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Adrenal Exhaustion: How Stress Is Affecting You and What Can You Do About It?

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February 10th, 2021

By Raluca Schachter

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Most of the people I work with suffer from a certain degree of adrenal exhaustion, the adrenals being the so-called “stress glands”. Stress happens on several levels : physiological, mental, emotional; it grows exponentially among people living in modern society, with the inability to properly manage it.

The Function of The Adrenal Glands and Their Response To Stress

The adrenals are two small glands, located above the kidneys. The outer area or cortex represents 80% to 90% of the gland and secretes adrenal steroids (cortisol, DHEA-S, aldosterone, and small amounts of sex hormones). The inner or medullary area comprises 10% to 20% of the gland and secretes the catecholamines (adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Cortizol, DHEA and adrenaline are the hormones responsible for managing stress and adapting to the demands of daily life.

Normal cortisol levels should be raised in the morning and get down slowly throughout the day. The hormone that induces sleep, melatonin, is inversely proportional to cortisol, so when cortisol is high, melatonin is low to help you wake up, and when melatonin is high, cortisol is low to help you sleep. Adrenal exhaustion occurs when there is an imbalance in this cortisol rhythm, which causes it to be too high or too low, during wrong times.

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