The adrenal glands are two triangular shaped glands sitting on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for helping our bodies deal with stress as they release chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline. There is a test called the adrenal stress index test, which can tell us our adrenal rhythm by measuring our cortisol levels. Cortisol should be high in the morning and low at night. On a graph, the results should appear “L” shaped.
When our adrenal glands are imbalanced, we can see resulting symptoms such as trouble getting to sleep, or falling asleep but waking in the night, frequent urination to name a few.
Sometimes the cortisol levels are reversed: low in the morning and high at night making it hard to fall asleep. Other times the cortisol level can be low all across the graph (a person having chronic stress over a long period of time) making a patient chronically fatigued or having mental; fatigue, low libido, not losing weight, dizziness from sitting or lying to standing, craving sweets or salt, etc.
Adrenal imbalances are very common in our very busy American lifestyle, lack of sleep, work deadlines, diets filled with high carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and dyes.
The adrenal glands adapt to stress, whether it is emotional, chemical or autoimmunity, food intolerance, blood sugar imbalance. The body interprets all these things as alarming and directs the adrenal glands to pump out hormones. Cortisol being one of them, triggers the body to release extra glucose into the bloodstream. The additional glucose is used to increase energy production to adapt to the demands of the stress (the fight or flight mechanism).
Chronic adrenal stress affects communication between the brain and the hormone glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland direct hormone production, including the thyroid. When the hypothalamus and pituitary weaken due to chronic adrenal stress, they are not able to communicate well to the thyroid gland. This leads to additional problems/symptoms in the body (see thyroid symptoms).
Once we identify this imbalance through a test called the adrenal stress hormone profile, we are able to work on correcting the disorder. It is very rewarding to see patients reverse symptoms of adrenal fatigue. And the good news is we are able to do that. Call us today and lets get well!