Adrenal and Endocrine support options

Adrenal and Endocrine support options

This information will pretty much apply to all endocrine dysfunction, it is specifically useful for adrenal, thyroid and diabetic related problems. I would say that the need for adrenal support is commonly found in thyroid, adrenal and diabetic related conditions.

I am starting off with a quote from Dr Sarah Myhill. These few sentences give an indication of how complicated & complex the treatment of adrenal dysregulation can actually be. This is not to put you off rather to point out single tests and a very single minded focus can often miss vital clues.

‘Elevated cortisol can lead to a pregnenolone steal. Pregnenolone is used to make excess cortisol and deficiencies in other hormones may occur. Pregnenolone is considered a mother of hormones it is used to produce cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, androstenedione, oestrogen and estradiol’.

Dr Sarah Myhill

Most people are totally unaware that fluctuating blood sugar levels and fluctuating insulin levels can wreak biochemical havoc throughout the entire endocrine system. When you eat any form of sugar or any form of carbohydrate your blood sugar automatically rises, to cope with this the pancreas releases insulin which takes the excess sugar out of circuit and places it, stored as fat, in the liver. When your blood sugar drops adrenaline is released which stimulates the release of glycogen and breakdown of stored fat, converted into sugars and released back into the bloodstream.

Well, that's what's supposed to happen. But as many sufferers long-term low-level thyroid and blood sugar problems can tell you the entire system becomes compromised. What is not generally recognised is that any fault in any of the components of the endocrine system can send you down route of reactive hypoglycaemia or as it probably should be called 'dysglycaemia'.

If you have been compromised for any length of time both excess cortisol and insulin can block receptor sites, making the delivery of blood sugar even more difficult and compromised.

Dysglycaemia is literally a role of the hormonal dice. It can have its primary effect on any of the endocrine components, usually the one that is affected most is the adrenal function and next on the list is the thyroid.

So what to do?

The most basic action is removing foods that spike the blood sugar level. Depending how bad the situation is literally dictates what foods you would eliminate in a diet so starting from the worst culprits going down

Canned and carbonated drinks. Whether they say no sugar or fruit sugar only.

Sugar and sugar containing beverages this includes honey.

Refined carbohydrate- white flour of any kind irrespective of source.

Fruit juices.

Sweet fruits such as bananas (which are very high in sugar).

Eat plenty of vegetables that grow above ground such as

tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, lettuce, chicory, celery, etc.

Eat fatty meats and oily fish, lamb is a very good source and is not treated with the same level of drugs as other meats.

Try to avoid processed meats as they often have hidden sugar this also applies to such things as skimmed and semi-skimmed milk. The fats in full fat milk are actually beneficial, this is one of those secrets high-fat diets tend not to have blood sugar fluctuations, high grain, high-carbohydrate diets do.

To many people going to high-fat diet with a very low carbohydrate ratio goes against what they have been taught and advised by health magazines almost half a century. Sadly, but true, we know that much of the advice given over the last 50 years is scientifically unproven and actually just doesn't work. A couple of the diet books that I would recommend you look at in this situation are

New Atkins: New You by Dr Eric Westerman (this book is not written by Dr Atkins).

The Cantin diet by Elaine Cantin, especially useful to those with diabetes or diabetic tendencies.

The Science of Ageing Backwards: ReGeneration-X, this book is specifically aimed at Generation-X who have a higher burden medication than any other generation in history. By Roderick Lane and Elizabeth Bright.

Adrenal support options

Products that I have commonly used in my practice are

Nutri-West UK

Core Level Adrenal. This is one of the oldest adrenal support products on the market and has been around for a very long time. Many other products have actually been marketed based around its essential formula. Colin adrenal is actually a physiological adrenal support formula and is actually designed to help rebuild the adrenal system.

Adreno-Lyph-Plus. Used when the adrenal glands are compromised and should be used on a temporary basis before moving onto a wider support mechanism.

Biocare Ltd UK

A.D. 206. This is an herbal mineral-based complex and is very good for general support and fatigue and can be used on ad hoc basis.

A.D. intensive- This is a 5th generation product and is designed with the adrenal pathways in mind. It is a newcomer but has proved to be highly effective, an amino acid based product with supporting minerals and vitamins it's very useful for those who suffer from absolute fatigue drop as it can be mixed into water and drunk the effect is almost immediate. Exceptionally popular amongst athletes.

Both of these companies do excellent thyroid support products. Of course there are other companies out there and other products, these are products that have been used for the last 25 years and have shown the test of time, in the case of the Nutri West products far longer than that.

Good luck, I have tried to keep it simple, its far more complicated as you all know!

The key is diet! if you control what you eat and eat 'slow burn foods' you are not impacting the blood sugar as you would if you ate 'fast burn foods' ie sweets, cakes, potato crisps etc.

Revised 7.17 3/10/16

Having just read Jefners comments on her profile concerning her adrenal fatigue experience I thought I would add a little bit in about the management of adrenal fatigue.

'...End May 2016 had 5 great days where I felt absolutely brilliant, just totally out of the blue. No symptoms of anything, just felt normal for the first time in 8 months. Did some chores and gardening then BANG all my symptoms back as fast as they had disappeared. Only thing I can think of is that I maybe overdid the chores and stuff because I felt so well....'

Adrenal fatigue is possibly trickier to manage when you are trying to repair it than the thyroid, as it has no fundamentally 'drip feed' energy. With the thyroid, if you're using thyroxine you take normally one dose of hormone in the morning, if it's all working well it last the entire 24 hours.

