Dr. Erika Eckman DC

The Adrenal Glands: Is your Body’s Check Engine Light Red?

The adrenal glands are important glands in the body. They sit on top of the kidneys like snow caps on mountains. These glands are very important in the production of several types of hormones in the body involving the inflammatory response, blood sugar, water balance, blood pressure, and sex hormones; totaling over 50 individual hormones.

When the body is under high stress, damage to this gland is one of the first signs to show up and last to go away during healing. The adrenals are our stress assessor! If you have a stress problem you will have an adrenal problem. Regulating all factors that affect healing of these glands is essential in our high stress world today!


A sign of adrenal stress can be dizziness (vertigo) upon standing, but in the absence of this your body can still be failing to regulate your blood pressure in response to gravity appropriately. A physician should check your blood pressure in three positions to be sure.

Another sign of adrenal stress is failure of your pupil to stay constricted in response to light shined directly in the eye. This is usually secondary to sodium depletion in the body due to an over production of stress hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine and cortisol by the adrenals. This response known as a paradoxical pupillary reaction should also be checked by a physician.

Also in hypoadrenia, the heart will be challenged and may produce an exaggerated second sound, which is normally 1/3 that of the first heart sound, due to high blood pressure causing back pressure that results in a slamming shut instead of a soft close of the pulmonary valve. A physician should include listening for this heart sound in their physical exam.


If you have any of the following symptoms think adrenal fatigue or imbalance: hypoglycemic headaches, tinnitus, blurred vision, paresthesia, depression, craving salt or sweets, weak ligaments, female facial hair, swelling in the extremities, choking sensation when swallowing food, asthma and allergy symptoms.

Do not let dysfunction in this important gland pull the wool over your eyes in regards to your health. Many labels exist for a myriad of conditions that can be solved by just addressing adrenal imbalance and fatigue. Our body was created with warning lights. Find the cause, get it fixed and leave it alone. Our bodies were meant for health, not disease!

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