Can taking dessicated adrenal caps cause the adrenals to atrophy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-19-2009, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Years ago I saw a WAP ND for my dd's health issues. He ended up doing labs on me and found that I was in adrenal fatigue (no big surprise with the stress I was having over dd). Anyway, he put me on adrenal gland caps (cortex and medulla). Within a couple months I was feeling so calm and sleeping well again although the situation causing me stress did not improve. I continued on the adrenals for about 9 months.
Fast forward to today. I was reading a piece on hydrocortisone therapy for adrenal fatigue by Dr. Thomas Cowan (who I love :

http://fourfoldhealing.com/2007/11/0...-off-steroids/

After reading the piece I wondered if the natural cortisone in adrenal caps could cause the same adrenal atrophy after several months of use that hydrocortisone could cause. It made sense to me that it would. I always wondered why Dr. Cowan (who promotes nutrient dense eating as part of a treatment plan for everything covered in his book The Fourfold Path To Healing ) would not advocate use of adrenal gland for adrenal fatigue. He has a whole chapter on it and suggests protomorphogens from Standard Process to build up the adrenals along with diet and movement excercises.

I've tried to find some studies looking at this question but have come up empty. I did find a couple forums that discussed this topic, but noting solid.

Anybody know?
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#2 of 22 Old 02-20-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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I would recommend reading William McJefferies' book(s) about cortisone therapy. They are old, but the research is very valid. According to his research, physiological doses of cortisone (NOT pharmaceutical doses, which can be up to 100X higher and can cause permanent damage) caused the adrenals to reduce or stop producing cortisone because of the body's bio-feedback to the pituitary which control adrenal hormone production. After taking cortisol, 90% of patients could be weaned off and their adrenals resumed normal cortisol production. A little different from taking a glandular, but still probably relevant.
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#3 of 22 Old 02-20-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Interesting thought. I, too, love Tom Cowan - everything he says makes SO much sense, and I absolutely adore Fourfold Path.

I'll have to bring this up to my WAPF ND next time I see him, maybe I'll just shoot him an email right now. I've been taking glandulars for....2 years now. The stuff Cowan recommends is SO expensive though.

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#4 of 22 Old 02-20-2009, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by staceyshoe View Post
I would recommend reading William McJefferies' book(s) about cortisone therapy. They are old, but the research is very valid. According to his research, physiological doses of cortisone (NOT pharmaceutical doses, which can be up to 100X higher and can cause permanent damage) caused the adrenals to reduce or stop producing cortisone because of the body's bio-feedback to the pituitary which control adrenal hormone production. After taking cortisol, 90% of patients could be weaned off and their adrenals resumed normal cortisol production. A little different from taking a glandular, but still probably relevant.
Thanks!
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#5 of 22 Old 02-20-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
Interesting thought. I, too, love Tom Cowan - everything he says makes SO much sense, and I absolutely adore Fourfold Path.

I'll have to bring this up to my WAPF ND next time I see him, maybe I'll just shoot him an email right now. I've been taking glandulars for....2 years now. The stuff Cowan recommends is SO expensive though.
I got a six month supply of the adrenal protomorphogen and the symplex F (ovary, pituitary, adrenal, thyroid) for $90. I have a friend who can order directly from SP. Anyone who orders directly from the company gets 50% off retail! She just passes her discount right to me. You might want to check around and see if any of your friends orders through them. You have to be a MD, ND, DC, or CN.

I still keep up my RN license and called the company to see if I could order directly. They told me I had to have some nutritional training too. I'm looking into doing that just so I can get such a huge discount.
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#6 of 22 Old 02-20-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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I thought that the cortisol involved in consuming whole glands was a different form, and in lesser amounts, than processed cortisol?

Anecdotally, I used Dr. Ron's organ blend, which includes adrenals and cortex, to help my initial healing from adrenal fatigue. And the healing seemed pretty permanent -- meaning that, even once I stopped taking them, I continued to function at a high level. (I had also done other things as a part of my healing protocol). I wasn't completely healed, but I was functioning much better. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm finding my adrenals are needing more support, so I'm taking the organ blend again. But it seems normal to me to need more adrenal support during pregnancy -- I don't think it's a sign that I'm producing less than I did before.

But the whole thing is very interesting, and very worth exploring. I'm going to go read that article you posted when I have a minute.

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#7 of 22 Old 02-21-2009, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought that the cortisol involved in consuming whole glands was a different form, and in lesser amounts, than processed cortisol?

Anecdotally, I used Dr. Ron's organ blend, which includes adrenals and cortex, to help my initial healing from adrenal fatigue. And the healing seemed pretty permanent -- meaning that, even once I stopped taking them, I continued to function at a high level. (I had also done other things as a part of my healing protocol). I wasn't completely healed, but I was functioning much better. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm finding my adrenals are needing more support, so I'm taking the organ blend again. But it seems normal to me to need more adrenal support during pregnancy -- I don't think it's a sign that I'm producing less than I did before.

