Adrenal Glands

Do you feel like you’re constantly stressed?

Are you having trouble falling asleep or waking up throughout the night?

Do you find yourself drinking more coffee / energy drinks just to keep up with your busy schedule?

If this sounds like you, it might be time to take a step back and assess your current stressors in life. An overabundance of stressors over time can lead to issues down the road.

What are the adrenal glands?

The adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys. They help regulate our bodies response to stress in a number of ways. The adrenal glands and their hormones have a major physiological impact on our body including hormone balance, bone metabolism, Thyroid function, blood sugar balance, G.I. function, inflammation, etc. We typically see two scenarios, overactive or under-active adrenal function. Overactive adrenals produce too much cortisol and other adrenal hormones, while under-active adrenals don’t produce enough. Chronically overactive adrenals can lead to issues like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Chronically under-active adrenals can lead to issues maintaining homeostasis in the body.

What causes dysfunctional adrenal glands?

  • Mental / Emotional Stress
  • Overtraining
  • Blood Sugar Imbalances
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Infections


  • Issues falling asleep or waking up throughout the night
  • Low energy
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Etc.

How do you know for sure if you’re experiencing Adrenal Fatigue or HPA-Axis Dysfunction? Get tested.

  • Adrenal Salivary Testing: It takes 4 salivary samples throughout the day to determine cortisol and DHEA levels.

What do I do now?

Hormone Replacement Therapy should be considered as a last resort. Assess nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and possible supplementation protocols first. Adrenal gland function, blood sugar balance and GI health need to be addressed are things to consider when addressing adrenal health.

Nutrition, Lifestyle, Exercise:

  • Sleep AT LEAST 7-8 hours per night
  • Reduce alcohol / caffeine consumption
  • Assess current training program: rest days? Overtraining?  
  • Assess food quality: cooking the majority of your food?
  • Assess food quantity: are you fueling your body properly?
  • Assess stress from work / life: high, medium, low?
  • Assess gut health: any food sensitivity or intolerance symptoms?

Therapeutic Options:

  • Adaptogenic Herbs: botanicals known as adaptogens that help the body respond to stress
  • Licorice Root: herb used for underactive adrenal glands
  • Phosphytidylserine: compound best known to lower cortisol levels
  • HRT: Pregnenolone and DHEA levels should be checked and monitored by a qualified health professional


Disclaimer: Justin Murphy Nutrition is not a medical professional and the information contained herein should not be taken as medical advice. These are only recommendations. These recommendations should NOT be taken as medical advice, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problem. Recommendations by Justin Murphy Nutrition are not intended to replace the advice of a physician or health professional. Please consult your physician or a health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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