Dr. Michael Lam is a western-trained physician and nutritional medicine pioneer. In this landmark textbook, he presents the scientific, neuroendocrine evidence in great detail behind this condition. Dr Lam also shares his clinical pearls that he uses to help countless individuals around the world recover from this condition through his nutritional coaching. He utilizes both conventional and alternative approaches. By separating the myths from facts with natural, safe, and effective solutions, anyone can follow this step-by-step approach to regain energy and lost vitality.
Secondly, this is an EARLY indicator of adrenal fatigue. Pupillary contraction is not nearly as high on the priority list for your adrenals as, say, blood sugar control or blood pressure maintenance. So not doing well on his test doesn’t mean you’re in dire straights and need major intervention. Having reactive hypoglycemia or scoring poorly on a postural hypotension test (blood pressure dropping when you stand up, getting dizzy/tunnel vision when you stand) are better indicators of real hypoadrenia.”
Interesting article. I was diagnosed by my MD (endocrinologist) with Adrenal Insufficiency about 18 months ago. I am also a type 1 diabetic with other high-risk chronic diseases. He put me on a low dose of Cortisol twice a day. I have been hospitalized in ICU due to Adrenal Failure, which can be fatal if not treated. If you suspect adrenal issues, see your doctor.
Many people today have subclinical deficiencies of essential nutrients, like B vitamins, Vitamins A, C and E, Magnesium, Zinc,  and other trace elements.  When under stress, the need for nutrients is even greater. Refined carbohydrates stress the adrenals as well. Diets low in protein may also create deficiencies.   The Standard American Diet is both high in processed carbs and sugar and lower in quality fats and protein and many times lacking in micronutrients.
It wouldn’t surprise me if almost everyone has adrenal fatigue in the day and age we live in. There’s different “levels” and/or severities of adrenal fatigue. I have had professional help in my diaginosis for adrenal fatigue by going to a naturopath doctor and I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Wilson’s book and supplements. They have put me on the road of recovery and I am so thankful. I was so sick with anxiety and insomnia that I had two separate times about 2 months apart where I was literally in bed for a week – which was horrible being a mom of 3 very young children. Thank God for my husband and family – I wouldn’t have been able to recover without their help and support! And thank God for Dr. Wilson!
“Our role is to be good active listeners to determine if there is a true medical disorder lurking among the complaints. It is very important to take the person seriously, not to brush them off and say there is no [such thing as] adrenal fatigue. These people are suffering from something, so we need to take the suffering seriously.” – Lynnette Nieman, MD, president, Endocrine Society; senior investigator, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Md.
I am interested in reading the protocol your practitioner put you on for recovery of Adrenal Fatigue. I did the saliva test along with hormones. The Dr called me and said most people tell me they are tired but their test results are negative for Adrenal Fatigue. He was fascinated with my results being ghastly and the fact I was functioning. Well barely but according to him they thought I would be bed bound. Waiting on follow up appointment to begin the journey to recovery.

That discussion leads to a more in-depth explanation of how our understanding of the nature of stress has evolved in recent years, and then an explanation of how the adrenals work to provide the hormones we need for stress response. From there, she quickly moves to a discussion of the circadian rhythm, and how its dysregulation can impact sleep patterns and ultimately lead to a cascading series of system failures that put your health in jeopardy.
I had an adrenal saliva test done with a functional medicine practitioner at the end of 2015 that showed my adrenals were not functioning highly. I took Adrenal Support supplement (with bovine adrenal cortex), made diet and lifestyle changes and over the course of a year or so my symptoms improved greatly. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and have not been sleeping well since about 10 weeks into pregnancy due to itching all night. (I’ve had my bile acids/liver function panel run twice and it is not cholestasis). I am now feeling similar symptoms return from before because of the exhaustion/lack of sleep and wonder if you know whether the Adrenal Manager supplement by Xymogen is safe during pregnancy? Or if, there is another supplement with bovine adrenal that you would recommend for pregnancy? The supplement I took previously helped, but it also included some herbs considered unsafe during pregnancy. Thank you so much for any suggestions you can give.
Traditional health practitioners have known for centuries that mindfulness-based exercises such as meditation and yoga help to relieve stress and anxiety. Regular practice improves your ability to respond to stress in the future. Being in a meditative state allows certain thoughts or feelings to pass by without causing stress or anxiety, which means you spend less time focusing on negative thoughts.
