I just had DUTCH test done that showed both high free cortisol and high metabolized cortisol, indicating overactive HPA axis. In the past had very low cortisol levels via salivary cortisol testing so I am a bit confused by this. I have been eating a fairly clean diet, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, gentle exercise, etc so I can’t imagine why my levels would be so high. What can cause overactive HPA axis? Can tapering an SSRI/SNRI medication cause this?
After a while, though, he started putting on a lot of weight – close to thirty pounds, actually. He has experience significant fluid retention, and his blood sugar was getting unstable (heading towards diabetes). But whenever he stopped or lowered the dose, his energy simply plummeted, worse than ever before. He was in a bind, and that is when he came to see us.

At some point in all of our lives we go through a period of feeling tired, run down or exhausted without being able to point to a readily identifiable reason. Whilst such symptoms could be attributed to a variety of factors – some lifestyle related and some related to identifiable medical conditions – some people take the view that a condition known as adrenal fatigue could be an underlying cause, and that this is an issue of increasing importance. Your adrenal glands are fundamental to a healthy body and mind – they produce a variety of key hormones, including those underpinning our “fight or flight” responses. Looking after the adrenal glands, and the wider endocrine support system is, therefore fundamental. This book explains why your adrenal glands and the hormones they produce are so important. The book then gives some analysis of why diet, exercise and stress levels are important in relation to the functioning of the adrenal glands – and what you might be able to do to develop a more robust system – also likely improving your overall general health in the process. The goal of this book is to give you the tools to help you understand the condition, consider whether or not you need to seek medical attention, and set yourself on a path to self-treatment and complete recovery. Even in broader terms, if you have ever felt that you may be somewhat low on energy, then we urge you to read this book, and put its advice into practical, daily use.
My doctor suggested I read this book as everyday I am exhausted & struggle to make it to the evening. I have chronic pain as well so it was good to get a scientific understanding of how the adrenals work & how my pain impacts on them & everything else. The book answered a lot of my questions & gave me the courage to say 'NO' to others just a little bit more (that's a journey!). Life is NOT about getting through the day, enjoyment & vitality is so important. The catchphrase 'Thriving NOT surviving" sums this book up! I LOVE it ...
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.
Your diet will play a huge role in your healing from Adrenal Fatigue. If your physician does not recognize that diet plays a huge role, get another doctor immediately. If your doctor does recognize the importance of diet in healing your adrenals but does not work with a nutritionis, find one that he or she will team with. Please take your diet as seriously as you are taking your fatigue!
Stress can have devastating effects on health. Even if you do everything else right health-wise, if you don’t manage your stress, none of it will mean much. During my healing journey I practiced mindfulness meditation and other stress-busting strategies to bring mindfulness into my day, like taking time-outs for slow, deep breathing. This is a simple way to defuse stress levels and calm the brain-adrenal axis. I’m also a big fan of listening to Eckhart Tolle audiobooks when I’m in the car.
The Adrenal Fatigue Treatment information in this article is a combination of what I learned throughout the last decade of healing Hypothyroidism in my body as well as information from the following Functional/Integrative doctors and their books: Amy Meyer’s M.D.and Aviva Rohm M.D., who I truly admire, believe in and agree with. Click on their name for additional Adrenal Fatigue Treatment information.

In all the articles I’ve read concerning adrenal fatigue and the causes, (and yours was good, by the way) I’ve never seen it addressed when one has been on high doses of prednisone for several months. This may not fall under adrenal fatigue because the adrenal has literally been completely shut down until the dosage falls under 7 or so mgs. I wonder at what point the adrenal will atrophy to the point it never starts back up. The first time I went off prednisone after having been on it for a year and a half, it took a year before I could feel back to normal and start losing the 58 pounds I had gained during that time. I had to go back on it last September and just got off again last month. Just wondering and would love to hear what someone (other than a traditional MD) has to say. (Can’t bash prednisone, don’t ‘cha know, cause it’s a “wonder drug”!)

