Although current medical science recognizes no such condition, physicians need to take the complaints and symptoms of these patients seriously, according to Endocrine Society President Lynnette Nieman, MD, who is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Our role is to be good active listeners to determine if there is a true medical disorder lurking among the complaints. It is very important to take the person seriously, not to brush them off and say there is no [such thing as] adrenal fatigue. These people are suffering from something, so we need to take the suffering seriously.”
i remember the Adrenal crashes i had in the past Decades and they were ALL Hormone related, either i had gotten off the Pill or had a baby, or now……..Peri-Menopause, now come to think of it, i always thought i was overweight due to bad habits but now i know, that is NOT TRUE, it was Always an Hormonal Imbalance of some kind (not my thyroid, that is fine) now i look like i have Cushings….the “Moon Face” but my tests come back okay, so TOOO much Cortisol, now not enough? what the HECK am i supposed to do?

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.
The Metabolism Plan: Discover the Foods and Exercises that Work for Your Body to Reduce Inflammation and Drop Pounds Fast is not written specifically for people with adrenal fatigue, however, in this 2017 updated version of her original book The Plan, the author devotes chapters to thyroid function as well as the adrenal/cortisol connection to your body's metabolism, and explains how eating foods that you are reactive to can depress thyroid and adrenal function, as well as prevent you from losing weight. She teaches you not only how to monitor your body for signs of food sensitivities (as in the first book), but also how to assess different styles of exercise, to see if your workouts could be the reason you are not losing weight! This book in my opinion replaces the original verson (you probably don't need to read both, the actual diet is the same) and is at the top of my must-read list for planning your adrenal fatigue recovery!
Thank you for the wealth of knowledge you share in your blogs and follow-up comments. What stage of adrenal/HPA-axis dysregulation would you consider a patient with the following results? Symptoms are consistent with abnormal cortisol levels and hypothyroidism; current treatment protocol from primary includes Armour thyroid 30mg. Could Hashimoto’s (or autoimmunity) be a possible cause? Or are lifestyle factors (sleep, glucose regulation and diet, stress, etc.) more likely for the following patterns?
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.
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.
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:
i remember the Adrenal crashes i had in the past Decades and they were ALL Hormone related, either i had gotten off the Pill or had a baby, or now……..Peri-Menopause, now come to think of it, i always thought i was overweight due to bad habits but now i know, that is NOT TRUE, it was Always an Hormonal Imbalance of some kind (not my thyroid, that is fine) now i look like i have Cushings….the “Moon Face” but my tests come back okay, so TOOO much Cortisol, now not enough? what the HECK am i supposed to do?
Testing can be an important part of the process. The patients have often been given saliva tests for cortisol, so Nieman tells her patients that saliva tests are not considered reliable. She explains that the standard test is the corticotropin (ACTH) stimulation test — and that if the adrenal glands can respond to the stimulation by releasing cortisol, it disproves that theory that the glands are burned out.
Patients with diabetes symptoms might be at increased risk for adrenal fatigue. Research from the University of Delhi found that diabetes patients “display significantly higher chronic stress and stress responses when compared to subjects with [normal glucose tolerance].” (14) This suggests that impaired glucose tolerance might have a connection with taxing of the adrenal glands.

The DUTCH testing is the only one I use because with other salivary testing you will not see the true picture (more here https://dutchtest.com/2016/07/05/adrenal-fatigue-is-all-in-your-head-sort-of/) About 30% of people with low free cortisol overall, have elevated levels of metabolized cortisol. Think about the implications of that. When you see low overall free cortisol in saliva (or in urine) you THINK cortisol production is low. In almost one out of three patients, they are actually making more cortisol than 80% of their peers. They make lots of cortisol! You just can’t see it in the free cortisol.
Conventional medicine will detect only the extremes of these conditions, when damage to the adrenals has already occurred (Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease). Within those extremes, you can feel miserable and still be told your cortisol levels are normal. But by responding to early-stage symptoms of adrenal fatigue, we can reverse the developing dysfunction.

