Adrenal Stress: What You Can Do About It

stressed woman

Adrenal Glandular Support

The vast majority of cases requiring adrenal glandular support programs can help themselves without prescription hormones. A combination of diet and lifestyle changes with or without nutritional supplements is usually all that’s required.

Diet: Avoid foods and beverages that unnecessarily stress the adrenals, especially alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, fried foods, processed foods, pork, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. A high percentage of symptomatic individuals are allergic to gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats) and casein (dairy products) and should avoid these foods altogether. Unless allergic to them, eat more deep water ocean fish, salmon, tuna, trout, fresh fruits, and green leafy vegetables, garlic, onions, shiitake or maitake mushrooms, olives, and legumes.

Lifestyle: Regular moderate exercise, meditation, biofeedback or other relaxation techniques to reduce stress; in more severe cases, consultation with a health care provider is required.

Nutritional and Herbal Supplements (dosages are dependent on severity of symptoms and individual tolerances):

  • Multiple vitamin and mineral supplement Green drink (spirulina, chlorella, barley, kamut, etc.)
  • Bee pollen
  • B complex vitamins with extra vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) or royal jelly
  • Vitamin C and bioflavonoids
  • Raw adrenal extract Raw liver extract
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Astragalus
  • Echinacea
  • Licorice root (can raise blood pressure if used excessively)
  • Milk thistle
  • Siberian ginseng

Hormone replacement: In more severe cases that fail to respond adequately to the natural approach, low dose adrenal hormones could be prescribed for short periods of time. These include:

  • DHEA Pregnenolone
  • Cortisol
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estrogens

The use of steroid drugs (e.g. prednisone) for extended periods of time can cause the shrinking (atrophy) of the adrenal glands and should be monitored regularly to prevent long-term side effects. This is far less likely to occur when one takes low dose DHEA, pregnenolone or other natural steroids but should not be ignored as a remote possibility. For more information on reversing adrenal woes, see the references below and consult a natural health care practitioner for an individualized adrenal enhancement regime.

This article was originally published on Dr. Rona's website and has been edited for See Dr. Rona's full article here.

Cleare, Anthony, J. and Wessely, Simon, C., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Stress Disorder?British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 1996;55(9):571-574.
Freeman, Roy, M.D. and Komaroff, Anthony L., M.D., Does the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Involve the Autonomic Nervous System?" American Journal of Medicine, 1997;102:357-364.
Goldberg, Samuel, M.D., et al. Adrenal Suppression Among Asthmatic Children Receiving Chronic Therapy With Inhaled Corticosteroid With and Without Spacer Device, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, March, 1996;76:234-238.
Rubin, Robert T., et al. Adrenal Gland Volume in Major Depression: Relationship to Basal and Stimulated Pituitary- Adrenal Cortical Axis Function," Biological Psychiatry, 1996;40:89-97.
Selye, H. Stress in Health and Disease. Buttersworth, London, UK, 1976.
Tintera, John W. HYPOADRENOCORTICISM, 1969; the Adrenal Metabolic Research Society of the Hypoglycemia Foundation, Inc., 153 Pawling Avenue, Troy, New York, USA 12180.

Tintera, John W. The Hypoadrenocortical State and Its
Management,: N.Y. State J. of Med., Vol. 55, No. 13, 7/1/55.
Wilder, Ronald, L. Adrenal and Gonadal Steroid Hormone Deficiency in the Etiopathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Journal of Rheumatology, 1996;23(suppl 44):10-12.

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By Dr. Zoltan Rona| January 30, 2017
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Dr. Zoltan Rona

Dr. Zoltan Rona

Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1984). He is past president of The Canadian Holistic Medical Association (1987-88) and is the author of three Canadian bestsellers: The Joy of Health (1991), Return to the Joy of Health (1995) and Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection (1997). He is co-author with Jeanne Marie Martin of The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook (1996) and is the medical editor of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (1998). He has had a private medical practice in Toronto for the past 35 years, has appeared on radio and TV as well as lectured extensively in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Rona currently writes regular articles for Reader’s Digest, Alive, Vitality magazine and for several web sites. His latest book “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin” was published in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Rona was named Chief Medical Advisor for NAKA Herbs and Vitamins and has developed a line of nutritional supplements (TriStar Naturals) which are sold in health food stores across Canada. He can be found at

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