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You've probably heard the term, "fight or flight." In primitive times, we had two choices, stand and fight or run for our lives. Now that time and technology have made our lives easier, we don't need this instinct as much, but we still possess it.
This state of being is produced by our adrenal glands, two small glands that produce the "stress" hormones cortisol and DHEA. These important hormones are at their highest levels in the morning, cycling down to their lowest levels at night. This process is called the circadian rhythm and is pivotal to our health. In times of extreme stress, to the body or to the mind, the adrenal glands produce large quantities of cortisol and DHEA, only to become exhausted, leaving us with a hormone imbalance called adrenal stress.
Adrenal stress can have a myriad of effects on the body including weight gain or loss, gastrointestinal issues (indigestion, constipation etc.), cravings, changes in sex drive, anxiety and irritability.
If you have any of these symptoms or other chronic health issues, and often experience extreme stress, ask your doctor about a test called the Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) to determine if your adrenal glands are functioning properly.