How Much Stress Can the Body Take?
Low Energy - Anxiety - Joint Pain - Obesity
A wide range of physical and emotional disorders have actually been linked to adrenal hormone imbalances. Now there's an easy way to find out whether these imbalances are affecting how you feel.
What are adrenal hormones?
There are two small glands attached to the top of your kidneys, called adrenal glands. They are essential for life. When you feel physical or psychological stress, these glands release natural chemicals such as adrenaline, DHEA, and cortisol (called adrenal hormones) directly into your bloodstream.
How do adrenal hormones affect my health?
Adrenals have one of the highest blood flow rates of any tissue in the body--so the hormones they produce can trigger reactions in all parts of your body. One major adrenal hormone is cortisol--a powerful anti-inflammatory. Cortisol levels rise dramatically with stress, prolonging your body's "fight or flight" response. If your body is producing too much or too little cortisol, you may experience a range of symptoms. See chart (left/below menu)
What does DHEA Do?
Another hormone produces by our adrenal glands, DHEA (dehydroepiandr-osterone) actually works to balance many of the effects of cortisol on your body, helping it cope with stress. In research studies, DHEA has been shown to improve memory function, boost energy levels, and reduce fat production. Most importantly, DHEA appears to protect the immune system from some of the cell damage caused by aging and disease.
Does age effect DHEA and cortisol levels?
Adrenal hormone levels change dramatically over the course of a lifetime. DHEA levels usually peak in a person's early 20's and then begin rapidly diminishing with age.
At an advanced age, your DHEA levels may have dropped 80-85% from their youthful levels! Cortisol levels, on the other hand, may continue to increase over time. If these two hormones remain chronically "out of sync," it can tax the body's immune system, making a person less able to cope with stress and more susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
How does the Andrenocortex Stress Profile work?
About 95% of the DHEA circulating in the bloodstream is in a sulfate form called DHEA-S. The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a safe, noninvasive test that determines your DHEA-S and cortisol levels using 4 saliva samples which can be easily collected at home or at work.
Balance is the key in assessing the overall effect of adrenal hormones on the body. That's why, in addition to individual measures of DHEA-S and cortisol, the test report includes a DHEA-S/cortisol ration that indicates your body's unique an dynamic balance of these crucial stress hormones.
What are the advantages of saliva testing?
Saliva testing can provide a more accurate indication of the free, bioactive hormones circulating in your body than other types of analysis. It's also more convenient and less expensive than conventional blood testing. And because saliva samples can be easily collected at home in a relaxed setting, test results are much less likely to be affected by the stress induced by more invasive procedures.
How are the results helpful?
After examining your results, your health care Dr. Bachman can suggest a therapeutic program to restore DHEA-S and cortisol to their optimal, beneficial levels. He can use the Adrenocortex Stress Profile to specifically monitor your ongoing progress in the therapy
If your body is producing too much or too little cortisol, you feel some of the following symptoms.
Weakness and Fatigue Cortisol imbalances can throw off the body's blood sugar metabolism, making you feel weak, tired, and run-down. Too much cortisol can also interfere with sleep patterns and produce a "wakeful," unrelaxing sleep state. So you may feel worn out even after a full night's sleep.
Muscle and Joint Pain Excess cortisol in the bloodstream accelerates the breakdown of body tissue and prevents proper tissue repair, leading to muscle and joint injuries and chronic pain.
Obesity Cortisol imbalances can stimulate fat deposits in various parts of the body, resulting in weight gains in the trunk, chest, neck, and face.
Poor Skin High levels of cortisol can reduce the skin's ability to regenerate, resulting in an unhealthy skin appearance.
Over time, cortisol imbalances can take a heavy toll on your health, wearing down your immune system, triggering premature aging, and setting the stage for chronic illness. Anxiety, depression, heart disease, AIDS and osteoporosis have all been linked with elevated cortisol levels.