Friday, April 2, 2010

The Brain and Adrenal Health

Our big phat brain is not only our largest sexual organ but also the most vital and important organ for rapid responses, reflexes and ultimately both short-term and long-term survival. [Image courtesy of]

Another wonderful medical image of the adrenal glands which sit at top the kidneys at our flank, below.

Note the proximity of adrenals to our major blood highways, the aorta and the vena cava which feed from the BRAIN and the heart which pumps and circulates 5 liters of your blood every second.

Nephropal post: Evo Brain, Survival of the PHATTEST

Instantly in less than one minute, chemical messengers that are integrated from the brain and its structures -- hypothalamus and the pituitary -- as a response to environmental and internal cues elicit changes immediately in the adrenals glands.

What Do the Adrenals Control?

The adrenals produce ~50 hormones (98% cholesterol-derived): all the sex hormones and their intermediaries, adrenaline (NE, EPI), aldosterone and cortisol. We need cortisol like we need insulin. Type 1 diabetes individuals make no insulin as a result of autoimmune damage and insults at the pancreatic islet cell level; to survive insulin must be injected or I.V. basal dosing all day at low levels. Insulin is necessary to make muscles and fat but not mandatory for fuel utilization. On the other hand, cortisol is necessary to integrate all food -- carbs, proteins and fats -- as well as to burn and produce energy -- ketones, glycogen, gluconeogenesis (GNG), and fatty acids. Cortisol may be the master hormone because it may control insulin and leptin, not the other way around. And... the BRAIN controls cortisol.

Natural Cortisol Secretion Patterns

Cortisol secretion follows a circadian pattern under normal relaxed circumstances. Generally, cortisol blood levels are highest in the morning as we are getting up and ready for the day. Shifting from a comatose, restful sleep tone to an alert, reposed, wakeful tone requires all the products from the adrenal glands, as directed by the brain (pineal gland downshifts melatonin, our internal 'clock' and 'calendar for seasons', light hits past the eyelids to crank out chemical messengers from the hypothalamus and pituitary to turn us 'on' for the day).

Spikes occur with 3 types of stimuli:
1) to produce energy from fats, protein, glycogen/glucose/GNG -- for waking, lower blood glucose, starvation/fasting, exercise training
2) to store energy -- post meal storage
3) to react to stimulation to maintain blood pressure and suppress inflammation -- caffeine, environmental cues (scent, sight, hearing, touch), mental stress, physical stress, sleep deprivation, nutritional deprivation

Cortisol Pathologies

Chronic 'spiking' may be pathologic if all the above are present or stimulus from an autoimmune or hyperplasia of growth at the hypothalamic, pituitary or adrenal cellular level (pheochromocytoma, Cushing's disease, hyperadrenocorticism).

Over time, alternatively, production can be halted, staggered or even chronically depleted.

Adrenal Insufficiency in the 21st Century

If there is one condition that may characterize neolithic living in our hyper-informed, hyperaware, super active, 'go-go-go', multi-tasking, 24/7 plugged-in age, adrenal insufficiency is IT. Btw, don't bother asking your conventionally trained physician about this condition. Currently, as far as I am aware, adrenal insufficiency just as vitamin D insufficiency and gluten/wheat-intolerance is not a part of the med school curriculum. Current M.D.s' are not trained to identify, diagnosis or treat this 'subclinical' condition unless you are about to keel over and display non-existent, undetectable serum levels of cortisol. Addison's is at the extreme end of the adrenal insufficiency 'spectrum' and is considered life-threatening, leading to complete shut down of organs if untreated. Like diabetes and celiac sprue, it's all a SPECTRUM which we may all be on... somewhere. Pre-diabetes? Silent-celiac? Show me someone who is not...

Trivia: who was a notable famous person with Addison's? [John F. Kennedy]

Signs of Low Adrenal Function

What are the signs and symptoms of poopy adrenals? The same as poopy thyroids? YES.

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms (courtesy and adapted from HERE)

Low body temperature
Lack of energy (reduced energy metabolism)
Unexplained hair loss (grrrrrls, pay attn)Nervousness
Difficulty building muscle (hitting WODs but no gains??!)
Difficulty losing weight (grrrrls and boys...)Irritability
Mental depression
Difficulty gaining weight
Reactive hypoglycemia (feeling shaky/cranky/palpitations after high carbs)
Inability to concentrate
Excessive hunger
Tendency towards inflammation
Moments of confusion
Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome
Poor memory
Alternating diarrhea and constipation
Osteoporosis, osteopenia, bone fractures
Auto-immune diseases
Poor resistance to infections
Frequent infections
Respiratory infections, pneumonia, bronchitis
Low blood pressure (but high occcurs too)
Lightheadedness especially upon standing
Palpitations [heart fluttering]
Dizziness that occurs upon standing
Food and/or inhalant allergies
Craving for sweets and carby foods
Dry and thin skin, dry skin, acne
Headaches, Migraines, Abdominal Refractory Migraines
Scanty perspiration (or excessive with reactive hypoglycemia)
Alcohol intolerance
Caffeine intolerance
Iodine intolerance (heart palpitations, racing heart, jittery? probably adrenal fatigue)
Thyroid replacement intolerance (ditto... with Armour, Cytomel, Synthroid, Levoxyl, Nutri-med Thyroid, etc therapy)

Causes of Low Adrenal Function

I've tried to look into the multivaried causes of adrenal insufficiency. They are the same as other organ and subsequent hormone failures (thyroid, kidney, coronary vasculature, brain/migraines, brain/Parkinson's, ovaries/PCOS, testicles/T-deficiency, etc) and insufficiency spectrums.

Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue (courtesy and adapted from HERE)

Stress, Stress, and more Stress!
Work pressure
Death of a loved one including beloved pets
Changing jobs, losing jobs
Physical illness
Marital and interrelationship problems
Feelings of helplessness and powerlessness
Overwork/ physical or mental strain
Excessive exercise, endurance training, elite athletic events
Sleep deprivation
Light-cycle disruption
Going to sleep late
Skin burns, sunburns involving extensive areas
Head trauma/injury
Frequent fevers
Chronic inflammation
Chronic infection
Chronic pain
Temperature extremes
Toxic exposure (live near a refinery? have silver-mercury-filled cavities?)
Environmental toxins (smells, pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, dioxin, and other endocrine disruptors)
Food toxins (gluten/casein, MSG, nitrates, preservatives/fungicides, bromides in flour, bromides in yellow sodas and veg oils, deep-sea fish (tuna, ahi, shark, etc), seafood/mercury, etc)
Drinking water toxins (alum, aluminum, cadmium, lead, mercury, FLOURIDE, CHLORIDE)
Poor gut biofilms
Chronic illness
Chronic-severe allergies
Food allergies (gluten, casein, corn, egg-whites, legumes, SOY, nightshades, etc)
Nutritional deficiencies (B-vitamins, pantethenic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, mixed tocopherols/trienols, vitamin K1 K2s/probiotics, vitamin A, coenzyme Q10, trace minerals: magnesium iodine selenium zinc chromium manganese molybedenum, omega-3 EPA DHA ALA, protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, egg yolks/caviar/organ meats, etc)
Drugs that cause autoimmune diseases (statins, all drugs with sulfur groups, hydralazine, SYNTHETIC HORMONES: oral contraceptives, progestins, Premarin, Provera, treatments for prostate cancer, prednisone, methylprednisone, dexamethasone, etc)