But the whole thing is very interesting, and very worth exploring. I'm going to go read that article you posted when I have a minute.
It is the natural form from the adrenal glands and hydrocortisone is a synthetic that a doc prescribes. I would assume it is in a lesser amount, but not sure.
That is good that you're not having any issues on the organ delight. I was actually talking about taking straight adrenal gland caps. That is what Dr. Ron put me on years ago. I was taking 6 each morning so the amount of cortisone in those would be significantly higher than in the organ delight.
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#8 of 22 Old 02-21-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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I believe that in pregnancy, by the third trimester, your cortisol levels should be roughly double what they are normally. I read it the article here:http://www.endotext.org/pregnancy/pr...regnancy2b.htm

Moneca - did you find taking the adrenal supplement really helped your sleep? I deal with chronic insomnia and feel it because of my elevated pm cortisol levels. I have tried taking Seriphos without noticeable success, and would love to take something that would help other than ridiculous anti-depressants.
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#9 of 22 Old 02-21-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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I believe that in pregnancy, by the third trimester, your cortisol levels should be roughly double what they are normally. I read it the article here:http://www.endotext.org/pregnancy/pr...regnancy2b.htm
Thank you so much for that information!!

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#10 of 22 Old 02-21-2009, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I believe that in pregnancy, by the third trimester, your cortisol levels should be roughly double what they are normally. I read it the article here:http://www.endotext.org/pregnancy/pr...regnancy2b.htm

Moneca - did you find taking the adrenal supplement really helped your sleep? I deal with chronic insomnia and feel it because of my elevated pm cortisol levels. I have tried taking Seriphos without noticeable success, and would love to take something that would help other than ridiculous anti-depressants.
Yes, it did help me to sleep like a baby again. I don't remember an exact time frame for the sleeping improvement. I just remember feeling much calmer by the time I had taken them for two months. I would be cautious with them regarding the possibility of adrenal atrophy.
My mom just tested and had significantly high midnight cortisol where it was slightly high at all other times other than 4pm. Her DHEA was also very low. She is cutting out caffeine and starting the protomorphogens that Dr. Cowan suggests in his book. She has taken ambien for sleep for years and has always had a "nervous" personality. She has gotten a little better since starting CLO, bee pollen, food srouce C, raw fermented milk, and pastured eggs a couple years ago. I hope she'll see big improvements.
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#11 of 22 Old 02-22-2009, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the reasons I'm wondering about the effects of adrenal gland caps on the adrenals is some weight gain I had after taking them. After taking the 6 adrenal caps per day for about 9 months I packed on about 10 pounds mostly right around my middle. I'd always carried my weight in my backside, but never my waist area. At that time I had also been eating all TF for 9 months and began chelating right at that point. Around then was also when my temps seemed to get quite a bit lower. Too many changes and hard to say exactly what it was.

I'll have to see if all the weight is gone around the middle and temps are normal after 6 months on the protomorphogens. I'm also taking 50mg of iodine/iodide each day so any positive result may be from a combination of strengthening the thyroid and adrenals.
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#12 of 22 Old 02-22-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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One of the reasons I'm wondering about the effects of adrenal gland caps on the adrenals is some weight gain I had after taking them. After taking the 6 adrenal caps per day for about 9 months I packed on about 10 pounds mostly right around my middle. I'd always carried my weight in my backside, but never my waist area. At that time I had also been eating all TF for 9 months and began chelating right at that point. Around then was also when my temps seemed to get quite a bit lower. Too many changes and hard to say exactly what it was.

I'll have to see if all the weight is gone around the middle and temps are normal after 6 months on the protomorphogens. I'm also taking 50mg of iodine/iodide each day so any positive result may be from a combination of strengthening the thyroid and adrenals.
I've had the middle weight gain too! I even mentioned it to my ND & asked him if he thought I had ovarian cancer (anxious much?) Any weight I've managed to gain has always gone to my belly, but in these past 2 years, I swear I could pass for 4-5 months pregnant at times. It's worse when I'm ovulating or right before my period, but even right after my period, my belly is still more swollen than it ever was.

I know that's a sign of high cortisol, which I definitely don't have - but maybe cortisol in the blood from a supplement would do it? Is that a crazy idea?

It IS annoying - I've had to buy new pants/shorts/skirts because my old ones aren't even close to buttoning.

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#13 of 22 Old 02-22-2009, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had the middle weight gain too! I even mentioned it to my ND & asked him if he thought I had ovarian cancer (anxious much?) Any weight I've managed to gain has always gone to my belly, but in these past 2 years, I swear I could pass for 4-5 months pregnant at times. It's worse when I'm ovulating or right before my period, but even right after my period, my belly is still more swollen than it ever was.

