Push the Pause Button on Adrenal Burnout

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This week’s question is, “Why am I always so tired? What about adrenal burnout? How do I get my energy back and heal my adrenals?”

First you need to know what your adrenal glands do, why they malfunction, and what can you do about it?

Your adrenals are really important, because they help you respond to stress. If you have chronic stress, your adrenals get beat up, and it is difficult to manage your life, and your energy plummets.

You feel tired and wired. You get palpitations. You feel anxious. You have trouble sleeping. You might crave salt. You may get dizzy when you stand up. You might have low blood pressure. You might even have sugar cravings, because your blood sugar can’t be regulated. All these are clues that you could have adrenal problems.

So, why do we get adrenal burnout?

We get it from the chronic, unremitting, ongoing stresses of everyday life: stresses of our families, stresses of relationships, stresses of work, the stresses of constant interaction with Facebook and Twitter and the online world, and all these inputs that never let us pause.

Now, how many of you know where your pause button is? I bet you don’t. I bet you haven’t found it yet, and you don’t know where to go to turn it on or how to turn it on.

Understanding your body’s response to stress

It’s really important to understand how the whole stress response works, why it goes wrong, and why, over time, your adrenal glands, which are these little glands that sit on the top of your kidneys, are not able to compensate for the chronic stress that you have in your life.

So, how do you know if you have adrenal burnout or if you’re on the way to adrenal burnout? It’s very simple. You ask yourself a set of questions, which are in my adrenal stress quiz that’s on my website. To take the adrenal stress quiz and other quizzes, please register here for the UltraWellness Community. Once registered, simply login here and go to your profile. Then, select Available Quizzes and choose the Adrenal Quiz. If you are already a member of The UltraWellness Community, just login here and follow the link to Available Quizzes.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

  • Are you feeling tired and wired?
  • Are you irritable?
  • Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep?
  • Are you having trouble with low blood pressure or low blood sugar?
  • Are you craving sweets?
  • Are you craving salt?
  • Are you just feeling kind of overwhelmed?

If you have any of these symptoms, you might just have adrenal burnout.

At The UltraWellness Center, we do saliva testing to measure cortisol levels throughout the day. When you have adrenal burnout, your cortisol starts to go down, you can’t respond normally to the stresses of life, and you end up just feeling tired and crummy most of the time. We push ourselves with coffee. We push ourselves with stimulants. We push ourselves to feel better using things that don’t really work.

So, what does work? How do you heal your adrenals and regain your energy?

Find your pause button

It’s quite simple. You find your pause button. That’s the first thing to do, and I’ve found lots of different pause buttons that I like the push. You need to find yours.

I do it through yoga—that’s one of my favorite pause buttons.

I also use a hot bath at night. I call it the UltraBath, where you take two cups of Epsom salt, half a cup of baking soda, 10 drops of lavender oil, and you soak for 20 minutes. You end up with a really decreased stress response. In fact, they put lavender oil in babies’ baths, because it lowers cortisol and helps to balance their whole hormonal system.

Also, there are other things you can do. Massage is great, as is meditation and deep breathing. There are all sorts of tools and resources available for you everywhere—online, on my website, where you can actually be guided through the experience of how to do this.

In fact, one of my friends, Susan Piver, has something called the Open Heart Project, where you can join her online in a weekly guided meditation.

Very simple things have profound effects. Exercise is also really important—gentle, regular exercise like a morning walk, a light jog, a little bike ride. Do something out in the fresh air to get natural light that affects your pineal gland and helps reset your brain and the stress response.

I also recommend regular rhythm. Rhythm is key, because your hormones are balanced in rhythms. So, waking at the same time every day, going to bed at the same time every day, eating at the same time every day—these are the rhythms in life that help to reset your natural balance. Following your natural rhythms of work and rest during the day is also essential. Take natural breaks when you are tired. Our bodies function best on ultradian rhythm cycles of 90 minutes of activity punctuated by a few minutes of rest or zoning out! Naps are also a great way to reset. If you are all over the place, your adrenals are going to burn out.

Try my UltraCalm CD for more on how to create stress resilience learn several guided meditation and relaxation exercises.

Boost Your Stress Resilience with Supplements

Then, of course, there are some really simple things you can do with supplements. We use a lot of really wonderful herbs at The UltraWellness Center. We call them adaptogens, because they help you adapt to stress.

