Adrenal Stress Index Testing and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

First, we should discuss what the adrenal glands are: two endocrine glands that sit atop of the kidneys.  There are two parts to each adrenal gland, the inner part (the medulla) and the outer part (the cortex). The cortex produces important corticosteroid and androgen hormones, while the medulla mainly produces epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. The adrenal glands main actions are to elicit our stress response mechanisms. Since ‘stress’ can be emotional, physical, or chemical, we can understand why the adrenal function is at the heart of many chronic disorders.  Furthermore, we know that the adrenal glands is directed by different parts of the brain. Cortisol quantity is directed by the hypothalamus. The cortisol rythm is directed by pineal melatonin output and cortisol hippocampus regulation. We also know that extended stress responses are directed by the  midbrain or mesencephalon.

At the Holistic Wellness Center, we use the Adrenal Stress Index saliva test by Diagnostechs Laboratories.  There are multiple reasons why we use saliva instead of blood work in this scenario.  Saliva collections are convenient and can be done at work or at home. Furthermore, when they are stored properly, samples are viable for several weeks. Due to it’s accuracy of 92-96%, saliva testing is more accurate than blood testing at measuring ‘free’ fraction hormones. Most  serum tests only look at the level of hormones  present in a person’s tissues, commonly known as “bound hormone levels.” However, saliva testing measures the “unbound hormone levels”  that are the hormone levels available to be used by the body’s tissues. Because these “free fraction” hormones are actually influencing the tissues, it shows us the hormones that are stimulating changes instead of just ‘sitting’ in the tissues. The ability to collect more than one specimen is another advantage of saliva testing because this can show a snapshot of cortisol rythms throughout the day. Measuring cortisol once per day will not tell us if their is a rythm disorder. You may have high or low cortisol when blood is drawn in the morning, but it may also be too high at night.

What can you tell from a adrenal test?

First we must understand that the adrenal glands are mainly  factories directed by the brain. Since the brain is the master control mechanism of the whole body, we can inference many patterns and disorders from this test such as:

  • Skin regeneration issues
  • Exacerbation of autoimmune disorders
  • Hypothalamus disorders
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Hippocampus disorders
  • Cortisol and melatonin rhythm disorders
  • Immune Health
  • Energy Production
  • Bone Health
  • Sleep Quality – Insomnia
  • Thyroid Function
  • Grain Intolerance and Stress Response
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Chronic allergies
  • Stubborn weight loss issues
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Pain disorders
  • Muscle and Joint function
  • Depression/ADD
  • Glycemic dysregulation (hypoglycemia and insulin resistance)

Do You Need the ASI™ Test?

The ASI™ is recommended for individuals who suffer from:

  • Chronic stress
  • Muscle, joint aches and pains
  • Low blood sugar
  • Lack of energy
  • Migraines
  • Sleep disorders and Insomnia
  • Memory decline
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low sex drive
  • Low body temperature
  • Inability to handle stress


The Adrenal Stress Index™ Panel can explain:

  • Excessive fatigue and inability to deal with stress
  • Help your physician understand how to eliminate cravings for calories and sugar
  • Inability to gain muscle mass
  • Identify the cause of a weak immune system
  • Identify grain and possible gluten intolerance
  • Why you can’t fall a sleep or wake up multiple times a night
  • Why you have more energy at night but no energy during the day

 What markers are tested on the The Adrenal Stress Index™ 

  • 4 x cortisol which helps to evaluate the stress response
  • 2 x insulin levels to investigate blood sugar handling
  • DHEA & DHEA-S levels determine your stress adaptation
  • Secretory IgA evaluates the toll on the immune system
  • 17-OH progesterone shows the adrenal reserve
  • Gluten antibodies can signify grain/gluten intolerance

Click here to read Dr. Boyle’s D.O.M. (FL) biography