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:

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.
This book was very informative and a very practical guide for people wanting to take action to improve the condition of adrenal fatigue. Very helpful about other related health conditions. Covered every aspect from a very good self assessment, explanation and impact of the condition, and the ways in which people can make changes to assist themselves. My health has certainly improved since applying the principles and practical help.

I had a bilateral adrenalectomy 30 years ago. I take Prednisone and Flourinef replacement steroids. But I’m tired and depressed all the time. I’ve never taken DHEA and wondering if would help me? I’m menopausal. I’m 57 years old. I don’t have osteoporosis. My adrenal glands were removed when I was 17 – I was diagnosed with Cushings Disease. Later on I had a pituitary adenoma removed. I still have my pituitary gland. It’s functioning properly. My fatigue interferes with my life.
Hello, at Age 51, 5’6″, Nothing has changed, i am still 165 to 170 depending on the Decision of GOD knows what, i went down to 163 last June after climbing to 170 and was ecstatic, no change in diet, i cannot exercise due to the Fibromyalgia (long story) but i am the busiest person i know, i hardly EVER sit down. My period was 2 months late in June of 2015, then it started, and my weight dropped 7 pounds in 5 days ! (from 170 to 163 in June 2015) i did nothing diff, then it climbed back up , doing nothing different, only my period was late again, for another 2 months.

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.
A Practical Guide To Addison's & Adrenal Fatigue: Advice For Dealing With Addison's/Adrenal Fatigue From A Female Over-Achiever Diagnosed At 31 is the work of Regan J. Heineken, an adrenal fatigue sufferer whose chronicling of her own healing journey became a treatment guide that she decided to share with the world. At fewer than 70 pages, it’s another easily-accessible work on the subject of the adrenals and varying levels of fatigue.
I have below optimal cortisol, high DHEA, low epinephrine and low dopamine, hypothyroid and POTS. I wake up every morning around 4 am feeling panicky with my heart racing and can’t get back to sleep. I’m very tired on and off through the day, head feels floaty and at times I have symptoms of depersonalization. I feel like I’m losing my mind alot of the time. Anyone have any ideas of what can help? I have a 9 year old and I’m so depressed, I want to be there for him and this is so difficult.
1- It says repeatedly that salt is good for you and potassium is to be avoided. But salt is toxic. I know this from my own experience. Salt gives me nasty headaches. Charlotte Gerson said that salt promotes cancer. Dr. Albert Schweitzer said the same. So did Dr. Birger Jansson. Dr. Max Gerson put all his patients on salt-free diets and gave them potassium supplements; he said that on this regimen sodium deficiency was rare, and his patients did very well. He c ...more
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The Metabolism Plan: Discover the Foods and Exercises that Work for Your Body to Reduce Inflammation and Drop Pounds Fast is not written specifically for people with adrenal fatigue, however, in this 2017 updated version of her original book The Plan, the author devotes chapters to thyroid function as well as the adrenal/cortisol connection to your body's metabolism, and explains how eating foods that you are reactive to can depress thyroid and adrenal function, as well as prevent you from losing weight. She teaches you not only how to monitor your body for signs of food sensitivities (as in the first book), but also how to assess different styles of exercise, to see if your workouts could be the reason you are not losing weight! This book in my opinion replaces the original verson (you probably don't need to read both, the actual diet is the same) and is at the top of my must-read list for planning your adrenal fatigue recovery!
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.

The adrenal glands sit over the kidneys, where they play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and testosterone. Since they produce so many essential hormones, the adrenal glands are responsible for many of the functions we need to stay alive and healthy, including:
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.
Easy for the non-scientist to understand. Lots of obvious information, like sleep more and eat better. I used this book more for the supplements chapter. I increased my bit C and B6. I stopped taking DHEA because of this book (not recommended for women) and started taking pregnelone instead. Some stuff I didn't know is that salt is good for you and bananas are bad for you if you have adrenal fatigue.
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.
I’m hoping maybe you can unconfuse me. I recently had an adrenal stress index done as well as a full thyroid panel because I’ve experienced all the symptoms you’ve mentioned above and more (headaches, inability to lose baby weight despite trying, etc). I’ve even taken the questionnaire you linked ( and a few others) and they all come back indicating some amount of adrenal fatigue.
This book is concise and considerate, I felt as though I was sitting with a learned friend who was firmly but persuasively telling me what was going on with my body and mind; as if that were not enough, my dear friend pointed me in the direction of recovery using terminology that was and is readily understood. Thank you David, I know that with the gradual implementation of the things you have recommended I can expect to feel rejuvenated, revitalized and refreshed, journey on!!!!
Theories on adrenal impairment as the genesis for fatigue are tempting, as they allow for a treatable condition. Despite the widespread use of the term “adrenal fatigue” by the general media and certain health practitioner groups, in this systematic review, only ten citations were found with this exact expression, and they were all only descriptive and did not perform any test regarding the HPA axis and “adrenal fatigue”. Studies that tried to correlate the HPA axis and fatigue states used the term “burnout” instead of “adrenal fatigue” to denote adrenal depletion. Therefore, a distinction between the “general information” and the actual scientific literature regarding this condition is evident.

