Adrenal Fatigue: When You’re Too Tired to Enjoy Life!

Naturopathic Nuggets about Adrenal Fatigue

  • Adrenal Fatigue occurs when your body’s ability to cope with stress is compromised from reduced function of your adrenal glands
  • Adrenal hormones, cortisol & adrenaline, control the body’s stress response, use of food into energy, regulate blood pressure & heart function while modulating your body’s immunity & inflammation mechanisms
  • Adrenal Fatigue is a function of chronic stress from stressful events, nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol or marijuana, excess exercise, lack of sleep, emotional distress, environmental toxins or chronic infections (H. pylori, dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome, candida or dental infections)
  • The symptoms of adrenal fatigue span many organ systems as adrenal hormones affect every part of your body, including fatigue, wired but tired, weight gain, belly fat, poor sleep, anxiety, depression, brain fog, salty or fatty food cravings, dizziness
  • Many conditions are strongly linked to psychological stress due to the development of Food Allergies and Leaky Gut Syndrome, including Autoimmune Diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Diabetes, Depression, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease & Cancer
  • The key to stress management is health promotion. Adrenal Fatigue requires additional therapeutic goals to rejuvenate adrenals, improve immunity, regulate serotonin and the nervous system, and address underlying causes such as food allergies, dysbiosis, Leaky Gut Syndrome and all chronic infections such as Candidiasis & H. pylori.
  • Please consult with a licensed Naturopathic Physician for professional assistance with your Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue: When You’re Too Tired to Enjoy Life!  Adrenal Fatigue is a function of the chronic stress that is highly prevalent in our lifestyle today. The mere drive to work can stimulate your adrenaline in the light of the traffic congestion. Stress induces your body’s fight or flight response, due to the secretion of adrenaline, a hormone from the adrenal gland. Your ability to cope with stress is an essential survival mechanism. However, your response to stress can be altered with too much or not enough hormone secretion. This can occur when constant demands are placed on your body in the varied forms of stressors, causing adrenal fatigue. These include any type of disturbance, whether physical, mental or emotional.


Adrenals: Small Glands, Big Effects

The adrenals are little glands that sit on top of the kidneys that produce hormones to help your body cope with stress.  When they become exhausted, this leads to Adrenal Fatigue. The hormones produced by the adrenal gland include cortisol and adrenaline, which are critical for:

  • the body’s fight or flight stress response
  • the conversion of protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy
  • the regulation of blood pressure & heart function
  • the balancing of immunity and inflammation mechanisms (Mueller et al., 2014)


Adrenal Fatigue: the Cycle of Stress & Disease

As the body is exposed to constant stress or stressful events, the adrenal glands start working harder. Initially they produce an excess of hormones, which can cause many symptoms. Over time, the overworking adrenals eventually become exhausted, resulting in lower hormone levels which cause other more severe issues.

Stress has a dramatic effect on your overall system by weakening immunity and increasing vulnerability to infection from bacteria, yeast (fungi), viruses & parasites. The profound impact on the gut is evident by changes in movements, secretions & intestinal permeability. Poor digestion & malabsorption culminates from the stress, reducing the gut’s healing ability, causing dysbiosis, the development of food allergies and chronic inflammation leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome.


Causes of Adrenal Fatigue:


QUIZ: Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

If you have ten or more of these symptoms, you may have adrenal fatigue. It spans many organ systems as the adrenal hormones affect every part of your body.


  • Fatigue, Low Energy, Lethargy
  • Tired after Exercise
  • Wired but Tired
  • Tired Afternoon 3-5pm, Tired 9-10pm yet Resisting Sleep
  • Chronic Fatigue with Energy in late evening EARLY STAGE
  • Chronic Fatigue throughout day LATE STAGE



  • Poor, Restless Sleep
  • Difficulty Falling or Staying Asleep
  • Waking Tired / Foggy after Long Sleep
  • Insomnia from Early Morning Hunger


  • Low Sex Drive
  • Difficult Erections or Orgasm


  • Dark Circles under Eyes
  •  Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to Light

Hair & Skin:


  • Irritability, Anxiety, Panic Attacks Depression, Overwhelmed with Life
  • Disinterested in Life, Not Excited or Enthusiastic about Life, Flat
  • Wired but Tired
  • Difficulty Coping with Stress


  • Headaches
  • Foggy Head
  • Difficulty Concentrating / Focusing


  • Craving Salty or Fatty Foods
  • Constipation
  • Chronic Late-Night Eating


  • Aching Calves, Weak Ankles, Tired Feet
  • Low Back / Knee Pain


  • Dizziness with change of position
  • Numbness Hands & Feet


Adrenal Fatigue: Stress Makes You Fat

Excessive adrenal activity manifests as abdominal fat gain, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Prolonged stress has a profound impact on many organ systems, especially the heart, blood vessels, adrenals and immune system. Adrenal exhaustion causes you  to feel ‘stressed out’, fatigued and you may become prone to allergies.


