The term “adrenal fatigue” has been used to explain a group of symptoms that are said to occur in people who are under long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress. Supporters of adrenal fatigue say that you may be more likely to develop this condition if, for example, you have a stressful job; are a shift worker, working student, or single parent; or if you abuse alcohol or drugs.
Microbiome labs: The microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria in your gut. You may be thinking, "Why would you look in the gut when considering adrenal fatigue?" Our gut health is the foundation of our total health, especially brain and hormonal health. Dealing with underlying leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is essential for recovering from adrenal fatigue.

This book was instrumental in understanding how one's life and specific stressors can indeed result in adrenal fatigue. It's practical in nature and helped to decipher how to heal from adrenal fatigue and make lifestyle changes in all areas in life. My passion is authentic living and purpose and at the core of this book it is about living one's life authentically. When we are out of congruence with our authentic self we experience stress which ultimately will manifest on a physical level. Having ...more


According to the Mayo Clinic, severe adrenal fatigue symptoms may actually be Addison’s disease. This disease occurs when your adrenal glands stop producing sufficient amounts of cortisol permanently, due to autoimmune disease or damage to the adrenal glands or pituitary glands. Unlike adrenal fatigue, Addison’s disease is marked by unexplained weight loss, rather than gain. The Mayo Clinic urges anyone with symptoms such as hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin), severe fatigue, unexplained weight loss, major gastrointestinal issues, lightheadedness/fainting, salt cravings and muscle or joint pain to see a physician immediately.
This extends to more than just lifestyle and dietary choices. Patients also need to identify and eliminate the sources of stress in their lives. This can often be difficult, but it is a necessary part of restoring their health. Unhealthy relationships, stressful jobs, family quarrels, money worries – these all need to be eliminated somehow. Often a patient will feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders when these issues are fixed. As you would expect, that feeling also signifies a great deal of stress being taken off their adrenal glands and HPA axis too.

For those of us deep into Stage 4, where levels of both the sex hormones and stress hormones have dropped substantially, treatment will take even longer. You should expect a treatment period of at least 12 months, possibly involving bio-identical hormone replacement as well as the dietary changes, lifestyle changes and supplementation mentioned above.
Dr. Jill is Your Functional Medicine Expert! She uses functional medicine to help you find answers to the cause of your illness and addresses the biochemical imbalances that may be making you feel ill. She'll help you search for underlying triggers contributing to your illness through cutting edge lab testing and tailor the intervention to your specific needs as an individual. She may use diet, supplements, lifestyle changes or medication to treat your illness but will seek the most gentle way to help your body restore balance along with the least invasive treatment possible. Dr. Jill is a functional medicine expert consultant and treats environmental and mold-related illness as well

Adrenal fatigue can be caused by a one-time extreme stress such as a bereavement, or by a prolonged situation such as stress in the workplace. Other factors can also play a role in adrenal fatigue and these include poor diet, insufficient sleep, substance abuse and prolonged situations that leave a person feeling trapped – such as a bad relationship, lack of financial resources and so on. Chronic illness can also reduce the function of the adrenal glands.
In addition, the function of the pituitary and its ability to produce other hormones are tested. Typically, measurements of ACTH — the pituitary hormone most relevant for maintenance of normal adrenal function — along with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin are made under resting conditions and following provocative simulation, such as following the administration of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), which leads to an increase in ACTH levels under normal conditions.
And I still feel that way, except maybe I will do it tomorrow . . . after a long siesta. . . or later, like when the cows come home. Because frankly, my “Need To Do” list (go to the grocery store) and my “Want To Do” list ( take a NAP) have not been getting along lately. Yes, I love life and want to do ALL THE THINGS, but maybe I shouldn’t try to do them all at once, you know?

