Heal your Adrenals with this Easy Program

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Éiriú Eolas (pronounced “AIR-oo OH-lahss”), the amazing scientific stress-control, healing, detoxing and rejuvenation program which is THE KEY that will help you to change your life in a REAL and immediately noticeable way. Available online at eebreathe.com

If you are “adrenals are shot”, then your stress-coping abilities are severely depleted. That is, you’ll just stress out.

Adrenal fatigue can affect anyone who experiences frequent, persistent, or severe mental, emotional or physical stress. It can be a contributing factor in health conditions ranging from allergies to obesity. Despite its prevalence in our modern world, adrenal fatigue is for the most part ignored and misunderstood by the medical community.

The adrenals are located on top of your kidneys and they are responsible for producing noradrenaline and adrenaline which are important for your “fight or flight” acute response. Your adrenals are also responsible for producing steroid hormones from cholesterol, including DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol.

Cortisol has a fundamental role in coping with chronic prolonged stress (psychological, physical or emotional). Cortisol is anti-inflammatory; it increases stamina, boosts mental and physical energy and has a role in your immune/defense system response. It is here where the low fat scam takes its toll. But several things may go wrong other than low cholesterol levels. For instance, your adrenals and your HPA axis might be overstressed or dysfunctional.

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is what can be considered the head master of your adrenals. As the name suggests, the HPA axis is composed of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (both in the brain), and the adrenal glands.

Our hypothalamus is that part of the brain considered to be the master gland of the endocrine system due to its homeostatic (balance) effect over all our hormonal system.

This is why the HPA axis regulates many functions such as blood pressure, digestion, circadian rhythms, sex drive, body temperature, balance and coordination, heart rate, sweating, water balance, blood sugar levels, adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and metabolism.

The HPA axis, as the head master overseeing your adrenals, has an effect in your reactions to stress. What is more, chronic stress can suppress the HPA axis, leading to lower production of cortisol by the adrenals.

If there is an imbalance of the HPA axis, it will disrupt your body’s ability to maintain the homeostasis of the hormonal system. Thyroid function may become compromised by any disruption to the HPA axis, so stress can definitely have an effect on thyroid function. A dysfunctional HPA-axis can cause estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone to become imbalanced as well.

If you have leptin resistance due to a high carbohydrate intake, that will make your HPA axis most unhappy as well. Leptin is a major hormone that ultimately influences all other hormones and the functions of the hypothalamus in the brain. Thus, leptin controls the function of the HPA axis. As it happens, it seems that leptin enhances your flight or fight response and it inhibits the secretion of steroid hormones (cortisol) by the adrenals.[1] Thereby it promotes the stress response and it discourages anti-inflammatory effects.

An imbalance in your HPA axis is known to cause symptoms such as muscle or joint pain, dizziness, fatigue, low body temperature, a compromised immune system, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, and less mental acuity.[2]

People with low cortisol levels have a tendency towards allergies, especially hay fever, and the beginnings of arthritis. Low cortisol is associated particularly with autoimmune disorders, such as asthma, arthritis, allergies, ulcerative colitis, and fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome

 

Adrenal fatigue refers to the concept of too much stress depleting your adrenals and causing a decrease in the output of adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol. Even though mainstream medicine denies its existence, adrenal fatigue has been called hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, subclinical hypoadrenia, adrenal neurasthenia and so forth.[3]

Low cortisol levels may make you less able to respond when you need to, and it has been associated with low grade, frequent emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse and neglect.[4] There is a strong link between low cortisol and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Low cortisol has also been associated with a lack of positive good feeling.

Years of poor sleep, excessive stimulants such as coffee, chronic psychological stress (anything from a divorce to an economic collapse without mentioning stressful climate changes…), surgeries, traumatic events, and environmental toxicity can have a very heavy toll in your adrenals.

The adrenals, in their effort to regulate blood sugar extremes from a lifetime of a high carb diet, become overburdened, eventually burning them out.

People can look normal, yet they are living with a general sense of unwellness. People who suffer from adrenal fatigue often have problems regulating their blood sugar, they tend to experience more delayed food allergies, they are more vulnerable to infections and they tend to have pains and mood problems such as anxiety and depression other than sleeping problems. People with frequent respiratory infections, rhinitis, asthma, frequent colds, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, autoimmune disorders tend to have adrenal fatigue. In fact, allergies seem to get worse when there is more stress since cortisol is needed to counteract the inflammatory reactions.

People with adrenal fatigue tend to skip breakfast. They wake up without appetite and the only thing they want is coffee. This has the effect of stimulating their adrenals, extracting the very last juice of them so they can start-up the day. Under more stress, they can faint easily if they skip further meals or just drop exhausted anywhere. So if you are to heal your adrenal function, you must absolutely eat a big fatty breakfast.

Other hormones produced by the adrenals also may leave the ladies prone to more facial hair or acne.

