We are all aware of adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone that kicks in whenever we find ourselves facing a threat. But did you know adrenalin is only one of the many hormones produced by the adrenal glands?
About the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands (also known as the suprarenal glands) sit atop the kidneys. These pyramid-shaped glands have two parts: the outer adrenal cortex and the inner medulla.
The adrenal cortex creates 3 types of hormones:
- Mineralocorticoids: hormones triggered by the kidneys. These hormones regulate the balance of salt to water within the body and help to maintain blood pressure.
- Glucocorticoids: hormones triggered by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. These hormones increase blood glucose levels, regulate the conversion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy, help to regulate blood pressure, and regulate immune response and inflammatory reactions.
- Gonadocorticoids: sex hormones. Small amounts of sex hormones are released by the adrenal cortex. After middle age, the adrenals become the primary source of sex hormones.
We would die quickly without the hormones produced by the adrenal cortex.
The adrenal medulla creates two hormones:
- Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline): Epinephrine is the fight or flight hormone. It increases your heart rate, raises your blood sugar, and rushes blood to the muscles and the brain.
- Norepinephrine(also known as noradrenaline): Norepinephrine works with epinephrine.
All in all, the adrenals produce nearly 50 hormones.
Major Illnesses Associated with Adrenal Glands
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: a genetic disorder that disrupts hormone levels from the adrenals.
- Addison’s disease: a rare disorder that disrupts production of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone.
- Cushing’s syndrome: an uncommon disorder where the adrenals overproduce cortisol.
- Adrenal cancer: an aggressive rare cancer that causes excess production of hormones.
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Adrenal fatigue is caused by lack of or poor quality sleep, relentless stress, EMF exposure, heavy metal toxicity, thyroid problems, caffeine, nicotine or other stimulant use, or a chronic or acute infection, especially respiratory infections (influenza, bronchitis, or pneumonia). With most adrenal problems there are many of the aforementioned causes at play, but Candida almost always plays a huge part.
Adrenal fatigue is experienced in two ways: either the sufferer struggles with fatigue throughout the day, using stimulants such as caffeine to make it to an early bedtime, or the sufferer’s day is exactly the same except he gets a second wind around 9-10 at night and buzzes until the wee hours when he can finally go to sleep. Adrenal fatigue can become so severe, it can become difficult to be out of bed for more than a few hours at a time. In addition to loss of energy, adrenal fatigue is also associated with the following:
- Lowered libido
- Immunity reduction
- Low blood pressure
The following herbs are used to treat adrenal fatigue:
- Licorice: Sometimes used alone, sometimes in conjunction with Panax ginseng and Bupleurum falcatum–especially used for people who have damaged adrenal output by long-term steroid use. Warning: licorice can raise blood pressure.
- Rhodiola: Adaptogen–helps the body adapt to stress.
- Shisandra: Also an adaptogen–helps the body adapt to stress.
- Holy Basil: Also an adaptogenic–helps the body adapt to stress.
- Ashwagandha root: Increases in T3 and T4, supports thyroid and adrenals, balances hormones.
- Astragalus: Improves immune system, adrenal function, and reduces stress.
- Ginseng Root: Revitalizes the adrenals and balances hormones.
*Check out the “Recommended Supplements” below for some formulas with these ingredients.
The following vitamins and supplements are helpful in treating adrenal fatigue:
- B-complex – especially B5: While those suffering from adrenal fatigue heed B5 more
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy immune system, but its critical role in adrenal function is no less valuable, and far less well known. We recommend getting your vitamins C naturally, and it’s even better when it’s with other nutrients. Check out Total Nutrition Formula.
- Glandular extracts: Check out the GSC or the Adrenal Natural
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Natural Protocol for Adrenal Fatigue
Candida is the number one cause of poor health in our country and an overabundance of Candida will eventually cause adrenal fatigue (along with many other problems). If you’re experiencing adrenal fatigue, cut out stimulants completely. No more coffee. Read this article to learn how to clean the intestines. Most people with endocrine problems have an excess of Candida.
Fungal Supplement Stack – Knock Out Yeast, Candida, Mold, Fungus
The first three should be plenty for most people, but for really prominent fungal issues or for impatient people with a bigger budget I’d recommend all of these:
- Formula SF722 – Thorne Research
- Syntol AMD – Arthur Andrew Medical
- Berberine 500mg – Thorne Research
- MycoCeutics MycoPhyto Complex – EcoNugenics
- MicroDefense – Pure Encapsulations
- Abzorb Vitamin & Nutrient Optimizer (500mg) HCP Formulas
I recommend taking the SF722, Berberine, MycoCeutics, and Microdefense with meals, and the Abzorb and Syntol separately, on an empty stomach (like in the morning and before bed). The Abzorb and the Syntol are a bit redundant, but I find good results using both if the budget can afford it. If money is really tight, just get the SF722 and put your money into your diet.
To speed up the process with a supplement regimen or for those with very serious adrenal problems, we recommend Shillington’s Male Energy and Shillington’s Female Energy for adrenals. Unfortunately, we don’t have the recipe for the female formula, but here’s the male formula below. Also, these are amazing formulas for libido, energy, weight loss, balancing hormones, and more.
Also check out Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included for more on diet. I recommend the cranberry lemonade recipe in that article to help detox. Also, keeping the kidneys healthy is imparative for good adrneal health.
Shillington’s Male Energy Formula Recipe:
- 2 parts American White Ginseng
- 2 parts Korean Ginseng
- 2 parts Chinese Ginseng
- 3 parts Yohimbe Bark
- 3 parts Damiana Turneria Aphrodisiaca
- 3 parts Siberian Ginseng
- 2 parts Sarsaparilla Root
- 1 part Saw Palmetto Berry
- 1 part Oat Seed (Green Immature)
- 1 part Kola Nut
- 1 part Ginger Root
Parts are by volume. Blend all ingredients together and make into a tincture using a 50 – 50 Blend of Alcohol and distilled water. For more, see How to Make a Tincture.
- Total Nutrition Formula
- Adrenal Cortex – Thorne Research
- Stress B Complex – Thorne-Research
- Shillington’s Female Energy Formula
- Shillington’s Male Formula
- Thyrocsin Thyroid Support – Thorne Research
- Suprarenal gland (adrenal gland) – Healthline
- Adrenal glands – Medline Plus
- An Overview of the Adrenal Glands – Endocrine Web
- How to Recover from Adrenal Fatigue – Empowered Sustenance