Adrenal Recovery

Inducing the adrenals to perform and function the way that we are meant to evolutionarily involves a multi-tiered program geared at feeding and recovering the adrenals. I am no expert but I am getting through recovering. Part of how my thyroids and adrenals pooped out can probably be traced back to childhood and even the in utero environment. Children can be born with adrenals working subpar (like many autism and spectrum children/adults). The factors for me: mother with IBS (gluten intolerance) and probably vitamin D/EPA+DHA deficiency, childhood 3rd degree burn involving majority of L-thigh (comatose for a few days), mother's death during childhood, asthma, bronchitis, infections, decades of gluten/n-6/candy toxicity, college and other stressors, finally use of synthetic birth control hormones, C-section surgery, 4 years straight not sleeping (pregnancy/lactation), our cat falling unrecoverably ill and passing away, stopping yoga and exercising less last year, caffeine dependency, progesterone-excess and extreme endocrine disruption from Mirena hormone IUD, 18-24 month lowgrade dental inflammation/abscess, and a bike accident (proverbial last straw).

One the best resources I have found is Dr. J. Wilson PhD ND's book 'Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome'. So far I agree with everything except the use of omega-6 (he advises a Tbs of sunflower oil daily) and whole grains, though he addresses gluten sensitivity. Achieving success in an evolutionary fashion would be far superior I believe and prevent further taxing of the adrenal organs. Otherwise, Dr. Wilson's recovery plan appears complete, thorough and borne out of deep 20+ years of research and experience. He covers medical data and research from 100 years ago combined with current medical publications but has written the book for the layperson. Part IV reviews the anatomy and physiology excellently and explains very well role of adrenals and the pathophysiology of damage.

The recovery program is multi-tiered:
(a) Pro-active relaxation and 'programmed' laughing (seriously, LAUGH LAUGH GIGGLE)
(b) SLEEP and nap
(c) Address nutritional deficiencies which occurred in the course of burning out the adrenals or from incomplete diets (iodine and mineral deficiencies are in fact very common as shown in the medical literature)
(d) Routine regular eating combining small amounts of carbs at each meal with plenty of fats and protein, including starting the day off w/good breakfasts; often people with low adrenals have low hunger in the morning (few in the morning however, and no fruit for most secondary to hyperglycemic effects)
(e) Routine regular deep breathing: exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, stretching (more sex)
(f) Avoiding as much of the above listed 'causes' because they are all adrenal depletors

Adjusting our internal cues is the key. I have observed in my hypertension and diabetes patients incredible blood pressure lowering and even glucose lowering with simple 5 minute breathing relaxation exercises in the clinic.

We indeed have extreme control of mind and therefore body. Tap into the mental inner core. (In yoga they say 'the breath is the bridge between the body and the mind')

Easy? Incredibly so. Once one is not in denial *haa!*

Part of the recovery plan, I'll be on vacation for several weeks in Beijing and Shanghai. YIPPEE! More to follow (or not *hee*).

Thank you Gentle Readers for your insights (you know who you guys are) and those sharing your adrenal stories with us at animal pharm and nephropal.


Unknown said...

Great post! Your posts always have tons of great info.

I was the one who emailed you re: my temperatures coming up since I went more paleo with my diet. I wasn't dx with Hashi's, but have had many of the symptoms off and on over the last 20 years.

My temps are erratic (beyond normal fluctuation throughout the day... I mean my waking temps compared to other waking temps and my daily averages compared to other daily averages regardless of menstrual cycle)... and I don't know how normal that is. According to when temps are low but stable, that's hypothyroid... when they're erratic, that's a signal of adrenal issues. Since eating more paleo, my temps have come up, but still erratic... just at a higher level. I thought it was so interesting that diet alone would even have that effect.

I've noticed that sleep affects my temps (less sleep = lower temps). I've also been trying to get massages more often... and I found it interesting that for 2-3 days afterward my temps are totally stable and spot on. It's very noticeable.

I've often been one to burn the candle at both ends, so it makes sense. I remember in college I was gaining weight but hardly eating anything... like I would forget to eat all day and then at night I would have a pb&j just b/c I thought I should eat something... not b/c I was actually hungry. Whenever I would start exercising more I would get whatever cold bug was going around and it would really knock me out. My chiro at the time said my adrenals were fatigued and said I needed to eat and sleep and not exercise for awhile. It took a few days for my appetite to come back, but by eating and sleeping I lost 11 lbs pretty quickly. And this was without any type of dietary changes.

Some sources are downplaying the whole concept of adrenal fatigue but that doesn't make sense to me. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I feel like I'm making progress.

Thanks Dr. G - have a great trip!

donny said...

"At least as important as the sudden hyperpotassaemic effect of adrenaline is the action of potassium on adrenaline secretion.
As long ago as 1925 the future Nobel prize-winner, HOUS SAY, had observed what he called the adrenaline-secretory effect of potassium, that is to say, that potassium increased the secretion of adrenaline by the suprarenal medulla."

I don't know if that's the best source, it's just the first that came up linking potassium to adrenaline.

Hormones seem to do a lot of their work through their effect on potassium channels. Potassium uptake from the gut is controlled by insulin, and beta cells secrete insulin when exposed to potassium. Male animals deficient in potassium fail to secrete testosterone. Testosterone and thyroid hormone both tend to drive potassium into muscle cells etc., and both can cause mania.

I just have to wonder, if you corner your body with a diet of cheezies and wheat thins, even if your potassium status is technically normal, what kind of hormonal decisions did your body have to make to keep it there?

Oh, yeah, and have fun!

Annlee said...

I see mixed messages on caffeine and/or (especially "or") coffee. How significant do you think it is? I drink it black, drip-brewed, if that matters.

Danny Roddy said...

Great stuff G,

I'm curious on why you think cortisol maybe the "master hormone".

What does a hormone have to do to be considered dominant over others?

I believe in GCBC it states that insulin clears the blood of all hormones/nutrients when it's released. Could this be enough to classify insulin as a "master hormone"?

I used to think this was clear cut, but Nora Gedgaudas makes a strong case for leptin being the master hormone as well.

You mention " lowgrade dental inflammation/abscess" could something like a root canal cause this?

William Trumbower said...

I find it interesting that we do not blame stress for "thyroid fatigue" when someone has hashimotos thyroiditis. On one of Art's blogs he posted a graph showing which organs had the highest amounts of the "triplets" associated with the development of gluten induced autoimmunity. To no surprise, thyroid and adrenal are high on the list. The highest was uterus and placenta, which has implications for high risk pregnant ladies with no "obvious" risk factors. The gluten induced immune attack can apparently come from the innate immune system and not involve any detectable antibody levels. I think that is one of the reasons that the anti-inflamatory diet is so successful in treating fatigue.

