The term “adrenal fatigue” has been used to explain a group of symptoms that are said to occur in people who are under long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress. Supporters of adrenal fatigue say that you may be more likely to develop this condition if, for example, you have a stressful job; are a shift worker, working student, or single parent; or if you abuse alcohol or drugs.
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.
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.
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.
Testing for Adrenal Fatigue can take several forms. First we have the standard hormone tests, which include testing for cortisol and various thyroid hormones. These are the tests that your medical doctor will likely give you. Then we have the tests more frequently used by integrative doctors or naturopaths – these tend to look at the ratios of various hormones and neurotransmitters, in order to get a better idea of how a patient is feeling. And lastly we have a set of more subjective physical tests, which were mostly developed in the early days of Adrenal Fatigue diagnosis.
Lately I’ve noticed that I’m dragging in the afternoon and have less patience with the potami. Though in the past I would have beat myself up for my “bad attitude” or tried to give myself a pep talk to snap out of it, this time I’m taking a different approach. I’m acknowledging that my adrenals are tired, and I’m taking steps to give them the rest they need.
Oysters are packed with zinc, and having a balanced trace mineral ratio between copper and zinc can help with healthy neurotransmitter function and adaptogen to stress. Increased copper and decreased zinc has been shown to contribute to brain stress and anxiety. Oysters – superfood of the sea – are a great way to achieve this balance to help ease your stress levels.
Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals. Excessive workload, long hours, lack of sleep, or emotional stress are common. Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and appliances like televisions, cell phones, wearable electronics, microwave ovens and computers give off strong EMF fields that can be stressful to our bodies
I am sorry, there WAS one other thing i was doing back when i got better from Adrenal Fatigue and that was Hydrocortisone Cream, but at the time i thought NOTHING about it, and was only using it for my Rocesea on my face…i knew Nothing about AF when i started using it, the Pharmacist, told me dont over do it, it is a Steroid, so was careful, but i wonder now if that helped me, EACH time i got better there was HC Cream in my life, but NOW I TRY IT AND I TOTALLY PANIC !!!! go Figure that one out !!
"You don’t know how much I appreciate your new book, The Adrenal Fatigue Solution. I have been undergoing unrelenting stress for 7 years. I haven’t understood why I cry, have so little energy, and am irritable all the time. Now I do, and I know how to cope. Your selfless efforts in gathering this book’s information are so generous. Thank you and God bless you. I love you for your help."
Hi Dr. Jill. I’m in my 60s, and about 5 years ago I was diagnosed through testing with adrenal fatigue. I have high toxic metals, very low cortisol, but thyroid is normal. I understand that more sleep is restorative, but for the last 10 years I’ve been lucky to get 4 hours per night. I can go to sleep, but I can’t stay asleep. I’ve tried prescription meds, singly and in combinations (under a doc’s care), supplements of all kinds, and I just can’t stay asleep. My latest strategy is to go to sleep around 10 pm. Then when I wake up, I take Ambien to go back to sleep. Usually I can only sleep for another 2 hours, if that. I always feel sleep deprived and fall asleep at my computer or in meetings. My questions are:
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.
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.
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Dr. Wilson describes the unique progression of adrenal fatigue throughout the day as follows: you wake up and are unable to function without a significant amount of caffeine, finally feel a boost of energy during the early part of the day, then your energy levels crash around 2 p.m., rise around 6 p.m., fall again around 9 p.m. and then finally peak again at 11 in the evening. (3)
I have Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue. I don’t know what’s causing my adrenal fatigue or how to find that out. Is it the autoimmune attack? Gut infections? Food sensitivities? The fact that I’ve been to like 50 doctors and nobody can help and they make me so stressed I want to yell at them? I also go to bed really late like 4am. And my blood sugar is chronically low despite eating protein and fat with each meal so I have these awful blood sugar swings which I’m sure is hard on the adrenals. I just don’t know how to figure out the cause and reverse it. Can you reverse it without figuring out the cause by taking a B complex and Vitamin C?
Well, any form of stress involves your nervous system. Specifically your sympathetic nervous system, a part of your autonomic nervous system. This system takes care of your blood pressure, digestion, breathing, heartbeat and sexual response. When these things need to increase because of a threat, your sympathetic nervous system is in charge and when they need to be relaxed, your parasympathetic nervous system cools them off.
Hey girls, I too am in the same boat at you. I am 49 and sure I have been Perimenopausal for several years. This year has been the worst. I am one giant hot flash 24/7, heat Palps, panic attacks, missing periods, edema all over, hair falling out (all comprehensive thyroid tests are normal), depression, out of control weight gain even from eating almost nothing, horrible sleep, digestive problems, gas and bloating all day, choaking on mucus 24/7 despite eating gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free, Lyme disease, bad, I mean really bad adrenal fatigue which worsened after my mom’s death two years ago, pain all over the body, severe fatigue, and about 30 other symptoms. I have been sick for over 20 years with Lyme, Epstein-Barr, mycoplasma, mold toxicity, Candida, hidden bio-unavailable copper toxicity, a clotting disorder from the Lyme, and sporadic HHV-6 and Cytomegalovirus, with no help. I live in Southern California. If anyone knows of a naturopath or integrative medical doctor who measures up to Dr. Northrop’s calibur, please, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much.
To diagnose Adrenal Fatigue correctly requires using a combination of lab testing and feedback from the patient (questionnaires can also play a useful role). On this page I will give a brief summary of the major tests that can be used in an Adrenal Fatigue diagnosis. Dr Wood and I discuss these tests in more detail in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, along with some revealing tests used by integrative doctors.
Did you know that MDs receive less than one day of nutrition training during their entire 4 years at medical school? A 2006 study found that the average MD received only 23.9 hours on this vitally important subject. Modern healthcare has drifted away from promoting things like nutrition, emotional wellness, and exercise, and has become almost exclusively focused on treating acute, life-threatening conditions. Again, that's not so helpful if you are suffering from a condition like Adrenal Fatigue.
This book was very informative and a very practical guide for people wanting to take action to improve the condition of adrenal fatigue. Very helpful about other related health conditions. Covered every aspect from a very good self assessment, explanation and impact of the condition, and the ways in which people can make changes to assist themselves. My health has certainly improved since applying the principles and practical help.
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.