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.
I find it curious that suboptimal health status (SHS) has many of the same tenets as what we refer to as adrenal fatigue. Actually, people classified as having SHS have “significantly higher levels of plasma cortisol,” and confirm the correlation between stress and suboptimal health. This has led those studying SHS to realize that reducing the stress in work environments may help to prevent chronic diseases in the future. (16)
Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson is considered by many to be an invaluable resource for information about this syndrome, its impact on human life, and the proper way to address it. Wilson’s experience with adrenal function has earned him respect as an expert on the subject. And because he has spent time not only treating patients who suffer from adrenal dysregulation, but researching the science that underlies these problems, his work has helped to revolutionize many people’s understanding of adrenal fatigue’s impact on human health.
While not specifically about adrenal fatigue, information in this book will be an important part of your healing process. Discussing all the components of a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy, sleep and the physical effects of stress and stress-related illness, Dr. Schwarzbein explains not only why you are so tired all the time, but why you can't get rid of that extra belly fat. An excellent explanation of how your hormonal imbalance causes degenerative diseases and accelerated aging, this book ties together the connections between adrenaline, cortisol, insulin and other metabolic hormones, and explains how you can make changes that will prevent or reverse diseases likeType II Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease, and how you will lose weight as a result of healing your metabolism, and why it won't work to try to lose the weight BEFORE you get your hormones under control. This book outlines 4 different plans for recovery, depending on your current metabolic condition:
What type of specialist (i.e., doctor, naturopath, etc.) is the most effective to help with this treatment? I have had thyroid issues since my 20s (I’m now in my 50s), including the periodic loss of hair in large spots on my head, weight gain (now to include the lovely layer of fat around my midsection), exhaustion after workouts, and on and on. I have also been told I have adrenal exhaustion. I would really appreciate some guidance.
For anyone who has ever wondered why his or her doctor seems to know nothing about this syndrome, Dr. Wilson offers an answer. He does this by explaining the reasons why adrenal fatigue is so readily dismissed by most in the medical community. As he points out, there is always money involved in these considerations, and in the case of adrenal fatigue the money trail leads right to the pharmaceutical companies. At one time, adrenal fatigue was a well-known diagnosis, and patients actually received treatment for it. As the pharmaceutical industry grew larger and more politically connected, however, that diagnosis became rarer and rarer. Today, only the most severe forms of adrenal dysregulation – such as Addison’s disease – receive any serious recognition by doctors.
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.
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.
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.
Another oft-quoted piece of evidence against the existence of adrenal fatigue is Todd B. Nippoldt’s interview with Mayo Clinic, stating essentially the same concerns. (6) Again, it is stated that consistent levels of chronic stress have no effect whatsoever on the adrenals and the only true endocrine disorders are those caused by other diseases and direct damage to the adrenal glands.
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.
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)
Karin B. says…"Before I read The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, I was pretty depressed—I was still sluggish and still struggling with this weight gain and still needing my supplements. Now I'm hopeful—I see how I've been exercising wrong for my energy level, and how my diet has been fighting against my supplements. Not all of these changes are going to be easy, but now I know how I can start to improve my own health. It's so encouraging to know that I have more control than I realized!"
Anyway, I’ve been eating a vegan diet lately (McDougall/Esselstyn style) as there is heart disease and diabetes in my family, but seem to be be gaining weight on it, even though my calories aren’t that high. I am desperate to lose weight – I gained about 50 pounds with this adrenal thing!! I’ve tried everything and every diet out there. I found low carb dieting very difficult as my energy plummeted. I’m so confused as to what diet to follow. Any diet suggestions would be immensely appreciated!
Traditional health practitioners have known for centuries that mindfulness-based exercises such as meditation and yoga help to relieve stress and anxiety. Regular practice improves your ability to respond to stress in the future. Being in a meditative state allows certain thoughts or feelings to pass by without causing stress or anxiety, which means you spend less time focusing on negative thoughts.
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.
I was found to have adrenal fatigue a year ago via salivary 4 point testing — showed low salivary cortisol in the morning and throughout the day – 4, 2, 2, 1. total 9nM). Also mildly elevated DHEA (11 ng/mL). I am doing all the lifestyle/dietary things you list and in the past tried both adaptogenic herbs (Thorne Phytisone) and adrenal glandulars for about 6 months with little improvement. My doctor wants me to try an adaptogen again and I am wondering if either of the formulas you recommended would be worth trying. Thank you for your time.
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.
The two little glands above the kidneys the size of a walnut are the adrenal glands. They help keep the body in balance and respond to stress. Our way of life constantly demands too much of our adrenal glands and the adrenal glands eventually start to get exhausted. When the adrenal is not performing as well then we are more fatigued, have trouble sleeping, gain weight and even feel depressed. Dr. Wilson has excellent visual aids to help identify causes of adrenal fatigue and how stress looks different for everyone.
When a threat happens, your sympathetic nervous system stops digesting your food, it stops worrying about producing babies so your reproduction stops and it takes away the priority from worrying about your immune system and your thyroid (because your body thinks it’s in survival fight/flight mode getting chased by a tiger) and your blood rushes out of those areas and into your legs and arms so that you can flee from the tiger your body thinks is chasing you. Your sympathetic nervous system was deigned to deal with physical challenges, so that’s why this reaction occurs. So, what is really happening is that your body doesn’t care about the long-term focus of your health right now. It’s focused on how to keep you alive right now in this moment through the fight/flight mode. THIS is called the stress response (fight/flight mode). Your blood pressure increases, your palms sweat and you feel pumped up and ready to fight or flee from danger. Sound familiar?
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!
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.
Ive been to the doctor about my depression but i feel as if the doctor doesnt listen to me why I tell her I am tired ALL the time. i feel like im running a marathon just to get through the day. ive been eating healthier and going to the gym 2 to 3 days a week. nothing is helping . Lost 1 pound 🙁 im a horriible napper (i wake up in a bad mood) so i try not to nap . What should my next step be ? im stuck in this rut for now.
Supporters of adrenal fatigue believe the problem begins when many different life stresses become too much for the body to handle. Our adrenal glands—small organs located above the kidneys—usually deal with stress by producing hormones like cortisol. According to the theory of adrenal fatigue, when people are faced with long-term stress, their adrenal glands cannot keep up with the body’s need for these hormones. When this happens, symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” may appear.
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.
B-Complex vitamins: Research has found that vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with stress on the adrenal cortex in some animals. (25) Vitamin B5 is another commonly deficient vitamin in people with adrenal stress. Especially if you’re reducing or eliminating meat from your diet in order to fight adrenal fatigue, it may serve you well to take a high-quality B-complex vitamin supplement.
There’s no science to back it up. The Endocrine Society, the world's largest organization of endocrinologists (people who research and treat patients with diseases related to glands and hormones), flatly says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. And it says the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so general, they can apply to many diseases or conditions (depression, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia) or stem from everyday life.