One of the theories about why we age has to do with the adrenal glands getting tired, and no longer being able to keep us going by manufacturing hormones in healthy and balanced levels. The adrenal glands work closely with the thyroid gland to regulate metabolism and energy levels. If you are on thyroid medication, and are still fatigued, you need to look at your adrenal hormones. You also may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Reduced tolerance for stress
- Interrupted sleep
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Midday Fatigue
- Craving for sweets and salty foods
- Brain fog
- Sensitivity to noise or other stimuli
- New allergies or sensitivities to foods or chemicals
When your adrenal glands get tired, they no longer manufacture cortisol correctly. Cortisol should spike around 8am to get you up and ready for the day. Over the course of the day it should then decrease so you can fall asleep at night. Under long periods of chronic stress, or even after high stress over a short time, your adrenals can no longer produce the cortisol needed to get you up in the morning, or they start to produce it incorrectly, either plateaued, or increasing at night leading you to experience fatigue all day, and then insomnia. It can become a vicious cycle.
We use salivary hormone testing to determine your cortisol curve. You perform this test at home at four different times, and then send the sample directly to the lab. We don’t usually do salivary hormone testing, but in this case, it is better than hanging out at the office all day and getting four blood draws.
Once we determine how your cortisol curve looks, we can then treat your levels directly with supplements, and possibly even hormones. It can take up to a year to rebuild your adrenals, but it is certainly worth it. Your adrenal glands help regulate your sex hormones, blood sugar, metabolism, and sleep cycles. Abnormal levels can result in anxiety, depression, and weight gain as well.