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Uncontrolled emotions are another cause of adrenal burnout. These include habits of worrying, or becoming angry or afraid. Don’t worry, be happy is a great prescription for adrenal burnout. This applies particularly to high strung, Type A, nervous individuals as they are especially prone to adrenal burnout.  Prayer and meditation release calming neurotransmitters and take the body from a state of fight and flight into the parasympathetic mode of relaxation and can be extremely helpful in healing adrenal fatigue.  In addition, cultivating an attitude of gratitude can do wonders for you adrenals.


One of the most commonly overlooked causes of Adrenal Fatigue is intestinal infections that gives rise to an inflammatory response. Such infection can occur sub-clinically with no obvious signs at all. Infections in the gut, including giardia, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), fungal dysbiosis, and h. pylori infection are just a few that may contribute to adrenal dysfunction.

I was experiencing hair loss in huge amounts. My stress was through the roof last few years . My mom passed away of cancer seven months ago. Finally saw an endo Dr and found out my DHEA levels are soaring. My testosterone high. I have Pcos and Dr found a small benign mass on my left adrenal gland. I pretty much feel like crap all the time. Major panic attacks and anxiety, exhaustion, weight gain, stressed, depressed, headaches, body aches, left kidney pain. Now I have fast heart beat and high blood pressure. I’m on Aldactone and couple other meds. I just have severs fear if this small mass since cancer is in my family. The Dr thinks nothing of it as it seems to be build up hormone. I am afraid it will turn into something worse. And my anxiety makes me fear the worst. They are saying my thyroid is fine but I don’t believe that. Any suggestions? Thank you…….
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.
When Jaclyn became a mom more than eight years ago, health food was the last thing on her mind, but when her son began to struggle with behavioral disorders, she dove in headfirst to begin learning about how to live and eat naturally. When she began to focus on paleo and GAPS diet foods, her son’s behavior began to improve, her children were healed of eczema and digestive problems, and her own thyroid disorder was healed. She blogs about raising her four boys to be happy and healthy at The Family That Heals Together.
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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.
I first learned about cytokines years ago when I was dealing with Lyme. What many of us do not realize is that the stress response triggers inflammatory immune cells called Cytokines. These cytokines perform many jobs and one of them is to make your thyroid receptors less sensitive to thyroid hormones- meaning that you’ll need more thyroid hormone that usual to have the same impact! This is where things get tricky because your thyroid blood work (see Part I for the blood work labs to get), can come out perfect but you’ll still be seeing thyroid symptoms because if you’ve got thyroid resistance, you can have the correct levels of thyroid hormone in your blood but your cells are being deprived. Yikes, right? Your hormone in your blood is not getting into your cells where you need it so you’re not seeing an improvement in your symptoms and your blood work can look perfect.
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!
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.
But Nieman says that many of these patients with generalized symptoms have “what I call ‘couch potato syndrome,’ meaning that people get deconditioned if they don’t exercise. [Others have] a disorder of modern life that could be called the ‘life is hard syndrome.’” Many people are in fact stressed to the point of not taking care of themselves. For these patients, the recommendations of naturopaths have value when they emphasize adopting a better lifestyle, such as eating a healthier diet, taking vitamins, getting enough rest, exercising, and eliminating some negative things from their lives.

The fallacy of this logic is that there is no evidence that the stress of day-to-day life could have any such effect on the adrenals. “Endocrinologists believe — correctly — that under stress your adrenals work harder and make more cortisol, not less,” says Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chief of the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and molecular medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. Friedman says that the patients may be given the diagnosis by naturopaths, chiropractors, functional medicine doctors, and anti-aging doctors.