Unknown said...

Oh, and back when I think all of this started I started getting heat edema... hands and feet swell in the heat when it never did before.

I was just researching to see if there's a connection to adrenals and apparently heat edema is caused by increased aldosterone (produced by adrenals) which retains more sodium and fluids. But it seems that potassium is a critical factor in how it relates to aldosterone regardless of sodium level.

I'm wondering about the mechanism that makes the adrenals malfunction (or at least change, since it never happened before) with regard to heat... i.e. why can't it take the heat anymore?

I guess I need to move to where the temps are always in the 60's and 70's, haha.

Ned Kock said...

Thank you for this great post Dr.B.G.!

Do you think that some of the problems that people ascribe to low carb. diets are due to adrenal fatigue?

The reasoning there, from what I have seen (including a series of posts on Freetheanimal a few months back), is that diets that help one burn body fat mimic fasting (in some respects) and thus lead to certain hormonal responses. Over time, they cause endocrine organ fatigue.

By the way, got my VAP test results yesterday. My calculated LDL was 140, while the directly measured one was 109 - Pattern A, large and buoyant. Other measures pretty much the same as before - e.g., high HDL, low trigs. I can't say I was surprised.

Removing refined carbs. and sugars , and consuming as much sat. fat and cholesterol as one wants - no way to go wrong there. I just don't consume more sat. fat because I eat so much seafood, a long-term habit of mine.

Dr. B G said...


My thyroid story is the same. Our toxic soup environment and stress levels are slowly killing us. Rind is good.

Edema can be a sign of any hormone deficiency (or excess -- I have pitting edema from the progestin as some women also report with Provera and Depo shots).

Your chiro was probably right!

Thank you for your email and pls don't hesitate to write later. Did I get back to you? I try to return all emails umm but behind.


Unknown said...

yes, thanks... you did reply. I just wanted to let you know that I'm not completely normalized... just improved. But I'll take it :)

I've hit a plateau though and I'm wary of trying to do any high intensity exercise since it would stress out my adrenals more, yes? ARGH!

I'm cyber/homeschooling my 2 kids (8yo and 4yo) and I have a business that I'm not putting a lot into right now b/c of everything... I do have clients, but I'm not actively pursuing more b/c I don't want to get overwhelmed again.

I'm trying to focus mostly on sleeeeeep and stress reduction... massages once a month for now, but would be great to double that.

webster said...

I was recently diagnosed hypothyroid and hypotestosterone. I'm on HRT now (androgel and cytomel) which helps, but I still wonder what the cause was. Maybe it's heredity (fibromyalgia), or as your article brings up it could be this neo-lithic environment. I'll be bookmarking this.

Unknown said...

I know you're on vacation, so whenever you get a chance.... you mentioned in there that for recovery:

(d) Routine regular eating combining small amounts of carbs at each meal with plenty of fats and protein, including starting the day off w/good breakfasts; often people with low adrenals have low hunger in the morning (few in the morning however, and no fruit for most secondary to hyperglycemic effects)

So is IF ok? i.e. 2 meals a day in a shorter eating window? ex: late breakfast/lunch plus early dinner?

Anonymous said...

To anyone who might read this post and be tempted, please don't come to Addison's Disease forums and tell us all about your "maybe I have adrenal fatigue my doctor doesn't understand me" stuff. We're not likely to be sympathetic until/unless you end up flat on your back in the ER in a full Addisonian crisis getting 5 liters of saline IV, taking corticosteroids every day for the rest of your life, dealing with feeling like you're going to pass out at midafternoon every day, etc...

David said...

Nice post, G. Hey, I had a post-exercise glucose the other day (21 hours into a fast) of 143! You think cortisol was ramping up the GNG big time? I was shocked, and retook the glucose two more times. Yep, it really was that high. Normally my post-exercise BG doesn't go too far above 105 or so. Maybe the stress of the fast combined with the exercise drove cortisol through the roof. What do you think? Ever heard of a reading that high post-exercise in a non-diabetic?

Kelly A. said...

Wow, we have almost the exact same stressors! It's probably not uncommon among 30 something college educated mothers, sadly. My thyroid and adrenals tanked and I'm finally getting back to myself the past 6 months.

I've read that too low of carbs is stressful for the adrenals- How low is low though?

Dr. B G said...



I don't know what normal temps are either -- like you I found multiple factors that affect it but it does help to note the improvements and stability of the (Dr.Rind) metabolic temp charts.

Personally I find my pulse to more accurate and I can regulate by deep breaths, yoga, better sleep, avoiding hypoglycemia/ hyperglycemia. Certain supplements affect my pulse as well -- so I can tell the effects quickly if they don't agree.


Dr. B G said...


THANKS for your neat finds. K (potassium) is typically high in someone with adrenal fatigue -- so the recommendation is avoid K-rich foods excessively (veggies) if that is the case. Low sodium, high potassium is generally the picture for most.
Drugs, sweating, endurance training, and diabetes insulin may however affect the potassium of course. Taking diuretics lowers K too.


Dr. B G said...

Hey Annlee,

Coffee is close to my HEART.

There is good and bad w/it. Too much of any good thing unfortunately can be harmful, like excessive caffeine may/can burn out the adrenals faster I believe, as Wilson's 'Adrenal Fatigue' discusses AT LENGTH. Personally my adrenals are much MUCHO more in line and I'm back on 1-2 servings most days. I dunno if everyone can do that... it's not great and probably affects my sleep and cortisol but I can't live too long without it!

Unfortunately one cannot cold-turkey stop -- withdrawal is worse and can cause headaches and other issues. Gradual titration off is better.


Dr. B G said...

Hey Danny,

'What does a hormone have to do to be considered dominant over others?' If it has short term AND long term control over growth, reproduction and survival, I think of it as the 'master'. I know, it is very arguable...

'I believe in GCBC it states that insulin clears the blood of all hormones/nutrients when it's released. Could this be enough to classify insulin as a "master hormone"?' I used to think that but cortisol, leptin and adiponectin and ultimately the way our body handles the MAPK and cAMP/ATP energy ratios all may be argued as well. IMHO insulin does not affect the others as much as cortisol can.

'I used to think this was clear cut, but Nora Gedgaudas makes a strong case for leptin being the master hormone as well.' I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. Thyroid and vitamin D also are HUGE. Endocrine disruptors, heavy metals... are HEEEEYYYYG too unforunately I am finding more and more. Our gut! 90% of our immunity and serotonin are centered in the GUT (called GALT).

