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adrenal disorders and adrenal fatigue

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008

Summary

Each person has two adrenal glands, one on the top of each kidney.  These small glands secrete a number of hormones that are critical to our well-being.  Adrenaline affects Adrenal glandsblood pressure, heart rate, and sweating; mineralocorticoids affect blood pressure plus the levels of salts and potassium in the body.  Other hormones control how fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are used plus male sex functions.  Cortisol is also produced by the adrenal glands and has a number of important functions including helping the body deal with stress.

Adrenal disorders include diseases or conditions where there is adrenal insufficiency and also over production.  Adrenal insufficiency is the term used in allopathic (traditional western) medicine to describe conditions wherein the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient hormones.  Addison’s disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia are diseases that may lead to adrenal insufficiency.  Other disorders can lead to an excess of hormones.  Cushing’s syndrome is one such disorder.  There are also other rare disorders including a form of cancer that fall in this category.  Beyond this tumor, nearby infections, and trauma can affect hormone production.

Adrenal fatigue (hypoadrenia) is a term used in alternative medicine for a syndrome or a group of symptoms that are the result of the adrenal glands functioning below their normal and needed levels.  (Traditional, allopathic, medicine has not yet officially accepted adrenal fatigue as a disease or syndrome.)  The paramount symptom is fatigue or a persistent tiredness that does not seem to be relieved by rest.  Other symptoms may include aches, sleep difficulties, digestive disorders, or a general feeling of not being well. 

The common belief is that adrenal fatigue is the result of the adrenal glands not being able to keep up with the stress load of the individual.  This can be physical, emotional, or physiological and can be accumulative if there are multiple and prolonged conditions in one’s life.  The chronic stress may make it impossible for the adrenal glands to maintain proper homeostasis.  Since the adrenal hormones control so many functions of the body (energy levels, heart functions, immune response, sex drive, etc.) a multiplicity of symptoms can result as the body tries to balance itself and restore homeostasis.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: CloveC, Coriander, Cypress, GeraniumEC, RosemaryC, Metabolic Blend, Ylang Ylang, Detoxifying Blend

Essential oils based products: Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV), Detoxifying Blend Detoxification Complex

Also consider: BasilC, Joyful Blend (Elevating Blend)C, Lavender, Calming Blend

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

 

Suggested protocols:

Kidney  painImmediate relief:

Apply the following topically over the kidney area (lower back on each side of the spine):

  Blend 1 - 2 drops Clove with 1 drop Rosemary

  Or also consider Coriander, Cypress, or Geranium

   Drive in the oils by applying a warm compress and allow it to warm the area for a period of time.

Long term help:

  Regular use of Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)

  Massage Blend Technique once a week, twice a month at the least, and more often if needed.

  Metabolic Blend is excellent to balance metabolism

  Regular use of Detoxifying Blend Detoxification Complex and Detoxifying Blend to cleanse vital organs

  Drink lots of water, it is excellent to add 1 - 2 drops of Lemon essential oil to each glass for further cleansing

  Consider dietary hints on Diet & Nutrition tab above

Reducing Chronic Stress: Dr. David Hill in a webinar on hormonal balance spoke of reducing chronic stress.  A summary of his comments follows:

 Chronic stress produces two negative effects on hormonal balance.  Progesterone is converted to cortisol and adrenaline inhibits the proper interaction of progesterone within cells.  Both of these lead to estrogen dominance and the resulting symptoms.

·    To decrease adrenaline Dr. Hill mentioned the essential oils of Rose and Patchouli, both of which are found in the Blend for Women blends.

Stress reducing oils and blends presented were:

·    Citrus oils, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Calming Blend, Grounding Blend, Joyful Blend (Elevating Blend), Frankincense, Lavender, conifer oils

·    Further Dr. Hill also suggested Sandalwood and also stated that a combination that he has found very powerful for stress reduction is Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, and Frankincense that mixed together give a very pleasing aroma.  Using 1 drop of each mixed together he would apply to the bottoms of the feet, the back of the neck, the temples and/or inhale the aroma.  He has found this reduces stress immediately.

·    Finally, a must for those dealing with hormonal balance are the oils, blends, and procedures in the Massage Blend Technique.  This should be done on a consistent and regular basis once a week, twice a month at the least, and more often if needed.

 

Experiences and Testimonials of others

A submission directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:

    Tanya Blanton
   
tanyablanton@gmail.com

Tanya -
  I am suffering from adrenal exhaustion.   Often I will take a hit, and collapse, to be in bed with nausea, dizziness, extreme weakness, and headache.   This will last for 10-24 hours, and then I can barely get around.  I also have insomnia.

I had an episode, laid down to rest, and put on Lavender and Calming Blend.  In 50 minutes, I was not only up on my feet, but feeling GREAT. I also, do not suffer from insomnia anymore as long as I can have my Lavender and Calming Blend. ha!

