Today is a quick email explaining the different types of pathology used to test adrenal hormones when patients experience fatigue.
Classic adrenal signs:
- Wired and tired
- Loose bowels
- Not refreshed after sleep
The medical system does not recognise “adrenal fatigue” and therefore when going to a GP the main reasons you will have your adrenals checked out is if you are suspected to have a condition such as Addison’s Disease (when the body cannot produce enough adrenal hormones) or Cushing’s Syndrome (when the body produces too many adrenal hormones).
These tests usually involve looking at blood results of cortisol. The problem with blood tests for steroid hormones such as cortisol is that the majority of hormones circulating in our blood are bound to carrier proteins. When hormones are bound, it means they cannot exert any of their effects on the body and therefore they will not be contributing to our excess or deficiency symptoms. This is why you can’t directly compare a cortisol blood test to a saliva test.
Our cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day. Due to nature’s circadian rhythms, cortisol levels are at their highest in the morning which gives us that ‘get up and go’ feeling to start our day. Once we have been stimulated awake, cortisol will decline fairly rapidly throughout the day and stay at its lowest all evening so that we can sleep.
When there is a dysregulation of cortisol in response to stress, then this pattern will inverse first, and causes a range of issues, such as hyperactivity, peak energy at night time, night time sleep pattern disruptions, loose bowels, sweating, and more.
If this pattern does not self regulate, then adrenal fatigue can set in, and it shifts to fatigue that does not alleviate with rest. The thyroid hormones will be out of range in response, and the blood sugar system stressed, resulting in sugar and salt cravings.
Saliva is a much more accurate way of testing steroid hormones as we are looking at the unbound, free hormone levels. As these free hormones are the ones that have an effect on the body, it is much more beneficial to test these so we can see if they directly correlate to your symptoms.
Our Adrenal Plus Profile saliva test collects samples from you at three vital times of the day – first thing in the morning before rising, in the afternoon and late in the evening. This helps us identify your daily cortisol patterns and if they are in alignment with the natural rhythms mentioned above. Your test kit is sent to you and you collect your samples from the comfort of your own home, reducing any additional stress associated with visiting a pathology lab, meaning your samples are an accurate representation of your normal day.
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