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Adrenal & Stress

In modern times our fast-paced lives are bombarded with stresses never before experienced in history.  Our diets are generally as far from nature as they can possibly be, often consisting primarily of over-processed foods.  On top of that the true VALUE of food suffers terribly, just ask a farmer.  He'll tell you that he has to use more fertilizer, pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics, and synthetic hormones than ever before because his crops and animals aren't strong enough to grow and resist insects and disease on their own.  Then we eat that food and wonder why we don't feel good.  This situation adds to the burden of stress on our defense mechanisms, which takes a terrible toll on our glandular systems.

It is very common today for both adults and children to experience adrenal exhaustion brought on by both internal and external influences.  The adrenal glands produce numerous hormones that influence other hormone systems in the body, particularly those that deal with nervousness, excitement, anger, fear, and pain.  It is kind of like a domino effect, when one system becomes stressed, others try to compensate, gradually bringing the whole system down.  Often it is hard to know where it starts because many glandular systems are so dependent on each other.

For example, various experts tell us that the body’s adrenal glands attempt to compensate for low thyroid conditions by production of excess adrenaline. This condition can result in insomnia, extreme fatigue, anxiety, stress, emotional problems, rage, pain sensitivity, palpitations, and even panic attacks as the adrenals become overtaxed, burned out, and erratic in production.  If the body is producing adrenaline all of the time how can a person rest or sleep?  And no wonder the fatigue that one feels becomes so overwhelming.

Other hormones produced by the adrenals also fail as the glands become burned out, particularly cortisol (a natural form of cortisone) which helps the body reduce pain and inflammation.  So it makes sense why you might hurt all over, feel swollen, and have a headache.

Dietary supplementation with low levels of a quality Adrenal glandular product (usually one to three 80 mg tablets per day) provides nutritional support to the adrenal system, in a sense tricking the body into halting production of excess adrenaline.

Supplementing with natural adrenal can provide powerful nutrients essential to the health of the gland, including naturally occurring enzymes, vitamins, minerals, nucleotides, lipoproteins, and low levels of a variety of hormones needed by the body.  Radioactive isotope studies have shown that the unique nutrients in natural glandulars have a "targeting" effect on like glands in the body.  What this means is that the unique nutrients are readily absorbed and recognized by the body, where they are then transported to the same gland, providing exceptional nourishment.

Initially, adrenal supplementation can cause a person to feel a little sleepy and relaxed for the first several days, as it can cause the body to quit over-producing adrenaline.  This helps with the requirement that sufficient bed rest and stress reduction are necessary (over an extended period) for the body to repair the adrenal glands.

According to Dr. David G. Williams, adrenal deficiency is not normally found in standard laboratory testing.  He suggests using a blood pressure cuff to test for the condition.  First, a person rests, lying flat on their back while blood pressure is recorded.  Second, the person sits upright abruptly, and blood pressure is immediately taken again.  Third, a person goes from resting flat on their back to a standing position, and blood pressure is recorded for the third time.  Dr. Williams states that with the help of your adrenal glands, your blood pressure will rise between 4 and 10 points (mm/Hb) when going from the lying to standing position.  If your blood pressure drops, it may be an indication of adrenal deficiency.

Lots of people can identify with symptoms of adrenal exhaustion without even taking the test.  Many people report that they use from one to three 80 mg tablets of adrenal glandular daily with good success, although higher amounts may prove necessary in some situations.  Adjusting adrenal dosage is done by trial and error, with adjustments made according to how a person feels.  Taking too much adrenal can interfere with getting a good night's sleep and excess can cause nervousness.  Often people increase their dose gradually to the point of noticing slight symptoms of excess, and then back off a little, while also monitoring thyroid related vital signs, such as pulse, blood pressure, and oral body temperature.  Some people have been able to correct both thyroid and adrenal imbalances with improved diet, rest, stress avoidance, and natural adrenal glandular supplementation.

Many people take adrenal glandulars for numerous purposes other than thyroid support.  Weight lifters and body builders use them in larger doses because of the natural steroid-like results that higher amounts provide.  Hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders are stress (and diet) related conditions that are growing very rapidly in the US population, affecting both children and adults.  Some health experts, like Dr. David G. Williams believe that these conditions relate to weak adrenals (and in some instances low thyroid).  Low doses of natural adrenal can provide nutritional support for both children and adults.

Numerous experts recommend that adrenal glandulars be taken in combination with the thyroid glandulars, and in some cases even suggest that the adrenal be taken prior to beginning thyroid supplementation.  When mild thyroid conditions exist, some people gain sufficient help with adrenal alone.

Dr. Richard Shames, MD, and Karilee Shames, RN, describe low adrenal symptoms as: weakness, lack of libido, allergies, dark circles under the eyes, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, food and salt cravings, poor sleep, dry skin, cystic breasts, lines of dark pigment in nails, difficulty recuperating from stresses like colds or jet lag, no stamina for confrontation, tendency to startle easily, lowered immune function, anxiety, depression, and premature aging.  They describe how some people supplementing with thyroid alone can actually get worse, yet when adrenal supplementation is included, improve tremendously.

Dr. Durrant-Peatfield says that people with a more severe low thyroid state will have some degree of adrenal insufficiency as well.  He says that a significant level of this will be suspected in the following situations:  longstanding and severe hypothyroidism; episodes of extreme exhaustion, or collapse; bad response to minor illness; multiple allergies; digestive problems – alternate diarrhea and constipation; flatulence; weight loss; Increasing arthralgia (fibromyalgia) and morning stiffness; pallor, yellow pigmentation (due to poorly metabolized carotene); fainting, dizziness, etc.

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