How to Replenish the Adrenals
Interview with Dr. Sherrill Sellman
Interviewed by Raena Morgan
August 23, 2007
Raena Morgan: Hi, I’m Raena Morgan with iHealthTube, visiting with Dr. Sellman. Welcome Dr. Sellman. We’ve talking about adrenal exhaustion and liver problems. Could you address how we replenish the adrenals?
Dr. Sherrill Sellman: Good question. Let’s talk about the adrenals because the adrenals are so important for our hormonal health. They’re important for our immune system. They’re important for thyroid function. They’re important to deal with inflammation in our body. They just play a major role on so many levels. So what do we need to know to keep our adrenals strong and to nourish the adrenals? First of all, let’s go to some of the nutrients that the adrenals require. Of all the glands in our body the adrenals require the greatest amount of vitamin C. We need to be making sure we get adequate vitamin C. I personally encourage women to take 1 to 2 grams up to 4 times a day, especially if they’re having adrenal issues, like anxiety attacks, or allergies, or frequent colds, or hormonal issues, those night sweats.
RM: So you’re saying if we take adequate vitamin C—and how many grams did you say?
SS: Well you know what, there is the [situation] where the body doesn’t hold on to it so we should have it throughout the day—1 to 2 grams every day. If you’re noticing you’re really tired—you know a sign of adrenal exhaustion is that you wake up tired— you kind of drag yourself through the day, you never quite get your energy back. And another symptom of adrenal exhaustion is you kind of drag yourself through the day and then at night you suddenly get your second wind.
SS: So normally when you’re producing one of the key hormones by the adrenals called cortisol, which is your long term stress hormone, which is really the hormone that is affecting us when are dealing with adrenal exhaustion—the normal cycle is cortisol is very high in the morning. Its highest peak is in the morning, and you kind of wake up and get energetic and get ready to go, and then throughout the day it, [cortisol], begins to recede and then at night it will be at its lowest level, which means you’re now winding down and you’re getting kind of tired and ready for bed. But when those feedback mechanisms are compromised and impaired, what happens is that women start getting really energetic at night, and it’s a symptom of how compromised the adrenals are that you’re out of those natural cycles and rhythms. So, going back to what we need, vitamin C is important. Another key vitamin is vitamin B5.
SS: B5. So you need to take B5; it’s always better to take it as a B complex. We need to take a vitamin B complex.
RM: That’s what I understand.
SS: Yes, that’s another key thing. A third thing for the adrenals is that [they] really require protein. Part of my challenge when I was going through all these adrenal issues is that I had been a very ill informed, poorly practicing vegetarian. So I was protein deficient. And we need protein. Protein is vital to make the structures of our bodies, everything from enzymes to hormones to (unintelligible). We need to make sure that we have adequate protein because protein is one of the things that really supports the adrenals…to be nourished, to create the hormones that [they] produce, we need adequate protein. It’s always important to have minerals, so minerals like magnesium, which we’re very deficient in, is another important mineral that helps with the adrenals. So we need to be eating well and making sure we’re properly nourished with these key nutrients. The other thing the adrenals absolutely require…is rest.
RM: Rest. We need rest, yes.
SS: So we can be taking our vitamins, [but] I also failed to mention that there are adaptogenic herbs that are renowned for helping to regenerate and rejuvenate the adrenal glands. Some of those herbs are Rhodiola Rosea which is a Siberian herb, Ashwagandha is another important herb, Maca is another one, that’s a Peruvian herb. These have been known for centuries to help provide support for the adrenal glands. So those are great to be taking as well. But, no matter how much you do of those things if you are still running and going and pushing and not getting to sleep by 10:00 p.m., which really important to help the body rejuvenate and heal, and you don’t take some down time you’ll never really be able to rejuvenate the adrenals. So we need to look at balancing our lifestyle, as well as taking proper nourishment. All those things are crucial.
RM: So that’s how we replenish our adrenals?
RM: Thank you for that vital information Dr. Sellman.
SS: You’re welcome.