Adrenal Stress Test
The Adrenal Stress Index is an easy to use home salivary test which evaluates adrenal function and fluctuations in the circadian rhythm.
The test checks levels of cortisol and DHEA, the two steroid hormones that assist the body to manage stress. These hormones also have an influence on metabolism, thyroid function plus female and male hormones.
Imbalances in these hormones can result in a wide range of symptoms from low energy and exhaustion to loss of drive and motivation, depression and hormonal problems.
Possible symptoms of stress
As we are all individual we can respond to stress very differently from the next person.
- Low energy / fatigue
- Loss of libido
- Loss of motivation and drive
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Menopause / hot flushes
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Nervousness and / or irritability
- Digestive disturbances (diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, stomach aches/ pains)
- Abdominal obesity
- Inexplicable hunger
- Increased number of minor infections, and viruses (e.g. thrush, cystitis, colds, flu)
- Poor concentration and memory
- Increased sensitivities to food, alcohol intolerance
- Skin problems (eczema, psoriasis)
- Loss of skin elasticity
What is adrenal stress?
Two small glands, known as the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and help us deal with life’s stresses by releasing the hormones, cortisol and DHEA. These hormones are not released constantly throughout the day. Instead they are secreted in a cycle called the circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle), with the highest levels being secreted in the morning and the lowest at night.
Sometimes in periods of long-term or severe mental or physical stress these glands can go into overdrive. If this occurs for too long or too often then the adrenals later become exhausted. When this happens, the hormonal levels of Cortisol, DHEA in the blood stream become imbalanced.
Having balanced stress hormones is particularly important because they
- Maintain emotional and physical energy
- Strengthen the immune system against colds, coughs, flu and possibly more serious illness
- Improve metabolism, help reduce fat storage, and control appetite
- Slow down the aging process, decrease PMS and menstrual difficulties
- Aid dietary protein synthesis – helping mood
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Maintain healthy blood pressure levels
- Lower LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels
What causes stress
Factors that may contribute to stress include, negative dietary and lifestyle habits, (including over-consumption of stimulants such as sugar and caffeine), excessive exercise, injury, bereavement, marriage, divorce, debt, attitudes such as perfectionism, obsessive – compulsive behaviours, shyness, insecurity and also isolation and loneliness and of course just every day life can be a source of stress.
What is being measured
The adrenals are responsible for the secretion of the body’s major stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA and this is what is measured.
Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Test.
This test also measures levels of Secretory IgA an important marker for immune function and helps to show how stress may be impacting on immune function.
The test simply requires 4 saliva samples collected at 4 intervals throughout the day.
No steroid medication including hormones, inhalers and creams are to be taken or used for 48 hours before the test unless you are wanting to monitor the medication. Long term use of steroid medication or creams may influence the results Please check with your health provider that this is ok for you before stopping any medication.
Before Taking this Test
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine (on day of test)
Do not eat, brush or floss teeth, use mouthwash, or chew gum (1 hour before) you take each sample
Wash your hands before collection
See instructions inside test kit for details
Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Test
It is possible to upgrade this test to the comprehensive adrenal stress profile which measures both of the above but in addition it measures something called secretory IgA. This is a helpful marker when looking to see how much stress is affecting the the balance of the adrenals hormones and their affect on the immune system.