The adrenals are two small glands, one
over the kidney, which are important for many body functions.
A condition very prevalent today is functional
hypoadrenia. This is not a disease process as such; it is a
condition in which a particular gland,
the adrenal is incapable of meeting all the demands put upon it.
Since the adrenal glands are responsible for many actions, this
condition causes a myriad of symptoms fatigue, dizziness, moodiness,
mental anxiety and nervousness, joint pain, allergies, digestive
disturbances, asthma, palpitations, back pain, mental sluggishness,
headaches, impotency, colitis, and on and on.
Most doctors today are concerned with disease
processes. Because they are geared to thinking in terms of disease
rather than functional problems, they do not recognize functional
hypoadrenia until it becomes frank Addison's disease-a complete
failure of the adrenal glands to function. When Addison's disease
is present, hormone medication is necessary to preserve life. Fortunately,
Addison's disease is fairly rare, whereas functional hypoadrenia
is very common in our society today. It is a condition in which
the body is not functioning optimally, but a disease process is
Standard laboratory tests may not
revel functional hypoadrenia They are designed to find Addison's
disease. Relative hypoadrenia can be detected very easily by case
history and general clinical and applied kinesiology examinations.
The condition usually develops as a result of three factors: (a)
more demand - distress in many forms - placed on the adrenal glands
than they are capable of handling, thus depleting their reserve;
(b) dietary indiscretions; and (c) structural dysfunction within
Hans Selye, MD., added greatly to our current
understanding of adrenal function in the 1920s and 30s. He described
the general adaptation syndrome (GAS), which consists of three stages.
The first stage is the alarm reaction, which is a call to
arms of the body's defensive mechanisms - provided by the adrenal
glands - against stress. The alarm reaction is present during any
stress, which can be emotional, an injury, a demand to fight, or
any upsetting factor. The second stage is that of resistance.
This occurs when the stress that activated the alarm stage is present
for a prolonged period; the adrenals actually grow in size to meet
the demand of the long-term stress. Third is the exhaustion
stage, when the adrenals become depleted. This is the stage of functional
Functional hypoadrenia has so many symptoms
that many doctors not knowledgeable in its diagnosis and treatment
have classified patients with this condition as hypochondriacs,
or as having "nervous" conditions, and have given them
tranquilizers. To better understand why there are so many symptoms,
let's look at the major classifications of hormones produced by
the adrenal glands.
The adrenal cortex is the
outside portion of the adrenal glands that produces three major
type of hormones.
1. Glucocorticords are responsible
for converting fats and protein for use as sugar in the body, and
they release stored sugar. This activity helps prevent low blood
sugar. Glucocorticords also act as anti-inflammatory hormones and
help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, duodenal or gastric
ulcers, rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, hay fever, asthma, chronic
upper respiratory infections, skin rashes, and/or other inflammatory
disorders that do not serve a useful purpose.
2. Sex corticords are the male and
female hormones, testosterone and estrogen. The female hormone,
estrogen, is produced by the adrenal in very small quantities compared
to the production by the ovaries; however, it is thought that this
hormone is important to balance in the menopausal female.
3. Mineralocorticoids play a major
role in the mineral balance of the body. Minerals that are out of
balance affect the body's fluid balance, including the fluid inside
and outside body cells. Blood volume is also affected. The mineralocorticoids
are the body's pro-inflammatory hormones, working with the glucocorticoids
to keep inflammatory processes in check.
Two types of hormones are
secreted by the inside portion of the adrenal gland. The first,
epinephrine - sometimes called adrenaline - has been known for
a long time; it is the hormone primarily correlating with the
"fight or flight" mechanism, enabling an individual
to fight stress. Epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal
medulla help mobilize sugar from storage and control the autonomic
nervous system. Since sugar is needed by nearly all of the body,
and since the autonomic nervous system controls the body's organs
and glands, you can see the wide range of the adrenal medulla's
Along with the actions noted above, the
adrenal gland plays an integral role in symphonic balance of the
glandular system. It stimulates some glands and, in turn, other
glands stimulate it. Failure of any glands tends to throw the
entire glandular system off balance.
People inherit their glandular patterns
much the same as they inherit facial characteristics and body
build. Some people inherit very strong adrenal patterns that make
them capable of abusing the adrenal glands with many forms of
stress or dietary indiscretions without having health problems.
Others, unfortunately, inherit weak adrenal patterns, allowing
the cumulative factors of stress to cause health problems rather
quickly and easily. When functional hypoadrenia is diagnosed in
a person, it should be suspected that his children, aunts, uncles,
and any relatives with the same genetic pattern may have the same
condition, causing some of their health problems.
Fortunately, there are effective methods
of correction available for functional hypoadrenia. Fist the condition
must be recognized and the causative factors found. The advancement
of applied kinesiology in the health evaluation picture provides
a better opportunity for finding these functional conditions.
This evaluation system also enables the doctor to find the exact
cause of the hypoadrenia. Treatment consists of certain procedures
you must do for yourself, which may include reduction of stress,
dietary changes, nutritional requirements, and stress involvement,
and will suggest appropriate changes.
When functional hypoadrenia is present
a person tends to use large amounts of adrenal stimulants and
carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch. Whenever there is stimulation,
depression follows that eventually needs more stimulation. This
continuing cycle may eventually lead to addiction.
In order to rebuild the adrenals, it is
necessary to withdraw from stimulants such as caffeine, cigarettes,
alcohol, and sugar. Be careful, caffeine is present in many over-the-counter
medicines such as aspirin compounds, cold medications, and pain-relief
drugs. The adrenals cannot rebuild when they are constantly being
If the condition has been present for
a long time, a rebuilding program is necessary. The more accurately
you follow your doctor's recommendations, the faster correction
will be obtained. Persist with the corrective approach prescribed,
and you will leave the state described by Selye as "just