The adrenal glands are your ‘fight-or-flight’ organ; basically, they help you respond to stress. However, long periods of excessive stress can diminish the adrenals ability to adapt, which means you won’t cope with stress as well. It can also lead to a whole host of seemingly unrelated symptoms, including generalized fatigue that is not resolved with sleep, joint and muscle pain, depression, anxiety, frequent illness and/or other immune imbalances, blood sugar fluctuations, sleep disturbances, hot flashes and even skin disorders.
Luckily, there is an easy, at-home test that can help us determine how well your adrenals are functioning; it’s called an Adrenal Stress Profile or Adrenocortex Stress Profile and it can pinpoint your exact stage along the continuum of adrenal fatigue.
The many stages of adrenal fatigue
Modern lifestyles produce constant high levels of stress that stimulate the adrenal glands. The impact of chronic stress is that cortisol levels never get a chance to return to normal. Our bodies think that being late for a meeting, getting stuck in traffic, a computer crash or the kids yelling in the back seat is the equivalent of a saber-tooth tiger racing after us. This constant stress causes several detrimental changes in the body that threaten not only your sanity, but your overall health and longevity.
A simple salivary test called an Adrenal Stress Profile can help determine how your adrenals are functioning, identify what stage of adrenal fatigue you are in and guide us to the necessary therapies to restore proper adrenal function. This simple, do-at-home test involves taking four salivary samples throughout the day to measure your cortisol and DHEA levels. The results show you exactly where you are along the progression towards adrenal exhaustion.
The graph above shows the four stages of adrenal fatigue. In Stage I, cortisol levels are high and DHEA levels begin to fall. As stress continues, cortisol levels begin to fall (although they will be within the “normal” limits), but DHEA levels will be low (Stage II). In Stage III, both cortisol and DHEA levels will be low. Stage IV represents adrenal exhaustion; this is where both cortisol and DHEA levels are very low.
Once we know where you are along this curve we can develop a plan to help support your adrenals, help your body handle stress more effectively and restore optimal functioning over time. To learn more, feel free to contact us or you can order the test here.