When playing a game, do you have a strong desire to win? Chances are that if you’re healthy enough to be participating in the game, you have a desire to win. This innate desire to win not only feels good, it ensures the survival of our species on this planet!
One of the games we play on this wonderful planet is the game of life. However, the difference between this game and almost every other game is that there are lots of winners. In fact, anyone who follows the real rules of this game can win.
Some of the most important rules have to do with sleep, nutrition, and the ability to handle stress. Bodies require a certain amount of quality sleep and proper nutrition in order to function optimally. Great stress is created in the body when sleep and nutrition requirements are ignored.
Although bodies are incredibly amazing, they can only withstand a certain amount of stress before beginning to break down. One of the first systems in the body to break down is the stress handling system, called the adrenal system. This system is comprised of two small walnut size organs that reside on top of the kidneys. While quite small, they are very important and extremely powerful.
When not in fight or flight, the adrenals control the digestive system, the immune system, and the cellular repair system. They produce 30 to 40 steroid hormones, including DHEA, a precursor to the sex-related hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
When the body goes into fight or flight, the adrenal glands shut off the production of the normal adrenal hormones as well as shutting down the immune system, the digestive system, and the cellular repair system. The adrenal glands then begin to produce stress hormones which include adrenaline and high quantities of cortisol.
The production of these stress hormones facilitates the stress response. The stress response includes the release of glucose from the liver, an increased heart rate, an increased rate of breathing, decreased digestive activity, a heightened sense of hearing, and increased muscular strength as the body diverts blood from the surface to the muscle tissue.
During the stress response, the body breaks down proteins in the form of muscle as well as draining the sugar stores from the liver. The production of energy no longer comes from breaking down fats. In the short term, this is an effective way to produce high quantities of energy to protect oneself; but when used for an extended period of time, it causes the body to become depleted, sending it into a disease state known as adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is rampant these days. Some of the symptoms include difficulty getting up in the morning, fatigue that is not relieved by sleep, lethargy, depression, cravings for salt or salty foods, increased effort to do everyday tasks, decreased sex drive and other hormonal imbalances, decreased ability to handle stress, increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma, digestive problems, fuzzy thinking, memory problems, obesity, dizziness, fainting, allergies, cravings for caffeine and sugar, anxiety, infertility, persistent high blood pressure, arrhythmia’s, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, sensitivity to bright lights, and being easily frightened. Feeling light headed or dizzy when getting up from laying or sitting down is another indication of adrenal fatigue (James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., PhD., Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.) There are many more symptoms. This is just the short list.
Four tests that are used to determine if a person has adrenal fatigue include the Muscle Response Test, the Paradoxical Pupillary Reaction Test, Ragland’s Test, and the Salvia Hormone Test. The Muscle Response Test is a kinesiological test which tests for a strong muscle response in three key areas. In adrenal fatigue, the body will not pass the muscle tests in the Muscle Response Test. In the Paradoxical Pupillary Reaction Test, a small light is shone into the pupil to test for dilation. In adrenal fatigue, the pupil will dilate and re-open over and over again.
The two most conclusive of these tests include Raglan’s Test and the Saliva Hormone Test when performed by a reputable lab. In Ragland’s Test, a blood pressure reading is taken while lying down quietly for a short period of time, approximately 5 minutes, and then immediately taken again upon standing. The blood pressure (BP) reading should rise by 10 points at the time of standing. Failure of the BP to rise is a sign of adrenal fatigue. This test shows that the adrenal hormone responsible for constricting the blood vessels and ensuring blood flow to the brain is not functioning.
In the Saliva Hormone Test, saliva is collected four times throughout a day. Cortisol levels are measured through these samples and graphed. When cortisol levels are appropriately high in the morning, you can wake up normally. If they drop appropriately low at bedtime, you can fall asleep easily at night. Adrenal fatigue is indicated when the cortisol levels do not follow this pattern.
If you think you may have adrenal fatigue, it is important to begin repairing your adrenal glands as soon as possible before more damage is done. You would be wise to find a holistic doctor who is well versed in dealing with adrenal issues to help you with the many aspects to recovery.
New technologies are now available to help direct you in finding your way back to health. In my office, I utilize a scanning instrument called Zyto Bio-communication Technology to provide information on the functional state of all the major organs of the body along with suggesting the best nutrition.
Understanding how all of the systems in the body work together, utilizing such incredible glands as the adrenal glands, give us a major advantage. We are better equipped to meet all of the challenges that come our way when we obtain our own level of optimal health. Experiencing life to the fullest is what it means to win in the game of life!
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.