Written By Michael Gerber, MD, HMD |
Adrenal support dosing has a very long therapeutic curve. It is nice to start with sleeping eight to nine hours per night, and to enjoy occasional vacations when the stress is off. Reducing stress at the work place, at home and with the kids is important, but how to resolve the stress of estranged spouses bent on revenge, sick relatives, crazy siblings battling over the inheritance, financial collapse and loss of drive to do anything is much more difficult. These people need adrenal help.
I always begin adrenal support with good nutrients important for the adrenal gland, especially good sea salt such as Cheltic salt, or Real Salt. When the adrenals are weak, you leak salt and minerals. Some low adrenal patients take ½ tsp of sea salt in water in the morning and after lunch to improve their energy. Vitamin C, B vitamins (pantothenic acid, B5), vitamin A, chromium, EFA’s (essential fatty acids such as fish oil and primrose oil) and good sources of cholesterol, such as egg yolks, butter and animal protein if possible, are all important. Vegans need to lead a less stressful life and supplement if they are stressed (B12 at least). Of course the liver makes cholesterol, but many livers are very toxic and all the adrenal hormones are made from cholesterol, which can only be consumed from animal sources. Acupuncture, psychological counseling, chiropractic, musculoskeletal therapies, energetic support, color puncture and every body balancing, stress reducing therapeutic modality can help the adrenals to rebuild.
My very favorite adrenal support over the last 36 years is an adrenal complex shot with B12 (hydroxycobalamin) and folic acid. I have it compounded with hydrocortisone 2 mg per cc, DHEA .2mg per cc, pregnenelone .2 mg per cc in a sesame or cotton seed oil base for its time-release properties, with one mg of B12 and 10 mg of folic acid. An average sized woman usually responds well to 1 ½ cc of adrenal complex, smaller women 1 cc, and larger women and men 2 cc plus 1 cc of B12 and 1 cc of folic acid.
This is an old feel-good shot that has been around since the 1950’s from Hollywood, (thank you Alan Nittler, MD and Gary Gordon, MD.) I learned this therapy from Dr. Nittler in 1975 in Santa Cruz, California, and from his book A New Breed of Doctor. He used adrenal cortex extract in those days, but it is no longer available, and this adrenal complex bears a rough equivalency to that product. This shot gives a week of blood sugar stability for most patients and can be done weekly, two or three times per week or daily, depending on the needs of the patient and reducing the frequency of dosing as the patient gets better. Remember that the normal adrenal cortex makes 30 mg to 200 mgs of hydrocortisone per day.
Low dose adrenal support is frequently very helpful for energy, sleep, headaches, gastritis (heart burn) and anti-anxiety qualities, and does not suppress the hypothalamic, pituitary adrenal axis. This intramuscular, time-release shot is given in the upper-outer quadrant of the hip. Isocorts or other oral adrenal tissue support are always great; be careful of whole adrenal extracts as they may contain some adrenalin, which may be too stimulating for some sensitive people.
Adrenal rebuilding, adaptogenic herbs are great, such as Cordyceps, Rodiola rosea, Ashwaganda, Maca, Eluthrococcus senticosis (Siberian Ginseng) and many more. Importantly, some patients are so adrenal-depleted that they really need hydrocortisone tablets a’ la William McK. Jeffries, MD a co-discoverer of hydrocortisone in 1949.
In his book The Safe Uses of Cortisone he presents many cases of successful treatment of adrenal deficient patients with 5 mg of cortisol (hydrocortisone/Cortef), four times per day, or 10 mg four times per day when ill. Some patients prefer 10 mg AM and noon, or some variation of this dosage regimen. Cortisol can also be compounded in a time-release preparation, which needs to be dosed less frequently and is more convenient for patients. It is interesting that even when adrenal-fatigue patients need larger doses of Cortef to maintain normal energy levels they don’t appear Cushingoid (puffy, moon faced), and they feel great.
Solutions Specialty, Henderson, NV, 702-792-3777.
Nittler, Alan H., M.D. A New Breed of Doctor. Pyramid House Publisher. New York, NY, 1972.
Jefferies, William Mck., M.D., F.A.C.P. Safe Uses of Cortisone. Charles Thomas Publisher. Springfield, Illinois. 1981.