What Do My Adrenals Do?

Adrenal Energy

I have been asked this question often – where are my adrenals and what do they do?

Adrenals are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys in your lower back.  They are responsible for a number of important processes, and being so small, they can get easily overwhelmed and out of whack.  The adrenals first and foremost produce your ‘stress hormones’, cortisol and DHEA.  They help your body respond to all kinds of stress, be it physical stress from intense exercise, skipping a meal, or sleeping too little.  They also pump out stress hormones in response to mental stresses like stress at work, mile-long to do lists, conflicts, or worries.  Adrenals also help our body balance blood pressure, absorb minerals or electrolytes, affect conversion of proteins and fats into energy, and maintain blood sugar in a normal range.  Often when one of these systems starts to get out of balance, they all tend to go out of balance.  The main symptom of adrenal imbalance is FATIGUE, often deep and long-lasting fatigue that gets worse over time.  Along with that, other symptoms start to appear such as low blood pressure, hypoglycemia or difficulty managing sugar, weakened immune system, increased food cravings, and mood swings.  These apparently separate problems are all evidence of diminished adrenal function. If you are feeling a lack of energy, an increasing amount of effort needed to perform everyday tasks, mild depression or lack of motivation, and are waking up feeling unrested, you likely have some level of adrenal fatigue or reduced function.  Testing adrenals is as simple as a salivary test for stress hormone levels, combined with your doctor’s review of your symptoms and stressors.  Rebuilding the adrenals does take some time, but it is essential to regaining vitality and our natural remedies work very well for healing and rebuilding adrenal glands.

Dr. Heidi Hook, ND

Born and raised in Auburn, California. Dr. Heidi Hook is a 1996 graduate of Bastyr University and is the owner of Auburn Naturopathic Medicine. Her practice focuses mainly on discovering the underlying causes of illness that is specific for each person.

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