Got this after a friend recently mentioned that she was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. I had no clue about the condition and decided to research. This guide was incredibly informative despite its length. The author was straightforward with his facts that were both scientific and practical. I’m quite convinced to see a specialist now after reading this and realizing that I have a few of the most common symptoms. This just might have saved my life.
These small but mighty glands also work with other hormones and systems in what Dr. Wilson calls a "symphony." As he points out, when one part of this symphony drops out, such as what happens after menopause for women and andropause for men, the adrenal glands have to pick up the slack by producing larger amounts of sex hormones. Because of this, Wilson claims, good adrenal gland function is linked to longevity.
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 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!
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.

I now try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon. This is difficult, as I am a self-admitted tea addict, but I opt for the caffeine-free chamomile or rooibos instead if it’s after lunch. Other ways to promote quality sleep include turning off the TV, computer, and smartphone a few hours before bed (those screens and artificial light can overstimulate the brain, block melatonin production, and negatively impact sleep quality), and eating an ounce or two of clean protein like organic turkey, along with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil right before bed. This has a balancing effect on blood sugar throughout the night.
I’m so frustrated. Been sick since 2008. Serious adrenal fatigue. I had unintended weight loss allergies can’t eat much of anything just had a root canal and I feel 100x worse now. Constant runny nose tired can’t sleep. Hate lights noise TV. For years now. I have reason to believe I have sibo. Omg I’m a mess. Crying fighting with my husband. I need help. Don’t know where to get it. Thx
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam at www.drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the author of Ketotarian in which he melds the powerful benefits of the ketogenic and plant-based diets.
The best approach is to make solid changes to your lifestyle for lasting results. Some people notice a difference in their overall well-being after just a few weeks of better foods that aid in detoxification of the body and adrenal fatigue supplements. If you aim for a balanced lifestyle with a healthy level of sleep, exercise, fun and a positive environment, then you are most likely to keep your adrenal system going strong!

The nervous system is also a delicate balance- where we need to keep the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system in check with our parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. If we live life as a constant race filled speeding through daily activities, functions and appointments then we are putting our entire health and body systems at risk. Stress can create damage to our internal health- not just a headache! We can improve our response to stressful situations as well as reduce the stress triggers in our life. Often we need more time spent in the “rest and digest” nervous systems and less time in the “fight or flight” nervous system. More is not better!
You may also be told to buy special supplements or vitamins. These supplements claim to be made just for adrenal health. While regular vitamins and minerals may be good for your health, doctors are concerned that supplements or vitamins sold as a treatment for adrenal fatigue could hurt you. Many of these supplements have not been tested for safety.
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
Abnormal adrenaline and cortisol levels can result in mood disorders, sleep disturbances, reduced resistance to disease, and changes in vital circulation. Because these side effects are not uncomfortable enough to be intolerable, a self-destructive, adrenal-depleting lifestyle often continues. DHEA, which helps the body recover from this sort of chronic abuse, gets revved up full time instead of only episodically.
He also delves into treatment issues, offering advice on how to develop a manageable recovery plan. One aspect of this involves an alkaline diet, about which there is a great deal of controversy. Its inclusion may draw the ire of many health professionals and scientists who view the non-acidic diet as just another celebrity weight loss fad, but that doesn’t mean that the foods contained in that diet shouldn’t be eaten. Obviously, more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are essential for better health.
BOTH Dr. Lam and Dr. Wilson have discovered the hypoglycemia - adrenal fatigue link, and they both offer an extended-release vitamin C as part of their supplement regimens, which is a critical component of adrenal fatigue. The blood sugar roller coaster of hypoglycemia is one of the prime reasons for adrenal-related fatigue and depression. These two doctors have made me aware of that. Dr. Lam also explores psychological aspects of adrenal fatigue syndrome, and advocates simplifying one's life as a part of recovery, as well as diet modification, reduction of chemicals, and other critical life modifications. Dr. Lam points out that stress reduction may include eliminating stressful relationships from your life (when possible).
Hi Ladies…I too have all the symptoms above and can relate to you all…I am only 39 and this is my third year…I too feel like this is never going to end.I eat very clean…no dairy wheat gluten or meat…I exercise yoga twice to three times a week and walk….I have tried every holistic avenue… But am still trying and will not give up…I do believe the way we live today is a massive cause…Being busy has become the new NORM….I wish us all love and luck…love sonia xzz
So what does this mean for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers? It depends on which stage of the condition you have reached. In the early stages, consistently high levels of cortisol suppress your immune response and leave you vulnerable to infection. In the later stages of Adrenal Fatigue, low levels of cortisol can lead to chronic inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Neither is a good outcome, and so your Adrenal Fatigue treatment should focus on restoring cortisol to a sustainable, balanced level.

Allow yourself to accept nurturing and affection. If you didn’t learn how to do this as a child, you may need to practice it. Every morning before you get up, spend a minute or two reveling in a memory of a time you felt loved. Do the same at night. Imagine your heart being filled with this love. Use affirmations that help you feel deserving of this nurturing and love.