It’s important to emphasize the role of emotional factors. Guilt, pain from past hurts, self-destructive habits, unresolved relationship problems — your past and present emotional experience may serve as an ever-present stressor. Dealing with these problems directly is much more beneficial than trying to compensate for the stress they create, in the same way that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
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.
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.
Medicinal Mushrooms: Because of the way mushrooms such as cordyceps and chaga interact with the body and various medications, it is recommended that pregnant or nursing mothers never use them. In addition, anyone with autoimmune conditions, diabetes or a bleeding disorder should not use medicinal chaga or cordyceps. These is one case report of chaga supplementation causing kidney damage in a woman with liver disease who took chaga every day for six months. This mushroom also contains oxalates and may inhibit some nutrient absorption in large doses. (45)
But often the naturopaths have recommended supplements or worse. Wilson’s website sells “Dr. Wilson’s Original Formulations” adrenal supplements. The “Adrenal Fatigue Quartet” costs about $200 for a 30-day supply at the minimum recommended doses. The website notes in large print that the products are “formulated by Dr. James L. Wilson for people experiencing stress-related adrenal fatigue.” But the website is dotted with asterisks that lead the determined reader to a small-print notice: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Easy for the non-scientist to understand. Lots of obvious information, like sleep more and eat better. I used this book more for the supplements chapter. I increased my bit C and B6. I stopped taking DHEA because of this book (not recommended for women) and started taking pregnelone instead. Some stuff I didn't know is that salt is good for you and bananas are bad for you if you have adrenal fatigue.
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.
Carbohydrates: While carbohydrates aren’t all bad for you, the inflammation they can cause is particularly problematic when experiencing adrenal fatigue. Many people crave carb-heavy foods when they’re stressed, which offer a momentary satisfaction but end up taxing the adrenal glands more. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed out, try kicking the gluten and starchy carbs for a period of time to see if that may regulate your tiredness and energy levels.

In The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, we have included everything you need to know about diet, stress management, exercise, supplementation, hormone replacement and much more. It gives you all the tools you need to get the right tests, identify what might be causing your fatigue, and begin restoring your energy levels one step at a time. You will also learn how to prevent your Adrenal Fatigue from reoccuring. Full recovery may take some time, but once you start on the right path you should begin to see your energy levels improving within weeks.
There are a number of nutritional approaches for dealing with adrenal issues. Protocols should be devised for each individual accordingly, due to the highly individual nature of the body. Therefore, understanding your own blood test results is essential in order to figure out a clear strategy from improvement. Click here to read more about blood chemistry.
A saliva cortisol test is taken at home using a simple kit. Basically, you spit into a vial several times a day, then send the samples in for analysis. The lab will review how your cortisol levels ebb and flow. I’ll explain more in future posts, but for now what you need to know is that an abnormal pattern suggests HPA axis dysfunction, which suggests adrenal dysfunction. (HPA stands for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal.)
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 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

While adrenal fatigue is not accepted by most doctors, adrenal insufficiency is a real medical condition that occurs when our adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones. Adrenal insufficiency is caused by damage to the adrenal glands or a problem with the pituitary gland—a pea-sized gland in the brain that tells the adrenals to produce cortisol.
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.

Fluids are needed to carry nutrients to the cells, aid digestion and help the kidneys to flush toxins from the body. Fluids also aid the formation of ‘digestive juices’ in the stomach, so we can absorb nutrients from food. Water also regulates our body temperature and metabolism. Most nutritionists recommend drinking at least 6 glasses of fresh, filtered water per day.
If you have adrenal fatigue, it can also be a major cause of excess fat storage and low energy levels. Luckily, you can heal adrenal fatigue with three simple steps: start an adrenal fatigue diet, take supplements and reduce stress. So, let’s talk about exactly what your adrenal glands do and how you can overcome adrenal fatigue in these three simple steps.
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.

Exercise gently at least 5 days per week, preferably morning and not late in the day.  Try swimming, gentle bike rides, walking, yoga, stretching, or any restorative activity that incorporates breathing.  Avoid high adrenaline activities, like kayaking, competitive sports, running, cross fit or high intensity training until you are well on your way to healing.