People can crave more salt since the adrenals are also responsible for releasing a hormone related with salt and water. In adrenal fatigue, more sodium is lost than usual, leading to drops in blood pressure, tiredness and lots of salt craving. It is a crime to deprive a person with adrenal fatigue of salt. As it happens, salt has anti-inflammatory effects since it is a natural anti-histaminic. Why do you think it is recommended for sinus congestion?

Since the adrenals produce the rejuvenating steroid hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) – precursor for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – people with adrenal fatigue tend to have bone loss, loss of muscle mass, depression, aching joints, decreased sex drive and so forth.

Another thing often overlooked is that if you are meant to normalize a low thyroid function, you must absolutely heal your adrenals first, otherwise, nothing will happen. Thyroid function often normalizes when you support your adrenals and remove delayed food allergies. Thyroid problems often mean gluten intolerance, and if gluten is removed on time, and you support your adrenals, the damage is reversible.

Adrenal Fatigue Protocol

 

Adrenal fatigue symptoms and signs include chronic stress, tiredness, excess facial or body hair growth in women, several food sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, hair loss, acne, salt cravings, recurrent infections, low blood pressure, tend to skip breakfast in the morning (lack of appetite and/or drink only coffee), or feeling cold. Keep in mind that you’ll never normalize a low thyroid function (diagnosed either by lab tests or clinical symptoms) if you don’t address adrenal fatigue.

First, try titrating doses of vitamin C since it is a very important nutrient for adrenal function and repair, other than cholesterol. Most folks need only to up their intake of this important nutrient in the form of supplemental vitamin C (most fruits are so loaded in sugar that it makes them useless for the little C that can be obtained from them). For more information on vitamin C, see Heal Thyself with Homemade Liposomal Vitamin C.

Low Dose Hydrocortisone

Dosage as follows[5]:

– Start with 2.5 mg (a quarter of a 10-mg tablet or half of a 5-mg tablet) per day between 6 and 8 am for one week.
– Increase the dose to 5 mg per day between 6 and 8 am if you saw no positive response with the lower dose for one week.
– Increase the dose to 10 mg per day between 6 and 8 am if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week
– Maintain your dose of 10 mg in the early morning and add 5 mg at noon if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week.
– Maintain your dose of 10 mg in the early morning and 5mg at noon, add 5 mg at 4pm if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week.

If at any point you experience carbohydrate cravings, bloating or insomnia, feel hyper, or have any other negative symptoms, either stop or reduce the dose. This is not meant to be a permanent therapy, you can stop this protocol a few days after you feel better, regardless of the dose you were taking. In case of illness or trauma or physical stress, you can take hydrocortisone again with double the dose.

Ask your physician for a hydrocortisone prescription. Most doctors will prescribe therapeutic or  lower doses of cortisone for inflammatory conditions, do they shouldn’t have a problem prescribing such a low dose of hydrocortisone. We are not talking here about therapeutic dosages. This is very important to understand.

Hydrocortisone is the chemical form of the cortisone your adrenal gland produces. The average daily production of hydrocortisone in your body is about 30 to 40 mg. If you have adrenal insufficiency (low adrenal function or adrenal fatigue), you may be producing much less and have symptoms as a consequence. By supplementing your low production with 5 to 20 mg of hydrocortisone, your body’s supply becomes normal and symptoms should promptly disappear.

The misunderstanding with this low dose hydrocortisone protocol stems from the use of high-dose cortisone therapies like prednisone, medrol, etc. With such high doses there are significant side effects such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, Cushing syndrome, immune supression and so forth. But these effects have absolutely nothing to do with low-dose hydrocortisone treatment. In fact, the reason why most doctors are reluctant to prescribe it is because the dose is way too low in order to make any difference whatsoever. Keep in mind that mainstream science is completely ignorant about adrenal fatigue. The low doses we are talking here is even much lower of what your body normally produces, even if your adrenal’s output of hydrocortisone is normal. High-dose mainstream treatment of cortisone is several times your body’s daily output, that is, 60 to 300 mg of hydrocortisone per day. So if someone tells you that you are crazy for being in cortisone because it has serious side effects, you can reassure them that you are taking below levels of physiological doses of what your body already produces. Remember, it is not prednisone, it is hydrocortisone. 5 mg of hydrocortisone is the same as about 1 mg of prednisone. Fludan.com sells hydrocortisone in powder form which people can then weight with a scale for mg, such as a jewel scale. If you are unable to get a hold of hydrocortisone or experience unsuitable symptoms on it, you can use low dose progesterone cream to support adrenal function.

Keep in mind also that the best test to see if you will benefit from this therapy is the trial one, that is no lab test will be able to tell you with accuracy if your adrenals need a boost. People who have negative tests often benefit from low dose hydrocortisone therapy.

Of course, these are temporary measures. As useful as they may be, they will never replace the need for eating a diet that is most supportive to your body’s physiology and functioning. For more information on a healing diet that will prolong your life and support your adrenals, see Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. Eating animal fats and protein, cutting out on sugar, grains and foods full with anti-nutrients is essential to heal our bodies.

