How The Tiny Adrenal Gland Has a Big Effect on Our Companion Animal’s Holistic Health
The adrenal gland is a relatively small tissue adjacent to our pet’s kidneys. It’s such a tiny organ that veterinarians, in the past, didn’t even consider it essential in assessing and treating animal diseases. However, as human knowledge evolved, we have proven that the adrenal gland performs a critical job in helping our pets live longer.
The adrenal gland, as part of the endocrine system, controls the delicate balance of hormones in the body. Therefore, it is directly responsible for maintaining the homeostasis necessary for our pets to develop well. It is, therefore, essential for pet owners and animal lovers to protect our beloved companion’s adrenals, too, if we want to maximize our experience with them.
Unfortunately, the adrenals are pretty delicate, especially in aging pets, and can suffer from a litany of illnesses. Adrenal fatigue, Cushing’s, and Addison’s conditions are relatively common disorders that time and again bring pets to the veterinarian’s clinic every year.
What It Could Mean to Neglect Our Pet’s Adrenal Glands
And since it’s an internal issue, symptoms may be difficult to spot early and can be challenging to treat. As advocates of animal health and pet longevity, we at alchemypet thought that giving you the tools to spot possible signs of adrenal gland problems early is the best way to combat these incessant problems. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the issues and their causes, treatments, and, most importantly, how to prevent them from happening again.
Since the adrenal gland is one of the principal organs of the endocrine system, it’s responsible, either directly or indirectly, for producing essential hormones such as steroids, epinephrine, oldster, and cortisol, mainly stress-response hormones.
Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue which, in medical terms, is referred to as Addison’s. And when the adrenal glands become too overburdened, the production of these essential hormones can get affected. In turn, the rest of the body’s functions are also greatly influenced by the underproduction of these hormones.
So, if your pet is suffering from prolonged stress due to inescapable circumstances such as a move, or sudden change in routines that lead to social isolation, it’s important to support their adrenal glands with the proper supplement.
While adrenal fatigue is generally considered a mild illness, if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to more severe conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, and adrenal failure. So, it’s crucial to spot adrenal fatigue early on.
Symptoms can include:
- Sudden decrease in appetite and weight loss
- Poor gut health
- Hair loss
- Low appetite
- Low heart rate
If caught early, owners can manage the disease with therapeutics. Ginkgo Biloba, for example, might be excellent for anti-inflammatory purposes, but its excellent stress-reduction properties can be a perfect way to fight off early-stage Addison’s.
However, a vet visit may be the only way to help your beloved pet once the disease reaches critical mass. The most likely method that they’ll go with is hormone replacement. In this case, veterinary services need to determine precisely which hormone is deficient and then, with regular injections, artificially supply it to the animal’s bloodstream.
On the opposite end of the spectrum of adrenal disorders is an overactive adrenal that produces too much cortisol also called Cushing’s. It’s one of the most common adrenal disorders, especially in adult and aging animals, primarily because of its underlying causes. Tumors of the pituitary gland or the adrenal gland itself, which are pretty common causes of death in aging and adult populations of companion animals, stimulate the adrenal gland to produce more cortisol than needed.
Signs that your pet might have an overactive adrenal gland include the following:
- Sudden increase in appetite and weight gain
- Elevated heart rate
- Reduced physical activity
- Hair loss
- Sudden and unexplained weight gain
For attentive pet owners, it may already be evident that your pets may already be exhibiting signs of Cushing’s. If this is the case, giving them supplements with Astragalus, Dandelion Root, and Burdock Root extracts can help filter the excess hormones produced by the adrenal glands. While this might not exactly treat the root cause of hormone overproduction, it may prevent excess hormones from harming other parts of the body.
Unfortunately, the only actual treatment for any disease in medicine is to eliminate its root cause. So, to get rid of Cushing’s, finding a way to remove the tumors causing it through highly invasive surgery or harmful chemotherapy.
Why Wait for Adrenal Issues to Develop When We Can Prevent Them?
As the adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And this has become especially relevant recently with Packaged Facts estimating significant growth in the importance of pet supplementation linked here. Because of the medicinal properties of certain natural ingredients, some natural supplements may be the answer to preventing these pervasive adrenal problems and a whole host of other issues that may prevent our companions from living to the fullest.
There are plenty of ways to administer supplements such as making it yourself or using extracts. However, one of the most effective ways to immediately improve your pet’s adrenal health is via immune booster supplements with enhanced formulations and bioavailability.
However, don’t forget to read the label and ensure that these immune-boosting supplements are made only from the best ingredients such as Turmeric, Ginkgo Biloba, and Burdock Root. These ingredients are vet-approved and backed by scientific research to help improve our pet’s adrenal health. With the proper immune booster supplement, we may be able to extend an aging pet’s life span by a little bit or at least improve their quality of life in their golden years.
How Turmeric Lives Up to its Superfood Reputation
Turmeric’s rise as a superfood for humans has made its way into pet nutrition. The addition of turmeric into our pet’s diet has shown that curcumin found in turmeric has a modulating effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and neurotrophic factor expression. Both of which have a profound impact on their stress response. Using turmeric-based supplements for pets who find themselves in stressful situations, therefore, can help fight off further adrenal gland complications such as Addison’s disease or adrenal fatigue.
Ginkgo Biloba’s Potent Stress-Reducing Properties and its Benefits for the Adrenal Glands
Like turmeric, Ginkgo biloba is considered a superfood for humans. And it’s only fitting that it is now finding its way into pet nutrition as well. Our pets deserve the best, after all.
Ginkgo Biloba’s method of protecting the adrenal gland is via its anxiety and stress-reducing properties. This way, it prevents adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency. But its secondary functions can also help the adrenals in indirect ways.
Extracts from the Ginkgo biloba tree also aids in an animal’s cognitive development and circulatory system maturation. These can also prevent the stress and anxiety that any potential treatment regimen that these diseases require.
Burdock Root’s Detoxifying Power and Circulatory System Support
There are intricate connections between the adrenal glands and the immune and circulatory systems. The adrenal gland, aside from producing cortisol, also works to regulate the production of glucocorticoids and catecholamines which are essential in helping animals fight off bacterial, and viral infections. If our pets suffer from chronic and long-term infection, the adrenal glands have to swing into action and produce more glucocorticoids and catecholamines which can cause adrenal fatigue.
Burdock root is an excellent antioxidant which makes it an excellent ingredient to use in supplements for pets with adrenal issues. By supplementing with burdock root, we can help our furry friends fight off infections before they even begin to develop.
Final Thoughts: Why We Need to Take Care of Our Pet’s Adrenals
Considering how it influences their overall health, our pet’s adrenals are criminally underappreciated organs. It controls their mood, stress, immune-response mechanism, blood sugar, and even sex hormones. In short, these tiny little glands have far-reaching effects on our pet’s holistic wellbeing. It’s crucial, therefore, to make sure that we’re giving their adrenal glands adequate attention.
So, let's all be proactive and help our furry friends become more resilient to adrenal issues by introducing ingredients with a holistic approach. This way, we can protect the health of our beloved companion animals, their adrenals, and the other organs that are vital for them to live a long life.