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Mike's Personal Blog on Thyroid Progress

Adrenal Extracts - Do they really work?

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It's been almost five years since I had RAI and was identified by Adrenal Fatigue after six months of RAI. Initially I refused to accept that I could have any problem like adrenal and it's simple thyroid issue. I had all symptoms and signs of adrenal fatigue but I dont know....I was still trying to ignore it all together.

I did adrenal saliva test after meeting Dr. Durrant Barry Peatfield and results came out extremely poor. Below is the screenshot how did they look at that time.

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If you look at the results, everything was dead down......I didnt realise it could have been so bad. After looking at the test results and discussiong with Dr. Peatfield, I started taking Adrenal Extracts (Nutri Adrenal Extra) building up 4 tablets in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

Nutri Adrenal Extra

I took them for a few weeks, starting from one tablet in the morning to 4 and 4 in the afternoon. Did I felt any better? Not at was like I was taking so much but wasn't getting anything in return at all. I still, to date don't know what was the reason they didnt work. The only thing I could think is that my adrenals were so poor for simple extracts to work. We know that adrenal extracts dont have any cortisol in them and cortisol was what missing from my system.

One thing I would like to point out to anyone reading this is I was a regular member to the gym and was still going to the gym at that time. I spoke to Dr. Peatfield in quite detail about this and according to him, moderate weight lifting doesn't hurt adrenals but it is good for them. Now I have realised this was not the case for me. Whenever I did weight lifting, I hurt my adrenals very bad. I was continuously getting extremely dry palms during gym sessions and was body was going ice cold but I ignored these symptoms blaming them to thyroid issues. All I am trying to say if adrenal extracts didnt work for me, it doesn't mean it wont work for you either!

Soon afterwards I started on Hydrocortisone ..... building from 2.5mg and going all the way up to 30mg. I must say I felt a lot better, my temperatures got stable and I felt like human again. Things improves, skin improved, hair improved, overall there was very good feeling and things seemed to be working fine.

It's been a long battle weaning Hydrocortisone (HC) off as due to the feedback system, adrenals stop functioning all together as cortisol supply is provided from outside source in tablet form. This leads to quite other complications and every other hormone in body is messed up! You cannot stop taking HC even you desperately want to. I am going to keep it short how I got off and will try to write another blog post about it as I want to focus on Adrenal extracts in this post.

Now after a couple of years fighting with HC on and off, I stopped them all together. It gave me some very bad symptoms, life struggled and hair and skin went absolute shiteeeee. Recently I thought why not give NAE (Nutri Adrenal Extras - The product I have been taking. You can take any other to your liking) another chance. I started on one tablet early morning, sometimes with my Levothyroxine dosage and sometimes later. After a month on single tablet, I felt that I was feeling slightly better. I increased my dosage to two tablets and now it's been two months on two tablets, I feel a lot better. I am absolutely no where close to where I used to be with my thyroid but what I have gone through, even this stage seems heaven now.

I did took another saliva test and results are as below. This was to get a benchmark before I take adrenal extracts. I am hoping to get another one done after a few months to see if I have improved at all.
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I have stopped checking my temperatures all together - I did that before and monitored my temperatures according to Dr. Rind Chart. It's a lovely chart and gives you very good indication on how your body is playing.......BUT.... to be it give double anxiety. I felt more anxious and nervous when my temp were down. Now when I dont monitor them, I at least dont feel that anxiety and fear!

The conclusion I have come to that if you have very mild type of adrenal fatigue or you are at first stage of adrenal fatigue then these extracts may work. They certainly don't work for severe adrenal fatigue or crisis. I am in no way of advocating Hydrocortisone but I was told by my doctor that there is always a danger than you have to take them for the rest of your life once you start taking HC. The story may be different with adrenal extracts as they dont have any steroid hormone in them hence they should be easy to wean off.

How do I know if they have worked for me? Well I had a few symptoms which were quite frequent, like dizzeness for no sitting down and room feels like there has been light earth stand problems but then again you are enjoying your evening by watching TV lying on bed and head start dizzy again. Since I have started taking these extracts, the dizziness has gone away completely (gradually as well). Other thing which I used to get a lot was extremely dry palms that they felt like stretching towards inwards. No matter how much oild I put on the palms, after ten or twenty minutes, dryness will come back. This has slowed down, not completely gone yet. Fingers crossed for it

Another note - I have tried almost every single product on earth from different adrenal extract brands to body building supplements like Reset AD. My advise would be please don't do what I did. Everytime we add medication or bring on different stuff, it hurts body and adrenals more. Do it slowly and gradually and give it a bit of time to adjust. Dont just add too many vitamins and minerals as they normally bring lesser benefits and hurt more if you are not healthy

Please feel free to write your experience and share your thoughts as I'd really be interested in hearing from people in similar situation.

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  1. Ferchar's Avatar
    Interesting. I had the adrenal stress profile done and got the results today. The cortisol and DHEA were all "in the red". Cortisol (9.6, 1.7,1.8, 0.7, = 13.8 low), DHEA(0.32, 0.22, 1.96 Low). I suffer from CFS and am euthyroid (apparently). I saw Dr P 4 weeks ago and he said that my adrenals were "shot to pieces" and prescribed 4 adrenal extra and 4 vitamin C, ginseng tincture, Q10). He said i "may" feel slightly better in a month. I have noticed no change in my condition (shattering exhaustion and muscle burning and the rest). So i have Cortef and DHEA on standby. I just send my first diaries back to him and await his instruction. I am tempted to start now but not sure how i may do this. How did you start or how would you recommend to start knowing what Dr P told you ?
  2. Mike's Avatar
    Hello @Ferchar and sorry to hear your adrenal problem. First thing to bear in mind is that once you are on cortef, it will be very difficult to get off it. This steroid is extremely strong and you should never try it without Doctor's supervision. Also be careful as it could destroy good bacteria in your mouth and gut ... I have heard about it...not sure how true it is.

    Adrenal extracts didnt do any good to me nor did 10g of Vitamin C everyday. I think extracts are for people who are at early stages of adrenal fatigue rather than us. I started on cortef slowly 2.5mg and went up to 25mg.....I took it almost for a year and then gradually brought it down. Issue is once you are that long on cortef, you start feeling unwell when you stop it. Someone people have to take it for the rest of their lives.

    I couldnt wait to read all articles with conflicting information and people saying different things. I have found out that everyeone will response differently to the medication. Some people do well on extracts and recovery quickly, other struggle. Some people feel better on cortef and can wean off quickly as well......but others require support all their lives. Vitamin C and Vitamin B5 is also recommended but more medication you start at the same time, you give more stress to adrenals. Start things gradually and slowly and you will do well.

    Good luck and I hope you feel well
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