What is Adrenal Fatigue? – Part 2

Posted on October 24th, 2014


Hopefully Part 1 of ADRENAL FATIGUE explains to you how a deficient or defective cortisol can lead to elevated total estrogen in humans and in animals.

When this hormone imbalance occurs, the elevated adrenal estrogen may cause the following problems in the body:

It causes a deregulation of the immune system, which leads to a loss of recognition by the immune system of self-tissue, which can lead to allergies, autoimmunity and cancer.

It reduces the B lymphocytes ability to produce immunoglobulins and when the mucous immunoglobulin (IgA) in a human or animal is below a certain level, intestinal malabsorption may occur. An example of this is when a human or animal is in the hospital and is receiving intravenous or intramuscular medication and are improving, but when they are sent home on the same medication, in an oral form, their original disease begins to return. This may happen because they were unable to absorb the oral medication due to an IgA deficiency and the turmoil that happens in an unprotected gut. Please remember, immunoglobulin A is designed to protect all the mucous membranes in the body, including all those systems which contain mucous membranes.

This includes the mucous membranes of the mouth, gums and the rest of the digestive tract, including the respiratory tract, the urogenital track and in many areas of the skeletal system in their joints. Note: An IgA test level, should be standard for all patients that have general blood tests done, to ensure that the patient, can absorb oral medication, if is prescribed.

Elevated adrenal estrogen in canines and equines binds the receptor sites of T3 and T4. This usually is not a significant finding in a feline, unless they have Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). For further information on this subject, please see the article entitled, The Cause of Feline Leukemia and other Retroviral diseases.

In humans, the elevated estrogen may cause the production of a Reverse T3, and if the human patient has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and is placed on a T4 supplement, the Reverse T3 will turn the T4 supplement into more Reverse T3, and will not help the patient’s condition.

It is a known fact that elevated estrogen causes inflammation of all the endothelial cells of all the arteries in the body. Inflammation may be a concern with diseases like Alzheimer syndrome, certain forms of idiopathic epilepsy, autoimmunity and tumor growth. The estrogenic effects that may cause some of these diseases may never be discovered until TOTAL ESTROGEN is determined, which must include adrenal estrogen.

In canines, elevated total estrogen will cause seizures. The literature also indicates some woman, during the time their ovarian estrogen peaks, may experience migraine headaches and epileptic seizures. For further information on idiopathic epilepsy, please read Idiopathic Epilepsy.

Unfortunately, adrenal estrogen is usually not included in the estrogen measurements that are done in humans and in animals.

In animals, only estradiol is measured, unless the serum sample goes to a specific veterinary laboratory that will do the total estrogen test.

NOTE: Almost all human laboratories can do a total estrogen test, in addition to their usual estrogen tests.

Human females are usually tested only for estradiol, estrone and estriol.

The concern about elevated estrogen causing cancer, should make one question placing a postmenopausal woman on an estrogen supplement, without first testing her total estrogen. You can imagine the possible medical consequences that might occur, if her total estrogen is elevated and she is placed on an estrogen supplement!

In a female animal, total estrogen needs to be determined at the time the animal is not having her heat cycle, or has had a complete ovariohysterectomy.

In human females that are still menstruating, two total estrogen samples, may be needed. The first sample should be taken at the time the females ovaries are the least active, and again, at the time her ovaries are the most active.

The difference in the two levels of total estrogen, will help indicate, how much adrenal estrogen is present.

Human males are only tested for estradiol and not total estrogen, and this is why so many forms of estrogen producing tumors have not been recognized and determined why they happened, because their estradiol levels were found to be normal.

I personally believe that all cancer patients, whether human or animal, even before therapy begins, should have a total estrogen test performed, even if the other routine forms of tested estrogen were found to be normal.

For those of you that are more academically inclined, the following thoughts about estrogen, may be of interest to you and add further information to my clinical findings. An article entitled:

Estrogen-Induced Generations of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species, Genedomy and Estrogen-Dependent Cancer
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, 33199, USA

Their paper makes interesting comments about estrogen causing oxidation problems, which can certainly create damaging free radicals, genetically damaged cells, including many more cellular abnormalities, including the possibility of causing tumor growth.