The adrenal glands are fundamentally different they are fight or flight mechanism and operate upon demand. This means whatever is happening you have to be cautious and avoid stimulation or over stimulation. The easiest route to avoid the 'ups & downs' is diet and establishing a stable blood sugar & insulin level. Develop regular habits get up at the same time, eat meals at the same time, go to sleep at the same time. One of the biggest keys to success is, if you find yourself having bursts of energy do not burn the energy, be cautious in your expenditure. When you find yourself with energy try to preserve it rather than throwing it into projects because you feel well. And of course one of the more critical things is that vital half-hour sleep at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Do not have more than half an hour.

Good luck with dealing with adrenal fatigue can be done, I know, because I have the T-shirt. :-)

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  • Wow, fab info.

    My first proven problem medical issues were dangerously low adrenal gland test result and (very unwell at same time), though a week later retest showed ok.

    Since then discovered atrophy thyroid gland (just half), lymph node, bowel, skin, micro pituitary adenoma, stomach, bowel, gallbladder, extreme fatigue problems. Noticed if hungry I feel worse.

    Very interesting post, thanks.

  • Thank you for adding these resources. I see you are a naturopath and your book Adam and Eve is about different types of diet for different people. But your post advocates a meaty high fat diet?

    If making the switch to a high fat diet, so it slowly so your microbiome that help you digest, can adjust, otherwise you can get more GI upset and /or nutritional deficiencies. I thought that was worth saying!

    Whenever I read about insulin, its always sugary drinks and processed foods. How about also: stuffing your face with an excess of ANY food will do the same job, especially if you do so consistently.

    I totally totally agree about balancing blood sugars but this does not always require everything as suggested.

    I personally would prefer to be on high fat (minus the meat and dairy - supplemented of course for B12 and anything else appropriate). My friend healed her hashimotos with a mainly raw diet (or should I say has successfully managed symptoms and antibodies for 6 years). Im not sure of her fat content, but theres no meat or dairy). I just LOVE my veggies and nuts and seeds and berries and citrus with occasional grains - but do my cravings indicate my type? Certainly I only have to try a high fruit diet for a few days to add weight. Eating spinach and edam only (!) controls my SIBO bloat but then ethically and for health) I cannot do meat and milk. I mean I could stuff myself with just roast chicken all day but a decent quality of meat is scarcely available, and a humanely killed animal is something of a paradox. It is this value conflict that gives me more peace not to eat it than to go with any cravings.

    Im well aware that fats are needed to make hormones/cell walls/the brain and on, im just not convinced that meat and dairy fat are the way to do it!

  • May I suggest that you read Good Calories: Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Also watch this youtube video of GT talking about Ketogenics.

    Taubes has won the Science in Society Journalism Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.[8] He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy.

    Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007)

    Taken from his own website.

    In Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes tries to bury the idea that a low-fat diet promotes weight loss and better health. Obesity is caused, he argues, not by the quantity of calories you eat but by the quality. Carbohydrates, particularly refined ones like white bread and pasta, raise insulin levels, promoting the storage of fat.

    Taubes is a relentless researcher, shining a light on flaws in the scientific literature. For example, he charges that when scientists figured out how to measure cholesterol in the blood, they became “fixated on the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries as the cause of heart disease, despite considerable evidence to the contrary.”

    He also reveals how charismatic personalities can force the acceptance of unproven theories. For instance, nutritionist Jean Mayer persuaded Americans that exercise leads to weight loss when in fact, writes Taubes, exercising may increase hunger and calorie intake. According to a 2000 review of the medical literature, “some studies imply that physical activity might inhibit weight gain . . . some that it might accelerate weight gain; and some that it has no effect whatsoever.” Yet the latest government dietary guidelines, released in 2005, recommend 60 to 90 minutes a day of moderately intense exercise and a low-calorie diet to achieve weight loss. Once again, Taubes shows, conventional wisdom wins out.

    Good Calories, Bad Calories goes a long way toward breaking the link between obesity, gluttony and sloth by demonstrating that genes, hormones and chemistry play as much of a role in weight gain as behavior does. Taubes’s tales of lame science and flawed laboratory tests are at times brilliant and enlightening. But they can also become repetitive and wearying. In the end, the most compelling case Taubes builds is one against stark dietary advice of any kind; nothing simple can capture the complex reasons for the epidemic rise in obesity. H.L. Mencken once said, “There is always an easy solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” Taubes cites this quote in his book; he, and all of us, would do well to remember it.

    Dr. Andrew Weil, Larry King Live

    I think this is a very important book; I have been recommending it to my medical colleagues and students. He raises big questions and I think there are some very big ideas in this book. […] I think he’s done a meticulous job showing that many of the assumptions that are held by the conventional medical community simply rest on nothing.

    ...the villain lies not in meat but in what they have feed the poor animal before it appears on your plate....

  • I could debate this for years :)

    I dont agree with low fat diets as per dieting industry and low fat products etc either.

    But neither do I agree with high fat meaty diets for all.

    A higher fat diet seems to suit me well.

    I would more agree with teaching people to come into tune with themselves and know what they need. What a big psychobiosocialemotional challenge :)

    Thanks ill enjoy the vid.

    ...the villain lies not in meat but in what they have fed the poor animal before it appears on your plate.......well that is certainly one perspective of the villain in this situation.

  • NaturopathR

    I am trying to do all that. Not succeeding that well in getting to bed earlier than I used to and I tend to sleep in late. Learning to listen to my body now and I do a little and rest a little. I am working with a Functional Medicine Dr but he won't recommend an adrenal support as he says we have to get the inflammation down from the Hashi's and things will settle down

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