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.
One particular question I have is, can large amounts of coffee skew the results of a cortisol saliva test? My doctor wanted me to do what I normally do in a day and the results were normal, but journal for me is 3-5 of extremely strong black coffee a day ( my most awake moments are about an 1 hour long after each cup, expect the one at the end of the night and then I crash hard). The fatigue has gotten do bad that I’m crash after doing the simplest things like cooking for my family.
We tested her cortisol levels using a saliva test, and found that not only did she have the symptoms of stage 3 adrenal fatigue, the test confirmed it. Instead of following a curve that starts high on waking in the morning and trends down to its lowest point at night, her cortisol curve was a flat line. Her DHEA, another adrenal hormone, was also low, as were her free T3 — the active thyroid hormone — and her levels of B12, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and selenium.
This treatment plan comes in several downloadable ebooks (in PDF format), audio files, and a video course. Please note that no physical product will be shipped to you. It is fully compatible with PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets and many other computers and mobile devices. If you have any problems downloading the treatment plan, just contact us here and we will be happy to help you.
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
While CFS and adrenal fatigue are not the same, adrenal function may play a role in it. Those with CFS are often found to produce a low amount of the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. Furthermore, CFS is a malfunction of the pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of the skull, which regulates all our hormones. The pituitary, hypothalamus and adrenals all work together as part of the HPA axis to regulate our health and hormones. Analysis of the data in over 50 studies that assessed adrenal function in CFS and fibromyalgia patients demonstrates that the majority of these patients have abnormal adrenal function due to hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction.

When you live in the fight/flight mode all the time and you’re constantly stressed out, you’re setting yourself up for adrenal fatigue because they’ve been in overdrive for a long period of time and they’re been flooding your body with cortisol until they can’t keep up with the constant demand for more stress hormones. Now, your adrenals cannot produce enough stress hormones and/or they’re producing the wrong types of hormones at the incorrect times.


The effectiveness of this multi-system treatment was further confirmed through the analysis of the cumulative findings of over 40 independent physicians and over 5,000 patients. Prior to the treatment at the Holtorf Medical Group, the patients had seen an average of 7.2 different physicians for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia without significant improvement.
Fish oil (EPA/DHA): There are a large number of benefits of supplementing with fish oil (or, for people on vegan or other plant-based diets, algal oil). Several of these include counteracting a number of adrenal fatigue-related symptoms and complications, such as diabetes, mental dysfunction, arthritis, immune system function, skin issues, weight gain and anxiety/depression.
Adrenal fatigue is a prototype fake disease. Defining a cluster of symptoms in general terms is the first mistake. Symptoms need to be collated in a rational way to understand the parameters of the disorder. With adrenal fatigue, there’s no objective operational description, nor is there a validated symptom score, as the systematic review notes. Using a vague list of symptoms to identify patients is the second mistake. While laboratory tests are advertised for identifying adrenal fatigue, there’s no persuasive data to suggest that any testing used by naturopaths is valid in any way.
Hi I'm Jedha, resident nutritionist (MNutr.BSSc.). My motto is: “YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH” because there is nothing in this world that makes us more wealthy than having good health. I truly believe that good food is the key to a happy, healthy life and I'm on a mission to inspire you to get back inside your kitchen, eat real food, and as a result, improve your health dramatically. Trust me, there is great power in the food we eat! So here you'll find easy and practical info to help you eat well, and feel your best everyday. I look forward to getting to know you :)

Have you found that despite trying everything to get some much needed rest and recuperation you still have that 'wired but tired' feeling. You know the one with low-level anxiety at the same time as feeling lethargic and unmotivated? Are you finding it trickier to focus and concentrate on tasks? Are you less motivated about doing things, which you used to love? Has your sex life taken a nose-dive?


It wouldn’t surprise me if almost everyone has adrenal fatigue in the day and age we live in. There’s different “levels” and/or severities of adrenal fatigue. I have had professional help in my diaginosis for adrenal fatigue by going to a naturopath doctor and I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Wilson’s book and supplements. They have put me on the road of recovery and I am so thankful. I was so sick with anxiety and insomnia that I had two separate times about 2 months apart where I was literally in bed for a week – which was horrible being a mom of 3 very young children. Thank God for my husband and family – I wouldn’t have been able to recover without their help and support! And thank God for Dr. Wilson!
Less obvious but no less important stimulants may include anger, rage, arguing, hatred, loud music, fearful news and even movies full of suspense or violence. Other activities that may act as stimulants and must not be overlooked include vigorous exercise, sexual preoccupations, recreational drug use or other thrills. These often provide a temporary “high”, which is caused in part by the secretion of high amounts of adrenal hormones. However, over time, this weakens the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal depletion and insufficiency.