 

A note of caution

Those with chronic fatigue, recurrent infections and joint pains should keep in mind that iron overload (ask your physician to test for ferritin, transferrin, TIBC and iron) should be ruled out. Ferritin levels should be ideally less than 80 and transferrin saturation should be ideally less than 40%. If you are above those levels, you might want to donate some blood or refer to the Iron Disorders Institute. A great book on the subject is The Elephant Iron by Roberta Crawford. In addition to that, people with iron overload are discouraged from taking vitamin C without proper monitoring.

For an immediate stress-relief breathing and meditation program, check out Éiriú Eolas (pronounced “AIR-oo OH-lahss”), the amazing scientific stress-control, healing, detoxing and rejuvenation program which is THE KEY that will help  you to change your life in a REAL and immediately noticeable way. Full program available online for free at eebreathe.com.


Notes

 

[1] Malendowicz LK, Rucinski M. et al. Leptin and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Int Rev Cytol. 2007;263:63-102.

[2] Rodger H. Murphree. Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Definitive Guide for Patients and Physician. Harrison & Hampton Publishing; 2 edition (January 2003)

[3] James L. Wilson. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. 2001, Smart Publications.

[4] Sue Gerhardt. Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain.Routledge; 1 edition (24 Jun 2004)

[5] Sidney MacDonald Baker. Detoxification and Healing: The Key to Optimal Health. McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (August 27, 2003)

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Comments

  1. Luca  November 27, 2015

    Hello Gabriela, taking prednisone 2.5mg Monday Wednesday and Friday, staying out on Saturday and Sunday, this protocol will prevent switching off the adrenal? and can be effective? my fear is definitely off the adrenals

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  November 27, 2015

      I would take instead 1.25mg every day, you can build up to 2.5mg if it is not enough. The dose is low enough, although ideally it should be hydrocortisone. There shouldn’t be any problems, specially if you work at resolving the root of the problem.

      reply
      • Luca  November 27, 2015

        with explanations, the problem of my accident was low t3 due to insulin resistance untreated for years, only now my adrenals are weak and can not handle a replacement dose of t3 also low, then to 1.25 mg or 2.5 day my adrenal can recover without being arrested?

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  November 27, 2015

        Luca, you really need to read http://www.drbrownstein.com/Iodine-Why-You-Need-It-p/iodine.htm

        Your problem has a very simple solution. Read the book! I think ALL your glands can recover.

  2. Hannah  November 30, 2015

    If you check out the page about hydrocortisone on ‘Stop the thyroid madness’ it says that single low doses like this should be avoided, since the presence of cortisone in the blood is going to down regulate ACTH production, and then when the hydrocortisone has all been metabolised 4 or so hours later it will cause adrenal insufficiency symptoms. So now I’m confused and not sure what to do. Going straight in with divided doses throughout the day seems too much.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  November 30, 2015

      Start with the lowest dose once a day and then build up, pretty much like the protocol. The clinical response guides what best suits you. And you heal the adrenals by addressing the root of the problem, all the rest is just support.

      reply
  3. rachel  November 30, 2015

    Hi I have been trying various adrenal homeopathic remedies to help with extreme fatigue, acne and coldness …the rhodiola in many of the supplements makes me very anxious and sad. Some say that is part of the healing process? Not sure how much more I can take. I am 34 would you suggest that I ask my dr for the hydrocortisone…is that better than prednisilone? how does this method differ from healing from herbals and glandulars.
    thanks!

    reply
  4. Jen  December 1, 2015

    Hi doctor segura, I’m glad I found your site. I thought all this time that I had a hormone imbalance because of my symptoms but when I went to the doctor he would say my hormone levels were normal so I was very confused. I went to another , more thorough doctor a few years ago and he said my adrenals are shot or that the levels were very low. So I just put two anc two together that all my problems that I thought were a hormone imbalance have really been adrenal fatigue. I have a question for you. I’m having a very hard time finding the hydrocortisone. What do you think about adrenal complexes from bovine adrenal glands. I understand the fear of mad cow disease but what if they’re organic, anti biotic free range bovine extract ? Would that help prepare my adrenal glands? Or does it have to be hydrocortisone? Please let me know. Thanks in advance. I really appreciate it.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 1, 2015

      You can start with bovine adrenal glands, just make sure it is the CORTEX (not medullar). You can also add some adaptogens like ashwagandha. Just remember that the root of the adrenal fatigue needs to be addressed. Whether too much stress, inflammatory food, a stealth infection (viruses, mycoplasmas, bacteria, etc.), toxicity or iodine deficiency. You can read this book for starters:

      http://www.drbrownstein.com/Iodine-Why-You-Need-It-p/iodine.htm

      Best!

      reply
  5. Kimberly  December 1, 2015

    I have Graves & Hashimoto’s (had RAI) and have taken Armour for years, with great results. After a particularly stressful year, my adrenal glands burned out. I have a great doc and when I first saw him, my cortisol levels were through the roof. Did the dexamethasone suppression and the bottom dropped out. I was making a little cortisol on my own, but not enough. We started hydrocortisone 2.5mg 2x per day and I felt a little better until I got a nasty stomach bug. We raised it to 5mg in the am and 2.5 at lunch. Suddenly, I’m feeling anxious and completely freaked out at how bad I feel. We are going to go back down to 2.5 total per day. Is it possible my adrenals are starting to work on their own again? I’m terrified I will end up in an adrenal crisis, but I know that fear is probably unwarranted.
    Thanks for the great info!

