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Functional Medicine Toronto Approach: Herbal Supplements for Supporting Adrenal Function


Did you know that functional medicine from Toronto applies a “whole body” approach to wellness? In our clinic, we would apply this model to adrenal health concerns. 

These days, a big portion of our population is frazzled and overscheduled in their daily lives. This can impede optimal health and functioning in several ways. As we explained in our article “The Link Between Chronic Stress and Hormones”, persistent pressures can bear weight over different aspects of health, affecting your hormonal balance. Thus, a wide variety of health issues can ensue, including brain fog, body aches, and low energy levels. 

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC), our compassionate health team caters to patients as unique individuals – we understand that patients are not comparable, which is why we consider your mind and body in our gentle approach to health care. 

Here, we highlight why you should be aware of adrenal functioning for stress management, strategies and herbal supplements worth familiarizing yourself with, and how our functional medicine clinic works. 

Understanding adrenal functioning and cortisol levels

Also known as suprarenal glands, the adrenal glands are tiny yet they hold an impressive role in the human body! They’re situated over both kidneys and their “job” is to create and release certain hormones for immune function, blood pressure, and other essential bodily functions. 

One of the hormones made by the adrenals is cortisol, which is coined the “stress hormone”. Cortisol is released when you come in contact with “urgent” matters; this leads to changes in the body for reacting to the pressures you face. 

Cortisol has a wide variety of functions, such as these: 

    • Helps subdue inflammation
    • Manages metabolism, blood pressure and blood sugar levels
    • Regulates your sleep-wake cycle

When you’re constantly overwhelmed, your body can incessantly release cortisol; think of this like an “on” switch not being turned off! This excessive amount can cause numerous concerns, such as digestive issues, anxious feelings, sleep troubles, weight and mental clarity concerns, and an increased risk for heart disease. 

Scientific evidence has shown that stress can contribute to weak functioning, including poor hormonal health. This is why it’s crucial to understand how to personally manage stress levels. In fact, our integrative functional medicine therapies can be customized to cater to your cortisol and adrenal health concerns, which may potentially include lab tests, lifestyle modifications and oral supplements (i.e. herbal medicines). 

Functional medicine tips and herbal supplements 

In our clinic, we can create a customized, proactive, long-term health plan based on your individual components. This includes dissecting your medical history/family history, current lifestyle elements, environmental exposures, health goals, and functional lab tests. Once we assess the issues behind your health condition, we can tailor health tactics for you, especially for addressing chronic stress and high cortisol. In some cases, we may recommend the following functional medicine treatments and herbal supplementation for targeting adrenal health: 

    • Acupuncture: As a complementary therapy, acupuncture has been shown to help lower stress and promote balance in the body, and this has been demonstrated via studies. It has been affiliated with calming the nervous system, thereby reducing cortisol secretion. 
    • Revisions to your current sleep routine: We may advise on how to improve your sleep, as high cortisol levels have been linked to poor sleep. For instance, we may advise on refraining from alcoholic beverages at night, as they can hinder sleep quality. Additionally, you may want to stop drinking coffee at least six hours before bedtime.  
    • Nutritional and herbal supplements: If functional tests show you’re lacking nutrients, we may recommend taking supplements, which could potentially affect how your adrenal glands work. For instance, if you’re short on B vitamins, you might top these up with healthy dietary changes and supplementation, as B vitamins can affect how your body makes cortisol. We may also recommend adaptogenic herbs to help reinforce your response to stress. Here are some Amazon Rainforest adaptogenic herbs worth discovering:
      • Maca root: Originally used as a medicine by Native Peruvians, this is a superfood that shows promise in sustaining daily energy levels and immune function. It contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients. It may have positive effects on endurance, strength, energy, vitality, hormonal balance and sexual function. 
      • Suma root: This has been used for generations by the Amazon’s indigenous people as a “general tonic”, especially for helping with stress management and lowering blood sugar levels. It contains zinc, B vitamins, polyphenols, magnesium, and vitamin A, as well as germanium, a mineral  with anti-inflammatory functions. 
      • Saracura-Mira: As an adaptogen, this Amazonian plant has been studied for its various qualities; it’s been used as an immunostimulant and could help improve energy levels and cognition. It has the potential to act as a tonic for the liver and kidneys, low appetite, and digestive issues, and may encourage detoxification. 

The above information may or may not apply to your personal health, as our functional medicine providers customize therapies for biological needs only. Request your initial visit with us to learn how to manage your stress levels. 

About our personalized approach and functional medicine therapies

A chronic condition can manifest differently between individuals. Therapies that may offer symptom relief for one patient may not necessarily provide the same results for another patient. We recognize that everyone has distinctive bodies with different needs, which is why we design personalized integrative medicine services. 

Along with tackling personal stressors and cortisol levels, we can help promote disease prevention by assessing your biology. Functional medicine testing is available in our clinic to quantify various aspects of health, such as hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, complete blood count, pathogens that could be affecting your current gut health, and more. Results from your core tests allow us to personalize your treatment plan with integrated health care options, including conventional/Western medicine, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, hormone replacement therapies (hormone optimization programs), and other treatment modalities. 

The functional medicine model is applied to each of our treatment services, including high doses of nutrients for IV therapy. In addition to other forms of treatment and healthy lifestyle factors, intravenous therapy could help promote optimal wellness. 

Suggested Reading: Handling Women’s Hair Loss With Functional Medicine From Toronto

Personalize healthy stress management tools to improve adrenal functioning, energy levels, and more! Request your consultation for our functional medicine Toronto services today. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



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