My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 89 … Adrenal Fatigue

adrenalsIf you’re experiencing Parkinson’s, chances are you are also experiencing adrenal fatigue. The primary cause of adrenal fatigue, stress, is also one of the root causes of Parkinson’s.

The adrenal glands are walnut size glands that sit on top of the kidneys and are part of the endocrine system, along with the thyroid gland, pituitary gland and so on. Their primary function is to help the body take action during times of stress by producing certain hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine, etc. When a person is exposed a temporary stress the adrenal glands function quite normally. But when a person is in the state of chronic stress, the adrenal glands eventually fatigue and lose their ability to produce these important hormones that are required to meet the demands of stress [ironic eh?]. The result is low blood pressure, fatigue, inability to concentrate, anxiety [also symptoms of PD], as well as chronic infections and respiratory infections.

According to, there are six other indicators of adrenal fatigue:

  1. You feel tired for no reason.
  2. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  3. You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
  4. You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
  5. You crave salty and sweet snacks.
  6. You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.

According to Dr. Robert Morse, a Florida based naturopath, the question isn’t do you have adrenal fatigue, it is how severe is your adrenal fatigue because we are all living under constant stress.

If you are experiencing PD and certainly if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you are well advised to take steps to strengthen your adrenal glands.  This should include taking vitamin C, B-complex, magnesium [may include calcium, zinc and potassium], as well as a good adrenal support.  An ideal adrenal support will include licorice, ashwagandha, rhodiola and Siberian ginseng.  Two brands that have worked very well for me are Natural Factors Stress Relax Serenity Formula and AOR Ortho Adapt Vegan.  Fresh parsley, dandelion and cilantro are also recommend.

It is also important to reduce stress as much as you can so as to give your adrenals a rest. Do everything you can to calm your mind [it’s our thoughts that cause us to feel stressed]. Do deep breathing exercises, laugh, meditate, bring your mind into the present moment, exercise, do things you enjoy and laugh some more. Also, drink lots of fresh spring water and make sure there’s a sufficient amount of sea salt in your diet.

Studies have shown that it can take up to two years to correct adrenal fatigue, so be prepared to stick with it for awhile [until well after the symptoms have cleared].

Because the adrenal glands are so closely tied to the kidneys and thyroid gland, it is also advisable to take a kidney support as well as iodine for the thyroid.

Be extremely cautious about taking cortisol.  Personally, I wouldn’t go near the stuff, but if your health practitioner recommends it, take only a small amount for a short period of time. Everything I have read about cortisol says exercise extreme caution. Taking cortisol can cause your adrenal glands to shut down, putting your health very much at risk. For people experiencing PD, an overabundance of stress hormones like cortisol is one of the primary causes of the PD, so it really should be avoided. What is more, when you have cortisol in your system, your body thinks it’s under stress, so it doesn’t rest [which adversely affects your sleep]. I think an adrenal support is a far better option. It has certainly worked for me.

Perhaps research will eventually show a connection between Parkinson’s and adrenal fatigue.  In the meantime, if you’re experiencing fatigue, anxiety and or low blood pressure, it would be a good idea to take an adrenal support.  At the very least, it may help you with your Parkinson’s symptoms.

Have an awesomely strong day!


8 comments on “My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 89 … Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Thank you so much Fred for blogging about your journey with Parkinson’s. But more specifically, thank you so much for showing that we can heal ourselves and that we’re better off with out these strong pharmaceuticals can harm and even kill.

    I am also on a journey similar to yours. I’m recovering from not just adrenal fatigue but actual adrenal failure. And I’m also doing it without pharmaceuticals. And it feels great. This journey has done wonders for my soul.

    I’m happy to see that you’ve also posted a caution about cortisol. My health problems were caused by Prednisone. Nobody told me I couldn’t just stop.

    It’s been a long road to recovery (4 years) but it’s been one heck of a trip; as I’m sure yours has been as well.

    I look forward to reading more about your journey.
    Peace and love, Lorlinda

    • Hi Lorlinda! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! I really believed from day one that a natural approach was my only option. There simply was no way that I was going to take medications. It’s not the solution for recovering from Parkinson’s.

      I hope you are doing well and are well on the road to recovery!

  2. It is not a big deal to take cortisol to support the adrenals. The goal is not to replace the adrenal cortisol production. I take Thorne Adrenal Cortex 2-3 times a day. Cortisol through a doctor, 2.5 mg of bio-identical hormone (Cortef/hydrocortisone) 2-4 times a day. Best times to take it is early morning, 10-11a, 2-3p if necessary, an d 5-7p if necessary.

    I would never take a synthetic or a high dose cortisol like prednisone.

    Herbs are usually not a good idea for people with low cortisol. They work great for people that have high cortisol.

    Have you tried to get your thyroid optimized? Check out stopthethyroidmadness dot com for more info. A great book about hormones – Heath, Hormones, and Happiness (2007) by Steven Hotze.

      • Fatigue, especially in the morning, and hypoglycemia. I have had 4 times cortisol saliva testing done that confirmed the obvious.

        I found this on a tweet that ZRT lab dot com have discounts through November 18. Use code htm10 for 10 off 160+ dollars, code htm25 for 25 off 300+.

        Last night I started looking into essential oils and found nutmeg oil and frankincense oil to be beneficial for the adrenals.

        A vitamin C flush is good for the lymphatic system. For you it would not be hard on your body since you have detoxed before.

        I mentioned thyroid because I see things like smokers and people who drink coffee have a lower chance of getting Parkinson’s. Nicotine and coffee boost the metabolism like thyroid.

        You may want to have your free t3 and free t4 levels checked to see where you are in the range. It is difficult finding a doctor that test and treats thyroid correctly. You want a doctor open to prescribing t4 and t3 products not just t4 products like Synthroid. I found Synthroid added more stress to my body than Armour. Asking a compounding pharmacy if they can recommend any doctors may be good way to find a good hormone doctor.

        I take Lugols iodine. I do run warmer taking it but I’m not sure how high it pushes my free levels up through the range. I have been spending most of my time messing with the adrenals that I have not gotten around to messing with the thyroid.

        Thank you for what your doing.

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