Why everyone suffering with Thyroid problems, Sex Hormone imbalances, prolonged stress and a general sense and feeling of being unwell needs to be aware of this stress related disorder.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenal glands, otherwise known as the “stress glands,” enable our bodies to cope with stress and survive. Shaped like two tiny pyramids, they sit atop the kidneys and from this central location mobilize the response to changes in our environment.
Whether stress comes from outside in the form of a natural disaster, or from within like the anxiety we experience before public speaking, it’s the adrenals’ job to help us adapt to the situation.
Adrenal fatigue – also known as adrenal dysfunction or Hypothalamus axis dysfunction (HPA-D) results when the adrenal glands function below their optimum level.
The adrenal glands secrete cortisol in a 24-hour cycle (circadian rhythm), with the highest amount released in the morning and the lowest amount released at night. This 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm
The adrenal glands regulate your body’s response to stress by releasing Key hormones including Cortisol, DHEA, Epinephrine/Norepinephrine
Cortisol: The primary stress hormone that fine-tunes our response to the stress of everyday living
DHEA: One of the most abundant hormones in the body, and a precursor to estrogens and testosterone; also balances some of the negative effects of high cortisol
Epinephrine / Norepinephrine: Neurotransmitters that mobilize the body’s natural “fight or flight” response in an emergency
Cortisol helps regulate things like your immune system, metabolism, Sex hormones, blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. New research shows just how vital the adrenal glands are to male and female hormone imbalances including Thyroid disease and Autoimmunity.
But if you are exposed to “stress” on a regular or persistent/prolonged basis, whether it’s physical, emotional or environmental – your adrenals can get tired and not keep up with the job they are designed to do- maintain a balance between fight or flight.
Remember when we speak about stress- Stress comes in many forms. Adrenal fatigue is not only caused by mental or emotional stress. At times, Adrenal stress can be difficult to pinpoint because of the assortment of potential causes.
That’s another reason why testing is so crucial in getting to the root cause.
I like to think of Adrenal testing as a roadmap. The information obtained from testing, can provide information that will help you get on the right path.
Learn More About How This Stress Related Condition Can Affect Your Health.
Energy Production – 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.
The Adrenal panel can help identify patients with autoimmune diseases and adrenal problems who may improve with cortisol support.
Sleep Quality – The ability to enter REM sleep cycles and to experience regenerative sleep are interrupted by high cortisol values at night and in the morning. Chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce a person’s mental vitality, vigor, and induce depression.
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 Test for Adrenal Stress. The Adrenal Stress Index Panel can be helpful for patients with
- 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 tests 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 blood test. See illustration below
Order Your Personalized Adrenal Stress Test Profile which includes
- One on one consult with Dr Hagmeyer to discuss Test Results
- A metabolic Assessment Screening/Questionnaire form – this helps to identify any additional hidden metabolic imbalances you may have (Thyroid, Blood sugar, SIBO, Leaky Gut, Adrenal, Hormones, Toxicity, Electrolytes to mention few)
What Are My Treatment Options?
A Personalized treatment program and cost of treatment plan will be recommended after your 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 collected at different times throughout the day- You will be shipped a test kit
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?
Web results are posted within 2-4 weeks. Our office will contact you when test results have been reviewed by Dr Hagmeyer
Are There instruction that come 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.