Adrenal Gland
Autoimmune Disease
Non Autoimmune Disease

What are the Adrenal Glands?

The adrenals, or adrenal glands, are small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. They are endocrine glands, which means they produce and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. The hormones released by the adrenal glands help regulate metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure, response to stress, and other essential functions.
infographic illustration on adrenal gland

Factors Influencing the Adrenal Glands' Activity

Factors influencing the adrenal gland activity: 

  • Stress 
  • Overconsumption of caffeine
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Glucocorticoid use
adrenal illustration

Nutrients that contribute to adrenal hormone function: 

  • Calcium
  • Chromium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc 
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Feeling Fatigued or Stressed Out?

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Hormones Produced by the Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands produce several hormones that are vital for bodily functions. These hormones can be categorized based on the part of the gland they come from – the adrenal cortex or the adrenal medulla.


Hormone secreted by the outer layer of the adrenal glands. It is the primary regulator of the water-electrolyte balance in the body. Electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) are important in starting/stopping most metabolic processes in the body. Too many electrolytes can lead to high blood pressure, while too few can result in low blood pressure. Aldosterone maintains the perfect balance of electrolytes and water for optimal functioning.

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine

(also known as  adrenaline and noradrenaline) are two hormones that are produced by the innermost area of the adrenal gland, known as the adrenal medulla. These hormones are what are commonly called your ‘fight or flight’ hormones, providing sympathetic stimulation when secreted. These hormones are responsible for activating the central nervous system by controlling raising blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar for quick energy for the body.


Cortisol is a hormone produced by the outer layer of the adrenal gland, most commonly known as the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol is an important factor in helping the body respond to stress by controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism and inflammation. Cortisol levels are often highest in the morning, ‘stressing’ us to wake up and start the day


Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone produced in the adrenal cortex. It serves as a crucial precursor to many important sex hormones, including estradiol, testosterone, and DHT (a more potent form of testosterone). DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and then naturally decline with age. While its exact functions are complex, DHEA is believed to play a role in energy production, immune system regulation, and mood.

Naturopathic Treatment Options at NES™

At Natural Endocrinology Specialists™ (NES), we provide a compassionate approach to adrenal health, focusing on natural treatments that nurture the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. Our treatments aim not just to address adrenal gland disorders but to enhance overall vitality and well-being.

Nutritional Support

We advise a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support adrenal function, emphasizing on B vitamins, C, and magnesium. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains.

Adaptogenic Herbs

Our experts prescribe adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and holy basil that help the body resist stressors, thereby supporting adrenal health and hormone balance.

Supplemental Therapy

We provide supplements like fish oil, vitamin C, and adrenal extracts that are critical in supporting adrenal function and mitigating the effects of stress on the body.

Stress Management

Mind-body practices like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are recommended to manage stress, which is crucial in supporting the health of the adrenals.

Lifestyle Modifications

We assess lifestyle factors including sleep, physical activity, and exposure to stress, offering personalized guidance to improve your daily routine and adrenal resilience.

Regular Assessments

We monitor adrenal health through non-invasive testing like salivary cortisol tests and provide adjustments in your treatment plan based on these results.

What is an Autoimmune Disease?

An autoimmune disease is when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks itself, thinking it is a foreign pathogen. In adrenal autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the adrenal gland, causing adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is when the adrenal glands do not produce enough adrenal hormones to support the body. The hormone most often impacted by adrenal insufficiency is cortisol.

Addison’s Disease

Addison's disease is a rare disorder where the adrenal glands produce insufficient amounts of crucial hormones, particularly cortisol and, often, aldosterone. It's typically caused by an autoimmune response damaging the adrenal glands, but can also result from infections or other underlying conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment, usually involving hormone replacement therapy, are vital for managing Addison's disease effectively.

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What is a Non Autoimmune Disease?

Non-autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system does not attack the body's own cells, unlike autoimmune diseases which are caused by abnormal immune responses. These conditions can stem from genetic factors, environmental influences, lifestyle choices, infections, or degenerative processes.

Specifically regarding the adrenal glands, non-autoimmune diseases can include issues caused by infections, tumors, genetic disorders, or other factors impacting hormone production, but not from an autoimmune response. For example, adrenal insufficiency may arise due to infections or cancer damaging the adrenal glands, rather than autoimmune factors

Adrenal Gland Tumors

Abnormal growths in the adrenal glands, which can be benign or malignant. They may disrupt hormone production, leading to various health issues depending on the affected hormones.

Conn's Syndrome

A disorder of the adrenal glands due to a benign tumor, leading to excessive production of aldosterone, a hormone that regulates sodium and potassium.

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A rare tumor that causes the adrenal glands to produce too much adrenaline, leading to high blood pressure, headaches, and heart palpitations.

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Cushing's Disease

This occurs when a pituitary gland tumor releases too much ACTH, prompting the adrenal glands to produce extra cortisol, even though the tumor isn't in the adrenal glands themselves.

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Cushing Syndrome

Cushing's Syndrome can be caused by an adrenal tumor which produces too much cortisol, or it can be due to other factors like tumors elsewhere that secrete ACTH or from taking high doses of corticosteroids for a long time.

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Adrenal Dysfunction

This condition occurs when the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, don't work properly. It can lead to either too much or too little production of hormones like cortisol or adrenaline.

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Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

A group of inherited disorders affecting the adrenal glands, causing them to produce an imbalance of hormones, potentially affecting growth and sexual development.

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Support Your Adrenals

In our busy society, it is easy to get overwhelmed, overworked and overtired. Taking simple supportive measures to ensure adrenal health is essential for maintaining happy hormones, energy levels and metabolic health in today's fast world.


1. Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of adequate sleep.
Limit caffeine intake, and never consume on an empty stomach.
3. Reduce stress with mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga.
4. Exercise to stimulate blood flow in the body.

Nutrients and Diet

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to provide steady energy and essential nutrients.
  • Include foods high in Vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium, as they are particularly beneficial for adrenal support.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water throughout the day.


  • Consider adaptogens like ashwagandha or Rhodiola, which are believed to help the body resist stressors.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or flaxseed oil can support overall hormonal balance.
  • Herbal supplements such as licorice root or holy basil may also be helpful, but it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

Naturopathic Support Treatments

  • Acupuncture can be an effective way to reduce stress and balance the body’s energy.
  • Hydrotherapy, using water at different temperatures, can help stimulate the adrenal glands and improve circulation.
  • Holistic counseling or stress management techniques to identify and manage personal stressors effectively.

Remember, while these tips can support adrenal health, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional, especially when considering supplements or new health regimens.

Contact us and get started!

Dr. Linda Khoshaba is the Leading Integrative Health and Hormone Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has extensive experience working in the field as a Hormone Specialist and Natural Endocrinologist.

7500 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd. Suite A 109
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Mon: 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Tue: 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Wed: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Thu: 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Fri: 8:30AM - 3:30PM
Sat - Sun: Closed
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