Your adrenal gland is a small gland that has several important functions. It directly or indirectly regulates your stress response, the sex hormones, fat metabolism, electrolytes, and blood sugar regulation.
The adrenals can be overworked in cases of chronic stress (from any cause), or if the period of stress extends too long, then they can become exhausted and unable to mount an appropriate response. Neither condition is good, and both are unfortunately all too common in today’s world.
There are many ways one can assess the adrenals. I have written in the past about salivary hormone panels such as the ASI (adrenal stress index test) that can give a good benchmark of how your adrenals are doing. However, there are some simple things that you can do yourself from time to gather info that suggests how your adrenals are doing.
If you have had standard blood work done recently (such as with Wellness FX), you can easily compute the sodium:potassium ratio. As another job of the adrenals is to help control the electrolyte balance of the body, this can give insight into their status. If the number is less than 30, it suggests adrenal insufficiency (or an exhaustion state). If the ratio is above 40, it suggests that your cortisol levels may be chronically high.
Several other common home tests can be found here. (link is http://www.adrenalfatiguerecovery.com/adrenal-function-tests.html)
Remember, none of these are diagnoses, but if you come up positive on several of them, you may want to investigate further with testing such as the ASI.
WellnessFX will be presenting a seminar early September at CFPDX. It’s on the event board at the gym and we’ll also be running another Wellness FX blood draw in the coming months!