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Adrenal Health. Adrenal Glands No bigger than a walnut and weighing less than a grape, each of your two adrenal glands sits like a tiny pyramid on top.

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Presentation on theme: "Adrenal Health. Adrenal Glands No bigger than a walnut and weighing less than a grape, each of your two adrenal glands sits like a tiny pyramid on top."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adrenal Health

2 Adrenal Glands No bigger than a walnut and weighing less than a grape, each of your two adrenal glands sits like a tiny pyramid on top of a kidney ("ad" "renal" means "over" the "kidneys"). Anatomically, the adrenal glands are located in the retroperitoneum situated atop the kidneys, one on each side. They are surrounded by an adipose capsule and renal fascia. In humans, the adrenal glands are found at the level of the 12th thoracic vertebra.

3 Adrenal Anatomy The two adrenal glands are located immediately anterior to the kidneys, beneath the peritoneum. There are two parts in the gland that have different embryological origins and are functionally different endocrine organs: The Medulla and the Cortex. The hormones secreted from the Medulla have the same effect on the organs as the sympathetic nervous system. The Cortex synthesizes and secretes three classes of hormones: glucocorticoids (e.g., cortisol), mineralocorticoids (e.g., aldosterone) and androgens (e.g., testosterone).

4 Adrenal Anatomy Some scientists now label adipose tissue in sufficient quantity as an Endocrine Gland that can convert body fluids into Estrogen.

5 Adrenal Medulla The adrenal medulla is the core of the adrenal gland, and is surrounded by the adrenal cortex. The chromaffin cells of the medulla, named for their characteristic brown staining with chromic acid salts, are the body's main source of the circulating catecholamines adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Derived from the amino acid tyrosine, these water-soluble hormones are major hormones underlying the fight-or-flight response.

6 Adrenal Medulla To carry out its part of this response, the adrenal medulla receives input from the sympathetic nervous system through preganglionic fibers originating in the thoracic spinal cord from T5–T11. Because it is innervated by preganglionic nerve fibers, the adrenal medulla can be considered as a specialized sympathetic ganglion. Unlike other sympathetic ganglia, however, the adrenal medulla lacks distinct synapses and releases its secretions directly into the blood.

7 The Adrenal Cortex The adrenal cortex is devoted to the synthesis of corticosteroid hormones from cholesterol. Some cells belong to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and are the source of cortisol and corticosterone synthesis. Under normal unstressed conditions, the human adrenal glands produce the equivalent of 35–40 mg of cortisone acetate per day. Other cortical cells produce androgens such as testosterone, while some regulate water and electrolyte concentrations by secreting aldosterone. In contrast to the direct innervation of the medulla, the cortex is regulated by neuroendocrine hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, as well as by the renin- angiotensin system.

8 The Adrenal Cortex The adrenal cortex comprises three zones, or layers. The adrenal cortex exhibits functional zonation as well: by virtue of the characteristic enzymes present in each zone, the zones produce and secrete distinct hormones. Zona glomerulosa The outermost layer, the zona glomerulosa is the main site for production of mineralocorticoids, mainly aldosterone, which is largely responsible for the long-term regulation of blood pressure. Zona fasciculata Situated between the glomerulosa and reticularis, the zona fasciculata is responsible for producing glucocorticoids, chiefly cortisol in humans. The zona fasciculata secretes a basal level of cortisol but can also produce bursts of the hormone in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary. Zona reticularis The inner most cortical layer, the zona reticularis produces androgens, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S) in humans.

9 Adrenal Function They modulate the functioning of every tissue, organ and gland in your body to maintain homeostasis during stress and keep you alive. They also have important effects on the way you think and feel. The main purpose of your adrenals is to enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems. They largely determine the energy of your body's responses to every change in your internal and external environment. Whether they signal attack, retreat or surrender, every cell responds accordingly, and you feel the results. It is through the actions of the adrenal hormones that your body is able to mobilize its resources to escape or fight off danger (stress) and survive.

