Are you feeling tired all of the time? Have you noticed your memory is not as good as it used to be and that it is becoming more difficult to cope with the pressure of everyday life?
Adrenal stress and adrenal fatigue can explain these symptoms and many more like them. Muscle and joint pain, migraine headaches, interrupted sleep, low sex drive, and an overall lack of energy and vitality can be caused by several conditions affecting the adrenal glands. The adrenal stress index test can identify minor variations in adrenal gland secretions and provide a framework for therapy that can restore your vitality and relieve many of the symptoms we often attribute to aging.
What are the adrenal glands?
Located on top of each kidney, the adrenal glands are small triangular structures weighing between 3 and 5 grams and producing several critical hormones.
The adrenals are composed of two functionally different areas: an outer section called the cortex and an inner section called the medulla. The cortex produces adrenal steroids (Cortisol, DHEA(s), and Aldosterone), while the medulla produces catecholamines, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Adrenal glands produce their hormones in response to events inside the body as well external events often referred to as stressors. The adrenal glands regulate a long list of body functions, and, in turn, the number of problems that poorly functioning adrenal glands cause is equally impressive. One theory suggests that because adrenal secretions are regulated by external factors such as environmental, physical, and psychological stress, prolonged exposure to the common stress of modern life affects the adrenal glands’ ability to function properly and causes the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of abnormal adrenal function
Low energy levels: Difficulty getting up in the morning and low energy levels through the day are often a symptom of disruption in the normal release of adrenal hormones that influence waking and sleeping (circadian rhythms) and of unstable blood sugar regulation. The cellular level of cortisol also controls thyroid hormone production. Often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to adrenal dysfunction.
Weight gain and hunger: Fluctuations in blood sugar regulation may be responsible for unusual food cravings and the long-term consequence of overeating-obesity.
Muscle and joint function: Compromised adrenal function impairs tissue healing and regeneration, which can lead to the chronic pain experienced from muscle and joint breakdown.
Osteoporosis: Bone demineralization and subsequent weakness is another symptom of impaired adrenal function. This problem is made worse for women after menopause because they are prone to decreasing bone density as female hormone levels decline.
Immunity to illness: Chronic stress is known to suppress the immune system making you more susceptible to illness. This is often in response to a decrease in the surface antibody secretory IgA that protects body surfaces such as lungs, throat urinary, and intestinal tract.
Sleep disturbances: The critical period of sleep called REM where we mentally rejuvenate ourselves can become disrupted when circadian rhythms are altered. This alteration in sleep quality can lead to a reduction in mental function and depression.
Testing your adrenal function
The Weekend Weight Loss Center offers a simple and comprehensive test called the Adrenal Stress Index. This test includes the following ten indicators:
4 x Cortisol — Helps evaluate stress response
2 x Insulin — Helps investigate blood sugar control
DHEA — Helps determine stress adaptation
Secretory IgA — Helps evaluate toll on immunity
17-OH Progesterone — Helps determine adrenal reserve
Gluten Antibodies — Helps identify grain intolerance
How is this test performed?
The Adrenal Stress Index is measured using four saliva samples. There is no blood or urine testing required. The test is designed for convenience and is collected by you at intervals throughout the day to provide a comprehensive and highly accurate picture of hormone levels throughout a single circadian cycle.
How does this test help me?
Using the results of this test, our doctors will recommend diet and lifestyle changes, hormones, and supplements that will help restore your adrenal health.