To have a better understanding we must go back, way back, thousands of years ago to the caveman era. During this time, we lived in the wilderness where constant threats and predators co-habited. Fortunately, humans were designed to have a stress response, its sole purpose was to give superhuman powers needed to maintain our survival. Our ability to react to stressful encounters, created the fight or flight response enabling us to either fight or flee from a hazardous situation. This ingenious survival mechanism is the main reason humans still exist today.
Fortunately, society has evolved quite a bit since then, thank goodness. Unfortunately, our response to stress remains the same as our caveman ancestors. Simply put, the stress response is like a light switch, meaning there are only two options: on and off. When the switch is off, the body can operate optimally and function as it should. When flicked on, the body initiates the stress cycle that shuts down bodily functions deemed not vital for our survival to conserve energy. Meaning vital jobs, the internal organs, hormones, and other bodily functions all stop until told otherwise. We no longer live in the wilderness with predators preying on us but we do live in a world where chronic stress is the norm. From lifestyles choices, mental/emotional wellbeing, environmental to toxic stressors in our household, there is no escaping it. Now, you can begin to understand why the adrenal glands are overworked leading to them to cause body dysfunction!
Adrenal dysfunction is a stress related condition that happens when our adrenal glands (peanut size glands that sit on top of the kidneys), become overworked because of...... you guessed it, chronic stressful lifestyles. It is now considered one of greatest health burdens in the functional medical world and being dubbed a 21st century health crisis! So, why are many of you only hearing about this illness now? A very good question. A possible theory is that this condition is not recognised or deemed as important by modern medicine. For some reason, it is only diagnosed in hospital when the adrenal glands are so exhausted they cease to function - Addison's disease is an autoimmune condition that cannot be reversed. Symptoms of adrenal dysfunction symptoms range from:
• Weakened Immune system (sick note).
• Lack of energy.
• Feeling overwhelmed/ anxious/ depressed.
• Decreased sex drive.
• Weight fluctuations.
• High blood pressure/ blood sugar levels.
• Battling to get out of bed first thing.
• Difficulty sleeping.
• Tightness in muscles.
• Cravings for salt.
• Strong sugar or caffeine dependence.
Since I am all about positivity and healing my next article is going to be how to get tested, understanding what cortisol and DHEA is, and what simple changes you can do to help combat decrease your stress and help keep this 21st century health menace on a leash.