Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
Everyone experiences stress at times but it is our hormone balance which determines how well we cope with the stress that we have. The main gland that is in charge of storing and producing our stress hormones is the “adrenal gland”. We cannot live without this gland, it makes hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA and in women during menopausal years, it also makes progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.
When we are faced with stress, our adrenals first produce adrenaline which keeps us focused and alert and then the adrenals produce a hormone called cortisol which is in charge of calming us after the adrenaline rush.
When there is a chronic and continued stress, then our body responds by producing a lot of cortisol for a long time. At first you have high amounts of cortisol and then your body / adrenal glands get fatigued, exhausted and burned out. At this point, you have low amounts of cortisol all throughout the day. This condition is called “Adrenal Fatigue”. This condition makes us feel fatigued, depressed, “tired but wired”, inflamed, low sex drive, irritable, more susceptible to infections and allergies, a decreased ability to recover from exercise, low blood sugar and simply put just “burned out”!
There are so many patients who are told by their medical doctors that they are depressed and need an anti-depressant. These patients know that they are not depressed, that they have a lot of blessings in their lives but in reality they are just burned out.
In menopausal women, a lot of their cortisol comes from progesterone. If these women are not hormonally balanced and if their progesterone levels are low (which is a very common occurrence) then they are more likely going to feel fatigued and feel agitated, nervous and with racing thoughts all the time.
Cortisol is our own natural anti-inflammatory, therefore, patients who have “adrenal fatigue” tend to feel generally more inflamed and can even develop auto-immune problems. Patients who are chronically in an “adrenal fatigue” state tend to develop other hormonal imbalances such as low progesterone or hypothyroidism. Low progesterone can cause pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), heavy periods, cramps, fibroids, PCOS, infertility, breast tenderness, etc.
Wise Adrenal support will help you keep your “adrenal glands” healthy and support your system during and after you have experienced a time of high stress.