 

Samara – What oils would be best to address adrenal fatigue?

Tamalu - Try 1-2 drops Clove and 1 drop Rosemary over each kidney. I recommend this with the following compress: 

Unfold a trash bag on your couch or bed.

Spread a hot damp towel over the trash bag. Lie down on the towel, cover with a blanket, and enjoy a book or movie!  I usually sack out for this, and wake up feeling like a new woman.

Kendra - I use Geranium and Cypress oils over the kidney area every evening before bed. You can make a fist and put some oil on the back side of your hands, then reach around your back and apply the oil on the kidney area.  As I understand it, Rosemary, Coriander, Cypress, Geranium are good oils to apply for adrenal issues.  Then like Tamalu said, hot compress.

 

Gin - I try and follow what is going on in the Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome medical world. What the top clinics are now seeing is some success in treatment using a high dose of T3 (Thyroid hormone) and treating for adrenal fatigue. The specialist I see is also doing this and seeing good results. Since I of course hate Rx, I thought I'd share that with you and what I believe the equivalents would be using essential oils.

Hypo or Hyper thyroidism:

  Grounding Blend and Geranium

  Lemongrass and Myrrh

  Alternate the above two combinations weekly. Apply them directly to the thyroid area, the reflexology points on the feet (great toes), and on the wrists multiple times per day

Adrenal help:

  Apply any of these oils: Clove, Coriander, Cypress, Rosemary, Geranium topically over the kidney area (lower back on each side of the spine).

  For additional help "drive in" the oils by apply a warm compress and allow it to warm the area for a period of time.

Of course, those should be accompanied by LLV supplements, lots of water with Lemon, and eliminating white carbohydrates and sugar from your diet.

 

Sarah - What are the best ways to go about lowering Cortisol, cleansing a fatty liver and stressed adrenal?

Deborah – From a (...) webinar I noted that for stressed adrenal - Ylang Ylang, for liver balance – Geranium. there was some mention of cortisol in relationship to diabetes. The cortisol comes from stress which it was suggested the Grounding Blend.  

Diane - One of the best ways to do this with oils is using Metabolic Blend. The absolute best way is to change your diet and eliminate grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables. Grains contribute to adrenal fatigue, especially gluten grains. Avoiding grains altogether, along with other high-glycemic foods.  This helps alleviate the strain on the adrenal glands, which will also help lower cortisol levels since stressed adrenal glands release more cortisol. Eating lean meats and getting your Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats in balance should help reverse the fatty liver.  As will eliminating sugars, especially fructose (high fructose corn syrup is very prevalent in processed foods and is one of the worst things you can consume), alcohol, and vegetable oils. Most importantly, it will increase your levels of choline, the two best sources of which are liver and eggs.

 

Editor’s note – The following has been summarized a great deal, go to Everything(...) Google Group for the full interchange.

Caroline -
I have been having a lot of problems with pain in my back, right by the kidneys and adrenals. I also have had a lot of problems with very sore and tight muscles in my hips and back, and sometimes shoulders.  From my readings these are all indications of adrenals. Xrays have been taken and nothing with bone. I have been taking the Zendrocrine pill and oil and also applying it to my back.  It reduces the pain I am finding when applied topically.  I would recommend this if you have sensitive skin, I luckily do not have sensitive skin. Also been using Grounding Blend, Peppermint, Metabolic Blend and of course LLV. What experiences have others had with Adrenals and what do you recommend.

Gin - Your symptoms don't sound to me like an adrenal issue. Most adrenal issues are accompanied with extreme fatigue, brain fog, weakness. You could add Soothing Blend for pain but my guess is that you probably need a chiropractor to re-align you and release your trigger points. If your chiropractor doesn't do trigger points then perhaps massage therapy. With the Zendrocrine make sure you are drinking plenty of water (2 quarts a day minimum in addition to other beverages). Water is really important to release toxins from your system.

Caroline - Sorry I guess I should have listed more symptoms.  I have all the symptoms you listed as well as fibromyalgia symptoms (autoimmune). I do go to a chiropractor weekly and he does release the trigger points when they are not so inflamed that he can't touch them.  I have been using Soothing Blend, Peppermint, Grounding Blend as well as the Zendrocrine.  Just wanted to see what others have experienced in this area.

Gin - Most of my adrenal experience is before I started using essential oils. My doctor put me on Hydrocort. Generally they use it for 6 months to kick-start the adrenals and then test again and if you are doing better they taper you off. They don't like to have you on it for more than 12 months. Here are some other thoughts:

  Were you tested for thyroid, candida or Lyme Disease?

  With adrenal issues it is really important to keep taking the LLV.  

