I do not agree with your information on Addison's Disease :- there is no Glandular recommendation instead you are required to take Cortisol and Florinef issued from your endocrinologist and from my 17 years experience of the PAI disease you do not take Licorice as I have 90% of my adrenals destroyed( by my auto immune system:- hence Primary Addison's Disease) and so my adrenals CANNOT receive a boost or stimulation from Licorice as the receptors for Licorice and all other anti inflammatories are just NOT THERE as they have been destroyed ( as explained previously above)...and this outer section of my adrenals DOES NOT EVER grow back so NO amount of Vitamins or potions Zinc Extract etc will EVER Help these deficient Adrenals! Trying to agitate these diseased adrenals actually MAKES YOU FEEL VERY SICK and I have to go to 2 or 3 days bed rest to get over anti inflammatories foods or herbs that I have eaten.....believe me after 17 years of this PAI I know the symptoms of eating Anti Inflammatory foods ...I am physically and mentally WIPED out UNABLE TO READ OR SPEAK VERY MUCH AND CONFINED TO BED! Till this disruptive anti inflammatory foods and herbs have moved through my system.
Oh by the way I have been on these drugs for 17 years and my bone density is average or above and I have suffered no bone damage whatsoever and I DO NOT take Vitamins ( as stated above ) and I just drink fat reduced MILK its so simple ...... I walk exercise eat healthy for Addison's ( reduced potassium intake also is required for some of us ) and eat a fair amount of Cheese and drink fat reduced Milk I.e. healthy Bones!
Supplements, Dietary Changes
I sadly have been suffering with this as well as lupus and a possibly pheochromocytoma. Unfortunately doctors do not know how to treat adrenal disorders much and the hospitals and doctors offices here do not help. They treat me like I am crazy and say everything is normal. They tried to prescribe me methylprednisone one day but I refused to take it due to all the side effects. The doctors and nurses treat me awful/are speechless with no responses or answers cause that's all they can do since they are scared due to the fact they don't have much knowledge about addisons/pheochromocytoma/rare diseases. So because of their pride they choose to not just say" look we cant treat this, we don't know how to, I am sorry. PLus, I live in the big city so they don't feel like running a ton of tests they are overworked and They are very afraid of what medications they give can trigger a crisis. Sadly since I am on no medications each crisis is worst. Be very very very careful about what foods you eat, vitamins/herbs you take. Take herbs in just small amounts, DO NOT overdo anything! And 100% AVOID VITAMIN B6. This triggers a crisis in me every single time. I had a crisis the other day which I am recovering from. What the other person said about b6 is very true, it will cause pins and needles and it will inflame the adrenals. I don't know why, but it just does. I have learned the hard way! Also avoid tyramine rich foods, every single time I have aged white cheddar(also precipitated this crisis), I get an attack. Egg yolks also are a trigger( I stick to egg whites), WINE(especially red)(for some reason it is tolerable for me sometimes but If I am in crisis mode is a no-no. red meat, salami, aged meats, cheeses, beer(very bad), all are triggers. look up a tyramine food list and avoid these foods. also I am going to try an acid-alkaline diet which I hear helps cause I have dealt with some over acidity and electrolyte issues. avacados and brown rice all b6 rich foods can be a huge trigger. certain ones not so much but avoid. Be very careful with what kinds of vitamins you take. Magnesium is okay, just don't take it everyday for an extended period(over a month), it will build up to hypermagnesia, she is right. It does help muscle pain but if you are dealing with electrolyte imbalance, it will begin to cause pins needles, seizures, headaches. also be extremely careful with herbs. Some herbs can really aggravate this condition. too much garlic, echinincea, goldenseal, and TCM herb mixes, can all aggravate this. Overuse of marijuana can aggravate this(specifically hash oils/concentrates will flare this up and consistent use for too many days during the start of a crisis or during a crisis). avoid concentrates specifically. full of chemicals worstens autoimmune disease and another cause of flares. Marijuana is okay in small amounts. Take breaks as often as you can so your adrenals can rest or they will go berserk. also this is a big one AVOID all anti-anxiety