'You mention " lowgrade dental inflammation/abscess" could something like a root canal cause this?' Absolutely any infection affects adrenal function -- the purpose of the adrenals are to 'keep things going' in the face of immediate peril and risk of perishing, including hypovolemic and inflammatory states while the immune system is conquering an infection. Dental disease is discussed in depth by Wilson as a hiddne cause of adrenal fatigue. I think personally it was for me and I didn't even realize it. I lost 5 lbs the next day after my tooth was pulled, which I had to BEG my dentist to do. He wouldn't initially pull it b/c it didn't appear infected (I take too many supplements and antioxidants).


Dr. B G said...

Dr. Trumbower,

I didn't make that connection; thank you for bringing to light. Ayers is awesome.

'The gluten induced immune attack can apparently come from the innate immune system and not involve any detectable antibody levels.' With BPA toxicity, the pituitary enlarges. I think gluten like pollutants and endocrine disrupters can also cause autoimmune damage on the pituitary though the innate system.

(gluten though has been implicated in causing auto anti-pituitary antibodies. see below (march 13 post):

Appreciate your insights as always,

Dr. B G said...


The adrenal protocols advise no extremes:
-no extreme emotions
-no extreme temperatures (hot OR cold... had to stop the Bikram hot yoga which made me a little dizzy anyway)
-no extreme exercise
-no extreme 'friends'
-no extreme stress
-no extreme fasting or high carb meals
-et cetera

Basically rest and relaxation are the cornerstone to recovery. Fresh air, exercise, fresh food, regularly spaced out food, etc.

In 'acutely stressed' lab animals, upon autopsy it was observed they had hemorrhaged adrenals. Literally, they were bleeding out from STRESS.

Thanks for the heat edema info! Kinda makes some sense... (i think)

Dr. B G said...


Do you mean you have fibromyalgia?

I think fibro has autoimmune aspects and gluten/casein sensitivities. Hope your T and thyroid improve and you feel better soon. We all have the SAME damage... *sigh*


Dr. B G said...


D*MN your HDLs are GOOD!

Yes -- I think excessive ketosis requires healthy adrenals and lots of iodine. Americans (and globally everyone) fail in BOTH of these departments.

I didn't start iodine consistently until only recently because it mildly gave me palpitations -- maybe I was too low on zinc and/or selenium and other necessary constituents for thyroid hormone induction... not enough tyrosine?

It is complex but it has been fun seeing how we are all similar yet vastly biochemically different.


Dr. B G said...

MOVE TO CALI!!! *wink* Sun, surf, shopping... can't ask for more!

'So is IF ok? i.e. 2 meals a day in a shorter eating window? ex: late breakfast/lunch plus early dinner?'

NO. Not until the adrenals are semi-in-line with good function. Try to resist pushing too fast... You'll know I think.

I felt great eating 3-4 small meals (or large). I think there is a reason to the protocol. Low sugar dips between meals poops out the adrenals -- to bring the serum glucose up forces gluconeogenesis and cortisol AND adrenaline are required for that.

That's why long excessive workouts, esp HIIT or alternating intensity (glycolytic) with fat burning (lipolytic) is a little better than pure HIIT that is really grueling. Like crossfit unfortunately sometimes. BSS is good -- 12 min per week.

The vacation was GRRRRRREEAAAAT!! I'll post picts later -- had great bone broth soups, organ meats and great seafood and lamb. Very interesting cuisine in the small village WuXi which is by a famous lake where many scholars were sent to the Emperor. The lake reminds me of the paleo lakes that Cunnane talks a lot about... FUN!!

Dr. B G said...


I haven't read about but I've felt that way (flushed, racing heart, probably high glucose but I didn't test). Fasting is a 'stressful' state in fact.

That is good feedback but I wouldn't worry excessively. Thyroid and adrenals are optimal, right? Sleeping well? Was that during exams??


webster said...

Hey Dr. G, great to see you back in action!

Actually I only mentioned fibromyalgia because women in my family have it, and I read there's a correlation between fibro and hypothyroid. I'm a male in my 20s and it is sorta odd that I'm already on HRT for testosterone and T3. (Started Jan, Mar). I figure the cause lies in genetics somewhere plus a f-ed up HPTA axis.

Right now I'm taking 50mg testosterone via Androgel, though I've heard that cypionate or enthanate injections, or possible Testim may be more effective. Your thoughts Dr. G?

Dr. B G said...

Kelly A,

Wilson advises little fruits in the AM just because of the glucose spiking potential. So... too much carbs in the morning is not advised. This is the case for diabetics as well -- high cortisol in the AM precludes high glucoses after a high carby meal.

I have been able to stay at 10-40 grams per meal. On vacation, kicked it up to cycle and had some wt gain but it all came off and more when upon starting exercise again when I returned (rested and relaxed).

Try playing around, calendar your responses and meals. See what works. Eating more relieves the adrenal temporarily. If you over do it, you'll know. If you are already borderline diabetic, the glucometer can tell you (> 120 for too long is not great). Just experiment -- each week you might find is DYNAMIC. Your metabolism should continue to improve as you have probably already observed, right?

Would love to hear more what you did, what worked v. what didn't!

My sister and I have been on the standard protocols w/great success. I might need more dopamine support... it's getting there!!

Thank you for your comments!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. It's very timely for me as I've been trying to sort through the extremely low energy I've been having the past several years. Eliminating grains and reducing fruits (and upping saturated fats) has helped some, but I'm still dragging mentally and physically and have several of the symptoms noted. Have been trying to sort out whether it's thyroid or adrenals or what -- puzzling, frustrating, and disheartening! I just had my cortisol and DHEA levels tested, and they're bottom of the barrel. Which isn't great news, but at least I have place to start.

Thank you for your amazing contributions on this blog -- you are a difference-maker.

Dr. B G said...


Glad it helps. Isn't it nice to know you are not the only one? In Crossfit, I think this happens quite a bit more than anyone cares to discuss.

The latest podcast from Andy Deas and Robb Wolf (#24) discuss too.

Personally I've always experienced nausea with both B-complx vitamins and Zinc, despite several of my gal pals who f*ckin RAVE about Zinc and B-vitamins. I was in a study for zinc for my co-resident at VA San Diego and I must've been in the treatment arm b/c I got sick like I was preggers or something. *haa*

Hey. They work. Vitamin C is great too. I take this brand that tastes like FLOWERS (Blue-bonnet)... it totally rocks.

The best tasting B-vitamins:
--Ultrabotanical B-HEALTHY!
--Jarrow's B-right

I like NOW's zinc lozenges and my kids don't mind either... (like candy).

Try the generic adrenal protocols -- fine tune and tweak if necessary. Good luck and would to hear your progress later!


Dr. B G said...


Personally I think it is totally possible to reverse thyroid, adrenal and testicular/gonadal dysfunction when all the nutritional and dietary deficiencies are met and if the organs have the capacity if the 'damage' is not extensive. But if not, then replacement therapy is key for longevity and optimal health.

