The adrenal glands are apart of your endocrine system and play a central role in regulating and reacting to your body’s stress levels. When they function properly, you are able to effectively react to the day-to-day stresses that you encounter.
The adrenal glands are located on top of your kidneys and are important because they regulate important stress hormones like cortisol, responsible for the “fight of flight” response, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
Adrenal fatigue describes a constellation of symptoms that may occur when your adrenal gland is over stressed and cannot sense when to turn its hormones “on or off.” These symptoms include body aches, fatigue, decreased energy, nervousness, digestive problems and sleep disturbance.
In the setting of chronic illness or prolonged low-grade stress, your adrenal glands may become overworked and cause feelings of intense fatigue and exhaustion even after a full night’s sleep. Adrenal dysfunction may also cause low libido, weight gain, increased PMS/menopausal symptoms, constipation, and a weakened immune system.
When your endocrine system is not regulating your hormones properly, you may feel unable to cope with normal everyday stress or even handle the normal activities of life.
It is common for people who suffer from adrenal fatigue to prefer eating salty or sweet foods. This occurs because the body is constantly searching for a way to refuel and upgrade its energy as fast as it can.
Many physicians overlook the adrenal glands and do not monitor cortisol levels because they favor other diagnoses. At Functional Medicine Center of Montana we recognize the importance of a properly balanced endocrine system. If we notice signs of adrenal fatigue, we will immediately send hormone testing. This testing will monitor your cortisol levels over a 24-hour period and help identify if the symptoms you are suffering from are due to adrenal gland dysfunction.
If you have been experiencing any of the above described symptoms and are looking for answers, schedule an appointment with Functional Medicine Center of Montana today!
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