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 1, 2015

      Or it is possible that it is harder to strike a balance due to the Graves & Hashimoto. I highly suggest you read http://www.drbrownstein.com/Iodine-Why-You-Need-It-p/iodine.htm, it explains the adrenal fatigue and the autoimmune thyroid problems. There are some supplements you need in order to calm down the fires of oxidation and balance up your hormones. In the time being, yes, do cut down on hydrocortisone and read the book. Hope you get better!

      reply
  6. Luca  December 9, 2015

    Hello Gabriela , if it is used as support micronized progesterone , the capsules of 100mg , what is the dose to be taken as support ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 9, 2015

      A normal low progesterone dose is 20-60mg/day (100mg per day maximum). Start with the lowest dose.

      reply
      • Luca  December 10, 2015

        thanks for all the info and excuse me if I ask often clarifications .
        now I feel much better by taking t3 25mcg slow release other day , I can handle stress and weight training much better , but if increased t3 to 25mcg a day I have the chills , it’s as if my adrenals do not support this dose. taking progesterone will have more cortisol available , so as to transport more t3 in the cells , so that I can increase the dose of t3 ?

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  December 10, 2015

        Luca, you need to read my most recent post:

        http://health-matrix.net/2015/12/07/iodine-suppressed-knowledge-that-can-change-your-life/

        Supplying thyroid hormones without iodine is not a good idea.

  7. Luca  January 7, 2016

    Hello Gabriela , New Year’s greetings , I followed your advice and I’m miglierando greatly , I’m integrating iodine and progesterone oral helping with sleep before bed , a single doubt : I noticed that progesterone (I’m using 100mg prometrium before bed ) has a diuretic effect , I have to increase the salt or the liquorice otherwise I go too June sodium . since the capsules are 100mg and can not be split , all right if I take 100mg every other day ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 7, 2016

      Hello Luca,

      I would never recommend 100mg of prometrium! That is too much for functional low dose purposes. I would recommend the iodine though. If you have a diuretic effect, drink a tall glass of water with 1/4th teaspoon of sea salt one hour away from your iodine. Best!

      reply
      • Luca  January 7, 2016

        ok perfect , progesterone makes me sleep better , advise me to reduce the dosage or to take it off right ?

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 7, 2016

        Exactly! Iodine should really help all your glands and not only your adrenals.

  8. Luca  January 12, 2016

    Hello Gabriela , what is the daily dosage of iodine taken with integration ? also it can only be good integration of kelp that integrate iodine ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 12, 2016

      Non ho capito… Do you mean that it is better to get iodine from kelp? In that case, no. Kelp will give you only doses in micrograms. If you reach milligram doses from kelp, you will also get a fair amount of heavy metals. Lugol solution or tablets (iodoral) are needed and the dose is highly individualized due to detox symptoms and their troubleshooting. I would start with 3-6mg of iodine, that is, lugol 2% or 5%, one drop. Then see how it goes.

      reply
  9. Rebecca Yenchik  January 28, 2016

    While researching progesterone and low cortisol, I came across your page. Perhaps, you can help me. After years of batting low cortisol, countless saliva tests that show me low on all 4 points of the day, struggling for optimal thyroid, dealing with night waking, and too many other issues to even mention; by accident from a saliva hormone test, I discovered I am beyond low on progesterone. My estrogen surpringly is in perfect range. So, I am estrogen dominant simply because my progesterone is way low compared to my estrogen. Realizing the progesterone is a precursor to many hormones, especially cortisol, I began using progesterone cream to help me out in both departments, correct my low progesterone and maybe, just maybe, my cortisol can finally be fixed after years of taking adrenal cortex. Now, I haven’t night waking for sometime. Since starting the progesterone, I am up every night at the dreaded 2 am / 3 am! I am still taking the cortex, could I be over doing it now? I am using 80 mg a day split into 4 doses. Too much together makes me sleepy. I am using 80 mg because at lower dose I can’t handle my estrogen receptors awakening (sore breasts, cramping ), once thru that I plan on using a more biological dose. Sorry for such a story but you are the first person I could ever find who discussed progesterone therapy for low cortisol, I actually suspect it could have been the cause for my complete metabolic decline. I am 40, guess it is to be expected. With 3 kids, I have figure this out. Hard to be a good Mom when you feel so broken. My thyroid is optimal at this point (taking Nature Throid) and I also take iodine, I can’t say I am fully saturated. I am conflicted on a few things about iodine. Lots of views on it but I do take a drop or 2 a day of Lugol’s. My diet is strong, juices, organics, sea salt, no processed foods and I do coffee enemas. They really have helped. Thanks for reading and I would real love your input or suggestions on progesterone therapy for low cortisol.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 28, 2016

      Some observations: Topical progesterone is best applied in the inner linings of your mucosa. If you applied it to the skin, in could have an erratic or delayed absorption, or at least not the absorption that you were expecting.

