Healing Adrenal Fatigue
"Why am I am tired all the time?"

This article gives tips for healing adrenal fatigue.

If you are tired all the time, and find yourself with the symptoms listed below, then adrenal fatigue may be the cause.

You are on a website about living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and about alternative healing methods). There is an overlap between the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and mild CFS. For some people they are indistinguishable.
Do have a look around the website to see if any of the other information is helpful to your healing journey.

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I am not a medical practitioner and the articles on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. If you have a health problem, please make sure to visit your medical practitioner as necessary.

This website is intended to provide helpful and informative material. The information is generic and does not replace any formal medical treatment.

adrenal fatigue symptoms

Symptoms of adrenal failure

  • digestive problems
  • finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • tired all the time
  • frequent colds and infections (sore throat in particular)
  • salt cravings
  • sugar cravings (also a symptom of hypoglaecemia)
  • low blood pressure
  • memory problems
  • feeling dizzy when standing up
  • an aggravation of premenstrual syndrome, in the case of women
  • less enjoyment of life
  • reduced sex drive
  • feeling on edge
  • using chocolate and coffee to keep going.

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The theory behind adrenal fatigue

The adrenal glands are two walnut size glands located just above the kidneys.

The adrenal glands produce cortisol which allows the body to cope in times of stress. This stress response is designed to work short-term. Under long-term stress, the adrenal glands can strop producing appropriate amounts of cortisol. The body then responds to stress with the above symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

In his book, the Metabolism Reset Diet, the expert Dr Christianson states that the term "adrenal fatigue" is actually inaccurate
"It is not that the adrenal glands are unable to make cortisol. Rather, the hypothalamic-pituary axis is intentionally slowing down the cortisol production so that the body has a chance to rest and repair".
Please note it is the problem of an abnormal cortisol slope or abnormal-adrenal-function-leading-to-fatigue that is is discussed in this healing article.

Dr Christianson has another book, specifically addressing problems with the adrenals - the Adrenal Diet.

Dr Aimie Apigian talking about the adrenal glands

An excellent five-minute video Dr Aimie Apigian talking about the adrenal glands, and about how Aswaganda powder can help, but only AFTER moving the body out of the chronic freeze response.

tips for healing adrenal fatigue

Conventional medicine and adrenal fatigue

Is adrenal fatigue recognised by Doctors?

The world health organisation, WHO, recognised adrenal fatigue in 2010.

In 2013, a study by the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health identified that people with burnout had lower levels of cortisol.

If your Doctor is sympathetic, you might want to ask him or her to refer you to an endocrinologist. The blood test to measure your body's capacity to make cortisol is called the synacthen test.

However, many people who have adrenal fatigue still seem to be making cortisol. Most doctors do not recognise the condition and they are unlikely to give advice for healing adrenal fatigue.

Natural alternative healing may be your best option

Start by implementing the wonderfully practical advice below for healing adrenal fatigue.

You may also want to consult an alternative healing practitioner.

Naturopaths and nutritionists use an adrenal stress test. This consists of taking saliva samples to measure cortisol levels throughout the day. Cortisol levels should rise in the morning, rise before midday, and drop off around four p.m. They should then rise again after dinner and drop by bedtime.

There are websites which recommend taking certain natural healing supplements specifically for healing adrenal fatigue. I don't have any personal experience of doing so.
I do however highly recommend these plant-derived minerals which have helped to increase my energy levels.

amino acid supplement

Advice for healing adrenal fatigue

  • Eat a protein rich breakfast.
    See the advice on a hypoglycemic diet.
  • Find a way to offload your thoughts, for example to keep a diary/journal, to draw, or to sit in quiet and allow your thoughts to come up and be written down. Sleep disturbance can result when the mind is too active, and the aim is to empty your mind at least once a day.
  • Take regular short breaks. You might do a breathing exercise, a mini meditation, a guided relaxation from a CD, or simply walk around the room.
    If, in addition, you live with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or even if you don't) see the article on pacing activity.
  • Use an emotional healing approach  which allows you to feel your feelings instead of keeping busy to avoid them. (I will be writing more about such approaches on this website in the future - emotional healing, along with spiritual healing is my main area of interest.)
  • Give up adrenaline seeking activities.
    For example, instead of running, walk for exercise. Running produces the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol. Walking is preferential.
  • Consider adding sea salt to your food.
    In a world where we are often advised to cut down on salt, this seems strange advice!
    But your adrenal glands produce a hormone called aldosterone which instructs the kidneys to retain an amount of salt appropriate to allowing your body to function.So when the adrenal glands aren't working properly you may not have enough.
    Too much salt can contribute to high blood pressure, so as always please consult a medical practitioner.
  • Consider going to bed when you feel tired, even though it may be earlier than your normal bed time.
    Try to avoid hitting the "tired and wired" stage.
    Katherine: Please note that this contradicts some advice about ‘sleep hygiene’. I prefer to make sure I nap early enough in the day and then I still stay up until 10pm.
    Please experiment with what is best for you.
    I originally typed "tired and weird" stage. Some of you may relate! ;-)
  • I recommend the advice of the very knowledgeable Dr Alan Christianson.
    He offers an adrenal quiz on his website to ascertain whether there is a problem with your adrenals.
    He also offers advice for a diet - he has a book available - and for natural healing supplements.
    (I am not an affiliate. Just a grateful fan!)

    Dr Christianson identifies three main levels of how chronic stress can alter the 'cortisol slope'.
    Mild = Stressed
    High levels of cortisol are maintained through the night.

    Middle = Wired and Tired
    Cortisol is low in the morning and high at night.

    Highest = Crashed
    Cortisol stays low all day.
  • Katina Makris is a homeopath, and the host of LymeLightRadio. I asked her on twitter:
    "Any advice for rebuilding the adrenals?"
    Her reply was:
    "Yes. Rehmannia , ashwaganda, licorice root, vitamin c. No ginseng for females. "
    Katina is the author of Out of the Woods about her journey with Lyme disease and is featured on this website. Click to read more.

Recommended reading for healing adrenal fatigue

Please note that these are not books that I myself have read:

  • Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st-century stress syndrome, Doctor James L Wilson
  • Tired But Wired, Doctor Nerina Ramlakhan
  • The De-Stress Effect, by nutritionist Charlotte Watts.

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Wishing you health both within and beyond illness,


Katherine T Owen

Katherine T Owen runs this website - www.HealingCFSME.com.

She is author of Be Loved, Beloved (Read it in paperback at lulu.com or on kindle)

Articles on this website relevant to Healing Adrenal Fatigue

Click on the lin below for an article on other possible causes of some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms.

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The articles on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner as necessary.

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