The most accurate way to assess adrenal function is through a saliva cortisol and DHEA biopsy. There are other ways however to assess adrenal function, including through blood tests and through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. These methods won’t give you exact cortisol and DHEA values (blood tests can measure the adrenal hormones but saliva hormones are considered far greater due to the fact that saliva hormones are ‘free-fractioned’) but nonetheless they can give you insight into the 2 basic phases of adrenal imbalance: adrenal hyperfunction and adrenal hypofunction.
While adrenal fatigue is not accepted by most doctors, adrenal insufficiency is a real medical condition that occurs when our adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones. Adrenal insufficiency is caused by damage to the adrenal glands or a problem with the pituitary gland—a pea-sized gland in the brain that tells the adrenals to produce cortisol.
Unlike other endocrine disorders that are caused by physical damage to parts of the adrenal glands, hypoadrenia is seen by many in the natural health world as a “middle ground” syndrome with simple and easy-to-implement solutions. Currently, no official diagnosis exists for adrenal fatigue and people are either considered to have normal endocrine function or total endocrine failure, like that seen in Cushing’s syndrome or adrenal insufficiency/Addison’s disease. Some postulate that this occurred in the 1950s when doctors over-prescribed adrenal steroids and saw dire consequences, leading to an overcorrection and generalization of endocrine issues. (2)
Once a diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency has been made, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen may be taken to see if the adrenal glands are diminished in size, reflecting destruction, or enlarged, reflecting infiltration by some independent disease process. The scan also may show signs of calcium deposits, which may indicate previous exposure to tuberculosis. A tuberculin skin test may be used to address the latter possibility.
I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency by a progressive doctor. She meant well, but she missed the boat completely. For some people, the adrenal-busting cycle is caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea. A healthy lifestyle alone (or supplements or other treatments that only target adrenals) can’t fix the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysruption caused by sleep apnea, and many of the systems will overlap. Nocturnal breathing pauses cause a stress response, elevating cortisol, increasing exhaustion, sabotaging sleep quality and all of the regenerative work our bodies are meant to do during sleep. For women, sleep apnea is likely to go undiagnosed, because doctors think it is so rare in women that they don’t usually consider it as a differential diagnosis (even in women with PCOS, who are known to have the same rate of sleep apnea as men). For young and slender women, sleep apnea is unlikely to be diagnosed until it has already caused long-standing biological changes, even if a woman has classic symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring, observed pauses in sleep breathing, and significant daytime sleepiness. Sleep dysruption is a form of chronic stress, so it can overlap with adrenal insufficiency, and treating sleep problems can be a big help to solving the adrenal problems.
Everyone comes from different backgrounds and have various experiences that affect their outlook on life; therefore, their view of something might be totally different than someone elses perspective. I like how you responded Heather, because after all we are real people even though we don’t talk face to face we still need to try and understand each other. This is part of life learning from one another.
Nieman adds that even when patients come in “hell bent on having this diagnosis, when I listen to everything they have to say and validate the symptoms, but tell them, ‘I really don’t think your adrenal is actually failing, but I think some of your problems are reversible,’ I find that they accept [my point of view], and can give up on this adrenal fatigue diagnosis.”
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
I was put on HC by my integrative hormonal doctor but after getting the results in early October of a very low cortisol level in the morning, then a very high cortisol level at noon, then a bit low in the evening and then slightly high at night. I was told to take adaptogens by those in the know but I listened to my doctor and now I dread the decision. did I really need to take HC? no amount of HC made me feel better and in fact only raised my blood sugar and pressure. he says I have a maladapted HPA axis from chemotherapy I had in 2009. I have a very high DHEAS and testosterone level too. I want to get off HC but finding it quite difficult. my doctor said the low doses I am on now are only shutting down my own production and I might as well just stop but others have told me just stopping would be very dangerous. I am currently down to 7.5mg (sometimes take 10mg) I am full of anxiety, suffering from shakes/jitters everyday. I was given buspar and klonopin by a shrink who thinks I am nuts. I don’t know what to do but get off and retest cortisol to see if things have changed since October. I have been under enormous stress this past year due to the constant excruciating pain I have to endure from severe sciatica/Spondy from a fall on ice last winter. I also lost my smell and taste (anosmia) that a virus caused and the two created a very stressful period in my life where my adrenals took a huge hit. I don’t know how to get passed this and what to do. I feel AWFUL!!!!! Please HELP!!!!
Lifeworks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering adrenal fatigue treatment and treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome for a long time and many of our patients have regained quality of life. Very few clinics offer natural adrenal fatigue treatment and so our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering this treatment where they live. 
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)
Thank you for the wealth of knowledge you share in your blogs and follow-up comments. What stage of adrenal/HPA-axis dysregulation would you consider a patient with the following results? Symptoms are consistent with abnormal cortisol levels and hypothyroidism; current treatment protocol from primary includes Armour thyroid 30mg. Could Hashimoto’s (or autoimmunity) be a possible cause? Or are lifestyle factors (sleep, glucose regulation and diet, stress, etc.) more likely for the following patterns?
Wondering if any of you have this happening…my symptoms are worse each month around the same day the 20th. Starts out feeling flu like massive headache, body aches slight fever, nausea. And in 2-3 days it starts to dissipate and then moves to my lower back and nerve like radiating pain in my lower back. Usually lasting 2-3 days, this month it came earlier and lasted longer 6 nights to be exact. Happens like this each month. Today, the Endocrinologist told me it’s not hormones/menopausal. What the heck!!
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!!!!
Do you have Adrenal Fatigue? A few changes in your diet and lifestyle can go a long way to getting your energy levels back. You can also use some natural supplements to give your body the support it needs to recover. Dr Eric Wood and I teamed up to write The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, which contains a comprehensive plan to recover from Adrenal Fatigue.

