The Adrenal Stress Profile contains the following tests performed on saliva:
- 4 cortisol measurements
- SIgA (secretory IgA)
Stress is not a vague concept…it’s a measurable biological phenomenon! This panel was designed to evaluate the four crucial stress biomarkers that might be compromising your health.
The first step is to measure your body’s circadian rhythm by testing cortisol over 4 important time points throughout your day. Healthy cortisol levels are generally highest within the first thirty minutes after waking. As the day progresses, cortisol levels drop in a fairly constant rate, with the lowest values in the late evening preparing you to sleep.
Although cortisol gets a bad rap as your major “stress” hormone, it’s not your enemy! Cortisol is a valuable hormone necessary for many functions including regulation of your immune system and reducing inflammation. The right amount of cortisol gets you out of bed in the morning, keeps you energized, and clear headed as you move through your day. So unless you want to push through your day tired, cranky, foggy headed, and unable to sleep, you need cortisol to follow a healthy rhythm of highs and lows.
Optimal health also requires a balanced ratio of cortisol to DHEA. DHEA has a building influence while cortisol has a tearing down effect on your body. As long as your adrenals are producing both hormones in balance to combat daily stress, you should be fine. That’s what our bodies were designed to do. But if stress is not effectively dealt with, maladaptation symptoms will occur over time as your adrenals ability to produce both hormones is diminished. When these hormones are thrown out of balance, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Cortisol high, DHEA high
- Nervousness, sleeping issues, body aches, digestive problems
- Cortisol high, DHEA low
- Anxiety, fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, belly fat, reduced thyroid function, impaired memory, depression, muscle loss/weakness, immune system compromised, bone loss, headaches, low back pain, food cravings, uncontrolled hunger
- Cortisol low, DHEA low
- Burnout, crushing mental/physical fatigue, depression, loss of sex drive
An elevated cortisol/DHEA ratio, or a cortisol level that is too low can diminish your body’s first-line immune defense, secretory IgA (SIgA). SIgA is an antibody that binds to pathogens such as bacteria, yeast, viruses, and food proteins in the mucosal lining of the gut. As you continue to be exposed to stress, SIgA is further depleted, and you become susceptible to food allergies as well as other digestive disturbances and infections. On the flip side, an elevated SIgA points to an inflamed gut or an acute immune response which places stress on your body.
If you’re tired all the time or just generally not feeling well, you no longer have to guess what role stress is playing - you can measure it and know for sure!
The following documents provide a full set of instructions and the contents of the lab kit for completing the test:
Results take 7-10 days from the time the laboratory receives your sample. This test is not available in Pennsylvania. The results for this test can only be received via mail, e-mail, or fax.