- Rational Approaches to Healing
- Muscle Response Testing and Pitfalls
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Therapies
- Devices (Overview)
- Essences and Homeopathics
- Diets, Recipes and Homemade Interventions
- Drugs and Destructive Methods
- Issues with…
- Imbalances in…
- Circulation & Heart
- Structure, Bones, Joints, Teeth
- Lungs & Sinus
- Endocrines – Thyroid, Adrenals, Gonads
- Kidney and Bladder
- Liver & Gall Bladder
- Immune System
- Nerves and Brain
- The Skin
- The Eyes
- Client Info
Endocrines – Thyroid, Adrenals, Gonads
Endocrines ‘Who’s in control here, anyway?’
Your endocrines are your regulators. Along with your liver, they are in charge of how you feel. Giddy? Depressed? Fatigued? Anxious? In pain? And you think, “What is wrong with me?” Ans. Unbalanced endocrines. So nourish them all into proper function. Your mood, energy and sleep will greatly improve.
Your endocrine or glandular system involves your pituitary, thyroid, gonads, adrenals, pancreas and other HORMONE makers and backups. These are especially implicated for those who experience depression, anxiety, mood swings, ADD, ADHD, behavior disorders, diabetes, weight gain, low libido, insomnia, fatigue, excess sweating, heart racing/palpitations, cravings for specific foods or drinks, swings in body temperature, poor memory/concentration, menstrual disorders AND chronic inflammation. Your endocrines also give you personality, so a person lacking animation may simply have an endocrine imbalance as does the person who displays extremes of emotion.
If you also have specific joint pain consult with the Organ/Muscle Correspondence chart for more clues to see if any endocrine is the underlying cause of that joint pain.
What goes wrong here? Causes of Endocrine Imbalance
1. First of all, our thoughts activate OR inhibit certain nerve impulses and glandular secretions that in turn, activate OR inhibit endocrine/organ response and function. Continually pinging your endocrines with stress creates a need for nutrients to continually make stress-response hormones. That’s it. Bad attitudes and thoughts inhibit ‘feel good’ chemicals in the blood. So at some point in the healing process – maybe not at first – the thought patterns must be addressed. The Address the Stress post has lots of options regarding how to lessen or even eliminate the impact. In the mean time consider the following nutritional support BECAUSE when your endocrines ain’t happy – ain’t NO body happy!
2. The second cause of endocrine imbalance is nutritional. These organs need minerals and other nutrients which are not usually on our plate and become in short supply when used up by chronic stress. Not to worry. Herbs are the best remedy here – see below.
3. The third cause of endocrine imbalance or malfunction is toxins – pharmaceutical or environmental. In 1996 researchers had identified 51 synthetic chemicals (that are pervasive in our environment, such as pesticides) that disrupt the endocrine system. It is a LOT more now. A well stocked liver can filter many of these out.
No matter what the insult to your endocrine glands, let’s balance them all so they function properly. Without knowing where you are out of balance, the best supplement to take is…
MasterGland (#2870-7). Begin w/ 4B, 4b. I’ve received feedback that this combo has done everything from improve energy and reduce sugar cravings to eliminate the need for certain thyroid meds. It is very safe and basically feeds your whole endocrine system. Let’s look at specific endocrines and their associated indicators and sorrows for clues.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland which secretes at least 5 hormones (T1, T2, T3, T4, and Calcitonin) into the blood stream which have profound effects on the way we feel AND look. The liver’s role is to CONVERT T4 to the others (except Calcitonin) by basically stripping off an iodine atom. My clients taught me that thyroid dysfunction developed after liver dysfunction and the indicator of both was knee pain. See liver involvement below.
- T1 stimulates brain function and a deficiency may create brain fog or inability to call words to mind.
- T2 affects heart rate, urination and defecation, so if you tend to be constipated OR cannot seem to do without diuretics, you may want to just nourish your thyroid – I mean you won’t be sorry. Often folks have heart symptoms and zillions of tests are run on the heart (some toxic), and the heart checks out fine. But the kinds of things that control the heart are rarely investigated – like the endocrines and the nerves.
- T3 is your burner. It burns up trash in the blood like triglycerides or excess cholesterol and keeps you warm. So if these blood levels run high or you are cold when everyone else is comfortable, nourish your thyroid a little to balance it out.