Once a diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency has been made, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen may be taken to see if the adrenal glands are diminished in size, reflecting destruction, or enlarged, reflecting infiltration by some independent disease process. The scan also may show signs of calcium deposits, which may indicate previous exposure to tuberculosis. A tuberculin skin test may be used to address the latter possibility.


First, I want to talk about the concept of adrenal fatigue really quickly. When we think about the body being fatigued, sometimes we immediately assume that our bodies are unable to do something. In the case of adrenal fatigue, that’s not really how it works. It is not that our bodies cannot produce cortisol, it is just that they do not want to. So, the adrenals actually are not “fatigued” at all.
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.
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)
Interesting article. I was diagnosed by my MD (endocrinologist) with Adrenal Insufficiency about 18 months ago. I am also a type 1 diabetic with other high-risk chronic diseases. He put me on a low dose of Cortisol twice a day. I have been hospitalized in ICU due to Adrenal Failure, which can be fatal if not treated. If you suspect adrenal issues, see your doctor.
Primary adrenal insufficiency is what is known as Addison’s disease and occurs when the adrenal glands are damaged by some type of trauma and can’t produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. The much more common type of adrenal insufficiency is known as secondary adrenal insufficiency and occurs when the pituitary gland stops producing adenocorticotropin (ACTH). ACTH is what stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, so it stops this process from moving along. (39)
Women with more severe symptoms, or those who have reached complete exhaustion, usually need greater intervention.  We personalize the therapy to each woman’s symptoms and test results. We look into the cumulative stressors and other causes of fatigue (We urge you not to self-prescribe herbal supplementation and over the counter substances, as they can have adverse health effects).
The largest difference between them is that people with adrenal fatigue usually have cortisol levels that fall in “normal” levels but not “optimal,” while adrenal insufficiency patients have cortisol levels consistently outside the normal range. In addition, most conventional doctors would say that stress is not a causative factor in adrenal insufficiency (which is “always caused” by damage from other, unknown sources), which seems unlikely.
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.)
Not included in the above piece by Dr Northrup about adrenal exhaustion is information about the affects of sustained stress on the adrenals leading to elevated aldosterone production. With work/life stress, extreme exercise and chronic dehydration (many people don’t get enough fluids) the adrenals will produce elevated levels of the hormone aldosterone in order to try to maintain a type of homeostasis. Aldosterone will push potassium, zinc and magnesium out of the body resulting in impaired immune function, poor digestion, compromised liver function, poorer iron absorption, and increased risks for oxidative stress.
The website of chiropractor and naturopath James L. Wilson, DC, ND, PhD, says that he coined the term adrenal fatigue in 1998 “to identify below optimal adrenal function resulting from stress and distinguish it from Addison’s disease.” As many other naturopaths have taken up the diagnosis, it has spread widely across the Internet. Wilson’s website notes that “conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome.”
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