      I think lugol will go a long way in balancing all your hormones and glands, but perhaps a higher dose might be needed, i.e. 6 drops instead of two, and on alternative days in order to manage detox symptoms better. If you have too much oxidative stress, you will need co-factors (niacinamide, riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin c, salted water, selenium).

      Also, a diet high in organic saturated fat and health fats in general (in addition to its protein) will go a long way in restoring your hormones.

      reply
      • Rebecca  January 28, 2016

        Thanks for the kind reply. I might consider increasing my iodine….I was up to 4 drops and had palpitations. When I decreased down to a drop or two they went away. I take the co-factors daily. As far the progesterone application, I have consider vaginal application but was told that due to the hepatic portal vein it would be mainly absorbed in the liver and not properly dispersed. So I have been sticking with topical application on thin skinned areas. So much conflicting information. Do you have more information on using progesterone in place of hydrocortisone?

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 28, 2016

        Due to anatomy, progesterone will still pass through the pelvis first. The vaginal veins drain to the iliac veins and then to the cava. That is systemic circulation. It is the rectal veins which are connected to the enterohepatic circulatoin (portal vein).

        Palpitations triggered by iodine are often related with a mineral deficiency and detox symptoms. I would do it slowly, but adding more salted water and potassium if necessary. Iodine can restore all your hormones, making hydrocortisone a last resource.

      • Rebecca  January 28, 2016

        Great information again….I will give the iodine increase another try. Is it an issue if I am currently taking Nature Throid?? I am going to pass the detailed information you provided about systemic circulation, makes sense to me. I wanted to mention that I am trying to subscribe to the comments on this post but there seems to be an error. It just brings up a page with coding on it??? Thank you again!

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 29, 2016

        Nature Thyroid, what does it have? Usually it is okay if it has stuff like selenium, L-tyrosine and so forth. Thanks for the heads up on the comment subscription, will check it out.

  10. Luca  February 4, 2016

    Hello Gabriela , I wanted to thank you because thanks to iodine I’m much better , adrenal fatigue is getting better , now I’m at 100mg a day . it is possible that apart from the second day a little cranky , I do not have any symptoms of detoxification ? maybe because I ‘ve a good diet and I used magnesium chloride ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 4, 2016

      That is good to hear, Luca! Maybe you are not as sensitive as other people, or maybe you didn’t had issues with mercury toxicity. The biggest detox reactions from mercury come after 2-3 weeks. Hope you continue to get better. Best!

      reply
  11. Cathy  February 4, 2016

    Hi Gabriela,

    I have extremely low cortisol and am trying to see an Integrative GP who may prescribe hydrocortisone. Supplements are not cutting it and I do watch my diet. My “root” of my adrenal fatigue is trauma, but I am so exhausted I cannot deal with the trauma and anxiety – it’s like a catch 22. I try working on the fear but I’m just so exhuasted that the anxiety is winning at this piont. Did you find that taking the hydrocortisone helped a bit with your stress response? or did it make your anxiety worse? Any info would be appreciated.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 4, 2016

      Hello Cathy,

      In general, extra hydrocortisone doesn’t give anxiety. You start with the lowest dose possible and build up from there if necessary. However, I highly recommend you read the following article:

      http://health-matrix.net/2015/12/07/iodine-suppressed-knowledge-that-can-change-your-life/

      It seems that iodine is what you really need. It will restore your adrenals and all your other glands as well. Do read the article. Best!

      reply
      • Cathy  February 4, 2016

        I’ve tried iodine and it does nothing. I was wondering more if the hydrocortisone helps the stress response feel more settled? Thanks,
        Cathy

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 4, 2016

        How much iodine did you tried? Did you took co-factors: vitamin C, salted water, niacinamide, riboflavin, selenium?

        The hydrocortisone should help, but addressing the root problem is really a priority.

    • Grace  February 6, 2016

      Same here. It’s a horrible catch-22. Look into Nutritional Balancing with Dr. Lawrence Wilson to detoxify and rebuild the body. But it takes a few years to get well. I am considering hydrocortisone and thyroid hormones (avoid T4-only meds) because I just cannot cope with stress.

      reply
  12. Luca  February 5, 2016

    I am still on the tenth day of integration but I’m improving day by day so amazing !!! .. Since I did not have symptoms of detoxification and I would expedite my iodine saturation in the body , up to Bon What dosage me I can push a day from only for a short period of time ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 6, 2016

      I’m glad to hear you are making improvements, Luca. However, keep in mind that iodine is something that you take for a year or so before reaching saturation levels, and then you supplement basics. How much are you doing now?

      reply
  13. Luca  February 8, 2016

    I am currently to 100mg per day , increasing the dose or not?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 8, 2016

      Luca, that is a fairly good dose. I would be more patient and enjoy the healing path ;)

      reply
      • Luca  February 9, 2016

        ok perfect, plus I also noticed that amplify improvements if I take baking soda on an empty stomach before breakfast . I can continue to take it along with iodine.

