What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal Fatigue is somewhat undiagnosed by physician and is considered a 21st century syndrome. When one endocrine gland is taxed, the entire endocrine system can be off causing thyroid and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) to also be low. This is how AF often gets misdiagnosed. Symptoms are treated instead of the underlying cause. Adrenals glands are taxed when stress is a constant factor, through lack of sleep and/or lack of nutrients. We live in a world of no rest is best and the more you can “do” the better you are. We no longer get support from our families or tribes and try to do it all within our own family unit. Over exercising may make symptoms worse. Try yoga, walking and breathing/meditation exercises.

The adrenals are most known as the stress busters who regulate the flight or fight response. However, the adrenals also regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and take over for the ovaries after menopause. Mothers and fathers most often suffer from AF as they do a lot of late night parenting and their body begins to run in reverse (awake during night and sleepy during the day). Most often AF is a dis-ease that you can self diagnose and heal through a certain protocol. You may however want to get saliva testing to truly check them. Remember it took years to deplete your adrenals and it may take time to bring them back. Getting sound, solid sleep is a high priority.

You may suffer from sleeplessnesss–maybe you wake between 1am and 3am–this could be because your blood sugar levels are low. This is often the case if you have panic attacks, nightmares or sleep fitfully between 1-4am. Eat a high-protein snack before bed. Both too high and too low nighttime cortisol levels can cause sleep disturbances.


1. Difficulty getting up in the morning. Can’t lift head off of pillow.
2. Continue fatigue not relieve by sleep.

3. Craving for salt or salty foods.

4. Lethargy (lack of energy). Everything seems like a chore.

5. Increased effort to do every day tasks. Seems 10x harder.

6. Decreased sex drive.

7. Decreased ability to handle stress.

8. Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma.

9. Light-headed when standing up quickly.

10. Increased PMS.

11. Symptoms increase if meals are skipped or inadequate.

12. Thoughts less focused, more fuzzy.

13. Memory less accurate.

14. Decreased tolerance. People seem more irritating.

15. Don’t really wake up until 10am.

16. Afternoon low between 3-4pm.

17. Fee better after evening meal.

18. Decreased productivity.


§ Be in bed before 10pm.

§ Sleep in until 9am whenever possible.

§ Look for things that make you laugh.

§ Eliminate the energy robbers (people, situation & things)

§ Make your lifestyle a healing one.

§ Do something pleasurable every day.

§ Whenever you are not enjoying your life, go back and make lists of what may be draining to you.

§ Be grateful everyday for some small thing.

§ Take your dietary supplements regularly – B complex (with panthothenic acid), adrenal glandular, magnesium, Vit C. EFA’s, D3).

§ Move your body and breathe deeply.

§ Believe in your ability to recover.

§ Use your mind as a powerful healing tool.

§ Keep a journal each day.

§ Eat the foods your body needs: protein, fat and good carb at each meal.

§ Learn which foods make you feel bad and keep a list.

§ Get the Adrenal Fatigue book.

§ Drink in the am, ½ tsp of good sea salt in warm water each morning. *

§ Salt your food, salt your water.

§ No fruit, unless you have something with salt before or after the fruit and chew very well. **

§ Eat whole foods close to nature (unprocessed).

§ Eat lots of colored vegetables.

§ Chew your food well.

§ Take your health into your own hands.

§ Laugh several times per day.

§ Enjoy your recovery.

§ For deep sleep, consider melatonin or another natural sleep aid.

§ Avoid exercising or taking awake vitamins (B’s, glandular) in the evening. You want to wind down at this time.

§ Take 1,000 mg. of Vitamin C with 200 mg. magnesium and pantothenic acid at approx. 2pm every day along with a small snack in order to help avoid the 3-4pm low.

* If the salt is making you feel better, continue to do it. On mornings when you exercise fully, you may not want as much salt. Be mindful of your cravings for salt and potassium containing foods during the day. These desires may serve as indicators of adrenal function during the day. Use only a good quality sea salt.

** Most who suffer from hypoadrenia (adrenal fatigue) are also hypoglycemic. High glycemic foods like fruits and sugars may exacerbate your symptoms. Eat frequent meals to keep blood sugar level.


§ Getting overtired

§ Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and white flour products

§ Coffee, even decaf

§ Staying up past 11pm

§ Pushing yourself

§ Energy suckers

§ Being harsh or negative with yourself

§ Foods you are addicted to

§ Foods you suspect an allergy or sensitivity

§ Feeling sorry for yourself

§ Foods that make you feel worse, cloud your thinking or pull you down in any way

§ Never skip breakfast

§ Avoid fruit in the morning

§ Never eat starchy carbs by themselves

§ Do not eat foods that adversely affect you in any way, no matter how good they taste or how much you crave them.

Source: Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson