Stress & Adrenal Fatigue – Where is the off button?
Today’s modern lifestyle puts constant demands on our adrenal glands. Over a period of time, continual stress will eventually deplete the health and function of the adrenal glands, resulting in one of the most undiagnosed conditions in western society – adrenal fatigue. The adrenals are the main stress control system of the body, they are essential to your wellbeing. Adrenal fatigue is caused by ‘stress’, whether it be physical, mental or emotional stress, resulting in a decreased ability to carry out their normal daily function.
Examples of stressors: Anger, chronic illness, high sugar intake, surgery, chronic or acute infections, depression, surgery, sleep deprivation, over exercise, Giardia, and H.pylori.
Signs and symptoms:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Increased effort to perform everyday tasks
- Salt and/or sugar cravings
- Feeling most awake in the evenings
- Weight gain and inability to lose it
- Reduced ability to handle stress
The adrenals cannot keep up with the body’s demand for cortisol. Normal daily functions can still be carried out, but the sense of fatigue is pronounced at the end of each day as the body needs more rest than usual to recover.
Features: Increased cortisol and DHEA levels.
- Desire for rest
The adrenals are no longer able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for cortisol production, which is needed to overcome the stress. Cortisol output starts to decline and the adrenals become exhausted.
Features: Decreased cortisol and DHEA levels.
- Altered glucose tolerance
- Altered blood pressure
- Thyroid hormone imbalance
- Steroid hormone imbalance
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Mood swings
Adrenal Hormone Profile
To test the function and health of the adrenal glands, we use The Adrenal hormone Profile test. A non-invasive saliva test which monitors the levels of the stress hormones. It measures DHEA-S and Cortisol levels, which are indicative of acute and or chronic mental and/or physical stress. The testing requirements include 4 saliva specimens collected at specific times over the course of the day. Turnaround time for results is 7-10 working days.