I started writing these books having worked in hospitals across a wide range of different specialities. Through my experience I found the most common method to treating a wide range of chronic illness is to prescribe a pill. Very early on in my training I became disillusioned with the grip that the pharmaceutical industry had in dictating that pills should be, the, intervention. The very nature of their intent being primarily focused on profit and subsequently, less so, to actually help heal people from disease, led me to search for alternatives.
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.
When you experience some sort of stress (physical, mental or emotional), your hypothalamus lets go of a chemical that sends a signal to your pituitary gland and then your pituitary releases an alert to your adrenals, which then let a whole bunch of stress hormones out into your body. Your body makes adrenaline and noradrenaline, cortisol and dopamine and they’re there to help you when you’re experiencing stress. Stress can be a good thing or a bad thing. And also a very bad thing! Stress can also be emotional, mental and physical. I went under HUGE amounts of emotional stress as a child. I was highly sensitive and remember being yelled at and crying all the time because some of the people around me were very intense and angry and so I took all that on myself and it suppressed my immune system and my adrenals. Now that I look back, it all makes sense. I could feel myself being suppressed. I’m highly sensitive to what’s going on in my body, as well and so when I’m being suppressed, I notice it right away. Anything that your body must do to exert effort on these levels such as an exam, carrying heavy luggage or crying because you got in a fight with your father, is a form of stress. For example, planning a wedding can be stressful but fun. Planning a party can be stressful but fun. So, you see, stress can be fun but also have negative effects. Not all stress is bad stress. But dealing with a mean woman at work, like my days in fashion, can be a huge stress on your body. Getting let go from a job can be a huge amount of stress. Fighting with your in-laws or a customer service person can be forms of stress for your body, as well. So, what does all of this have to do with your health?
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.
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.

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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.
Doctors urge you not to waste precious time accepting an unproven diagnosis such as “adrenal fatigue” if you feel tired, weak, or depressed. If you have these symptoms, you may have adrenal insufficiency, depression, obstructive sleep apnea, or other health problems. Getting a real diagnosis is very important to help you feel better and overcome your health problem.
Time pressures and financial constraints are far from the only factors in this modern epidemic. Other triggers for Adrenal Fatigue include our high-sugar diet, the rise of pesticides and chemical pollutants in our foods, the rise in food intolerances, and our sedentary lifestyles. Combine these factors with hormonal decline (which many of us are experiencing earlier and earlier these days), and you have a recipe for fatigue, sickness and loss of vitality.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a very real condition, but navigating your way through all the treatment options can be difficult. Individuals with Adrenal Fatigue tend to bounce between family doctors, endocrinologists, psychotherapists and more. They are often prescribed drugs like sleeping pills and antidepressants by well-meaning doctors who simply can't figure out what is wrong with them. But the truth is that treating Adrenal Fatigue involves much more than prescribing drugs. It requires a combination of experience and knowledge of both conventional and alternative medicine.


Primary adrenal insufficiency is what is known as Addison’s disease and occurs when the adrenal glands are damaged by some type of trauma and can’t produce enough cortisol or aldosterone. The much more common type of adrenal insufficiency is known as secondary adrenal insufficiency and occurs when the pituitary gland stops producing adenocorticotropin (ACTH). ACTH is what stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, so it stops this process from moving along. (39)

Debi please look up General Adaptation Syndrome. Back in 1936 it was entered into the medical literature and encompasses what the chiropractor tried to define and then some – there was no need to reinvent the wheel, but sadly the work is no longer well known. The man (Dr Hans Selye) who did the studies and defined the syndrome also appropriated the word “stress” from physics and it entered into medical vernacular as a result. Most of what we know of the stress response and the effects of stress is based upon the foundation of his work (as is our understanding of adrenal hormones). The bottom line is that by whatever name, adrenal insufficiency is real, it’s been very well defined and mapped and virtually undisputed since 1936, just not called by its proper medical name: General Adaptation Syndrome. It’s a syndrome because it’s a cluster of symptoms; it’s not a disease as is Addison’s.


