Adrenal Stress Disorder And Why You Are Sick

“I don’t feel well. I’m tired all the time. I have so many problems, but my blood and other tests are okay. I don’t know what’s wrong.”

This is a common occurrence in an applied kinesiologist’s office. These patients have been to every doctor under the sun and nobody can give them an answer to why they are feeling so terrible.

Adrenal stress disorder is very, very common. It may not seem like it, but our bodies are put to the test every day. Electrical pollution, toxins in the air, water, and food, the drastic drop in nutrients in our food, low grade chronic infections, and the mounting emotional stress from trying to do so many things in a fast paced world.

It’s taking a toll.

Our bodies can’t handle it so they start to break down. Name a disease or symptom and the person having it probably has some form of adrenal stress. So what are the adrenals and what do they do?

Glad you asked.

The adrenals are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Involved in the fight or flight reactions, they send powerful signals out to the body in times of stress.

There are four main functions of the adrenal glands:

1. Glucocorticoids: These are the hormones involved with converting protein and fats for use as sugar in the body. Blood sugar needs to be balanced in the body for optimal function. When balanced these hormones are also anti-inflammatory. Very important for injuries and preventing such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disorders.

2. Sex corticoids: These are the male and female hormones of the body. In particular for a woman to make a smooth transition to menopause, the adrenals must be healthy and strong.

3. Mineralcorticoids: The hormones that play an important role in the mineral balance of the body. They also help balance the inflammatory processes.

4. Epinephrine & Norepinephrine: Epinephrine is commonly known as adrenaline. Regulates the fight or flight mechanism and is very important in the autonomic nervous system (the nervous system not under our conscious control).

Okay, so that being said, here are the 3 stages that a person will go through as their body become more and more “stressed”. This is based on the work of Dr. Hans Selye who researched the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) in the 1920′s and 1930′s.

Alarm Reaction: Under any form of stress be it emotional, injury, biochemical or others, the adrenal glands ramp up and start producing more hormones. This is done to enable the person to fight off the stress.

Resistance: Here we have started down the road to dysfunction. The original stress has not been dealt with and the body is trying to brace itself for the long term. The adrenal glands actually swell in size, the immune system starts to atrophy and we begin to notice digestive problems such as ulcers. Another common symptom is chronic low back pain, along with knee and ankle pain. Some athletes will tend to keep re-spraining ankles.

Exhaustion: In this stage, the body has had enough. This is where we start to see the big nasty “diseases” and conditions. The body can only adapt for so long before it gives out. These patients are usually labeled as hypochondriacs or depressed, and are given anti-depressants.

It’s important to note that pretty much any condition can be listed here. Common symptoms include low energy, dizziness upon arising, and eyes sensitive to light. Respiratory symptoms include asthma and emphysema. As alluded to earlier, musculoskeletal symptoms include lower back/pelvis, knee or foot pain. And emotionally, common symptoms are anxiety, depression, apprehension, and irritability.

The best way to test the adrenals is by a functional examination utilizing applied kinesiology (AK). From there it can be determined what kind of dietary changes are needed, such as limiting the processed sugars and avoiding stimulants, and what kind of supplements are needed.

Depending on what stage the person is in, the rebuilding phase can take some time. The more accurately you follow the recommendations based on the AK testing, the faster a correction will be obtained. Ideally, the entire family should be checked, even the young children to avoid the problem to begin with.  We routinely find young children with some aspect of adrenal stress.

-Dr. Larsen