Homeopathy: Natural Adrenal Support
As part of your body’s endocrine system, your adrenal glands form a portion of your body’s first line of defense against a variety of situations. It is something you have no real control over, as this defense involves an automatic response to danger and is part of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. Because constant stressful situations may be harmful to the adrenals in the long run, natural adrenal support may help your adrenals cope with any long-term stress you may encounter.
Why the Need for Natural Adrenal Support
Your body is constantly bombarded with stressors. These may take the form of work stress, stress from a relationship, lifestyle issues such as a poor diet, lack of exercise and its results, and toxins from the food we eat and the air around us. These stressors, while ultimately affecting the health of our adrenal glands, affect each person differently. Stress presents itself in a range of symptoms, making diagnosing adrenal fatigue very difficult.
The A-Z of Adrenal Fatigue in a Nutshell
Your body starts experiencing adrenal fatigue when your adrenal glands produce high levels of cortisol over an extended period. This is due to your body’s NEM Stress Response going into overdrive. This results in a cascading effect with far-reaching negative consequences. Ultimately, your immune function is compromised, as is almost every other function, including that of the gastrointestinal system, immune system, hormone production, etc. The result is the wide range of symptoms that have been mentioned.
The Need for Adrenal Support
Because of the toll taken on your adrenal glands when suffering from adrenal fatigue, the adrenals may need added support in order to keep functioning correctly – and even to heal. To this end, natural adrenal support remedies may help.
As homeopathic remedies are natural, they do not add to the burden carried by the adrenal glands, nor do they add to your body’s burden when it comes to the removal of any toxins. However, this depends on the correct remedy being employed. Just as the body goes through different stages when battling with adrenal fatigue, so it may need a different remedy during each of those stages. Incorrect usage and dosage of these remedies may have a detrimental effect on your health. Adrenal crashes may be triggered. Always consult an AFS-educated practitioner prior to embarking on any recovery program.
Homeopathy as a Means of Support
Homeopathy, as a means of adrenal support, has the potential of having a powerful effect on the body. This is because it works on the principle of “like cures like,” meaning that a watered-down dose of whatever is causing the problem supports cellular activity when it comes to tackling the bigger issue.
Homeopathy, therefore, works with your body to tackle the root cause of the problem instead of focusing solely on dealing with the symptom. Because homeopathy is a holistic approach that takes all aspects of your physiology, environment, and psyche into consideration, the road to recovery is different for each individual, as are the remedies that may support you on this journey.
Homeopaths well-versed in adrenal fatigue and its myriad symptoms and causes will also take great care in determining your stage of adrenal fatigue. This is due to the differing physiological factors that need to be taken into account before deciding on the correct remedy. There is no “one size fits all” solution. This is also why self-medication may be dangerous, as using a remedy that has worked for a friend may, in the end, cause you more harm than good. Homeopathy is typically only recommended in advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, when the body is not able to tolerate many supplements.
Natural Adrenal Support Supplements
Aralia quinquefolia, or ginseng, may help with many aspects relating to adrenal fatigue, with the added bonus of being a premiere supplement for natural adrenal support.
Not only does ginseng help with stress management due to its action on the brain’s response pathways, but it also has an effect on your body’s cortisol production. Depending on your cortisol levels, this supplement may either stimulate or inhibit your adrenal activity. It thus has what is commonly referred to as adaptogenic properties, meaning that its effect is adapted according to the stage of adrenal fatigue you are in at that moment.
Besides its action on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain and its natural adrenal support qualities, Aralia quinquefolia also helps in the management of many symptoms commonly associated with adrenal fatigue. Amongst these are included:
- Weight loss issues
- Management of diabetes, as it may help manage blood sugar issues
- Stimulation of cognitive ability
- Reduction of feelings of anxiety
- Boost of libido
- Reduction of bad cholesterol levels, thereby promoting heart health
Although this herb has many benefits, high dosages may lead to headaches and stomach issues. It may act as a stimulant for some people and cause nervousness and even insomnia, and may cause vaginal bleeding when taken by pregnant women.
As it affects blood sugar levels, diabetics are cautioned. In short, you should not use this or any other supplement for natural adrenal support without first consulting your healthcare practitioner.
Avena sativa is commonly referred to as “oatstraw” or “milky oats” and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and steroidal saponins. The former two are needed for building stronger bones, but it is the latter that offers natural adrenal support while helping stabilize blood sugar levels as well. In addition, it also nourishes the pancreas. Blood sugar and pancreas issues are often symptoms that are related to adrenal fatigue.
When it comes to adrenal support, Avena sativa helps normalize your cortisol and other hormone levels as well as the biological processes involved in your body’s NEM Stress Response.
This grain has no known negative side effects.
Glandula Suprarenalis Suis
This glandular extract is a natural adrenal support remedy that works at giving the adrenals the added boost they need to function correctly. It may help balance hormones, thereby addressing many of the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, such as anxiety, fatigue, and others. It may also help boost your immune system and build muscles.