W/that said... the younger generations are definitely not as 'healthy' as those that I know in their 60s-80s! The toxic soup environment we currently live in is affecting each subsequent generation IMHO deeper and more distinctly... :(

(you've discussed with your provider risks? family hx prostate cancer, size (which may worsen), gynecomastia and is it fixed yet, high blood count/RBC, edema, apnea (which may worsen), etc)

I think topical for males and females is preferred by most anti-aging docs (pellets exist too). Personally I was on a cream 2% for a while. Topically bypasses the liver and first pass effects (like elevated cholesterol and perhaps less spiking of SHBG).


Unknown said...

Thank you for the response and suggestions. Yes, it is nice to know I'm not alone. It's hard to have been an uber-motivated, on the ball, high-achiever for so long and then just having everything grind to a halt. And, yes, the stressors (some happy, though many not so much), but part of me feels like such a wimp for not being able to just keep going. Argh. But having the physical test results back have been helpful -- almost like it makes me feel less crazy and psychologically weak.

I'm in Canada so can't the brands of vitamins you mentioned (that, and we don't have Trader Joe's!). There are a few decent products up here, though, and I think/hope I've found the right mix.

Thanks again for your awesome blog. It's a wealth of helpful information.

Anonymous said...

Mother is 94 and just generally wearing out.

Among other things she has COPD and has courses of prednisolone.

Cutting this down too quickly brings on attacks of adrenal insufficiency.

I've read numerous accounts of this occurring, and techniques like reducing steroid dose very very slowly, alternating low and lower doses etc. to try to kick-start the adrenals back into action. These techniques slow but don't stop the decline and generally mean she then needs another steroid "pulse".

I've tried to persuade the doctors that she would do better on a higher "maintenance dose" but they don't want to know and are worried about "long term damage". At 94.

I can partly see their point, she had numerous courses of steroids in the past for Crohn's which have left her with skin like rice paper. But I can't help feeling her quality of life would be much higher when she doesn't get so sdrenally exhausted that she can scarcely stagger from one room to another. She was never good with cold but now the heat exhausts her as well.

I try to feed her well, lots of meat, fish and veggies, but she then adds bread, or potatoes. And cake :(

Symptomatically, my cortisol improved no end from the dietary changes I made, but then I'm not 94. I was originally aiming to reduce my BG, insulin and insulin resistance and doing so has had spin-offs in most of the rest of my endocrine system. She's going the other way and has now developed Type 2.

KED said...

Hi Dr. BG
I just wanted to say how thankful I am for your informative posts. I referred to this post because I just got labs back from a gluten test (having gut probelms) which suprisingly came back negative (not so suprising because I have been trying to not eat gluten. However, my doc was concerned bacause my renal test eGFR score was 56 (stage 3 disease range). He suggested I might have not been hydrated enough. I also notice cystitis following any more severe bouts of gut irritation. Could these be linked?
Thanks for any input~

Garry said...

can crestor rosuvastatin,effect my arenal cortex, i am depressed?

Dr. B G said...


Of course. Statins raise insulin which is the hormone which stiffens and calcifies arteries and organs.

Depression is neuroendocrine in origins -- depression, suicidal ideation and low testosterone are the highest underestimated complaints for statin drugs (and other drugs which affect the brain and/or cholesterol).

Please read Dr. Emily Dean's post on statins -- she's on my blogroll.


Dr. B G said...


Cystitis/UTIs can be related to reduced immunity which is a downstream effect of gut dysbiosis. Our bodies have organs that are all interrelated and connected. Would not be surprising if there was a symptomatic link! When my #30 tooth was infected and needed to get pulled out, my big-R toe get tingling and aching -- COULD NOT FIGURE IT OUT. Immediately after my tooth was pulled, that toe stopped hurting -- apparently the meridian or Chinese medicine foot reflexology linked that toe to my head. TO me, that is Startrek science -- ancient but way beyond our current technology.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. G! This post is so informative - thank you!

Just wondering...what do you think about Siberian ginseng for poopy adrenals? I’ve been VERY wiped-out lately and all signs point to adrenal fatigue. I’ve cut my workouts down and have incorporated some stress management (yay for yoga and breathing), but I noticed the most improvement after I started supplementing with a B-complex vitamin. I’ve played around with some of the Himalayan and Celtic salts, but they make me feel weird and spaced out (I get the same way when I drink mineral water). I have been thinking about checking out Siberian ginseng, but after reading up on it I see it has PHYTOESTROGENS. From my understanding, this is a no-no, no?

Take care and thank you:)

David said...


In my experience, Siberian ginseng is great stuff for the adrenals, provided it's a potent enough preparation. Herb Pharm Eleuthero is my favorite, and the most concentrated preparation I'm aware of. It's best to take it twice per day, in the morning and early afternoon. Don't take it in the evening, or it might give you insomnia.

The estrogenic effect is mild to non-existent. I wouldn't worry about it.

Dr. B G said...


I'm so sorry for the delay--have not forgotten you :)

There is an adrenal part II post coming up (someday) *haa!*

Gosh adrenals are on everyone's mind which is a good thing b/c I believe EVERYONE at some point is affected b/c of the current environment, poor food quality, contaminants, multitasking and lack of structured relaxation.

My program (just briefly):
--yoga yoga yoga -- I'm GLAD WE CONCUR :)
--sleep sleep sleep
--minimal caffeine (yeah it's high octane and just pushes the adrenals too hard)
--low alcohol or NONE (alcohol in fact lowers blood glucoses -- I'll to in detail later why this is bad)
--avoidance of fasting and skipped meals (ditto)
--tons of adaptogens
--Russian style adaptogens (Siberian is ok -- I like Eleutheros, Shisandra and Rhodiola) I think I'm part Russian
--things that lower cortisol (timed carbohydrates e.g. small freq meals w/protein, fats and carbs -- don't skip)

Does that help? after a bike accident, other stressors including IF, excessive caffeine/partying, Bikram (wiped out the minerals), and too many half-marathons/triathlons my adrenals were kaput.

I know what you mean, life sucked. No crossfit. *BOO!!* The below helped me get my wet dreams back *haa aha*.

--Gaia adrenal response
--fish oil ultra high dose -- lowers cortisol in human men (and hawwwt gals)
--trace minerals, zinc, mag, calcium
--Vital Adapt and Night Gain by Natura, Donald Yance
--Gaia Chasteberry
--Dr.Rind's low metabolic energy thyroid/adrenal stuff -- balanced amino acids (before/after workouts only like 2-3/wk); MVI; glutamine; gut support like psyllium/greens/lemon juice

Google Rind and a lot of stuff pops up. HIS STUFF IS just AWESOME. Robb and Andy both have wonderful material as well (


Dr. B G said...

Angel :)

Thank you!! I get all the ginseng's all mixed up. I am using Rind site's 'Herb Pharm' liquid Eleuthoros(large bottle) and it is awesome and David's correct don't take too close to bedtime.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. G...I hop you are well, and thank you for such great information!

I started incorporating small, balanced, frequent meals throughout the day (as opposed to 3 larger a teacher, it's not always easy to get that extra 'meal' in, but I do my best:) and am feeling much better. I've also added a B-complex, vit K, the Siberian ginseng, and Carlson's cod liver oil to my mix of vit D, mag, zinc. and I think that helped.

