A comprehensive approach to addressing adrenal dysfunction will include an assessment of the entire HPA axis.
- A person symptomatic with mild to severe adrenal dysfunction is likely to be deficient in serotonin. As serotonin levels continue to decline then epinephrine and norepinephrine levels will become elevated in an attempt to address this decline; then GABA will increase to compensate for the heightened excitatory activity.
- This unattended sequence will cause cortisol output to fall even more. Thyroid binding globulin will then rise which leads to reduced T4 and T3 (Serotonin agonist) with a corresponding rise in TSH2.
- DHEA increases due to rising TSH and the body is soon put into overdrive to produce more cortisol.
- If this process continues unchecked serotonin levels fall even further as epinephrine and norepinephrine continue to rise and the sympathetic nervous system is activated.
- In advanced adrenal dysfunction, DHEA will begin to fall along with cortisol and serotonin due to the insufficient release of ACTH.
- Epinephrine, norepinephrine and GABA levels may remain high or erratic. The autonomic nervous system is dysregulated at this point, leading to adrenaline rushes and reactive sympathetic adrenal responses classically responsible for the “wired and tired” sensation.
Patients suffering from decreased adrenal function commonly complain of fatigue and may also experience sleep disruptions, weight changes, salt and/or sugar cravings, allergies, anxiousness, nervousness, low blood pressure, and numerous other symptoms. The neurotransmitter imbalance that occurs alongside adrenal dysfunction will cause or accentuate all of these symptoms.
Addressing neurotransmitter imbalances is an essential component of the successful treatment of adrenal dysfunction. Simple noninvasive urinary testing identifies the specific imbalances and can be correlated to diurnal cortisol and DHEA levels on a single report. Targeted amino acids and other nutrient cofactors can quickly modify neurotransmitter levels thus promoting a faster and lasting recovery.
Health Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatments, products, and dosages are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This is provided only as a suggested guideline.
1. Heilser LK, et al. Serotonin activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via serotonin 2C receptor stimulation. J Neurosci. 2007; 27: 6956-64.
2. Jordan, D., et al. Participation of serotonin in thyrotropin relase. Evidence for the action of serotonin on the phasic release of thyrotropin. Endocrinology, Vol 105, 975-979