Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that have the ability to produce different hormones such as steroids aldosterone, cortisol and adrenaline. These glands are located just above the kidneys and have a series of layers with variety of functions and built.
If you feel dizzy, light-headed and tired always, there is a chance that your adrenal glands have problem. One of these problems is adrenal fatigue or simply called adrenal insufficiency. It develops and progress after periods of intense and lengthy physical or emotional stress and the glands are unable to meet your body’s needs. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency or fatigue may include the following:
- Exhaustion and excessive fatigue
- Feeling tired even after sufficient hours of sleep
- Sleep disturbances
- Overwhelmed by stress factors
- Slow recovery from illness, injury or stress
- Most energetic during the evening or night
- Poor digestion, may even crave salty and sweet foods
- Consistent low blood pressure
- Food or environmental allergies
- Extreme level of sensitivity to cold
- Difficulty of concentrating
Basically, there are three different ways that adrenal function can be analyzed: saliva, urine and blood testing.
- Saliva Testing
- This is practiced by many alternative health practitioners since that testing of cortisol and other hormones is more accurate and even represents the dynamic physiology and hormones in the body. Doctors may not recommend this kind of testing but endocrinologists use this kind of test in evaluating Cushing’s syndrome.
- Urine Testing
- Most common of tests which includes 24-hour collections of cortisol and aldosterone. You will be asked to accumulate urine in a specialized jug or container.
- Blood Testing
- Statistically, it is the most accurate kind of test for knowing if you have adrenal fatigue or insufficiency. If your health care provider feels that you have such problem, he or she will ask in testing your morning cortisol level at around 4:00- 8:00 a.m.