The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are particularly vulnerable to environmental toxicity. A reason for this is that they contain the same enzymes that the liver uses in the first phase of detoxification. The liver works in two phases and the metabolites at the end of phase 1 are often more toxic than they were at the beginning. Phase 2 enzymes further process these metabolites for safe elimination. The adrenal glands make phase 1 enzymes but not those of phase 2. Therefore the adrenals are exposed to the most toxic substances in the body – the metabolites produced by phase 1 enzymes. They are bathed in these toxic substances disproportionately to the rest of the body.
In the late 1990s a book called “Our Stolen Future” was written by 3 anthropologists describing their own research and that of others looking at the effects of environmental toxins on human and animal physiology. They expected to find a correlation with cancer, but actually hormonal issues were most evident.
Chronic illness usually occurs in people who have higher levels of toxicity. To return to health it is important to have good adrenal function. The process of aging involves a reduction in the output of adrenal hormones. We can supplement with adrenal hormones to safely and effectively achieve and maintain health.
Detoxification treatments may be undertaken to clean the adrenal glands which can mean that they will function well again but during the detoxification process supplementation may be necessary.
Hormones are crucial for healthy animal functioning. During detoxification we need to ensure adequate circulation. Thyroid hormone activity is important for this and cortisol activity is necessary for adequate thyroid function because it generates thyroid hormone receptors. Levels of thyroid hormone can be normal in the blood but without adequate numbers of receptors thyroid activity is low and the patient will be clinically hypothyroid. Suboptimal levels of adrenal hormones and low thyroid activity often accompany each other.