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Dr. James Wilson

Dr. James Wilson

James L. Wilson D.C., N.D., Ph.D. has helped thousands of people with Adrenal Fatigue regain their health and vitality during his 24 years of private practice.

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Adrenal Cell Extracts & Cortisol in Adrenal Fatigue

 by Dr. James Wilson

Probably the most reliable way of rebuilding the adrenal glandss from adrenal fatigue is the use of extracts from liquid or powdered porcine adrenal glands. The first recorded use of an adrenal extract was in 1898 when Sir William Osler administered a crude preparation of adrenal cells to a person with Addison’s disease. Since 1918, when they became commercially available, adrenal cell extracts have been a valuable and powerful form of therapy and have been used by thousands of medical doctors in the treatment of non-Addison’s type of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal cell extracts, also known as adrenal cortical extracts, are the liquid or powder extracts of the adrenal cortex. Their action is to support, fortify and restore normal adrenal function, thereby enhancing adrenal activity and speeding recovery. Adrenal cell extracts are not replacement hormones – in fact, the best type of extract to use has been processed to remove the adrenal hormones. What they provide are the essential constituents for adrenal repair, including the adrenal cell contents, such as nucleic acids (adrenal cell RNA and DNA) and concentrated nutrients, in the form and proportion used by the adrenals to properly function and recover from stress.
Various types of adrenal corticol extracts have been used orally and as injectables since the end of World War I and have rarely produced unwanted side effects. They have been, and continue to be, a fundamental part of the treatment protocol for adrenal fatigue used effectively for over 80 years, and provide most significant value for alleviating all levels of adrenal fatigue.
Today, by combining our knowledge of adrenal cortical extracts with lifestyle modifications, dietary supplements and herbal formulas, we can stabilise people with adrenal fatigue and accelerate their recovery more efficiently than ever before.
Coritsol versus Adrenal Cell Extracts
It is important to understand the difference between adrenal cell extracts and natural or synthetic cortisol and cortisol-type steroids such as cortisone, prednisone, flurocortisone, prednisolone and many other forms of adrenal steroid hormones. Adrenal cell extracts that have been processed to remove adrenal hormones nourish and help rebuild adrenal cells. As these cells recover, they can once again produce the proper amount of the various hormones needed for the many functions performed by the adrenal glands. By this means, they tend to normalise adrenal function. In contrast, corticosteroids, whether natural or synthetic, tend to reduce or shut down the activity of the adrenal glands. This happens because the brain senses the presence of these cortisol substitutes and, in response, with holds the signal of adrenalcorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) it would otherwise send to the adrenal glands to make more adrenal hormones. Thus, corticosteroids suppress the functions of the adrenal glands, over-riding the normal feedback loops that regulate and balance adrenal hormones. In spite of the fact that this action can produce dramatic initial improvements in symptoms, these symptomatic improvements come unfortunately with a heavy price.
Because corticosteroids mask the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and, when used in excess, depress immune function, the person taking them is at greater risk from stress and infection. Such therapy can become more hazardous than the original disease. Corticosteroids may have quick and dramatic symptomatic results, but unless they are used in their natural form and in physiologic doses that mimic the natural secretion of cortisol, they make the adrenals weaker rather than stronger.
It is difficult to get off a corticosteroid drug once on one for a while. People get caught in the "catch-22" that if they stop taking the corticosteroids, they crash and their symptoms return worse than ever because adrenal activity is suppressed. So they keep taking them, but the longer they take them, the harder it is for the adrenals to regain proper function.
It is important to remember that corticosteroids suppress adrenal function in proportion to the dosage. For this reason, it is important that steroid treatment should be withdrawn slowly, never abruptly.
Conversely, adrenal cell extracts adrenal function and, when taken over time, naturally strengthen the capacity of the adrenals for healthy function. Once the adrenal glands are responding sufficiently, a gradual step-down program can be initiated to reduce and even eliminate the need for adrenal cell extracts. In recovering from adrenal fatigue and stress, it is important to allow adequate time for the optimal adrenal function to become fully established before beginning a reduction schedule.

william Chisholm said,

November 10, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Do you recommend taking hydrocortisone in some cases?

Eric Bakker ND said,

November 10, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

Hi William,
In some cases, Hydrocortisone is very useful particularly in weaning a patient off Prednisone. Bear in mind that 5mg of Prednisone is equivalent to about 15mg of Hydrocortisone. You will find it more difficult in many cases to convince your doctor to “switch you over” though, as Hydrocortisone is more expensive and has a less anti-inflammatory action than it’s more powerful Prednisone cousin. So, to answer your question – yes, I’d prefer the patient on Hydrocortisone as it is less “devastating” side effect wise than Prednisone, and it is easier to step a patient down due to its less suppressive nature. I have patients taking Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder whist on Hydrocortisone doing very well. You can step them down slowly and eventually take them off the Hydroc., albeit slowly. Once you hit the 5mg “wall” of Prednisone you will find it very difficult. Hope this helps,

Eric Bakker ND

Andrew said,

November 21, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

I have had addison’s disease since 2004 and it is most likely of auto-immune origin.
I take 5mg prednisone daily and 0.2mg fludorcortisone daily. Can my adrenal glands be repaired by natural therapy with Dr Wilson’s adrenal rebuilders?


Eric Bakker ND said,

November 22, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

Hi Andrew,

If we are speaking absolutely 100% technically – NO, but you never know until you try! I have seen strange things happen in medicine, and when they say “it can’t be done” who are they to say these things? I have seen Addison’s patients do extremely well on the AF Program. I would recommend the Mild Program, and stay with one tablet (of the three) three times daily with meals, but take the Adrenal Rebuilder at least four times daily with meals. Give yourself six months and let me know (and the readers of this website) how you are progressing. I think you will be impressed with the improvements, and so will be many others. The burning question to me is ….why did you develop Addison’s ? If you can address the cause you will be in a better position to cure the problem regardless of what the “experts” say.

Kindest Regards,

Eric Bakker ND

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