Update 4-2-2020 by Dr. Richard Hagmeyer D.C, C.F.M.P
The Adrenal Stress Test, What it Reveals and HOW this test is CRITICAL In Restoring Adrenal and Thyroid Health
Many people with thyroid conditions have compromised adrenal glands and vice versa. Despite this, most endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors don’t even evaluate the adrenal glands. This is true even when the patient’s case history indicates they have an obvious problem with their adrenals.
When I suspect that one of my patients has an adrenal gland problem, I will recommend what’s called an Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) test. This test requires the patient to obtain four different saliva samples at different points throughout the day, and it will help to reveal the health of the adrenal glands, and thus determine if additional adrenal support is indicated for those who are following a natural thyroid treatment protocol.
Of course the main reason why most endocrinologists and other medical doctors don’t evaluate the adrenal glands of their patients is because they don’t know how to effectively treat adrenal problems. Most will just recommend prescription drugs for such a condition, while some will completely dismiss the symptoms, thinking that it’s all in the patient’s head. Fortunately this blaming of patients isn’t as common as it was in the past, as more and more conventional medical doctors are realizing that adrenal fatigue (HPA axis dysfunction) is a real condition, even if they aren’t sure how to treat it.
Adrenal Testing- It Can Shed Light On Your Unique Biochemistry and Physiology. Let’s Take a Look at What The Adrenal Stress Test Evaluates.
1.Cortisol Levels: One of the most important hormones evaluated in an Adrenal Test is Cortisol. This is the primary hormone a Functional Medicine Practitioner will look at, as this test will measure four different cortisol levels throughout the day to determine if you have a proper circadian pattern. Normally the cortisol levels should be at the highest levels in the morning, and then decrease throughout the day. This pattern will help to give you the energy you need throughout the day, and the lower cortisol levels at night will allow you to fall asleep.
People with weak adrenal glands commonly have low cortisol levels in the morning and low DHEA levels. While some people may think they don’t have an adrenal problem, the low cortisol levels on this test confirms the stressed gland and the need for Adrenal restoration therapy.
However, some people also have high cortisol levels. This is considered an urgent situation, as high cortisol levels will put the body into a state of catabolism, which will break down the body, break down bone, and tear down the gut mucosa, cause insomnia, weekend immune system, depression and relentless fatigue. Someone who has high cortisol levels will need to follow a completely different protocol than someone who has low cortisol levels.
Plus, one can’t just rely on symptoms alone to determine whether the cortisol levels are high or low. So for example, just because someone experiences fatigue throughout the day doesn’t mean they will have low cortisol levels. The only real way of knowing whether someone has high or low cortisol levels is through proper testing.
2.DHEA/DHEA-S: DHEA is manufactured by the adrenal glands, and plays an important role in immunity and in the stress response. DHEAS is the sulfated version of DHEA. If someone deals with chronic stress on a regular basis, this will also weaken the adrenal glands, and chances are these hormone levels will be low.
3.17-OH Progesterone: 17-Hydroxy Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced during the synthesis of glucocorticoids and sex steroids. This hormone is mainly produced in the adrenal glands, and when someone has weak adrenals these hormone levels will also be low.
Crucial Vitamins To Help Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
Vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients found in a pharmaceutical-grade supplements are essential to restoring adrenal health, and supporting the entire endocrine system. Not only can they help the healing process, but they can provide extra nutrition to our cells, and support proper adrenal functioning every day.
Following are some of the most important to adrenal function:
- Vitamins C, E and all the B vitamins (especially pantothenic acid and B6) help regulate stress hormones.
- Magnesium provides energy to the adrenal glands (and the rest of your cells).
- Liposomal CoQ10 with PQQ- helps support mitochondria- The Energy producers within the cell.
- Calcium and trace minerals including zinc, manganese, selenium, and iodine provide calming effects in the body. These mineral can reduce the stress of adrenal fatigue, which will help decrease unnecessary cortisol production.
Common Adrenal Adaptogens That Help Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Adaptogens are herbs that actually adapt to the individual needs of your body, providing the additional essential support your adrenals need.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Eleuthero / Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
- Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus)
- Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
- Rhodiola rosea
- Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)