  Are you taking the Zendrocrine for a 14 day protocol? If it’s been more than 14 days you might give that a break and really drink a lot of water to try and get all the toxins out.

   Adrenals are tricky because there are two functions and it is usually one or the other that isn't working. With you having fibromyalgia symptoms I'm guessing cortex but I am not sure. I would test (muscle test, Zyto, or experiment) for Rosemary, Basil, Joyful Blend (Elevating Blend) and Clove. Depending on what the test shows that is what I would go with and massage a few drops over the kidneys.

  And for no fun part... adrenal and fibromyalgia almost always go hand in hand with Candida.

  Make sure you are drinking the 2 quarts of water a day. More is better.

  If you are able to I also suggest 20 minutes on the treadmill, walking, yoga (Wii Fit is good) to help get those toxins out.

It probably sounds like a lot of work and stressful but on the bright side there is hope. I had Fibro symptoms for over 12 years and 95% of them are gone now.

Sharon - Virtually everyone with fibromyalgia has thyroid issues.  Lemongrass or Myrrh with Peppermint is what I learned to use.  Straight on the thyroid with a bit of carrier oil if your skin is sensitive or on the foot spot. Are you drinking Lemon water?  If not you should be. Metabolic Blend is also fantastic for getting the metabolism back in order but I do feel that the amounts recommended may be too high for you.  I'd start way slower, like one drop, or apply externally.   Detoxifying Blend is fantastic oil for the liver.  

Protocols folks recommend for children

 

 

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils

Sharon contributed this:

I decided to look up some ideas of what foods are best to help my adrenal recover. I found this recipe called the Adrenal Recovery Soup.  The following vegetable soup recipe has proved helpful in adrenal support. This high-energy soup, called “Taz,” comes from Dolores S. Downey's “Balancing body chemistry with nutrition” seminars.

Adrenal Recovery Soup

  16 oz. green beans

  1 cup chopped celery

  1 zucchini, sliced

  1 medium onion, chopped

  1 cup tomato juice

  1 cup spring water

  2 tbsp. raw honey

  1 tsp. paprika

  1 cup chicken broth

Diane contributed the following:

The absolute best way to help adrenal fatigue is to change your diet and eliminate grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables. Grains contribute to adrenal fatigue, especially gluten grains. Avoiding grains altogether, along with other high-glycemic foods.  This helps alleviate the strain on the adrenal glands, which will also help lower cortisol levels since stressed adrenal glands release more cortisol. Eating lean meats and getting your Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats in balance should help reverse the fatty liver.  As will eliminating sugars, especially fructose (high fructose corn syrup is very prevalent in processed foods and is one of the worst things you can consume), alcohol, and vegetable oils. Most importantly, it will increase your levels of choline, the two best sources of which are liver and eggs.

A summary of Diane's recommendations

Avoid:

  Grains

  Legumes

  Starchy vegetables

  High-glycemic foods

  Sugars

  Alcohol

  Vegetable oils

Add:

  Lean meats

  Eggs

  Liver (ugh)

 

 

What Science & Research are saying

Nutrients and Botanicals for Treatment of Stress: Adrenal Fatigue, Neurotransmitter Imbalance, Anxiety, and Restless Sleep

Kathleen A. Head, ND, and Gregory S. Kelly, ND.  From: Alternative Medicine Review Volume 14, Number 2 2009

[Editorial note: Included in this study details are items of particular interest to users of (...) products: Intestinal microflora (Probiotic Defense Formula), fish oil (xEO Mega ®), German Chamomile, Melissa, valerian, and a number of vitamins (VMz™).]

Abstract

Research shows a dramatic increase in use of the medical system during times of stress, such as job insecurity. Stress is a factor in many illnesses – from headaches to heart disease, and immune deficiencies to digestive problems. A substantial contributor to stress-induced decline in health appears to be an increased production of stress hormones and subsequent decreased immune function. Non-pharmaceutical approaches have much to offer such patients. This article focuses on the use of nutrients and botanicals to support the adrenals, balance neurotransmitters, treat acute anxiety, and support restful sleep. (Altern Med Rev 2009;14(2):114-140)

Conclusion

Stress is an unavoidable fact of everyday life and is associated with significant morbidity and even mortality. In addition to generalized anxiety and sleep disorders, it can result in significant physiological problems, including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and immunological.

In addition to lifestyle considerations – good diet, exercise, meditation, etc. – a number of nutrients and botanicals can provide support for stress-related conditions. Such support requires a five-pronged approach: (1) support for the adrenals with adaptogenic botanicals, (2) use of nutrients to normalize cortisol levels, (3) prescription of anxiolytic herbs to handle sleep disorders and the symptoms of acute anxiety, (4) balance neurotransmitters with amino acid precursors, and (5) provide necessary nutrient cofactors.

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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.