The nervous system is also a delicate balance- where we need to keep the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system in check with our parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. If we live life as a constant race filled speeding through daily activities, functions and appointments then we are putting our entire health and body systems at risk. Stress can create damage to our internal health- not just a headache! We can improve our response to stressful situations as well as reduce the stress triggers in our life. Often we need more time spent in the “rest and digest” nervous systems and less time in the “fight or flight” nervous system. More is not better!

Standard doctors often dismiss cortisol test results because they fall “within the normal range” of cortisol. But feeling like crap isn’t normal, and you shouldn’t accept it. It’s similar with testosterone: 300 ng/dL is “within the normal range,” and so is 900 ng/dL. But if you triple your testosterone levels, I promise you’ll feel a lot different.

In her book, this Certified Nutrition Specialist presents her central premise that the brain – not the adrenals – bears the most responsibility for what we commonly view as adrenal fatigue. Like Dr. James Wilson, Gedgaudas uses much of Hans Selye’s pioneering research into stress and our response to stressors as a starting point for her work. Unlike Wilson, however, she turns her attention almost completely away from the adrenal glands and toward the patient’s brain. In her view, it is the brain that is most at risk in our modern world, and it is the impact of stress on the brain that is at the root of most of modern man’s fatigue issues.
I’m trying to find info for treating during pregnancy the adrenal hpa axis dysfunction. I’m very concerned because I am 8 weeks pregnant and I just found out about a month before i got pregnant, through a saliva test ,showing flattened cortisol levels, and the lab doctors that reviewed my hormone test said it looks like I have the hpa axis adrenal dysfunction. There is so little info I have been able to find on suppliments safe during pregnancy to help this. This condition is causing low progesterone even with being on progesterone prescription and topical pro-gest emerita, and i got one progesterone shot,levels only went from a 15 to 18.5 in 3 weeks on supplimenting. I’ve been doing a lot of research and found out how dangerous this can be if not corrected during pregnancy. If you can help in anyway I will be so thankful!
Hi heather, thank you for all the time and energy you put into your blog. I always enjoy your posts while nursing my little ones to bed. I never leave a comment on anything but this time I had to. We had a very stressful move during my fourth pregnancy and I felt like a different person after that. A friend of mine gave me dr. Wilson’s book and his advice along with taking vitamin c, magnesium, and his own supplement, Adrenal Rebuilder, restored me. It was a very difficult time for me and I am so grateful for that book. I hope get the rest you need but I know how hard it is when your children are young.
Low energy and tiredness are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a doctor. Despite being so common, it is often challenging to come up with a diagnosis, as many medical problems can cause fatigue. Doctors engage in detective work, obtaining a medical history, doing a physical exam, and doing blood tests. The results often yield no explanations. It can be frustrating for clinicians and patients when a clear-cut diagnosis remains elusive. An attractive theory, called adrenal fatigue, links stress exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible cause of this lack of energy.

This proved to work as a stepping stone, to get the patient off of his dependency to cortisol. That way, he did not need it anymore to maintain his energy, and was able to get back to feeling much better. That’s a quick case study about how these medications can help patients, so let’s dive deeper into more about arenal medications for adrenal health.

A recent review of 58 studies concluded that there is no scientific basis to associate adrenal impairment as a cause of fatigue. The authors report the studies had some limitations. The research included used many different biological markers and questionnaires to detect adrenal fatigue. For example, salivary cortisol is one of the most common ordered tests used to make a diagnosis. The cortisol level, when checked four times in a 24-hour period, was no different between fatigued and healthy patients in 61.5% of the studies. The review raises questions around what should get tested (blood, urine, and/or saliva), the best time, how often, what ranges are considered normal, and how reliable the tests are, to name a few. In summary, there is no formal criteria to define and diagnose adrenal fatigue.

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.
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:
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.”
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, when the patient has been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, the practitioner will describe the adrenal fatigue treatment options available. These may include identification of specific adrenal support needed for the patient, as well as the correction of other health factors which put additional demands on the adrenals. The causes, and severity, of adrenal fatigue vary from person to person. For this reason, all adrenal gland treatment programs are individualized based on what is needed.
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?
Once a diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency has been made, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen may be taken to see if the adrenal glands are diminished in size, reflecting destruction, or enlarged, reflecting infiltration by some independent disease process. The scan also may show signs of calcium deposits, which may indicate previous exposure to tuberculosis. A tuberculin skin test may be used to address the latter possibility.
When Jaclyn became a mom more than eight years ago, health food was the last thing on her mind, but when her son began to struggle with behavioral disorders, she dove in headfirst to begin learning about how to live and eat naturally. When she began to focus on paleo and GAPS diet foods, her son’s behavior began to improve, her children were healed of eczema and digestive problems, and her own thyroid disorder was healed. She blogs about raising her four boys to be happy and healthy at The Family That Heals Together.

