We see many ideas in the blogosphere and on various sites speaking of adrenal fatigue and cortisol issues. Some have interesting ideas. Some are just theoretical nonsense. Stress is a huge factor from many people. I know how I quantify it but I am interested in learning how others think about this issue. Please give me your go to if you have one.
I have a clinical battery I use with regularity. But what do you Hackers use as your guidepost? Salivary cortisol levels are a good tool.
In clinical testing some things I look for are poor sleep and energy utilization. When our cortisol level is up it decreases cellular ATP production because of its direct effect on thyroid hormone. It also depletes Magnesium levels and this is why we see poor sleep and bowel functioning with increased muscle pain. Another less known way to asses cortisol without a direct cortisol assay is to look at a basic chem 7 that most CW docs get and check the carbon dioxide level. It is usually low consistently over time. If one happens to draw an arterial blood gas in the hospitalized setting we constantly see low CO2 in stressed patients. We also see a spike in cholesterol production and we see immediate changes in their VAP and sometimes in severe stress we see a dramatic fall in their vitamin D status if we are trending their data.
What are your go too's to assess stress?