In today’s world the demands of stress are very different compared to decades ago. The stress demands correlate to an individual’s time, finances, relationships, jobs, and can result in overworked adrenal glands. Recognizing these stresses in life and understanding the stress response will ultimately decrease the adrenal glands work load and improve an overall lifestyle.
What are the Adrenal Glands?
The adrenal glands are located right above the kidneys and play an important role in producing hormones we need in times of stress. Each adrenal gland is made up of two parts consisting of the cortex and medulla, both secreting their specific hormones into the bloodstream. Both the cortex and medulla have different roles, but work together to regulate a stress response in the body. The cortex makes up most of the adrenal gland and primarily responsible for the production of cortisol. Hormone secretion from the cortex regulates optimal production of sex hormones, the inflammatory response function, controls the sleep-wake cycle, maintains gluconeogenesis, controls blood pressure, body fluids, and mineral excretion. The medulla makes up a smaller portion of the adrenal gland and is responsible for the production of catecholamines, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These catecholamines are the “first responders” in a stressful situation, known as the sympathetic driven fight-or-flight response. This response causes digestion to slow, blood flow increase to the brain, and muscles/pupils dilate in response to the known stressor.
3 Phases of Stress Response
The general adaptation syndrome (GAS) stress model demonstrates the bodies constant attempt to maintain internal balance when exposed to stress. There are three distinct phases of the body’s response to stress:
West Family Chiropractic offers Standard Process and Orthomolecular supplements to support adrenal fatigue caused by life stresses. Both supplements promote and enhance an individual’s lifestyle.