If you have very advanced Adrenal Fatigue, this guy gets it. This is the only doctor (besides my doctor) that understands everything involved when you have very advanced Adrenal Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue/ Fibromyalgia (They are all the same- they just express different symptoms for each of us). For example, no one else really addresses how the liver is involved, or pancreas, or tinnitus, or hormones or what's going on with the muscles as well as Dr Lam. I hate the Wilson work because it doesn't address those of us that are very advanced and have all these issues and many, many more. Dr Lam offers ideas on healing that are gentle enough for people like me to tolerate. Those of us that are advanced usually have oppositional responses to supplements, medication and food and this guy gets it!
Sugar and sweeteners: Includes avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners as well. Avoid sugary foods, cereals, candy, sweets, etc. Be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try to avoid as much extra sugar as possible. Seek the benefits of raw honey or stevia as an alternative, and always moderate your use of sweeteners of any kind.

The best approach is to make solid changes to your lifestyle for lasting results. Some people notice a difference in their overall well-being after just a few weeks of better foods that aid in detoxification of the body and adrenal fatigue supplements. If you aim for a balanced lifestyle with a healthy level of sleep, exercise, fun and a positive environment, then you are most likely to keep your adrenal system going strong!


Nutrition is key and combined with my step-by-step guides you will gain from my experience and background as a mainstream practitioner in helping you flourish with these new alternative approaches. A natural balanced internal state within the body is the foundation to returning it to optimal health. There is tremendous power and ability in supporting the body to do what it naturally does very well, to heal and regenerate. I do hope you find these step by step guides informative, effective and helpful so that you may improve your overall wellbeing and can live the life you have always dreamed of.
Women with more severe symptoms, or those who have reached complete exhaustion, usually need greater intervention.  We personalize the therapy to each woman’s symptoms and test results. We look into the cumulative stressors and other causes of fatigue (We urge you not to self-prescribe herbal supplementation and over the counter substances, as they can have adverse health effects).
Another big key to overcoming adrenal fatigue is taking the right supplements using supporting herbs. I always recommend eating the right foods to heal your body. However, it can still be a challenge to get enough of every nutrient you need every day. Therefore, it can be useful to wisely use dietary supplements for vitamins and minerals particularly vital for adrenal support.
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.
Ive been to the doctor about my depression but i feel as if the doctor doesnt listen to me why I tell her I am tired ALL the time. i feel like im running a marathon just to get through the day. ive been eating healthier and going to the gym 2 to 3 days a week. nothing is helping . Lost 1 pound 🙁 im a horriible napper (i wake up in a bad mood) so i try not to nap . What should my next step be ? im stuck in this rut for now.
As an NTP Practitioner for over 5 years this is taught to us as Certified Practitioners. Firstly it must be done by another person preferably a Professional who knows what to look for and is experienced. Do not shine directly in your eyes and the photo is misleading, it implies you can do it yourself, not recommended Secondly, this quite honestly not the way to fully assess your adrenal function. It gives a starting point but the best way is to have an ASI adrenal panel done called a Salvary panel. This is basic information and yes the book is a bit out dated with much more new reliable information out! Nora Gegedous has a new Adrenal e book out and I fully believe working with Practitioners who deal with this topic. The other Newly graduated NTP had very valuable information above consening the actual procedure. This is very individual and complicated. I have taken many advanced seminars on this subject and work with many clients very specifically.
From his introduction: "Part I gives you an overview of adrenal fatigue: what it is; who suffers from it, what causes it, how it progresses and why medicine has not recognized it as a syndrome.....Part II guides you through a questionnaire and some other simple processes to determine if you have adrenal fatigue, and if you do, what may be causing it......Part III provides a very comprehensive guide to recovering from adrenal fatigue. It contains specific info about which therapies work and exactly what you can do to help yourself feel energized and well again.......Part IV explains in relatively plain English what your adrenal glands do and how and why they are so important to just about every process that occurs in your body and mind. It will help you understand why you feel so bad when they are not functioning adequately." Sometimes, you don't even realize you feel bad because feeling bad becomes normal and you don't realize how bad you felt until you start to feel better. I am to that point now, I feel better.
If the individual has reached Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue, treatment will likely take much longer. At these stages both the adrenal glands and the rest of the endocrine system are beginning to get severely fatigued, and production of at least a few of our hormones has started to flag. The diurnal cortisol cycle has begun to be disrupted. To rebuild adrenal strength requires lifestyle changes, a nutritious diet and proper supplementation. This takes some time, and you can anticipate the process taking at least 6 months.
Dr. John Tinterra, a medical doctor who specialized in low adrenal function, said in 1969 that he estimated that approximately 16% of the public could be classified as severe, but that if all indications of low cortisol were included, the percentage would be more like 66%. This was before the extreme stress of 21st century living, 9/11, and the severe economic recession we are experiencing.

