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How is an adrenal imbalance treated?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
If a patient has true adrenal insufficiency—a serious, possibly fatal condition in which there is a lack of adrenal hormones--they will need to be supplemented with adrenal hormones.  This is important to do under the care of an endocrinologist or gland specialist.  
Keith Roach, MD
Internal Medicine
The medical condition Addison’s disease, the inability of the adrenals to respond to stress, is treated with hydrocortisone, which needs to be increased under times of acute stress such as illness or surgery. The opposite, Cushing’s syndrome, caused by excess of the adrenal hormone cortisol, is treated by stopping the excess steroids (the most common cause) or removal of the tumor making cortisone, a related hormone, or ACTH, the body’s signal for the adrenal gland to make more cortisol.
Susan S. Blum, MD
Preventive Medicine

To treat adrenal imbalance, you must focus on diet and how you are eating, learn stress management strategies, exercise, and rid your life of various toxins. Watch functional medicine expert Susan Blum, MD, explain how to strengthen the adrenals.

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
Treating an imbalance or insufficiency of the adrenal hormones is a complex undertaking that should be directed by a doctor. Restoring the balance should include three areas:
  • Treatment that includes, if necessary, a combination of low doses of
         the body’s stress hormones such as cortisol and DHEA.
  • Nutrients key to the good functioning of the adrenal glands, such as
         pantothenic acid (found in meats, whole grains, broccoli, and
         tomatoes), vitamin C, and vitamin B6 or pyridoxine (found in fish,
         meat, poultry, non-citrus fruits, and whole grains).
  • Stress management through exercise, meditation, visualization, deep
         breathing, biofeedback, and counseling.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.