  • Try Siberian ginseng or Rhodiola or Cordyceps. These are wonderful herbs that you can use to help balance your adrenal and stress response. I use Adreset, one to two caps, twice a day with my patients.
  • Vitamin C 500 to 1000mg a day, zinc 30mg a day, B complex vitamins, two a day, especially vitamin B5: all these things help to balance your adrenals.
  • Ashwagandha, magnolia, theanine (from green tea), and phosphatidyIserine can help calm an overactive stress response and improve sleep. The combination I use successfully with my patients is Cortisol Manager, one or two at night.

So, if you have any of these symptoms, if you’re worried about your adrenal stress response, if you’re thinking that you might have adrenal burnout, I encourage you to take some time, find things you like to do to hit your pause buttons, get into rhythm, try a few vitamins and herbs, and reset your life.

So, now I would like to hear from you…

  • Have you ever experienced adrenal burnout?
  • What’s worked? What hasn’t?
  • How did you overcome it? Or maybe you haven’t.

Please share your experience with us in the comments section.

And if you like this house call, sign up to receive one every week. Share them with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and please submit your questions, so that, next week, I may make a house call to you.

Learn more

5 Ways To Never Be Stressed Again

Effects of Stress on Your Mind

Stress Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body

Stress Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body [Video]

Magnesium: Meet the Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available

31 Responses to Push the Pause Button on Adrenal Burnout

  1. Profile photo of
    Teresa Wilson October 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Over the last year or so I’ve developed a plethora of health issues – multiple food intolerances, severe fatigue, mood swings, irritability, etc. etc. I also have a long term history of other health issues – migraines since I was 10 years old, life long constipation issues, hypothyroid, had both TMJ joints replaced two years ago, multiple antibiotic allergies. I went to the website for the Institute of Functional Medicine and found the practitioner nearest me (100 miles away!) I saw her a few weeks ago and had blood drawn for IGG (previous IGE testing showed no allergies although I experience definite histamine reactions soon after eating) testing and also did a cortisol saliva test. I go back on Friday to get the results. Praying to finally get some answers and find out what I can do to get back in control of my health!

    • Just a thought April 22, 2014 at 7:41 am #

      Honestly it could be parasites. Surprisingly they are something everybody has and your doctor won’t tell you about them.They wreak absolute havoc and are the causes of many, many issues but they can be cleared up fairly easy.
      Pineapple is an incredible anti parasitic as well as papaya and cucumber but you will need herbs as well. Don’t eat grains. Ever. Look up detox and try to make it as natural as possible incorporating healthy habits into your every day life. Stop eating processed food entirely, limit your sugar (none is best- it’s for your health), be strict with yourself but be good to yourself also if you are cleaning up diet and habits you may stray from the path and that’s natural if you are keenly on the path you can be sure you are doing as much for yourself as you can and you don’t need to be hard on yourself, bettering yourself isn’t 100% time instantly easy but limit it as much as possible, your body will thank you. Eat spices, extracts and teas over supplements. Walk a lot. Heavy metal detoxification – look that up. Eat all natural with lots and lots of fibre. Remember that the body is a very efficient detoxifier but you are going to need to give it all you’ve got to get your health back in alignment. You need to be cooking for yourself getting all your vitamins up, A,B,C,D,E,K etc. minerals also need to be taken care of. The best foods are the ones with bright or deep colours, and with lots of layers. Filter all your water get sunshine (vit D) you should be much better in some time AS LONG AS you can keep your stress levels down through it. A warning – your body holds emotions and in becoming healthy you may release a lot of negative energy at odd times so be prepared to notice that when it’s happening and talk yourself through it working through it make peace with it and release it. Crying is in a very real way a detoxification, if it needs to come out in tears let it. Look at alternative health websites, you will realise on your journey that the pharmaceutical industry is the biggest scam that cover up illnesses (badly) rather than solving them- because they can’t patent plants. It’s shocking really, sickening. Good luck I wish you best of health

    • Carrie October 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

      Teresa look into Mast Cell Activation Disorder. I have this and have several food “allergies” (not IgE but definite severe reactions). Benadryl stops the worst episodes. You can take quercetin, its a supplement that stabilizes mast cells (these are releasing histamine and other chemicals causing your symptoms).

      You can find some information on TMSforacure.org. Also look up The Mastocytosis Society on Facebook or other groups specifically for Mast Cell Activation Disorder.

      Another tip – I have found avoiding inflammatory foods, avoiding sugar and processed food and taking a supplement to support my liver has helped tremendously!