- T4 is an inactive or storage form with 4 iodine atoms which is converted to the active forms above in the liver (if it is working, of course) when needed by the body.
- Calcitonin. Can you guess what this might do? This is one of many ingredients needed to build bone. That is why folks on synthetic thyroid hormone often develop osteoporosis.
The thyroid is supposed to respond to the hormone TSH which is secreted by the pituitary gland. Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed when TSH is low to normal and T3 and/or T4 are high. Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when TSH is high and T3 and/or T4 are low. From a naturopathic standpoint the body is doing the hypo or hyper condition for a good reason. Herbs will help normalize the function, not push it one way or the other.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism (abnormally high thyroid secretions) include: increased sweating; fine and “limp” hair texture; tachycardia; atrial fibrillation; tremors; impaired concentration; nervousness and anxiety (most common symptom); insomnia; hyperdefecation (too frequent bowel movements); nausea and vomiting; weight loss.
More common in my experience is hypothyroidism; however, I believe that these people go through a period of hyperthyroidism before sinking into the hypo state. Many have reported such experiences to me.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (abnormally low thyroid secretions) include: dry skin; puffiness; slow pulse (less than 60 beats/minute); depression; sluggishness; dementia; constipation; menstrual irregularity; decreased libido; decreased metabolic rate; weight gain (usually ~ 20 pounds); cold intolerance; elevated cholesterol (high LDL), brittle nails that tend to peel, lateral eyebrow hair loss, and a thick tongue.
I have found depression, cold intolerance and salt cravings most common indicators among those with hypothyroidism. Also an unbalanced thyroid will cause the eyes to protrude or bulge slightly and sometimes there is swelling on either side at the base of the neck.
The standard medical treatment is with synthetic T4 only. It is basically a form of ‘hormone replacement’. One must ask the obvious question: Why not feed and nourish the thyroid so it works better? Why not eat foods high in iodine OR take herbs known to nourish the thyroid into proper function? The common sense answer has been drowned out. (My clients taught me that these meds can cause annoying dry mouth)
As you do the sensible thing and nourish your own thyroid to work properly (OR nourish your other endocrines to do the thyroid’s job, OR support liver function (see below)) it will slowly begin to respond by making all the hormones it is supposed to make – in the right amount and at the right time. To this end I recommend Thyroid Support (#1228-6) 3B. If you have a history of thyroid imbalances in your family, you may want to continue on some level of Kelp (#410-3) 3B and alternate with Thyroid Activator (#1224-0) 3B. As you nourish your own thyroid to work properly and you continue to take your synthetic pharmaceutical drug (Synthroid, etc.), you may begin to experience the side effects of too much thyroid med in your body. These side effects of too much (which you are adding to what your own thyroid is beginning to produce) may be unpleasant and unexpected. Be on the lookout for the following: nervousness or ‘failure to calm’, insomnia, increased body heat, rapid heart rate, (these are the 4 most common, then) rash, hives, diarrhea, headache, and muscle cramps. If you experience any of these often, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Often your symptoms are not reflected by the blood tests. He may want to adjust your dosage accordingly.
Liver involvement in thyroid imbalances.
Dr Whitman made a passing comment in one of my classes that ‘all thyroid problems come from the liver.’ So I watched my clients to see if they concurred. They convinced me he was right. The other data was the protrusion of the eyes, as eye issues always go back to the liver. My theory is that the thyroid backs up the liver in some of its functions. To do this, more iodine along with other nutrients are needed and often depleted leaving the liver’s job undone and the thyroid burned out (hypo). If you have thyroid issues and also fit the symptom picture of the liver imbalanced person, then do the Gentle Liver Cleanse and take MasterGland as described above. You will feel SO much better.
The adrenals sit above the kidneys. In addition to being your ‘fight or flight’ gland, they help the body adapt to different environments (heat to air-conditioning, sea level to 30,000 feet, awake to asleep, including exposure to pollen and foods), respond to inflammation and injury as well as handle stress response.
- Adrenal hormones increase the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats resulting in more energy for the body to utilize– like when you have to run from the bear.
- Adrenal hormones make the heart beat harder and faster to pump more blood to the muscles and brain and increases breathing rate– like when you have to run from the bear.
- Adrenal hormones speed up the metabolism rate, break down muscle tissue to create instant fuel for the body to respond to stress – like when you have to run from the bear.
