Symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction
Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that regulate the stress
response by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. When they are not functioning
properly, you can experience these types of symptoms:
For most weak and trembling patients. There is going to be
periodical weakness; one day they will be well, but then, they will be
overtaken by weakness. Sometimes their fatigue may become very pervasive to
the point that they cannot dress themselves or even lift a book. This
weakness may come with exact periodicity or more at irregular intervals.
They will become irritable with a lot of anxiety. They will start
crying because they feel nothing can be done to help them. This state of
debility is caused by adrenal insufficiency.
Berberis Vulgaris This remedy is best when adrenal fatigue is accompanied by chronic,
yet moving pain. It is also useful for those suffering from spinal
irritation and in need of regular chiropractic care.
Gelsemium For those with slow pulse, tired feeling and mental apathy.
Usually there will be muscular weakness, drowsiness and even dizziness.
They are sensitive to falling barometric pressure, with many symptoms
aggravated by cold and damp weather. They are lethargic, dull, and
apathetic to their own complaints. They want to be left alone because
any excitement, even good news, will make them feel worse physically.
phosphoricum These types are nervous, oversensitive and excitable.
Everything is too much for them and when they get tired they get irritable.
They have a feeling that something bad will happen to them; they
startle easily. They have difficulty with concentration, and they are forgetful
of words and names. There is a profound state of mental and physical
Nat Muriaticum This remedy prepares the body to be able to effectively use the salt
that it receives daily. It is a slow acting remedy, and is best used for
chronic fatigue conditions.
Nux Vomica Nux Vomica can be very helpful for people who have low cortisol in
the morning, but by nighttime they are wide awake and not tired.
This makes it hard to go to bed early like you're supposed to for adrenal
fatigue. Nux can help bring down cortisol to allow you to fall asleep.
This will be suitable
for a someone presenting with extreme physical exhaustion, inertia,
apathy, and sexual weakness. These people often complain about loss
of hair and even change in visual acuity. Their whole pathology arises
from hypo-function of the endocrine system especially of the adrenals.
Feels totally burnt out and exhausted from the care of loved ones,
chronically tired, too much to do. Especially helpful after child
birth. The exhaustion is on both a physical and emotional level.
Common remedy for busy moms with children and busy working moms with no
time for themselves. Reduced sexual desire or no interest as all.
Menstrual issues include back ache prior to menses, PMS, irritability and
menstrual cramps. Indifference to loved ones, desires to leave the
family and go away, but may not act on this urge.
Test #1: Iris
Contraction Test Equipment required: chair, small flashlight, mirror, a watch (with a second
hand), and a dark room.
In a darkened room, sit in a chair in front of a mirror. Holding the flashlight
at the side of your head, shine it across one eye (not into the eye). Watch what
happens in the mirror.
You should see your pupil contract immediately after the light hits the eye. The
pupil will normally stay contracted, but if you have adrenal fatigue, the pupil
won't be able to hold its contraction and will dilate. This dilation will take
place within 2 minutes and last for about 30-45 seconds before it contracts
again. Time how long the dilation lasts and record it along with the date.
Retest monthly as it serves as an indicator of recovery.
Test #2: Blood Pressure Test If your blood pressure drops when you stand up from a lying position, this
almost always indicates low adrenals. This can be measured with a blood pressure
gauge (a sphygmomanometer), which you can buy at a drug store. Make sure to
purchase the type that doesn't require a stethoscope to take your blood
Make sure to do this test when you are well hydrated or it could give you a
false positive. Lie down quietly for about 10 minutes, then take your blood
pressure (while still lying down). Then stand up and measure your blood pressure
immediately upon standing. Normally blood pressure will rise 10-20mmHg from
standing up. If your blood pressure drops, you likely have adrenal fatigue. The
more severe the drop, the more severe the adrenal fatigue.
Test #3: Sergent's White Line This is only present in about 40% of people with Adrenal Fatigue, but if the
test is positive, it's a "slam dunk" confirmation.
With a ballpoint pen, take the cap end of the pen and lightly stroke the skin on
your abdomen, making a mark about 6" long. Within a few seconds, a line should
appear. In a normal reaction, the mark is initially white, but reddens within a
few seconds. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, the line will stay white for about 2
minutes and will also widen.
Don't take extracts of bovine adrenal cortex:
These are absolutely ineffective because the hormones are present in
extremely low concentration and, as they occur in nature, cannot be absorbed
from the gastrointestinal tract," said Dr. Seymour Reichlin of Tufts
University School of Medicine.
Consider supplements from a class called adaptogens.
Adaptogens are herbs, like ashwagandha, rhodiola, licorice root, ginseng,
schizandra and maca. They help support adrenal function. Use them under the
guidance of a trained integrative provider.
