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.
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
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.