Adrenal Fatigue: Stress & Disease

Many conditions are strongly linked to psychological stress, including Asthma, Autoimmune Diseases, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, the Common Cold, Adult Onset Diabetes, Depression, Headaches, Hypertension, immune suppression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), menstrual irregularities, PMS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, and ulcers. Many of these conditions may be caused by food allergies, as psychosocial stress decreases the levels of secretory IgA, an antibody in the gut which protects the gut lining against the entrance of foreign substances into the bloodstream. Chronically lowered secretory IgA levels can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.


Adrenal Fatigue & Leaky Gut

Adrenal Fatigue can also be caused by the chronic stress of toxicity within your gut. Bacterial imbalances, or Dysbiosis, and poor digestion (fermenting foods) can cause toxic overload within your gut. In combination with lowered levels of secretory IgA antibodies from psychological stress, your gut barrier is vulnerable. When your body is healthy, regular detox systems are in place. However, when your body is stressed, the adrenal fatigue impairs toxin removal (detox), which in turn further weakens your adrenals.

These accumulating toxins act like fire to scorch your intestinal lining. Toxins and undigested food enter the bloodstream causing allergic reactions and chronic inflammation leading to Food Allergies, Leaky Gut Syndrome and immune dysfunctions such as Autoimmune Disease.


Conditions Resulting from Adrenal Fatigue




Connective Tissue:


Dr. Jiwani Adrenal Fatigue: When You’re Too Tired to Enjoy Life! Infographic | Dr. Jiwani's Naturopathic Nuggets Blog

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment 


Adrenal Fatigue: Relaxation

The key to stress management is Health Promotion. This can be implemented in many ways to counteract the effects of stress. Stress reduction can be effected through various relaxation techniques, such as meditation, progressive relaxation, autogenic training, prayer, self-hypnosis, biofeedback and cultivating a mindset of gratitude.


Adrenal Fatigue: Exercise Affects Mind & Body

Although exercise is a physical stressor, it provides several physiological benefits. Exercise stimulates more efficient cardiovascular function by improving heart contraction and decreasing heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As well, exercise improves oxygen and nutrient utilization in all tissues. It also increases endurance, energy, self-esteem, and enhances your mood and frame of mind. With respect to increasing your ability to cope with stress, exercise facilitates this by reducing the secretions of adrenal hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Remember if you are exhausted for the day after exercise, it is not beneficial and more of a stress in your current health state.


Adrenal Fatigue: Lifestyle Changes


Adrenal Fatigue: Support Key Systems

It is of utmost importance to support the key systems to achieve optimal health. Thus, we see the impact of stress on the adrenals, but the immune system and the nervous system are also affected under chronic stress. Botanicals (herbs) used are of varied functions. Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Panax ginseng and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) facilitate the body to adapt and rejuvenate the adrenal glands. Immunostimulants are critical and include Astragalus, Echinacea & Berberine.

Stress Formula promotes healthy, balanced adrenal (stress gland) function by providing a potent, adaptogenic formulation with the full spectrum of nutrients and botanicals.  All stages of acute and chronic stress may be addressed by the botanical adaptogens included supporting the body’s adaptability to stress, improving mental and emotional well-being as well as enhancing physical & mental endurance.

Improved coping and recovery from physiological stressors is facilitated by this clinically effective combination including Pantothenic acid, Siberian ginseng, Ashwagandha, Korean ginseng, Maca, Rhodiola and critical vitamins & minerals required for healthy stress hormone & brain chemical balance.


Adrenal Fatigue: Calm the Nervous System

Stress often manifests as anxiety, depression and sleep disorders (insomnia). Nervines calm and normalize the nervous system. These include Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower), Piper methysticum (Kava Kava), Valeriana (Valerian), Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap), Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola), Hypericum perfoliatum (St. John’s Wort) and Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm).

GABA Formula is a scientifically formulated, clinically proven, potent combination of calming & supportive nutrients. This potent, synergistic formulation of the natural calming actions of GABA & 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), along with Passionflower, Kava Kava, Hops & Valerian support a healthy, stable mood. These ingredients work together to produce healthy levels of serotonin, and calm the nervous system in order to quickly address sleep dysfunction from anxiety, depression, stress, shift work or jet lag. GABA Formula nutures a calm, relaxed, focused brain function even when stressed, improving muscle tension, promoting restorative sleep without morning sleepiness.


