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{I hope you all will give a warm welcome to my friend Beverly Meyer. She is a Paleo Nutritionist and Natural Health Practitioner, as well as the founder of the On Diet and Health website. She is a wealth of knowledge about a wide range of topics and her website is one of my go-to resources. Please stop by her site and say hello!}

Do you have tired adrenals? Here’s how to test your adrenal function at home and know if your body is keeping up with the stress in your life.

True adrenal fatigue is no joke. Don’t guess…. TEST!

How to Test Your Adrenal Function at Home

Here’s two free tests I use in my clinic, and one you’ll need to buy online. You’ll get great data on the state of your adrenals and you can monitor improvements over time.

If you find your cortisol is low, I have several “Primal Diet – Modern Health” podcasts on the adrenals (such as this one on iTunes), and several articles (such as this one and this one) to give you more help. There are helpful supplements in my online store too.

ONE:  Saliva testing for cortisol and other hormones

The only way to quantify the amount of cortisol produced and the time at which you produce it is to do a Saliva Test. Collect 4 samples of saliva over the course of a day, and you’ll get an easy to read report on cortisol amount and timing. (Lab name is below).

Cortisol is highest in the morning to shut down melatonin production and wake us up. It is lowest at bedtime when it allows melatonin to put us to sleep. This circadian rhythm is one key to healthy life and restorative sleep.

Here’s an example of test results available from saliva testing.

How To Test Your Adrenal Function At Home // deliciousobsessions.com

The top line shows normal results. The bottom line shows adrenal fatigue from insufficient cortisol. Adrenal Failure, which I struggled with in the 1980’s, would show cortisol at 3 or less all day long.

You can pay extra to test progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and estrogen with the same samples. If you’re a cycling female, test on Day 21 when progesterone should be highest (but often isn’t). This lab sells adrenal test kits and will help you interpret them, but they’re pretty self-explanatory.

TWO:  The Blood Pressure Test

You need a blood pressure cuff to do this simple test at home. It helps to have a partner but it’s not required.

The Ragland’s Test measures your adrenals’ capacity to maintain blood pressure when you stand up.

Lie down, relax quietly for a few minutes, then take and record your blood pressure. Leave the cuff attached to your arm. Now stand up and immediately retake your pressure. If the top number (your Systolic pressure) rises 6 points or more, you’re good!

If it stays the same, or falls, you have some (unknown) degree of adrenal fatigue. No change? You have “fair” adrenal function.

Drops 1 to 10 points? Oops, that’s “poor” adrenal function.

Drops more than 10 points? Well, darn, your adrenals may be exhausted! It’s really important now to understand how stress is affecting you and what you need to do to repair your endocrine system.

THREE:  The Pupil Reflex Test

You can do this alone, but it’s helpful to have a partner. You’ll need a small flashlight  (not too bright) and a dark room with a mirror you can get close to (or a friend who can observe you).

Stand in the dark for 60 seconds to let your pupils dilate. Then shine a light from the side onto one eye. Immediately start counting seconds.

The pupil should strongly constrict and HOLD while the light shines for at least 20 seconds.

If the pupil pulses open and closed, count the timing. Holds steady for 10 seconds and then starts pulsing? Mild adrenal fatigue. Pulsing after 5 to 10 seconds? Definite adrenal fatigue.

If the pupil cannot constrict and hold even 5 seconds before dilating, you may be in adrenal exhaustion. Time to run a saliva test and quantify where you’re at!

You can repeat this test monthly while you’re taking action to stop exhausting yourself. This is an early marker of adrenal fatigue, so it’s a nice warning sign that you’re starting to not recover from stress very well.

Either way? It’s Time To Act!

Other Clues You Have Adrenal Fatigue

Check out the adrenal quiz on Dr. Wilson’s adrenal site! If it all looks familiar to you, do a saliva test and find out how far down your adrenals really are.

Now, the clinician in me says I have to repeat this….

If you suspect your adrenals are more than just mildly tired, and are actually fatigued or exhausted, you MUST do a saliva test immediately and keep testing every 6 months to monitor your improvements (or lack thereof).

I was totally shocked the first time I did a saliva test. My scores were almost literally zero! I was at work, seeing clients, knowing I was “really tired”, but not fully acknowledging the extent of my illness.

The body is completely committed to rejuvenating itself, but it does have limits! For more info on the functions of cortisol, check this Wikipedia page and search my website for articles and podcasts. I have several adrenal and adaptogenic supplements as well.

Supporting the Thyroid & Adrenals Through Herbs

When it comes to supporting the adrenals and thyroid (because they are very closely linked), caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.

When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.

But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.

And it sucked.

I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.

Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!

I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.

After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home. 

That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.

In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.

Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.

This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2015 // deliciousobsessions.com

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