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Low Energy Levels Could Be Caused By Cortisol Deficiency

Adrenal fatigue is a medical disorder that is caused from the adrenal glands becoming exhausted due to disease, nutritional problems or chronic stress. Although some medical professional do not believe that high stress levels can result in adrenal fatigue, many alternative practitioners believe otherwise. Many people suffer from lack of energy, feelings of depression, weight loss or gain, low sex drive, sleep disorders and sometimes chronic fatigue, which are all symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Oftentimes, because these symptoms can be vague and are very common, mainstream physicians do not take them seriously or recognize them as adrenal fatigue. Additionally, these symptoms could possible be an indication of another medical condition.

Cortisol Deficiency and Adrenal Fatigue
Cortisol is an important steroid hormone that is produced and secreted by the adrenal glands. Its main functions are to increase blood sugar levels, assist in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and to suppress the immune system. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone because it is released during stress to help restore metabolic balance. Cortisol levels are normally highest in the mornings, which prepare the body with enough energy to go through the day. By evening, cortisol levels decline, preparing the body for sleep. When these normal cortisol cycles are interrupted, problems can occur. These include mental instability and low levels of energy and stamina. Although this level of cortisol deficiency is not life threatening, it can affect daily performance, reducing the quality of life.

The Causes of Cortisol Deficiency
There are several factors that can affect the adrenal glands causing them to become fatigued. These include chronic stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, the use of caffeine and illness.

For detection and treatment of cortisol deficiency due to adrenal fatigue, a naturopathic physician can use a saliva test to measure cortisol levels and if an imbalance is detected, may use hormone replacement therapy (such as Isocort), diet modifications and teach relaxation techniques to correct the problem.

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