Thread: t3, your thyroid, and adrenals
06-22-2004, 08:23 AM #1Associate Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
t3, your thyroid, and adrenals
If your adrenals can't handle the stress of the (thyroid) metabolic stimulation then you may harm them by taking thyroid in a dose that overwhelms them. In the short-run, you may feel better with the increased energy. In the long-run, you enter the world of adrenal fatigue which can be worse than thyroid hypo-function since you then get low thyroid AND low adrenal function. If it gets bad enough, you get purely adrenal symptoms and then wish for the good old days when it wasn't as severe. Fixing the adrenals is usually not such a big deal. Most people do fine and it usually only takes some adrenal support supplements. Once the adrenals are stronger, you can tolerate more thyroid support. The method I've developed and found most useful is to take daily temperature readings (see Metabolic Temperature Graph). This lets you know (by the pattern) if your adrenals are getting stronger and if your system is tolerating the thyroid support...thus you guide the process yourself once you understand the mechanism. Often, the temps rise as the body allows the thyroid to function better. If the temperature pattern becomes more stable but the temps do not rise, the thyroid may need a little help. Armour Thyroid or slow release T3 often help get things going if done gently and gradually. These medications (Armour thyroid, T3 or T4) are prescribed by your physician and you would work closely with him/her in this effort. If you only have a thyroid problem and the adrenals are fine, then the thyroid is all that needs to be addressed.
Q. What happens if I fixed the wrong one (thyroid vs. adrenals) first?
A.The thyroid and adrenals behave as if they have an inverse relationship with each other. A low function in one can look like a high function in the other. See the Metabolic Scorecard to get a better understanding of where your problem may lie. A mixture of both thyroid and adrenal problems provides the greatest challenge in treatment. If only the adrenals are supported, some adrenal symptoms may improve but the symptoms of hypothyroidism may become accentuated. Typically, these can appear as weight gain, fluid retention, rise in blood pressure, constipation, depression, etc. Conversely, if the thyroid is strengthened but the adrenals remain weak, we may see an improvement in hypo-thyroid symptoms but we may have an increase in adrenal fatigue symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, hair loss, dryness, and unwanted weight loss. I have found that the improvement of hypothyroid symptoms tends to be short lived when the adrenals are not supported. For this reason, I tend to supported the adrenals first allowing the body’s metabolic state to return to optimal, then provide thyroid support only if needed.
How to take T3?A. Unlike T4, T3 is very fast acting. It can be slowed down by mixing it with a slow release substance. This is not commercially available but may be obtained from a compounding pharmacy (not a regular pharmacy). Because even the slow release T3 has a peak action of only a few hours, it is best to take it in divided doses. Thus a 15 mcg daily dose can be taken as 7.5 mcg approximately every 12 hrs. Or better yet, 5 mcg approximately every 8 hrs. The adrenals are less stressed if their metabolic environment is stable. According to pharmacological principles, a dose of medication will produce blood level of the medication that rises and then falls. If taken as 2 separate doses, the blood level is more stable. 3 doses produce an even more stable blood level, etc. Cytomel is an example of a fast acting T3. It produces a strong immediate effect (high blood level) which is followed by a weak effect (low blood level). It may require breaking up the dose into many small doses. Note that a stick of dynamite and a candle stick can generate the same amount of heat or energy. The difference between the two is the rate or speed that the energy is released.
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As we see from this, taking your t3 doses all at once will not be good. Despite the alleged 36 hour half life, the cytomel is absorbed quickly and you peak in a few hours. As the article says, too much t3 at once can cause too much stress on your adrenals which could likely be the reason for your fluctuations.
06-22-2004, 08:24 AM #2Associate Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
Continued - Adrenal Support
Things that will help your adrenals...
Vitamin B Complex/Mulivitamin: Basic Cell Energy™ by Dove Health Products is a very complete B complex/multivitamin supplement whose purpose is to provide support for adrenal function and repair as well as general support for metabolism and energy production. It contains a high level of vitamin B5 and the rest of the B-complex group including support nutrients and cofactors. The usual dose is 4 daily: 2 in the morning and 2 at noon. Taking this late in the day may interfere with sleep. Start slowly as tolerated and build the dose up to the full dose at a rate comfortable for you. Some people can only tolerate ½ tablets in the morning and slowly need to build up to their full dose which may only be one or two tablets daily. This dose is designed for a 70 kg individual and a larger person may require more. For higher doses consult your physician. Since this is a very potent vitamin complex, it is not recommended during pregnancy. Improved adrenal function can raise blood sugar and blood pressure. If either of these is a problem for you, you may need a lower dose or a different supplement.