Adrenal fatigue should not be confused with another medical condition called Addison’s disease where the adrenal glands are not functioning at all. While Addison’s disease is often caused by autoimmunity, Adrenal Fatigue is largely caused by stress along with a host of other factors, like accumulation of toxic exposures, hidden infections, hormone imbalance, or even nutritional deficiencies.

The best approach is to make solid changes to your lifestyle for lasting results. Some people notice a difference in their overall well-being after just a few weeks of better foods that aid in detoxification of the body and adrenal fatigue supplements. If you aim for a balanced lifestyle with a healthy level of sleep, exercise, fun and a positive environment, then you are most likely to keep your adrenal system going strong!


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)
I was experiencing hair loss in huge amounts. My stress was through the roof last few years . My mom passed away of cancer seven months ago. Finally saw an endo Dr and found out my DHEA levels are soaring. My testosterone high. I have Pcos and Dr found a small benign mass on my left adrenal gland. I pretty much feel like crap all the time. Major panic attacks and anxiety, exhaustion, weight gain, stressed, depressed, headaches, body aches, left kidney pain. Now I have fast heart beat and high blood pressure. I’m on Aldactone and couple other meds. I just have severs fear if this small mass since cancer is in my family. The Dr thinks nothing of it as it seems to be build up hormone. I am afraid it will turn into something worse. And my anxiety makes me fear the worst. They are saying my thyroid is fine but I don’t believe that. Any suggestions? Thank you…….
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.

A recent review of 58 studies concluded that there is no scientific basis to associate adrenal impairment as a cause of fatigue. The authors report the studies had some limitations. The research included used many different biological markers and questionnaires to detect adrenal fatigue. For example, salivary cortisol is one of the most common ordered tests used to make a diagnosis. The cortisol level, when checked four times in a 24-hour period, was no different between fatigued and healthy patients in 61.5% of the studies. The review raises questions around what should get tested (blood, urine, and/or saliva), the best time, how often, what ranges are considered normal, and how reliable the tests are, to name a few. In summary, there is no formal criteria to define and diagnose adrenal fatigue.
I have been suffering since two years, due to I guess too much exercise and less carbs. I have the following symptoms, bad sleep, dehydrated and no thirst feeling, thinning hair, cold feet, dandruff, low libido, very bad digestive system almost always bloated, but the most important thing is, there is liquid coming out of my anus. In short, I feel extremely bad during the day.

The easy, relaxed lifestyle experienced by our ancestors no longer exists, and we're not even aware of how much stress we're under. The problem? "Our lifestyles have changed, but our bodies haven't," Dr. James Wilson said in his November lecture at the First Arizona Choices Exposition in Tucson, Ariz. A large portion of our population is feeling tired and stressed out, and we want to know why.

Under certain circumstances, stress can fatigue your adrenals. It is estimated that most North Americans experience some form of stress-related adrenal fatigue at some time. Although many people realize that stress is a problem in their lives, few understand the actual physical ways stress acts on the body and mind through the adrenal glands – or more importantly, what to do about it. Unfortunately, even most doctors still do not recognize the common health picture produced by adrenal fatigue. This leaves a lot of people suffering without anywhere to turn for help. Thats where Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome comes in.
These stress hormones regulate everything from your mood to your digestion to your blood sugar to your stress response (acute short term and chronic long term stress), your immune response, blood pressure and so much more. Your adrenals are regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glad along the HPA axis (the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis). Now, let’s break this down.
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.

The diagnosis of Cushing syndrome (CS) requires evidence of cortisol hypersecretion. While serum cortisol levels fluctuate unpredictably and are strongly dependent on concurrent cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) levels, a 24-hour urine specimen integrates the cortisol production for an entire day and is not affected by CBG. Urinary cortisol reflects the portion of serum-free cortisol filtered by the kidney, and correlates well with cortisol secretion rate.
Chronic fatigue affects more than 1 million people in the United States, and those are just the extreme cases. We are a society that works hard, doesn’t sleep enough, and often seems to run on fumes and caffeine. Many of us constantly crave sugary foods and suffer from debilitating exhaustion. That exhaustion can be caused by different things, and chronic fatigue is multifaceted, but in many cases, one common aspect of the condition is something called adrenal fatigue.
What's to know about pheochromocytoma? Pheochromocytoma is a rare, potentially life-threatening tumor of the gland in the body that produces adrenalin. In this article, learn about the symptoms of pheochromocytoma and their potential complications, as well as the function and anatomy of the adrenal gland. Read on to find out about outlook with the tumor. Read now
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