Adrenal Stress


Adrenal glands are directly affected by stress; their job is to help the body manage it. However, the changes that happen when this occurs are supposed to be short-lived. If the body's stress levels, comprehensive of mental, physical, emotional, and chemical stress, continue to rise over time, adrenal stress occurs. When this happens, your adrenal glands do not get a break from stimulation, resulting in a decrease in the strength of the immune system, possible plaque or heart disease, and digestive issues. If adrenal stress becomes a long-term issue, it may progress into adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenalism, which results in the adrenal gland not producing enough steroid hormones, primary cortisol, or an impaired aldosterone.

Causes of Adrenal Stress

The primary cause is an overabundance of stress on the body over a prolonged period of time. Stress types include mental, emotional, physical, or chemical and are oftentimes due to ingestion of certain foods or environment pollutants.

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  • Constant fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety/Panic attacks
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Lack of libido
  • Excessive hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Prolonged higher levels of cortisol suppress thyroid function and cause:
    • Raised blood pressure
    • Raised blood sugar
    • Decreased muscle and bone mass
    • Metabolic syndrome from increased abdominal fat stores
    • Increased risk of heart attack
    • Increased risk of stroke
    • Decreased immune response
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The doctor would first take blood tests to confirm whether or not adrenal stress/fatigue is the correct diagnosis. Once adrenal stress/fatigue is confirmed, multiple management regiments can be implemented, including hormones, supplements, IV therapy and possible medication depending on the severity of the individual patient.

Simple Actions that May Help

  • Keep cholesterol levels stable.

    Both high and low cholesterol can affect the brain and central nervous system causing instability and the inability/difficulty to repair itself.

  • Reducing stress is the number one natural way to lessen adrenal stress.

    Although this can be challenging, continue trying new ways to reduce stress until one works for you. Examples include counseling, meditation, regular exercise, aromatherapy, reading, saunas, and yoga.

  • Natural Adaptogenic Herbs can also help.

    These include buchu, ashwagandha, ginseng, ginger, and cinnamon.

  • Although it sounds simple, eating breakfast and having a diet filled with protein will also help aid the adrenals.

    Skipping breakfast and eating low amounts of protein are two of the worst actions one can take for adrenal health.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA supplements can also be used as powerful managements. DHEA is found naturally in the body as a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. What it actually does is help to negate the effects of excess or chronically high levels of cortisol; however, supplementation may be necessary due to stress and age depleting the body's natural reserves.

At the Houston Wellness Clinic, our specialist will work to find the underlying problem and come up with a management therapy plan that fits each patient's individual needs.

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Learn more about how the Houston Wellness Clinic manages Adrenal Stress.

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