Adrenal Fatigue?

On his program, Dr. Oz recently opened the conversation about adrenal fatigue. One expert guest was a dean of medicine who denied the existence of adrenal fatigue. Dr. Christianne Northrup was the other expert and she disagreed.

As always, I can only give you the experiences in the group. Way back in our beginnings, I subscribed to Dr. Jonathan Wright’s newsletter. One issue had an article about adrenal glands. He described people who felt overwhelmed and who had no bounce-back left. He suggested that Vitamin C, B5 (pantothenic acid) and salt were supportive of adrenal glands.

Accordingly, I started taking 1000 mg of pantothenic acid, as much vitamin C as I could tolerate and salt as needed in my fresh-food based diet.

Since then we have read Dr. Diana Schwarzbein’s book, The Schwarzbein Principle II, as well as Dr. Uzzi Reiss’s, The Natural Superwoman, which both have sections on adrenal glands. Reiss goes so far as to differentiate between the stages of adrenal efficiency. We have also noted an artilce in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine on Pantothenic Acid which reported use of B5 up to 10 000 mg which a researcher was using to treat acne and other problems.

This made us look more closely at our test of B5 if the dosage range goes up to 10 000 mg. As well, we have the converted form of B5, pantethine, in the test kit. What if there are people who cannot convert pantethenic acid to pantethine efficiently? In that case, we think that they will test deficient in pantethine  rather than the pantothenic acid. It’s more expensive but if it works better for someone, it would be worth it.

I took the 1 000 mg of B5 for a couple of years and then, in a stressful time, forgot to replenish my supply. A couple of months later, I felt overwhelmed and had no springs left under me. My doctor suggested I investigate an adrenal supplement — which was when I remembered the B5. I got a bottle of the ground adrenal supplement (Genestra and AOR both have one) and out of curiosity, tested it, and I was encouraged enough to try it. I also restarted the 1 000 mg of B5. Energy and resilience improved. After about 2 months, my level had come up, so I quit the adrenal supplement and just carried on with the B5 — and have ever since.

Lots of people have tested the adrenal supplement since then. The responses vary across the spectrum. Interestingly, a person newly-diagnosed with diabetes tested deficient with the ground adrenal. Since the flight or fight response dumps glucose into the blood, then perhaps some diabetes is related to adrenal status. Adrenaline also causes the blood vessels to narrow so higher blood pressure results so that puts the salt suggestion into question.

In regard to salt, one member went on the low-salt diet with her high-blood-pressure husband, thinking it would be a good thing. She then started to experience dizziness and sweating on exertion and even when just standing up. When we had the group discussion about adrenals, she suddenly realized that low blood presure from low salt was the problem and now has solved that one. Salt may be used in our test, depending on what other ingredients are in it. That should be compared to the test of potassium since sodium and potassium should balance.

Anyone interested in this issue could research the connection between allergies and adrenal function; rational thinking and adrenal function; electrolyte balance and adrenal function; cardiac function and adrenals. Evidently, adrenal glands under extreme stress can even bleed which then causes scarring. Scar tissue in glands does not function as normal tissue producing the hormones.

As always, so many questions. Given how individual we all are, it’s no wonder. Thank you, Dr. Oz, for bringing it up and we look forward to more on this.

Diane Dawber

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