Anyway, through this forum I discovered Dr. Lam. I think he is really good-and he got me to a much more functional stage of adrenal fatigue. However,
a few months ago he told me I would never get better until my brain stopped signaling my body to produce adrenaline.
This really makes no sense since first of all strengthening the adrenals in the first place prevents the adrenals from over reacting to stress, and thus prevents over release of epinephrine (adrenaline). This is the basis for adaptogens. Although I do agree that some adaptogens are too stimulatory such as rhodiola (Arctic root), American licorice root (G. glabra) and Panax ginsengs. On the other hand there are adaptogens that are actually calming such as Chinese licorice root (G. uralensis), and ashwagandha. In fact, ashwagandha is a natural beta blocker. Beta blockers reduce the release of epinephrine from the adrenals.
There are other herbs that also support the adrenals even though they are not really classified as adaptogens. For example nettle leaf, which also has a calming effect as well as a strengthening effect on the nervous system. Nettle is also a great herb for people who suffer from anxiety since it covers the two most common anxiety triggers. Most cases of anxiety are triggered from high lactate levels, which is why people tend to hyperventilate when having an anxiety attack. The body is attempting to get more oxygen to reduce the lactate. Same reason as we continue to breathe heavy after we stop heavy exercise. During the exercise we need more oxygen to both help the muscles to generate more energy, and to keep lactate levels down. When we stop the muscles no longer need the extra oxygen for energy production, yet we still continue to breathe heavy. The body is getting more oxygen in to the bloodstream to remove the excess lactate that has built up. As the lactate levels decline so does our respiration. So the same thing happens during many anxiety attacks. The person hyperventilates as the body tries to get more oxygen to reduce the lactate that is inducing the anxiety. The second common cause of anxiety is excess epinephrine release with a lack of acetylcholine, which is the balance to epinephrine. Nettle leaf helps with anxiety by reducing blood lactate levels, preventing over reaction by the adrenals and by helping increase acetylcholine levels.
In addition, we have to keep in mind that we cannot simply stop epinephrine release. Epinephrine is necessary for several reasons, one of the most important to counter histamine and leukotrienes in allergic reactions by stimulating the increase of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). This is why everyone is exposed to "allergens", but not everyone has allergies. If the adrenals are producing and secreting sufficient levels of antihistamine and antileukotriene epinephrine and anti-inflammatory and immune modulating corticosteroids the body does not develop allergic reactions. This is why doctors give people with allergic conditions epinephrine and steroids to counter allergic conditions. They are substituting for what the adrenals are failing to put out in sufficient quantities. Therefore, simply suppressing production/secretion of epinephrine does not make sense, especially in adrenal fatigue where people are more prone to allergic conditions to begin with. The trick is to strengthen the adrenals so they not only produce sufficient levels of epinephrine, but also properly control its release.