ADRENAL FUNCTION


 

Adrenal Function

Hormone balance is deeply connected to the stress we live with, food we eat, toxins we absorb, and the weight we carry.  Much of our hormone production is controlled by the adrenal glands. The health and function of the adrenal glands can be dramatically impacted by these factors.  If stress takes center stage in our life and becomes chronic, not only do we tend to make worse dietary and exercise choices, our body’s natural production of Cortisol can be depleted. When our adrenal glands gets run down, we get run down.  Supporting them with rest, exercise, life balance, good nutrition, proper supplements and sometimes pharmaceutical support is vital to maintaining hormone balance and long term health.

 

We invite you to take a quick questionnaire to see if you may be experiencing hormone imbalances:

 

Take this questionnaire:

  • Are you tired or lacking energy?
  • Do you suffer from irritability?
  • Do you have episodes of weakness or dizziness?
  • Do you often feel like you “crash” in the afternoon?
  • Do you experience foggy thinking or memory loss?
  • Do you experience salt and/or sugar cravings?

If you answered yes to any of these, schedule a customized consultation. At your visit, we will spend time understanding your needs and concerns, test for imbalances and mutually begin to put together a plan to ensure that you are feeling best very soon.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Adrenal Dysfunction and how do I test for it?

Adrenal dysfunction, also known as Adrenal Fatigue, is a condition where the adrenal glands lose their ability to respond to stress and is usually caused by an accumulation of chronic stress over time. Adrenal dysfunction is not a black and white issue of whether or not your adrenal glands produce any cortisol at all, but a function of whether they are producing enough and if they are functioning on a daily rhythm the way they should be. Cortisol should be highest first thing in the morning, approximately 30 minutes after waking, and should slowly decline throughout the day. The best way to assess adrenal function and evaluate adrenal fatigue is to look at cortisol levels at multiple times throughout the day. Not only does saliva’s ease of collection facilitate this, but the cortisol levels present in saliva are only the bioavailable fraction of the hormone. These two factors make salivary cortisol the gold standard for assessing adrenal function and diagnosing adrenal dysfunction.

 

How often do I need to come for follow up?

Your first follow up visit will be 6-8 weeks after your initial testing and then again at 3 months after starting any treatment regimen.

 

What are treatment options for adrenal dysfunction?

Adrenal fatigue can often be treated and possibly reversed through healthy lifestyle modifications that may include good nutrition, improved sleep patterns, exercise, and stress relief. BHRT can also help individuals treat adrenal fatigue by correcting any hormone imbalances that could be directly affecting the adrenal glands, and by treating any side effects caused by general hormone imbalance such as sleeplessness, fatigue, body aches, and more.  In addition there are supplements available to help support the adrenal gland as it recovers from adrenal fatigue and in some cases, we use small doses of prescription Hydrocortisone to assist in a quicker and more certain resolution of adrenal fatigue.

 

How soon before I start seeing improvement in how I feel?

With adrenal supplementation, the results can be very quick, in as a little a couple of weeks.

 

How long does my visit take?

Your initial visit may take as much as an hour.  We feel that this is a very important visit and we want to take the opportunity to really understand what you are experiencing so that we may be best able to target your concerns through testing and treatment.

 

What are payment options?

Aesthetic+Wellness accepts cash, checks, all major credit cards, and payments through Venmo and PayPal

 

More About Adrenal Dysfunction

Adrenal fatigue occurs when the body’s adrenal glands tire and begin functioning improperly as a result of low hormone production. When the adrenal glands fail to work properly, they can cause individuals to experience fatigue, insomnia, depression, weight gain, muscle loss, irritability, autoimmune disorders, and much more.

 

Health care experts say that adrenal fatigue affects millions of people around the globe, and that most people will experience at least one episode of adrenal fatigue in their lifetime as a direct result of illness, a personal crisis, or a difficult financial situation. However, most individuals can treat adrenal fatigue by making positive lifestyle changes in terms of diet, environment, and overall health in general. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)can also help battle and treat adrenal fatigue by regulating hormones without any of the added adverse side effects associated with synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

 

What’s Happening?

Many people stumble out of bed in the morning and begin running all day with kids, work, sports practices, dinner, errands, caring for elderly relatives, and housework. Constantly burning the candle at both ends leaves you exhausted. Weekends used to be a time to relax and unwind, but many people now find the weekends to be equally as busy. Sadly this is “normal”for many Americans. Over 500,000 Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and millions more suffer from severe exhaustion and/or adrenal dysfunction. If you find yourself relying on coffee, sugar or other stimulants to get you going in the morning, you may be experiencing adrenal dysfunction. This feeling is often accompanied by one or more of the following: Morning fatigue/noticeable fatigue any time of day Craving salty or fatty foods Anxiety or nervousness Difficulty falling or staying asleep Muscle aches Increased irritability Decreased tolerance for stress Decreased mental sharpness Headaches and migraines.

 

Effect on the Body:

The cells in the body are constantly breaking down and then repairing. Much of this repair occurs during deep sleep; sleep deprivation (often caused by, or alongside stress) can age a body very quickly by interfering with this repair process. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones, including cortisol, from your adrenal glands. Cortisol is an important mediator of the stress response and is also important for regulating blood sugar, electrolyte balance and hormone balance. Our bodies are designed to respond to a stressful event, and then return to a baseline state. When stressful events occur back to back, or stressful triggers last(as in chronic stress), the stress response can become down-regulated and our bodies eventually reduce the amount of cortisol produced. Though too much cortisol can cause damage to your body, too little cortisol is also a problem. Cortisol levels should naturally be highest in the morning hours, and taper gradually through the day. In addition to cortisol, your body uses neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and epinephrine, to manage and respond to stress. Like hormones, neurotransmitters are chemical messengers made and used in the body that help to regulate mood, cognition, stress and more. When neurotransmitters are imbalanced, stress may feel heightened and symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and irritability may be present.

 

Treating adrenal fatigue:

Adrenal fatigue can often be treated and possibly reversed through healthy lifestyle modifications that may include good nutrition, improved sleep patterns, exercise, and stress relief. BHRT can also help individuals treat adrenal fatigue by correcting any hormone imbalances that could be directly affecting the adrenal glands, and by treating any side effects caused by general hormone imbalance such as sleeplessness, fatigue, body aches, and more.

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