Just curious, how much carb should I be taking in and from which sources...and why no fruit in the AM? Also, is it possible that a low carb, higher protein and fat diet might not be optimal for someone like myself? I really pudge out when I move toward eating like that...could the increased protein cause some fat gain? Might I possibly have some absorption issues? I also take a NOW super enzyme with meals, but I haven't noticed any change...

Thank you again!


And David...your knowledge throughout the comments is much appreciated - thank you for sharing:)

Dr. B G said...

Hi Jessica,

I'm so glad you are feeling better! OMG you're a teacher. That is very adrenally demanding in these days of larger classes, STAR testing and everything else that you must deal with (like anal retentive OCD overbearing paleo parents *haa ah!*).

Robb Wolf and other practitioners use a titrated digestive enzyme schedule -- increase the dose until you feel a little burning in the stomach area. THEN BACK DOWN by 1-2 capsules, I believe that is how he does it. The same can be done with Betaine HCL which helps to provide stomach and digestive acidity. For a variety of reasons, we make less stomach acid. (if one has peptic ulcer disease or gastritis, good idea to skip the HCl or enzymes until better).

Without acidity (pH) the enzymes do not activate to do their job. Additionally more bacteria and fungus grow where they are not supposed or their populations increase inappropriately, esp the 'bad' gut flora.

If you had symptoms of IBS or bloating/ gas/ distension/ burps then those indicate you probably have SIBO and/or 'leaky gut'. Bacterial that translocates OUTSIDE of the gut lead to the pancreas and gallbladder anatomical areas lead to dysfunction of that organ (until things heal up, bacteria go away, immune system calms down, etc). Digestive enzymes simulate what the pancreas would be doing w/each meal. NOW super enzymes is good b/c it also contains ox bile which simulates what the gallbladder would squeeze out after messages from the stomach indicate the presense of carbs, protein and fats.

If you are gaining weight on low carb, high protein/fat -- you could be pushing the adrenals too hard which leads to more cortisol and fat gain and fluid retention. Consider stopping the low carb and cycle carbs at every meal and snack. Actually you'll gain weight as well w/this (don't worry) but I guarantee will help the adrenals the most for now.

EVERY HYPOGLYCEMIC EPISODE prompts the adrenals to be further depleted if it is already on the edge... Perhaps only certain times of the day this is the case but in an already depleted situation this prevents progress and ultimately full recovery. You can tell I went through this, no? *haa ah*

Fruit is kinda high carb -- most mild-mod adrenally fatigued people have high cortisol in the mornings. The exception are those who report complete and total inability to rise in the morning; these people are kinda 'flatlined'. If the cortisol is high in the morning, some carbs should be consumed but something more complex like a sweet potato (with fats and protein), vegetables, berries (wild, organic preferably), etc. If you work out in the morning and tend to feel dizzy or fatigued with exercise, eat some carbs (with fat and protein) before the workout 30-60min. DO NOT FAST AND WORK OUT unless it's HIIT or resistance in a short SHORT period of time lasting no greater than < 10-15min. Obviously as you feel better and the adrenals are recovering, it is dynamic and the mixture of intensity and length can be varied up, I've found.

Thank you David again for your expertise!


Anonymous said...

You are so good...thank you!


Dr. B G said...


You ROCK! :) No -- I'm only as good as my readers *h aaH* AND THEY ARE GOOOOOOD!!


Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. G.:-)

Well, I wanted to fill you in a bit and, of course, elicit your guidance. I have been on a major break from any hardcore training - basically I do yoga a few times a week, lift heavy things a couple times a week, and walk my dog. I have thrown in a HIIT or sprint workout on-and-off, but am oh so careful not to overdo it. I take zinc, mag, folate (not folic acid), d3, cod liver oil, GLA every few days (for breakouts), a probiotic, HCl with meals, acetyl l-carnitine, Gaia adrenal health, Natura Nightgain and psyllium.

I WAS also taking maca (for menstruation) and siberian ginseng (for adrenals), along with a B complex vitamin, but have stopped recently BECAUSE - I am a mess! These past few weeks I have been really spaced out, jittery, and EXHAUSTED but with heart palpitations. I think it might have been the B...I've read up on it and it seems that too much might cause such symptoms (correct?). I am feeling much better since stopping (2 days ago), but am still not 100%.

Also, since I began taking maca and the siberian ginseng, I have gained about 18 pounds. I'm not really one to weigh myself, but when I had to buy all new pants, I took notice (yes, it's primarily concentrated in my bum and thighs). To top it off, I have also gained quite a bit of CELLULITE. Can these adaptogens have really caused this to happen? I am completely bummed over it - I was recently in Hawaii and I was the only one not sporting a bikini (I wore board shorts...lame;-). Could it possibly be too much IODINE? I eat salmon most days a week and sea salt my food. Is this a possible THYROID issue (brought on by weak adrenals)?

I am just so confused because I feel like I do everything right - exercise (but not too much), eat clean, sleep regularly (though not always well) in pitch black, drink water, minimal alcohol. Currently I do not have health insurance, so I haven't been to a doc in a years, but I will beginning in the fall (I'll be teaching again!). I plan to see someone and want to have some tests run to check my 'levels' - WHICH TESTS do you recommend? Also, do you think an acupuncturist might be able to help? I would really like to fit back into my favorite Lucky's (sigh).

THANK YOU for any advice you can offer:)


OH, and P.S. Dr. Rind recommends hydrolyzed collagen - I've been swigging Knox gelatin lately and will soon be making bone broths...will this have similar effect? AND he says ADRENAL GLANDULAR yields much faster recovery...what are your thoughts on this literally adrenal fluid taken from recently born cattle ('neonatal bovine')? I don't understand...

Dr. B G said...

Hey Jessica!!

OMG -- I am so sorry to hear you are not doing as well as before. I think you are reacting to ginseng which is stimulating stuff!

The only way to tell what is causing a problem is to stop everything then re-intro one by one at a decent interval, as you have tried already. The palpitations sound a little worrisome. Actually the fatigue is not the best sign either...

There is a book you should consider which I have not had a chance to mention yet --
Dr. Schwarzbein.

To heal the adrenals, one has to first figure out if you are low insulin or high insulin. The insulin needs to 'eclipse' the cortisol for the adrenals to finally work. Basically one has to heal up leptin and leptin resistance, together.

One does gain weight on this program but eventually cortisol, insulin and leptin all normalize and optimize again. Hang in there.

My sister didn't tolerate vitamin B6 for a while. Many of the B vitamins require methylation and some individuals are poor enzyme methylators... Again like you have experimented, the only way to know if an agent is intolerant for you is a trial discontinuation and observant period.

P6P is methylated already -- the best B vit suppls have this in it, not B6.