1- It says repeatedly that salt is good for you and potassium is to be avoided. But salt is toxic. I know this from my own experience. Salt gives me nasty headaches. Charlotte Gerson said that salt promotes cancer. Dr. Albert Schweitzer said the same. So did Dr. Birger Jansson. Dr. Max Gerson put all his patients on salt-free diets and gave them potassium supplements; he said that on this regimen sodium deficiency was rare, and his patients did very well. He c ...more
We have talked so much today about the importance of understanding the state of your adrenals. This is going to inform so much of your health, and is going to keep you away from potentially dangerous adrenal medications – for those who do not need them. Take great care of yourself, and check in on the state of your adrenals by taking the adrenal quiz today.
The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) sit atop the kidneys and are chiefly responsible for regulating the body’s stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines, including cortisol and adrenaline. In other words, the task of your adrenal glands is to rush all your body’s resources into “fight or flight” mode by increasing production of adrenaline and other hormones. When healthy, your adrenals can instantly increase your heart rate and blood pressure, release your energy stores for immediate use, slow your digestion and other secondary functions, and sharpen your senses.
Diagnosis is an important part of the book as well. Because Wilson recognizes that most doctors know little about this syndrome, he provides everything that any fatigue sufferer needs to self-diagnose: a detailed questionnaire to help gauge the level of fatigue and potential causes, advice on the best tests to perform – both at home and in a laboratory setting, a health history timeline that can help you to pinpoint the various stressors that have led to your current condition, and many chapters meticulously detailing his best treatment advice for nursing yourself back to health. An entire section is also devoted to explaining what the patient can expect as he or she slowly recovers from this ailment.
I am lucky to have lived now for 12 years with a heart transplant, requiring that I take myriad drugs to suppress my immune system and manage inflammation, as is the normal course. With a suppressed immune system, one is vulnerable to infections and I have been no exception. Every winter I am sick sick sick with colds and bronchial infections verging on pneumonia. But not this year. My PCP wondered if my adrenals had become “lazy” from prednisone doing their work for them. This fall we tried a daily dose of 1,000 mg of B12. The boost of energy was immediately noticeable. Most importantly, I fought off a cold, unheard of for the past 12 years—even during a very stressful period over Christmas in which my husband was suddenly diagnosed with cancer (in remission already!). Despite all the stress of caring for him and being with him in the hospital, exposed to pathogens for weeks during flu season, I remain astonishingly vigorous and well. I would recommend that heart transplant patients and others with suppressed immune systems explore this solution with their clinicians. I am only a short-term case-study of one, but the difference has been astonishing—and right at the moment I needed the wellness to save my husband’s life.
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I’m in my early 20’s and have severe adrenal fatigue. It’s so bad that it has caused weight gain in the belly area, fluid retention everywhere, and severe hypoglycemia. I don’t understand how I have adrenal fatigue this bad when I’m so young. I’ve been on a third shift sleep schedule for about 6 years (going to bed anywhere from 3am-6am) but despite doing that, I sleep in late so I still get plenty of sleep. But I know people who have worked third shift for decades. So I’m assuming it couldn’t have caused severe adrenal fatigue after just 6 years, especially considering I’m still getting plenty of sleep? I’m guessing there are other factors at play here?
Low adrenal function often relates to increase in belly fat with the increase demand of the stress hormone cortisol and glycogenesis to respond to stressful situations and triggering glucose to be released into the bloodstream to provide quick emergency energy. Not only do we have blood sugar handling difficulties, fatigue and depression but we often get thyroid dysfunction and hormone imbalances. The body systems all work together so if one gland as the adrenal glands start to be fatigued or dysfunctional, then the other systems in the body as the hormones and thyroid become impacted.
I’ve just started taking Siberian Ginseng (in drop form) and just after the first dose, it had an immediate effect and I started to lose the water I had been retaining and I’m not feeling so “dead” in the mornings. I understand it’s best to take it for up to 3 weeks and then have a break from it. I’ll try 2 weeks and 2 weeks off maybe and see how that goes. I’m also using Natural Progesterone cream (morning and evening) – Emerita is the make – as well as other things but definitely noticed a huge different with the Ginseng. I shall continue.
In all the articles I’ve read concerning adrenal fatigue and the causes, (and yours was good, by the way) I’ve never seen it addressed when one has been on high doses of prednisone for several months. This may not fall under adrenal fatigue because the adrenal has literally been completely shut down until the dosage falls under 7 or so mgs. I wonder at what point the adrenal will atrophy to the point it never starts back up. The first time I went off prednisone after having been on it for a year and a half, it took a year before I could feel back to normal and start losing the 58 pounds I had gained during that time. I had to go back on it last September and just got off again last month. Just wondering and would love to hear what someone (other than a traditional MD) has to say. (Can’t bash prednisone, don’t ‘cha know, cause it’s a “wonder drug”!)
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In this book, the author does explain adrenal fatigue, but she doesn’t spend an excessive amount of time dwelling on the problem. Her focus is on one thing and one thing only: curing the ailment. To that end, she quickly gets to the meat of the subject by outlining her seven steps to addressing the weakened adrenals that are causing your fatigue. Dietary choices, vitamins, natural supplements, dealing with cravings – all of these topics are covered as she helps you to develop the framework for a viable recovery plan.
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.

If you have tiredness, brain fog, lack of motivation, among other symptoms, you should first have a thorough evaluation with a medical doctor. Anemia, sleep apnea, autoimmune diseases, infections, other hormonal impairments, mental illnesses, heart and lung problems, and kidney and liver diseases are just some among many medical conditions that could cause similar symptoms. If the workup from your medical professional turns out normal and you believe you might have adrenal fatigue, I would recommend you consider a fundamental question: Why would your adrenals be drained? Take a better look at what types of stress might be affecting you. For many, the hectic pace of modern life is to blame.
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.