10 Adrenal Stress In a more primitive society that would mean being able to run away quickly, fight or flight. In modern society, these same responses are triggered by such circumstances as a difficult boss, air pollution, family quarrels, financial problems, too little sleep, overindulgence in or sensitivities to food. If your adrenal function is low, as it is in adrenal fatigue, your body has difficulty responding and adapting properly to these stresses. This can lead to a variety of physical and psychological health problems that are themselves a further source of stress. It is also your adrenal glands' job to keep your body's reactions to stress in balance so that they are appropriate and not harmful. For example, the protective activity of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant adrenal hormones like cortisol helps to minimize negative and allergic reactions (such as swelling and inflammation) to alcohol, drugs, foods, environmental allergens, cancer, infection, and autoimmune disorders.

11 Adrenals and Weight Distribution These hormones closely modulate the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fats and proteins into energy, the distribution of stored fat (especially around your waist and at the sides of your face), normal blood sugar regulation, and proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function. After mid-life (menopause in women), the adrenal glands gradually become the major source of the sex hormones circulating throughout the body in both men and women. These hormones themselves have a whole host of physical, emotional and psychological effects, from the level of your sex drive to the tendency to gain weight.

12 Adrenal Steroids Every athlete knows that steroids (adrenal hormones) affect muscular strength and stamina. Even your propensity to develop certain kinds of diseases and your ability to respond to chronic illness is influenced significantly by the adrenal glands. The more chronic the illness, the more critical the adrenal response becomes. You cannot live without your adrenal hormones and, as you can see from this brief overview, how well you live depends a great deal on how well your adrenal glands function. Glucocorticoids affect metabolism and help raise the level of blood glucose. In addition, they are widely used in therapy since they have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.

13 Adrenal Cortex Hormones Using cholesterol as the starting material, the cells of the adrenal cortex secrete a variety of steroid hormones. These fall into three classes: glucocorticoids (e.g., cortisol) mineralocorticoids (e.g., aldosterone) androgens (e.g., testosterone)

14 Adrenal Cortex Hormones The glucocorticoids get their name from their effect of raising the level of blood sugar (glucose). One way they do this is by stimulating gluconeogenesis in the liver: the conversion of fat and protein into intermediate metabolites that are ultimately converted into glucose. The most abundant glucocorticoid is cortisol (also called hydrocortisone). Cortisol and the other glucocorticoids also have a potent anti- inflammatory effect on the body. They depress the immune response, especially cell-mediated immune responses. For this reason glucocorticoids are widely used in therapy: to reduce the inflammatory destruction of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs to control asthma

15 Adrenal Cortex Hormones Mineralocorticoids affect mineral metabolism. The mineralocorticoids get their name from their effect on mineral metabolism. The most important of them is the steroid aldosterone. Aldosterone acts on the kidney promoting the reabsorption of sodium ions (Na + ) into the blood. Water follows the salt and this helps maintain normal blood pressure. Aldosterone also: acts on sweat glands to reduce the loss of sodium in perspiration; acts on taste cells to increase the sensitivity of the taste buds to sources of sodium. The secretion of aldosterone is stimulated by: a drop in the level of sodium ions in the blood; a rise in the level of potassium ions in the blood; angiotensin II ACTH (as is that of Cortisol

16 Adrenal Cortex Hormones The adrenal cortex secretes precursors to androgens such as testosterone. In sexually-mature males, this source is so much lower than that of the testes that it is probably of little physiological significance. However, excessive production of adrenal androgens can cause premature puberty in young boys. In females, the adrenal cortex is a major source of androgens. Their hypersecretion may produce a masculine pattern of body hair and cessation of menstruation.

17 Adrenal Cortex Hormones Cortisol is required to handle any type of stress. (We can't live without it) A potent anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Circadian Rhythm: Cortisol increases in the morning to help wake us up. Increases the blood sugar level after fasting all night. Cortisol is made via the following pathway: Cholesterol---Pregnenolone---Progesterone---17 OH Progesterone---Cortisol

18 High Cortisol Weight Gain: Cortisol increases blood sugar levels... and if Cortisol levels stay high, so will insulin levels. Exogenous/endogenous Catabolic Damage Hippocampus damage which can result in Dementia Decreased Growth Hormone Degeneration of Gastrointestinal Mucosa Osteoporosis Decreased W B C production and activity Decreased activity of the Thymus Gland Cushing's Syndrome People with Cushing's syndrome tend to develop a certain body type after their prolonged illness. They usually start to become obese, carrying most of the fat in the trunk while their limbs are skinny. An accumulated amount of fat usually appears on the upper back so that it looks humped. The face becomes very round and red. One-fifth of patients with Cushing's syndrome develop a form of diabetes.