Adrenal Fatigue: Boost the Immunity

Stress has a dramatic effect on your overall system by weakening immunity and increasing vulnerability to infection from bacteria, yeast (fungi), viruses & parasites. The profound impact on the gut is evident by changes in movements, secretions & intestinal permeability. Poor digestion & malabsorption culminates from the stress, reducing the gut’s healing ability, causing dysbiosis, the development of food allergies and chronic inflammation leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Your immunity is actually like an army of bodyguards, protecting complex systems from alien predators like bacteria & opportunistic pathogens, such as viruses, fungi and parasites.  When intelligence is gathered that an attack is underway, the troops are sent in to combat the invaders and swarm the infected tissues.

Super Immune Force provides the synergistic effects of various immune stimulating and immune modulating botanicals & nutrients. Standardized extracts of both Echinaceas, Astragalus, Goldenseal, North American Ginseng, Elderberry, Olive Leaf, Thyme, Ginger as well as N-acetyl cysteine and Beta-carotene work to dramatically respond to bacterial and viral attack, thereby reducing the duration of illness.

Immunity is enhanced through various immune mechanisms, including T-cell, natural killer cell and macrophage activity, interferon production, inflammatory support for mucous membranes, helping the system to cough up the mucous, and thinning the mucous to make this easier.


Adrenal Fatigue: Countering Candidiasis (Yeast in the Blood)

Your immunity, your lack of toxicity and your overall health depends upon the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Stress compromises your gut health by compromising the intestinal barrier, increasing toxicity in the gut and weakening immunity starting at the gut level.

The key to optimal gut health is to increase the amount of the “good guys” (good bacteria) in the bowel and to kill the “bad guys” (Yeast, Fungus, Viruses, Bad Bacteria & Parasites). When the “bad guys” take over, they wreak havoc in the body, ravaging your tissues with the harmful toxins they release.  This unfavourable environment in the gut is called Intestinal Dysbiosis.

Yeast-X attacks the “bad guys”, prevents their growth and promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Many factors contribute to Intestinal Dysbiosis including unhealthy diet, food allergies, lack of digestive enzymes, antibiotic overuse, birth control pills, immunosuppressive or chemotherapeutic medications, abdominal or pelvic radiation exposure, and physical or psychological stress. 

Intestinal Dysbiosis has been scientifically linked to many acute and chronic illnesses.These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea, Allergic Skin Rash, Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections, and Systemic Inflammatory Conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and other Autoimmune Diseases.

Taking Yeast-X improves your Intestinal Dysbiosis (a diseased environment) through inhibition of the pathogenic fungal, viral and bacterial culprits to create Eubiosis (a healthy environment).


Adrenal Fatigue: Improving Dysbiosis

Seventy percent (70%) of your overall immunity stems from the health of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Probiotics are essential for optimal gut health, as they control & kill invaders with immune-boosting chemicals. The bowel environment is like a war zone, with varied bad guys wreaking havoc in the tissues. Good bacteria (probiotics) provide critical protection against many threats, such as Food Poisoning, Lactose Intolerance, Stomach Ulcers, Yeast Overgrowth (Candida), Vaginal Yeast Infections, as well as Harmful Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses & Parasites.

Good Bacteria 30+Billion provides a scientifically formulated, proven maximum strength probiotic for optimal intestinal & immune health. This hypoallergenic, high potency, full-spectrum human strain probiotic supplement has 10 certified species chosen for their researched and supportive health advantages.  A synergistic and complementary blend of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium creates a more beneficial microflora environment for healthy gastrointestinal and immune functions. Other features include heat stable (no refrigeration required), hypoallergenic (dairy-free, corn-free, gluten-free, soy-free), acid resistant vegetarian capsules (superior to enteric coating to protect probiotics through transit in stomach acid for greater implantation & health benefits) and no inulin to avoid aggravating patients with yeast in the blood (candidiasis) while causing gas, bloating and abdominal pain in certain patients especially those with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).


Adrenal Fatigue: Repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome, medically known as Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction, refers to when the bowel lining is damaged and becomes more permeable than is healthy.  This increased permeability allows large, undigested particles of food to enter the bloodstream which in turn are attacked by the immune system. The result is inflammation of the body’s tissues and the development of food allergies.

You’re Only as Healthy as Your Gut!  Healthy Gut Support contains botanical & nutritional ingredients to ensure a healthy gut lining and its immunity.  This potent formulation provides energy for the cells, building blocks for the mucous membranes, cell protection against damage and more good guys than bad guys in the turf wars of the bowel.  All these elements allow for the repair of the Leaky Gut Syndrome.