  2. Kayla November 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    I have had bouts of trouble through my younger years, but have really lost my adult life so far to a continual battle of horrible fatigue and weakness, brain fog, hormonal trouble, strong food sensitivities to almost everything, seasonal and chemical/environmental allergies, low blood pressure and much more. The older I get, the less I am able to rebound.

    I started a couple of months ago on Dr. Wilson’s Super Adrenal Stress Formula, but I had to stop it to get my LDA (allergy treatment) and lost all the progress I had made. Still waiting for it to kick back in. But I think taking another supplement with a good amount of PS was helping it kick in – and it’s been on back order for more than a month now. And I have MTHFR issues and can’t take B12 – it makes me worse. This complicated mess has ruined my life and careers in so many ways. Every time I think I find something that works, it stops working and I’m right back where I started. And now my husband has Parkinson’s with dementia so I have to try to be his caregiver when so many days I can barely get through my own routines. Meditation, visualization, hypnosis, relaxation recordings, etc., don’t have any impact on me because I can’t stay focused on them.

    I’ve tried to work with more 25 doctors and health practitioners over the past 25+ years and can’t find anyone who can figure it out. Most tell me I’m fine, it’s all in my head – HA! A few just gave up on me. The remaining few who are willing to believe how miserable I am just scratch their heads and can’t understand why I don’t fit the mold and respond like others do. And after so many years of brain fog and the ADD all this has caused, I can no longer learn on my own like I used to, or find the determination to stick to something because I know I’m just guessing at it. I lost my job last spring (my health was a major or maybe the main reason that I was let go) and my new job has me working 7 days a week with no insurance or paid time off, so I can’t afford to pay a new doctor or other practitioner to help me. And I live in an area that is anything but open-minded about health – there are no functional medicine folks nearby even if I could afford it. Sorry – not meaning to sound “poor me” – just saying I can’t find my way out alone, and I just keep sinking deeper with nobody to pull me out. This has been hell on earth for me.

    • Just a thought April 22, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      I just answered an answer above I see you might be able to follow these leads too. Best of luck.

  3. Tamara December 1, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    I think this is a major problem for me as a stroke survivor (bleed in 2009). Because of all the stress hormones racing through my body I suffer from painful spasms. I know I can get better than I am today, but I’m just done fighting after nearly 5 years. Sometimes I try meditation, but it feels like I’m in a pressure cooker: I just get angrier and feel more pain. It also doesn’t help that winter is starting. Unfortunately I don’t live in a warm climate, but in western Europe.

  4. chuck thomas December 1, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    i believe i may have this, not sure whats wrong but iam taking the saliva test on tues will let you know. patient of Dr,Boham

  5. Sara December 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    So what if you are adrenal insufficient? I wish I had tried some of these things before my numbers actually went out of range. My endo has been watching my cortisol and ACTH for 3 years. My cortisol was always on the low end of normal range and ACTH was always on high end of normal range. Then end of Oct my ACTH went out of range by 2 points. It was 52. So my endo said I needed to start taking hydro-cortisone and I had all kinds of side effects. Things are better now, but I am now on Nexium because it was causing me such stomach discomfort. I wonder what will happen when I am done with the nexium (one month).

    So do you think it is possible to fix the adrenals with supplements, once a person is already on hydro-cortisone? How do you know if it is working? How do you safely cut back on hydro-cortisone? Its my understanding that once you start hydro-cortisone that your body no longer makes any on its own because it doesn’t need to since you are taking the meds.

    My chiro says I should go paleo, which I’m planning on trying. I’m already gluten free. I’ve been experimenting with that for 3 years since I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia. I’ve also had hypothyroidism for 23 years. It’s hashimotos. I was tested in Jan to see if I had the antibodys for the adrenals and it was negative. My endo is going to retest that in a few weeks. So I’ve tried to be GF as much as I could because I’ve read that might help auto immune issues. So since beginning of Nov I have been GF. But how do you know if it is helping? I actually feel worse now than I did before starting hydro-cortisone. Mostly because of the stomach issues. I get burning sensations. Sometimes I get pain in upper left abdomen on left side and in my mid to lower back on left side.

    I’ve thought about maybe seeing a functional medicine DR here in KC area. I’ve found a few. I wonder if my insurance will cover them though. I have BCBS. Do you have any recommendations of Drs in this area or other suggestions for me?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  6. Enrico December 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi,

    I have been having adrenal burnt out for many years since i suffered from OCD and chronic stress disorders. All my life I’ve been a stressed out person and eventually one day I just development many physical symptoms.