To make matters worse, doctors often don't diagnose this problem. Dr. Wilson offers the example of a woman who has been to 37 doctors before finally receiving proper diagnosis and a renewed sense of hope. So, why don't doctors recognize adrenal fatigue? In medical school, they are only taught to look for extreme adrenal malfunction (Addison's Disease, which occurs when the glands produce far too little cortisol, and Cushing's Syndrome, which stems from excessive cortisol production) and dont know how to measure cumulative adrenal fatigue.
The most common signs of Adrenal Fatigue, which are experienced by most (if not all) sufferers, include symptoms like fatigue and food cravings. Then there are the less common symptoms, which are only experienced by a smaller set of patients. These include low blood pressure and frequent urination. Typically, an individual with Adrenal Fatigue will have most or all of the main symptoms listed here, along with a handful of the less common symptoms. Take a look and see how many apply to you.
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!
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.
Toxic chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Sources may also include dental materials or beauty products, such as shampoo, lotions, make-up.   Cleaning our home with toxic chemicals may also take it’s toll.  Over-the-counter and prescribed medications also add to the body’s toxic load.   Check out these 10 Tips to decrease your exposure. Toxins may also be generated internally due to microbial imbalances in the gut and impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it may ferment in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed through the intestinal lining. 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.
Unfortunately, some types of stress are hard to spot. In his book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Dr. James Wilson mentions a study which measured the stress hormones of a group of nurses working in a pediatric unit. They weren’t aware of any particular stress in their lives, but their lab tests told a different story. According to Dr. Wilson, they “were totally unaware of being under stress, but their cortisol levels were elevated by 200-300%.”

Lifeworks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering adrenal fatigue treatment and treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome for a long time and many of our patients have regained quality of life. Very few clinics offer natural adrenal fatigue treatment and so our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering this treatment where they live. 
It took me a few months to feel like I was recovering, but now, over six months since my initial crash, I feel so much better, and I have lots of goofy baby hair growing! This hair regrowth, combined with stable energy levels, and a happier wife and mama, lets me know that I’m no longer suffering from the severe adrenal fatigue that was kicking my tail last year.
Meditation involves using the diaphragm to draw oxygen into your body, allowing for full oxygen exchange in the lungs. This causes your body to deactivate the ‘fight or flight’ response because it suddenly realizes you’re not facing a threat. Your brain is effectively ‘tricked’ into thinking, “Hey, I can relax.” This allows for a change in the brain’s chemistry. Neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for “rest and digest” mode are activated, and a sense of physical and mental calm is induced. Cortisol production ceases and you will begin to feel more relaxed and at peace.
I’m so frustrated. Been sick since 2008. Serious adrenal fatigue. I had unintended weight loss allergies can’t eat much of anything just had a root canal and I feel 100x worse now. Constant runny nose tired can’t sleep. Hate lights noise TV. For years now. I have reason to believe I have sibo. Omg I’m a mess. Crying fighting with my husband. I need help. Don’t know where to get it. Thx
As you can see, there are a number of symptoms that might be related to other underlying disorders. Fortunately, the ways to combat these issues are very similar and will benefit your overall health. If you’ve experienced any of these adrenal fatigue side effects, take heart, for there are now many natural ways to treat and support your adrenal system.
Written as one part case study and one part treatment guide, Heineken’s book covers such topics as the different aspects of Addison’s disease when compared to adrenal fatigue, basic details about the adrenals, symptoms that can help you recognize your ailment, and testing methodologies. There is also information detailing her experiences with a variety of recovery options presented as practical advice to aid in the development of your own treatment plan.

But this sudden onset of foggy brain become chronic for the last 3 years. Visited multiple doctors. Took Brain MRI, Multiple blood test, Vitamin B12 went down and had shots to recover, no kidney issues. All the blood test came back fine. Tried Yoga and meditation but no use. Insomnia & also sometimes sleeping more. Got many food allergies like Gluten and Dairy products. Tried sports & other exercises but no recovery. When i wake up in the morning i feel like i did not sleep and have the sensation of lightheadedness.


Very few people visit their doctor because they believe they have adrenal fatigue. Some people who experience unexplained tiredness and lethargy believe it is the result of an under-active thyroid, or a hormone imbalance. Many conventional doctors do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a proven medical condition and perform no testing on the glands, so adrenal fatigue is rarely diagnosed.
Studies in mice have shown that magnesium modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), helping to reduce anxiety and stress. In this way, it’s believed that magnesium can regulate the production of cortisol and prevent excess cortisol from being created. This ultimately helps to keep the nervous system in check, allowing the mind and body to feel more relaxed.
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.

Testing can be an important part of the process. The patients have often been given saliva tests for cortisol, so Nieman tells her patients that saliva tests are not considered reliable. She explains that the standard test is the corticotropin (ACTH) stimulation test — and that if the adrenal glands can respond to the stimulation by releasing cortisol, it disproves that theory that the glands are burned out.
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