Are Your Adrenals Shot?

The adrenal glands are two small glands about the size of walnuts, sitting in a pyramid shape over the top of the kidneys. They play a vital part in helping your body to cope with stress.

The hormone cortisol, which is secreted by the adrenal glands, affects all major physiological functions in the body, such as regulating blood sugar levels, sex drive, muscle strength and stamina, joint and skin condition, gastro-intestinal function, allergies, cardiovascular function, utilisation of carbohydrates, conversion of fats and protein into energy, immune and auto-immune responses.

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue were first recognised over 100 years ago; however, the term was not coined by Dr James Wilson until 1998. The condition exhibits symptoms of tiredness and fatigue, especially in the mornings and even after a good night’s sleep. Sufferers also have trouble bouncing back from stress and illness and have poor resistance to infections and allergies.

Cortisol is a ‘stress hormone’ designed for short term life or death situations, but when the body is constantly in a state of stress, the adrenal glands become overworked through having to continually produce cortisol. If left untreated, the adrenal glands will fatigue, as the body moves through the three stages of stress. 

In the first stage, the alarm reaction to a new or stressful situation is met with anxiety and surprise. When this happens, the body intermittently secretes slightly higher levels of adrenaline, the ‘fight or flight hormone’.

The second stage occurs when the stress is constant enough to cause excessive levels of cortisol to be released from the adrenal glands. This increases blood sugar levels to sustain energy and raises blood pressure.

The third phase is exhaustion, where the body’s ability to cope with the stress is not sustainable. Blood sugar levels will decrease as the adrenal glands become depleted, leading to decreased stress tolerance, progressive mental and physical exhaustion, illness and eventually collapse.

Adrenal fatigue is often misdiagnosed as anxiety or depression because the symptoms are so similar. Blood and urine tests have been traditionally used to measure cortisol levels in the adrenal glands. These tests will only highlight extreme conditions such as Addison’s disease if very low levels of cortisol are found, or Cushing’s disease if very high levels are found. Adrenal fatigue is often missed, as it can only be accurately diagnosed with a saliva test. 

Find our more about Adrenal Fatigue and diagnosis with Dr Sandeep Gupta in the Happy Mind Tele-seminar Series on 12th March 2012

http://www.happymindformula.com/teleseminar/

This information could change your life.

 

 

 

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5 Responses to Are Your Adrenals Shot?

  1. Linwood Biangone says:

    Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. The term often shows up in popular health books and on alternative medicine websites, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis.

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