I recommend using salivary testing by ZRT or other similar labs. The blood tests are sometimes helpful but often cannot show the bioavailable, free hormones. Affordable tests! Try virginia hopkins/john lee's website.

Have you read the 'Hormone Diet' yet by Natasha Turner?

Consider in your plan: discontinuatio of salmon/fish consumption due to high mercury, pcb's and dioxins which cause insulin resistance, inflammation and obesity. Mercury is a strong endocrine disruptor which can kill off thyroids, adrenals and other glands... It is highly associated with autism and Alzheimers, chronic fatigue and gut dysbiosis as well. Fish is good but unfortunately the earth and its vast oceans are contaminated to the degree that fish is the best carrier of metal toxicity in this modern age. A can of tuna fish has like 70 mcg of Hg. Salmon isn't as bad but even consuming it 2-3x/wk can be intoxicating.

I hope you feel better immediately! Please keep me updated.

Have you read Sara Godfried's blog?


David said...

All great comments, G. You're so right on. Impaired methylation is a stinking BIG DEAL in so many conditions. CFS, Lyme, autism, depression, etc., etc. Another biggie (also related to methylation) is Kryptopyrroluria. Klinghardt is finding this in most of his Lyme and autism cases, and I see it in a lot of anxiety/depression/mood disorders. Here you have a double deficiency of zinc and B6 (with others as well), which throws a wrench into your methylation cycle and detox pathways.

Jessica, that is definitely an atypical response to maca and S. ginseng, if it was related to them at all. I haven't seen a response like that before, and I use/recommend quite a bit of Siberian ginseng. I take maca myself, and have found it beneficial for both my adrenal and thyroid status. There are definitely varied responses to all this stuff, however, and there's no telling what it was in your case that caused the change.

How much iodine are you/have you been taking? If you've been taking a goodly amount, it's time to check thyroid function. Despite what some of the "thyroid experts" (Brownstein, etc.) say, I think you can definitely shut down the thyroid with too much iodine depending on various factors.

Yeah, definitely get thyroid and cortisol checked out. Like G said, you need the saliva cortisol tested. You can get a ZRT or Metametrix kit for this that you can do at home.

You say you don't sleep well. Possible that cortisol is spiking at night and leaving you sleepless at night and depleted of the cortisol you need during the day. You might need an extended cortisol test (6 vials instead of 4 that test into the morning hours) to figure this out, or you could try a trial run of phosphorylated serine (Seriphos) before bed to see if you get better sleep. Seriphos reduces nighttime cortisol, which leaves you with more energy during the day.

As for OTC adrenal supplements, I like IsoCort. You have to find the right dose, but once you do, it's fantastic stuff.

Might also try the "pupil test" (which is actually for evaluating aldosterone) and the postural blood pressure test to help evaluate adrenal status. Check out Wilson's book "Adrenal Fatigue" for more info on these self-tests. Can be really helpful.


Dr. B G said...


THANK YOU FOR OUR DEEP INSIGHTS and clinical experiences!!!

I didn't realize Pyrroluria was so common but I just met someone a few wks ago who discovered she had that. Zinc tally (liquid) by Metagenics is a great vehicle to get easily assimilated zinc. Zinc can be very nausating... My niece J required about a month of a shot of Zinc tally to start to taste it. If one is 'deficient' it will taste like water, however once replete, will have a 'off' or metallic taste. Low zinc gives people pica which gives people usual cravings for foods or clay/dirt/mouthing.

RE: gelatin -- I think is fine but nourishing bone broths are extremely dense nutrition which include collagen plus necessary minerals (like zinc), bone marrow (stem cells/growth factors) and easily assimilatable amino acids. Natasha McBride-Campbell of the GAPS diet fame advises 1-2 c bone broth at every meal for 2-3 yrs for healing. The sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine) will help with heavy metal chelation and elimination.

Please read David's comments thoroughly!! :) He's so awesome.


David said...


Yeah, if you can't taste zinc, you're almost certainly deficient, but the taste test doesn't catch everyone who's deficient, oddly enough. Luckily lab testing for KPU is pretty stinking inexpensive.

Zinc can definitely be really nauseating. Really really bad. This is usually the case if there's insufficient stomach acid. Makes sense, too. If you're deficient in zinc, you can't make carbonic anhydrase. For those who haven't heard of carbonic anhydrase, I'll explain why this is relevant: Carbonic anhydrase divides carbonic acid into hydrogen and bicarbonate. The hydrogen is put inside the stomach. Chloride is then transported from the blood and combines with the hydrogen to form hydrochloric acid (stomach acid!). But here's the problem -- the formation and function of carbonic anhydrase is dependent on minerals like zinc, so if you're deficient in zinc, you can't form stomach acid. But it goes in a vicious cycle: If you don't have enough stomach acid, you can't absorb zinc, but without the zinc, you can't make the stomach acid you need to absorb the zinc. This is a dilemma.

One option is to take extra betaine HCl with the zinc. Eventually zinc stops making you nauseous.

The other option is to take humic/fulvic acid minerals, which are monatomically suspended. As such, they don't need stomach acid (or carbonic anhydrase) to be absorbed. After awhile, your carbonic anhydrase will start working again and you'll be able to take minerals like normal.

The KPU/HPU thing is turning out to be a big part of a lot of chronic illnesses, it seems. Distinctive symptoms: white spots on the fingernails, poor dream recall, poor breakfast appetite. Lots more, but those three always get my attention for starters.


Dr. B G said...


The KPU is certainly a lot more common than people ever imagined! I never knew we could be so zinc deficient either... but I can think of several factors that deplete zinc such as dysbiosis, chronic inflammation, soil depletion, and etc. Thanks for some of the signs to look out for!

The suspended minerals sounds pretty NEAT -- I'll have to ck it out. YOU ARE FULL OF SO MUCH GOOD INFORMATION!!!! The vicious cycle in the stomach sounds like the beginning of a lot of health/gut/brain crisises... w/such a simple easy solution.

Thanks for so many insights!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. G. and David!

David, I was taking about 100 mcg iodine/day, but stopped a couple of weeks ago. I was also eating salmon daily, which I have also cut out of my diet, for now. I took 100 mg zinc for a few months, but have recently cut it back to 15 mg chelated, and this also contains betaine HCl. My sleep was actually quite good, but I threw in some intermittent fasting a few weeks ago, and that completely threw my whole system off - not sleeping, foggy-headed, etc. This lasted a few more weeks, but like I said, I cut most supplements out for now and am feeling so much better already. I did actually add GABA into the mix about an hour before bed and this knocks me out! What are your thoughts on GABA?

Dr. G - I had not heard of the Hormone Diet but I have ordered the book, so I'm looking forward to that! She does recommend eating legumes - what do you think of that? I did recently check out Dr. Schwarzbein, so it's funny that you mention her. I'm already feeling so much better (I think it was largely the B vits and a bit of fasting that really threw me), but I hope to start looking better, too (vanity is a killer:). I do think the maca could have been responsible for some of the weight gain, as I noticed my pants were 'shrinking' about a month after including it in my regimen, but it did work wonders for my menstrual cycle.

