Adrenal Insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and weight loss. 

One of the most important additional factors to take into account is your adrenal hormone level. 

Why is Adrenal Function so important?

Your adrenal glands are the two pyramid shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. The job of the adrenals is to produce and release certain hormones and chemicals. 

In the adrenal medulla, the hormone adrenaline is made. The adrenal medulla is stimulated directly by nerves from the sympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system, where "fight or flight" response is regulated. 

The human body is therefore able to respond immediately to threatening situations by generating a tremendous amount of energy in a hurry. A person is able to run away quickly (flight), or face the threat (fight). 

Nerve impulses from the brain cause the release of adrenaline which helps you react appropriately in immediate short term situations. 

In the adrenal cortex, the hormone cortisol is made to help longer-term stress situations. 

Adrenaline and cortisol are the two primary adrenal hormones that help you handle stress. These hormones help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions. 

Adrenal Insufficiency

The Thyroid Adrenal Connection

A major connection exists between low thyroid and low adrenal. Insufficiency, or low adrenal, can actually cause someone's thyroid problem to be much worse than it would be otherwise. Correction for low adrenal is similar to correction of low thyroid. Generally, the solution is to take a pill that contains the hormone you are lacking. 

Insufficient Adrenal Symptoms

Adrenal insufficiency symptoms include...

  • lack of libido

  • weakness

  • muscle and joint pain

  • dark circles under the eyes

  • dizziness

  • low blood sugar

  • low blood pressure

  • food and salt cravings

  • dry skin

  • poor sleep

  • cystic breasts

  • lines of dark pigment in nails

  • lowered immune function

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • no stamina for confrontation

  • tendency to startle easily

  • difficulty recovering from colds

  • premature aging

Taking Thyroid and Adrenal Hormone Together

When people with symptoms of low thyroid are put on thyroid hormone alone, sometimes the response is negative. They may have coexistent but hidden low adrenal. Taking the thyroid by itself may accelerate the low adrenal problem. The proper approach in this case is to treat the patient with both thyroid and adrenal support simultaneously. 

Adrenal insufficiency is unpleasant and uncomfortable, especially when unmasked by the addition of thyroid hormone. What makes matters worse, the doctor and patient could wrongly assume thyroid replacement has been a mistake. The doctor can gradually add thyroid and adrenal hormone together with the patient eventually taking optimal levels of both. This needs careful attention and delicate calibration by the practitioner and patient.

› Adrenal Insufficiency

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