19 Skin Issues Skin conditions and sensitivity may develop over time. Acne often occurs on the face, and purple stretch marks may appear on different areas of the body, like the stomach, breasts and thighs. The skin also becomes thinner and more susceptible to bruising. Muscles and Bones Muscles become increasingly weak, and the patient may start to have mobility issues. The tone and strength of the muscles suffer, resulting in weak and wasted limbs. Bones can become weakened and more prone to breakage. Mental Health Changes in the person's mental state may occur as a result of high cortisol levels. They may experience depression, anxiety and paranoia. Insomnia is a common problem. Other Issues Patients with high cortisol levels are likely to contract infections more easily and are susceptible to ulcers. There is also an elevated risk of developing edema and hypertension. Irritable Bowel, High Blood pressure, Fatigue after meals, Inability to handle stress, Burning stomach, Leaky Gut, Water retention, PMS, Decreased Libido, Yeast Infections, Sweet and carb cravings, Nervousness, Anxiety and increased infections.

20 DHEA is an Adrenal Hormone DHEA and cortisol have an inverse, or adversarial, relationship. When you're faced with prolonged stress, your cortisol/DHEA ratio--a measure of health status and aging--can rise by a factor of 5. This means that the excess cortisol is battering DHEA's protective shield. DHEA supplementation increases your stress tolerance, lowers your cortisol/DHEA ratio, and protects you against cortisol-induced cellular damage. DHEA is produced by adrenal glands, but also synthesized de novo in the brain. (De novo synthesis of complex molecules from simple molecules in biochemistry...). DHEA is produced from cholesterol through two cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone by the enzyme P450 scc, then another enzyme, CYP17A1, converts pregnenolone to 17α- Hydroxypregnenolone and then to DHEA. Studies have shown that DHEA is useful in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. An application of the evidence was discussed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001 and is available online Regular exercise is known to increase DHEA production in the body. Calorie restriction has also been shown to increase DHEA in primates. Some theorize that the increase in endogenous DHEA brought about by calorie restriction is partially responsible for the longer life expectancy known to be associated with calorie restriction. The National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the American Cancer Society and other major agencies are investigating DHEA as a potential treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and even AIDS.

21 Your adrenal glands are responsible for manufacturing DHEA. Actually, the cascade of adrenal hormones starts with cholesterol, from which the brain hormone pregnenolone is made. Pregnenolone is then transformed into DHEA. And DHEA serves as the raw material from which all other important adrenal hormones--including the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol--are synthesized. DHEA is the most abundant hormone in your body. But production peaks at around age 20. From then on, your DHEA level decreases with age. By the time you reach 40, your body makes about half as much DHEA as it used to. By 65, output drops to 10 to 20 percent of optimum; by age 80, it plummets to less than 5 percent of optimum. A host of studies suggest that the lower a person's level of DHEA, the greater his risk of death from age-related disease. DHEA levels in 242 men between the ages of 50 and 79 were tracked for 12 years in a study by noted hormone researcher Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D., professor and chairperson of the department of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. The study found a close correlation between higher DHEA levels and reduced risk of death from all causes. The men who survived had three times the DHEA levels of the men who died. What's more, the collective indirect evidence from more than 5,000 published studies overwhelmingly supports DHEA's anti-aging role. Scientists now have proof that DHEA: * Enhances immunity Decreases the risk of heart disease Defends against some cancers Improves blood sugar control, decreasing the risk of diabetes Reverses the age-accelerating effects of the stress hormone cortisol Prevents and reverses osteoporosis DHEA Studies

22 DHEA Supplements The market is flooded with encapsulated yam products claiming to be "DHEA precursors" or "natural DHEA." Unfortunately, the human body--or any living system, for that matter--cannot convert diosgenin to DHEA. It happens only in the laboratory. The ingestion of Dioscorea plant extracts can't possibly lead to the formation of DHEA in the body, according to prominent DHEA expert Seymour Lieberman, Ph.D., of St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Products containing Mexican yam or unconverted diosgenin may produce other beneficial hormonal effects, but they will not raise DHEA levels. The research studies revealing DHEA's therapeutic effects were all done with real hormone, not yam extracts. Read labels and insist on 99 percent pharmacologically pure DHEA.