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.
Stress is not a bad thing. We all have stress in many forms but the key is to be able to handle it and to balance your life in a way so that you do not stay in the fight/flight mode all the time. When that happens, you’ll have insomnia, belly issues/digestion issues, exhaustion, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, thyroid issues and many other symptoms. Your immune system will also be very suppressed so you’re susceptible to getting infections and viruses/colds or even catching something like Lyme disease. Sound familiar? I’m pretty much telling you what happened to me. My nervous system was knocked out of balance so much that my body couldn’t perform it’s regular duties and everything started to shut down because of emotional, physical and mental stressors that I was put under when I was younger, which is why I was a prime case for Adrenal Fatigue Treatment.
We have talked so much today about the importance of understanding the state of your adrenals. This is going to inform so much of your health, and is going to keep you away from potentially dangerous adrenal medications – for those who do not need them. Take great care of yourself, and check in on the state of your adrenals by taking the adrenal quiz today.
No ground is left uncovered in this book, as Dr. Wilson brings all of his experience and knowledge to bear in a Herculean effort to bring some semblance of ordered understanding to what had previously been a chaotic stew of confusing and sometimes contradictory assumptions. Everything is methodically explained, referenced, and indexed so that curious readers can do further research on their own to confirm the author’s premise and findings. He even includes a Glycemic Index table, a glossary of terms, and a host of illustrations scattered throughout the book’s various pages.

Low adrenal hormone levels may also be linked to low blood sugar. Normally, cortisol works to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day, but low cortisol levels may not be sufficient to sustain blood glucose. When blood sugar levels drop, sleep is disrupted, which can cause you to wake earlier than normal – for example, between 1-3am. Eating a small, healthy snack before bedtime may help to combat this. Choose foods that are low in sugar and high in protein and/or healthy fats in order to help stabilize blood sugar without spiking it.

Hi Dr. Jill. I’m in my 60s, and about 5 years ago I was diagnosed through testing with adrenal fatigue. I have high toxic metals, very low cortisol, but thyroid is normal. I understand that more sleep is restorative, but for the last 10 years I’ve been lucky to get 4 hours per night. I can go to sleep, but I can’t stay asleep. I’ve tried prescription meds, singly and in combinations (under a doc’s care), supplements of all kinds, and I just can’t stay asleep. My latest strategy is to go to sleep around 10 pm. Then when I wake up, I take Ambien to go back to sleep. Usually I can only sleep for another 2 hours, if that. I always feel sleep deprived and fall asleep at my computer or in meetings. My questions are:
To understand how adrenal fatigue develops, it is important to understand the original, evolutionary function of the adrenal glands. The adrenals are walnut-sized glands located on top of each kidney, and are important control centers for many of the body’s hormones. The outer layer of the gland, called the adrenal cortex, produces hormones including cortisol, DHEA, estrogen and testosterone. The centers of the glands produce adrenaline, the hormone named after them.

The problem starts when cortisol stays high when it shouldn’t, often due to chronic stress. The result can be adrenal fatigue, which is not actually an adrenal problem but rather a brain problem. Typically, adrenal fatigue is when the brain-adrenal (HPA) axis isn’t working, so that the brain is not communicating appropriately with the adrenal glands to regulate cortisol. Symptoms include:
Hi Dr. Jill. I’m in my 60s, and about 5 years ago I was diagnosed through testing with adrenal fatigue. I have high toxic metals, very low cortisol, but thyroid is normal. I understand that more sleep is restorative, but for the last 10 years I’ve been lucky to get 4 hours per night. I can go to sleep, but I can’t stay asleep. I’ve tried prescription meds, singly and in combinations (under a doc’s care), supplements of all kinds, and I just can’t stay asleep. My latest strategy is to go to sleep around 10 pm. Then when I wake up, I take Ambien to go back to sleep. Usually I can only sleep for another 2 hours, if that. I always feel sleep deprived and fall asleep at my computer or in meetings. My questions are:
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.
Hey girls, I too am in the same boat at you. I am 49 and sure I have been Perimenopausal for several years. This year has been the worst. I am one giant hot flash 24/7, heat Palps, panic attacks, missing periods, edema all over, hair falling out (all comprehensive thyroid tests are normal), depression, out of control weight gain even from eating almost nothing, horrible sleep, digestive problems, gas and bloating all day, choaking on mucus 24/7 despite eating gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free, Lyme disease, bad, I mean really bad adrenal fatigue which worsened after my mom’s death two years ago, pain all over the body, severe fatigue, and about 30 other symptoms. I have been sick for over 20 years with Lyme, Epstein-Barr, mycoplasma, mold toxicity, Candida, hidden bio-unavailable copper toxicity, a clotting disorder from the Lyme, and sporadic HHV-6 and Cytomegalovirus, with no help. I live in Southern California. If anyone knows of a naturopath or integrative medical doctor who measures up to Dr. Northrop’s calibur, please, please email me angelofeventide@yahoo.com. Thanks so much.

