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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Adrenal Glandular
    Supplement Articles  
ADRENAL GLANDULAR
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Last Updated: August 7th, 2015

The adrenal gland is responsible for your ability to deal with STRESS...

What is it?

The adrenal glands are small, crescent-shaped glands that rest on the top of each kidney. They each have an outer layer called the cortex, which produces sex hormones, regulates water balance and blood pressure, and releases the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for our ability to manage long-term stress. The medulla (inner core) produces the sudden-stress response hormones called adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Thus, the adrenal glands play a role in our fertility, hormonal balance, water balance (bloating), and particularly with our ability to handle stress. These are the glands that take the hardest hit when we are chronically stressed.

Adrenal Glandular

Having memory problems is only one common sign of low adrenal function.  
Adrenal Insufficiency / Adrenal Fatigue
Frank adrenal insufficiency is uncommon, and can lead to a severe medical condition (adrenal crisis) that is deadly if left untreated. Adrenal fatigue, on the other hand, is a general term used to describe the condition caused by chronic stress and poor lifestyle choices that deplete adrenal reserves. Some examples of this poor lifestyle are: poor diet, excessive caffeine intake, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. There are a few other things that can weaken the adrenal glands including chronic disease - asthma, arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia or any condition that may cause chronic pain forcing the adrenals to work harder and thus causing fatigue. Symptoms of low adrenal function are often generally regarded as signs of being "stressed out" such as: lethargy, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, food cravings, blood sugar imbalances, and increased infections. As the dysfunction becomes more severe, fainting, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, feeling cold, discolouration of the skin, swelling and loss of body hair can occur.

How is adrenal fatigue diagnosed?
Diagnosing adrenal fatigue takes several different tests over some time. To make an accurate diagnosis many doctors and naturopaths will need to do several tests more than once and make note of every symptom. It may take two or three visits to be sure that it is adrenal fatigue. One test is the standard hormone test. This test will look at different hormone productions within the body including testing for cortisol and various thyroid hormones. Another test is the neurotransmitter test. This test is best done by a urine test.  

How is adrenal fatigue treated?

When the adrenal glands completely fail, medical treatment is required to replace missing hormones to prevent shock and death. When adrenal function is simply sub-optimal, many different means of treatment exist. First and foremost, a healthy diet and lifestyle, including reducing life stressors can do wonders for adrenal health. For more information on how to avoid adrenal insufficiency, please see our adrenal gland support article. Unfortunately, the current pace of life doesn't always allow for us to live the healthy lifestyle we would like, and sometimes our adrenal glands may need a little help for a particularly stressful period of time. For more information and tips on dealing with stress, please see out stress support article. Often this is where adrenal glandular extracts will come into play.

Adrenal Glandular Extracts
Like most glandular extracts, adrenal glandular is often from either bovine (cow), or porcine (pig) sources. These extracts contain all of the nutritional fundamentals, cofactors, and hormones present in the organ. This can be considered a complete nutritional supplement for adrenal gland support. Because of its high concentration of hormones, it is not recommended that adrenal glandular be used for extended periods of time, but instead that it be used acutely to boost the adrenal glands in times of great stress.

Co-Supplementation

Other adrenal support products include: vitamin C, B-complex, L-tyrosine, and herbs such as licorice and Siberian ginseng. For more information please see the adrenal gland support article.

How do I take Adrenal Glandular?

Adrenal glandular can be found alone or in combination formulas with other nutrients and herbs that support healthy adrenal functioning. Because there is a lack of research and standardization, each adrenal glandular extract may be a different concentration and should be taken according to the suggested dosing on the label of that product.

Important Information
Adrenal glandular is very potent and should not be used for extended periods of time unless recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Long-term adrenal support should involve diet and lifestyle changes as well as stress-reduction exercises. Side effects of adrenal glandular may include: extreme fatigue, palpitations, blood pressure fluctuations, and anxiety. Discontinue use immediately if side effects occur.

Adrenal Glandular - QUICK FACTS

SOURCES

· Animal adrenal gland (bovine, porcine or ovine)

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

· Lethargy, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, food cravings, blood sugar imbalances, and increased infections. More severe cases include: fainting, diarrhea, depression, moodiness, feeling cold, discolouration of the skin, swelling and loss of body hair.

WORKS WELL WITH

· Vitamin C, B-complex, L-tyrosine, and herbs such as Licorice and Siberian ginseng.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Click for Products

· For periods of high-stress only, and should not be used for extended periods of time unless recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Side effects of extended usage: extreme fatigue, palpitations, blood pressure fluctuations, and anxiety. Discontinue use if side effects occur.

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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