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Adrenal Issues and treatment problems

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by Misfit Toy, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    It's very unlikely for most people to recover from adrenal issues without licorice root extract, imho. I sat and did almost literally nothing for years, it didn't make one bit of difference. All my cortisol tests showed the same level of dysfunction. If anything, the levels continued to decline, as activity is basically unavoidable as long as you are still ambulatory.

    After my severe crash last fall, I was in bed and unable to walk or talk for 6-7 weeks, with still no noticeable improvement even after that amount of time. I began taking licorice root extract, and I started recovering and was out of bed after only a day or two.

    After only a few weeks on the licorice, my cortisol tests now showed for the first time in years that the afternoon cortisol was back in 'normal' range, and morning cortisol was up a good amount, also. That's because the effects of licorice take 3 hours to manifest fully, and I was taking it around 10-11am. Now that I have adjusted to 7-8am, i'm sure the AM is back close to normal range. My thyroid numbers, which had been out of range for years, with TSH 18 and T4 declining, all completely normalized.

    Sometimes you have to keep repeating something over and over for people to 'hear' it, so I'll repeat it again: Anyone who has ME/CFS-type adrenal issues (i.e., not real Addison's or another identifiable organic cause of adrenal issues, e.g., tumor), should look into taking licorice root extract, and probably adrenal cortext extract of some kind if they can. I react badly to all forms of adrenal cortex extract, but there is one brand I found that I can take. So sometimes it takes some experimentation to find something that works. But most people are not going to progress very far without licorice, imho.

    Clymer Healing center has licorice root extract and will do salivary cortisol testing. This isn't an advertisement for Clymer - I just know of nowhere else to get the licorice reliably and at a fair price ($16/100grams). If someone knows where to get it even cheaper or better quality, please let me know. There are probably other places to get the saliva test, they're not really hard to get.

    Everyone is different, and everyone needs different things. Sometimes the same person needs different things at different times. But it's a good bet that licorice root extract (not the whole root) can make a difference in many if not most people with adrenal fatigue. Suffice to say that if you have CFS adrenal issues and you don't even try licorice then you are doing yourself a major disservice.

    Currently I am investigating ways to reset the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis to fix the actual root of the problem (no pun intended), but these measures are very experimental at this point - very counterintuitive, very risky - and are not yet proved. Eventually, however, there might be a better option for adrenal CFS issues than just these band-aid measures of licorice, adrenal cortext, cortef, etc., only to crash back down again with a little bit of activity. But until then, the licorice root extract, possibly with ACE and other substances tailored to the individual case (b-vitamins, vit. d, vit. c, proper mineral balance, salt, chiropractic/acupuncture, adaptogenic herbs, etc.), appears to be the best chance of at least some recovery. Good luck.
  2. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    hi mr kite, how do we fix the hypothalamus and the cause of this dysfunction? i am keen to hear your ideas.

    also what kind of dr do we see for hypothalamus dysfunction?

    anyone know if growth hormone is a good treatment for adrenal fatigue?
  3. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Heapsreal and Soxfan,

    I have a foggy memory (surprise!) of the details of Safe Uses of Cortisol but in it, Dr. Jefferies writes about the different types of testing possible for adrenal insufficiency (better term than adrenal fatigue--I agree!). Some of these different tests are targeted at different links in the HPA axis. As far as I know, there aren't tests or treatments yet for the top of the line, the hypothalamus, but the pituitary function can be looked at, one step down. The trouble with the ACTH stim test is that it assumes that the signalling from the hypothalamus is fine. Sure, the pituitary may work when stimulated. But what if it isn't being stimulated? So there needs to be some other form of testing. The 24 hr urine collection is maybe the best of the standard tests to show how much cortisol is actually circulating over a 24 hr period, so that will get at how much is being produced, by whatever means.