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.
Part III tells you how to recover from adrenal fatigue. This part of the book leaves nothing out: it covers everything including lifestyle, diet, stress, supplements, and sleep. Wilson really wants you to examine your life for the real causes behind your health problems so you can make positive changes. He also believes that most cases of adrenal fatigue can be treated at home without the help of modern medicine, although he does provide suggestions for those with very severe adrenal fatigue who may need temporary natural hormone replacement so they function like a normal person and adopt better habits.
Chronic fatigue affects more than 1 million people in the United States, and those are just the extreme cases. We are a society that works hard, doesn’t sleep enough, and often seems to run on fumes and caffeine. Many of us constantly crave sugary foods and suffer from debilitating exhaustion. That exhaustion can be caused by different things, and chronic fatigue is multifaceted, but in many cases, one common aspect of the condition is something called adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal glands play a huge role in stress response. Your brain registers a threat, whether emotional, mental or physical. The adrenal medulla releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat (the fight-or-flight response), rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles. The adrenal cortex then releases corticosteroids to dampen processes like digestion, immune system response and other functions not necessary for immediate survival.
MAJOR PROBLEM FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE IS ALWAYS BEING TIRED!!!, There are many factors that cause these problems. How do we deal with them and keep up with the world and stay ahead of the curve and not be tired while doing it? This book was a very good read. Very informative and I definitely did not know a lot of these things that were mentioned. Vitamin B5, B6, and B12 these can give you a good boost. I now realized that I have to eat foods that support adrenal function. After reading this book I am now looking for my problem habits that I have that make me very tired throughout the day and I will try and eliminate them, 1 step at a time!
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.
At some point in all of our lives we go through a period of feeling tired, run down or exhausted without being able to point to a readily identifiable reason. Whilst such symptoms could be attributed to a variety of factors – some lifestyle related and some related to identifiable medical conditions – some people take the view that a condition known as adrenal fatigue could be an underlying cause, and that this is an issue of increasing importance. Your adrenal glands are fundamental to a healthy body and mind – they produce a variety of key hormones, including those underpinning our “fight or flight” responses. Looking after the adrenal glands, and the wider endocrine support system is, therefore fundamental. This book explains why your adrenal glands and the hormones they produce are so important. The book then gives some analysis of why diet, exercise and stress levels are important in relation to the functioning of the adrenal glands – and what you might be able to do to develop a more robust system – also likely improving your overall general health in the process. The goal of this book is to give you the tools to help you understand the condition, consider whether or not you need to seek medical attention, and set yourself on a path to self-treatment and complete recovery. Even in broader terms, if you have ever felt that you may be somewhat low on energy, then we urge you to read this book, and put its advice into practical, daily use.
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.
Just to add to my comment above. After taking Siberian Ginseng for about 8 weeks, I had a break for 2 weeks and started back on it again. Yes, taking it in the afternoon has left me with insomnia for a couple of nights and also an upset/colicky stomach so this is quite powerful stuff. I’m sure it’s brought on my next period a couple of days early too.
Lori, I loved your entire comment. So hopeful, patient, and wise. This new world of social media… so much great help out there especially for getting involved and doing your own research. But also so much judgment, condemnation, lies and more. Baby steps is so true. Starting where it matters most to you is so important as habits change and hope is born. Thank you for being an encouraging voice! Keep up your good work for your own health.
Dr. Wilson created adrenalfatigue.org specifically to help you and the many others experiencing this very common problem caused by too much stress. Take the Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire to see if low adrenal function may be your problem. Learn more about adrenal fatigue and how stress and adrenal function can affect your health and other related health conditions. Follow the guidelines for adrenal recovery Dr. Wilson developed over decades of clinical practice and research. Find a health professional familiar with adrenal fatigue to help you. Best of all, discover that you can reclaim your vitality and thrive in a stressful world!
I had my saliva tests done, and the results showed that my cortisol level wouldn’t even register a number after 11am, dipped further off the grid at 4pm and a slight surge at 11pm. Understanding the inverse relationship with DHEA, that level was “off the chart high”. I’ve been on Adreneltone and cortisol manager supplement for almost 3 months and the fatigue only seems to be the same if not a little worse (I actually fell asleep during my daughters dance competition! )
Written as one part case study and one part treatment guide, Heineken’s book covers such topics as the different aspects of Addison’s disease when compared to adrenal fatigue, basic details about the adrenals, symptoms that can help you recognize your ailment, and testing methodologies. There is also information detailing her experiences with a variety of recovery options presented as practical advice to aid in the development of your own treatment plan.
Well, any form of stress involves your nervous system. Specifically your sympathetic nervous system, a part of your autonomic nervous system. This system takes care of your blood pressure, digestion, breathing, heartbeat and sexual response. When these things need to increase because of a threat, your sympathetic nervous system is in charge and when they need to be relaxed, your parasympathetic nervous system cools them off.
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!!
Written as one part case study and one part treatment guide, Heineken’s book covers such topics as the different aspects of Addison’s disease when compared to adrenal fatigue, basic details about the adrenals, symptoms that can help you recognize your ailment, and testing methodologies. There is also information detailing her experiences with a variety of recovery options presented as practical advice to aid in the development of your own treatment plan.
Numerous websites mention how to diagnose and treat adrenal fatigue. However, the Endocrinology Society and all the other medical specialties do not recognize this condition. The Endocrinologists are categorical: “no scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition.” This disconnect between conventional and complementary medicine adds to the frustration.
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