I recently ordered a hormone test kit from John Lee's website, in an effort to figure out some health issues I was having. I included cortisol levels in the kit, because I am a type-A person and figured my cortisol levels were high and perhaps that contributed to the issues. Surprisingly, my cortisol levels were low at all 4 times of the day tested. A good doctor I showed the results to said "You have adrenal fatigue" and recommended an adaptogen called Adreno-Mend. As a retired RN, I felt a bit stupid and in an attempt to educate myself I ordered this book. I had no frame of reference for adrenal fatigue and this book provides an excellent explanation, as well as a framework to overcome the life style choices that have contributed to your adrenal fatigue. The endocrine system is so complicated, I don't pretend to understand it all, but rest assured, if one thing is out off order, it affects all your other hormones so they cannot function optimally. That includes all your glands regulating metabolism, digestion, immunity, quality of sleep, etc. I'm sure in our busy culture there are millions of people who suffer needlessly because they are unaware and they have a doctor who is not tuned in to all this. I had enough insight to order the test kit, maybe because I'm a nurse, maybe God steered me there. Once I had the results, I made an appointment with my family doctor (who I like a lot), to discuss it with him. He looked at the report and said "This is not mainstream medicine; you don't need hormone replacement; this is a natural part of aging." So, even if you go to a board certified internist who you like, you can't depend on them to be enlightened and pro-active on your behalf. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates many aspects of our health and/or illness so it is beyond me how it is not "mainstream medicine"; this author even states that many people who come to physicians with these symptoms of stress, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc, are given anti-depressants or sleeping pills or told to seek pyschiatric care. He makes the point: You are not crazy, there is a physical cause for what is happening and you can have understanding and some control over your symptoms.


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.
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.
But can stress cause extreme fatigue? Yes, it absolutely can. One study found that students undergoing chronic, long-term stress when prepping for medical exams at the end of their educational careers impaired the students’ cortisol awakening response. (10) By limiting this surge in cortisol that naturally occurs every morning when you wake up to help you feel alert, stress inhibits your ability to wake up fully, no matter how much sleep you get.
Chronic infections play a critical role in some cases of adrenal exhaustion. Chronic infections may originate in infected teeth or gums, though they can be located anywhere in the body. They contribute greatly to the toxic load of the body. Infections also cause inflammation and stress that must be countered using the adrenal hormones such as cortisol and cortisone.
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!

i have been dealing with fatigue and major hair loss for the last 4 years. It use to go in cycles of 4 months then would get better but this last year has not cycled this has been going on for a year now. I wake up and two hours later need to sleep for 2-4 hours and am drained again around 5-6. No doctors have seemed to be able to figure it out. any help would be a blessing.

Symptoms can be very similar to the ones experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers and up to 70 percent of the patients actually suffer from both conditions. Symptoms include: fatigue that doesn’t go away with sleep, difficulty getting restful sleep, pain, stiffness, tender spots in muscles and/or joints, headaches, sore throat, flu-like feeling, weight gain, digestive problems, mental fog, and poor concentration.

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.


Like most books on the topic, Dr. Luther’s guide begins at the beginning: with a discussion of stress, the adrenal system, and the stressful nature of modern life. That leads to an examination of how the various systems of the body communicate with one another, and the way that stress impacts every aspect of health. From there, it moves on to an examination of the stress response, which is the source of all adrenal fatigue issues.

This is a very informative book with information on everything from symptoms to how to find relief and better health. Unlike other "health" books I've read, this one gives very complete information. An example is that many books will suggest you add or take away certain types of foods from your diet. This one gives lists of not just a category of foods - but the actual food items themselves AND tell you the best ways to prepare them.
Adrenal fatigue can affect blood sugar and sugar metabolism as stress normally causes the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol, which helps raise blood sugar levels so the cells can more glucose to generate energy for your response to the stressor. The elevated blood sugar, in turn, requires higher levels of insulin to get the glucose from the blood into the cells. When this cycle is repeated frequently, the cells may become insulin resistant to protect themselves from too much glucose, especially when no energy-consuming physical action is taken in response to the stress. The greater the insulin resistance, the more insulin it takes to get glucose into the cells. In this way, chronic or repeated stress can contribute to persistent insulin resistance, and the resulting high levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) and insulin circulating in the blood that are likely precursors to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
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.
As I belong the forensic medicine branch and my observation is first rule out metabolic disorders, endocrinal disturbance , systematic diseases and any one defiantly find out the cause if they are not responsible then the fatigue is psychological if this is also not responsible than it is left for various environmental factors such as age, sex, life style, eating habits etc etc.
You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.
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