Adrenal health & natural female hormone balancing



The Hormonal System and Adrenals
Your complete health analysis begins with assessment of the hormonal system provided by the Functional Adrenal Stress Profile.


Stress Hormone Lab Assessments
The first step in assessing your hormonal system’s condition is to measure the function of your adrenal glands with the Functional Adrenal Stress Profile test. The saliva samples you submit to the laboratory are put through sophisticated hormonal assays that measure the levels of cortisol and DHEA hormones over a 24-hour period. This test analyzes how well your body is managing stress.


Causes of Stress
The Functional Adrenal Stress Profile measures adrenal stress caused by lifestyle issues such as working long hours, poor eating habits, lack of exercise or lack of rest. Adrenal stress can also be caused by internal organ dysfunction such as poor digestion or inadequate detoxification ability. When the sum total of all your stresses reaches a critical threshold, the adrenals react in a
predicable pattern.


Symptoms of Stress
The most commonly experienced symptoms of adrenal stress include: fatigue, depression, inability to lose weight, sweet cravings, decreased sex drive, insomnia, poor memory, anxiety, PMS, weakened immune response, recurrent infections, unexplained nervousness or irritability and joint or muscle pain. As you experience these external symptoms, profound physiological changes are
taking place inside your body.


Stress and Sex Hormone Production and Sex Drive
Because all steroid hormone production is linked by biochemical pathways, cortisol and DHEA depletion impacts the female hormones progesterone and estrogen, as well as the predominant male hormone, testosterone. In both men and women hormonal symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, sweet cravings and headaches can be related to the failure of the adrenals to adapt to stress. Female hormone symptoms such as menstrual cramping, infertility, night sweats and hot flashes can also be adrenal related. Many women feel they are on an emotional roller coaster with their female hormones, yet rarely explored is the role the adrenals play in female hormones. Testosterone levels in men also suffer as a result of weak adrenal output. Since sex hormone levels drop as cortisol and DHEA levels drop, sex drive diminishes in both men and women.

Salivary testing also detects the level of secretory immunoglobin A, referred to as ‘SlgA,’ a vital, if long unrecognized component of the immune system. In a healthy body, SIgA protects us from opportunistic infections (e.g., parasites, bacteria, yeast, virus) and reactions to foods. SIgA is a thin, healthy, mucous-like substance that provides a physical barrier of defense in all the lining tissues of the body. SIgA defense is found in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, sinus passages, throat, mouth, vaginal tract and urogenital system. When SIgA is depressed, we become susceptible to a wide range of infectious organisms, environmental allergens such as pollens and molds, and can become reactive to the very foods we eat.


Stress and Immune Function
Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” directs the production of special immune cells called immunocytes, which produce SlgA, our first line immune defense. If cortisol values are abnormal, the ability of immune cells to produce adequate SlgA is compromised. This is one reason we get sick so easily when we are stressed. Simply put, prolonged stress results in adrenal exhaustion and depressed first line immune defense opening the door for opportunistic infections.


Physiological Effects of Stress

Repair (Anabolic)
The repair/breakdown or anabolic/catabolic dynamic is one of the most important health principles. Depending on our physical and emotional health we are at all times shifting between a repair (anabolic) or breakdown (catabolic) state. Being in an anabolic state means you are rebuilding, repairing, literally re-constructing your body’s tissues. Being in a repair state is like renovating a house by painting, landscaping and replacing a leaky roof. Anabolic refers to your immune system’s rebuilding processes. When you are anabolic your body is in a state of constant regeneration, repairing blood vessels and heart tissue, rebuilding old bone and even destroying cancerous cells.

Breakdown (Catabolic)
The opposite process, a breakdown state, is referred to as a catabolic state. The word catabolic is from the same Greek root as the word cataclysm, meaning disaster. It is a well-chosen term since too much time spent in a catabolic state has disastrous effects on your health. This breakdown or destruction phase occurs when your body is operating under stressful conditions and isn’t able to repair itself adequately. Under catabolic conditions we breakdown our own muscle, our own organs and our own bone. This breakdown ultimately leads to degenerative diseases. We maintain a strong immune system when our bodies spend more time in repairing than breaking down. A healthy immune system prevents the development of many chronic degenerative diseases. For example, we have cancer cells that grow in us each day and it’s our immune system’s job to destroy those cells so that tumors don’t develop. Our blood vessels and heart require constant renewal to prevent the plaquing that causes cardiovascular disease. Our bodies are constantly breaking down and repairing bone and joint tissue; if this breakdown process is blocked, osteoporosis and arthritis occur. Prolonged immune system stress can lead the body to attack itself resulting in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Your health status, whether you are predominantly in a repair state or breakdown state, can be measured by a variety of lab tests. This information allows you to address chronic degenerative diseases in their earliest stages, long before a pathological condition has developed.


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