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Stress Affects Adrenal Function

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Most of us don’t realize the importance of the function of the adrenals. We have all heard of an “adrenaline rush” but most of us have never understood just how relevant adrenal balance is to our health and the effect it has on our bodies and their ability to function properly.

The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of our kidneys. The adrenals are highly affected by different forms of stress. You can have emotional stress from marital problems or you may not like your job or your employer. You can have chemical stress from chronic exposure to heavy metals and pesticides and food allergies. And you can have physical stress from overtraining or working sixty plus hour weeks.

According to Dr. Michael Galitzer, one of our countries leading physicians and hormone specialist, adrenal fatigue is epidemic in our country. In traditional medical practices adrenal failure is recognized as a disease called Addison’s disease. In fact, John F. Kennedy had Addison’s disease and treated it with cortisone for years.

When people are under enormous and prolonged stress, they will experience adrenal fatigue. The first stage of stress is called the “alarm stage.” At this stage there is increased secretion of the hormone cortisol in order to adapt to the stress. High cortisol causes insulin resistance and insulin resistance cause high cortisol.  When ignored the next stage is “adaption stage.” This is where our bodies see no end to the stress so attempt to balance. Once adaptation sets in, the body can carry on at this pace, but other physiological changes are happening.  Without changes the last stage sets in. It is called the “Exhaustion stage.” At this point something has got to give.  Common symptoms of Exhaustion stage are not being able to fall asleep, thinning hair, dry skin and constipation.

Biofeedback is a valuable therapy to reduce stress and retrain the body to acknowledge relaxation. With biofeedback we can re-teach the system to “disconnect” at the place of secretion of cortisol. We can become entrained to recognize when we are stressing our adrenals and recall what it felt like to be in that relaxed state and reconnect there.  Learning Biofeedback techniques and hearing what the program tells you about your individualized stressors  can help turn around the stress factors in your life so that the body can work to reach a balance for self healing.

Robin Mize , Quantum Biofeedback, is a member of The Sandpoint Wellness Council and may be reached at 208/610-9997. 


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