by Glen Depke
We have been monitoring the questions that are coming back to us about adrenal function and the Adrenal Recovery System. We have compiled the common questions for you here to be answered for you. As you read through this and other questions come up for you, please feel free to respond to this blog post.
If you are feeling poorly and you have yet to take the complimentary adrenal stress profile assessment, you can take this right here.
Top Questions about Adrenal Insufficiency
Is it necessary to test my adrenal function?
Yes, it would be for a couple of reasons. Number one, testing is essential for awareness. Depending on your genetic predisposition and/or your current focus on health, you may or may not feel you’re your adrenal function is low. We have seen many clients in the past coming into Depke Wellness that do not suspect adrenal issues, only to find them sometimes challenged in later stages of adrenal insufficiency. This is definitely not an area to attach the “ignorance is bliss” phrase as knowledge is power with your adrenal function. Number two, understanding what stage of adrenal insufficiency you are currently living in will determine the optimal protocol to move forward to assist your body in balancing your adrenal function and resetting the HPA axis.
Why is saliva testing a better form of testing?
Conventional medicine would look at blood testing for adrenal function and this is simply incomplete. This would typically provide you with a total cortisol number in that moment only which does not tell the whole story. We want to see your cortisol levels throughout your day as well as a total cortisol count for the entire day. We are also looking at a DHEA average, estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, androstenedione and melatonin. All of these levels collectively help us under you current state of balance, or lack of balance. I also want to add that blood testing only reveals what is in your blood, whereas saliva testing will also uncover a buildup of hormones in the body tissue. As example, I have seen women in the past that have been using progesterone or estrogen creams that have had blood testing still show low levels of these particular hormones, only to test via saliva to find that their bodies are living in toxic levels of these hormones. This is often due to the fact that many people do not absorb these creams vascularly very well, thus leading to a buildup in the fat tissue of the body. Saliva testing can assess these imbalances.
When you are looking at adrenal function, why do you test other hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, melatonin and other hormones you have mentioned?
We test these other hormones because it helps us understand your individual imbalances on a deeper level. When looking at melatonin, this can not only tell us a little something about sleep habits but also immunity and/or digestive function. Looking also at other hormones such as estrogens can also provide us with potential deeper information about liver function and perhaps possible estrogen dominance, which would also provide some clues tied into insulin resistance and insulin surges. Tying in progesterone, testosterone and androstenedione also provide us with deeper information about other potential health issues.
What is the HPA axis that I hear you discuss so often?
The HPA axis stands for the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis. Simply put the job of this axis or feedback loop is to functionally bring your body into a deeper state of relaxation after a stress event, situation or time frame in your life. Of course we all have some forms of stress, but we can live with some levels of chronic stress and still enjoy health and happiness with a properly functioning HPA axis because this will assist your body in balancing functionally after a stressful event. So with a healthy HPA axis life looks like this. Stress/balance, stress/balance, stress/balance, stress/balance and stress/balance. You get the picture? If your HPA axis burns out, which is typical with moderate to late stages of adrenal insufficiency your life will be represented differently, such as, stress, stress, stress, stress, stress and more stress. Not a pretty picture right? Often when the HPA axis burns out, you lose your coping mechanisms, so stress that you used to handle with no problem in the past now pushes you over the edge. I also want to add that assisting your body in resetting this HPA axis plays a significant role in overcoming your health challenges and this is one of the many benefits of the Adrenal Recovery System.
Can I simply balance my adrenals with food?
While healthy food choices play a role in assisting your body in balancing adrenal function, food alone is not the answer. You would want to address your Nutritional ID and food sensitivities, which would both play a significant role for you but also your other fundamentals of health such as deep belly breathing, proper hydration, sleep, movement, healthy exposure to the sun and empowering ways of dealing with stress in your life. Also understand that if you are in a late stage I or stage II or III adrenal insufficiency, you are most likely going to need deeper intervention that just your fundamentals of health to assist your body in recovering. Far too often we see clients floundering in chronic health patterns even though they are taking great care of all their fundamentals, eating very well and eliminating foods they are sensitive to. We are always so excited to introduce these people to their adrenal function and HPA axis, so they can begin the journey of assisting their body in balancing these areas to eventually reach their health goals of increased energy, weight loss, improved sleep, improved mental/emotional clarity and some much more. This is where the Adrenal Recovery System is often the life changer for so many.
Will yoga or meditation balance my adrenals?
