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.
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.

I have been suffering from rocking vertigo for 7 months now with no known cause. It was brought on by a period of high anxiety/panic attacks. The feeling hasen’t left me since this happened to me in June. I have been researching adrenals as a cause because of how it started although im not seeing rocking vertigo as a normal symptom. I would say I experience fatigue too but the vertigo is the main problem.


If you want to get your energy levels back to where they were, there are a few things that you need to do. Adopting an adrenal fatigue diet will give your adrenals and HPA axis the raw materials they need to recover. Removing sources of stress from your life will eliminate one of the causes of your adrenal exhaustion. And changing your lifestyle will have a measurable impact on your ability to handle stress.

An oral dose of 20 milligrams of hydrocortisone is recommended by some for routine cortisol management, while an occasional dose of 50 milligrams may be prescribed but should not be taken regularly or in higher doses. (34) Your physician or endocrinologist should help you understand the potential side effects of this and any other medication they recommend.

Another study, released in 2005, found that students diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome had “alterations in adrenal function,” particularly in females, suggesting that their adrenal glands were no longer receiving a normal amount of stimulation. (11) And it’s not just about the amount of sleep you get — researchers at Brandeis University discovered that the quality, rather than the quantity of sleep, affects the body’s normal cortisol responses when exposed to stress. (12)
The adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys like little kidney baseball caps, release several important hormones one of which is cortisol. Cortisol is one of your primary stress-related hormones and regulates your energy. Normally, it rises in the morning to help you wake up, then slowly goes down throughout the day, sinking at night so you can sleep well. Cortisol also helps regulate your blood sugar and pressure.
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.
Those with adrenal insufficiency may suffer an adrenal crisis if symptoms of adrenal disease are ignored. An adrenal crisis (known sometimes as an Addisonian crisis in those with Addison’s disease) is marked by symptoms like severe, sudden pain in the legs, back or abdomen, severe vomiting/diarrhea, dehydration, low blood pressure and loss of consciousness.
Food is medicine. I always ate healthy, other than my favorite "healthy junk foods" of gluten-free pizza and stevia soda. But I knew that if I was going to rehab my adrenal fatigue, I had to take my food medicine plan to the next level. I had to make sure my diet was on point for hormone health. Here's the 90-day food plan I used to improve my sleep and energy.
Here are some typical signs that you have adrenal exhaustion: You awaken feeling groggy and have difficulty dragging yourself out of bed. You can’t get going without that first cup or two of caffeinated coffee or tea. You not only rely on sugary snacks and caffeine to get through the day but find you actually crave sweets, particularly in the late morning or afternoon. (Perhaps you’ve even been diagnosed with hypoglycemia.) Your thinking is foggy and you have memory problems. You suffer from recurrent infections, headaches and depression. At night, though exhausted, you have trouble falling asleep as the worries of the day replay in your head and you suffer from insomnia. Ordinary stresses have an impact that is out of proportion to their importance. You wonder what happened to your interest in sex. If this description fits you, your adrenals may be running on empty, even if all your conventional medical tests are normal.
Unfortunately, the adrenal glands' health is paradoxical. 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 (and probably your mental state) just can't take anymore. "One more stress is the stress that breaks the camel's back," Dr. Wilson says.

I have been working in a very high stress environment for the last several months. Within a month of starting this job I started having what felt like heart attacks but which the ER docs told me were panic attacks. I ended up having to take a leave of absence to recover and finally resigned when I realized that I literally dreaded going back to work to that point that every time I thought about returning I felt the anxiety attacks starting. It’s been a month now since I quit and I still feel physically exhausted and unhealthy with frequent heart palpitations and dizzy spells. Drs including cardio can’t find anything physically wrong with me. Does this sound like adrenal fatigue to you? If so, How do I get my health back to normal? FYI I’ve been in perimenopause for about 3 years now I still get my period about once every 3-4 months and they are generally very heavy and last for about 3-5 days.

What we need to do is give our bodies time, and to understand why our bodies are producing low cortisol. It all comes down to root causes – as it often does in many aspects of our health. When we get a better sense of why our body is reacting the way it is, than we can really approach a solution. Low cortisol output might leave us feeling fatigued, but simply bringing outside cortisol into our systems is not going to solve the problem long-term.


There are numerous supplements you can use for adrenal fatigue but remember, you have to get to the root cause of WHY you have adrenal fatigue before you start your adrenal fatigue treatment. If you don’t, the supplements will just be a waste of money! Talk to your Functional MD about the following supplements to support your adrenals. But please know that anything that supports your adrenals will increase your estrogen so this may lead to worse PMS, acne, weight gain or mood swings- something NO ONE told me about until recently. Probably because no doctor understood this!
But often the naturopaths have recommended supplements or worse. Wilson’s website sells “Dr. Wilson’s Original Formulations” adrenal supplements. The “Adrenal Fatigue Quartet” costs about $200 for a 30-day supply at the minimum recommended doses. The website notes in large print that the products are “formulated by Dr. James L. Wilson for people experiencing stress-related adrenal fatigue.” But the website is dotted with asterisks that lead the determined reader to a small-print notice: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

I dealt with adrenal fatigue before I developed Bulletproof. It was hard to figure out what was wrong because a lot of doctors didn’t (and still don’t) recognize adrenal fatigue as real. One big reason is that when your stress response is messed up, it affects so many parts of your biology that it’s hard to identify as adrenal fatigue, and even harder to study.
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