medications!!!! Especially Ativan. taking Ativan can relieve the anxiety caused by this condition temporarily yes BUT it will worsten this condition. It kills all cortisol in your system and it will take time to get your cortisol levels back up. Look up foods rich in cortisol ex. grapefruit juice. The benzodiazepine meds are tempting to take during a crisis but it will WORSTEN the crisis. IF I take Ativan now I wake up nauseous, weak and it also added to the cause of the attack. if you HAVE to take it, limit yourself to 2 days MAXIMUM if taking 2mg and 4 days max if 1mg, no more than that! The higher the dose, the more dangers for this condition. it will ruin your cortisol levels even further making sleep nearly impossible. it will take a very long time to restore sleep levels to fully normal. There are some natural food remedies that can help you sleep online and some other tips. also be very very careful about medications and do more research on your medications. certain medications will effect your electrolytes. Ativan is one that will lower your sodium and cortisol. I am on Norvasc(amlodipine)10 mg and trileptal(1200mg) I have been on for a couple years. both lower sodium and have caused me issues. I have cut down the trileptal to 900mg so far which has helped. It also causes SIADH(syndrome of innapropriate diuretic hormone) which will cause you to hold onto water and mess up electrolytes. IF this does cause your sodium levels issues, the only way to really fix it is to go to the the ER and get a sodium bag drip of saline. I am holding onto about 15 pounds of water due to these medications. I lost 5 lbs this morning after receiving my sodium at the ER. the bloating is awful. I will be trying to get a new doctor very soon to switch my medications. Avoid ciggerates, too much caffeine too. A cup of coffee sometimes does me some good but it will flush out more electrolytes leading to issues. I limit myself to just a cup rarely. Exercise a few times a week just don't overdo it and DO not drink too much water can result in issues with electrolytes. 4-6 cups a day is good. Also another issue can be your thyroid too which will be really irritating. I struggle with thyroiditis. I take sea kelp pills(organic) which helps me get iodine. If I dare miss a few days of it I feel AWFUL. Headaches return, bad mood, anxiety, and cold feeling. I also take it with selenium(non yeast) which will help you to not feel jittery from the kelp cause it can be stimulating. Take what the directions say only once a day and make sure it is from a trusted source (organic) otherwise it may have arsenic or mercury which will result in an awful headache. Take a probiotic daily as much as you can remember. avoid sugar, ciggerates, chemicals.I am yet to try rhodiola rosea I hear is very good. I have tried holy basil which seems to help but I did get a bit too stimulated I believe but it really does increase your stamina, take away pain etc. I have stopped taking it but I may try it again one day. This disease is very hard to treat and doctors don'thave much knowledge about it, it is very rarely spoken of. This can be treated naturally, every disease can be it can be hard but it can be treated. autoimmune diseases usually result from extreme sensitivities, food allergies, pesticides, chemicals and most notoriously parasites and worms(which 85%) of us have. if you had these in childhood you will have them forever. You ever walked outside barefoot, you got em. you ever played as a kid in the dirt or put toys in your mouth, touched everything etc. you got em. food poisioning(most notorious as well) you got em. all my issues started once me and my family got horrible awful food poisioning from foster farms chicken. Then things were precipated even worst by salmon fish food poisioning. avoid yeast as wel if you can and dairy, microwaved foods all aggravate the adrenals. I wish you all luck. sadly I don't know how long I will survive this diasease but each day I force myself to get up and keep fighting thru it even when the anxiety cripples me and I cant get out of bed I will rest but it is very hard to live with autoimmune disease. if you don't feel good listen to your gut and go to ER. Keep pushing the doctors to run more tests and get your results each time. they will still lie, but just try.
Vitacost's Adrenal Support works well and is from bovine source adrenal, spleen, etc.
Supplements, Dietary Changes
I had never had high blood pressure in my life. It happened that after a day on the water cure I went to the dentist. He tested my blood pressure and it was high. Salt elevates blood pressure, of course.
