Skip to main content

Many patients state: “I don’t feel well. I have so many problems but my blood and other tests are ok. I don’t know what’s wrong.”

The adrenal glands are known as the stress glands of the body. They are located over each kidney and are important for many bodily functions. They are instrumental in managing stress in the body, but it is possible for them to be overwhelmed by it.

Adrenal Stress Disorder or functional hypoadrenia is a condition that is many patients have and go undetected. The common response a patient with ASD has is, “I don’t feel well. I have so many problems but my blood and other tests are ok. I don’t know what is wrong?”

This is not a disease process as such; it is a condition in which the adrenal glands are incapable of meeting all the demands placed upon them. The adrenal glands are responsible for many functions and may thus cause a myriad of symptoms, fatigue, dizziness, joint pain, allergies, digestive disturbances, asthma, palpitations, back pain, headaches, impotence, colitis, infertility, angina (chest pains), moodiness, depression, mental anxiety, nervousness, mental sluggishness (brain fog), shakiness, and on and on.

Because today most doctors are trained to think in terms of disease rather than functional problems, they do not recognize adrenal stress disorder until it becomes frank Addison’s disease or other major failure of the adrenal glands to produce hormones. When these disease processes are present, hormone medication is necessary to preserve life. Fortunately, Addison’s disease and other adrenal failures are fairly rare, whereas adrenal stress disorder is very common throughout the country, if not the world. It is a condition in which the body is not functioning optimally, but a disease process is not present.

Standard laboratory tests are designed to find Addison’s disease and other frank failures. The tests may not reveal adrenal stress disorder. A thorough case history in conjunction with general clinical and AK examinations can detect adrenal stress disorder very easily when the physician considers functional disorders as well as disease processes.

The condition usually develops as a result of three factors: 1) more demand – i.e. distress in many forms – placed on the adrenal glands than they are capable of handling, thus depleting their reserves; 2) dietary indiscretions; and 3) structural dysfunction causing stress within the body.

Hans Selye, M.D., researched this condition in the 1920’s and 1930’s, providing the basis for our current understanding. He described the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) of adrenal stress disorder, which consist of three stages:

· Stage 1: Alarm stage, which is a call to arms of the body’s defensive mechanisms provided by the adrenal glands against stress. The alarm reaction is present during any stress, whether it is emotional, an injury, a demand to fight, or any upsetting factor.

· Stage 2: Resistance stage, which occurs when the stress that activated the alarm stage is prolonged. The adrenal glands actually grow in size to meet the demand of the long-term stress. This is usually a patient that is always getting sick. When another person is sick, that person will also get sick.

adrenal glands diagram
An illustration of the adrenal glands

· Stage 3: Exhaustion stage, during which the adrenal glands become depleted. This is the final stage of adrenal stress disorder. Hans Selye, M.D., reported in the study that ulcers and pathological changes take place.

Fortunately, there are effective methods of correction available for adrenal stress disorder. First the condition must be recognized as well as the cause(s). The use of AK in combination with standard methods of examination provides additional ability for finding the cause of these functional conditions. Treatment includes specific chiropractic adjustments, as well as dietary changes, nutritional supplementation, as well as addressing other factors. Dr. Snider will provide a custom-made treatment plan for you. In addition, Dr. Snider will also, if necessary, suggest appropriate changes involving life style modification.