        —-
        really thank Gabriela and I hope my comments are helpful to others who come to read comments

  14. Angela  February 22, 2016

    Hi Dr. Segura, thank you for all the informative information on the adrenals. I have been using hydrocortisone for about 8 years now after testing low on a saliva test done by my doctor. It was supposed to be for a short period of time until my adrenals healed however it’s now been 8 years. Saw an endo. 8 years ago who told me I would probably be on it for life, (his opinion), and he also told me I would have a very hard time losing weight. Over the years I have tried to wean myself off of it but it seems impossible. I normally take 20 Mgs daily and had gotten down to 15 Mgs. before experiencing low cortisol symptoms and then returned back to the 20 Mgs. Very difficult to lower even in increments of 2.5 Mgs. Here recently I’ve decided to get healthy and try to lose the extra weight of at least 100 lbs! Each year my weight has slowly increased, while trying multiply diets to decrease with no positive results. Now I have a new endo. I’m scheduled to see soon, waiting for an appointment time. My main problem today is cortisol and needing ALOT just to do aerobic exercises for 30 minutes 6 days a week. When I first started exercising I didn’t think I would need any stress dosing, however once I started experiencing adrenal crisis symptoms, low blood pressure, dizziness, trembling, feeling of passing out…… I used my doctor prescribed hydrocortisone according to how I felt. I worked my way up to 80 Mgs. daily when exercising for 30 to 45 minutes!!! Apparently my body doesn’t hold onto the hydrocortisone and this is why I have to use so much. I informed my Dr. and he was NOT happy at all with me using so much and told me I should not use more than 40 Mgs. daily and that was with stress dosing. So now I’m really disappointed because I had begun to lose weight while on hydrocortisone after all these years. My eating is now clean with lean protein, chicken and fish, fresh green veggies and NO processed or GMO foods. I’ve used iodine in pill form previously and it caused my stomach to bloat so I began painting my wrist and neck area with lugols. Not sure if I’m getting a benefit or not but I’ve read how important iodine was for the body. My liver had turned fatty with a full pressure feeling on my right side so I’m really trying to reverse all the damage I’ve done to my body over the years. Now I’m prepared but it seems I have to stop exercising due to the hydrocortisone issue. My question, is there something else I can take to replace any needed hydrocortisone after I’m beyond my prescribed dose of 40 Mgs.? And is it normal for my body to use up so much hydrocortisone with normal exercising? I’ve also in the past almost went into crisis just for walking 2 to 3 miles and being unaware I needed to stress dose….just to walk for exercise. I also take armour thyroid and liothyronine for hypothyroidism. When I don’t take these my muscles become weak, especially my thigh muscles in about 3 or 4 days. I was taking bioidentical progesterone because my levels have always been low and I was having difficulties with my cycle, but recently was diagnosed with painful uterine fibroids and I stopped taking the progesterone because my cycles seem a little less painful without it. I am 51 years old and heading for a hysterectomy in April. Recently I’ve started taking liposomal VitC and glutathione, not sure yet if I’m benefiting from them or not, it’s only been about a week. Head feels really weird with pressure sensation on right side forehead, not sure if that’s a detox symptoms or not. I take liquid iron daily to increase my iron levels after being anemic my entire life and no doctor addressing it until now. I also take about a 1/2 of sea salt daily for daily cramping muscles. I apologize for such a LONG comment but I thought giving you my entire health history before answering my questions would be a benefit. Thank you again!

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 22, 2016

      Dear Angela,

      What strikes me from your hormonal imbalances is that you are supplementing hormones without addressing the iodine deficiency. That always has bad results in the long run. Although topical iodine is good, it might not be enough. If you had trouble with the iodine pills, you could try a lower dose after eating and/or a low percentage lugol’s, one drop every other day or every two days. I think that you should really do some research on iodine and its troubleshooting. With your ailments, I suspect you have quite a load of toxicity in your body that could cause some troubleshooting on the iodine protocol as it all gets mobilized and detoxed.

      Start by reading the book suggested in these post:
      http://health-matrix.net/2015/12/07/iodine-suppressed-knowledge-that-can-change-your-life/

      It is not more hydrocortisone you need. Your requirements will diminish on the iodine as it re-balances ALL your organs including the adrenals, thyroid, ovaries, pineal gland, pituitary and so forth. I cannot highlight enough the importance on doing iodine research. Don’t get discouraged by your past experience and do read about it. There is much to be gained from reading the testimonials and how people solved their troubleshooting with iodine. Much healing your way!

      reply
  15. ian pearson  February 29, 2016

    nice to see a health professional with an open mind about this kind of stuff.I tried hydrocortisone a few times after testing myself for an adrenal index test.I showed up below the reference in the morning slightly and had always had issues with low energy and waking in the morning.I tried 2.5mg and 5mg a day which initially seemed fantastic full of energy literally endless energy but after several weeks on it i started to feel abit weird and some slight anxiety issues.After i went off it i went back to the old low energy tired alot slightly overweight self and was worried about my adrenals not recovering correctly.I have recently tried again on 1.25mg a day and i am now bouncing around again.I dont know what will happen but im happy to experiment with a such low dose.

