By Josh Redd, DC on February 1, 2019
Many people are stressed out these days. This can negatively affect the health of our bodies and brains, leading to chronic disease and accelerated brain degeneration. If you’re worried about the effects of stress, an adrenal salivary test can be an important too. It will identify you whether your stress levels are too high or too low and whether this has affected your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle.
To do the adrenal salivary test, you collect a small vial of your saliva throughout the day using the vials provided in your test kit. Your results will show how much of the stress hormone cortisol you produce starting in the morning and going into the evening. Make sure you don’t have anything unusual or stressful planned on the day of your test.
Low or high cortisol usually doesn’t reflect a problem solely with the adrenal glands, two glands that sit on top of each kidney. These glands secrete cortisol. Chronic stress primarily affects pathways in the brain. These pathways begin to degenerate and dysfunction with chronic stress.
Chronic stress isn’t just about being too busy, working a bad job, or being in a bad relationship. Other causes of chronic stress include blood sugar that is too high (insulin resistance) or too low (hypoglycemia), chronic infections, leaky gut (intestinal permeability), or an unmanaged autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Conducting a second and third adrenal salivary test can help you determine whether you are managing your condition. If so, adrenal health should improve. If it does not, this requires you keep digging for the source of what is triggering your stress.
Your sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, will be thrown out of balance adrenal stress. A normal circadian rhythm shows cortisol is highest in the morning and lowest at night. This is what causes alertness in the morning and sleepiness before bed. Examples of dysfunctional circadian rhythms include being more awake at night, crashing in the afternoon, or waking up in the middle of the night.
The adrenal salivary test also tests for your total secretory Ig antibodies, or (SIgA). Low SIgA reflect means you likely have poor immunity. Low SIgA may reflect as food intolerances, chemical sensitivities, autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid, chronic infections, and other immune assaults.
Ask our office how functional medicine can profoundly influence your adrenal health. We will also help you find and manage the root causes of your adrenal stress.