Adrenal Stress Testing
Whether you call it adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency, we know it is common among athletes. Adrenal insufficiency is the term we prefer to use as it describes the condition when the adrenal glands' production of hormones is not balanced in trying to counteract the different types of stressors that are encountered on a daily basis. The adrenal glands, otherwise known as the “stress glands”, enable the body to cope with stress and survive. Shaped like two tiny pyramids, they sit atop the kidneys and from this central location mobilize the response to changes in our environment. Social, career, emotional, physical, and nutritional stress comes in many forms and it is the adrenals’ job to help the body adapt to these stressful situations. They accomplish this by secreting key hormones. Specific to the testing we provide at eNRG Performance, these include the following:
The primary stress hormone that fine tunes our response to the stress of everyday living.
One of the most abundant hormones in the body, and a precursor to estrogens and testosterone; also balances some of the negative effects of high cortisol.
When the adrenals are working in balance and are able to produce the right amounts of hormones, there are usually no symptoms. The hormones produced by the adrenal glands impact just about every process in the body, from energy production and immune activity to cellular maintenance and repair. They are key regulators of glucose, insulin and inflammation, and play a major role in bone and muscle building, mood and mental focus, stamina, sex drive, and sleep cycles.
Adrenals that are out of balance can lead to either high or low cortisol levels. High cortisol can result in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired, increased belly fat, and bone loss. Low cortisol can cause chronic fatigue, low energy, food and sugar cravings, poor exercise tolerance or recovery, and low immune reserves. Out of balance adrenals can also lead to low or high DHEA levels.
This profile test, from ZRT Laboratory, measures the adrenal hormones DHEA-S and diurnal cortisol. When athletes and active individuals experience continuous life, training, and nutritional stress, it can lead to changes in adrenal hormone level production which can be related to a wide range of health and performance issues including inflammation, cognitive dysfunction, bone, cardiovascular health, and immune system health, and blood sugar regulation, to name a few.
We firmly believe in the saying, "test, don't guess". If you have been noticing any of these signs or symptoms, it may be a good idea to have an adrenal stress test done.