An overview of adreno-cortical fatigue and resulting hyperestrogenism
Caroline D. Levin RN
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When the adrenal glands can no longer produce cortisol (the anti-inflammatory hormone), the precursors — or building blocks — accumulate and are rerouted down the adjacent hormone pathway. The result is elevated levels of adrenal estrogen and other sex steroid hormones. A good analogy would be boating down a river. If a dam were built across the river, the water would back up and you would have to steer the boat down a different branch of the river to continue on.
Steroid biosynthesis during adreno-cortical exhaustion
Large, bold text indicates hormones being produced in excess.
Signs of elevated adrenal estrogen closely resemble those of excess cortisol including, fatigue, confusion, depression, incontinence, irritability, seizures, and hyperpigmentation of the skin. Elevated estrogen raises levels of liver/pancreas enzymes (serum amylase/alkaline phosphatase), cholesterol, and triglycerides. It raises blood glucose levels initiating the equivalent of gestational diabetes.
Elevated estrogen also results in pancreatitis, kidney degeneration, bone marrow and immunoglobulin suppression (low IgA/inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, and infections), increased histamine activity (allergies/itching), and thyroid binding. It is catabolic, breaking down tendons and ligaments.
Elevated levels of hormone precursors, such as progesterones and androgens cause impaired glucose tolerance (high blood glucose levels), obesity, increased body core temperature (heat intolerance/ panting), increased appetite, aggression, thick coats, acne (small flesh-colored bumps), and bald patches.
Depleted cortisol levels cause anorexia, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness, organ failure, and death. Low-dose glucocorticoid replacement therapy has been reported to reduce excess sex- hormone production in both humans and dogs. The hypothalamus recognizes the presence of the oral cortisol replacement hormone, which decreases chronic ACTH stimulation. This in turn reduces the excessive production of adrenal sex-hormones.
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