Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. It is typically the result of chronic physical or emotional stress. Adrenal Fatigue results in symptoms like a weakened immune system, low energy levels, an inability to handle stressful situations, and cravings for salty or sugary foods.

The ACTH has the effect of stimulating your adrenal hormone output, just like it would if you were placed in a stressful situation. This test allows you to see the response of your adrenals to stress. If your cortisol exhibits a healthy spike higher (at least double in a blood test), your adrenals are probably in reasonably good shape. If the spike in cortisol is not so large, this suggests adrenal insufficiency.

If the intensity and frequency of the stresses in your life — either those internally driven (such as your perceptions about your life) or those externally driven (such as having surgery or working the night shift) — become too great, then over time your adrenal glands will begin to become exhausted. This will mean that you are much more likely to suffer from fatigue and menopausal symptoms. And a woman in a state of adrenal fatigue is likely to find herself at a distinct disadvantage when entering perimenopause, because perimenopause itself is an additional form of stress.
Patients can conduct a saliva cortisol test or a urine cortisol test to assess adrenal hormones. This involves collecting four non-invasive samples over the course of one day, from which ZRT is able to generate results with a diurnal cortisol curve. This four-point graph reveals cortisol levels throughout the day and allows health care providers to pinpoint issues with adrenal gland function.
This treatment plan comes in several downloadable ebooks (in PDF format), audio files, and a video course. Please note that no physical product will be shipped to you. It is fully compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets and many other computers and mobile devices. If you have any problems downloading the treatment plan, just contact us here and we will be happy to help you.
Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals, especially when weakened by poor nutrition. Working too much or emotional stress are two common causes. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, is another cause. Fast-paced, high-stress, fear-based lifestyles are a sure prescription for adrenal burnout. Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and computers give off strong electrical fields.
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.
To make matters worse, doctors often don't diagnose this problem. Dr. Wilson offers the example of a woman who has been to 37 doctors before finally receiving proper diagnosis and a renewed sense of hope. So, why don't doctors recognize adrenal fatigue? In medical school, they are only taught to look for extreme adrenal malfunction (Addison's Disease, which occurs when the glands produce far too little cortisol, and Cushing's Syndrome, which stems from excessive cortisol production) and dont know how to measure cumulative adrenal fatigue.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.
For example, if an individual suffering from Adrenal Fatigue continues to eat junk food, declines to exercise properly (or over-exercises) and does not take the appropriate supplements, his treatment will inevitably require more time. On the other hand, an individual who follows all the recommendations of his healthcare professional can expect a much faster and better outcome.

I was put on HC by my integrative hormonal doctor but after getting the results in early October of a very low cortisol level in the morning, then a very high cortisol level at noon, then a bit low in the evening and then slightly high at night. I was told to take adaptogens by those in the know but I listened to my doctor and now I dread the decision. did I really need to take HC? no amount of HC made me feel better and in fact only raised my blood sugar and pressure. he says I have a maladapted HPA axis from chemotherapy I had in 2009. I have a very high DHEAS and testosterone level too. I want to get off HC but finding it quite difficult. my doctor said the low doses I am on now are only shutting down my own production and I might as well just stop but others have told me just stopping would be very dangerous. I am currently down to 7.5mg (sometimes take 10mg) I am full of anxiety, suffering from shakes/jitters everyday. I was given buspar and klonopin by a shrink who thinks I am nuts. I don’t know what to do but get off and retest cortisol to see if things have changed since October. I have been under enormous stress this past year due to the constant excruciating pain I have to endure from severe sciatica/Spondy from a fall on ice last winter. I also lost my smell and taste (anosmia) that a virus caused and the two created a very stressful period in my life where my adrenals took a huge hit. I don’t know how to get passed this and what to do. I feel AWFUL!!!!! Please HELP!!!!


The skin darkening that concerns endocrinologists most often occurs in Addison’s disease, but not secondary adrenal insufficiency. The latter of these conditions is often not diagnosed quickly because people ignore symptoms until they are drastically obvious. People with adrenal insufficiency do experience severe fatigue, often not reflected by salivary cortisol levels. (40)
I found Dr. Lam's book overall more comprehensive in addressing all aspects of a person's life in recovering from adrenal fatigue syndrome. I have only been using Dr. Wilson's adrenal protocol for 36 days. Dr. Wilson's web site says it could take up to three months to see a difference, or even two years, depending on the state of the person's health. I am very encouraged in how much better I feel after 36 days.
In the book, Dr Wilson examines the history of adrenal fatigue and discusses the reasons why this common problem has become largely overlooked by the allopathic medical profession. Dr Wilson provides a blueprint of the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. He includes the tests for this dysfunction, their efficacy, specific and key supplementation facts, lifestyle modifications, and other significant strategies for recovering: “I decided to write this book for the person suffering from adrenal fatigue. It is designed to be a self-help book…. I write it with the hope that it will provide you with information, guidance, encouragement and tools you need to recover from this sometimes subtle, yet debilitating, health problem” (p xxii).
A 2 was all I have in cortisol which is way below minimum range of 8. Probably fried adrenal and Addison. I will be taking prednisone and dhea for the rest of my life. Probably all my gastro issues and cvid disorder are all connected. I can tell you that my spiritual background and training in alternative healing are worthless to fight this condition
It is ordinary for stress to cause cortisol levels to rise in a normal fashion, but in adrenal fatigue the output of cortisol and other adrenal hormones is constantly being stimulated. This overstimulation causes the body’s vitality to dwindle. With each downshift in adrenal function, the body is considerably more affected in a negative fashion: “adrenal fatigue, in all its mild and severe forms, is usually caused by some form of stress…. It is important to know that your adrenals respond to every kind of stress the same, whatever the source” (p 11). Cortisol is a powerful hormone that has a profound effect on every organ and system in the body.
Diagnosis is an important part of the book as well. Because Wilson recognizes that most doctors know little about this syndrome, he provides everything that any fatigue sufferer needs to self-diagnose: a detailed questionnaire to help gauge the level of fatigue and potential causes, advice on the best tests to perform – both at home and in a laboratory setting, a health history timeline that can help you to pinpoint the various stressors that have led to your current condition, and many chapters meticulously detailing his best treatment advice for nursing yourself back to health. An entire section is also devoted to explaining what the patient can expect as he or she slowly recovers from this ailment.
The term "adrenal fatigue", which was invented in 1998 by James Wilson, a chiropractor,[3] may be applied to a collection of mostly nonspecific symptoms.[1] There is no scientific evidence supporting the concept of adrenal fatigue and it is not recognized as a diagnosis by any scientific or medical community.[1][2] A systematic review found no evidence for the term adrenal fatigue, confirming the consensus among endocrinological societies that it is a myth.[4]
Another big key to overcoming adrenal fatigue is taking the right supplements using supporting herbs. I always recommend eating the right foods to heal your body. However, it can still be a challenge to get enough of every nutrient you need every day. Therefore, it can be useful to wisely use dietary supplements for vitamins and minerals particularly vital for adrenal support.
Thank you for your article! I just received saliva test results showing that I have low cortisol throughout the day. I’m on a supplement plan, but I’m wondering about some of your other recommendations. What is the benefit of going to bed at 10 PM For the adrenals? If I am awake between 7 AM and 9 AM, what do you recommend for being restful for the adrenals? Thank you!!

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.
This treatment plan comes in several downloadable ebooks (in PDF format), audio files, and a video course. Please note that no physical product will be shipped to you. It is fully compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets and many other computers and mobile devices. If you have any problems downloading the treatment plan, just contact us here and we will be happy to help you.

Rethinking Fatigue: What Your Adrenals Are Really Telling You and What You Can Do about It is a book by Nora Gedgaudas, the author of Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and A Longer Life. With expertise in both nutritional science and neurofeedback therapy, Dr. Gedgaudas brings a fresh voice to the debate concerning fatigue and adrenal function.
Exercise gently at least 5 days per week, preferably morning and not late in the day.  Try swimming, gentle bike rides, walking, yoga, stretching, or any restorative activity that incorporates breathing.  Avoid high adrenaline activities, like kayaking, competitive sports, running, cross fit or high intensity training until you are well on your way to healing.
Women with more severe symptoms, or those who have reached complete exhaustion, usually need greater intervention.  We personalize the therapy to each woman’s symptoms and test results. We look into the cumulative stressors and other causes of fatigue (We urge you not to self-prescribe herbal supplementation and over the counter substances, as they can have adverse health effects).
Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning (cortisol regulates blood sugar too). Your body realizes it’s hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better night’s sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.
Ideally, cortisol is released into the system only on an occasional basis, rather than in response to chronic stress. If cortisol levels become too high for too long, they may have undesirable side effects, including loss of bone density, muscle wasting, thinning of the skin, decreased ability to build protein, kidney damage, fluid retention, spiking blood sugar levels, weight gain, and increased vulnerability to bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, allergies, parasites, and even cancer.

My 21 year old son has been diagnosed with”idiopathic hypersomulence” after a sleep study showing no apnea or narcolepsy. He lived in a house that had several feet of water in the basement and had black mold on the windowsills of his bedroom. He’s living with us now, but he is so tired all of the time! On weekends, he’ll sleep til 4 p.m.He will sometimes come in from work and lay on the floor from exhaustion. I desperately want to help him. He does have tonsil stones and we’ve scheduled a tonsillectomy. I don’t know if it will help or hurt, going through a surgery. If you can give ANY direction, I would be very grateful!
I’ve just started taking Siberian Ginseng (in drop form) and just after the first dose, it had an immediate effect and I started to lose the water I had been retaining and I’m not feeling so “dead” in the mornings. I understand it’s best to take it for up to 3 weeks and then have a break from it. I’ll try 2 weeks and 2 weeks off maybe and see how that goes. I’m also using Natural Progesterone cream (morning and evening) – Emerita is the make – as well as other things but definitely noticed a huge different with the Ginseng. I shall continue.

The lack of a biological explanation can be disappointing. To make things worse, it’s not unusual for doctors to say “there is nothing wrong with you” or “this is all in your head.” The overwhelming amount of information on the Internet that recommends many types of treatment causes even more stress. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, may have symptoms similar to adrenal fatigue and may not respond well to antidepressants and counseling. And some patients do not believe that a mental health concern is the primary cause of their symptoms and many refuse medications due to concerns about their side effects.
Dr. Smith will likely order blood work, but in some cases salivary cortisol levels taken at four different times over the course of the day (a kit you take home) is a better option for a more detailed survey of adrenal function. Usually Dr. Smith will also assess some other adrenal hormones in her lab work such as DHEA. Both blood and salivary tests are equally sensitive when testing cortisol levels.
I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue and have been under a naturopathic dr’s treatment for months and have improved somewhat. in the beginning when I crashed, my blood pressure was very low. Now that I am on the road to healing (and its such a long road), the bottom number of my blood pressure continues to rise until now it is almost always in the upper ’90’s. The top number has remained great. Have you heard of this before? I’m wondering what is causing my bottom number to rise.
CoQ10 plays a vital role in helping the body to manage stress. Research has shown that supplementation with CoQ10 helps to reduce signs of inflammation in the blood and fight oxidative stress. Stress is a significant cause of inflammation, which – on top of adrenal fatigue – is linked to chronic health problems of the brain and cardiovascular system. Your stress-coping mechanisms become weaker with age, and are particularly vulnerable when cortisol is running low.
Nutrition is key and combined with my step-by-step guides you will gain from my experience and background as a mainstream practitioner in helping you flourish with these new alternative approaches. A natural balanced internal state within the body is the foundation to returning it to optimal health. There is tremendous power and ability in supporting the body to do what it naturally does very well, to heal and regenerate. I do hope you find these step by step guides informative, effective and helpful so that you may improve your overall wellbeing and can live the life you have always dreamed of.
Ideally, cortisol is released into the system only on an occasional basis, rather than in response to chronic stress. If cortisol levels become too high for too long, they may have undesirable side effects, including loss of bone density, muscle wasting, thinning of the skin, decreased ability to build protein, kidney damage, fluid retention, spiking blood sugar levels, weight gain, and increased vulnerability to bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, allergies, parasites, and even cancer.
I have been working in a very high stress environment for the last several months. Within a month of starting this job I started having what felt like heart attacks but which the ER docs told me were panic attacks. I ended up having to take a leave of absence to recover and finally resigned when I realized that I literally dreaded going back to work to that point that every time I thought about returning I felt the anxiety attacks starting. It’s been a month now since I quit and I still feel physically exhausted and unhealthy with frequent heart palpitations and dizzy spells. Drs including cardio can’t find anything physically wrong with me. Does this sound like adrenal fatigue to you? If so, How do I get my health back to normal? FYI I’ve been in perimenopause for about 3 years now I still get my period about once every 3-4 months and they are generally very heavy and last for about 3-5 days.
Exercise gently at least 5 days per week, preferably morning and not late in the day.  Try swimming, gentle bike rides, walking, yoga, stretching, or any restorative activity that incorporates breathing.  Avoid high adrenaline activities, like kayaking, competitive sports, running, cross fit or high intensity training until you are well on your way to healing.
If you have, or think you have, Adrenal Fatigue - this is the book to read! I've been diagnosed with it and my Dr told me to go and get myself the book and everything I need for my treatment will be in there! (Lazy? Maybe! Truthful? Yes!) This book will be your go-to-guide to tell you signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, dietary changes to help recovery, herbal medication (and dosage) required plus ideas on how to reduce the stress in your life.
The diagnosis of Cushing syndrome (CS) requires evidence of cortisol hypersecretion. While serum cortisol levels fluctuate unpredictably and are strongly dependent on concurrent cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) levels, a 24-hour urine specimen integrates the cortisol production for an entire day and is not affected by CBG. Urinary cortisol reflects the portion of serum-free cortisol filtered by the kidney, and correlates well with cortisol secretion rate.

What are my qualifications to direct any of you to better health? I am a girl who suffers from adrenal insufficiency and I'm healing after a maze of wrong and right turns. I have worked with over 40 physicians since getting ill a couple of years ago with a rare health condition called POTS Syndrome and have learned so much about adrenal fatigue through trial, error, research, and physician consults that I feel it is my duty to share with all of you what I am learning.
Or, if you cannot afford the book, go to the author's website StopTheThyroidMadness.com and click on the tab "What We've Learned." Pay close attention to the section "Ducks In a Row," which I found particularly helpful. This will help you (1) Identify a physician who is best to treat you, and (2) explain what you need to know going into the appointment. If I would have had this book at the beginning of my health crisis, I would have shaved a year and half off of healing.

Adaptogens are unusual because they modulate your cortisol in both directions: if your cortisol is low, adaptogens bring it up, and if your cortisol is high, they bring it down. This makes adaptogens particularly valuable for treating adrenal fatigue, where you often deal with both highs and lows. Ashwagandha is my favorite. Be warned, though: ashwagandha is Sanskrit for “smell of horse,” and it lives up to its name — don’t chew it, and get it in capsule form if you can.

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