Testing for Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue is very challenging to test for. A proper diagnosis cannot be made from a single test or symptom. There are a multitude of factors that need to be looked at. Sometimes test must be conducted at multiple times in order to get a baseline of what’s going on.

You’re going to want to look for a doctor who is knowledgeable about AF and has worked with patient’s prior. If the doctor you visit has little to no experience with diagnosing AF, then you should probably look for a local one that does, as you will be wasting time and money if the doctor doesn’t know what he/she is doing.

Hormone Tests

When you finally find a doctor who’s willing to test you for AF, one of the first tests he will most likely give you is a hormone test. This test simply looks at the amount of the hormone cortisol that your body produces. It is usually done by a saliva test and the results are usually immediate. However, your cortisol levels alone cannot make an accurate prediction of AF. For that, the doctor is going to have to run a series of these, then objectively look at the evidence and make a determination based off of their experience.

Thyroid Tests

The thyroid is part of the HPA axis and if Adrenal Fatigue is present, it can manifest itself in the form of a weakened thyroid gland. There are several blood tests that can be performed for the thyroid test, but unless the doctor has experience, results can be inconclusive. For example, if an average person’s results are within range, they can be diagnosed with a mild form of hypothyroidism. This in and of itself is not the proverbial smoking gun for AF, but if the results are not within range, it can add to the growing pile of evidence in the eyes of an experienced doctor.

Alternative Methods/Tests

The accuracy of these alternative tests can be highly subjective. They were created when AF was first diagnosed and based upon the observations of the doctors at the time. For example, there is the iris contraction test which measures repeated exposure to dark light. In people with a weakened adrenal gland, their iris will be unable to maintain the contract for an extended period of time.

If you wish to conduct the test upon yourself, stand in front of a mirror in a dark room.  Shine a flashlight across your face and into your eyes for a brief moment. If your adrenals are not working properly, your pupils will not contract for more than 2 minutes. Those people who have healthy adrenals will be able to hold their contraction for much longer than 2 minutes.

Low blood pressure is another indicator. When most people stand up from a sitting position, we experience a change in blood pressure.  If you suffer from AF, you will not notice a change in the blood pressure. You might even notice a slight fall. The falling of the blood pressure is an indicator of AF. To perform this test, get a blood pressure monitor.  Check your blood pressure while lying down. Then, stand up and perform the test again. 

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