Do you crack your eyes open and think, “let me sleep for just 10 more minutes, or 3 more hours”?! Most Americans stumble out of bed every morning and think about all the things they have to do for the day: work, kids, errands, cleaning the house, sports practices, and dinner, to name a few. Do you feel like you are constantly burning your candle at both ends and feel exhausted all the time? You put resting off for the weekends but when the weekend comes you find yourself busier than you were during the week. If this sounds like your daily/weekly routine, you are not alone; this is the reality for most Americans.
You may be one of the 500,000 Americans that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and millions more suffer from severe exhaustion and/or adrenal dysfunction. If you find yourself relying on caffeine, sugar and other stimulants to get going in the morning, you may be experiencing adrenal dysfunction. Do you feel like this and have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Morning Fatigue/Noticeable fatigue throughout the day
- Craving salty or fatty foods
- Difficulty falling/ Staying asleep
- Muscle aches
- Increased irritability
- Decreased tolerance for stress
- Decreased mental sharpness
What’s going on: The cells in the body are constantly breaking down and then repairing. Much of this repair occurs during deep sleep. Sleep deprivation (often caused by, or alongside stress) can age the body very quickly by interfering with this repair process. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones, including cortisol, from you adrenal glands. Cortisol is animportant mediator of the stress response and is also important for regulating blood sugar, electrolyte and hormone balance. Our bodies are designed to respond to a stressful event, and then return to a baseline state. When stressful events occur back to back, or stressful triggers last (chronic stress), the stress response can become down-regulated and our bodies eventually reduce the amount of cortisol produced. Though too much cortisol can cause damage to our bodies, too little cortisol is also problem. Cortisol levels should naturally be highest in the morning hours, and taper gradually through the day. In addition to cortisol, your body uses neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and epinephrine, to manage and respond to stress. Like hormones, neurotransmitters are chemical messengers made and used in the body that help regulate mood, cognition, stress, and more. When neurotransmitters are imbalanced, stress may feel heightened and symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and irritability may be present.
The solution: It is difficult to know what your cortisol levels and neurotransmitters levels are based on symptoms alone. Dr. Scott MacLeod will perform a saliva test. Saliva testing is the best way to accurately measure the pattern of cortisol release throughout the day. Saliva testing also allows measurement of the fraction of the hormone that your body can use. The best part is the test is convenient and painless. Once the saliva tests are completed, Dr. Scott MacLeod will create a custom tailored, natural program that will rebalance your cortisol levels.
Don’t put off feeling your best one more day! Life is too short to not feel your best EVERY single day. Summerlin Center for Wellness is committed to helping you look and feel your best. Call 702-796-7546 today so you can start feeling better tomorrow!