Hydrolyzed Collagen: Protein is made up of amino acids. Poor adrenal function is often associated with poor ability to digest protein. Just as sugars and carbohydrates seem to weaken the adrenals, amino acids seem to strengthen them. Hydrolyzed collagen is an excellent complete source of amino acids. It can be from beef, chicken, or fish source. I have found the best quality to be that of beef origin. The liquid may be mixed with some water for improved taste. The total daily dose is approximately 10 grams (two tablespoons). This may be taken any time with or without food. You may ignore the “bedtime/empty stomach” instruction on the bottle. Anyone with serious kidney problems should only take a small amount (1/2 – 1 tbsp) of amino acids. Consulting your physician is advisable.
Free-Form Amino Acids: If you are a vegetarian or choose to avoid beef products, free-form amino acids are a good second choice. Currently, they typically do not contain the essential amino acid tryptophan because of an FDA ruling that tryptophan requires a prescription. Some tryptophan is likely to be derived from the diet. The total daily dose for an average adult is 1 to 2 teaspoons daily. It can be taken all at once or spread out throughout the day – e.g. sipped throughout the day in a drink. If you have kidney problems, consult with your physician if you plan to take more than one teaspoon daily.
Proline: Approximately 500 mg daily (one capsule) is helpful to rebuild connective tissues. This can be taken to augment the free-form amino acids if desired. Weak adrenals are often associated with poor quality connective tissues. Whatever helps connective tissues seems to help adrenals as well.
Adrenal glandular: This is desiccated adrenal gland. It is extremely important in the initial phases of adrenal repair since it provides raw materials to support adrenal function. It also contains some important adrenal hormones. Helping to relieve the adrenal glands’ burden allows the following to occur:
-Relief from the symptoms of poorly functioning adrenals much sooner than waiting for the adrenals to become healthy again – a process that can take weeks or months.
-Faster adrenal recovery.
The dose depends on the amount of material contained in each pill. Cytozyme AD typically requires one to two tablets, three times daily
Cordyceps: This is a Chinese mushroom used for supporting the adrenal gland. The typical dose is one to two tablets three times daily.
Pregnenolone: Pregnenolone is a precursor to many of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It is a raw material that supports basic adrenal function. Pregnenolone is best taken towards the evening but may be taken earlier if it interferes with sleep. The usual dose is 25 mg.
Vitamin C: The vitamin C is known to help support adrenal function and is best taken with bioflavanoids which help recycle the vitamin C thus prolonging its functional life. If you are taking Basic Cell Energy™ you may take plain vitamin C formula, because Basic Cell Energy™ already contains citrus bioflavanoids. You may take 1-3 grams of vitamin C daily in divided doses. Bowel tolerance is a term used to describe the maximum dose an individual can tolerate before getting bowel symptoms such as gas, cramps, or diarrhea. Some people find a beneficial to take vitamin C to bowel tolerance when rebuilding the adrenals. It is best taken in divided doses throughout the day. Many people with chronic adrenal fatigue have a low bowel tolerance and may tolerate only a total of 500 mg (½ gram) daily. This level may increase with time. Some people, on the other hand, can tolerate 10 grams or more daily.
5-HTP: Sleep is essential for helping the adrenal glands recover their health. It should not be taken by anyone taking an SSRI type of antidepressant. The SSRI medication will react very poorly with 5-HTP and this could be dangerous. Typically, dosage is adjusted as follows: start with 50 mg.; if after three nights sleep is not obtained with this dose, increase to 100 mg. Keep increasing the dose by 50 mg every three nights until you either obtain good sleep (stay at that dose) or until you reach a maximum dose of 500 mg. Tablets are available in 50 mg and 100 mg size. Eventually you may try to reduce the dose. If you wake up sleepy, try taking 5-HTP earlier in the evening or reducing the dose. If you have not used 5-HTP before, you may want to start with the 50 mg size. Once you know your best dose, you may wish to use the 100 mg size capsules.
