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» Adrenal Gland Hypofunction

Understanding and dealing with the problem

Functional hypoadrenalism is a very common problem in the United States. Much of the reason for this has to do with the constant unrelenting stress we all endure on a daily basis. Nicotine, alcohol, and the excessive consumption of junk food, chemicals, environmental pollutants, coffee and tea, as well as the over consumption of sugar in general - also contribute in their own ways to this problem of hypoadrenalism.

What is hypoadrenalism? Breaking the word down, "hypo" means "low," and "adrenal" means "adrenal gland." Thus, hypoadrenalism means low or poor adrenal gland function. The adrenal glands (there are two glands, on above each kidney) are responsible for our ability to handle Stress. They "regulate" the bodies short and long term "fight or flight" reaction. Most people associate the adrenal gland with Cortisol and Adrenalin (Epinepherine), but an entire group of hormones are actually made by the adrenal glands. These hormones regulate the "acute" stress response (adrenalin and cortisol), mineral balance in the body (mineralo-corticoids), sex function (testosterone in females, pregenenolone and DHEA in both sexes) and "chronic" stress response (DHEA). Acute adrenal failure (Addison's Disease) is a true medical emergency. Chronic adrenal hypofunction is not, and usually goes undiagnosed in conventional medicine for many reasons. If not treated adequately, acute Addison's Disease can quickly lead to death. Hypoadrenalism, on the other hand, is a more subtle matter. If not adequately treated, hypoadrenalism will not kill you, although it may make you feel like you were dead.

Our adrenal function is dynamic; that is, it goes up and down in response to "normal" stress. Hypoadrenalism is a problem of excesses - excess stress that occurs over and over again, straining our internal balancing or "Regulating" mechanisms to the point of exhaustion. Too much stress over too long a period of time, or repeated instances of acute stress exhaust the adrenals ability to deal with chronic stress and this leads to "burn out" of the glands. The chronic anti-stress hormone DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone) functions through out every cell in the body. It acts on the immune system, the nervous system and the hormone system. It has been described as a "buffer" or "mother" hormone, meaning that alot of other hormone reactions depend on adequate DHEA levels and function. This important connection helps to explain why there are so many diverse, non-specific symptoms of hypoadrenalism - physical, emotional and mental. The commonest symptom experienced by hypoadrenal patients is fatigue. This fatigue is usually an ever-present experience throughout the whole day. Headaches, dizziness, low sex drive, frequent infections, poor sleep, not feeling rested after sleep, inability to deal with stress - the list of physical symptoms is long. Psychologically, the effects of this low adrenal condition can dramatically alter people's experience of living and their interactions with others. Many complain of poor memory, an inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, general irritability and others.

Hypoadrednalism might well be responsible for a good deal of the aberrant behavior seen in our society today, such as marital and other interpersonal difficulties, career problems, and poor work performance. As a nation, we seem to have gradually developed lifestyle habits that have a very negative impact on our ability to get along with ourselves and with others. Hypoadrenalism may be one consequence of these habits. If this condition were in fact responsible for only a fraction of the problems cited above, it would still be reason enough for screening every patient for this condition.

The diagnosis of hypoadrenalism is established by doing a blood test for DHEA or DHEA sulfate levels. Management of the diagnosed condition depends either stimulating current adrenal function, supplementing the hormone levels with low dose DHEA or replacing the hormone to "optimal" blood levels for gender, not age. We tell our patients that they can expect to feel much better by the time they return for their scheduled follow-up in six to twelve weeks, depending on whether supplemental or replacement dosing is used. Dr. Edwards and the certified staff of Bio Health Center have found that many patients suffering from vague complaints of stress, post-traumatic stress and immune dys-regulation are DHEA deficient and are actually suffering from chronic hypoadrenalism. If you believe that this condition may be affecting you, consider calling our office at (775) 828-4055 to make an appointment for a consultation today.

"No where in today's managed care, third party, media circus does anyone present the the patient and clinical practitioners philosophy... For years I listened to the insurers, managers, experts, professors, news pundits, bureaucrats and opinion makers. But I ultimately realized that I still had to sleep at night. From all third party perspectives any clinical practice is, in essence, 'anecdotal.' So now I listen first and foremost to my conscience. I had good teachers, good mentors and loyal patients as well. Although I think 'science' is important, technology, politics and economics are not science. The professional oath I took upon becoming a physician was to relieve patient suffering, honor those who taught me, teach those willing to learn and reveal no information shared with me in confidence. It didn't have anything to do with third parties. That oath is our philosophy at Bio Health Center..."
- David A. Edwards, MD, HMD
Intellectual Content: © International Bio Medical Research Institute, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Bio Health Center
"Quality Homeopathic Integrative Health Care on the cutting edge."

David A. Edwards, MD, HMD
McCarran Quail Park
615 Sierra Rose Drive, Suite 3; Reno • NV • 89511
Phone: 775.828.4055 • Fax: 775.828.4255

*This Consumer Information is provided by the David A. Edwards, MD, HMD, Bio Health Center and the International BioMedical Research Institute, a
501 ( c ) (3) tax exempt research foundation and has not been evaluated for content by the U.S.F.D.A., U.S.F.T.C., the Nevada State Homeopathic
Medical Board or the Nevada State Medical Board, but is the professional opinion of Dr. Edwards and the certified staff of Bio Health Center under their
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The practice of Homeopathic Integrative medicine is licensed in Nevada and approved by the Nevada State legislature.
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