Sorry I just saw your question about Thyrogold. All I can say is that it worked for me. It was created by a doctor who is now dead. His wife sells it and she told me how much to take based on my test results. I had two doctors say my Thyroid was normal with it. Also, anyone, it is crucial as can be that you get PH test strips. If your urine ph is below 7.4 you will notice that you are far more tired. On the other hand, don't got to 8.0 or higher for longer as that is associated with lymphatic disease. Then there is prayer. That's been my biggest help. Praying for all of you.
Supplements, Dietary Changes
Connie, Your post has given me great hope! I have Addison disease. I have had a horrible time trying to control it.. I have had countless episodes of crisis. 3 in the last 4 weeks.. Just 2 days ago I was told that I now have Cushings disease to top it off! What type of doc/doc's do you see? How did you learn of all these supplements that you can use? I want my life back so bad! I'm scared to death that this is going to kill me sooner than later... Please any information is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much! Heather
Donna, I would like to know more about the homeopathic you mentioned. I am on very low dose hydrocortisone and I would like to try getting off it. Is Ayahuasca available in the United States?
I came across an article online written by an alternative MD that cured a woman of full blown Addison's disease (adrenals not working at all and non-curable) with homeopathic ayahuasca. The author didn't give the dosage or dilution, but did say it took 3 months. When the woman went back to her regular doctor to get retested, he told her she had no signs of Addison's Disease. She asked him if he had ever seen it reversed and he said, No. With a little Google searching you may be able to find the article, otherwise it may look like I am the Doc promoting myself. I know you can get homeopathic ayahuasca from Helios in the UK. - only place I know.
I feel you. :( I've been diagnosed with the same thing. You are describing EXACTLY what's going on in my life in your input above. I've noticed a good change in my energy and mood levels when I've taken B12 and B Complex injections. I used to have them weekly and I could manage much better. It's worth a try. Also, please have a look at the High-Fat Low-Carb diet (Banting diet). I am convinced right-eating leads to right-living and I know with this condition our bodies will definitely respond favourably. Eliminating toxins like sugar will only help; and not subject you to that vicious cycle of short-lived energy boosts and long-lasting energy lags.
I be having my peppermint tea. :)
I have had Addison's disease and hypothyroidism for 20 years. It ruined my life. I started noticing something was wrong and it took 6 months before they diagnosed me. I was about dead. I still have so many issues and battle for energy on a daily bases. I have never seen anything about peppermint oil till I read this. I am going to see what I can do w it. I would love to b able to live again instead of just surviving.
Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by the permanent Addison's disease section? Is it on this same page or elsewhere? Thank you!
I have SAI I am on 10 mg of hydrocortisone in AM and 5 in PM. I love peppermint oil and it is helping me feel like myself again. The brain fog goes away and my circulation is so much better! I'm very happy about this!
Hi there coul you please let me know the name of the product you mentioned. Sound like a comprehensive list of nutrients ...thanks...
Supplements, Dietary Changes
Two supplements that will lower cortisol are Seriphos and Holy Basil. They really help to get a good night's sleep as well.
Supplements, Dietary Changes
Been reading your posts ref to cortisol. I was diagnosed about 8 yrs ago with producing too much cortisol, had all the tests & found a small mass on @ of my adrenal glands, which dr said is very unusual so removing glands is not a good option. Doctors wanted me to go to state of Maryland for testing, every indication of what I should have with this is just the opposite, my blood pressure is low, cholesterol normal, blood sugar normal and yet they all should be just the opposite, I chose not to go to Maryland as I figured I would be used as a guinea pig, I am still a little concerned about this because of the masses but not much else I can do, does anyone know of any supplements or herbs I could take to help me, I do take cats claw and cortisol support. thank you for any info.
Jan- I am curious if you have found a replacement that works for you?
Cartinine would not be indicated for someone who is also hypothyroid.
A 2004 study found that L-carnitine acts as a peripheral antagonist of thyroid hormone action. In particular, L-carnitine inhibits both triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) entry into the cell nuclei. For this reason, L-carnitine has been proposed as a supplement to treat hyperthyroidism. A 2001 study found that L-carnitine was useful in both reversing and preventing hyperthyroid symptoms. 
