Adrenal & Blood Sugar Disorder's
Adrenal disorders are probably the most common functional disorders found today. We live-in a society in which we are culturally inclined to eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates, synthetic sweeteners, artificial flavored foods, foods with numerous synthetic additives, and foods loaded with compounds to alter normal physiology such as partially hydrate fats found in boxed and bagged foods.
A poor diet places tremendous stress on the body, compounded with a society which places great demands on deadlines and social pressures, has lead to an epidemic of adrenal related disorders. The adrenal glands are two triangular type glands, attached above the kidneys. The adrenal gland produces steroid hormones cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, DHEA, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The adrenal glands also produce a small amount of sex hormones.
1. Energy production: Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of the cells to produce energy for activities of daily living. People who have a hard time rising in the morning, or who suffer with low energy level during the day, often have abnormal adrenal rhythms and poor blood sugar regulation.
2. Muscle & joint function: Abnormal adrenal rhythms are known to compromise tissue healing. Reduce tissue repair and increased tissue breakdown can lead to muscle and joint breakdown with chronic pain.
3. Bone health: The adrenal rhythm determines how well we build bone. If the night cortisol level are elevated and the morning level are too high, our body does not rebuild well, and we are more prone to the osteoporotic process. Stress is the enemy of the bones.
4. Immune health: White blood cells cycle in and out of the spleen and bone marrow for special conditioning, and possible nourishment and instructions. This immune system trafficking follows the cortisol cycle. So, if the cycle is disturbed, especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected.
5. Skin regeneration:Human skin regenerates mostly during the night. With higher night cortisol values, less skin regeneration takes place. So, a normal cortisol rhythm is essential for optimal skin health.
6. Sleep quality: The ability to enter REM sleep cycle, is interrupted by high cortisol values at night and in the morning. Chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce the mental vitality and vigor of a person and induced depression.
7. Thyroid function: The level of cortisol at the cell level controls thyroid hormone production. Quite often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to an adrenal maladaptation.
8. Grain intolerance & stress: Now 12-18% of the U.S. population suffers from a genetic intolerance to grain. The gut becomes inflamed within 30 minutes after consuming the grains and this can be to an adrenal stress response, increase core little and reduced DHEA. Cortisol is secreted in specific pattern during a 24-hour period. This is why salivary tests that incorporate a collection sample in the morning, noon, afternoon, and bedtime are so useful in tracking renal function. Any alterations in this padding indicate adrenal stress syndrome. The circadian rhythm of cortisol is linked to patterns associated with sleep at night and working during the day. The normal pattern can be observed on a graph with high levels of cortisol in the morning, which gradually tapered down until its lower levels are plotted at night.
The reason cortisol levels are highest in the morning is because the body has just engaged in sleeping. Sleeping is a fasting state on human physiology. When the body is a sleep it does not have the available glucose from food intake to help with repairs and to supply cells, such as the brain and blood cells, with the constant supply of glucose they demand. Therefore, the adrenals will release cortisol during sleep for the needed glucose. When the circadian release of cortisol is abnormal, many times patients will complain of sleep abnormalities, such as an inability to stay or fall asleep, non-restful sleep, symptoms of fatigue in the morning with difficulty getting out of bed.
Cortisol imbalance signs and symptoms:
- Headaches with physical or mental stress
- Weak immune system
- Slow starter in the morning
- Gastric ulcer
- Afternoon headache
- Fullness or bloating feeling
- Crave sweets, caffeine, cigarettes
- Blurred vision,
- Get shaky or lightheaded if meals are missed or delayed
- Irritable before meals
- Eating relieves fatigue
- Cannot stay asleep or cannot falsely
The Adrenal Stress Index (ASI)
Four saliva samples are used in the ASI™ for the following ten tests:
4 x Cortisol Helps evaluate stress response
2 x Insulin Helps investigate blood sugar control
DHEA Helps determine stress adaptation
Secretory IgA Helps evaluate toll on immunity
17-OH Progesterone Helps determine adrenal reserve
Gluten Antibodies Helps identify grain intolerance
The Doctors at MultiCare can use the findings in this panel to recommend customized treatment and preventive measures that may include diet and lifestyle changes, hormones, botanicals and vitamins.
Advantages of the ASI™
- The test is non-invasive & can be performed wherever you are.
- Saliva is collected under real life conditions. There are no stressful blood draws and no gallon sized urine containers to carry around for 24 hours.
- With blood and urine testing, a number of borderline adrenal conditions are missed due to lack of sensitivity. This is not the case with the ASI™ because samples are taken within one circadian cycle and the more definitive free fraction is measured.
- The ASI™ is an in-depth test, such that options for treatment are expanded by 400-500% over serum and urine test results.