Learn More About Cortisol, DHEA and How Adrenal Stress, Can Affect Your Health.
Adrenal fatigue – also known as adrenal dysfunction or Hypothalamus axis dysfunction (HPA-D) results when the adrenal glands produce too much or too little cortisol.
The adrenal glands control your body’s response to stress by releasing various hormones – mainly Adrenaline, Cortisol and DHEA– These steroid hormone help regulate many aspects of your overall health and well-being.
But when you are exposed to “stress” on a regular basis, whether it’s physical, emotional or environmental/chemical – you may develop a problem with your adrenal glands. A common problem we seen clinically is Adrenal fatigue.
Problems with Too Much or Too Little Cortisol…..
When your adrenals produce too much cortisol or not enough cortisol, it can leave your body susceptible to:
Chronic Fatigue – Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life. People who have a hard time rising in the morning, or who suffer from low energy throughout the day, often have abnormal adrenal rhythms and poor blood sugar regulation.
The maintenance of a stable blood sugar level depends on food choice, lifestyle, adrenal function, and insulin activity. The Adrenal Stress Index panel measures stress hormones and insulin, to help clarify the causes of fatigue, cravings, and obesity.
Immune System Function – Various immune cells (white blood cells) cycle in and out of the spleen and bone marrow. The immune system trafficking follows the cortisol cycle. If the cycle is disrupted, especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected. Short- and long-term stress is known to suppress the immune response in the lungs, throat, urinary tract, and intestines. With lowered levels of mucosal antibodies (secretory IgA), our resistance to infection is reduced and allergic reactions may increase.
Skin Integrity – Human skin regenerates mostly during the night. With higher night cortisol values, less skin regeneration takes place. Therefore, a normal cortisol rhythm is essential for optimal skin health.
Muscle and Joint Function – Abnormal adrenal rhythms are known to compromise tissue healing. Reduced tissue repair and increased tissue breakdown can lead to muscle and joint wasting with chronic pain.
Bone Health – The adrenal rhythm determines how well we build bone. If the night and morning cortisol levels are elevated, our bones do not rebuild well, and we are more prone to osteoporosis.
Stress is the enemy of the bones. In postmenopausal women, the effect of stress worsens due to the naturally lower levels of female hormones.
Allergies/Autoimmune Disorders – More than fifty years ago, Dr. Jefferies (author of Safe Uses of Cortisol) discovered that patients with environmentally triggered allergies and autoimmune diseases dramatically improved when given cortisol for other purposes. More recently, German researchers reported that disruption of the adrenal axis and cytokine relationships lead to predisposition and aggravation of autoimmune diseases.
Thyroid Function – The level of cortisol at the cell level controls thyroid hormone production. Often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to an adrenal maladaptation.
Blood Sugar Regulation – Chronic hypoglycemia can impair normal adrenal function by repetitive overstimulation of cortisol production. Recurring exposure to high cortisol will impair insulin activity and invariably lead to insulin resistance and beta-cell exhaustion (diabetes). The Adrenal panel investigates the insulin-cortisol relationship under real-life conditions to allow targeted and meaningful interventions.
This panel is useful in the following clinical situations: rapid weight gain and obesity, imbalanced blood lipids, sugar blues, early diabetes, and associated emotional disturbances.
Brain Function and Emotional Health – Several recent publications report a hyperactive HPA axis in depressed patients. Elevated midnight salivary cortisol is now considered one of the best tests in diagnosing endogenous depression. Other anomalies in cortisol rhythm usually accompany the midnight elevation. On the other hand, cortisol elevations and rhythm disruptions throughout the day are typical of attention deﬁcit disorders (ADD).
The anomalous cortisol ﬁndings in depression and ADD can be diagnosed successfully with the ASI panel. Subsequent interventions to rectify speciﬁc cortisol elevations (during the day or night) are usually effective when applied under proper supervision.
Balanced cortisol levels are so important for staying healthy.
When Is It Appropriate To Get Tested for Adrenal Fatigue?
The Adrenal Stress Test can be helpful for patients with;
- Suspected abnormalities in Cortisol or DHEA levels
- Chronic stress and stress-related health conditions
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Muscle and joint pain or weakness
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Osteopenia or osteoporosis
- Insomnia, sleep disturbances or difficulty waking
- Poor memory or difficulty retaining information
- Irritability or mood swings
- Changes in skin integrity, easy bruising or excessive stretch marks
- Frequent or chronic infections
- Increased waist-to-hip ratio or abdominal obesity
- Anxiety or depression
The Most Comprehensive Way Of Measuring Adrenal Function Is Not a Blood test.
Due to the complexity of adrenal fatigue, traditional blood test are not the most accurate way to evaluate adrenal gland performance. There are several reasons for this.
#1- Steroid hormones (Cortisol, DHEA) in the bloodstream are 95-99% bound to carrier proteins, and in this form are unavailable to target tissues. Saliva testing measures the amount of hormone available to target tissues – the bioavailable amount. For this reason, saliva testing better relates to specific symptoms of excess or deficiency and is a good option for monitoring hormone therapy.
#2 The other reason saliva outperforms blood testing is that the cortisol rhythm is unable to be measured in a single blood test.
Order Your Personalized Adrenal Test Profile Which Includes
- Comprehensive Adrenal Fatigue Test
- One on one consult with Dr Hagmeyer to discuss Test Results
- Recommendations for a Treatment plan and cost of treatment if necessary
What Are My Treatment Options?
A Personalized treatment program and the cost of the treatment plan will be recommended after your adrenal fatigue test results have been reviewed.
Does Insurance Cover this test?
How is this tested?
This is a Saliva test- where you will collect 4 saliva specimens. These specimens are collected at different times throughout the day- You will be shipped a test kit and instructions.
I have a Flex Spending account- Can I used This?
Do I have to go to a doctor’s office to have this test done?
No- This test is done in the convenience of your own home
How long will it take to receive my Test Results?
Results are posted within 7-14 days. Our office will contact you when test results have been reviewed by Dr Hagmeyer
Is There instruction that comes with this test on how to collect my specimen?
Yes- The kit comes with instructions and if you have any additional instructions we can help you.
Will Dr Hagmeyer discuss the test results with me?
Yes. Each test comes with a 30-45 minute post-test review and treatment recommendations.
Can I cancel my test If I change my mind?
One we have placed the order for the test- We are unable to issue a refund.