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.
While adrenal fatigue may not exist, the same can’t be said for the treatments. When you’re treating a fake disease, anything goes. Everything from homeopathy to herbal remedies to hydrotherapy, to traditional Chinese medicine and vitamin supplements are advocated for treatment. The endpoints of treatment are as nonspecific as the criteria for diagnosis. Wilson, conveniently, has his own supplement programs, and there’s no shortage of solutions out there.
Dr. Eric Wood is a licensed Naturopathic doctor with extensive clinical and teaching experience. He graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine with additional post graduate studies at the Benson Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine at Harvard. Dr. Wood has worked in both private practice and consulting work, with experience in many different areas of Integrative and Mind Body Medicine. He has specialty training and expertise in the areas of oncology, infectious disease, Adrenal Fatigue and anti-aging medicine.
Carmen there is hope, I was on prednisone for more that 5 years straight, it was a long, awful, painful, and slow withdrawal from it. this was about a year and a half ago, i’ve had to do short bursts about 4 times since then, I like to breathe. At that time I also got off of high doses of morphine another withdrawal that was not pretty, I was put on methadone as i have chronic pain issues. After this time I started investigating herbs that might help me, and i have found a wealth of information on not just herbs, but on many other natural ways to heal, and I’m actually starting to feel better than I can ever remember and I’m 53, with 6 children, 7 grandchildren 3 of which I have been Mom to for the last year and a half.
I live in the UK and am having great difficulty getting a diagnosis. Having read your article and taken your “quiz” I realise that I have most of the symptoms covered. My problem is to get my doctor (a General Practitioner) to recognise Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Do you know of anyone in the UK that I could consult? In the meantime, I will try all your Lifestyle tips, I shall enjoy the chocolate!
Under certain circumstances, stress can fatigue your adrenals. It is estimated that most North Americans experience some form of stress-related adrenal fatigue at some time. Although many people realize that stress is a problem in their lives, few understand the actual physical ways stress acts on the body and mind through the adrenal glands – or more importantly, what to do about it. Unfortunately, even most doctors still do not recognize the common health picture produced by adrenal fatigue. This leaves a lot of people suffering without anywhere to turn for help. Thats where Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome comes in.
A saliva cortisol test is taken at home using a simple kit. Basically, you spit into a vial several times a day, then send the samples in for analysis. The lab will review how your cortisol levels ebb and flow. I’ll explain more in future posts, but for now what you need to know is that an abnormal pattern suggests HPA axis dysfunction, which suggests adrenal dysfunction. (HPA stands for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal.)
As most books in the “Dummies” series do, this one covers the full range of issues involving the adrenals and their impact on patient energy. It explains, in simple and easy-to-understand language, how the adrenals work and why they become fatigued. It details the symptoms associated with this type of low energy, and tests that can be administered to detect adrenal dysfunction. There is also a large amount of insight into the types of stressors that can trigger the stress response that contributes to adrenal overload and fatigue.
Hi Jill! I feel like I have just found gold after reading your site about adrenal fatigue. I have been doing so much testing the last year and a half as endocrinologist has been concerned about my symptoms. After the onset on some very serious stress 4 years ago I started noticing light headedness throughout day esp upon rising, crawling sensation across back and what I would call back spasms at my rhomboids that would make it difficult to breath, itching in the location, of what I know now are the adrenals, hair loss, fatigue around 3 every morning, up late at night , hard to rise or even have a functioning brain til at least 10, test resulting in inflammation, increased blood pressure (being managed), irritable bowel, Random weight gain, then lost and now sudden weight gain again and on and on and on. Every single symptom you listed. Just saw derm (referred by endocrinologist) and she said I have paresthesia. I am so thankful you have posted this information in the easiest way to understand as Ive been so concerned with what has been going on in my body and just to know that I may have an answer is such a relief (I think). I have recently started upping my vitamins worries I was deficient including ashwaganda, and starting rhodiola. I am very concerned about damage that has been done over these few years and want to immediately try to fix this. How can this affect my organs and health? And has there been remarkable damage to my body? I just was ordered to take a calcium screening and heart was great, lungs great etc. just worried. I will start following you advice and hope to get back to normal. Thank you, thank you for your education and advice.
This test should be used along with the Free T4 test. While Free T4 measures the amount of unbound and available T4 in your blood, Total Thyroxine also includes the amount of T4 that is bound to carrier proteins (essentially held ‘in reserve’). Using this test together with the Free T4 test will tell you how much T4 is available for your body to use, and how much is being held in reserve.
If you have very advanced Adrenal Fatigue, this guy gets it. This is the only doctor (besides my doctor) that understands everything involved when you have very advanced Adrenal Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue/ Fibromyalgia (They are all the same- they just express different symptoms for each of us). For example, no one else really addresses how the liver is involved, or pancreas, or tinnitus, or hormones or what's going on with the muscles as well as Dr Lam. I hate the Wilson work because it doesn't address those of us that are very advanced and have all these issues and many, many more. Dr Lam offers ideas on healing that are gentle enough for people like me to tolerate. Those of us that are advanced usually have oppositional responses to supplements, medication and food and this guy gets it!