- Adrenal hormones activate blood clotting mechanisms to prepare for possible physical injury– like when you have to run from the bear.
The problem is ‘the bear’ is often in our mind and instead of running, we sit there and our tissues stew in our adrenalin rush.
The adrenals are also the back up for other endocrine glands and are responsible for many vital bodily functions. They produce 28 different hormones (including male and female hormones). They regulate minerals and maintain water balance in the body, and they work with the thyroid gland to provide and sustain energy levels.
If the body is lacking moisture in one place (e.g. dry eyes, mouth, skin) and yet at the same time has excess moisture, (a.k.a. swelling or sweating) in another place (ankles, hands, etc.) this is a major indicator of a need to nourish your adrenals and Chinese HY-C (#1886-5) is best for this and you can add Licorice Root (#420-6) to this for better results. Licorice Root also helps with the sweating that occurs with hypoglycemia.
How to know adrenals are exhausted.
- Chronic fatigue coupled with restless sleep and eventually you start waking in the middle of the night for no reason and can’t fall back asleep.
- Craving for sugar and caffeine. This is an attempt to balance your blood sugar after many, many ‘bear’ episodes.
- Mental confusion, loss of short term memory. Your brain runs on glucose which your adrenals are supposed to balance, along with your liver and pancreas. When the adrenals are out to lunch and your brain has nothing to run on, what do you expect? This is where my problems were.
- Emotional sensitivity (easily moved to tears, anger, etc). Remember, your endocrines are largely responsible for how you feel and your adrenals help you adapt.
- Quivering tongue, pulsing pupils and vertical cracks on the nails. I don’t know why these happen but they are a reliable indicator of adrenal exhaustion. So stick your tongue out and make sure it doesn’t quiver.
- Chronic inflammation or asthma that responds to steroids. It is no problem to nourish your own adrenals into making your own steroids with the recommendations below. Prednisone will not do as good a job as your own steroid making factory. Plus your adrenals do so much more for your body than man-made steroids can.
Two really powerful formulas to correct both the liver and adrenal imbalance are HY-A (#950-0) and Chinese Nervous Fatigue Formula (#1884-7). I can come close to guaranteeing that if you do 2 bottles of each, taking 3-breakfast and 3-bedtime of each, your sugar craving will dissipate and you will sleep so much better and if you experience any anxiety, it will also greatly subside. Mood swings also balance out with this protocol. After this, find how little you can take to keep the liver and adrenals balanced and your sugar/carb craving and/or anxiety at bay. Another shotgun approach is to do the Adrenal Support (#1507-0) 3B, 3b for a week then cut back to 2B, 2b. (B=Breakfast, b=bedtime) for 3 bottles worth then see how little you need for the stress load you carry. You can also alternate between the 1st and 2nd recommendations. In extreme cases where there is lots of inflammation, you may need to add DHEA-F (#4202-2 for women) or DHEA-M (#4200-7 for men), at the 3B, 3b level so the adrenals that you are building up can have some materials to make the needed pain relievers.
And now for some encouragement.
Hey Pat!!! Its **********! I came to your website desperate one sleepless night and read and read and read! I am so thankful! I am still aiming on making an appointment but started with some basic lifestyle things from your website first. I was irritated and sleepless and in one week of your recommendations (4B, 4B – Chinese nervous and Hy-a) I am 90% better already! Thank God I still had some of those herbs, and by the time I was out, my order came in from Nature’s Sunshine! I am also doing the ultimate greens and fiber.
I went to the dr and they wanted to put me on Ambien, and anti depressants, I just wanted my thyroid checked! I was up praying and went to your site! I was almost word for word what you described. Could get to sleep but wake for no reason, SO IRRITABLE, and this was going on for like 2 months. I was a mess. This was where I was Nov 27, and I am getting better everyday. I slept through the night within 4 days of the herbs! Thank you for putting all that on your website. There is so much on there, and I am so EXCITED about it all! I was expecting 2 full bottles until I felt better…….so 4 days was AWESOME!
Female Problems (PMS, menstrual problems, etc.)
OK well books are written on this, but here are my experiences helping my clients resolve these things.