Digestive Enzymes: Poor adrenal function is often associated with poor digestion and low gastric acidity. It is probably best to use digestive enzymes that contain hydrochloric acid (usually found as Betaine Hydrochloride). Typically one would take 1-2 capsules during each meal (amount depends of the size of the meal). Getting heartburn or acid reflux may not mean that you make too much acid. Often, not enough acid is present and the reason for the burning is insufficient protection of the stomach lining. This can be improved by:
-Water: Drinking adequate amounts of water daily, 8-10 glasses or more.
-DGL: Sucking or chewing on DGL (deglycerrhyzenized licorice) 5-30 minutes prior to eating. This stimulates the production of protective gastric (stomach) mucous secretions.
-Slippery Elm: taken 5-30 minutes before a meal also helps produce protective gastric secretions.
Rarely, burning can be due to excessive acid production. This can be established by performing a Heidelberg test for gastric acidity or by doing the ‘poor man's test’ of taking the digestive acid after several days of building up the mucous lining of the stomach. If there is a burning sensation with the added acid, and there is a good chance the acid is not needed. A half teaspoon of bicarbonate in a half glass of water or some over-the-counter antacid should relieve the burning immediately. In such a case, one should not take the additional hydrochloric acid with the digestive enzymes. Instead, one may only need plain digestive enzymes without acid or not need the digestive enzymes at all. Do not try taking the acid if you have a history of bleeding ulcers. Consult with your physician.
Magnesium: Magnesium is important for cellular energy (ATP) production. It is also helpful for relaxing tense muscles such as those found in fibromyalgia. Magnesium orotate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium. The typical dose is 2 to 3 tablets daily.
GABA: Gamma-aminobutyric acid stimulates GABA receptors. This is what Valium does. The typical effect is decreased anxiety. The typical dose is approximately 500 mg two to three times daily. Sometimes one pill in the morning and one before bedtime is sufficient.
DHEA: DHEA is a basic adrenal hormone that the adrenals will convert into other hormones including sex hormones. If someone is very deficient in this hormone they may only be able to tolerate a small amount such as 5 mg. The average adult dose ranges between 10 and 25 mg. DHEA will also go on to become sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen). It might be best to avoid it if there is a history of sex organ cancers such as prostate, uterine or breast.
7-Keto DHEA: This form does not convert to sex hormones but will still give support to adrenal functions. The typical dose is 25 mg each morning.
MSM: MSM is a nutritional form of sulfur and supports connective tissue health such as hair, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, bones etc. Some people cannot metabolize the sulfur well and cannot take it. The typical dose is 2 to 3 grams daily.
Essential fatty acids: The reason they are called essential is that our body needs them for good health but cannot manufacture them. It supports the healing process. It may be taken in capsule form or as a liquid. I find Udo’s Choice an easy one to use because it comes in a liquid and the taste is tolerable. Some people prefer to mix it into their daily protein or health drink. I have found the easiest way to take this is to make a salad dressing out of it. You can become creative.
- Udo's Choice Recipe: Pour the Udo’s Choice (oil) into a large glass bottle that will be used for stock solution. Into that bottle pour an equal amount of a vinegar that you like such as balsamic, wine vinegar, or combination of these. Add spices according to taste. This may include garlic, oregano, salt etc. Use larger quantities of spices and than you are used to since you are making a large quantity of dressing.
06-22-2004, 08:26 AM #3Associate Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
More adrenal information
Dr. Arlo Gordin
A Too Well-Kept Secret
You may need to repair your adrenal glands as a first priority in order to get healthy. You have two of these little guys, one on top of each kidney. They put out a number of essential hormones for health, and they respond to, and can be damaged by, a number of life's less desirable occurrences.
Adrenal hormones release into your bloodstream. They include: A) The blood sugar hormone that keeps your energy up between meals. If it is low, fatigue, headaches and other symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) result, B) The anti-inflammatory/anti-pain hormone "cortisone" that keeps your body from pain, as well as from inflammatory and auto-immune illnesses.
These include illnesses whose names end in "itis" (inflammation of) such as colitis, dermatitis and bronchitis, C) The salt balancing hormones that tell your kidneys to not lose all your essential mineral salts into your urine. Reductions in these play a role in such things as abnormal swellings of the body, and heart malfunctions, D) Adrenaline which gives you bursts of energy in "stress" situations, and E) Estrogen for the post-menopusal woman that helps her stay more hormonally balanced. The adrenals make the only source of estrogen (female hormone) in the body after menopause.
