A common health complaint in our culture is that people suffer from feeling exhausted and burned out. Much of this has to do with our fast-paced lifestyle and increasing exposure to toxicity in our environment. In addition, when our diets don’t provide the necessary nutrients we need to regenerate and supply energy to and repair of the cells, tissues and organs of the body, our health will decline.
When cellular energy production is not sufficient to meet our needs our body reacts to this energy shortage as if it were a survival threat and activates stress hormone production from the adrenal glands. Hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine (also know as adrenaline) and cortisol and cortisone are produced at higher levels to cope with this energy shortage. As the adrenal glands become overworked from this energy shortage imbalances in the other organ, neurological and glandular systems manifest as symptoms. A condition known as Adrenal Insufficiency is the result of chronic low energy production and excess reliance on the adrenal glands to cope with this energy shortage.
Adrenal insufficiency is commonly associated with the following symptoms which can vary from mild to extreme:
fatigue even after a good night’s sleep
decreased tolerance to cold
subnormal body temperature
low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
low blood pressure
apathy or depression
lowered resistance to infections
low self-esteem due to low energy output
joint aches and pains
tendency toward constipation
need for excessive amounts of sleep
Because adrenal insufficiency is such a complex health problem with so many facets, it can only be solved by addressing the primary causes. If not properly addressed adrenal insufficiency can lead to a more extreme depletion referred to as ADRENAL BURNOUT, in which your body can not cope with stress and your mind and body is on the verge of collapse.
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are golden-yellow triangle or crescent shaped glands which are attached to the top of each of your two kidneys. They are normally about 3 x 5 x 1 cm in size. Each gland had a cortex which surrounds the medulla. Each region of the gland is responsible for hormone production such as cortisol and aldosterone in the cortex and norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) in the medulla. The adrenal gland also manufactures some of the sex hormones.
When these glands are not properly nourished or overworked they start to diminish hormone production and the above symptoms appear.
How to assess adrenal insufficiency
Tissue mineral levels are correlated to the degree of adrenal insufficiency. The best way to assess tissue mineral levels is through a properly performed hair mineral analysis test.
There are 5 indicators of adrenal insufficiency found in properly performed hair mineral analysis samples:
1. Sodium level less than 25 mg%
2. Potassium level less than 10 mg%
3. Sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1
4. Sodium/magnesium ratio less than 4.17:1
5. Calcium/potassium ratio greater than 10:1
The more of these indicators that are present, the greater the evidence of adrenal insufficiency. Also, the more extreme the values, the more suggestive of adrenal insufficiency. An initial tissue mineral assessment will help to determine the degree of your toxicity and nutrient deficiency and to provide a baseline to compare with future assessments. If you want to get a baseline hair mineral analysis please contact my office and I will send out a hair mineral analysis kit to you.
Reproduced with permission from from Create Vibrant Health