First, I want to talk about the concept of adrenal fatigue really quickly. When we think about the body being fatigued, sometimes we immediately assume that our bodies are unable to do something. In the case of adrenal fatigue, that’s not really how it works. It is not that our bodies cannot produce cortisol, it is just that they do not want to. So, the adrenals actually are not “fatigued” at all.
I had eaten a grain-free, low-carb diet for years (read about our success with the GAPS diet), which was great for helping me recover from a number of ailments. But, as my adrenals began to struggle, it was time to up my carb intake. I ate sweet potatoes every day and began incorporating white rice several times a week. I enjoyed white potatoes again.
If you want to get your energy levels back to where they were, there are a few things that you need to do. Adopting an adrenal fatigue diet will give your adrenals and HPA axis the raw materials they need to recover. Removing sources of stress from your life will eliminate one of the causes of your adrenal exhaustion. And changing your lifestyle will have a measurable impact on your ability to handle stress.
Fawne Hansen is an author and wellness coach specializing in the treatment of chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. This book includes much of the knowledge that Fawne gleaned from research into her own Adrenal Fatigue, in addition to countless discussions with doctors and naturopaths. The eBook also contains many of the strategies that she used to recover her health and vitality, along with the knowledge gained from real-life experiences of other Adrenal Fatigue sufferers that she has helped.
I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency by a progressive doctor. She meant well, but she missed the boat completely. For some people, the adrenal-busting cycle is caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea. A healthy lifestyle alone (or supplements or other treatments that only target adrenals) can’t fix the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysruption caused by sleep apnea, and many of the systems will overlap. Nocturnal breathing pauses cause a stress response, elevating cortisol, increasing exhaustion, sabotaging sleep quality and all of the regenerative work our bodies are meant to do during sleep. For women, sleep apnea is likely to go undiagnosed, because doctors think it is so rare in women that they don’t usually consider it as a differential diagnosis (even in women with PCOS, who are known to have the same rate of sleep apnea as men). For young and slender women, sleep apnea is unlikely to be diagnosed until it has already caused long-standing biological changes, even if a woman has classic symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring, observed pauses in sleep breathing, and significant daytime sleepiness. Sleep dysruption is a form of chronic stress, so it can overlap with adrenal insufficiency, and treating sleep problems can be a big help to solving the adrenal problems.
Stacie Deyglio, ND received her baccalaureate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York. Her personal health issues paved the way to discovering naturopathic medicine in 1999. Resonating with the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Deyglio graduated from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003. As a medical student, she was involved in student government, fundraising, and the generation of two successful student-run health fairs. Dr. Deyglio’s interests include relating integrative therapeutics to the health of pediatric and geriatric populations. Currently residing in New York, Dr. Deyglio is an avid bookworm and is actively practicing.
Within the book’s more than 360 pages, the author covers virtually aspect of this dread ailment. He explains in great detail how the adrenals work in combination with other key systems in the body to maintain homeostasis and ensure sound health. He examines the symptoms that accompany this disorder, as well as how to differentiate normal momentary tiredness from the type of chronic exhaustion these patients must endure.
Less obvious but no less important stimulants may include anger, rage, arguing, hatred, loud music, fearful news and even movies full of suspense or violence. Other activities that may act as stimulants and must not be overlooked include vigorous exercise, sexual preoccupations, recreational drug use or other thrills. These often provide a temporary “high”, which is caused in part by the secretion of high amounts of adrenal hormones. However, over time, this weakens the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal depletion and insufficiency.
The level of TSH is inversely proportional to the activity of your thyroid. If your thyroid is producing lots of T3 and T4, your pituitary gland produces less TSH (because the thyroid needs to be stimulated less). Conversely, if you are hypothyroid then your TSH is likely to be high, as your brain is telling the thyroid to produce more hormones. This is the same kind of feedback loop that exists for many other hormones in the body, including cortisol.
The key message to understand here is that when your body is stressed out and the stress does not go away and it’s not taken over by your relaxation response, then your body is in fight/flight mode and you’ll start to see all of your organs slowly shut down and you’ll experience awful symptoms. I’m talking about your digestion, your immune system and your reproductive organs (I had lots my period for years because of this and the Lyme). Everything is connected folks. That’s key to understanding your body!
The term "adrenal fatigue" was coined in 1998 by James Wilson, PhD, a naturopath and expert in alternative medicine. He describes it as a "group of related signs and symptoms (a syndrome) that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level." He says it’s usually associated with intense stress and often follows chronic infections like bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia.
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