Vol. 12

No. 6



The causes and correction of lowered adrenal function

In nature, when an animal is attacked, it can respond with extraordinary feats of strength and endurance. This is accomplished with the mobilization of hormones – specifically, adrenalin. The same response also occurs in humans, but with a very significant difference. Once an emergency has ended, the animal will recover quickly from the galvanizing effects of adrenalin. Humans, however, live with such persistent stress that, all too frequently, we do not have adequate time to rest and re-set the nervous-hormonal system.

In civilization, we usually face several stresses at once, such as job or family problems or simply the act of driving safely to work. When you add to that financial concerns and environmental pollution, is it any wonder that we are fatigued?

When this fatigue reaches a stage where we can no longer meet the demands of daily life, we call this condition adrenal exhaustion or adrenal stress disorder. It is a functional disorder of the adrenal glands that is primarily recognized by clinical symptoms. These are numerous and may include: depression, suicidal tendencies, asthma, infections, hay fever, skin rashes, colitis, ulcers, arthritis, insomnia, headaches, fainting spells, weight problems, heart palpitations, swelling of joints, learning difficulties, headaches, impotency, aversion to fatty foods, and allergies.

To understand more about this condition, it might be helpful to know how the body’s adrenal system works.

The human body has two adrenal glands, both situated on top of the kidneys. These two parts, known as the cortex and the medulla, secrete different hormones that have profound effects on our health.

The cortex aids in combatting inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, colitis, ulcers, sinusitis, bronchitis, skin eruptions and a host of other painful conditions.

It is the medulla portion of the adrenals that is involved in the “fight or flight response.” Activated when needed, the medulla’s ability to quickly respond to stress by secreting adrenalin represents the core of our survival instinct. It is unfortunate and ironic that civilization has reached a stage where an essential tool for survival has become its own undoing.

One of the pioneer researchers of adrenal exhaustion was D.C. Ragland, M.D., an endocrinologist who called the syndrome “adrenal inertia.” His diagnostic criteria included muscular weakness or tremor, blood pressure instability, cold sensitivity, light sensitivity with aversion to sunlight, low white blood cell counts, and nerve pains migrating throughout the body. To correct this condition, Dr. Ragland advised that “we must feed, add, build up and keep going the patient’s own glands [with nutrition].”

Another early researcher working with adrenal exhaustion was Hans Selye, M.D., who developed the General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS) to describe it. He noted that the adrenal glands can even bleed when under continual stress, and eventually cease to function adequately. Selye called it “the just being sick syndrome,” and found that prolonged physical exhaustion, chemical exposures, temperature stessors, and emotional tensions were the primary culprits.

Selye’s General Adapative Syndrome develops in three stages: the alarm, resistive and exhaustion phases. When exposed to a stressor, the brain sends signals to the pituitary gland which in turn stimulates the adrenal cortex to secrete its hormones. The result is a shrinking of the thymus gland and lymph nodes, inhibition of inflammatory reactions and the production of sugar.

The first two stages constitute a natural reaction so long as the body recovers and does not move into the final stage of GAS exhaustion where the body’s ability to adapt is lost. Selye sums it best when he states: “The cause of disease is frequently associated with infection, poisoning, nervous exhaustion or mere age. In fact, however, the ultimate cause of death appears to be usually a breakdown of the hormonal mechanism of adaption.”

Because the symptoms are so diverse, many patients are treated for the wrong conditions such as for depression instead of physical exhaustion or for headaches instead of glandular depletion. Frequently, individuals will self-medicate with tobacco, caffeine, or sugar to restore vitality, usually with limited results.

Not surprisingly, the primary therapy to assist adrenal gland healing is rest.
Where constant activity is stimulating to an exhausted system, slowing down life-style with adequate sleep is restorative. The withdrawl of alcohol, sugar, caffeine, cigarettes and other stimulants are next in order. The introduction of anti-stress (adapatogenic) herbs in the diet restore glandular function along with the assistance of Vitamins C and B and Pantothenic Acid. Often, an evaluation of life-style issues, including how we react to situational challenges, can be helpful.

In addition, chiropractic science deals with functional disturbances in the Autonomic Nervous System. Functional procedures such as Logan Basic, Neurovascular Dynamics and Applied Kinesiology can restore nerve flow to all glands of the body, including the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Stress Disorder is a widespread health condition that often goes undetected. A health care professional can assist in the assessment of life-style issues and also recommend alternative options.

Dr, Friedman uses gentle neurological and muscle relaxation methods to promote self-healing. Please visit our website at www.FriedmanChiro.com.


Newsletter Archives

The following previous issues can be accessed by clicking on the title:


Vol. 12, No. 5: "Oh, My Aching Head!"

All of us experience feelings of sadness, unhappiness or frustration at times, and this is a normal part of human existence. However, when these feelings persist and start to interfere with our normal functioning, we begin to suffer from depression.

Vol. 12, No. 4: "Hidden Factors in Depression"

All of us experience feelings of sadness, unhappiness or frustration at times, and this is a normal part of human existence. However, when these feelings persist and start to interfere with our normal functioning, we begin to suffer from depression.

Vol. 12, No. 3: "Your Aching Sinuses"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 2: "From Stressed Out to Chilled Out"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 1: "Surprising Eyes"

Heredity can be either blessed or blamed for many of our physical characteristics...  from the inheritance of Mom’s curly hair to Dad’s bald head to, unfortunately, Grandpa’s diabetes. In fact, just knowing about or having observed a beloved relative suffer from a hereditary illness can create an aura of ticking time bomb in our own lives.

Vol. 11, No. 1: "Natural Immunity"

Human beings have always searched for methods to preserve health in the face of aging, infection and disease. One such route to health has increasingly been the promotion of the body’s own self-protective and self-healing mechanisms.These mechanisms, in turn, are dependent upon the  strength of the body’s “natural immunity,” its inherent ability to defend itself against infection and degenerative disease.

Vol. 10, No. 1: "Reflex Healing"

Chiropractic methods may seem, at times, to be mysterious and have little obvious connection with the object of a patient's complaint. While the "light touch" used at Friedman Chiropractic may possibly appear superficial, it is actually a critical tool for helping the body to regain health.

Vol. 9, No. 1: "Hara and Healing"

There is an old Taoist saying which advises: "When you are sick, do not seek a cure. Find your center and you will be healed." "What is this Òcenter" of which the ancients spoke and what is its importance to natural healing?

Vol. 8, No. 3: "Water: The Overlooked Nutrient"

We can live weeks without food, but no more than a week without water. For health, we need a balance of fluids for all of our cells to function properly.Our bodies consists of from 50% to 80% water. These fluids are what carry nutrients, waste products, and minerals to our cells. The fluid in our bodies can be divided into two main groups: There is fluid inside our cells (intracellular fluid) and fluid outside our cells (extracellular fluid).

Vol. 8, No. 2: "Fibromyalgia"

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects over 8 million Americans, 80% of them female. People with this chronic condition have symptoms of severe fatigue and multiple sites of aches and pain in their muscles, ligaments and tendons. Years ago, people with this condition were told they had fibrositis, myalgia, rheumatism or were just plain hypochondriacs.

Vol. 8, No. 1: "Food Allergies"

Many medical experts predict that between 50%-60% of all Americans have negative reactions to some foods. These reactions are not restricted to the intestinal tract but can also cause brain, immune system, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, respiratory and skin symptoms...

Vol. 7, No. 2: "The Law of Polarity"

Since ancient times there have been many seekers of Nature's secret laws of healing. One such doctor was Randolph Stone, DO., DC., who explored the world in hopes of determining the common denominator of all healing systems. He concluded that there is an unseen field of electro-magnetic energy that both runs and heals the body. Dr. Stone organized his discoveries into a method he called Polarity Therapy ...

Vol. 7, No. 1: "Toxic or Tired?"