While practices such as yoga and meditation are excellent at taking you out of a stress response, these do not reset the HPA axis. So while you may find some benefits while using these practices you will most likely find your body stuck in the same stress response as you were prior to your yoga or meditation. I’ll also add that many “Americanized” yoga practices are very intense physically, which can further stress your adrenals. We do often recommend yoga to our clients but we always specify a gentle yoga practice.
You talk about the triggers a lot, what is the biggest trigger for the adrenals?
It would be impossible to pick one because each client we work with is unique which is also expressed through the adrenal triggers. Here are the most common triggers.
- Food sensitivity
- Chronic mental/emotional stress
- Standard American Diet (SAD) – high in sugar and processed carbohydrates
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic infection
- High levels of toxicity
If my adrenals are healthy, what can I do to keep them this way?
This is the question that I always love to hear, as this is all about prevention. Simply maintaining a focus on your fundamentals of health and some minor supplemental insurance goes a long way. Here is the list for you fundamentals of health.
- Deep belly breathing
- Proper hydration
- Nutrition on three levels
- Food Sensitivity
- Nutritional ID
- Proper sleep habits
- Movement which includes
- Bodily movement (exercise)
- Proper bowel movements of 2 or more per day
- Healthy movement of your spine
- Healthy exposure to the sun
- Dealing with the stress of life in a health manner and releasing the energy of past emotional trauma
The supplemental insurance that I was referring to is vitamin B5 which is in the Depke Wellness Prime Adrenal Support. Understand that vitamin B5 is the essential nutrient at the core of hormone production. For those that are using this preventively I would recommend one capsule per day.
I’ve heard you mention using hormones to balance adrenal function. Do you use estrogen and progesterone?
We typically do not. We have never had to recommend estrogen replacement to a client through the years and have only recommended progesterone twice after reviewing almost 5,000 adrenal hormone test kits. We focus on the core of adrenal hormone production which is vitamin B5, zinc, pregnenolone and DHEA. By assisting the body in this way, your own adrenal gland function should have all it needs to produce the other end result hormones such as estrogens, progesterone, cortisol, cortisone, testosterone and androstenedione. We find that the use of what we refer to as “end result hormones” simply puts a band aid on your symptoms and does not address the underlying challenges. This is why the Adrenal Recovery System is so important for most.
Does adrenal fatigue affect both genders equally?
Yes it does. Adrenal insufficiency does affect both men and women of various ages completely dependent on each individual’s adrenal triggers. While we do see more women in our clinic rather than men, this is not because more women have adrenal issues, but more likely due the fact that women overall tend to be more preventive focused and many men wait until they crash and burn before they address this. Sorry guys, just calling it as I see it.
Is the Adrenal Recovery System and online program?
Yes and no, how is that for an answer? This is actually both on online and one on one program and needs to be out of necessity. You can get information on the Adrenal Recovery System and purchase online and for those committed to the program; you will actually receive three weeks of comprehensive online education from me via text, video and voice over Power Point presentation. But you will actually receive a comprehensive adrenal saliva test kit to process and once we get your results back in our office, the Adrenal Recovery System also includes a one on one consultation with one of the Depke Wellness adrenal experts to review your test results and make the necessary recommendations to assist your body in balancing your adrenal function and resetting that all important HPA axis. Because every person potentially has an individual hormone expression via testing, this has to be addressed individually in your one on one consultation.
What happens if I have adrenal problems and they are not addressed?
It comes down to this. Your adrenal function plays a role in the function of the body listed below. If you have adrenal insufficiency that is not addressed, this will begin (if it has not already) to affect any or all of these areas. We have found through the years of assisting thousands of clients achieve their health goals, that balancing your adrenal function will most likely play a significant role in your improved health. How about increased energy, weight loss, improved sleep, improved mental/emotional clarity and some much more? This is where the Adrenal Recovery System is often the life changer for so many.
Here is the list of what your adrenal function will directly affect.
- Metabolism of fat and protein
- Mucosal surface integrity
- Immune regulation
- Pro/anti-inflammatory states
- Cellular energy
- Blood sugar balance
- Muscular/skeletal health
- Quality of sleep and mood
- Ability to memorize and learn
- Neural connectivity
As you can see, your adrenal function truly does impact the whole of your body. If you have yet to take the free adrenal stress profile assessment online, you can follow this link to understand the role your adrenals are playing in your health challenges.
*Remember, if you have any other comments or questions that come up as you have read through this, please post below for us to address personally.