Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a very complex medical condition. I could spend hours writting about the hypothalamic, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, gonadal axis (HPTAG axis) and how it affects our health. If you want to read more about adrenal fatigue to get a more of a complex understanding, I recommend that you go here and here for more information. If you want a good book to help you understand adrenal fatigue I recommend The Adrenal Fatigue Solution.

The Causes of Adrenal Fatigue1 2

  • Chronic infections
  • Chronic poor health
  • Extremely stressful situations/traumatic events (loss of a loved one, chronic injury, victim of a crime, divorce)
  • Abuse of stimulants in some people (caffeine, nicotine, meth, cocaine)
  • Long term levels of high stress
  • Long term insomnia or lack of sleep
  • Copper toxicity
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Long-term ketosis or fasting
  • Systemic Inflammation

Basic Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue3 4 5 6

  • Gain weight easily and are unable to lose it, especially around the waist. This is due to elevated cortisol.
  • Tendency to tremble when stressed.
  • Visual Snow
  • Lowered immune system function, frequent colds.
  • Reduced sex drive.
  • Lightheadedness, especially from standing up.
  • Lack of energy during certain times of the day including upon waking, mid-afternoon, and around 8 – 10 p.m.
  • Brain Fog
  • Insomnia after 10 p.m. Most people are able to go to bed after 1 a.m. This is caused by a second wind of adrenaline and cortisol after 10 p.m.
  • Addiction to coffee and stimulants in the morning.
  • Differing cravings for either salty, fatty, or sugary food.
  • Pain in the upper back or neck with no known cause.
  • You feel better when less stressed, like when meditating or on vacation.
  • Depression
  • Low basal body temperature.
  • Brittle nails and hair.
  • Cold hands and feet.
  • IBS
  • Adrenergic Preprandial Hypoglycemia is a condition when you have nervousness, increased sweating, tachycardia, and/or anger when hungry or fasting. Blood glucose levels will appear normal. It can occur after eating as well and is known as Adrenergic Postprandial Hypoglycemia.

Not everyone will have all of the listed symptoms. The amount of symptoms and severity depend on the stage of adrenal fatigue you are currently in (there are four stages that I will briefly discuss in another post). The body will also try to compensate for the loss of adequate HPTAG axis functioning and symptoms may come and go for awhile before they get any worse. Some people can recover from stage one adrenal fatigue over time without any intervention. Some people are not able to recover from stage one and their HPTAG axis continues to get worse over time.7 8 9

We do not know why some people can recover from stage one adrenal fatigue without intervention. I believe that it is either because they are not suffering from multiple causes of adrenal fatigue at one time, so their body is not overwhelmed. It could also be possible that some people tend to stress more and make their adrenal fatigue worse because of it over time.

My next blog post in the series will briefly discuss the different stages of adrenal fatigue and the appropriate tests one can do to determine if they are suffering from an HPTA axis imbalance.

  1. Here’s a couple of articles I found on that Dr. Lam’s website that pertain to both Adrenal Fatigue and gut health! Thank you for recommending his site there is a ton of information on there and he also seems to do a very good job of tying it all in together AND

  2. Hi,
    I am interested if you have any advice on Lyme Disease, Adrenal Fatigue, and Visual Snow.

  3. How long did it take you to recover from adrenal exhaustion? And how long in comparison did it take for your vs to clear up. Was it 100% clearance? I’m treading. Burnout. Vs improved dramatically. But not 100% gone yet.

    • It took me close to a year. It all depends on what state of adrenal fatigue you are on and what methods you are using. I did the slowest method that was correct nutritional deficiencies, increased sleep, meditate, proper circadian rhythm, increased omega three intakes, etc. It also depends on the cause, mine was from lisinopril, for some it could be because of an infection. You would need to take care of the infection before you could truly get better.

  4. Great post. What I’m more fascinated by is your connection to adrenal fatigue and visual snow. Do you have clients in the same situation or can you point me to the reference you used to link adrenal fatigue and visual snow. I was in adrenal exhaustion 3 years back. Much better now but not 100% still have visual snow which is really annoying. Trying to get to the bottom of it. Thanks

    • I have had clients that have had the visual snow and I did as well when I had adrenal fatigue. Retinal light sensitivity is a biggie.

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