Your adrenal glands, which sit atop of each kidney, are considered your body’s “stress glands” because they release chemicals that help your body to control and manage stressful situations from physical stress (auto accident, fall, etc.); chemical stress (food poisoning, toxins, etc.); and emotional stress (loss of job, breakup, etc.). Your adrenal glands do this in part by releasing a chemical called CORTISOL. When cortisol levels are out of balance, your body can not function optimally and you will eventually end up with symptoms.
Below are 10 signs that you may be suffering from an Adrenal Gland Dysfunction or Cortisol Hormone Imbalance.
1. You experience backaches and headaches.
When your cortisol levels are high over a long period of time, your adrenal glands start to get depleted. This raises prolactin levels, increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain, such as backaches and muscle aches. Excessive cortisol also hypersensitizes the brain to pain, such that even the slightest twinge can excite the nerves of the brain, causing headaches.
2. You’re not sleeping well.
Cortisol levels are supposed to drop at nighttime, allowing your body to relax and recharge. But if your cortisol levels are too high, you might notice that, even if you’ve been tired all day, you get a second wind right around bedtime. Then you toss and turn all night—and feel tired again the next day.
3. Even when you sleep well, you’re still tired.
Over time, high levels of cortisol deplete the adrenal glands and predispose you to chronic fatigue. So if you feel like you just can't get up and go anymore, you’re probably stressed.
4. You're gaining weight.
You’re gaining weight, especially around your abdomen, even when you eat well and exercise.
Cortisol tends to make you thick around the middle, even when you’re doing everything “right.”
5. You catch colds and other infections easily.
Cortisol deactivates your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms, which means that your immune system, perfectly designed by nature to keep you healthy, goes kaput, leaving you vulnerable to every bacteria, virus and fungus that you encounter.
6. You crave unhealthy foods.
Cortisol raises your blood sugar, putting you at risk of diabetes. High glucose levels then bump up your insulin levels, which then drop your blood sugar, and all of the sudden you’re struck with wild cravings for SUGAR.
7. Your sex drive is in the crapper.
When stress hormones are high, libido-inducing hormones like testosterone drop and voila... nothing.
8. Your gut acts up.
Your gastrointestinal system is very sensitive to stress hormones like cortisol. You might experience nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or constipation as a result of too many stress hormones.
9. You feel anxious.
Cortisol and epinephrine can lead to jitters, a nervous stomach, feelings of panic, even paranoia.
10. You feel blue.
High levels of cortisol suppress production of serotonin, and next thing you know, you’re awash in doom and gloom.
If you suffer from 1 or more of these symptoms, then it would be a good idea to have your cortisol hormone tested. The best and most accurate test for cortisol hormone is a 24 hour urine test referred to as the Dutch test because it will be able to track your cortisol rhythm as well as metabolites for cortisol breakdown. Otherwise, you may also have your PCP order a 24 hour saliva test, which also is a good indicator of your cortisol rhythm. The least accurate test would be a simple blood test because it only gives you a snapshot in time of your cortisol output. At Stanly Wellness Center we offer a non-invasive 4 minute Stress Test that can evaluate how well your body is handling stress. We can then provide you with some strategies to bring your body back into balance using nutritional supplements, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle recommendations.
At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve the best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. Dr. Ess will not waste your time or money. He will let you know if he can help you, and if he can’t, who in the community can.
Our office specializes in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at www.AskDrPatrick.com for more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, UHC, Medicaid and Medicare.
Stanly Wellness Center is located right on Main St (24/27) in Locust and is situated next door to the Locust Post Office and the Dollar General across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank.