He also spends a great deal of time targeting the root causes of this fatigue, linking these causes to one common factor: stress. His central premise is one that has been taken up by other authors in other forums, which is just one indication of how influential he has been in this area of health. That premise is simple: adrenal fatigue is the result of massive amounts of stress overwhelming the adrenal glands’ ability to manage and then recover from the effects of the stress response.
The first question to ask is what stage the individual has reached. If he or she is still on Stage 1 or 2 Adrenal Fatigue, where cortisol levels are still high, then a recovery may take very little time. If the condition is caused by temporary stress at work or bereavement, we can reasonably expect cortisol levels to return to normal once the stress has passed. In fact, many of us enter Stage 1 or 2 Adrenal Fatigue multiple times during our lives, only to pass out of it within a few months as the underlying cause disappears.

Food is medicine. I always ate healthy, other than my favorite “healthy junk foods” of gluten-free pizza and stevia soda. However, I knew that if I was going to rehab my adrenal fatigue, I had to take my food medicine plan to the next level by making sure my diet was on point for hormone health. Here’s the 90-day food plan I used to improve my sleep and energy.


Unlike other endocrine disorders that are caused by physical damage to parts of the adrenal glands, hypoadrenia is seen by many in the natural health world as a “middle ground” syndrome with simple and easy-to-implement solutions. Currently, no official diagnosis exists for adrenal fatigue and people are either considered to have normal endocrine function or total endocrine failure, like that seen in Cushing’s syndrome or adrenal insufficiency/Addison’s disease. Some postulate that this occurred in the 1950s when doctors over-prescribed adrenal steroids and saw dire consequences, leading to an overcorrection and generalization of endocrine issues. (2)

Hi Jill! I feel like I have just found gold after reading your site about adrenal fatigue. I have been doing so much testing the last year and a half as endocrinologist has been concerned about my symptoms. After the onset on some very serious stress 4 years ago I started noticing light headedness throughout day esp upon rising, crawling sensation across back and what I would call back spasms at my rhomboids that would make it difficult to breath, itching in the location, of what I know now are the adrenals, hair loss, fatigue around 3 every morning, up late at night , hard to rise or even have a functioning brain til at least 10, test resulting in inflammation, increased blood pressure (being managed), irritable bowel, Random weight gain, then lost and now sudden weight gain again and on and on and on. Every single symptom you listed. Just saw derm (referred by endocrinologist) and she said I have paresthesia. I am so thankful you have posted this information in the easiest way to understand as Ive been so concerned with what has been going on in my body and just to know that I may have an answer is such a relief (I think). I have recently started upping my vitamins worries I was deficient including ashwaganda, and starting rhodiola. I am very concerned about damage that has been done over these few years and want to immediately try to fix this. How can this affect my organs and health? And has there been remarkable damage to my body? I just was ordered to take a calcium screening and heart was great, lungs great etc. just worried. I will start following you advice and hope to get back to normal. Thank you, thank you for your education and advice.
The book is divided into 4 parts that are arranged sequentially so that each section prepares the reader for the successive readings. Part 1 is an overview, including the causes of adrenal fatigue, while part 2 segues to self-help assessment tools, including a questionnaire designed to help readers determine if they are experiencing adrenal fatigue. Part 3 provides an extensive guide focused on recovery from adrenal fatigue, while part 4 presents a reference section on the role of the adrenal glands.

If you think you may suffer from adrenal fatigue, read this book now. I thought I might have it, and have gone though tons of tests to see what’s going on. This book helped me rule adrenal fatigue out, thankfully. But it helped my friend find answers to nagging questions and issues she has faced for years with her body. This book is great and very informational.
Tags: Adrenal dysfunctionAdrenal dysfunction healthAdrenal dysfunction signsAdrenal dysfunction symptomsAdrenal dysfunction treatmentadrenal fatigueAdrenal Fatigue healthAdrenal Fatigue helpAdrenal Fatigue signsAdrenal Fatigue symptomsadrenal fatigue treatmentanti stress remedyCauses of Adrenal FatigueCure adrenal fatigueDo I have adrenal fatigue?Dr Jill Carnahanfood allergiesFunctional Medicinenatural immune builder
As Dr. Wilson mentions in his book, there is no test for adrenal fatigue like there is for Strep B. It is diagnosed by assessing symptoms and physiological signs such as iris contraction, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. If the questionnaire I linked to and the iris test both suggest the possibility of adrenal fatigue, it might be wise to request a saliva cortisol test from your healthcare provider – that’s what I did.
In the early stages of adrenal dysfunction, cortisol levels are too high during the day and continue rising in the evening. This is called “hyperadrenia.” In the middle stages, cortisol may rise and fall unevenly as the body struggles to balance itself despite the disruptions of caffeine, carbs and other factors, but levels are not normal and are typically too high at night. In advanced stages, when the adrenals are exhausted from overwork, cortisol will never reach normal levels (“hypoadrenia”).

While adrenal fatigue is not accepted by most doctors, adrenal insufficiency is a real medical condition that occurs when our adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones. Adrenal insufficiency is caused by damage to the adrenal glands or a problem with the pituitary gland—a pea-sized gland in the brain that tells the adrenals to produce cortisol.
i have been dealing with fatigue and major hair loss for the last 4 years. It use to go in cycles of 4 months then would get better but this last year has not cycled this has been going on for a year now. I wake up and two hours later need to sleep for 2-4 hours and am drained again around 5-6. No doctors have seemed to be able to figure it out. any help would be a blessing.
A study published in the journal Psychiatry Research compared people in two different stress-management programs: one which involved meditation, one which didn’t. Those who meditated regularly were found to produce fewer stress hormones and low levels of stress-induced inflammation. Those who didn’t meditate, however, suffered much higher levels of stress hormones and inflammation. Follow this link for some of the scientifically proven benefits of meditation.

When the adrenals are chronically overworked and straining to maintain high cortisol levels, they lose the capacity to produce DHEA in sufficient amounts. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a precursor hormone to estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and is necessary to moderate the balance of hormones in your body. Insufficient DHEA contributes to fatigue, bone loss, loss of muscle mass, depression, aching joints, decreased sex drive, and impaired immune function.
You might wonder what the point of a thyroid test is, when we are looking to diagnose Adrenal Fatigue? The complexity of the human body means that one part of the endocrine system (the HPA axis) cannot exist independently of another part (the thyroid). In reality, there are connections and relationships that exist between every system in the body, and a weakness in one area can easily translate into changes in another.
Regardless, this topic remains a heated one in the medical community. The Hormone Health Network released a scathing piece on the issue of adrenal fatigue, essentially warning patients that it is a false diagnosis, peddled by those who profit from the “expensive” treatment methods they suggest when diagnosing the disease, with no thought for the serious dangers they may put someone in by telling them adrenal fatigue is their problem.  They also (incorrectly) remind people that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. (5)
If you’re healthy, your body will fall back into the relaxed state it was in before the threat and your body calms down. Everything shifts back to helping you digest, etc and your thyroid and reproductive organs go back to work. This relaxation response is spear headed by your parasympathetic nervous system, the other part of your autonomic nervous system. If you’re like many people, your stress will be high at work and your sympathetic nervous system will be in full gear helping you tackle everything that comes your way, then you shift into the parasympathetic nervous system at night when you’re with your lover or family or children and you can relax, watch TV, read, eat a nice dinner, cuddle, get ready for bed and perhaps have sex. All of which are quite relaxing to your nervous system. This is ideal.
Hello, It all started about 8 months ago when my symptoms first started appearing. My first symptom was unexplained paresthesia through my body, usually around the neck area and extremities. After a while, it got the point where my legs would start hurting (burning sensation) on the inside after standing up for a while. After driving home from work at night, I felt wired, as if I had consumed 2-3 cups of black coffee in one sitting. I had to leave my job because of this. There was a period in where these symptoms were beginning to subside but gradually came back so I also stopped exercising and lifting. In the past 5-6 months I have changed my diet drastically, experimenting with different things such as gluten-free paleo, vegan, and even raw foodist at some point. My symptoms remain the same. I constantly battle with fatigue, I have trouble waking up in the morning(cold hands and feet and shivers upon waking up), extremely low libido, loose stool, and brain fog. I have an appointment tomorrow with an endocrinologist but would like to hear from you first. What can I do in the meanwhile to alleviate these symptoms? What might be the root cause of all this? Thank you!

This book is a good place to start in getting your life back in balance in go-go world that is pushing us to extreme levels of stress everyday. It has helpful, specific steps one can take but it needs a bit of help in the area of achieving better sleep. Poor sleep exacerbates all the problems of a 21st century life and an over-stressed life leads to poor sleep. "Catch 22". Gradual depletion is an easy thing to ignore until suddenly we are on empty. Don't ignore this information.
As an NTP Practitioner for over 5 years this is taught to us as Certified Practitioners. Firstly it must be done by another person preferably a Professional who knows what to look for and is experienced. Do not shine directly in your eyes and the photo is misleading, it implies you can do it yourself, not recommended Secondly, this quite honestly not the way to fully assess your adrenal function. It gives a starting point but the best way is to have an ASI adrenal panel done called a Salvary panel. This is basic information and yes the book is a bit out dated with much more new reliable information out! Nora Gegedous has a new Adrenal e book out and I fully believe working with Practitioners who deal with this topic. The other Newly graduated NTP had very valuable information above consening the actual procedure. This is very individual and complicated. I have taken many advanced seminars on this subject and work with many clients very specifically.
Fortunately, there’s an art and science to sleeping, and it’s actually quite easy to hack. A lot of people think sleep is about getting eight hours a night, but sleep quality is far more important than sleep quantity, especially when it comes to balancing your cortisol.[5]  In fact, people who sleep less than 8 hours a night tend to live longer.[6] I’ve been sleeping for five hours a night for the past several years, and my performance has only gone up.
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