The high stress of daily life in modern America has resulted in prolonged pressure upon the adrenal glands to produce tremendous quantities of hormones to deal with this stress. For many Americans this constant stress seems to have produced a form of adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands have become so overworked they may no longer produce sufficient quantities of hormones for some individuals to adequately cope with the stress of life.
Adrenal Cortex Hormones:
The outer portion of the adrenal glands are known as the cortex which produces a very different class of hormones than that of the inner or medulla portion. A lack of sufficient hormones from the adrenal cortex may be manifest as a wide variety of health problems. One of the most notorious is a sense of chronic fatigue and exhaustion, of being tired all the time, even when a physician can find no medical cause for the problem.
Hormones from the adrenal cortex known as glucocorticoids, regulate blood sugar. When not produced in a timely and sufficient quantity, blood sugar becomes very unstable and may remain at low levels for hours at a time. This creates a feeling of tiredness and a lack of energy as well as a loss of mental alertness. When carried to extremes, sharp fluctuation of adrenal cortex hormones may result in an extremely brittle form of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). With sudden drops of the blood sugar accompanied by one or more of the following: dizziness, light headedness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, temporary loss of memory, confusion of thinking, headache, depression, irritability, loss of patience, craving for sweets or loss of appetite.
Another problem which may occur when adrenal cortex hormones are in short supply is the loss of sufficient corticoid hormones (especially cortisone) to prevent excessive responses of the immune system to airborne and contact allergens. The result can be severe bouts of hay fever and asthma as well as skin rashes.
Neurotransmitters and Hyperactivity:
The complex balance of hormones throughout the body has a profound effect upon a group of chemical substances which regulate the nervous system, they are called neurotransmitters. When the balance of hormones is upset, this may result in the over stimulation of the neurotransmitters of excitement. Many eminent health authorities such as Drs. Finegold and Rimland, Have found evidence that artificial coloring and flavoring agents and excess sugar as used in many processed foods, may over stimulate the adrenal glands of sensitive children. This seems to be the major cause of hyperactivity in children. Their hormone balance is so upset they have an excess of the neurotransmitters of excitement. As a result, they are unable to concentrate in order to learn, and unable to cooperate in order to relate well with others.