Are you always tired and stressed out? Are your hormones out of whack? Have you ever thought about what could be causing all this or do you just get on with your life thinking that this is normal or part of aging?
It could be because your adrenal glands are not functioning properly. Our adrenal glands are small glands found on top of each kidney, they are vital for us to function properly. Their primary function is to reduce stress in our bodies by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and androgen which are our sex hormones. However, the two most important hormones it secretes are aldosterone and cortisol. While aldosterone helps control blood pressure by managing minerals in your body such as potassium and sodium, cortisol helps regulate stress levels.
So what happens when your adrenal glands malfunction? As a result, they can either produce too much of one hormone or too little.
Addison’s disease (lower levels of hormones)
Addison’s disease is caused by the insufficient production of such hormones, mainly cortisol and aldosterone. Also known as adrenal insufficiency it can be life-threatening if we don’t treat it. Some of these symptoms may occur over a couple of months as it develops slowly. In addition, they include extreme fatigue, weight loss, nausea, irritability, body hair loss, and even depression.
Cushing’s syndrome (higher levels of hormones)
On the other spectrum if you are overproducing hormones you might have what we call Cushing’s syndrome and Conn’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome is a result of overexposure to high levels of cortisol over an extended period of time. As a result, Cushing’s syndrome can be identified by a fatty hump in between the shoulders, a rounded face, and pink and purple stretch marks. People who suffer from this disease often show signs of severe fatigue, muscle weakness, cognitive difficulty, and a decrease in bone density.
Conn’s syndrome (higher levels of hormones)
Conn’s syndrome is the overproduction of aldosterone which causes you to lose too much potassium and hold excess sodium. The increase in sodium holds onto water within our body ultimately increasing the blood pressure. Usually, the only symptom associated with Conn’s syndrome is high blood pressure. However, the increase in blood pressure may cause headaches, blurred vision, and dizziness.
So as you can see our adrenal gland function is very important for our overall health and a malfunction in these small organs may result in life-threatening conditions. In our next blog, I will discuss how you can help improve the function of your adrenal glands naturally and effectively.
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