Adrenal Stress ASI Lab Test
The Adrenal Stress Test ASI is recommended for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), low immunity, sleep disturbance, unexplained weight gain.
The ASI test determines if a patient is suffering from adrenal exhaustion and if so, which stage they are in. This, along with other relevant indicators, help Dr. Cushing formulate a comprehensive treatment plan to return normal adrenal function levels to the patient.
The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and have one of the highest rates of blood flow per gram of tissue. Each of these glands is composed of 2 separate functioning entities.
The outside, known as the cortex, accounts for 80% -90% of the adrenal gland and secretes adrenal steroids (DHEA-S, cortisol, and aldosterone). The inside, or medulla, comprises 10%-20% of the gland and secretes adrenaline & nor-adrenaline. DHEA, Cortisol, and adrenaline are the three most important adrenal stress hormones.
The Importance of Adrenal Rhythm:
Our adrenal glands do not secrete steroid hormones on a continuous level throughout the day. When functioning normally, hormones are released in cycles, the highest of these in the morning and the lowest at night. When there is an abnormal adrenal rhythm this influences many of the functions in the body.
What bodily functions are influenced by the Adrenal Glands?
Abnormally functioning adrenals alter the ability of cells to produce enough energy for every day activities. Patients who have difficulty waking in the morning, or who suffer from low energy through the day, typically have abnormal adrenal function and erratic blood sugar regulation.
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels depends on food and lifestyle choices, together with adrenal function and insulin activity. The ASI test measures the stress hormones and insulin levels in the body, to give an accurate picture of what may be causing a patients fatigue, cravings and sometimes obesity.
- Bone Health:
Adrenal function also influences our bone health. Elevated cortisol levels during the night and morning, may cause our bones suffer. This makes us more prone to osteoporosis. Any form of stress can weaken our ability to rebuild our bone strength. In postmenopausal women, this effect of stress becomes more likely due to imbalances in female hormones.
- Muscle/Joint Function:
Abnormal adrenal function compromises tissue healing, causing slow tissue repair, and increased tissue breakdown, this may lead to muscle and joint atrophy with chronic pain.
- Skin Regeneration:
Skin regeneration occurs at night. When cortisol levels are higher during the night, there is a reduction in skin regeneration. Optimal skin health requires normal cortisol levels.
- Quality of Sleep:
The ability to enter into REM sleep and experience regenerative sleep is greatly affected by high cortisol levels during the night and morning. Chronic sleep deprivation reduces mental clarity and contributes to depression.
- Immune Health:
White blood cells circulate through the spleen and bone marrow. This function of the immune system follows the cortisol cycle, if this cycle is disrupted, particularly at night, the immune system becomes depressed. It is widely documented that long-term stress suppresses the immune function in many organs of the body causing a reduction in antibodies which affects our resistance to infection.
- Thyroid Function:
Cortisol at the cellular level feeds in to thyroid hormone production. The symptoms of hypothyroid such as low body temperature and fatigue are associated with adrenal maladaptation.
- Glycemic regulation:
Chronic hypoglycemia impairs normal adrenal function because of repetitive overstimulation of cortisol production. Continued high cortisol exposure adversely affects insulin activity. As a result this often leads to insulin resistance which may lead to diabetes. The adrenal stress test ASI™ panel investigates the insulin-cortisol connection in real-life conditions and allows us to target and develop a plan for recovery. The adrenal stress test ASI test is extremely useful for patients experiencing rapid weight gain, obesity, and sugar irregularities.
- Allergies/Autoimmune Disorders:
The adrenal stress test ASI™ helps identify patients with autoimmune diseases and adrenal issues who would beneﬁt from cortisol supplementation.
It should be considered that disruptions with cortisol elevations levels throughout a normal day are connected with patients suffering with attention deﬁcit disorders (ADD).
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME):
Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome showed impaired corticotrophin release. A direct result of low cortisol which may eventually cause adrenal atrophy. Low abnormal functioning adrenals are reported on the results of the Adrenal Stress Test ASI™ panel.
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