Ways & How

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue

Also known as adrenal exhaustion, adrenal fatigue is a prevalent condition, with 80 percent of adults all over the world suffering varying degrees from this condition. Unfortunately, it is also underdiagnosed, since a lot of people do not seek immediate consultation when they experience the symptoms of this illness. Furthermore, doctors utilize few tests to diagnose adrenal fatigue. If you suspect that you have adrenal fatigue, you may want to learn how to test for adrenal fatigue.

  1. Look out for symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Many symptoms can point to adrenal fatigue. Since it is associated with stress, you might experience tiredness, low stamina, irritation, excessive mood swings, and lack of libido. Even if you don’t do much, you experience excessive sweating, dizziness, muscle twitches, lower back pain, weakness, and lightheadedness. You might also feel palpitations, symptoms of low blood sugar and low blood pressure, cravings for sweets and salts, and intolerance to alcohol. You will easily see signs of premature aging, as well as dry skin, fibrocystic breasts, eye bags, sensitivity to light, and difficulty seeing in the dark.

    You might also be susceptible to chronic bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. If you constantly experience these symptoms, it is best to have an endocrinologist test your adrenal glands.

  2. Perform a pupillary response test. Also called the iris contraction test, the pupillary response test measures the tiredness of your eye muscles. When you have adrenal fatigue, your eye muscles have difficulty staying dilated, thus causing night blindness and light sensitivity. To do the pupillary response test, you will need a penlight, mirror, and a watch with a second hand. You also need to stay in a dimly lit room. Stand in the front of the mirror for 15 seconds and look straight into it without blinking. Hold your penlight at eye level by the side of your head, shining it across one of your eyes. Do not shine the light directly on your eyes. You should see your pupil contract immediately and hold the contraction as long as the light is shining in your eye. Hold the light steady and count how long your pupil will stay contracted. If it holds the contraction for 0-10 seconds only, then you are in a state of adrenal fatigue. There is some sort of adrenal dysfunction if it stays contracted only until 19 seconds. If your pupil can sustain a contraction for 20 seconds or more, then you have optimal adrenal function.

  3. Do a blood pressure test. Your blood pressure can be an indicator for adrenal fatigue. Lie down for 10 minutes, then take your blood pressure. Afterward, stand up and measure your blood pressure again. Normally, your blood pressure should rise 10-20 mm Hg. However, if you have adrenal fatigue, your blood pressure will drop instead. Just make sure that you stay well hydrated before you take this test so that you do get false positives.

  4. Test for the appearance of the sergeant’s white line. It is a line found on your abdomen and only present among 40 percent of people with adrenal fatigue, but if it appears, then it is a sure sign of the condition. Take a cap of a ballpoint pen and use it make a 6-inch mark on your abdomen. A white line should appear within seconds. Normally, this white line reddens within a few seconds. However, for those with adrenal fatigue, the line will remain white for around 2 minutes and will even widen.

  5. Take the saliva test. The saliva test measure the level of stress hormones in your saliva, specifically cortisol, which is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands. You need to spit into four different test tubes four times a day—in the morning, noon, late afternoon, and night. You should carry these test tubes with you throughout the day so that you can collect your saliva samples. Once the samples are complete, you can deliver the tubes to the laboratory for analysis. Results usually arrive within two weeks. You can buy a saliva testing kit so that it will be easier for you to pack and send the saliva samples back to the laboratory.

Most of the tests for adrenal fatigue can be done at home. Learn the different methods on how to test for adrenal fatigue so that you can have your condition diagnosed immediately by your doctor.


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