    The saliva test--which is supersensitive--believe me you need to follow all the instructions PRECISELY--can show how much is circulating at 4 different points of the 24 hr cycle, and this is also good information. We may have low cortisol in the morning and during the day when we need it, and too much of it at night when it is time to be sleeping and cortisol is supposed to be low.
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Hi knackers, you would think seeing a neurologist would help with hypothalamus problems and maybe an endocrinologist but then you have to hit your head against a brick wall a few times to find one that understands cfs as well. The hypothalamus helps control endocrine system/hormones like cortisol, dhea, aldosterone bla bla bla and controls sleep/wake cycle, temperature, hunger thirst, almost everything and i think this is why we all have different symptoms as well, it depends on where it hits you in the hypothalamus. for me i know its sleep, for others its blood pressure control so they get POTS and this can worsen with aldosterone issues as this controls fluid balance. In my case if my cortisol is out of whack, its going to worsen my sleep. The deeper you dig the more you realise how much we dont really know how badly cfs effects the hypothalamus. As far as treating it, if low in a certain hormone then try replacing it, medications for sleep etc. When it comes down to this we are really chasing our tails. But things like infections etc can be at the root cause. yesterday i googled cmv which i have and dysfunctional hypothalamus, wow there is too much info on it to take in and seems to be a common problem with HIV patients who get cmv. Im interested to learn more, hopefully more chime in on this topic.

    cheers!!!
  5. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    I'd like to suggest that the reason that our adrenal glands are worn out is because our systems perceive they are under attack from a dangerous substance.

    In some cases, this could be emotional stress. But in this disease, I think it's more likely to be environmental assaults -- either toxic substances or benign substances that the body misidentifies as toxic.

    The first category would include toxic mold, other biotoxins, and environmental chemicals. The second category would include foods and other environmental irritants that we've become sensitive to.

    Insofar as the stress from these assaults is lessened, the adrenals may be able to heal themselves. At that point, supplements might be of use.

    Insofar as the assaults are still there, supplements may end up doing no good whatsoever or even be harmful.

    Best, Lisa
  6. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Lots of good discussion going on here. It was very interesting to hear that AIDS can cause adrenal insufficiency, which of course makes you think of XMRV.

    I've tried a lot of stuff for my adrenals, but not liquorice yet.

    Also, good point about the environmental insults. I'm finally getting tested for food allergies. That's been mentioned to me about 5 times over as many years, but somehow it never happened until now.

    I have horribly crashed adrenals. My problem is, no matter what I take for my adrenals, I can't tolerate it; usually the supps make me feel anxious. Or I can only tolerate a tiny amount, but nowhere near a normal dose. For example, after 9 months on adrenal cortex extract, I can only tolerate 3/16 of one pill, two times a day. A normal dose is 5 pills a day! I recently tried 1/2 a pill and I ended up with a burning sensation at the base of my throat (thyroid reacting?), chest pain and a sort of numb left arm. My naturopath thinks there is no way I can be that sensitive.

    After a bunch of hemming and hawing and accusing me of not wanting to get better, he finally prescribed a nasal spray called RG3, which is supposed to work on your pituitary to somehow help the adrenals. Its coming from a compounding company, so I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

    Does anyone else have a problem tolerating a normal dose, or know why this would happen? I do have a partial methylation block which I am doing treatment for. Could it be related to that?
  7. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    I think I am going to try the licorice root..there is an office with alternative herbals right next to my doctor so I will check into that. I have never tried it or even been asked to by any of my doctors. How much should I take..I really know nothing about it.

    I believe I am having some side effects from the Isocort..feeling very hyper and strange inside. I am only taking one pill! I had no feelings like this on the cortef. I am not sure what to do about this...
    So I don't think I can even take 2 of these pills daily which is what the doc wants me to take.
  8. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I feel the same exact way from Isocort. Never could tolerate it.

    I think Neville has most of his patients starting on 1 1/3 tsp. of licorice extract a day. That's the root extract, not the whole root. You mix that up in a batch, and then take a smaller amount to start - maybe even over a couple of days, not sure - until you know how you respond to it.

