Adrenal Stress Index
The Adrenal Stress Index is a test for the adrenal, which is a small gland found just above the kidney.
It is probably one of the most important glands in the body, with a greater amount of blood passing through it than any other gland in the body.
When the Adrenal Gland is functioning normally, we feel well, have adequate amounts of energy, good immunity against infections, no water retention, and are fairly relaxed and easy-going.
The main function of the Adrenal Gland is to respond to stress - it generates the 'fight or flight' response.
The main effect of this response is to increase the blood flow to the muscles, whilst lowering the blood flow to the digestive tract, the skin, the kidneys, the liver and spleen, etc., and to slow down less essential functions such as the immune response and higher brain functions such as concentration and memory. As a result there is an increase in blood sugar, blood pressure, and the heart rate, as the body gets ready to react.
This response has developed with us as we evolved as humans, and indeed helped to keep us alive. In a small number of situations today, they still serve to keep us alive.
However, the majority of day-to-day stress nowadays is not life threatening. But the response of the Adrenal Gland is the same.
In the absence of a 'fight' or 'flight' the body has unnecessarily caused the effects described above, and because of the chronic nature of today's stressful life, the stress reaction is constantly present.
This leads to long-term problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease.
This test is valuable it giving us information about how the adrenal gland is functioning.
Who Should Have the Test?
The test is available to everyone.
It would be particularly valuable for those at a higher risk of adrenal problems:
For those with these risk factors, then it could be argued that they should have the test every 12 - 24 months.
How Is It Done?
The Adrenal Stress Index is carried out by collecting a small amount of saliva. A test kit is provided for you.
Four samples are collected over a 24 hour period, and these are then sent together in the post.
The Adrenal Stress Index looks at a number of hormones related to the adrenal gland, such as cortisol and DHEA, and as each sample is analysed separately, it is possible to build a picture of the variations in hormone levels throughout the day.
This is particularly important when assessing adrenal function, as the hormone levels vary throughout the day, with relatively high levels being produced early morning, and lower levels later in the day. This is known as the diurnal variation.
The results are available to us after around 14 21 days, and we usually arrange a follow-up appointment in a month to discuss your results. Alternatively results can be posted to you, or we can discuss them with you over the telephone.
How Accurate are the Results and What Do They Mean?
No test can be 100% accurate. This test is probably as accurate as any blood test, which is the conventionally accepted method of assessing hormone levels.
At Better Health we have always approached new treatments, new tests and new therapies with an analytical, scientific approach are they as good as they claim to be?
Currently available conventional tests on adrenal function require specialist hospital referral, and they are often misleading and incorrect. This is because many of the tests (but not all) do not look at the diurnal variation in cortisol levels (i.e. high morning levels with low evening levels), but rather are a single blood test taken at an arbitrary time during the day.
Consequently most conventional tests fail to detect early adrenal problems.
What Advice Do You Get?
If the results are normal, then adrenal function is normal, and there is no need for any treatment. A follow up test would be advisable in 12 - 24 months.
If the results show low or borderline adrenal function then the test should be repeated, possibly with other tests looking at other factors and possibly other hormones.
If the results show significantly low adrenal function, then further tests should be carried out as above, looking for other factors, preferably with a full hormone test and a vitamin and mineral test. Other tests may then be indicated according to these results.
Treatments advised by Better Health include various nutritional, herbal and homoeopathic medicines, and will depend very much on the results of the tests carried out.The Adrenal Stress Index enables us to rationalise treatment in the best possible way.
How Much Does it Cost?
The current cost of the Adrenal Stress Index is £115. A carriage charge will be additional for shipping to the laboratory.
Further charges apply for any further consultations, tests or treatments, and these will be discussed with you fully as necessary.
0800 980 3447