Dr. Karen Sun: Adrenal Support

Updated: Jan 22

Modern life is full of stress that never goes away. So our adrenal gland is constantly working overtime. We can handle stress in our younger years, but as we get older the adrenal glands get burned out. We get more tired in the afternoon, and we become irritated easily. If we ignore what our body is telling us, and continue to push forward, we will reach the final stage of adrenal fatigue — when we can’t function any more do to complete burn out. Adrenal hormones are major hormones, and when it bottoms out, we can actually die… Die of exhaustion. This is why supporting our adrenal glands is so important. The first adrenal hormone is pregnenelone, the grandmother of hormones. It can turn into cortisol, the stress hormone, or DHEA, which is the precursor to testosterone, or progesterone. In other words, our adrenal glands are major contributors to our sex hormones, especially after menopause. That is why chronic stress can lead to premature menopause, or severe menopausal symptoms.


How do we help our adrenal glands recover?


Sleep: Get a good night of sleep. We need to make sleep a top priority, and incorporate good sleeping habits such as making sure our bedroom is quiet and dark with a comfortable bed. Avoid eating or drinking too much at night. Refrain from engaging in arguments with your spouse or children. Try to steer clear of watching the evening news or surfing the internet. Have a soothing bath. Try journaling to process your emotions, especially if you have a hard time falling asleep. Yoga, Qi Gong, prayer, and meditation all can be helpful. If you have tried all these suggestions and are still not sleeping well, then you may want to consider taking a sleep supplement such as ChillPillPM. ChillPillPM combines herbs and minerals such as valerian root, passion flower, and magnesium to help the body relax. It also contains melatonin, the sleep hormone. If you do not like or wish to take melatonin, try ChillPill or ChillPill+.


Reduce the stress in your life:

a. Simplify your life. Do a stress inventory and see what you can change or eliminate.

b. Exercise, especially relaxation exercises, help to pull our body out of the stress mode.

c. Deep abdominal breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which is the biggest parasympathetic nerve in our body. Do deep breathing every few hours to help your body relax.

d. Meditation helps you develop the frontal cortex and helps you not be active in stressful situations.

e. Find things you enjoy doing and do them regularly, such as getting close to nature by hiking or going to the beach, singing, dancing, gardening, having lunch or dinner with a good friend, and laughing are all suggestions that help relax our body and nurture our soul.

f. Build healthy relationships, and avoid toxic people or toxic relationships.

g. Get into the habit of journaling everyday to help process your emotions. Avoid negative thoughts. Practice gratitude and appreciate what you have.

h. Give yourself some “down time” daily, we are human beings, not human doings.


Supplements:

Our adrenal glands need a lot of vitamins and minerals to rebuild, so AdrenFuel+T and AdrenCalm+T were formulated to have a high dose of vitamins C, E, B-Complex, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, and chromium to support the adrenal glands formation of adrenal hormones. Tyrosine helps to make T4, the first thyroid hormone, and selenium helps T4 convert to T3, the active thyroid hormone.


While both have a similar multi-vitamin “back-bone”, as their names imply, AdrenFuel+T has additional herbs to give us more energy. AdrenCalm+T has herbs to reduce the stress response in our body. Over the last 10 years these products have been time tested and have been two of the best selling products at Dr. Karen Suns practice for adrenal and thyroid hormone support. Another supplement she suggests is MitoMax, which has a combination of vitamins and minerals to help support our mitochondria, the power house in our cells, to generate more energy and improve our immune system.


For people who have more severe or advanced adrenal fatique, Dr. Sun suggests AdrenBoost, which not only has the vitamins and adaptogenic herbs needed to support the adrenal glands, but also contains adrenal concentrate derived from bovine source to act as a natural adrenal hormone replacement. In addition to AdrenBoost, Dr. Sun recommends sublingual Pregnenelone, the first adrenal hormone which can turn into cortisol and DHEA. If the cortisol level is too high, Dr. Sun often uses sublinqual DHEA to balance the cortisol level. Pregnenelone and DHEA are both bioidentical adrenal hormones. It takes at least 20-30 years to "burn out" the adrenal glands, so by the time we reach the point where we need adrenal support supplements, it will be for a long term use. If the adrenal glands are not too badly burned out, they can eventually regenerate, but it does takes at least 6 months to a year. Those who have burned out their adrenal glands and have passed the point of no return, need to be on the supplements for a long time.





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