Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms than can result from chronic mental, emotional or physical stress. Adrenal fatigue occurs when our adrenal glands, which are used to make essential hormones for our bodies, are chronically overused causing a decrease in function. Common symptoms range from exhaustion, sleep disorders, lightheadedness, body aches and low blood pressure.
The adrenal glands are small, egg shaped organs that become most active in times of stress, secreting cortisol as a way for our bodies to react and recover quickly. This reaction is meant to be short lived. When used chronically, as common in most urban lifestyles, they begin to function at a suboptimal state producing less hormones when needed.
Adrenal fatigue can be measured by testing the levels of cortisol and DHEA in the blood and saliva. Traditional blood tests give you a single moment look at where cortisol levels are. However, adrenal hormones are meant to vary at different times during the day. Therefore to get a comprehensive look at adrenal function, it is most effective to test throughout the day. This can be done with a simple salvia panel performed in the patients home and is the most effective way to diagnose adrenal fatigue.