Q. Can adrenal fatigue or stress cause an irregular heartbeat? Can it be fixed?
Both stress and adrenal fatigue can cause irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmia. Stress can often cause tachycardia, or a faster than normal rhythm over 100 beats per minute. Adrenal fatigue can lead to high potassium and low sodium levels, which can interfere with the electrical signals that regulate heart rate.
If the irregular heartbeat is due to stress or adrenal fatigue, it can be corrected by reducing the stress or treating the adrenals and balancing electrolyte levels. However, there are many causes of arrhythmia including heart disease, thyroid problems, or taking certain drugs or cold medications. It is important to determine what is causing the arrhythmia and treat accordingly.
Q. Is adrenal fatigue hereditary? If you suspect it in your teen daughter, should you get it checked? One of my doctors says it can be checked through bloodwork. Is that true? I have only had mine checked through saliva testing.
Adrenal fatigue is not hereditary, per se, but both genetics and environment can influence cortisol reactivity to stress. Yes, if you suspect adrenal fatigue in your daughter, test for it. Cortisol can be tested in the blood, but almost all serum (blood) cortisol is bound to protein. The body can’t use bound hormones. I prefer salivary levels because they represent “free” or unbound cortisol, the form that is actually available for use in the tissues. Also, cortisol levels change significantly throughout the day. Salivary tests make it easy to test cortisol levels four or more times in one day and determine the cortisol’s daily pattern.
About the Author
Dr. Lise Naugle is an associate of Dr. James L. Wilson. She assists healthcare professionals with clinical assessment and treatment protocols related to adrenal dysfunction and stress, and questions regarding the use of Doctor Wilson’s Original Formulations supplements. With eleven years in private practice and a focus on stress, adrenals, hormonal balance and mind-body connection, she offers both clinical astuteness and a wealth of practical knowledge. Dr. Naugle also maintains updated information about the latest scientific research on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, endocrine balance and nutritional support for stress and develops educational materials about stress and health for clinicians and their patients.