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What Can Help Your Adrenal Glands

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

Video summarized in article below.

Now we’re going to dive into how you can actually help your adrenal glands, but just keep in mind that we don’t want to only focus on the adrenals. We’re looking at the whole NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response, meaning you want to look at every organ, every system, and every circuit, and not only focus on the adrenals.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Stress

There are some good lifestyle changes that you can do. When you have stress, you need to remember to learn how to say “no,” and reduce the amount of stress that your body is going through, and your adrenals will love you for that.

Some ways you can do that is by planning out your schedule ahead of time, letting people know how your health is, or giving people advanced notice so that you also won’t get stressed out.

Another thing that’s very good for adrenal stress would be breathing. Adrenal breathing in particular with abdominal breathing has actually been shown to really be good for increasing your parasympathetic response. Most people are always on overdrive. Their sympathetic is on overdrive and they actually need to calm down more.

So, adrenal breathing and meditating are very good lifestyle changes to control your stress and your adrenals, but there are also ways we can do that with supplements.

Supplements for Stress and the Adrenals

In the early phases of adrenal fatigue, we can use adaptogens and glandulars to help support the adrenal glands. But you need to beware, these depend on what stage of adrenal fatigue you are in, and they can actually backfire and cause you to crash. So, before you take supplements, you really need to talk to a doctor.

The Hazards of Supplement-Backfiring

We have lots of people that come to us with a basket full. They’re taking glandulars, herbs, Rhodiola, green tea, maca, ginseng, ashwagandha, licorice, vitamin C, vitamin B5. It’s almost as if the whole kitchen sink is given to the body. While they all have good intentions, the problem that we see with people is that they really don’t understand what each of these supplement pathways goes on to do.

When you mix so many things up, you actually end up with a lot of what we call backfiring because you can have problems and contradictions. For example, one supplement is to stimulate, and one supplement will then try to bring it back down. So, it’s almost like you try to put out a fire but you’re adding oil on the side without even knowing it.

This supplementation that is wrong is one of the most common adrenal mistakes. The problem is because of a lack of education. That’s why we try to educate you here to let you know that the complexity of the hormonal circuit is really much more than what meets the eye.

Now, if you are young—you are in the early stages of adrenal fatigue. It’s not that bad. You just have an occasional down day from time to time. Yes, you can play with those things on your own. But if you are at a point where you’re kind of slumpy, have repeated crashes, have low blood pressure or symptoms of low blood pressure, symptoms of normal blood sugar but just feeling irritable when you’re not eating frequently and not sleeping well, then you are totally in a different ballgame. Under those circumstances, supplements can actually very quickly make you worse.

Balancing Your Adrenals

The adrenals are actually very special in the hormone circuit, and they have a connection to both the reproductive organs and the thyroid gland.

So, with the ovaries, the adrenals help to regulate your reproduction and the stressors that arise from that. With the thyroid, the adrenals can help regulate your metabolism and the stressors that come with that as well. So, together, these three commonly form what is called the OAT axis or the Ovarian Adrenal Thyroid axis.

It’s almost like you have three legs on a stool. If you want the body to feel good, those legs must be equal and balanced. If you have two nice legs and one bad leg, you’re not going to be feeling comfortable for too long. In fact, you can fall over, and that’s what happens.

A lot of people don’t realize that if you don’t have strong adrenals, what happens is that the thyroid function gets dragged down, but most doctors may not be aware of that. Therefore, they go about trying to help the whole system by focusing on the thyroid without understanding there’s an adrenal component involved. Ultimately, by just stimulating and replacing thyroid hormones and fortifying the thyroid with the best intentions, they just never get better. So, this is what we see quite often.

 
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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