Chronic Stress may be due to work or family crisis, chronic illnesses, infections, pain, financial problems, loss of a loved one, or environmental exposure. Prolonged stressors can be a source of much anxiety and eventually lead to depression. Cortisol is a major hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Its production takes priority over all the other hormones. This hormone mediates the physiological changes which occur in response to stress. Cortisol production takes priority over female sex hormone production, which leads to irregular periods, worsening, PMS, perimenopause, and menopausal symptoms.
Chronic stress decreases thyroid hormone function. Decreased thyroid function causes fatigue and weight gain. Insulin function is decreased, causing elevated blood sugar and eventually diabetes. Bowl function is altered, causing a decrease in absorption of nutrients and irritable bowl symptoms.
Eventually, the body’s ability to make cortisol at high levels diminishes. In healthy individuals cortisol is normally elevated in the morning and decreases as the day progresses. This allows you to be alert and productive in the morning and to wind down as the day closes, so that you can sleep at night. With prolonged stress, adrenal functioning diminishes. As cortisol levels drop, so does your ability to cope with daily stressors. The normal rhythm of cortisol production may be reversed leading to low cortisol levels in the morning and high nighttime cortisol levels. These reversed cortisol levels produce fatigue during the day and insomnia at bedtime, thus making you feel tired and wired.
If the stressor continues, the adrenal glands begins to fail leading to chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, poor bowel function, abnormal insulin and glucose function, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism. Patients with adrenal dysfunction are also more likely to develop cancer, autoimmune diseases and infections.
The best way to test for the effects of stress is through saliva testing. Hazle Drugs provides Saliva Testing Kits for patients. Saliva testing allows the physical effects of stress to be measured. Hazle Drugs certified nutritionist, Bill Spear can provide options for Adrenal Dysfunction. Most of the symptoms can be corrected by using nutritional supplements such as Hazle Drugs own brand of “Adrenal Health Support”. Hazle Drugs “Adrenal Health Support is a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals and glandulars designed to support normal adrenal health and stress management.
If you would like more information on Adrenal Dysfunction, please contact Compounding Pharmacist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Bill Spear, R.Ph, CCN at Hazle Drugs 1 E. Broad St., Hazleton, Pa. 18201. Call 570-454-2476 for more information or to schedule your Nutritional Consultation today!