Nieman recommends taking a careful history and investigating the causes of each symptom or group of symptoms. “I suggest that we work with the patient’s primary-care person to exclude potential disorders such as anemia, obstructive sleep apnea, irritable bowel syndrome, depression or anxiety, diabetes, other systemic illness, poor diet, stress at work or home, or overtraining.”
The effects of adrenal dysfunction can be profound: fatigue and weakness, suppression of the immune system, muscle and bone loss, moodiness or depression, hormonal imbalance, skin problems, autoimmune disorders, and dozens of other symptoms. The good news is that adrenal fatigue can almost always be relieved. Let’s look at the relationships between stress, high cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue, and then we’ll look at how you can give your adrenals more support.
Some lifestyles are apparently more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue, including single parents, shift workers, an “unhappily married person”, and the “person who is all work, no play.” There’s no information provided to substantiate the quiz, qualify the vague terminology, or link to any relevant literature. (Of course there is the usual Quack Miranda warning on every page which makes all of this possible: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration … etc.”)
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.
Kathryn Simpson‘s 2011 book, Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue: How to Restore Hormonal Balance and Feel Renewed, Energized, and Stress Free, carries with it the experiences and advice of someone who has suffered adrenal fatigue (and multiple sclerosis), fought against its effects, and secured the victory that only comes with full recovery. Today, she continues her efforts to share her story and the lessons she learned with other patients in similar situations, even as she works to further the scientific community’s understanding of hormones.
To address some above comments, in having tested quite a few people this year in NTP school, I find most people’s pupils pulse (release, contract, release, contract, rather quickly), rather than completely releasing for a prolonged period of time. What you’re looking for is a sustained, non-pulsing contraction for 30 seconds. The longer the sustained contraction, the better. Pulsing is better than fully releasing, and some people don’t contract at all, which would be a big indicator.
As the manufacturer of adrenaline, they are the “glands of stress,” but are also the first glands to fail during prolonged or intense periods of stress. The problem with stressors is that they are “cumulative,” in the sense that their impact tends to add up in the body over time until your adrenal glands just can’t take anymore. Adrenal “fatigue” or dysfunction used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as exposure to environmental toxins and allergens.

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
Indeed, an article from a São Paulo university was released in 2016 with the title: “Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review.” According to this review, results of acceptable studies available to them at the time had “conflicting results” and could provide no definitive proof of the disease, nor diagnostic criteria or adrenal fatigue treatment. (4)
The Adrenal Fatigue Treatment information in this article is a combination of what I learned throughout the last decade of healing Hypothyroidism in my body as well as information from the following Functional/Integrative doctors and their books: Amy Meyer’s M.D.and Aviva Rohm M.D., who I truly admire, believe in and agree with. Click on their name for additional Adrenal Fatigue Treatment information.
I have a question. I experienced quite severe adrenal weakness symptoms after gradually increasing DHEA until I was taking 30 mg. a day. I couldn’t even exercise like I always have . I know now that I should have not taken it as I have a history of low blood sugar. I stopped the DHEA entirely and started takiing licorice root caps, 3 caps 3x a day with meals. I feel so much better! My blood pressure was not too low when I started, 120 over 72, but yesterday, it was 137 over 92 with a resting pulse of 66. I am afraid to cut out the licorice, because every time I cut it out entirely in the past, I don’t feel well. Even though I also take a good Adrenal glandular too. Maybe if I cut it down to 2 caps 2 times a day? i wonder if that would lower my blood pressure enough. Btw, I am a 62 year old female in good health otherwise and on no meds.
It took me a few months to feel like I was recovering, but now, over six months since my initial crash, I feel so much better, and I have lots of goofy baby hair growing! This hair regrowth, combined with stable energy levels, and a happier wife and mama, lets me know that I’m no longer suffering from the severe adrenal fatigue that was kicking my tail last year.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs, by Dr. Michael Lam, is a reference guide that packs virtually every bit of information you ever wanted to know about adrenal fatigue into its massive 500-page frame. Dr. Lam has been a pioneer in the study of adrenal-related issues, and personally provides help for millions on his own website, drlam.com.
Hi Jill. I have suffered from chronic back pain off and on usually low back or near the top of my hips in the back. This has been going on for about the last 6 to 7 years. The only type of Imaging my doctors have done is an x-ray, which only showed very very mild arthritis. I am 36 years old, 5 foot 8 in tall, 135 lb. I feel like I am not taken seriously by my doctors, because I am not elderly or overweight. All they tell me to do is take muscle relaxers or ibuprofen, or do all these different stretches including physical therapy. Nothing helps. I am wondering if adrenal fatigue could be to blame for this. I only drink one cup of coffee in the morning. But I do eat a lot of sugar, and have for years. Do you think it would be beneficial to start taking an adrenal support product? Thank you very much for any help!

