The Adrenal Stress Index
The adrenals are two small glands, each weighing 3 to 5 grams, that are located
above the kidneys. The adrenals have one of the highest rates of blood flow per
gram of tissue, and the highest content of Vitamin C per gram of any tissue in the
Each adrenal gland is composed of two separate functional entities. The outer zone,
or cortex, accounts for 80% to 90% of the gland, and secretes adrenal steroids
(Cortisol, DHEA(S) and Aldosterone). The inner zone, or medulla, comprises 10%
to 20% of the gland, and secretes the catecholamines adrenaline and
nor-adrenaline. Cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline are the three main adrenal stress
The Adrenal Rhythm & Its Importance
The human adrenal gland does not secrete its steroid hormones at a constant level
throughout the day. The hormones are actually released in a cycle with the highest
value in the morning and the lowest value at night. This is easily understood by
looking at Figure 1. This 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm. An abnormal
adrenal rhythm can influence many functions of the body, some of which are listed
1. Energy production
Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for
activities of daily living. People who have a hard time rising in the morning, or who
suffer with a low energy level during the day, often have abnormal adrenal rhythms
and poor blood sugar regulation.
The maintenance of a stable blood sugar level depends on food choice, lifestyle,
adrenal function and insulin activity. This panel measures stress hormones and
insulin, to help ferret out causes of fatigue, cravings and obesity.
2. Muscle & joint function
Abnormal adrenal rhythms are known to compromise tissue healing. Reduced
tissue repair and increased tissue breakdown can lead to muscle and joint
breakdown with chronic pain.
3. Bone health
The adrenal rhythm determines how well we build bone. If the night cortisol level is
elevated and the morning level is too high, our bones do not rebuild well, and we
are more prone to the osteoporotic process. Stress is the enemy of the bones. In
postmenopausal women, the effect of stress worsens due to the female hormone
4. Immune health
Various immune cells (white blood cells) cycle in and out of the spleen and bone
marrow for special conditioning, and possible nourishment and instructions. This
immune system trafficking follows the cortisol cycle. So, if the cycle is disrupted,
especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected.
Short and long-term stress is known to suppress the immune response on the
surfaces of our body as in lungs, throat, urinary and intestinal tract. With the
reduction in the surface antibody (called secretory IgA), the resistance to infection
is reduced and allergic reactions are believed to increase.
5. Sleep quality
The ability to enter REM sleep cycles, i.e. regenerative sleep, is interrupted by high
cortisol values at night and in the morning. Chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce
the mental vitality and vigor of a person and induce depression.
6. Skin regeneration
Human skin regenerates mostly during the night. With higher night cortisol values,
less skin regeneration takes place. So, a normal cortisol rhythm is essential for
optimal skin health (See Figure 2).
7. Thyroid function
The level of Cortisol at the cell level controls thyroid hormone production. Quite
often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to
an adrenal maladaptation.
8. Grain intolerance & stress
About 12-18% of the U.S. population suffers from a genetic intol- erance to grain.
Specifically, a high incidence occurs in Celtic, Germanic, and Nordic derivation.
The gut becomes inflamed within 30 minutes after consuming the grains and this
can lead to an adrenal stress response, increased cortisol and reduced DHEA.
(Several other functions that go beyond the scope of the pamphlet are also cortisol
and DHEA dependent.)
The Adrenal Stress Index (ASI)
Four saliva samples are used in the ASI? for the following ten tests:
4 x Cortisol Helps evaluate stress response
2 x Insulin Helps investigate blood sugar control
DHEA Helps determine stress adaptation
Secretory IgA Helps evaluate toll on immunity
17-OH Progesterone Helps determine adrenal reserve
Gluten Antibodies Helps identify grain intolerance
Your health care provider can use the findings in this panel to recommend
customized treatment and preventive measures that may include diet and lifestyle
changes, hormones, botanicals and vitamins.
Advantages of the ASI
1. The test is non-invasive & can be performed wherever you are.
2. Saliva is collected under real life conditions. There are no stressful blood draws
and no gallon sized urine containers to carry around for 24 hours.
3. With blood and urine testing, a number of borderline adrenal conditions are
missed due to lack of sensitivity. This is not the case with the ASI because samples
are taken within one circadian cycle and the more definitive free fraction is
4. The ASI is an in-depth test, such that options for treatment are expanded by
400-500% over serum and urine test results.
Note: The ASI was invented and introduced by Diagnos-Techs, Inc. in 1989. All
other panels offered on the market are copies.
Abnormal adrenal rhythm can influence:
* Energy Production
* Bone Health
* Immune System Health
* Sleep Quality
* Skin Regeneration
* Thyroid Function
* Muscle and Joint Function
Do you need the ASI Test?
To determine if the ASI is the appropriate test for assessing your health condition,
ask your physician for a stress questionnaire. The score can help your doctor
determine a course of action.
The ASI is mostly ordered for individuals that suffer from:
* Chronic stress and related health problems
* Lack of vitality and energy
* Muscle and joint pain
* Migraine headaches
* Sleep disturbances
* Poor memory
* Alcohol intolerance
* Stress maladaptation
* Low sex drive
* Low body temperature
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