12. Benvenga S, Amato A, Calvani M, Trimarchi F (Nov 2004). "Effects of carnitine on thyroid hormone action". Ann N Y Acad Sci 1033: 158?167. doi:10.1196/annals.1320.015.
13. Benvenga S1, Ruggeri RM, Russo A, Lapa D, Campenni A, Trimarchi F (Aug 2001). "Usefulness of L-carnitine, a naturally occurring peripheral antagonist of thyroid hormone action, in iatrogenic hyperthyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial". The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 86: 3579?94. doi:10.1210/jcem.86.8.7747
Hi lorica....I am curious about the thyrogold....how did it work for you. I have been meaning to try it for a long time now but have hesitated because there is not much information out there. I am hypothyroid for about five years and am desperately seeking ways to get off these stupid meds..I wouldn't mind staying on them if I was feeling good but instead sometimes I really believe I feel worse after taking them. Please let me know asap....I 've been wanting to try this for a long time....thank you so much
I am hypothyroid with Addison's. I take 40 mg. hydrocortisone, and 150 mg. ThyroGold, and don't want to take anymore. I still have had symptoms, like getting cold easily and poor circulation and fatigue and some brain fog.
The circulation problem is mostly aggravated by the fact that I do a lot of art work sitting down. I have a little cube timer that goes off every 15 minutes so I can get up and walk around or do something else. But still, even 15 minutes of sitting makes my legs feel heavy and stiff.
I started drinking a lot of peppermint tea, sipping on it throughout the day. Also, I have rubbed peppermint essential oil into my adrenal areas and thyroid once a day and rub some of the oil on my upper lip under my nose. I rub the oil into the reflexology thyroid and adrenal areas of the feet, giving some definite massage there.
Studies show that smelling peppermint essential oil (be sure it's real essential oil) improves circulation and mental function and that's what I'm seeing. Within the first two days I noticed a big improvement in circulation, energy, mood and mental clarity.
I am seeing a naturopath who is treating me for Adrenal insufficieny. she has recommended a natural herbal med. I have been on it for 3 weeks and feel an improvement with some of my symptoms. The following ingredients are found in this supplement:
- Vit c
- Vit B6
- Pantothenic acide
- N-acetyle tyrosine
- Adrenal glandular
- Citrus bioflavanoids
I feel your pain.. Goodluck..
Jan: You can buy the new vegetarian formula on amazon. Some of the reviews said the new formula works. One said he changed to Adrenergize.
Re the Addison's Disease;
I wrote two extensive posts under the permanent "Addison's Disease" Ailments section on EC. If you'd look there I talk about the wonderful glandular "raw adrenal" and in another post to the same lady (after she had elaborated on her condition) ... I speculate that she may also have a long standing infection effecting her endocrine system. I recommend colloidal silver to knock out infections.
So very sorry to hear what you are going through. Would you please look at those posts I mentioned. Maybe some of the suggestions could be of use to you.
PLEASE HELP, if you can. I have Addison's Disease but have been living a healthy, happy, active, normal life for twenty years because of Bezwecken's Isocort. I thought their plant-source cortisol was a miracle. Then they stopped making it. I am in bed, dying, heart pounding wildly as blood pressure dropping, as I search the Internet for a replacement. No luck. All adrenal cortex formulas have hormones removed, and there are no formulas like Isocort. Extremely allergic to synthetic forms of cortisol. Taking licorice, ginseng, ginkgo, schizandra, astragalus, pregnenolone, C, E, Pantothenic Acid and a multi and eating grapefruit. Those help to increase adrenal function, but not if one has "no measurable cortisol. "
Do you know of a natural glandular with the cortisol not removed? or a plant-source bioidentical cortisol? Please reply. Thank you,
I am the executive director of the new WaterCures.org. We are merging the WaterCure2.org site into the new site. Part of our mission is to research and fund clinical trials on the use of unprocessed sea salt. We are trying to line up studies on topics that are low priority to health care in general. Addisons is one such condition.
What we are curious about is the unprocessed sea salt benefits. Is there a difference between sea salt and mined salt. We are looking for anecdotal testimonials at this point.