    reply
  16. Luca  March 14, 2016

    Hello Gabriela what about iodine works wonders , I was able to also eliminate the t3 . now I have to fight a last obstacle to heal 100 % and that the inflamed intestine is permeable , I’m already in the paleolithic diet and is better but if the weekend exaggerating with the simple sugars have problems . how about adding a probiotic ? or such other remedy ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 14, 2016

      Good to hear things are working for you. How about avoiding the simple sugars of the weekend?! You can add a probiotic and other supplements, but they are only clutches. A clean diet is the best option. Best!

      reply
  17. Emily  March 20, 2016

    Hi,
    I can’t really take ANY steroids due to this stubborn skin fungus I’ve had for years and also high pressure in my eyes (google steriod induced Glacoma) and my body can’t take the side effects (damaging to the immune system etc.) But what about an Adrenal Cortex Extract which has the hormones removed? Supposed to support the adrenals and at least one review I read said that it helped with her fungus etc. Would such a product have any of the harmful side effects of a hydro-cortisone etc., or be addictive? Would it cause the adrenals to stop working etc? I’ve taken it all I think over the years, isocort, cortizone shots, hydrocortizone, EXTREMELY high doses of Prednisone for years-I had to wean off of them all using natural Progesterone, vitamins, change in diet, adrenal supplements. And now my body can’t even tolerate caffiene, much less a steroid.

    Would appreciate your advice, and will try the iodine etc.

    reply
  18. Emily  March 20, 2016

    Hi,
    I was on extremely high doses of Prednisone for asthma and adrenal exhaustion for years, I was a compulsive overeater, then would take the Prednisone or get a cortisone shot or take hydro-cortizone etc. in order to breathe. I was steadily getting worse worse worse, could not hardly walk, and was headed for the hospital.

    Then I started taking high doses of a natural Progesterone and took vitamins, supplements etc. and although it took a LONG LONG time I am FINALLY free of the steroids! They effected me mentally as well, rages, confusion etc.

    Also I developed high pressure in my eyes (google steriod induced Glaucoma) and a stubborn case of skin fungus. Apparently the steroids cause immunity problems. Maybe they are okay to take in small amounts I don’t know, but my body is worn out and if I even use an inhalor which has a steroid (?) in it my fungus gets worse the next day.

    I’m MIRACULOUSLY better than before, I can now walk maybe 8 blocks, I still have to rest a lot, but am able to stay up more hours a day. I have PTSD, anxiety, OCD yada yada. Although I have been losing weight recently I’m still extremely overweight. I’m sure that taxes the adrenal glands too.

    So I wondered about supplements to help heal the adrenals-one is an Adrenal Gland Extract but it has the hormones removed. Do you think this could help me? I WOULD LOVE to have a quieter mind (I already take pysch meds) and would LOVE it if my breathing was always easy and I had some energy (the fungus also saps your energy and clouds the mind.) Today I actually felt some ENERGY when I went for my walk, that is a new thing for me.

    I’m on the low carb diet STRICKLY now because the fungus acts up if I eat any carbs particularly anything with GLUTEN btw. I mean STRICT, basically oils, proteins, low carb vegatables, I will have some sugar free yougurts sometimes and I do eat cheese. ONce in awhile I break over. I had a shake and some french fries one day and no big repurcussions, but I ate several pieces of a sweet bread product and the fungus acted up big time.

    I’m going to check out the page on iodine also and am taking vitamins etc.

    Thank’s for your help.

    reply
    • Emily  March 20, 2016

      OOops it’s actually an Adrenal Cortex Extract with the hormones removed. I”m wondering if this would be safe and helpful in healing. THanks again.

      reply
      • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 21, 2016

        That was my first adrenal support ever. I remember feeling much better with it. You need the CORTEX. If it has the medulla, then it might give more problems. Adrenal Cortex is pretty safe.

        And yes, do some iodine research. In your case, I would start really easy, like this protocol:

        http://www.lynnefarrow.net/sensitive.html

  19. Farzana Firoz  April 5, 2016

    Hey doc! Im diagnosed with hashimotos. Been on synthroid 25mcg and 5mg cytomel in rhe evening. I have tons of food allergies since childood. Asthma as well been on corticosteroids symbicort inhaler for 20 years! Now i have dizzy spells..weakness..general tiredness. My blood test am showed low cortisol. This explains all my symptoms! What do u suggest where to start? Im totally confused. Oh i also have low progesterone..was using the cream ..but got lazy and stopped using it 2 months ago. It seemed to help with my mood swings and improved sleep. Also i am bloating..upper body only! WTH!!

    reply
  20. Farzana Firoz  April 5, 2016

    Forgot to mention i do take iron supplements several times a week. It was low last year. I have a hx of this happening so i stay on top of the iron. Also i do crave salt so 2 weeks ago i started drinking sole water from pink Himalaya n salt but after 2 weeks started getting diarrhoea so quit

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 6, 2016

      You were probably doing too much salt, hence the laxative effect. Start with 1/3 teaspoon in a glass of water and build up from there up to 3-4 doses. If there is a laxative effect, cut back one dose.