The following is a quote from the first part of their article:

"In addition to the direct effect of estrogen on mitochondria and the redox cycling of catechol estrogen, estrogen-induced proinflammatory cytokines, such as interluken-1 beta (IL-1-beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) also generate reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RO/NS). Different cellular signaling pathways may operate in response to genotoxic damage, cell apoptosis, or cell growth. There is increasing evidence supporting the genome of the cells is produced by oxidative attack. Furthermore, the RO/NS generated by estrogen, in combination with receptor-mediated proliferation of genetically damaged cells, may be involved in tumor development."

The world needs to recognize the fact that a suppression of the zona fasciculata and its cortisol production is usually different in humans than it is in animals.

For many years in humans, it has been recognized by changing lifestyle and avoiding as many environmental hazards as possible, along with many supportive vitamins and natural substances, helps control the oxidative stress and free radical production that accompanies a temporary deficiency in cortisol from the middle layer adrenal cortex, referred to as the zona fasciculata.

This cortisol imbalance found in animals, in the middle layer adrenal cortex, is usually permanent, because of the genetic damage that occurs due to inbreeding, which causes the gene pool to become too similar.

Understanding this, will hopefully help you to realize that supportive vitamins and natural supplements often will not stop the production of oxidative stress and the creation of damaging free radicals until the excess total estrogen levels have been corrected.

Here in lies the difference between only treating the EFFECTS, as opposed to treating the CAUSE.

Hopefully my thoughts will shed some light on the fact that medically, in this instance, people are different from animals.

During my 50 years of practicing clinical veterinary, it has been vitally important to find and realize this difference between humans and animals. Hopefully articles like this, will allow me to also share my findings, with the medical world.

The treatment between man and animals may differ for Adrenal Fatigue, but what is even more important, is that total estrogen is measured, and not just partial estrogen. Once this has been determined, proper medical therapy can begin.

It is also important for people and pet owners to realize that cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone that they have no reason to fear, but rather understand its importance, and respect its value in maintaining good health, when used properly.

For those humans, canines and equines that have the need for ongoing cortisol replacement, including a daily thyroid supplement will help increase the metabolism of the liver and the kidneys. This will insure that the daily dose of replacement cortisol is broken down within a 24 hour period, so there is no daily accumulation of the cortisol supplement, which soon will become an overdose without the thyroid supplement.

Merely having cortisol levels measured by themselves may prove to be of little value.

It is will always be best to measure the other hormones and immune values that the cortisol regulates.

Please remember, the endocrine system regulates the immune system and for more information on their regulatory importance, please read the Animal and Human protocols.

One final note: The time has come to reclassify Adrenal Fatigue into two different zona fasciculata diseases. Please realize, these are only my suggestions.

The first disease classification, would pertain to a TEMPORARY middle layer, adrenal cortex, suppression of cortisol, which mainly effects humans, and very few canines, felines and equines. It may have been diagnosed as ADRENAL FATIGUE, but might be better referred to, as an Adrenal Cortisol Fatigue Syndrome.

The second disease classification, would pertain to a group of patients, which effects mainly canines, felines and equines. This disease manifests itself, as a PERMANENT defective, middle layer adrenal cortex, that produces either a deficient or defective cortisol, which with both imbalances, will cause the production of excess, zona reticularis, adrenal estrogen.

I refer to this disease complex, caused by the middle layer adrenal cortex, as ATYPICAL CORTISOL ESTROGEN IMBALANCE SYNDROME (ACEIS)

These are only my thoughts as a veterinary clinician, and I hope they help you and your pet live a longer happier, healthier life.


I personally believe, no human or animal female, should ever be prescribed an estrogen supplement, without first checking total estrogen which includes ovarian estrogen and adrenal estrogen.


Dr. AL Plechner