Does the alkalinity of the body make a difference. Thus, would naturally produced alkaline water be of benefit. The salt does this to a small extent.
I'm also personally interested in out of the glass thinking as to treatments that work. Consider this study on the NIH site that looked at soy sauce and licorice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17594790
Jonathan Steele, RN (Nurse Jon)
Please respond to the www.WaterCures.org site. There is a box at the bottom of the page...
Hi Ze'ev; The amount of time one one needs to be on hydrocortisone depends on the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is Primary or Secondary Addison's Disease, then, one must take hydrocortisone, (HC), for life. The average dosage is 25mgs. Daily in divided doses, usually a higher dosage in the morning. (I have secondary Addison's, and I take 20 mgs. HC daily in divided dosages, 10-5-5).
When I develop an infection, flu, etc., I must "stress dose" HC, to imitate what a healthy body would do in these circumstances. I will double or triple the dosage to prevent a crisis. ( blood pressure could drop, and death could result. ) During this time, I also increase salt intake.
If the diagnosis is " Adrenal Fatigue", then the treatment would be quite different. Many physicians do not accept that term, but I've read of other people reporting low pituitary/adrenal function, or dysfunction, from test results.
Many people with pituitary or adrenal dysfunction will have low morning cortisol, but elevated evening cortisol. It's a good idea to test for that. Salivary testing is good, because it can be done at home.
Treatment for adrenal dysfunction usually doesn't require cortisol dosing, but many practitioners will prescribe it for temporary use. I've read time spans from as little as 2 wks. , to as much as 2 yrs. Tapering down the dosage must be done Very carefully and slowly. It could take months to do this properly. This should be done under a practitioner's care.
What is the approximate maximum period of time that it's possible to take hydrocortisone (20 mg. with breakfast and 10 mg. with lunch.) for Addison's disease or adrenal fatigue? I should be very grateful for your assistance.
I'm someone who has a similar condition to yours. While Addison's is primary adrenal insufficiency, mine is secondary adrenal insufficiency. (pituitary origin) They are usually caused by an autoimmune assault that results in low to no production of cortisol and other hormones. When cortisol is not produced, there is an extremely high probability of loss of life from even the smallest amount of stress. Cortisol replacement is very difficult to balance because it goes up and down daily, and it goes up with infections, etc. We have to try to approximate this dynamic fluctuation when taking this hormone.
With Addison's disease when cortisol is low, there is low sodium, low chlorides, and resulting high potassium in blood serum. There is often times metabolic acidosis. (low bicarbonates, etc. ) When cortisol is replaced correctly, sodium and chlorides are then held, and potassium returns back into cells from the serum in blood.
If cortisol replacement is too high, sodium and chlorides can become too high, bicarbonates may increase to push out high chlorides, and potassium will be flushed out of the body. This can result with Alkalosis. (often indicated along with low potassium in serum blood test).
Addisonians often have difficulty metabolizing calcium, and it can be high in blood and tissues. Cortisol usually lowers ca in blood, but ca can remain in tissues.
There can be high magnesium with low and high cortisol, because there is probably kidney distress. With electrolyte imbalances, there is most often kidney distress.
Most Endocrinologists now are recommending that patients try to keep maintenance cortisol dosages below 30mg. Daily and as close to 20mg. as possible. If dosage needs to be reduced, then it must be done very slowly, with Dr.s care and attention. (we don't want a crisis to occur).
I have struggled to reduce my daily dosage in the past, but I have found that certain natural substances I've learned about here, and through my own research have made my dosage reduction possible.
I found that increasing my potassium intake reduced my pain exponentially. I did not decrease my sodium intake. (sea salt) I do take a potassium supplement at this time as long as I seem to need it. ( I usually take potassium gluconate because it is more neutral, "plant like"). It is absorbed very quickly, so I take small amounts at a time so as not to disturb the other electrolytes. (250mgs) The amount I take daily varies, and I have a set of symptoms that indicate the need for more. I also eat a high potassium diet, but I salt it to good flavor.
I have found that, reducing the amount of acids that I have each day, helps with pain and helps with lowering my cortisol needs. It is also helping to lower my potassium needs. (less autoimmune, viral, infectious outbreaks).
