Download this article as a PDF: Exhaustion And The Stress Glands.
Ever get home from work with the best intentions to go out to your favorite dance venue, only to find yourself so drained and exhausted that neither Richard Gere nor Jennifer Lopez could motivate you to get off the couch? Consider the possibility of adrenal exhaustion as the cause of your problem. The adrenal glands, aka stress glands, are endocrine glands which secrete hormones and other chemicals directly into your bloodstream. Some of these principal glands are the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries and testes. These glands, along with the nervous system, provide your body with the instructions on how to carry out all of the millions of chemical reactions that happen every second in order to keep you alive. This is a pretty big job! In addition, since each gland works in concert with other glands, an imbalance in one affects the others.
How Do Adrenal Glands Go Wrong?
Resulting from the cumulative effects of stress or of an overwhelming stress (emotional, chemical or physical in nature) if your glands, like all the parts of your body, are not well fed, they lose their resiliency and your ability to bounce back is severely compromised.
Like all parts of the body, adrenal glands need nutritional support. Metabolic factors such as hypoglycemia, inflammation, infection, malnourishment, toxins, etc. tax the glands. If they are not strong, well nourished, and supplied with their mineral and vitamin co-factors, they can weaken and become functionally insufficient.
How Do I Know If My Stress Glands Are Working Optimally?
Unfortunately, lab tests do not tell the whole story, so many doctors miss this state of insufficiency because it is not an outright failure. However, this condition can be easily quantified with the “postural hypotension test.” You failed this test if your upper number (systolic) blood pressure fails to rise on standing from a lying down position. This condition is strongly associated with chronic fatigue, tendency towards hives, allergies, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and arthritic tendencies. Craving salt is the result of low adrenal patients losing electrolytes. Weakness results after colds or flus. In fact, a surprising number of my patients realize, upon close examination of their history, that their health was never again as good as it was before a bad case of the flu.
Getting Back On Track
So, what to do to regain that “élan vital” that will get you off the couch when Richard or Jennifer await on the dance floor? A balanced diet composed of high quality “real food” is essential, but, in addition, my favorite approach is a whole food supplement called Drenamin. This is a great combination product built around the adrenal protomorphogen (growth factor of the cell) and includes the whole food source Cataplex (whole food complex) C and G. The low adrenal patient also does poorly with protein digestion, so I also recommend Zypan, a complete digestive enzyme. You can learn more about both of these stress gland support supplements at www.standardprocess.com. They are inexpensive and completely food-derived, so there are no synthetic vitamin overdosing or interaction concerns, any more than would be with a nutrient rich food.
If you suspect that this might be you and would like to learn more, give me a call at my office, at (610) 828-9634. On my website, you will find a link to a SURVEY that you can take and submit online that will give me a pretty definitive idea if you could benefit from tending to your stress glands. Take the survey. I’ll call you in a few days with the results and my recommendations. See you soon on the dance floor.
This article was first published in The Delaware Valley Dance Spotlight, July/August 2010. It is the sole work of its author, Dr. Veronica Collings DC.