Of course, that money trail is only part of the story. While the lack of patentable treatments for adrenal fatigue is a prime reason for medical science’s failure to recognize it (the pharmaceutical companies have no interest in conditions that offer no real possibility for profitability) there is also the issue of the restrictions placed on doctors by licensing boards and insurance companies. Today’s doctors are simply much more conventional and conservative in their approach to medicine, and rely on consensus rather than their own experience and knowledge. Laboratory results and tests are now the mainstay for almost all forms of diagnosis, and adrenal fatigue is notoriously elusive when it comes to those tests.
Constant foggy feeling. Looking for guidance as to what lab tests I can have my provider order to check for any hormone imbalances that I may have. I am a 36 yo female. In the past 8 months, I have had neck pain that revealed bulged discs, which I feel i have in control, not treat for this. I am working to fix my diet, but exercise of almost any sort causes my neck to flare up. I want to rule out any issues from labs first and start working on my diet and stress level.

In summary, I think both of these doctors offer a tremendous service for people suffering with adrenal fatigue syndrome. In May of 2014 I had what was likely a major adrenal crash, I now understand from reading the work of these two men. (I have a similar story to many of you - spent 14 years going from doctor to doctor, GPs, endos, integrative docs, and none was able to help me.)


This books needs a good editor! I read it cover to cover, but I recommend scanning the table of contents and index and jumping around based on interest. I'm grateful to my copy's previous owner, as the best bits are already highlighted. A lot of the material is over my head and I still can't precisely describe adrenal fatigue, but I understand that we all experience adrenal fatigue at some point. What's important is how we recover from stressful situations, be it from predator attacks (ancestral ...more
The adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, support us through stressful events. They secrete hormones that make us resilient in times of difficulty, like a sleepless night, illness, surgery, stress at work, stress at home, loss of a loved one, meltdowns at the store with toddlers, financial pressure, etc. The challenges – whether they’re short-term, long-term, severe or relatively mild – can sometimes overwhelm the adrenals. Because the effects of stress on the adrenals are cumulative, multiple sources of stress tend to compound the problem.
Adrenal fatigue is caused when the adrenal glands can no longer meet the demands made of them because they are simply over-worked. Naturally, the adrenals help the body to deal with stress by mobilizing the hormones required to keep the body functioning properly. However, when too much stress is present, whether physical, mental or emotional, the adrenal glands become over-stimulated and start to slow down – hence the term “adrenal fatigue”.