I take Iodine (Lugol's) for glandular support and infection resistance. I couldn't take thyroid meds. (too stimulating for me). People take it in a wide variety of ways and amounts that change, so it's up to us to find that amount, but I like to put 4 to 6 drops of 2% lugol's in 1 oz. water, and hold it in my mouth for several minutes, then spit.
I also take H2o2 on occasions. When a lung infection arises, I use Bill Munro's method of intake until the infection ceases. I also apply it to my skin a few times weekly.
I also take Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root, (and leaf) regularly, off and on for kidney, liver support. I believe they really help this condition. They are powerful, so I take them 1 hr. apart from meds.
These practices have been so effective with keeping away infections for me, that I'm not sure I can remember when I had to double my cortisol dosage for an infection.
I really hope that this can ease the pain, Connie
I just wanted to add that the morning-cortisol blood test is actually a very poor indicator. Unfortunately, many conventional practitioners are either ignorant/unaware of it. (as per adrenal fatigue in general)
For the most accurate results, a saliva test is the preferred method. Otherwise, a 24-hour cortisol-urine test is the next best option to request.
Best of Luck
Supplements, Dietary Changes
Hi, Natasha. I have read your post with great interest. For a year now I have been suffering from adrenal pain, and some other symptoms, such as low blood pressure, dizziness, hypoglycemia, MSC, etc. I have seen many doctors, and still no diagnosis.
It is obvious that you know a lot on this topic. I wonder if there is a way to make a direct contact with you (if you are willing), without broadcasting our email addresses. If you reply to my message here (I will be checking often), I will create a dummy email address for just one contact, and I will delete it after the contact is established. I look forward to hearing from you,
Supplements, Dietary Changes
As someone with diagnosed Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison's Disease), I would recommend to anyone who suspects that they may have this problem to ask your doctor (MD) to run a morning cortisol test to begin with. The range of normal is quite large, and you may have a low normal reading that would indicate you may need cortisol replacement or prednisone. Some other tests can be done to determine whether the problem is in the adrenals themselves or in the pituitary or hypothalamus. The A.M. cortisol test is a blood test and should be done in conjunction with other tests for blood counts, electrolytes, and hormones. Cortisol is at its highest level first thing in the morning, so if it is low, it is only going down from there for the rest of the day.
Low sodium and postural hypotension are common symptoms as are abdominal and flank pain, sleeplessness, low body temp and feeling cold, hypoglycemia, an unusually dark tan, extreme fatigue(an overused term), and cravings for caffeine, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances to boost you up. If you have all of these symptoms, you need to be tested for adrenal insufficiency asap.
Anything that you use to boost your metabolism-- thyroid hormone, diet products, adrenal stimulating complexes--will make your problem worse. I take supplements that strengthen my body and its overall function: Vit C, 1-3 g/day; Vit E, 400 IU/day; L-Tyrosine, 500 mg/day; liver cleanse product; green foods tabs. I tried licorice for about a month and noticed no difference. DO NOT TAKE POTASSIUM. Adrenal insufficiency causes hyperkalemia (excess potassium) and hyponatremia(low sodium). Be careful of B viamin complexes, too much B6 in the presence of low sodium causes magnesium overabundance which is manifested by tingling in feet, legs, hands, and arms. Low magnesium is not a symptom of adrenal fatigue. Avoid taking supplements that do not have a cal/mag ratio of 2/1.
Someone suggested tin chloride supplements. NO. Tin salts are toxic.
I also have tried to detox my enviroment by eating organic food, avoiding pesticides and chemicals, and changing all the products I use on my body. I juice organic fruits and vegetables almost everyday. The Blood Type Diet has made a big difference by eliminating agglutinating foods from my diet that were making me feel lousy.
I try to control my stress as much as possible by making choices about how I spend my time (as much as a mom with 4 kids can) and with whom I spend it. Some of these are tough choices and require a change in expectations on your part and those you interact with.
Not everyone who is fatigued has adrenal fatigue. Toxic enviroment, toxic food, and toxic relationships all cause a great deal of stress.