss of the negative feedback inhibition whereby the brain and pituitary gland down-regulate inappropriately elevated cortisol. Supplements of phosphatidylserine have been found to result in reduction of midnight cortisol levels. Incorporation of phosphatidylserine into the membranes of brain cells apparently restores sensitivity to cortisol receptors.|
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
| ||Key nutrients to aid adrenal function include vitamin C, B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium. These nutrients not only play a critical role in the health of the adrenal gland, but also in the manufacture of adrenal hormones. Possibly the most important nutrient for the adrenal glands is pantothenic acid.|
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
| ||Taking 1-3gm of mineral ascorbates up to 3 times daily is supportive of adrenal gland function.|
| ||PABA potentiates the hormone cortisol. When cortisol is being supplemented, the dosage of PABA may need to be reduced.|| |
Addison's Disease: Characterized by the chronic destruction of the adrenal cortex, which leads to an increased loss of sodium and water in the urine, muscle weakness and low blood pressure. The bronze color of the skin is due to the increased production of the skin pigment, melanin.
Adrenal Insufficiency: Also known as Adrenal Exhaustion or Low Adrenal Function, this is a condition where the adrenal gland is compromised in its production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, corticosterone or aldosterone. Symptoms include primarily fatigue, weakness, decreased appetite with ensuing weight loss, as well as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, or increased pigmentation of the skin. Cortical insufficiency (low or no corticosteroids) produces a more serious condition called Addison’s Disease, characterized by extreme weakness, low blood pressure, pigmentation of the skin, shock or even death.
Aldosterone: A steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that regulates the salt and water balance in the body.
Allergy: Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.
Androgen: Any steroid hormone that increases male characteristics.
Anorexia Nervosa: An eating disorder characterized by excess control - a morbid fear of obesity leads the sufferer to try and limit or reduce their weight by excessive dieting, exercising, vomiting, purging and use of diuretics. Sufferers are typically more than 15% below the average weight for their height/sex/age and typically have amenorrhea (if female) or low libido (if male). 1-2% of female teenagers are anorexic.
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.
Anxiety: Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.
Autoimmune Disease: One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a disorder of unknown cause that lasts for prolonged periods and causes extreme and debilitating exhaustion as well as a wide range of other symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain, often resembling flu and other viral infections. Also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (CEBV), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), "Yuppy Flu" and other names, it is frequently misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression, because routine medical tests do not detect any problems.
DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and is the most abundant one found in humans. DHEA may be transformed into testosterone, estrogen or other steroids. It is found in the body as DHEA or in the sulfated form known as DHEA-S. One form is converted into the other as needed.
Dysmenorrhea: Difficult or painful menstruation.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Glucocorticoid: Any steroid-like compound capable of significantly influencing intermediary metabolism, such as promotion of deposition of glycogen in the liver, and of exerting a useful anti-inflammatory effect.
HIV: Abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, a retrovirus associated with onset of advanced immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Hormones: Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
Hypertension: High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.
Hypothalamus: An important supervisory center in the brain regulating many body functions. Despite its importance in maintaining homeostasis, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1/300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond.
Hypothyroidism: Diminished production of thyroid hormone, leading to low metabolic rate, tendency to gain weight, and sleepiness.
Immune System: A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Nausea: Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.
PABA: (Para Aminobenzoic Acid): May be considered part of the Vitamin B complex. As a coenzyme, PABA functions in the breakdown and utilization of proteins and in the formation of red blood cells.
Panic Attack: A brief, irrational episode of fear that is perceived as so real that an individual may be driven to escape from the place or situation where it occurs. The attack is sudden and increases in severity until it leaves, usually within ten minutes. Panic attack symptoms are numerous and involve both mental and physical signs and symptoms. A panic attack can occur in other anxiety states such as agoraphobia and with certain activities and places. It may occur spontaneously without an apparent cause.
Pituitary: The pituitary gland is small and bean-shaped, located below the brain in the skull base very near the hypothalamus. Weighing less than one gram, the pituitary gland is often called the "master gland" since it controls the secretion of hormones by other endocrine glands.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Steroid: Any of a large number of hormonal substances with a similar basic chemical structure containing a 17-carbon 14-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides.
Thyroid: Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.
TMG: Tri-methyl-glycine. After supplying a methyl group, TMG becomes di-methyl-glycine. DMG, a natural component of animal and plant metabolism, positively influences the immune response in laboratory animals and humans and boosts physical and mental performance.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.