Arsenicum iodatum is a homeopathic remedy made of arsenic and iodine. Please remember that although arsenic may be poisonous, very low dosages of this poison are used in the remedy, with many beneficial results for your general health. Although this remedy helps address many aspects of adrenal fatigue symptoms, it also offers overtaxed adrenal glands much-needed support with regards to their function. In so doing, Arsenicum iodatum helps bring balance to the adrenals, resulting in hormone balance as well. Hormone imbalance is one of the major causes of a number of symptoms presented by adrenal fatigue.
Ignatia amara is an alkaloid with strong psychological activity. It may be effective when dealing with symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue due to lowered adrenal activity. In other words, it may prove effective during the later stages of adrenal fatigue as a means of natural adrenal support when cortisol levels may be lower than normal. Ignatia amara may thus be considered an adrenal stimulant.
Although a strychnine derivative, the poisonous aspect no longer applies in the homeopathic remedy. It should be a safe and effective means of fighting against such symptoms associated with the later stages of adrenal fatigue, such as insomnia, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
Historically, Lycopodium clavatum has been used for ailments affecting the bladder and kidneys, as well as a diuretic. These days, it is used as a general constitution restorer, being of benefit to those with digestive as well as psychological issues. These issues may be as a result of adrenal problems, thus making this remedy an excellent choice when it comes to natural adrenal support.
Other symptoms that may benefit from this remedy are colds and flu, headaches, fatigue, hair loss, psoriasis, nervousness/anxiety, loss of libido, and gastric issues.
Doses of Lycopodium clavatum that are too high may result in a number of unwanted side-effects, however. These include, amongst others, gallbladder issues, diarrhea or constipation, coughing, food cravings, emotional issues, and newly developed food sensitivities resulting in allergies. As with all remedies, please consult a medical professional before starting on a course of Lycopodium clavatum.
Phosphoricum acidum is the homeopathic form of phosphoric acid. It may be considered a suppressant, as it works on the nervous system, suppressing the emotional stressors that aid in the propagation of adrenal fatigue. When your stressors are suppressed, your adrenal glands are given some relief. In turn, your cortisol levels may start to stabilize, as is the case with other hormones and bodily functions. This may be of benefit to certain of the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, making Phosphoricum acidum a means of natural adrenal support to consider when dealing with a hypo-function of the endocrine system.
This homeopathic remedy is considered one of the best when dealing with depression, but an overdose may lead to a number of negative side-effects. Besides its use as a means of natural adrenal support and its positive action in dealing with depression, positives outcomes are reported when it comes to other adrenal fatigue symptoms, such as hair loss, fatigue, and stress-related headaches.
The side effects of overdosing include a reduction in calcium that may lead to bone and heart disease, while it may impair your body’s ability to absorb certain essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Zincum metallicum is a homeopathic remedy made from zinc which aids in the production of many of the hormones found in our bodies, amongst these being cortisone, progesterone, and aldosterone. A zinc deficiency thus contributes to a hormonal imbalance, which may in turn contribute to adrenal fatigue.
One of the main functions of cortisol in the body, besides readying your body to face any form of adversity, is its inflammation-fighting ability. As a form of natural adrenal support, zinc aids in the production of cortisol so that your body is better able to fight infections. Low cortisol levels are associated with the later stages of adrenal fatigue.
By supporting adrenal function, zinc thus not only helps to balance hormone levels, but aids in addressing some of the common symptoms associated with it, such as anxiety, depression, metabolic issues, and exhaustion.
Too much zinc, however, may result in:
- A lowered immunity (as your body may produce too much cortisol, which in turn compromises immune system function)
- Digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea
- Low copper levels
- Loss of appetite
- Lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels
The Good and the Bad of Natural Adrenal Support
The adrenal glands are responsible for a number of life-giving functions. Without them and the work they carry out every minute of the day, our health would swiftly deteriorate. Because of their steady work, and the fact that they may sometimes be compromised due to issues such as adrenal fatigue, they may need a little support in order to operate at an optimum level. However, when adrenal fatigue comes into play, you may need to consult a professional who is conversant in the condition and is able to ascertain the level of your adrenals in order to prescribe the correct homeopathic remedy. What may work for you during the initial stages is a far cry from what is needed during the later stages, as higher cortisol levels are synonymous with the former and lower cortisol levels during the latter. Taking the incorrect remedy at an incorrect dosage could, ultimately, leave you worse off than you were initially.
Another factor to consider is that each person’s adrenal fatigue solution is different. This is because the cause of the condition may vary in each person. The solution thus lies with finding the root cause and addressing it, while continuing with natural adrenal support in the interim.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Is natural adrenal support necessary to counteract adrenal fatigue?
Natural adrenal support certainly plays a part in fighting adrenal fatigue. However, there are other measures that you can also put in place. These include exercise, the correct diet, detoxification, and making certain lifestyle changes. Addressing the root cause of the condition also helps, though this may be different for each.