This extends to more than just lifestyle and dietary choices. Patients also need to identify and eliminate the sources of stress in their lives. This can often be difficult, but it is a necessary part of restoring their health. Unhealthy relationships, stressful jobs, family quarrels, money worries – these all need to be eliminated somehow. Often a patient will feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders when these issues are fixed. As you would expect, that feeling also signifies a great deal of stress being taken off their adrenal glands and HPA axis too.
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.
Regardless, this topic remains a heated one in the medical community. The Hormone Health Network released a scathing piece on the issue of adrenal fatigue, essentially warning patients that it is a false diagnosis, peddled by those who profit from the “expensive” treatment methods they suggest when diagnosing the disease, with no thought for the serious dangers they may put someone in by telling them adrenal fatigue is their problem.  They also (incorrectly) remind people that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. (5)

It is also their job to keep your body’s reactions to stress in balance so that they are appropriate and not harmful or excessive. For example, the protective activity of anti-inflammatory adrenal hormones such as cortisol help to minimize reactions like swelling and inflammation in situations ranging from allergies to autoimmune disorders. These hormones closely modulate many metabolic processes:

Particular emphasis is given to chronic stress, and its long-term, cyclical effect on fatigue. Oxygen, free radical damage to cells, and cortisol’s importance are also examined. And all of that is before the serious discussion about adrenal fatigue begins! That discussion involves a close look at adrenal fatigue, its causes, symptoms, and diagnosis.
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.
I am 29 years old and I have had Gastric Bypass Surgery. I have lost 150 lbs since 2013. I have a lot of they symptoms that are described. I have a hard time getting out of bed, mild depression, brain fog, I get lightheaded when I stand up daily. I do drink a lot of caffeine about 2 energy drinks a day for the past 2 1/2 years. I fee like it is the only thing that can give me the energy to function. lately my blood sugar has been all over the place and I feel like I constantly have to snack in order to maintain feeling normal. I am on a Thyroid medication and my Thyroid is normal with that. My periods have been really off lately, I went to my Gyno who just put me on birth control. I want to see about going to an internal medicine doctor who can help me. because I don’t know what to do to feel better.
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.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. Any mention of products or services is not meant as a guarantee, endorsement, or recommendation of the products, services, or companies. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please discuss any options with your healthcare provider.
In the book, Dr Wilson examines the history of adrenal fatigue and discusses the reasons why this common problem has become largely overlooked by the allopathic medical profession. Dr Wilson provides a blueprint of the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. He includes the tests for this dysfunction, their efficacy, specific and key supplementation facts, lifestyle modifications, and other significant strategies for recovering: “I decided to write this book for the person suffering from adrenal fatigue. It is designed to be a self-help book…. I write it with the hope that it will provide you with information, guidance, encouragement and tools you need to recover from this sometimes subtle, yet debilitating, health problem” (p xxii).
Another oft-quoted piece of evidence against the existence of adrenal fatigue is Todd B. Nippoldt’s interview with Mayo Clinic, stating essentially the same concerns. (6) Again, it is stated that consistent levels of chronic stress have no effect whatsoever on the adrenals and the only true endocrine disorders are those caused by other diseases and direct damage to the adrenal glands.

Navigating this ocean of uncertainty is not an easy task. Symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue probably have multiple causes. Frequent follow-up visits and a strong patient-clinician partnership are critical elements for success. Alternative and complementary clinicians often have better results, because the appointments tend to last longer and they view patients through a more holistic lens. An important word of caution: some medical professionals prescribe cortisol analogs to treat adrenal fatigue. Cortisol replacement can be dangerous even in small doses. Unintended consequences can include osteoporosis, diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.
While adrenal fatigue may not exist, this doesn’t mean the symptoms people experience aren’t real. These same symptoms could be caused by true medical conditions such as sleep apnea, adrenal insufficiency, or depression. Accepting a fake disease diagnosis from an unqualified practitioner is arguably worse. Patients don’t receive a science-based evaluation of their symptoms, and they may be sold unnecessary treatments that are probably ineffective and potentially harmful. The Endocrine Society’s guidance is entirely appropriate:
Thank you for sharing your recovery process for your adrenals! This spring I began the journey to find remove things from my diet that irritated my adrenals, causing them to ‘crash’. In my search for healing, I found your article and it’s so encouraging! I do have a few questions though…. is the reason for fat bombs to give the adrenals rest from needing to help create energy (by eating ‘sugar’ multiple times an hour? and after they’re back to normal, the fat bombs won’t be necessary?
By purchasing "Adrenal Fatigue" you will be able to gain relief from the turmoil and restore your body into a state of calmness with a pervading sense of ease and clarity to soothe your mind and body. Not only that but with this step by step guide you will have a clear understanding of how the adrenal glands function when they are fresh and rejuvenated. You may not believe it now but by letting go and relaxing inside you can give your body the deep rest and cleanse that it needs. Living more harmoniously and in a tranquil state is a solution available to you by following this book.”
Interpreting the results correctly can be difficult for a physician without experience of Adrenal Fatigue. The reference ranges supplied by labs are so wide that they only flag up extremely low cortisol levels. So your doctor will need to look at the levels provided and make his or her own judgment. This is where the importance of using an optimal range, rather than the reference range, becomes clear.
Do you have Adrenal Fatigue? A few changes in your diet and lifestyle can go a long way to getting your energy levels back. You can also use some natural supplements to give your body the support it needs to recover. Dr Eric Wood and I teamed up to write The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, which contains a comprehensive plan to recover from Adrenal Fatigue.

