How Stressed are Your Adrenals: Cortisol and DHEA
Adrenal hormones are intimately involved in bodily processes from immune response and cardiovascular function, to bone density, to cognitive activity. Adrenal hormones, particularly DHEA, also impact heavily the levels of the sex hormones. It’s not surprising that adrenal fatigue can have a significant impact on your energy levels, disease resistance, emotional state, and general well-being.
Cortisol increases greatly during times of stress, and because cortisol affects almost all of the body’s processes, long term stress response can mean increased risk of numerous health problems. Prolonged cortisol secretion as a result of constant stress also impacts DHEA levels. Adrenals that are overworked from chronic stress can’t produce enough DHEA because they’re busy pumping out so much cortisol. DHEA levels that are low mean the body can’t produce the hormones it needs when it needs them, which means less testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.