Adrenal dysfunction (often referred to as “adrenal fatigue”) is quite common in today’s modern world especially amongst women.
It is characterized by cortisol levels that are either too high or too low and is commonly due to stress.
Every kind of stress can cause adrenal fatigue:
- Environmental Stress: chemicals, pollution, toxins
- Emotional Stress: worry, panic, anger, and grief
- Physical Stress: Injury
- Blood sugar balance
- Messed up microbiome
- Dietary and Nutrient Deficiencies
Adrenals are two pea-sized glands that sit on top of your kidneys that secrete hormones including cortisol that monitor metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure.
It is essentially your fight or flight response as opposed to your rest and digest response. This fight/flight response can disrupt the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis (natural balance).
Common symptoms of adrenal dysfunction include:
- Low energy throughout the day
- Low thyroid function
- Low libido
- Mental exhaustion
- Poor sleep
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Sugar cravings
- Dependence on coffee
When symptoms are ignored for an extended period or go by unchecked, it can disrupt other systems in the body like the immune system, hormone system and thyroid. They may contribute to the onset of more serious diseases.
Working on the body as a whole is important. The adrenals, liver and gut all need to be working optimally in order to heal.
Adrenal Fatigue is part of a larger system called the HPA Axis: Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenal axis.
The HPA axis works on a feedback mechanism. Stress, poor nutrition, toxins in our environment all affect this mechanism. Managing stress is one way to support this mechanism.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) and Adrenals
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is our preferred test (it must be analyzed correctly) because it gives you an insight into the state of your overall health. It tests for crucial minerals like magnesium, potassium and sodium which play a big role in adrenal health. The ratios show trends in thyroid health (closely associated with adrenals), hormonal balance, blood sugar balance and cardiovascular health. It can help you determine your gut function, liver health and if you are using up nutrients due to stress (like infections, mould etc).
Other testing that can be done is called a Salivary Cortisol test.
Saliva cortisol testing looks at your cortisol levels, so it will provide some information but it does not look at the whole body and the bigger picture.
Healing the adrenals means working on diet, lifestyle, exercise, sleep hygiene and nutrient deficiencies and much more.
Why Saliva Cortisol Testing is not accurate?
There are several factors that may interfere with test results:
- Time of the Day
- Amount of stress
- Blood sugar levels
- Changes to circadian rhythms
- Diseases such as Addison’s and Cushing’s disease (adrenal related)
- Ph in the body
Our unique functional testing can provide a step-by-step plan to bring your body into balance so you can achieve all your health goals!