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Adrenal Gland Disorders

The key is to know when the body has tipped from good levels of stress to bad levels.

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Detecting the Triggers

Many people feel like they are living under too much stress. The key is knowing when the balance has been tipped from healthy stress into the unhealthy state of chronic stress.

Adrenal fatigue is a health condition caused when the body has been under severe stress for a period of time. Whilst the cause of stress can be known to the individual, other factors such as inflammation or ill health may also play a significant role in this condition. It may also be triggered by an infection. This is known as post-viral fatigue syndrome.

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Whilst a normal body copes well with smaller amounts of stress, our basic reaction to stress is the same as the body cannot differentiate between life-threatening danger and everyday stress. In response to stress, the body produces cortisol, adrenalin and noradrenalin in larger amounts. This reaction, also known as the flight or fight reaction, may well have often saved the lives of primitive man, however is of little help with daily stresses such financial worry, being late for work or being stuck in traffic.

Cortisol levels normally fluctuate throughout the day and night in a circadian rhythm that peaks at about 8am and reaches its lowest around 4am. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, sometimes the stress response can be activated so often that the body does not always have a chance to return to normal. Over time the adrenal glands, which produce these stress hormones become unable to keep up with the demand of stress hormone levels and overall levels of cortisol as well as its building block DHEA gradually decline. Cortisol is necessary for a number of bodily functions including out get-up-and-go, blood pressure, immune function as well as being anti-inflammatory. Having high levels of stress hormones can be as damaging as low levels as the body needs remain in homeostasis.

At Meyer Clinic, we offer DUTCH testing that can look at daily cortisol rhythm as well as DHEA levels to help give you an assessment of your stress levels and how this is affecting your health. This gives a baseline so that we can see how much your diet and lifestyle interventions are affecting your stress levels. Lifestyle, dietary and sometimes nutritional supplements may be recommended to help improve symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Call us to discuss how we can help.

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