23 Symptoms of Low DHEA DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is one of the more than 150 hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. It may also stimulate something called cholecystokinin (CCK), which signals the body to feel full. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DHEA DEFICIENCY Dry dropping hair Dry eyes Dry skin Poor axillary hair Flappy belly Poor pubic hair Poor pubic fat (women) Cellulitis Anxious look Poor resistance to noise SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EXCESS DHEA Greasy hair Greasy skin, acne Slight hair overgrowth on face and abdomen (women) Excess body odor

24 Symptoms of Low DHEA Overwhelming fatigue is the most common symptom of low DHEA. Decrease in stamina and alertness is often observed in people afflicted with the shortage of this hormone. A lowered libido is especially observed in women. The main symptoms of DHEA deficiency are: Low levels of DHEA in the body has also been associated with a weakened immune system. Low DHEA levels open the door to bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Patients with low DHEA also complain of sleep disorders. The DHEA hormone is also made in the neurons of the brain. Although it is produced in small amounts in the brain, a decline in DHEA output may lower the thinking ability. Causes of Low DHEA DHEA levels decrease with age. DHEA levels in the body peak when a person is in his 20's. After 30, they begin to decrease. By the time a person reaches 40, his body manufactures around half of the hormone DHEA as it used to. By 65, DHEA production decreases to percent of the optimum. By 80, the body produces less than 5 percent of the optimum.

25 Epinephrine and Norepinephrine In general, circulating epinephrine and norepinephrine released from the adrenal medulla have the same effects on target organs as direct stimulation by sympathetic nerves, although their effect is longer lasting. What would be needed if, for example, you were trapped in Jurassic Park when the power went off. A listing of some major effects mediated by epinephrine and norepinephrine are: Increased rate and force of contraction of the heart muscle: Constriction of blood vessels: norepinephrine, in particular, causes widespread vasoconstriction, resulting in increased resistance and hence arterial blood pressure. Dilation of bronchioles: assists in pulmonary ventilation. Stimulation of lipolysis in fat cells: this provides fatty acids for energy production in many tissues and aids in conservation of dwindling reserves of blood glucose. Increased metabolic rate: oxygen consumption and heat production increase throughout the body in response to epinephrine. Medullary hormones also promote breakdown of glycogen in skeletal muscle to provide glucose for energy production. Dilation of the pupils: particularly important in situations where you are surrounded by velociraptors under conditions of low ambient light. Inhibition of certain "non-essential" processes: an example is inhibition of gastrointestinal secretion and motor activity.

26 Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue The 30 symptoms include, but are not limited to: 1. Excessive fatigue and exhaustion, chronic fatigue 2. Non-refreshing sleep 3. Sleep disturbance, insomnia 4. Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope 5. Craving salty and/or sweet foods 6. Sensitivity to light 7. Low stamina and slow to recover from exercise 8. Slow to recover from injury or illness 9. Difficulty concentrating, brain fog 10. Poor digestion 11. Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS 12. Low immune function 13. Premenstrual syndrome 14. Menopause symptoms 15. Low blood pressure 16. Sensitivity to cold 17. Fearfulness 18. Allergies, 19. Frequent influenza 20. Arthritis 21. Anxiety 22. Irritability 23. Depression 24. Reduced memory 25. Low libido, sexual drive or interest 26. Lack of lust for life and/or food 27. Excess hunger 28. Low appetite 29. Panic/anxiety attacks 30. Irritability, impatience, quick to anger. If quick to anger, the person will often tend to back down quickly if confronted.