    After years of looking for better health, I tried everything. However, I started noticing my health problems resulted from stress.

    By changing my diet, exercising, mediation, drinking more water, and using homeopathic remedies I have found a lot of success. Also, by taking an omega 3 and probiotic in food and supplement form I have also seen a lot of improvements.

    To be honest, vitamin and mineral therapy has never worked for me. What really works is a life style change.

    I also believe homeopathic remedies is a huge contributor in addition to life changing choices I have taken. I urge everyone to at least try homeopathic remedies.

    For adrenal fatigue; Working out, mediation, homeopathy, diet changes, probiotic, omega 3 and a herbal tonic is all that is needed in my opinion

  7. Kris January 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    I have had undiagnosed adrenal issues on and off my entire life but I always remained healthy and active. I was officially diagnosed with adrenal insufficiencies after a total thyroidectomy due to autoimmune thyroid disease. My thyroid never returned to “normal” after child birth. I also have Celiac’s, high cholesterol and a fatty liver. I crave salty and sweet foods. I am female, 120 pounds, 39 years old. My entire family is gluten free and we eat little to no processed food. I tried supplements as recommended by PCP but my cortisol levels were unchanged. I recently started HC. My symptoms: unsettled stomach, low blood pressure, heart palpitations, mood swings, hot and cold flashes, EXTREME FATIGUE, pale skin with black circles around my eyes, low potassium, low magnesium. I have the same symptoms as before I started taking the HC. My doctor just started me on Nystatin because she thinks that I have an overgrowth of yeast in my body. I have not worked in 3 years. I just spent some time in the hospital. I was admitted for having an adrenal crisis. I would really like to get a hold of this autoimmune disease. I would love to see Dr. Hyman but we are located many states away.

  8. Callie July 16, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s and leaky gut by three different care providers, one of which is a functional medicine person. Most difficult for me is that I feel like a lab rat – my first provider did muscle testing, and I’m not confident that really adjusted my thyroid meds properly. My second has been more reliant on labs, but since I’m also getting acupuncture and osteopath, we don’t focus deeply on the thyroid, hormone & adrenal issues – feel things are a bit haphazard, plus she won’t serve as primary medical provider. My primary is very new to functional med, and while I’m grateful he is moving in this direction, I feel like he is drawing assumptions without know enough or looking at the whole picture. I have read some stuff connecting the thyroid, adrenals and my out of whack hormones, but I’m hesitant to just start supplements without consulting someone, and I’m worried that it is bad enough I need to go to a specialist, but again I am worried about starting all over with a new doctor. I am trying to improve my life by pursuing a graduate degree, and I really need to be far more focused and energized for the next year that I am finding myself capable of. I have had improvements, but this fatigue and weight are really scaring me. I’m not getting younger, and it gets harder to keep this up as I get older.

  9. Wanda Shoemake July 19, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    I have the least stress I’ve ever had in my life and job but I do run lots of Marathons which requires 40-50 miles of run training a week. I’m sure this puts a lot of stress on my body which is why this article was of interest to me. I eat very healthy and exercise 7 days a week either running, weight training or biking so you would think I would feel great. I am so tired and have been trying to figure out why. Even with all the exercise u do I have gained about 15 lbs and it has to be the cortisol. Thanks for shedding some light on adrenalin.

    • anon December 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      I totally understand about the high levels of exercise. I am still suffering symptoms of adrenal fatigue and I have barely exercised for a month now. I found that it wasn’t the exercise that was the problem but the additional life stressors which just piled up. I was exercising nearly every day. I prefer crossfit type training. Now I am not training which is making me more stressed, but I don’t have time for it currently in my schedule and now I lack the motivation to get started again and make the time.
      Recovery from adrenal fatigue has caused more problems for me than actually suffering with high levels of cortisol in the first place. But I am determined to get over all this and recovery is for the best otherwise it could lead to longer term problems. I know that I need time to get over the other stressors and then I can get back to normal life. Any exercise should not be a problem but to consistently run or exercise without a break is not good for anyone. I too have put on weight but it will come off once I am back on an even keel. Be patient give your body a month to get over the high levels of exercise and you will soon be running again.

  10. Monica Reinhart July 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    I started going to a chiropractor and they test for adrenal fatigue and I have it. Im having a lot of digestive issues also and think I have hypothyroidism. I don’t know what to do for any of it, but I would very much like to feel better and get better. I don’t know how to relax or take time for myself and don’t see how I can take time for myself, but I wish I could. I will not go to my family physician because I don’t even trust them anymore. Their testing is not helpful enough because of their margins and they just want to throw prescriptions at you. I will look for a functional doctor in my area, but probably can’t afford it.

