Hi Kim, Overall getting well from adrenal fatigue requires significant changes in diet and lifestyle combined with a good supplement strategy. The supplement strategy is different for each individual as adrenal dysfunction usually follows a continuum that gets progressively worse. So it depends where you fall along that continuum as to what to take.

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The result is often relentless, debilitating fatigue that is the hallmark of adrenal insufficiency. Though this fatigue is often accompanied by depressed mood, irritability, and loss of interest in life, this doesn’t mean that the adrenal exhaustion is necessarily the cause of the mood change, any more than similar problems are always caused by thyroid malfunction. That is why these emotional symptoms do not always go away with treatment — the underlying issues remain unresolved until they are specifically addressed by behavior and lifestyle changes.
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.
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.

Thank you for your article! I just received saliva test results showing that I have low cortisol throughout the day. I’m on a supplement plan, but I’m wondering about some of your other recommendations. What is the benefit of going to bed at 10 PM For the adrenals? If I am awake between 7 AM and 9 AM, what do you recommend for being restful for the adrenals? Thank you!!
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 just can’t take anymore. Adrenal “fatigue” or dysfunction used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as exposure to environmental toxins and allergens.

Hi Dr. Jill – I have a theory that i would love to get your opinion on? I believe that i have adrenal fatigue and also urinary retention. I have puffy eyes, especially on the bottom. I have Hashimotos any many other issues. I am trying to figure out the cause of the urinary retention and have noticed that when i get hyped up, such as when rushing for an important occasion, such as a wedding , funeral or such that i have a great release of my bladder when i am rushing to get ready for the occasion. I am wondering if it is the adrenal fatigue that is causing the retention and then when i am rushing around and using up my reserve energy , that is when my bladder releases the urine. Any input would be much appreciated, thank you!
The author, diagnosed with MS, discovered that adrenal fatigue was at the root of her physical condition, and was able to eliminate the symptoms of MS by treating her adrenal insufficiency. Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue is a well-organized compilation of what she learned about adrenal function. While not as "deep" as Dr. Wilson's book, she has covered all the important points and references all the current research on the subject, making it a much quicker and easier read. Her chapter on lab tests is excellent, discussing each test, what optimal values are, and what higher or lower levels mean in regards to adrenal condition. This book is another "must-have", and has become my first choice recommendation for introducing people to adrenal fatigue. She has also written a book specifically about her recovery from MS, titled The MS Solution: How I Solved the Puzzle of My Multiple Sclerosis.
The problem starts when cortisol stays high when it shouldn’t, often due to chronic stress. The result can be adrenal fatigue, which is not actually an adrenal problem but rather a brain problem. Typically, adrenal fatigue is when the brain-adrenal (HPA) axis isn’t working, so that the brain is not communicating appropriately with the adrenal glands to regulate cortisol. Symptoms include:

Hi Jill, thank you for this. I have been trying to uncover the cause of what ails me, just looking at food culprit vs the underlying cause. I have reason to believe Adrenal fatigue may be an issue. I get to a point at work when stress just feels like it is literally through the roof, like there is so much pressure in my head and throat and chest with no where to go and I just can’t function. Do you have any recommendations for where can I get tested for adrenal fatigue in California? I have Kaiser and don’t want to spend a ton of time and money figuring this out, so any recommendations are much appreciate.
Less obvious but no less important stimulants may include anger, rage, arguments, hatred, unforgiveness, loud music, tragic news, and even movies with suspense or excessive violence. Other activities that may act as stimulants  include vigorous exercise or recreational drug use.  Even high risk sports, like surfing, diving, or extreme climbing if done in excess may deplete the adrenals.  Most of these activities provide a temporary “high”, which is caused in part by the secretion of high amounts of adrenal hormones. Over time, however, this weakens the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal depletion and insufficiency.  
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.
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

Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life. In more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to, and to compensate for, the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue.
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.

To conduct the test, sit in a darkened room, in front of a mirror. Take a flashlight and shine it across your eye, from the side of your face. In a hypoadrenal state, your pupil will not be able to hold onto its contraction for more than 2 minutes and thus will begin to dilate despite light repeatedly shining on it. In those with healthy adrenals, the contraction should last much longer.
Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline offers diagnosis, treatment recommendations The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline that offers best practices for healthcare providers on how to promptly diagnose, treat, and manage patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an inherited endocrine disorder, throughout their entire lives. The guideline, titled “Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Due to…
Stacie Deyglio, ND received her baccalaureate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York. Her personal health issues paved the way to discovering naturopathic medicine in 1999. Resonating with the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Deyglio graduated from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003. As a medical student, she was involved in student government, fundraising, and the generation of two successful student-run health fairs. Dr. Deyglio’s interests include relating integrative therapeutics to the health of pediatric and geriatric populations. Currently residing in New York, Dr. Deyglio is an avid bookworm and is actively practicing.

There are also a number of recipes designed to improve both your overall nutrition and your energy levels. For most people, however, the real value of this book – as is true with most “Dummies” books – can be found in its usefulness as a reference guide. Within its pages, there are specific sections on every critical vitamin and mineral, all of the major hormones involved in the adrenal cascade, cellular energy production, exercise fundamentals, and even depression.

