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Home > Research Department  > Health Concerns Articles > Adrenal Gland Support
    Health Concerns Articles  
Adrenal Gland Support
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.) Last Updated:

STRESS & THE ADRENALS

The adrenal glands produce hormones that help you cope with stress and to feel alert & energetic. Your Adrenals can become exhausted under stress.

Chronic stress puts a strain on the adrenal glands so it's important to be sure to give them the support they need...

Adrenal glands are small glands located on the upper pole of each kidney.  Each one is divided into an inner medulla surrounded by the outer cortex layer.  The medulla produces the fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline (epinephrine) and nor adrenaline (norepinephrine).  The cortex produces sex hormones, stress hormones and other hormones responsible for water balance in the body.  All of the hormones produced by the adrenal cortex are derived from cholesterol, so proper intake of this nutrient is essential for their release. For more information on the adrenal glands their function, please see our Adrenal Disorders article.

Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
Although actual organ failure of the adrenal gland is uncommon, our high stress lifestyles, poor diet and abuse of drugs or alcohol often lead to adrenal depletion.  Signs of low adrenal function are those that we associate with being "stressed out" such as: lethargy, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, food cravings and blood sugar imbalances.  As the dysfunction gets more serious other symptoms such as: fainting, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, feeling cold, discolouration of the skin, swelling and loss of body hair can occur.

What you can do to support healthy adrenals:

- don't drink coffee
- limit intake of sugar
- exercise
- eat lots of vegetables
- take siberian ginseng, licorice, tyrosine, & ashwaghanda
- do deep breathing
- eat regular meals

SSYMPTOMS OF LOW ADRENAL FUNCTION INCLUDE:

stress, "brain fog", low energy, low thyroid, candida, depression, poor immune system function

Diet and Lifestyle Influences
It’s important to deal with stress in healthy ways in order to escape potential adrenal burnout. Activities like deep breathing and regular exercise are proven ways to relieve stress and decrease its effect on the adrenal gland. By doing these regularly, the adrenal gland function will naturally be stimulated. A few times each day, take 10 slow, deep breaths to increase your wellbeing and reduce stress. This simple activity will improve adrenal gland function.


To achieve full adrenal benefits, be sure to moderate or eliminate consumption of the following harmful substances: corticosteroids, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, fried foods, processed and white sugars and flours and red meat.

Increasing foods containing high amounts of vitamins and minerals, like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, garlic, onions and healthy fats will support the adrenal gland.  The essential fatty acids found in fish and fish oil also support the adrenal gland.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR ADRENAL SUPPORT

Nutritional supplements can also help to nourish and support the adrenal glands. Because these glands produce a large number of different hormones, they require several different precursors and cofactors to perform their task efficiently.

Vitamin C and Vitamin B-5 for Adrenaline
The adrenal glands require vitamins C and B-5 (pantothenic acid) to produce optimum levels of adrenaline (epinehphrine) for response to immediate urgent stress. See more information on vitamin C, and vitamin B-5.

B-Complex

In addition to the role of B-5 in the synthesis of adrenaline, the other B vitamins also act as cofactors for the synthesis of other adrenal hormones. They also help promote efficient energy utilization in the body. For more information on the benefits of B vitamins, please click here.

Licorice

The herb Licorice contains hormones similar to those released by the adrenal gland. Because of this, it can help to supplement low adrenal function, and help to give a significant increase in energy levels.  For more information on the benefits of Licorice, please click here.

Adrenal Glandular
Adrenal gland extract (New Zealand source) contains proteins and essential nutrients that can help optimize your adrenal functioning. This extract also contains the active hormones that can supplement for the activity of an under-functioning gland. For more information on adrenal glandular, please click here.

Adaptogenic Herbs
Some herbs are able to help the body more easily adapt to stress, and these herbs are referred to as adaptogens. The ginsengs can act in this way, as can astragalus. Interestingly, in addition to boosting adrenal function, these herbs also help to improve immune functioning. For more information on the ginsengs, please click here. For more information on astragalus, please click here.

The following list of supplements can be used to support and replenish the adrenal gland.  Adult doses are given.  (CLICK SUPPLEMENT NAME FOR PRODUCTS).

SUPPLEMENT DOSAGE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
VITAMIN c 4000 – 10000 mg daily, in divided doses or until bowel tolerance is reached Supports adrenal function.  Helps the body when under stress.  The most important vitamin is B5, ensure intake of 300mg/day.
B complex 50-100mg 3 times/ day Supports adrenal function.  Supports the immune system in times of stress.
ADRENAL GLANDULAR As directed on label Derived from an animal source.  It helps to repair the adrenal gland.
L-TYROSINE 500mg daily, on an empty stomach, with water or juice only. An amino acid used for the production of adrenal hormones.  Do not take when on MAO inhibitors.
 LICORICE As directed on label Directly supports and nourishes the adrenal gland.  Do not take if you have high blood pressure.
ASTRAGALUS OR SIBERIAN GINSENG As directed on label Herbs are adaptogenic, meaning they help the body to adapt to stress.  Also improves immune function.  Do not use ginseng if you have high blood pressure, hypoglycemia or a heart condition.
FISH OIL 1 - 6g per day Supports and nourishes the adrenal gland and the rest of the body.
Also beneficial for adrenal: Multivitamins, coenzyme Q10, zinc, liver glandular, spleen glandular, pituitary glandular, coenzyme A, SAMe, valerian, St. Johns wort, echinacea.
For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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