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)
As Dr. Wilson mentions in his book, there is no test for adrenal fatigue like there is for Strep B. It is diagnosed by assessing symptoms and physiological signs such as iris contraction, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. If the questionnaire I linked to and the iris test both suggest the possibility of adrenal fatigue, it might be wise to request a saliva cortisol test from your healthcare provider – that’s what I did.
Conventional medicine is truly wonderful at treating disease-state conditions. Unfortunately its focus on drugs also tends to suppress early-stage symptoms rather than treat their underlying causes. This can have the effect of delaying treatment until a disease state has developed. This is true in the case of adrenal fatigue cortisol testing. In the conventional standard of care, any cortisol level within a very broad range is considered normal, and anything outside that range indicates disease.

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.


That discussion leads to a more in-depth explanation of how our understanding of the nature of stress has evolved in recent years, and then an explanation of how the adrenals work to provide the hormones we need for stress response. From there, she quickly moves to a discussion of the circadian rhythm, and how its dysregulation can impact sleep patterns and ultimately lead to a cascading series of system failures that put your health in jeopardy.

The ACTH has the effect of stimulating your adrenal hormone output, just like it would if you were placed in a stressful situation. This test allows you to see the response of your adrenals to stress. If your cortisol exhibits a healthy spike higher (at least double in a blood test), your adrenals are probably in reasonably good shape. If the spike in cortisol is not so large, this suggests adrenal insufficiency.


I had a horrifically stressful past two years with job changes and a death in the family and identified with the symptoms described above and more. After seeing regular doctors and a psychiatrist, I finally found a naturopath doctor who had me thoroughly tested. My DHEA-S level was below normal range and the 4x/day saliva test showed my cortisol level dropping over 90% from the mid-range of normal in the morning to the very bottom of the range by noon and lower the rest of the day. She called the pattern “flat lining.” So this is clearly not normal, but it’s also not a “recognized condition”? I’ve been taking two thyroid medications for nearly 30 years – including Armour Thyroid, which most doctors don’t know how to prescribe – and have now added an adrenal supplement. Once we got the right dosage I started to feel better within a few days. I can finally sleep and have more energy throughout the day. I don’t care if you think adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist. I am proof that it does, and that it can be treated.
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.
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.
If you have, or think you have, Adrenal Fatigue - this is the book to read! I've been diagnosed with it and my Dr told me to go and get myself the book and everything I need for my treatment will be in there! (Lazy? Maybe! Truthful? Yes!) This book will be your go-to-guide to tell you signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, dietary changes to help recovery, herbal medication (and dosage) required plus ideas on how to reduce the stress in your life.
Adrenal stress is also commonly known as adrenal fatigue. This term is used to describe a set of symptoms related to the way the body is managing stress. Stress is any type of physical, mental or emotional pressure. The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys. Their role is to manage the flow of hormones in the body that deal with stress. The hormones that these glands create are used by the body to regulate heart rate, mental acuity and physical strength. Adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests and special stimulation tests that show inadequate levels of adrenal hormones. Order an online stress and fatigue test today.
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?
For a little over two years I have been suffering from erectile dysfunction, I have tried different medications such as Viagra to no avail. Also, recently I have donated blood after which time my symptoms of ED seemed to disappear, however, recently, they came back. Also, I do feel tired throughout the day and had liquid come out the anus many times. My main concern is that it feels like my sex drives almost disappeared. Lastly, this condition started in late 2015 as I was taking Allopurinol prescribed by my doctor for the treatment of gout. Surprisingly, I have not had a gout attack since these problems started and had discontinued Allopurinol and still to this day have not had an attack. Is the Allopurinol partially or all to blame for this condition? Prior to me starting the gout medication I never had any such problems. Thank you for your help!
utter and complete exhaustion having no idea that adrenal fatigue is part and parcel of FMS and CFS. In addition, I had no idea that we can now test for the infectious organism(s) and get treatment. Why I have to read this info in a book is maddening! But I'm glad at least to now know. It is interesting that drinking salt water is one of the treatments for the adrenals as it is also a treatment for POTS. In the week I have implemented the eating, resti ...more
This book was instrumental in understanding how one's life and specific stressors can indeed result in adrenal fatigue. It's practical in nature and helped to decipher how to heal from adrenal fatigue and make lifestyle changes in all areas in life. My passion is authentic living and purpose and at the core of this book it is about living one's life authentically. When we are out of congruence with our authentic self we experience stress which ultimately will manifest on a physical level. Having ...more
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. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.
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