      As for iron supplementation, always make sure you don’t have iron overload. You can have iron overload when there is anemia. Supplementing iron in the later case is the worst possible idea. For more info, see:

      http://health-matrix.net/2013/07/06/the-iron-elephant-the-dangers-of-iron-overload/

      reply
  21. Eddie  May 22, 2016

    Hi Dr. Segura, I want to take iodine since I have very low functional adrenals based on my saliva cortisol tests. My thyroid panel test results on in “normal” range but not optimal. Can I supplement with iodine with low adrenal and low thyroid function? Also, should I test my iodine levels before supplementing? Thank you.

    reply
  22. gerdy  June 16, 2016

    Dr. Segura,

    I have been using Topical steroids to control Atopic Dermatitis for almost 20 years. I have become more skeptical of the safety of these drugs and am trying to reduce my dependency on them. I am quite concerned about adrenal suppression due to the usage of these drugs. Do you have any reccomendations? I am quite cold often, and am often irritable in stressful situations.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  June 16, 2016

      Have you checked your hormones, i.e. cortisol and thyroid? It is always important to address the root of the problems. Heavy metal toxicity, stealth infections, food intolerances and stress are the “four horses of the apocalypse”. You can get an IgG food intolerance panel test, a DMSA urine challenge test for heavy metals and take supplements to address several imbalances. One step at a time.

      reply
  23. Shyra  July 7, 2016

    great information, I appreciate your article and responses to the comments. I will certainly dive into your information and book!
    Question for you – have you experienced anyone having awful results with hydrocortisone?
    I began taking it after my test showed my cortisol levels bottom line in the am and very high in pm. Three days after beginning it is began getting severe headaches, vision changes, my muscles felt overworked, crazy bloated, gained 5lbs (I’ve weighed 118 consistently for years), my head/thought process seemed to slow, everything looked fuzzy almost, extreme fatigue …and etc! I quit taking the hydrocortisone last Wednesday and by Monday most of the unpleasant symptoms are gone….even my weight is back down to 118. it’s frustrating because it has worked quite well for others and I don’t understand why it wrecked me.
    just curious if you have seen this in others.
    (my diet is quite good – mostly meat, vegetables, hardly any carbs. I’m pretty big on healthy fats. I’m 42 and went to my naturalpaths complaining of fatigue, did the adrenal test and I thought the hydrocortisone was going to be the fix. I have another app with my naturalpaths at the end of August but found your information in my pursuit to heal my adrenals with food?/vitamins?/minerals?????)
    thanks for your information, looking forward to reading more!

    reply
  24. Eddie  July 9, 2016

    Hi Dr. Segura, I have a prescription for Hydrocortisone. I don’t want to take it daily, but how often can I take it without it causing any issues such as adrenal atrophy? Would taking it for a couple of days every two or three weeks cause any problems? I was thinking about doing 20mg every other weekend. Thanks

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  July 9, 2016

      You can take it over the weekend without problems, Eddie. 20mg is still a low dose. Best!

      reply
      • Eddie  July 9, 2016

        Thank you Dr. Segura. I read an article a while back that taking more than 20mg daily could possible atrophy the adrenals. Not sure how true that is. I believe the article mentioned that if it was taken continuously for long-term it could cause the atrophy.

  25. gerdy  July 9, 2016

    Hi Dr. Segura,

    Upon your suggestion I had my cortisol levels checked. I have slightly higher cortisol levels upon waking. Curiously, I find this to be time of day I am most uncomfortable with my dermatitis, could there be a correlation?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  July 9, 2016

      Sure, it is the stress hormone after all.

      reply
      • Spencer Steele  July 30, 2016

        Hey doc
        I’m 25 year old male, been suffering since major stress back in 2011. Low cortisol, dhea, testosterone, t4.

        Doc has me on hydrocortisone now for 4 weeks( 10mg daily, 5 8am, 5 noon), says to do about 6 months while we try to remove the underlying cause of the adrenal issues.

        I’ve added 12.MG of iodoral ( not sure if i should up this dosage)
        As well as taking questran and amphotericin b currently to cleanse fungus and bile. Next month we work on cleaning out the gut.
        I’ve done a food allergy test and am avoiding the foods im allergic too. I’ve also cut out caffeine sugar, gluten, dairy.

        Lastly im on nature throid, which is 39mcg t4 and 9mcg t3.

        It’s only been a month with this doctor so I feel like we’re on the right track.

        Anything else I can do? Should I bump my iodine dosage up to 25-50mg daily? We’re trying to cleanse the body for the next 6 months and come new years we will ween off the hydrocortisone to see if my body can function without it yet.

        Thanks a ton

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