  11. Nealy fischer July 20, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks for this necessary piece. So many of us in Hong Kong suffer from this/great supplement suggestions!

  12. Ron July 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Sounds like great advice in theory, but out society (at least my life) does not work like that. I work multiple jobs, both day and night, and go to school; the idea of having a consistent bedtime or even getting adequate sleep is laughable. For many of us at the lower-end of the pay scale, working multiple jobs and long hours is a survival strategy; regular and reasonable amounts of sleep are simply not an option. The pace might kill me in the long (or short) run, but at least I have a roof over my head and I am paying for my own food.

  13. BridgetJane July 23, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    I also find Liquorice Root tea fabulous for adrenal burnout and the “legs up the wall” yoga pose for 10 minutes a day to reduce cortisol levels :) x

  14. joan smith October 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    I have had this.(or think I do) for many years….i get tired and exausted by 2 or three…My husband lost his job,and then I lost mine 2 years later,both were good jobs…Then we lost our home and our car,ect..moved three times,,,now I believe we are settled and things are getting a little more “normal”. We couldnt afford to eat..ect. I am deathly afraid of doctors///
    in I went to ER because of what my doctor called chest pains and three days and many $$ later I was told They couldnt tell what was wrong..I still had the pain and that is when the palpitations, ect started,,,
    I feel like heck most of the time…thanks for reading my story..it is pretty condensed version, but it is what it is..

  15. Ellen October 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    In addition to the advice above (all excellent, BTW) be sure you eat clean, whole foods with minimal processing, limit your sugar and alcohol, and – sorry about this – cut out caffeine! One cup of full strength coffee can set me back for weeks. It drains the adrenals quickly and leaves you more tired than you were before.

    Adrenal fatigue can cause a lot of associated symptoms, like IBS, multiple food sensitivities, insomnia, brain fog, memory problems, muscle and joint aches, slow recovery from exercise or physical stress, and hypothyroidism.

    Give yourself time to recover. It can take months or even a few years to fully recover.

  16. Amy Petrarca October 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Hello Dr. Hyman! Great video on Adrenal Burnout! So fantastic to hear you speak about the “pause button” – and to give examples as well. I practice Acupuncture here in San Francisco – and I believe that Acupuncture is a great way to push that pause button. Also – I utilize a lavender hydrosol in my treatments – as essential oils are a great way to allow the the treatment to have a more profound effect. As you know – smell/scent is one of the fastest ways to stimulate the brain! Additionally – I find it so interesting that there is such a parallel between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine. Specifically – the kidneys and the adrenal glands are such a high priority to preserve function in both models. In TCM, we speak of preserving the Kidney Qi and Jing (essence). Salt cravings are always attributed to a “kidney deficiency” pattern in TCM. Even in Tai Chi and Qi Gong practices – there is a cultivation of addressing the function and health of the kidneys. In Functional Medicine, especially when there is an HPA axis imbalance – we focus on the Adrenals first. Thank you for this fantastic Adrenals focused house-call video!

  17. Melanie October 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Back in 2009 I was diagnosed with Lupus and put on Prednisone because I became pregnant, once I had my son, they went to take me off the steroids and on a regular medication for my lupus, but by then I got sick and found out I have Adrenal Insufficiency. My adrenal glands do not function now without the use of the steroids. I have ended up sick and in hospital couple times in last few years. I am seeing an Endocrinologist, and Rheumatologist, who have tried many things to try and get me off the steroids, they switched me to Cortef, i’ve tried weening off them as well and i would flare up and feel sick. I am so frustrated, I have even changed my diet where, I eat organic, have my green shake in the morning, and have been doing healthier lifestyle. I am taking all kind of supplements for my Adrenal as well, but nothing seems to be working. I am almost always tired, my sleep is broken, I have 3 jobs right now and a 5 yr old son, life has been stressful, I have anxiety disorder so it doesn’t help. It’s been frustrating and I feel I am at a lost, it’s been so many years and tried many things and doesn’t seem to be working for me. :(