First thing to understand is that since women’s hormones have a natural cycle, to maintain such a rhythm both the production side (which increases hormone levels) and the reduction side (which decreases hormone levels) need to be addressed. That is, we need to both address the kinds of things that make the levels of certain hormones go up when they should and in the right amounts, AND, the kinds of things that cause the levels to go down when they should and in the right amounts.
1. The production side. The female organs produce female hormones according to stimuli from the pituitary. If all these are present and properly nourished your production side is working well. To support and nourish these, the best general supplement to take is MasterGland (#2870-7). Begin w/ 4B, 4b. If you are missing one of your producers, not to worry, properly nourished adrenals will step in and produce these same hormones. If the adrenals are exhausted (see above for indicators) the production side suffers and symptoms result. In these cases, take both MasterGland and the appropriate adrenal formulas to increase production.
2. The reduction side. The liver is the most important reducer of too much hormones in the blood. In this function, the liver is a hormone balancer. So, for example, if you were told you are ‘estrogen dominant’ does that mean you should smear on progesterone to ‘balance’ your hormones? Nope. Cleanse your liver so it can better reduce the excess estrogen in the blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine female problems are first addressed by decongesting the liver so it can balance out the excesses. To this end I’d recommend the Gentle Liver Cleanse.
Erectile Dysfunction is most commonly caused by blood pressure medications or other medications. The Unsupportive Methods post tells you how to find out. If you are not on any medication then erectile dysfunction can be a harbinger of heart and vascular problems which can be serious. PLEASE go to the Circulation Post for more info on this because these can be fatal. Improving general circulation with something like GC-X 3B 3D and/or Target Endurance 3B, 3D is a good place to begin, and if you want to be more aggressive add Cardio Assurance (#553-2) 2B, 2D. If the ED improves after 3 weeks then you have an important data point (and that is, you do not have a viagra deficiency but a potentially lethal circulation problem which you have found how to resolve.) If not resolved by improving circulation only then add Korean Ginseng 3B 3D while staying on the others. If you improve in a few weeks then stress is causing your problem – which is another important data point. AFTER a course on these without improvement, THEN add X-Action Reloaded. This is a safe herbal viagra that is taken (2 capsules) about an hour before romantic activity. 😉
The new pharmaceutical push is to diagnose men with ‘low T’ aka low testosterone. They will make you think that all your problems will go away and you will feel like you are 21 again with testosterone application/injection. No. Don’t do it.
The cascade to ‘low T’ begins with stress, fatigue, depression/irritability/discouragement, then decreased stamina, then decreased drive, then sweet and carb cravings, then fat deposition to hips and breasts, loss of libido, difficulty sleeping, digestive challenges and acid reflux. Then the doc measures your testosterone levels. Huh?
Although the doc may want to order testosterone applications/injections, this does not address the underlying adrenal exhaustion and digestive imbalances which will continue to degrade quality of life. If these underlying imbalances are addressed, libido will return naturally and testosterone levels improve.
Some contributing factors to low testosterone are …
1) stress exhausted adrenals (see above adrenal section)
2) cholesterol medications (cholesterol is a precursor to male hormones)
3) exposure to progesterone creams used by women topically or vaginally as progesterone is an antagonist to testosterone.
4) liver congestion (that post will show you if you have other signs of liver issues)
The men I have worked with have shown me what works. Here is a shotgun approach to each of the 1-4 above.
1) Adrenal Support 2B, 2D and C. Nervous Fatigue 4B, 4D
2) Talk to your doc
3) Talk to your wife
4) Do the Gentle Liver Cleanse.
©Pat Block ND 2007
Consider this…..I have learned more from very sick people than I have from double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over studies. My sick clients taught me how to get them well - things that even my teachers didn't know. I have such smart clients.
** Important Warning **Nothing on this site is FDA approved. Nothing I write here is intended to be medical advice. Follow my recommendations at your own risk. Results may vary, and blah, blah, blah. So if the required warnings have not scared you away, then you have a chance. I'm reporting here what kinds of approaches actually helped very sick people get well, AND the kinds of things that actually made them sick (and it usually isn't lack of exercise, weight, menopause or smoking - it is the underlying cause of all those things.)
** Important Posts **
In case you were wondering..B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner, b=bedtime. Make sure to read What to Expect on an Herbal Program (in the Herb menu) before beginning. Dosages given are about what my clients benefit from. You may be different. Begin slowly and see how each recommendation benefits you.
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