Herbs for adrenal health are best
used in combination, but need to be individualized to each person's specific
needs Herbs can be used to modulate adrenal secretion or to increase the body's
ability to respond to stress which is called an "adaptogenic" approach. It
took a lot of stress to reach the point of adrenal fatigue, and the problem
cannot be resolved overnight. Herbal therapies for adrenal fatigue usually
require 30 to 60 days for noticeable effects.
Here are some of the most
commonly used herbs:
Ashwagandha supports the restoration
of inner core for strength, libido, and endurance. It is an ancient Indian herb with a history of therapeutic use dating
back to at least 1,000 BC. It has direct and beneficial effects on
adrenal tissue and function. Because of its anti-inflammatory action,
it is used for treatment in rheumatic pains, inflammation of joints and
other related conditions that are commonly seen in states of adrenal
fatigue. Ashwagandha is considered to be an adaptogen. An adaptogen is
any substance that helps the body function more towards its normal level.Studies have shown it is capable of normalizing cortisol levels,
whether they are too high or too low. This herb is becoming
recognized for its multiple health benefits and especially for its value in
Siberian Ginseng Root
senticosus) is good for women
as well as men. It has antidepressant properties and the ability to calm anxiousness,
improve sleeping, diminish lethargy, lessen irritability and induce a
feeling of well-being.It has a wide range of activities that help
support and rejuvenate adrenal function, increase resistance to stress,
normalize metabolism, and regulate neurotransmitters (which are important in
modifying the stress response). It counteracts mental fatigue and is
known to increase and sustain energy levels, physical stamina and endurance.
It is used to increased vitality and to counter depletion of the adrenal
stress hormones. In addition, it has been shown to normalize blood sugar,
stimulate antibodies to bacteria and viruses, increase resistance to
environmental pollutants, improve absorption of some B vitamins and decrease
vitamin C loss. Although it has been shown to normalize blood pressure,
it should not be used if blood pressure is very high. Siberian
ginseng is more normalizing than stimulatory in its effects on the adrenals.
Maca (Lepidium peruvianum)
increase stamina, energy and endurance, and improve the ability to withstand
stress. This is an adaptogenic herb that helps normalize the body’s response
to stress, modulate cortisol levels, reduce the exhaustion that follows a
stressful event, and protect the body against the negative effects of
Ginkgo Leaf (Ginkgo biloba) is
excellent for enhanced blood flow and anti-oxidant protection. It is common herb well known for its ability to enhance
peripheral circulation and for its neuroprotective effects. Gingko is a
powerful anti-oxidant that helps protect the adrenal glands, the brain and
the liver from inflammation and free radical damage that occurs during
stress. Not all Ginkgo extracts are the same. Products that are
standardized to 24% ginkgo flavones and glycosides, and 6% ginkgolides and
bilobalides are recommended.
Ginger Root (Zingiber
officinale). Ginger is another adaptogen for the
adrenals that helps modulate cortisol levels.
and G. uralensis)
can provide immediate relief with quick, noticeable results. Licorice is a traditional medicine for adrenal insufficiency and
ulcers. It contains triterpenoid saponins that influence cortisol-cortisone
balance throughout the body. Glycyrrhizin is the main active compound
in licorice. At higher amounts, it has a strong effect on the kidney and
allows cortisol to interact with aldosterone receptors, which affects
sodium/potassium balance and increases blood pressure. For this reason,
patients taking higher amounts of licorice need to be monitored closely
especially those with high blood pressure. Good quality liquid extracts are
also available, and should contain around 30mg/mL glycyrrhizin. Licorice
has been positively linked to a range of other health benefits including
better blood glucosecontrol and fat modulation, improved iron absorption,
reduction of coughing, improved female hormone balance, decreased
inflammation and healing of the gut lining.
Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
is excellent for supporting adrenal and thyroid function. This herb is for physical or mental exhaustion, lowered immunity
and to facilitate adaptation to stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM) it is considered a key herb for reinforcing vital energy and
longevity. Recent human studies have expanded the therapeutic uses of
Korean Ginseng to include improvement of insulin sensitivity, increased
cerebrovascular circulation, better memory, improved cell-mediated immune
function and reduced incidence of the common cold and reduced DNA oxidative
damage in smokers. There are symptom improvements in patients with
depression, headache, insomnia and fatigue in women with menopausal
Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)
can be effective for reducing inflammation and adrenal fatigue from a
hypothyroid and hyperthyroid etiology. It is an herb used extensively in Chinese medicine. It is similar to
licorice and can be used as both a tonic and as specific support for the
adrenal glands. It is helpful for people suffering general debility, adrenal
depletion, and poor immune system function, specifically in the context of
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
helps improve mood, depression and libido, and improving mental clarity.
It is another adaptogenic herb with a long history of traditional
use. It also has a number of positive human trials in the areas of stress
and fatigue management, enhancement of mental performance and treatment of
mild depression. Rhodiola has been used successfully to increase
prevent fatigue, improve mental function, reduce anxiety and
ameliorate symptoms of mild depression.
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