Adrenal Fatigue: Nutrition

In terms of combating the effects of stress, optimal nutrition plays a major role to obtain optimal health. Certain nutritional factors are necessary to manufacture adrenal hormones and support the immune system. Vitamin C, B6, B5 (Pantothenic acid), potassium, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants are required in higher levels than dietary allowances and may be taken supplementally as in Stress Formula. Pantothenic acid is of primary importance as its deficiency manifests as adrenal atrophy (shrinkage) causing fatigue, headache, insomnia, nausea and abdominal discomfort. It can be found in whole grains, legumes, salmon, liver, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Patients with food allergies should supplement with Stress Formula to offset potential nutrient deficiencies and for optimal therapeutic effect.


Adrenal Fatigue: Avoid Bad Fats & Substitute Good Fats

Attention must be paid to balance the good vs. the bad oils, to promote the body’s own anti-inflammatory pathway. Obtaining essential omega 3 & 6 fatty acids (found in olive and flax oil, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) is as vital as reducing consumption of red meats and dairy products, high in arachadonic acid, since the latter promotes the inflammatory pathway. Trans fats, found in dairy products, margarines, and fried foods, should also be avoided due to their similar effect.


Adrenal Fatigue: Protein & Carb Ratios Affect Hormones

Protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios directly influence the amounts of two vital hormonal regulators, insulin and glucagon. Insulin secreted in response to caffeine and/or excessive carbohydrate intake (e.g. sugar, alcohol, white flour) can not only stimulate fat formation and prevent fat breakdown, but also increases hunger, mental confusion and favours pro-inflammatory processes. Sugar also depresses the immune system, which is already affected by high stress levels.

In contrast, glucagon mobilizes carbohydrates into the blood for energy, fat from its storage tissue – adipose, to decrease body fat, promotes healing and repair, decreases hunger and increases mental clarity, alertness and endurance. Thus, to balance the insulin and glucagon levels optimally, double the amount of protein per carbohydrate amount at each meal. Remember, fat in the diet is required, but ultimately only essential fats should be incorporated, as discussed above.


Adrenal Fatigue: Identify & Eliminate Food Allergens

Avoiding your food allergies is critical to reducing the stressful load on your body. Food allergies compromise digestion and immunity through inflammation in the gut.  Over time this causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, scientifically know as intestinal permeability, which can lead to a variety of symptoms and severe conditions.  The greatest stress reduction to your body would be to identify and eliminate your food allergies, which can be determined through a food allergy blood test, via a licensed Naturopathic Physician. Variety in the diet is important as constant repetition of any food can precipitate an allergy to that food.


Adrenal Fatigue: You Are What You Eat

Ideally, a health-giving diet includes plenty of pure, uncontaminated, filtered water between meals and a variety of protein sources, such as cold water fish (tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, sardines etc.), legumes (bean family), nuts and seeds (protein and good fat). Whole grains are more digestible, less allergenic, a good source of protein, carbohydrates and fibre, and are lower in calories than refined grains, such as wheat. Examples of whole grains are amaranth, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, and quinoa.

The gluten grains, wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt, kamut, millet and triticale should be avoided if you have Celiac Disease or allergic to gluten. When following a gluten-free diet it is critical to limit carbohydrates for optimal health, weight & immunity. Essential fats can be obtained from fish, olive oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The Ketogenic Diet is another option that should be considered when under stress. However, most critical of any diet is to individualize it by avoiding your specific food allergies. Consulting your physician is paramount to starting any new health regime.

The essence of the answer to combating stress lies in your realization that optimal health is attainable when you respect and address all aspects of your being – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Related  Leaky Gut Syndrome: Science, Symptoms & Solutions



Ewert A, Chang Y. Levels of nature and stress response. Behavioral Sciences. 2018 May;8(5):49.

Hatzipapas I, Visser MJ, van Rensburg EJ. Laughter therapy as an intervention to promote psychological well-being of volunteer community care workers working with HIV-affected families. SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS. 2017;14(1):202-12.

Mueller C, Blum CA, Trummler M, Stolz D, Bingisser R, Mueller C, Tamm M, Mueller B, Schuetz P, Christ-Crain M. Association of adrenal function and disease severity in community-acquired pneumonia. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 9;9(6):e99518.


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This post is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self-diagnosis.  Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan.

For further information, see Terms of Our Website.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self-diagnosis.  Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed health professional, such as a naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan. For further information, see Terms of our Website.


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