I will keep you informed of my progress, of course. I'm considering a 'detox' of sorts - have you heard of the Clean Program (Dr. Junger)? What are your thoughts on it, if so?

Thank you both for such helpful information and timely are true blessings to the rest of us!


Dr. B G said...


Are you kidding? You are a genuine blessing -- to your students (your a teacher, no?) and to the community you are in. If you are feeling better, then ALL AROUND will be feeling better!!

Same goes when you are a mom. When mom doesn't feel well, NO ONE FEELS WELL as it happens in my familia. *haa*

Yes I think Gaba is great. 5HT is even better -- I take on blues-ey days 100-200mg 1x-2x daily. Yeah it's a lot but I have to confess I have major metal issues. I haven't told David yet!!!! But NOW he knows!

I take an oral chelator too -- my expert I consult believes 95% of the world has metal toxicity -- it may be subclinical or totally clinical. Protect your future kids and their kids. Get your hair test once the metals start to come out and evaluate.

Schwarzbein is AWESOME. This is why some on low carb fail-eao BIG TIME on paleo and why those who go 'hi everything' or '180' or onto potatoes/rice/perfect diet (Paul Jaminent) or mark's daily apple 100g - 150g/day do well. *wink* So you found out through your own experience that ketosis is not so great for the adrenal/thryoid/brain axis... Take a look at metal burden as well.

There is a science behind the outliers.

My experience is that I've had metal toxicity for a while but it reached a HEAD last year after a tetanus Td and after an incorrectly removed mercury amalgam, followed shortly by a titanium leak (my oral surgeon totally botched and drilled all over an implant that had grown over w/bone). I had healed the adrenal fatigue but it came back full force and took me 4 mos to figure out what was up.



yeah dude it's true,

Anonymous said...

So I got the Hormone Diet book yesterday and have been poring over it...lots of good information! Hopefully I can get on the right track and start feeling better.

I wouldn't doubt that I have some metal toxicity, too, as I have loads of fillings due to a 15+ years battle with I have serious metal and MENTAL issues:) If I could live my life over - differently - I would in a heartbeat, but luckily I finally realized I was doing it all wrong. Where do you recommend I look for a practitioner who specializes in oral chelation, and do you think it wise to have my metal amalgams removed?

Thank you for all that you do...


Dr. B G said...


Thanks for your thoughts/clinical insights!!


The hormone diet book is SO GOOD isn't it??! She's not anti-grain or into chelation, but otherwise it's one of the best resources I've found.

OK -- you have had very significant up/downs with metabolism from the history revealed now. No intermittent fasting. ZERO. This only further locks in fat because of the history of the up/down metabolism and likely insulin and leptin resistance.

Yes and Yes and Yes-- consider the high value of finding a practitioner and doing oral chelation and safe removal of the amalgams from a biologic/holistic dentist.

David has provided a lot of resources. Below are some of the products that I've come across and seom he has had experience -- I personally and MY WHOLE FAMILY INCLUDING KIDS use the cardio am/pm. The AM replenishes all the lost minerals (zinc, mag, iodine, trace, etc -- need extra cal/mag though) and the PM herbs and EDTA take away gradually mercury, lead and other harmful heavy metals. ampm cardio pak
--biopure phospholipid exchange (Klinghardt)
--detoxamin suppositories, medicardium suppositories
--transdermal DMPS

We don't accumulate toxicity overnight and the elimination is also not overnight.

David said...


I too have no doubt that you have some metal toxicity going on. Nearly everyone does, but especially those with dental amalgams. I would find a biological dentist who is experienced at safely removing the amalgam fillings. This is priority #1. And yes, I know it's a big deal and it's expensive, but unfortunately those things off-gas mercury for decades, and the sooner you can get them out, the better.

The history of bulimia suggests a zinc deficiency, which might tie in with the KPU issue I mentioned earlier. Not saying this is always a problem with everybody, but given its growing prevalence it's worth checking out when you have toxicity and "mental" issues. Sometimes (not always) mega-doses of zinc are required (250 mg per day) along with huge doses of B6 (600+ mg) (Klinghardt has a KPU protocol that you can find with a google search), but this should really only be done under the supervision of a healthcare pro. If you take lots of zinc, don't forget to get enough copper. I wouldn't do a KPU protocol without having detox agents on board first, however. Your detox pathways open up and you'll get really sick if you don't have detoxers to "catch" the garbage that's released.

100 mcg of iodine seems like much too small of an amount to have caused any of your problems. Usually iodine doesn't cause trouble until it's in the several milligram range, and even that is usually only a problem if you're selenium deficient. Iodine can be problematic, but it's rare, and it would be even rarer at such a tiny mcg dose.

You asked for my thoughts on GABA. Love it. I like PharmaGABA rather than regular GABA, though. GABA is your primary anti-stress buffer. It takes precedence even over serotonin for this purpose. 5-HTP is great stuff too, but it serves a slightly different purpose. It's good for anxiety/depression/negativity, etc., while GABA is more specific for stress/burnout/overwhelmed. Both of them can help you relax and sleep better. For more info on all the various neurotransmitter precursors and how they relate to mood, check out "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross.

G's comments about diet/carbs is right on the money. As my experiences have widened, I've come to appreciate that some people do extremely well with a higher carb diet, provided those carbs come from non-grain sources(rice being a possible exception). Although I have been a pretty staunch low-carb proponent for quite some time (and still am in the right context), I see it more as a contextual necessity rather than a universal necessity. I have had some adrenal/thyroid issues that have seemed to improve with the addition of potatoes to my diet, for instance, and actually dropped a couple of pounds. I would never have believed a few years ago that one could actually lose weight by adding in starchy carbohydrates (it was a humbling experience after being so vehement about low-carb for so long), but it really just depends on your metabolic/hormonal context, and all of us are in a different place.

David said...

G mentioned several detox ideas. If you use any DMPS at all, I wouldn't use it until after the fillings are out. Zeolite is good stuff, and it's safe with the fillings still in. I like ACZ nano. Good for maintenance detox, though detox needs to focus on the gut at some point too. For this, consider Intestinal Metal Detox (IMD), a special kind of silica that binds strongly to mercury. I would also add chlorella 30 minutes before every meal just as a standard routine. This will detox you via enterohepatic interception -- which is to say that it binds up neurotoxins in the gut as they're squirted out of the gall bladder, which prevents them from being reabsorbed into the Enteric Nervous System. For chlorella, look for the kind with cracked cell walls as opposed to broken cell walls.

Anyway, books could be (and have been) written about this stuff, and I could go on, but I think the first step for you would be to find a practitioner to deal with the amalgams.

Best of luck!


Dr. B G said...


Dude why are you so SUPER AWESOME????

Meg is sooooo lucky ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. G. and/or David! Hope you are both well:)

Curious to know your thoughts on this:

It worries me, as I have been taking 5-htp daily for a couple of years now!

Thank you,