27 Do's and Don'ts of Adrenal Fatigue AVOID THESE: Pushing yourself to exhaustion Sugar, caffeine and junk food Being critical and harsh with yourself Skipping meals Eating carbohydrates by themselves Staying up late and catching your second wind Arising early if you dont have to Food that you react to or are allergic to Drinking sodas, coffee, alcohol, juice Making someone else responsible for your health People who steal your energy Taking care of everyone and everything else Feeling guilty about caring for yourself Excessive seriousness The grind Do things you enjoy Aggressive exercise DO THESE: Pace yourself Eat real, whole, fresh food Be compassionate and kind to yourself Eat every two hours Eat a combination of carb, fat and protein Get to bed by 10:00-11:00pm Sleep until 7:00-8:00am when possible Eat balanced, nutritious food Drink water, herbal teas Become empowered and informed about your health Be with people who are concerned for your wellbeing and are helpful in your recovery Take care of and nurture yourself Find an inner balance and sense of peace Find things that make you laugh Mild to moderate exercise

28 Testing for Adrenals: You will need a stop watch! Iris contraction test Darken room Shine the light across one eye from the side of the head When the pupil contracts start timing With Adrenal fatigue the pupil will be unable to maintain its contraction and within two minutes will start to dilate despite the continued shining of the light Record the time when it begins dilating and use this for future comparison Repeat every month while under care to monitor progress

29 ADRENAL FUNCTION SELF TEST Sergent's Adrenal White Line With your fingernail or the dull end of a spoon, draw a line across your belly. In moderate to severe cases of adrenal fatigue, the line will stay white, and even get wider over the course of time, while a "normal" reaction would be for the line to almost immediately turn red or go away. This test has historically been used to indicate severe adrenal fatigue and Addison's Disease, milder cases of adrenal fatigue may not exhibit this sign.

30 ADRENAL FUNCTION TEST Postural Hypotension: Postural hypotension (also known as orthostatic hypotension) is a drop in blood pressure that occurs upon rising from a horizontal position. It is commonly expressed as a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, a "head rush", or "standing up too fast". To do this test, you will need a blood pressure cuff. Lie down and rest for 5 minutes. Take a blood pressure reading while still horizontal. Then, stand up and take another reading immediately. Normally, your blood pressure should rise points. If it drops, particularly by 10 points or more, hypoadrenia is indicated. Generally, the bigger the drop, the greater the adrenal insufficiency. Low blood pressure in general is also an indicator of exhausted adrenals when present in conjunction with the other symptoms of adrenal gland fatigue.

31 The Adrenal Stress Index by Diagnos-Techs Four saliva samples are used in the ASI for the following ten tests: 4 x Cortisol Helps evaluate stress response 2 x Insulin Helps investigate blood sugar control DHEA Helps determine stress adaptation Secretory IgA Helps evaluate toll on immunity 17-OH Progesterone Helps determine adrenal reserve Gluten Antibodies Helps identify grain intolerance

32 Adrenal Nutritional Support B vitamins: Only use during extreme adrenal fatigue for a short time. Cell Trace: Trace minerals two to four a day Cor-Tex; Adrenal cortex with fruit, root and herb. Re-Hydrate: Dehydration is very stressful Celtic Sea Salt

33 The Stress of Life The adrenal cortex produces about 25% of the estrogenic hormones in women and 65% of the androgenic hormones in the man. Inability of the adrenals to produce the additional sex hormones may result in the flat chested female or the sparse chest- haired male. Patients in their thirties or older may also have an absence of hair on the lower two-thirds of the legs. Variations in Adrenal Hormone production may bring on precocious sexual development in boys and girls or can actually produce feminism in men and masculinity in women. This of course does not have anything to do with sexual orientation. Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. Hans Selye

34 Medical Treatment Two reasons why conventional medical treatment for Hypoadrenia (adrenal fatigue) is so hard to find is: 1. Money: there are no patentable treatments for hypoadrenia produced by the pharmaceutical companies. (no money to be made). 2. Politics: Since the 1970s, the FDA has "outlawed" and actively persecuted one of the chief natural remedies for hypoadrenia, an extremely safe remedy called adrenal cortical extract (ACE). (The FDA removed all products containing adrenal cortical extract from market in 1978 due to concerns regarding contamination.) People with adrenal fatigue often look and act relatively normal. They often use coffee, colas, sugar and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day. They may appear to be lazy and unmotivated, or to have lost their ambition, when in reality quite the opposite is true.

35 Medical Treatment Dr. George Goodheart identified five specific skeletal muscles which are related to adrenal gland function. 1 Sartorius 2 Gracilis 3 Posterior Tibialis 4 Gastrocnemius and 5 Soleus There will be weakness in one or more of these muscles when the adrenal glands are malfunctioning.

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