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.
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.
A food’s glycemic index (GI) is a calculation of how much each gram of carbohydrate raises your blood glucose level. The glycemic load is an estimation of how much a certain food will raise your blood glucose level after you eat it. High GI foods (GI>70 on the glucose scale) are simple sugars that cause sudden spikes in blood sugar. Low GI foods (GI<55) are usually ‘complex’ carbs that are digested slowly and therefore have less of an effect on blood glucose levels. This means they provide sustained energy for a longer period of time. Low GI foods can include whole grains, beans, lentils and soy products. Include some low GI fruits like berries and green apples.
Wilson is very clear which lifestyle habits can lead to adrenal fatigue, which can include lack of sleep, poor diet, constantly driving yourself, unhappy relationships, a stressful work environment, emotional trauma, undesired unemployment, divorce, lack of downtime, and physical trauma (to name a few). Wilson also explains the signs of adrenal fatigue (such as fatigue, depression, inability to handle normal stresses, salt cravings, poor memory and concentration, and decreased productivity) and how it progresses, and why mainstream medicine is slow to recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition.
Addressing one stressor at a time is generally the best way to approach this. Identifying what makes you happy and what stresses you is the easy part, then begins the difficult part of making the changes that you need to make. This will often require a significant adjustment in outlook. For example, if a high-paying job is damaging your health, can you step off the corporate ladder and return to a simpler, more fulfilling life? And if a relationship has been causing you emotional stress for years, do you have the courage to pull the plug and start again? All these are issues that can hopefully be addressed with the support of family, friends and perhaps even a good therapist too.

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 just can’t take anymore. Adrenal “fatigue” or dysfunction used to be rare, but is now all too common because of our lack of relaxation and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits and excessive caffeine intake, as well as exposure to environmental toxins and allergens.
My 21 year old son has been diagnosed with”idiopathic hypersomulence” after a sleep study showing no apnea or narcolepsy. He lived in a house that had several feet of water in the basement and had black mold on the windowsills of his bedroom. He’s living with us now, but he is so tired all of the time! On weekends, he’ll sleep til 4 p.m.He will sometimes come in from work and lay on the floor from exhaustion. I desperately want to help him. He does have tonsil stones and we’ve scheduled a tonsillectomy. I don’t know if it will help or hurt, going through a surgery. If you can give ANY direction, I would be very grateful!
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.

Karin B. says…"Before I read The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, I was pretty depressed—I was still sluggish and still struggling with this weight gain and still needing my supplements. Now I'm hopeful—I see how I've been exercising wrong for my energy level, and how my diet has been fighting against my supplements. Not all of these changes are going to be easy, but now I know how I can start to improve my own health. It's so encouraging to know that I have more control than I realized!"
More and more research says quite the opposite about liver. Most healthier cultures eat mainly organ meats and throw out lean meats unlike us incredibly unhealthy Americans. Liver is a super food. But big Pharma and modernized doctors are about putting band-aids on problems, fixing issues would take away money they want. Liver is also an excellent source of iron. It also doesn’t keep what toxins it filters thru the body, it removes them. especially ethically raised grass fed animals.
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For example, if an individual suffering from Adrenal Fatigue continues to eat junk food, declines to exercise properly (or over-exercises) and does not take the appropriate supplements, his treatment will inevitably require more time. On the other hand, an individual who follows all the recommendations of his healthcare professional can expect a much faster and better outcome.
Toxic metals and chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Other sources are dental materials and skin contact with chemicals. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications add to the body’s toxic load. Most people do not realize that antibiotics and many other drugs accumulate to some extent in the liver and other organs. Toxins may also be generated within the body due to impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it either ferments or rots in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed into the body. A healthy body has the ability to eliminate many toxins on a daily basis. However, as adrenal weakness develops, the body’s ability to eliminate all toxins decreases. This produces a vicious cycle in which weaker adrenals impairs the elimination of all poisons, which then further weakens the adrenals.
Do you feel that your energy levels are just at a permanently lower level than they used to be? Aging is often a factor in this, but chronic stress can be a major contributor to exhaustion too. If you’re one of those people who find themselves drinking more and more coffee just to get through the day, it might be time to look at the underlying cause behind your tiredness.
Although a concept that is sometimes uncomfortable and foreign to traditional medical styles of thinking, the need for multiple interventions is required for effective treatment of such complex illnesses like CFS and adrenal fatigue. The HPA axis works as the body’s energy and hormone regulator. An imbalance between any part of the axis can affect the entire body system and treatment for such disorders requires a well-rounded approach to restore function. Therefore, adrenal and pituitary dysfunction often require treatment with several hormones. When treatment is received, individuals with devastating syndromes like CFS, adrenal fatigue and fibromylagia can “get their lives back” despite the fact that they were previously told, “there is nothing that can be done.”
Numerous websites mention how to diagnose and treat adrenal fatigue. However, the Endocrinology Society and all the other medical specialties do not recognize this condition. The Endocrinologists are categorical: “no scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition.” This disconnect between conventional and complementary medicine adds to the frustration.
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