Is chronic stress is killing you slowly? It is now estimated as much as 90% of the population is in some degree of adrenal stress that over time can trigger detrimental effects in the body that cause chronic health issues.
It works like this, your adrenal glands sit over your kidneys where they play a significant role by secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life. These same glands respond to everyday stress by short-term secretion of adrenaline, DHEA and cortisol. This is necessary to help you navigate any limited stressful event. However, states of chronic long term stress and being driven through the day by abnormally high levels of adrenaline and cortisol can result over time in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and other chronic diseases. Studies have even shown a connection of elevated cortisol levels to Alzheimer's.
When testing through a salivary Adrenal Stress Index Test, I find many individuals with unexplained anxiety and insomnia suffering from high states of adrenaline and cortisol output. I refer to this as Adrenal Drive Syndrome. Having this information helps to properly treat the individual’s anxiety and/or insomnia and prevent future health problems.
There is more…Under constant stress your adrenal glands also become fatigued and adrenal hormone production can actually fall off, leading to deficiencies in cortisol, DHEA and pregnenolone. Now the hormones that got you through a normal work day are depleted and you can begin to struggle with other symptoms like chronic fatigue, difficulty getting up in the morning, dizziness upon standing, depression, irritability, craving for sugar and caffeine, weight gain and thyroid symptoms that do not respond medication. Referred to as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome this also can be diagnosed with a properly administered salivary Adrenal Stress Index Test.
Misunderstanding of this baffling complex of stress related symptoms many times ends up with individuals being placed unnecessarily on antidepressants and other dangerous medications.
What primarily causes this epidemic of people developing Adrenal Drive Syndrome and subsequent Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is our modern lifestyle. A lifestyle permeated with poor diets, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, overwork, lack of relaxation, and then the subsequent chronic pain, infections, allergies and illness which is then all to readily treated with surgery, drugs and other toxic medicinal relief. Moreover, most doctors do not understand Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and therefore fail to run the proper tests to diagnose it. This leaves the poor patient wondering if it is all in their head.
How can you tell if you have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome? Do you wake up exhausted after eight hours of sleep? need two cups of coffee to open your eyes? crave sweets or salt? feel depressed? Have you lost interest in sex, keep catching colds, and have trouble falling asleep? If so you may have adrenal fatigue.
The very best way to know if you are suffering with adrenal and/or thyroid issues is to have proper laboratory testing done by a doctor knowledgeable in Functional Medicine. If laboratory testing reveals that your adrenal glands are not functioning properly, you need to address the problem appropriately. Most people may need dietary changes, hormonal support and co-factored supplements to re-balance the adrenal function. Depending on the person’s unique needs and health profile, hormones can be replaced or supported directly through the use of specific supplements.
About Dr. Greg Fors
Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the clinic director of the Pain and Brain Healing Center in Blaine Minnesota he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.