Adrenal Function in Alcoholism and Addictions

A common, but often ignored, component of alcoholism and some other addictions is fatigued adrenal glands.* Adrenal fatigue and its associated hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may often precede substance abuse, and create physiological and biochemical conditions that can be conducive to addiction – whether the addictive substance is alcohol, carbohydrates or stimulants.*

For many alcoholics, and food and drug addicts, these conditions also tend to intensify their craving for the abused substance.* Conversely, the adrenal glands can become fatigued by the continual overuse of alcohol, stimulants or carbohydrates.* In either case, adrenal fatigue may be an intimate component of addiction.*

Adrenal support can greatly enhance the treatment protocol for alcoholism and many other types of addiction.*Alcohol, carbohydrate and stimulant craving is often driven by the body's desperate need for quick energy that may result partly from weak or fatigued adrenal function.* For example, alcohol is a naked carbohydrate in an extremely refined form (more refined than white sugar) that quickly finds it way into the cells, forcing them to generate energy at a rapid rate. However, this sets off a blood sugar roller coaster and uses up nutrients that are not replaced by the alcoholic beverage. Although the alcohol consumption may temporarily compensate for some of the effects of low adrenal function, it also requires the adrenals to respond by manufacturing and secreting hormones to regulate the energy production, help balance blood sugar and maintain homeostasis.* As a result, the extra demands placed on the adrenals may further fatigue them, exacerbating the craving for alcohol.* In a similar way, carbohydrate binging and use of stimulants can temporarily mask, but ultimately exacerbate low adrenal function.*

We recommend that people experiencing adrenal fatigue do not consume alcohol or stimulants, and avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible.*