    Your best bet is to contact Clymer. You're guaranteed to get extract and not just licorice root powder, and they send an instruction sheet telling you exactly what to do. You can get a consult with Neville if you need to, but I think the instruction sheet should be enough to get you started. If you still feel unsure, you can always just make an appt. to talk it over with him. It's probably best to have some medical oversight when using licorice anyway.
  9. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    rG3 is a ginsenoside (component of ginseng) and its the genoside that is suspected of working mostly on the immune system (probably through the adrenals).
  10. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I forgot to mention something important I learned recently. The methylation cycle helps the adrenals work in the first place. So if you have a methylation cycle block, you could take cortef or whatever and help your adrenals, but if you got off the cortef, your adrenals wouldn't be able to take back over. Therefore you would have to be on the cortef forever.

    Has anyone ever tried acupuncture or other energy work for their adrenals? If the problem is upstream in the pituitary or hypothalmus, it seems like you would be able to get at it that way. There are acupuncture points for every organ all over the body.

    Ginseng - reminds me of back when I was normal, when I was in this band, and the band members liked to do shots of Peking Ginseng Royal Jelly followed by a Coke chaser. I tried one tiny little sip of the ginseng and I was buzzing for hours! I had a weird feeling in my throat which I didn't like. Well I got my house clean anyway, lol.
  11. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    Thanks Mr. Kite for the info about the licorice..something I am going to look into. I don't think the isocort is good for me so I need to find something else that might help..
  12. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I saw on Clymer's website where you can work with them by phone. Mr. Kite, have you done this and how much does it cost?
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Where can u get isocort, can someone send me a link and what is its contents eg is it a low dose cortisol with herbs etc
  14. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    I bought it at the store next to my doctor's office but you can get it online too. Just type in Isocort and the information will come up. One tablet of mine is equivilent to 2.5mg of cortef. It contains dried adrenal cortex, echinacea extract, prunus and lomatium root. It says on the front it is a herbal supplement..hope this helps.
  15. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Apparently I'm going to be taking licorice. I'm supposed to be taking a proprietary GI supplement to heal acid reflux, which has DGL in it. 500mg per scoop, 2 or 3 times a day (not sure without looking it up) for a couple of months.

    I did a half scoop last night and I tolerated it ok, in fact, I think it made me feel better.
  16. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    thanks, from what i can gather its an adrenal extract thats suppose to be the only legit type around. I have an adrenal extract on hand that im not using yet, it says its freeze dried adrenal cortex from new zealand like isocort, i suppose the only way to know is to try both.

    cheers!!!
  17. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    DGL lacks precisely the component that's needed to treat the adrenal insufficiency (glycyrrhizic acid (GA). Deglycyrrhizinated = no GA). I take a few DGLs every day before meals for stomach issues, but DGL doesn't have any cortisol sparing effects to speak of and won't be of any use for energy and adrenal issues. You need the GA to inhibit the 11-beta HSD enzyme and prevent the cortisol breakdown it normally causes, and also to get the aldosterone effects of the licorice. DGL won't do that, only non-DGLed licorice will.

    I forget the exact rate for phone consults with Neville, but it's pretty reasonable. I think my charge was around $50 or $60 for about 20-30 mins, whatever that comes to.

    hth
  18. caledonia

    caledonia

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    That's weird. I wonder why I feel so good on it then. It takes away that hollow death weak feeling and gives me a nice feeling of well being and natural energy. Ingredients: zinc carnosine, l-glutamine, arabinogalactans, DGL, aloe vera leaf extract, N-acetyl glucosamine, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, stevia leaf extract, various natural fruit flavors, beet powder.

    Could it be the L-glutamine?

    The feeling reminds me of when I first started the ACE, if that's any clue.

    The consultation fee does sound reasonable.
  19. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    It could be the glutamine - what's the dosage? I would tend to doubt there would be major effects from the amounts that (just guessing) would probably be in a combination supplement like that, but who knows? Everyone's different, so it's quite possible. The glucosamine could also possibly be having some effect, on blood sugar or insulin effects, perhaps? Seems less likely, but again, very difficult to say.
  20. caledonia

    caledonia

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    L-glutamine = 2500mg since I'm only taking half a dose. I forgot, I also had some vitamin C with ribose in the mix. The ribose has given me energy in the past. So I'll need to a do a dose with just the GI stuff and another dose later with just the vit C/ribose to compare.

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