The adrenal glands are two walnut sized glands that sit just on top of your kidneys. Though they are small, they play a powerful role in our bodies. They produce hormones that are necessary for a healthy life. One particular hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland is Cortisol. Cortisol when made in optimum amounts does numerous wonderful things for your body. It assists in proper glucose metabolism, regulates blood pressure, it has anti inflammatory mediators, and buffers insulin levels for blood sugar maintenance.
Cortisol is also known as our principal stress hormone because it is secreted in higher levels during the bodies fight or flight response to stress and hence is responsible for stress related changes in the body. Elevated cortisol levels can in turn increase our heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and suppresses immune function.
Stress today ,unfortunately, is not short term like it was once upon a time. Today our work, relationships, financial, psychological and environmental stress put constant demands on our adrenal gland. Our stress becomes chronic, relentless and the adrenal glands start to suffer. When our bodies have been under continual stress for long periods, and our cortisol levels have constantly been high, the adrenal glands, who have been constantly excreting cortisol, and are now depleting, can crash. This is where we “burn out” or as its known today, we can begin to suffer Adrenal Fatigue.
Cortisol levels change during the day, or follow what we call a circadian rhythm.Cortisol is at its highest in the morning and helps you bounce out of bed full of energy. By midday Cortisol begins to drop and it keeps dropping until evening. In People with Adrenal fatigue ,cortisol levels in the morning are low, making it difficult to get out of bed. By mid afternoon it is at an all time low and the only way you feel you can get through the day is by taking a nap or having a cup of coffee or eating something sweet. By nighttime, those with Adrenal fatigue have low levels of cortisol, but by 11pm may get a second wind and then the trouble sleeping in culmination with the lethargy during the day leads to a deep and unrelenting fatigue!!
The symptoms of Adrenal fatigue include
- Lack of energy
- Aches and pains or stiffness
- Lack of mental clarity
- Weight gain especially around the waist
- Food cravings
- Mild depression
- Nervousness or irritability
- Hair loss
To treat adrenal fatigue Custom Made medicine can help supplement your adrenal glands using good quality multivitamins and minerals, calming herbs and adaptogens, a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system. Treatment with bioidentical hormones like progesterone and DHEA may also be of assistance.
Cortisol saliva testing, being a non invasive collection procedure and showing accurate Cortisol levels throughout the day is used at Custom Made Medicine to determine how well the Adrenal glands are functioning.