I know that's a sign of high cortisol, which I definitely don't have - but maybe cortisol in the blood from a supplement would do it? Is that a crazy idea?

It IS annoying - I've had to buy new pants/shorts/skirts because my old ones aren't even close to buttoning.
I've noticed that I have finally been losing weight from this area in the last month. I haven't even been able to get to my yoga classes. I've been on the protomorphogens for two months. I think I still have some adrenal issues, although they're mild (cold extrems, low bp, salt cravings, weight around middle) compared to most. My energy, lack of anxiety, and sleep is great so I can't complain. I think rebuilding the adrenals is key which an NT diet does slowly, but sometimes we need extra help if they're fatigued.
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#14 of 22 Old 02-22-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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This would be a good experiment. I emailed my ND about the glandulars, I'm interested in hearing what he has to say. I'd like to try the protomorphogens & see what happens.

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#15 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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My ND said:

Quote:
There’s really no actual cortisol in the glandulars that we use. Minimal at best. I use the glandulars with the same theory that SP makes the protomorphogens, that they bring in the “food” that the adrenals need to heal.
What do you think, moneca?

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#16 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ND said:



What do you think, moneca?
As I had said, I hd several factors affecting me at the same time that could have caused damage to my adrenals. I saw your question just before we left for an appt. with our NAET/acupuncturist. I had him use NAET to question whether it was the adrenal supplement or beginning chelation that caused damage to my adrenals. With his testing both sources damaged my adrenals.

There are also many different adrenal glandulars available. I've written to Dr. Ron (he is the one who put me on the adrenals several years ago) to inquire if the levels of hormone in his glandulars could cause the gland to atrophy. I have not heard back from him yet. I will post his response when I receive it. Your practitioner could very well be correct. The only way to make sure would be to contact the company that prepares the supplement and verify the hormone content in the product.
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#17 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Hmm, so now that I've gone and ordered the glandulars and the protomorphogens from Standard Process, I wonder if the glandular is going to inhibit me from dropping my 25 pounds of baby weight? I still can't even get close to buttoning up and my fattest fat pants This is my 4th time being post-partum, and all the other previous times I've magically dropped the extra 25 pounds within a year of birth. I am still waiting to see the scale start decreasing this time around, which is making me nervous. Still, I NEED anything that will help me sleep. Last night just as I was dropping off, I noticed the high winds in the pine trees near my house, and got a little nervous about trees falling on our house(one of my neighbour's trees came down on our house a couple years ago so I'm a little sensitive to it now!). I couldn't shake the nervousness for the rest of the night, and didn't end up sleeping until 3am. It screams adrenal problems to me, since I'm unable to recover from stresses within any decent amount of time.
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#18 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is Dr. Ron's email response :

Quote:
That doesn't seem to occur, Moneca. Eating adrenal tissue strengthens the adrenal glands. The amount of natural hormones present is miniscule, but the other nutritional/enzyme/protein factors in the gland have a strengthening effect on the consumer.

Regards,

Ron

Ron Schmid, ND
Dr. Ron's Ultra-Pure
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#19 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, so now that I've gone and ordered the glandulars and the protomorphogens from Standard Process, I wonder if the glandular is going to inhibit me from dropping my 25 pounds of baby weight? I still can't even get close to buttoning up and my fattest fat pants This is my 4th time being post-partum, and all the other previous times I've magically dropped the extra 25 pounds within a year of birth. I am still waiting to see the scale start decreasing this time around, which is making me nervous. Still, I NEED anything that will help me sleep. Last night just as I was dropping off, I noticed the high winds in the pine trees near my house, and got a little nervous about trees falling on our house(one of my neighbour's trees came down on our house a couple years ago so I'm a little sensitive to it now!). I couldn't shake the nervousness for the rest of the night, and didn't end up sleeping until 3am. It screams adrenal problems to me, since I'm unable to recover from stresses within any decent amount of time.
Honestly, regardless of whether the adrenals caused atrophy, that wouldn't have made me change the fact that I took them. At the time I was beyond stressed over dd's health issues and I was sleeping one hour per night for about 3 weeks. I needed some help quickly. I don't regret my decision to take the glandulars. I just wanted to find an answer as to whether they could cause atrophy. It was the best thing for me to have done at the time.
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#20 of 22 Old 02-24-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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Here is Dr. Ron's email response :
That sounds like what my ND said.

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#21 of 22 Old 02-25-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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I can't wait to get started taking them. I have high hopes of beating down this insomnia with the glandulars!
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#22 of 22 Old 02-25-2009, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't wait to get started taking them. I have high hopes of beating down this insomnia with the glandulars!
I hope you see improvement. My sleep issues were completely related to anxiety.
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