Fatigue is epidemic is our society. Common causes of this malady can vary from life-style choices to dietary indiscretions. Many people are aware that their exhaustion may come from poor food and emotional pressures, but an often overlooked factor is "auto-intoxication." Autotoxemia is poisoning with toxic substances formed within the body.

Vol. 6, No. 1: "The Importance of Posture"

There is an old adage that states: "The shape you are in determines the shape you are in." The implication is that the way one's body looks reflects one's general health. This idea goes back to the ancient Greeks who appreciated an erect and poised body in athletics and the arts, particularly statuary. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, exhorted: "In all diseases, look to the spine."

Vol. 5, No. 1: "The Four Stages of Healing"

An understanding of how the body-mind becomes ill can be helpful in guiding us through the healing process. The body becomes ill and gets well in an orderly manner whether the stressor is nutritional, mechanical, or emotional. The stages of disease in the order of progression are Acute, Sub-acute, Chronic, and Degenerative. All stages are various degrees of a condition called "inflammation." ...

Vol. 4, No. 1: "The Healing Field"

Many people wonder what is the mechanism in the human body that co-ordinates our daily physiology and also heals illnesses and injuries. A simple finger cut, for example, goes through many stages of tissue healing. How does the body know what type of connective tissue to lay down and when the scar is ready to fall off? ...

Vol. 3, No. 6: "Understanding Your Gut Feelings"

Most of us believe that important decisions are made via the intellect or the reasoning part of the mind. Current scientific research reveals this to be only partially true. It appears that we think with our minds but experience our emotions from another locale within the body: the stomach area. ...

Vol. 3, No. 5: "Retracing: The Untold Story"

There is a belief among many health practitioners working with natural therapies that a person who is in the process of getting well may undergo some sort of a "healing reaction" in order to fully heal. The "healing crisis," as it is known, occurs at a point when the body's self-healing mechanism has begun to "retrace" its own history of illness in order to completely heal and rid itself of the accumulated residues of disease...

Vol. 3, No. 4: "May the Force Be With You"

The physicians of the ancient world believed that health comes from a power within the human body which they called "Vis Medicatrix Naturae" or the healing power of nature. The Greek physician-philosopher Plato observed that every living thing is activated by an "inherent vital principle" which both runs and heals the body-mind complex...

Vol. 3, No. 3: "Change Your Thinking...Change Your Life"

The philosopher-psychologist Henry James observed almost a century ago:
"The most profound discovery of my generation is that, by changing one's thinking, one can change one's life."
Increasingly, science is finding that, by engendering positive and uplifting thoughts, we can not only improve the quality of our emotional and spiritual lives, but we may be also able to influence the quality of our physical health. ..

Vol. 3, No. 2: "Is It Mind? Is It Body? Is It Body-Mind?"

Except for a small number of physical complaints such as injuries or acute infections, there is an increasing array of health complaints being labeled as having a "stress-related" or emotional component. By current estimate, almost 90% of present health issues have emotional stress as a partial cause of disease. How can we, as health consumers, know if a disease derives from emotional or physical causes or from a combination of both? To find the answer to this question, it is helpful to look to the past. ...

Vol. 3, No. 1: "Fatigue and Its Remedies"

At various times throughout our lives, all of us will experience a sense of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes this feeling will last a day or two but, for some people, it can persist for months, years, or even a life-time. It is important to understand that serious fatigue, that is, fatigue that is not attributable to temporary over-exertion, is actually a symptom of some other process going on within the body-mind unit. Prolonged fatigue is not an illness in itself, but a manifestation of a health imbalance. ...






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Jeffrey I. Friedman, D.C.
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(707) 773-0288

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to provide health information to improve quality of life and assist users to better understand their health and arrange more easily for healthcare services. It is not an attempt to replace the need to seek healthcare services nor to provide specific healthcare advice. Information provided should not be used to diagnose or dispute a qualified healthcare professional's judgement. If you have any questions, please give our office a call or check with your local healthcare professional.

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