  18. jen October 13, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    according to our natural healthcare professional my 3 year old had “bi polar adrenals”. she was extremely hyper and emotional and craved sugar. She had chronic ear infections – later realized it was due to a dairy allergy). and was on a LOT of antibiotics. Well, we went gluten and casein free then he put her on liquid B vitamins and cordisol manager. HUGE HUGE difference!!! she is a new child. She has been taking it for 1 1/2 years now. every time we try to ween her off the cordisol manager though all her symptoms come back. I would love to hear feed back from someone – is it okay for her to be taking it for so long? she takes 1/4 a teaspoon ( we crush the pill) every morning in some applesauce. I am worried that we are messing her up long term by her taking this for so long. but she just cannot go without it! Any feed back on this would be very helpful. Thanks!!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff October 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Hi Jen,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice for your daughter in this forum. In order to provide your daughter the proper care she needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your family the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  19. Anna Fox October 13, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    I realised I was suffering from adrenal burnout two years ago after a series of family upheavals. I was struggling to keep my business afloat, run a house and family of four teens/twenties as well as deal with grumpy unhelpful elderly parents. I had no quality time for my partner and the addition of his two young children on weekends (although delightful) was not conducive to rest. There was no time for a bath, no energy for exercise and no time to sit down and gather my thoughts. My brain was scrambled. Then my daughter announced she was emigrating to the Middle East at the same time as my eldest son left for university. I was distraught as well as burnt out. Realising what was going on was a major step forward. I closed down my business, returned to 9 – 5 working and made some house rules.

    I had to rebuild myself from the inside out. I rehashed an already healthy diet and went from vegetarian to vegan whilst also adding in green juicing to increase nutrient levels. I also took a holiday to visit my daughter in the UAE. After six months I began to feel normal again.

    If I needed any proof that it was anything other than adrenal fatigue, my father died last month. My mother is not coping well and is leaning heavily on me as well as having to cope with my own grief. I am once again rushing from pillar to post to ensure my mother is looked after as well as the rest of my family. All the old symptoms have returned. Currently working towards a solution or least ways some time to relax and exercise as I have no desire to spiral down to where I was before.

  20. mike October 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Maybe your core problem is psychological and not medical. You could find out by booking an appointment with a psychologist.

  21. Jenny Gulick December 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    I was a half marathoner myself. In the past year it began with extreme fatigue. Then I started to develop clogged ears and tight numb jaw. This was explained as an allergy however blood test indicates no allergies. I now have low hormone levels, super sensitive to food of all sorts and supplements, dry eyes, acne, to name a few. This is certainly a very serios condition that doctors need to be educated about and how to treat. I live in Montana and have found no help by many doctors. I am going to dr Hyman’s office in January and am very hopeful!!!

  22. Amayra Decosta March 11, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    yaa, fully agree that from the adrenals You feel tired and wired. You get palpitations. You feel anxious. You have trouble sleeping. You might crave salt. You may get dizzy when you stand up. You might have low blood pressure. For recover out from this, you can visit on this : http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp

  23. Hannah Brown April 19, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    I experienced ALL the adrenal burnout symptoms you spoke of 3+ years ago. Then in 2013 I came down with pneumonia the first of June & it wouldn’t get better until the end of July. During which time I saw several “specialists”. One of which is a fabulous internal medicine doctor who told me the other doctors couldn’t help me because they weren’t seeing that I had adrenal failure due to the prolonged pneumonia wiping out my immune system for an extended period of time. The conducted a detailed cortisol test in the hospital on me in Sept of 2013. At 30 minutes, 60 minutes & 90 minutes they checked my cortisol levels as they injected synthetic cortisol via IV the entire time. My cortisol level NEVER went above 10 & eventually returned to MY normal cortisol level of 4.04
    My endocrinologist says if I drop below 4 I’ll need to be hospitalized.
    April of 2014 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia & rheumatoid arthritis. I was only 36 when this started in 2013 now I’m 38 with a bag full of prescriptions I refuse to be forced to take everyday, for the rest of MY life! I’m SO tired ALL the time NOW, I’m in bed NOW as I type this comment & my husband + 7 year old daughter are out of the house living the life I once liked to live & love.
    Hannah Brown

  24. Julie April 29, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    I recently went through severe adrenal fatigue and decided on an all of the above strategy. The first thing I did was to take bio-identical hydracortizone. This absolutely saved me. Of course, mine was already in stage 3 or 4. Pretty near death kind of case. Started with 10 mg a day, on top of a very low carb, no sugar diet, acupuncture, massage, and literally shutting off stress. Now after several months I’ve lowered my dose to less than 2 1/2 mg a day and drink licorice tea. No more pharmaceutical drugs, watch my diet, etc.

    4 months ago I slept 12 hours a day and could’t get out of bed. There is hope. Believe me!

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