Treating Adrenal Stress

Tim ZimmerNewsletter Articles

By Jamie Doughty ND

The holiday season and darkening of days can result in unwanted stress on our bodies. Luckily, we have stress busting glands to keep us going -the adrenal glands! Our adrenal glands provide us with extra cortisol and adrenaline during periods of stress. Too often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle which can result in dysfunctional adrenals.

Signs of poorly functioning adrenals include feeling more anxious than you think you should, finding yourself more defensive or argumentative, having internal or external shakiness, insomnia and waking between the hours of 3-4 am, not waking refreshed and daytime sluggishness or fatigue.

The first step in discovering an adrenal imbalance is getting a 24 hour saliva test since there are variations of adrenal problems that require different treatments. Natural medicine offers diet, lifestyle, nutritional and herbal options to nourish and balance our adrenal glands.

Case: Sally, a 39 year old mother of 3 children complained of anxiety and an inability to sleep through the night. She was having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. The smallest noises or movements would arouse Sally from her sleep, making it difficult to feel rested the following day. Sally was a 3rd grade teacher with many work related stressors, so rest was a necessity for her to function fully while at work.

Sally’s symptoms suggested an adrenal stress disorder so she completed a salivary hormone test to determine the health of her adrenal glands. The test result revealed a high cortisol pattern which is typical for an acutely stressful event and the early stages of adrenal fatigue syndrome. Sally received adrenal support through supplements to nurture the glands and down regulate the hyper responsive sympathetic nervous system that was causing so many of her symptoms. 6 weeks later Sally reported sleeping better, less irritability and moodiness and better concentration at work

If you think you may be suffering from symptoms of adrenal fatigue it is important to get tested and treated early before the condition aggravates and leads to damage to your adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is reversible, but like all glands of the body exhaustion can take many months or years for a full recovery.