Your adrenals produce your stress hormones, which are super important for your metabolism and they totally effect your thyroid so it’s key to look at these glands when you’re dealing with any sort of thyroid issue. If you’re in that amped-up mode that causes you to feel stressed all the time (and you feel like you can’t turn it off), you’re headed for some degree of Adrenal Fatigue. In this state, your cortisol is chronically elevated or it’s high when it should be low (at night). Adrenal Fatigue is when your cortisol is chronically low when it should actually be elevated. Your production of stress hormones declines and leaves you with low adrenaline and low cortisol–feeling depleted.
I’m here to share my story of healing with you. I know what it’s like to suffer and not know what’s going on with your body. I’ve been there. I was lost, searching for answers and alone for 10 years until I learned how to get my body working for me, not against me—to address the underlying symptoms instead of using a Band-aid approach to reclaim my vitality. I want to show you that eating and living clean feels incredible. Once you see life this way, you’ll never go back. Ever. Come play along with me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. I’m here for you. xo
And to make things even MORE complicated “Experts” say that when you crave Salt, that is a sign of Low Aldosterone, but then others say that the Swelling before the Period is not just low Progesterone, but High Aldosterone as well, so how can i have “High Aldosterone” in the final stages of Adrenal Fatigue..i say Final because the Panic attacks, Heart Palps and Insomnia are over, i am just having Low Blood Sugar sometimes and Salt Cravings always. IS it possible to have alternating Aldosterone levels EVEN in AF?
Can’t believe what I just read! ‘Adrenal insufficiency usually means there are long standing life problems’ and ‘because these side effects are not uncomfortable enough to be intolerable’ Is this a joke?! Adrenal insufficiency is a condition, usually autoimmune where the adrenal glands are destroyed. This is in no way because of any life problems! The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency aka Addison’s disease are so severe they greatly alter life and can be life threatening. A person with Addison’s disease needs medicine or they will die from this condition. They are also at risk of an adrenal crisis, this is life threatening and can be brought on by illness or extreme stress. If your adrenal glands are not working properly trust me you will know about it and an ACTH test will clinically prove low levels of cortisol. Please remind me of the tests for adrenal fatigue? Oh that’s right there aren’t any. Just pick a few symptoms out of the 75 listed, many of which contradict themselves greatly. Make sure to ignore any medical tests which have shown you to be in range and just like that you have adrenal fatigue – a condition which has no medical standing, no scientific evidence and was made up by a chiropractor! Let me do you all a favour – none of you have adrenal fatigue. This is a fact
It is also their job to keep your body’s reactions to stress in balance so that they are appropriate and not harmful or excessive. For example, the protective activity of anti-inflammatory adrenal hormones such as cortisol help to minimize reactions like swelling and inflammation in situations ranging from allergies to autoimmune disorders. These hormones closely modulate many metabolic processes:
It is the observation of these scientists that suboptimal health, as an “in-between” status before disease, is a precursor to many health conditions and has been exacerbated by the culture shifts in the last several decades like Western lifestyle habits, pollution, poor diet and tobacco use. This study, intended to expand over subsequent years by large numbers, is an effort to legitimize some of the oft-ignored benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (15)
This syndrome has been known by many other names throughout the past century, such as non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, sub-clinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, adrenal apathy and adrenal fatigue. Although it affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome.
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