I read an excerpt from your web page on adrenal insufficiency.

Q: I read an excerpt from your web page on adrenal insufficiency. I am a senior year biochemistry student and would like to do research in the area of endocrinology. I wanted to know your thoughts on how to best restore proper adrenal function – especially when excess androgens are produced due to alternate pathways. Do you think that it is best to solely utilize pregnenolone or would you use this in conjunction with progesterone and natural hydrocortisone? DHEA would be less preferable since symptoms of hyperandrogenism are often present (hirsutism, scalp hair loss, acne, etc.). I have noticed in women that this is often the symptom presentation associated with adrenal insufficiency. I appreciate any thoughts that you might have.

A: The best way to restore proper adrenal function is to provide raw materials and let the adrenals decide when to assimilate into the various hormones (each of which has a negative feedback system). What are these Raw materials? They include glandulars, lysine, proline, vitamin C, and vitamin B5, all in quite high doses. If you expect to get well with nutrients, you have to understand that nutrients are nontoxic and not very strong, so more is needed for health challenges. External introduction of DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, and natural cortisol will help short term, and can be used effectively to adjunct the adrenal recovery program (which normally will take 6-12 months). It takes a long time to deplete the adrenal glands and “recoup” (recover). Women react differently to hormones, especially DHEA, compared to men. Adrenal recovery therefore requires 3 major actions to be done concurrently:

  • a. Take proper doses of the basic nutrients mentioned above
  • b. relieve of stressor(s)
  • c. Patience in time ( together with diet and lifestyle changes)

Most people focus on one of these, and don’t give it enough time. I have worked with many who were at the “end stage” of adrenal fatigue and followed my protocol closely for 3-6 months. These people all became happy campers. The hard part is being patient through the recovery process, as one’s conditions are likely to worsen (though not all the time) before getting better.
Just buying supplements and loading up will not help, for each person has to be titrated. One person’s nutrient is another’s poison. The dosage depends on each one’s specific metabolic type.

The solution is not as simple as most people think, otherwise, there is no need for people like us to study all our lives and gain the insight into this most troublesome syndrome.

Furthermore, you should note that adrenal fatigue in women seldom stands alone. Clinical or subclinical thyroid and estrogen imbalance accompanies 90% of the cases. I call this the OAT syndrome (ovarian/adrenal/thyroid imbalance)