Because of the profound effects of these hormones, if they are out of balance, big problems are the result. Temporarily they may be pushed into high gear by stress or incorrect eating, which later eventually leads to their burnout.
Burnout of the adrenals underlies a great many health problems, and worsens symptoms in the areas of your body that you have already weakened elsewise.
Overeating carbohydrates (sweet or starchy foods including sugar, breads, cereals, etc) will cause an insulin reaction. (See the handout entitled, "Syndrome X"). Generally at the same time all the ill effects of over-secreting insulin occur, the adrenals will be burnt out on the rebound blood sugar crash that follows. Not balancing food properly, overeating carbs, especially ones that arrive fast as sugar in the blood, is one factor that wears out adrenals. Because insulin reactions to meals badly chosen in type and quantity, are the leading causes of 1) overweight, 2) placqed and clogged arteries, 3) heart attack and stroke (these two are the leading causes of death), eating better may be one of the best things you could do for yourself. Fatigue is a frequent effect of worn-out adrenals. Because their hormones regulate the fueling of cells, and especially those of the brain, underfueling results in low energy, worn-out-ness. Depression is another effect that may occur to an individual with an underfuelled brain and nervous system. Many other symptoms of a worn-out energy system and poorly functioning nerves also can result.
Your adrenals are also known as your "Stress Glands". Mental and emotional stress, worry, anxiety over love, money, family, any of the usual (or unusual) sources, will eventually burn out the adrenals, and cripple their hormonal output. The man who figured this out was awarded the Nobel Prize in science. He also discovered that other types of stress besides emotional can burn them out. Physical or chemical stresses can also causeadrenal burnout. Ongoing pain, nerve system stress and malfunction, stimulant drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are on that list.
Despite the fact that the highest award in science was awarded for this understanding, and it was broadly written, few medical physicians give much thought to, or have approaches for assisting adrenals to repair or function. This comes as no surprise since most medical physicians are not trained or comfortable to practice nutrition. If you have a chronic inflammatory disorder, generally medicine or drugs are merely symptomatic treatment. Colitis, laryngitis, vaginitis, (notice the "itis" endings) are often medically incurable. They are just forever treatable with drugs, only to reduce the symptoms temporarily. This is because the anti-inflammatory drugs do not treat causes of problems, but only symptoms.
Headaches and migraines similarly have important adrenal (and blood sugar) components. Asthma and allergies have vital adrenal underpinnings. If ongoing medication is your recommended course, with no real end in sight, think then about strengthening your adrenals and fixing whatever else is contributing to the problem. Whenyour adrenals are weak, the things that are harming them are generally winning, and those that could help them are losing. If you want to turn that around, you must try to discard or minimize the harmers, and bring on and support the helpers. Stress factors should be handled, corrected, imbalanced eating repaired, to name a few possibilities. Here we know how to help you with these.
One great helper that can be instituted is to take adrenal support NUTRIENTS. Generally this can be done with a single supplement into which several adrenal support substances are combined. The right supplement should be chosen, and the correct dose as well.
Adrenal rebuilding, although not an overnight process, is a cornerstone of many health miracle cases in our office. Chronically ill, pain-ridden, and many times profoundly sick people have been restored to normal healthy lives. Although many require other areas of the body to be treated at the same time to bring the desired result, without effective adrenal treatment this would never have occurred.
This is a critical arena of health to understand well and to apply. It is not likely that it could be done adequate justice in only a page or two of writing. I would refer you to our health class, live or on video, Energy and Blood Sugar. In that seminar, a much more comprehensive discussion of this subject is covered, and the specifics of correction explained. The following class in the series, The Zone Made Easy, teaches how to eat properly, limit carbs in the diet, get adequate protein and the proper amount of desirable oils.
Our current lifestyles present great stresses on our adrenals. It is no great surprise that many of us have imperfect adrenal output, nor that some have adrenals that are really shot. If you fall into either category, one of the best things you could do is help your adrenals. While doing so, strengthen your blood sugar handling system, and reduce your risks for numerous health problems. Adrenal dysfunction causes many problems that reduce function and happiness, many nasty and "incurable" diseases, as well as those that are the leading causes of death.
Far better to support life, live it healthily, actively and to the fullest.
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