The main purpose of your adrenals is to enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems. Adrenal function is of paramount importance because these small glands play a pivotal role in determining the way your body responds to every change in your internal and external environment
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.
A: Real adrenal insufficiency describes adrenal glands that are sick and unable to function properly. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by Addison’s disease, a pituitary disorder or another disorder. Symptoms of this life-threatening dysfunction include extreme exhaustion, lack of appetite (leading to weight loss), diarrhea, nausea and low blood pressure.
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!
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.”)
Hi Jill! I feel like I have just found gold after reading your site about adrenal fatigue. I have been doing so much testing the last year and a half as endocrinologist has been concerned about my symptoms. After the onset on some very serious stress 4 years ago I started noticing light headedness throughout day esp upon rising, crawling sensation across back and what I would call back spasms at my rhomboids that would make it difficult to breath, itching in the location, of what I know now are the adrenals, hair loss, fatigue around 3 every morning, up late at night , hard to rise or even have a functioning brain til at least 10, test resulting in inflammation, increased blood pressure (being managed), irritable bowel, Random weight gain, then lost and now sudden weight gain again and on and on and on. Every single symptom you listed. Just saw derm (referred by endocrinologist) and she said I have paresthesia. I am so thankful you have posted this information in the easiest way to understand as Ive been so concerned with what has been going on in my body and just to know that I may have an answer is such a relief (I think). I have recently started upping my vitamins worries I was deficient including ashwaganda, and starting rhodiola. I am very concerned about damage that has been done over these few years and want to immediately try to fix this. How can this affect my organs and health? And has there been remarkable damage to my body? I just was ordered to take a calcium screening and heart was great, lungs great etc. just worried. I will start following you advice and hope to get back to normal. Thank you, thank you for your education and advice.

Testing can be an important part of the process. The patients have often been given saliva tests for cortisol, so Nieman tells her patients that saliva tests are not considered reliable. She explains that the standard test is the corticotropin (ACTH) stimulation test — and that if the adrenal glands can respond to the stimulation by releasing cortisol, it disproves that theory that the glands are burned out.
i have been on entocort steroids for a year now 9mg and recently down to 6 mg – I want to get off but have been told to go slowly due to adrenals. Can you explain why to me and how I should go about this. I did the eye test and mine pulsed as well. I sleep great but also take ketotifen which is a mast cell stabilizer and makes me very sleepy. Can you also tell us what do to for adrenal support thx
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!
A relatively new area of understanding, there are some who make the connection between adrenal fatigue and osteoporosis. It’s well-known that osteoporosis is often a result of imbalanced hormones. However, the sex hormones that are often named as the transgressors aren’t the only problem. Abnormally high or low cortisol levels are also associated with bone loss and osteoporosis risk. (36, 37, 38)
Healthy adrenal glands secrete appropriate amounts of cortisol, a hormone fundamental to optimal health. When released in normal levels, cortisol is essential to helping our bodies respond in healthy ways to stress and supporting a healthy immune response—without cortisol, the body cannot sustain life! Cortisol levels affect every tissue, organ and gland in the body. Balance is crucial.
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.
Meditation involves using the diaphragm to draw oxygen into your body, allowing for full oxygen exchange in the lungs. This causes your body to deactivate the ‘fight or flight’ response because it suddenly realizes you’re not facing a threat. Your brain is effectively ‘tricked’ into thinking, “Hey, I can relax.” This allows for a change in the brain’s chemistry. Neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for “rest and digest” mode are activated, and a sense of physical and mental calm is induced. Cortisol production ceases and you will begin to feel more relaxed and at peace.
Meditation involves using the diaphragm to draw oxygen into your body, allowing for full oxygen exchange in the lungs. This causes your body to deactivate the ‘fight or flight’ response because it suddenly realizes you’re not facing a threat. Your brain is effectively ‘tricked’ into thinking, “Hey, I can relax.” This allows for a change in the brain’s chemistry. Neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for “rest and digest” mode are activated, and a sense of physical and mental calm is induced. Cortisol production ceases and you will begin to feel more relaxed and at peace.
I just took dr Wilson’s test and scored in the “severe” range. Not really news to me… I’ve been depressed and burnt out for a whole now, although I find it interesting that there may be a physical reason why I’m feeling this way. Not sure what to really do about it though, since I’m already doing a lot of the things to “be kind”. What do I do now? Do you have a link to other posts that talk about how you recovered?
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.
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.
The light should cause your iris to contract, making your pupils (the dark spot in the center of your eye) smaller.  Normally, they should stay that way, but if you have adrenal gland fatigue, the iris will be weak and will not be able to hold the contraction, it will either waver between contracted and relaxed, or will contract initially, but then open up after 10-30 seconds.
Although current medical science recognizes no such condition, physicians need to take the complaints and symptoms of these patients seriously, according to Endocrine Society President Lynnette Nieman, MD, who is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Our role is to be good active listeners to determine if there is a true medical disorder lurking among the complaints. It is very important to take the person seriously, not to brush them off and say there is no [such thing as] adrenal fatigue. These people are suffering from something, so we need to take the suffering seriously.”
×