Testing for Adrenal Fatigue can take several forms. First we have the standard hormone tests, which include testing for cortisol and various thyroid hormones. These are the tests that your medical doctor will likely give you. Then we have the tests more frequently used by integrative doctors or naturopaths – these tend to look at the ratios of various hormones and neurotransmitters, in order to get a better idea of how a patient is feeling. And lastly we have a set of more subjective physical tests, which were mostly developed in the early days of Adrenal Fatigue diagnosis.
I read about adrenal fatigue in another book and as they described the syndrome I was baffled because I thought they were describing normal every day life. The idea that it might be possible for me to have a day where I was not tired and cloudy headed definitely peaked my interest. This book was fascinating to me because it explained what causes these kinds of symptoms and what it would take to put things back in balance. The regimen of supplements suggested by this book was overwhelming and jus ...more
I’m currently taking a supplement that contains bovine adrenals and bovine spleen. I have adrenal fatigue, IBS, and insomnia, and my naturopath follows the four pillars of world cuisine plan. Is it dangerous to takes glandular supplements? The product is from Standard Process and they are very reputable. Still, I have my concerns. Should I trust my naturopath on this?
Spending more time outside in the sun also helps boost levels of vitamin D, because your body manufactures this important vitamin/hormone when it senses sun on your skin. Vitamin D, is responsible for regulating over 200 genetic pathways, so make sure your levels are high enough. I recommend an optimal range of around 60 to 80 ng/ml. Ask your doctor about a simple blood test to help you keep track.
More and more research says quite the opposite about liver. Most healthier cultures eat mainly organ meats and throw out lean meats unlike us incredibly unhealthy Americans. Liver is a super food. But big Pharma and modernized doctors are about putting band-aids on problems, fixing issues would take away money they want. Liver is also an excellent source of iron. It also doesn’t keep what toxins it filters thru the body, it removes them. especially ethically raised grass fed animals.
Congenital Weak adrenals. Many children today are born with weak adrenals due to their parents’ nutritional deficiencies. This is not a genetic problem. Instead, it is due to the nutritional imbalances of the mother, in particular. These are passed through the placenta to the unborn child. For example, if the mother is zinc-deficient, as most are, the baby is born low in zinc and often high in copper, cadmium or other minerals that substitute for zinc to a degree. Fortunately, this means the problem can be corrected, though it is better to prevent it, of course. By age three or four, these children are in burnout. They are often sick, depressed and have difficulty in school. Some of these children react to the situation by becoming hyperactive, compulsive, obsessive or by developing various other behavior problems. On their hair mineral analyses, these children are often in a state of burnout at this early age, a relatively new phenomenon, in my experience. By gently rebuilding their body chemistry, however, their behavioral and other disorders generally vanish in a few months to a few years.
To that, all I can say is that adrenal fatigue is something I’ve seen personally. It is my opinion, through years of healthcare practice and supporting scientific evidence, that hypoadrenia is very real and associated with a number of complications. In addition, adrenal fatigue treatment is relatively non-invasive and is beneficial to your health, no matter the diagnosis. Of course, you should be under the care of a qualified medical professional, such as a functional medicine doctor, you trust and see them about any symptoms you experience (of any disease) so that they can determine appropriate treatment.
For herbal relief of adrenal fatigue, look to adaptogens. This class of herbs (which includes ginseng, ashwaghandha, and rhodiola) is thought to build your resistance to physical, chemical, and biological stress, as well as boost your energy and vitality. In a 2009 study, for instance, researchers found that taking 576 mg of a standardized rhodiola extract in supplement form daily reduced stress and increased mental performance (without producing adverse effects) in a group of adults suffering from stress-related fatigue.
The basic task of your adrenal glands is to rush all your body’s resources into “fight or flight” mode by increasing production of adrenaline and other hormones. When healthy, your adrenals can instantly increase your heart rate and blood pressure, release your energy stores for immediate use, slow your digestion and other secondary functions, and sharpen your senses.

The most common of these tests include testing bodily fluid for cortisol. Blood tests are almost never helpful in this regard, but a 24-hour salivary panel may help your doctor recognize abnormal cortisol patterns, including a lack or overload of stress response. Many doctors also test thyroid function in conjunction with cortisol levels because of the way these hormonal systems are interconnected.
This books needs a good editor! I read it cover to cover, but I recommend scanning the table of contents and index and jumping around based on interest. I'm grateful to my copy's previous owner, as the best bits are already highlighted. A lot of the material is over my head and I still can't precisely describe adrenal fatigue, but I understand that we all experience adrenal fatigue at some point. What's important is how we recover from stressful situations, be it from predator attacks (ancestral ...more
Oysters are packed with zinc! The trace mineral ratio between copper and zinc can help with healthy neurotransmitter function and adaptation to stress. Increased copper and decreased zinc has been shown to contribute to brain stress and anxiety. This superfood of the sea is a great way to balance the proper trace mineral ratio and your stress levels.
When adrenal fatigue is present it can result in general tiredness and lethargy and in severe cases it can be extremely debilitating, to a point where a person can hardly get out of bed. Most people go un-diagnosed, especially by conventional practitioners who usually don’t look at the adrenals as being a potential trouble-source. People usually just live with symptoms of adrenal fatigue and prop themselves up with extra coffee, sodas or other stimulants. However, left unchecked their condition could continue to worsen.
Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.
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