Chronic Stress and Adrenal Dysfunction

Adrenal Dysfunction

The Problem

People in today’s society tend to lead frenetic, unbalanced lifestyles. Commonly, individuals experience continuous stress, not only from emotional stressors (e.g. marital, financial, and occupational) but also from physical stressors (e.g. sleep deprivation, caffeine consumption, pain, extreme exercise) without adequate recovery. Chronic exposure to these stressors often causes elevations in adrenal hormone levels, leading to disorders ranging from anxiety to infertility. While many individuals are able to cope, the adrenal glands may, over time, start to have an impaired response to stressors, which reduces adrenal hormone output. The resulting adrenal insufficiency, also known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue,” may present with a constellation of symptoms from chronic fatigue to allergies. While everyone is potentially at risk, the problem is more prevalent among people with high-stress professions (e.g. medical professionals, police officers, executives and teachers).

Symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction

  • morning and/or evening fatigue
  • increased susceptibility to infection
  • poor recovery from exercise
  • chemical sensitivity
  • unstable blood sugar
  • “burned out” feeling
  • allergies
  • insomnia
  • apathy
  • depressed mood
  • low sex drive

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, there are options.  There are new techniques available to help the body recover from the chronic effects of long term stress. By addressing the root cause analysis of a disease process before it starts, it is now possible to slow the aging process, and help patients maintain mobility, sight and memory. Reducing chronic inflammation and utilizing stress reduction techniques can optimize health and longevity.  

The combination of Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine incorporates nutrition, exercise, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and bio-identical hormone replacement specifically designed for each patient. The goal is to enhance longevity while allowing patients to live their happiest, most fulfilling, productive life.  Functional medicine provides an innovative approach to the traditional practice of prescribing medications to address various symptoms and disease processes.

Dr. Henderson is double board certified in Internal and Functional Medicine. In addition to incorporating these new techniques, she serves as a personal primary care physician.  For more information visit:

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