For anyone who has ever wondered why his or her doctor seems to know nothing about this syndrome, Dr. Wilson offers an answer. He does this by explaining the reasons why adrenal fatigue is so readily dismissed by most in the medical community. As he points out, there is always money involved in these considerations, and in the case of adrenal fatigue the money trail leads right to the pharmaceutical companies. At one time, adrenal fatigue was a well-known diagnosis, and patients actually received treatment for it. As the pharmaceutical industry grew larger and more politically connected, however, that diagnosis became rarer and rarer. Today, only the most severe forms of adrenal dysregulation – such as Addison’s disease – receive any serious recognition by doctors.


And I still feel that way, except maybe I will do it tomorrow . . . after a long siesta. . . or later, like when the cows come home. Because frankly, my “Need To Do” list (go to the grocery store) and my “Want To Do” list ( take a NAP) have not been getting along lately. Yes, I love life and want to do ALL THE THINGS, but maybe I shouldn’t try to do them all at once, you know?

Processed meats: An overload of protein can stress your hormones more than you might think, and the added hormones and lacking nutrition in conventional, processed meats (particularly red meats like beef and steak) can throw your system out-of-whack in quick succession. When buying meats for adrenal support, stick to grass-fed beef and free-range chicken or turkey, and eat these protein-heavy meats only in moderation.

The problem here is that if someone does not need florinef, and takes it anyways, it can result in higher blood pressure. But, for some, it can be incredibly helpful. There is also research that shows the benefits of florinef when it comes to speech anxiety. Because it helps with blood pressure, it can help with standing for long periods at a time. When you speak in front of a crowd, and you are standing, this can be a distraction that disappears when your blood pressure is lower.


My biggest qualm with Adrenal Fatigue has to do with the diet section of the book (and perhaps you suspected this). On one hand, Wilson does offer some very valuable advice: eat balanced meals that include fat, protein and carbohydrates; avoid refined sugars and fruit juices; salt is your friend, especially unrefined sea salt; and eat high-quality, natural foods.
My doctor suggested I read this book as everyday I am exhausted & struggle to make it to the evening. I have chronic pain as well so it was good to get a scientific understanding of how the adrenals work & how my pain impacts on them & everything else. The book answered a lot of my questions & gave me the courage to say 'NO' to others just a little bit more (that's a journey!). Life is NOT about getting through the day, enjoyment & vitality is so important. The catchphrase 'Thriving NOT surviving" sums this book up! I LOVE it ...
I’m VERY anxious to read the help we can do for ourselves for adrenal fatigue, as I am a mother of a 20 year old son who has multiple emotional, mental and behavioral disabilities. The last 20 years have been extremely stressful. I took the saliva test and my cortisol levels were off the chart. My doctor prescribed hydro-cortisone which I took for a period of time but I know I need to do more because the stress is ongoing. My physical health has suffered greatly. I’ve learned much on nutrition through webinars, some of which you, Heather have participated in,(thank you).
Robin Berzin MD is a functional medicine physician and the founder of Parsley Health. Her mission is to make functional medicine affordable and modern, so that more people can access this holistic, root-cause approach to health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin went to medical school at Columbia University and later trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher, and has formally studied Ayurveda. Robin writes for a number of leading wellness sites, and speaks regularly for organizations including the Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, Summit, and the Functional Forum, on how we can reinvent health care. She's also an mindbodygreen courses instructor, teaching her Stress Solution program designed to help you tune down the stress in your life and tune up your energy and happiness.
Dr. Wilson is the author of the “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” and coined the term “Adrenal Fatigue” based on years working with patients that he could not figure out how to help their symptoms improve. Dr. Wilson found with his research and work with clients that adrenal fatigue is more of a syndrome. His patients drove him to do the research to help find the right solutions to improve their adrenal function. Around 80% of patients go to their doctor to complain of fatigue but they don’t get the improvements they need as most doctors do not recognize adrenal dysfunction.
I'm pretty sure we're all walking around with some degree of adrenal fatigue. Long commutes, work deadlines, little sleep—such is modern life! But as a 26-year-old who needs a nap or caffeine to simply function every afternoon (WTF IS WRONG WITH ME?), I was relieved to learn that there is not only a physiological cause for the sudden sluggishness that can sneak up on us at any age, but also a snappy solution to getting back to our optimistic, energetic selves. (You'll have to read the book to fi ...more
The International Pediatric Adrenocortical Tumor Registry is a database for young patients afflicted with these rare tumors. The result has created more personalized and targeted care as well as benefited the patient’s families and their physicians. Last October, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a paper that described the clinical features and outcomes in children with…
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