How to cure adrenal fatigue.
By Susan J Parker

Does life simply feel out of your control? Every way you turn, someone or something is demanding your attention - right now. You may be sandwiched between caring for children and concern for aging parents. You may be spending enormous amounts of time on your work, growing a business or doing the work of two people as your employer downsizes. Then in between the chores and errands, there are relationships that need nurturing.

But it is YOU who needs nurturing first and foremost!

Remember, the flight attendant always instructs that in the event of an emergency, be sure to put on your oxygen mask first before trying to help those around you. Taking good care of yourself means you are going to be around so you will then be better able to take good care of others.

Adrenal Gland Function

Physically, your adrenal glands are in charge of creating the specific hormones to energize your body in reaction to a stressful situation. Adrenaline helps us in a flight or fight reaction, but most of our typical stressors are not life or death situations. However, our adrenals can't tell the difference and will continue to do their job, until they become overworked and depleted. Your hypothalamus, which signals your adrenals, can become confused and overworked.


The concept of burnout is not new. Back in the 1930s, Dr. Hans Selye determined there were several stages to something identified as general adaptation syndrome.

In Stage 1, your body is in adrenal stress. You feel weary but find it hard to get to sleep. You find yourself getting sick all the time, lacking resistance to colds and other infections.

In Stage 2, your body is in adaptation. Your body starts to respond as if your level of stress is perfectly normal, even though stress hormones are coursing through your body. You might think all is well because you aren't getting repeated infections like you did in Stage 1.

In Stage 3, your body is in adrenal exhaustion. Without any relief from your stress level, your body starts to lose the battle to adapt. Allergies suddenly appear. You are continually ill. Your stomach is bothering you. You've lost interest in sex. You are gaining weight.

If you do not address the stress level in your life, you begin to experience burnout. All of the symptoms in Stage 3 become magnified in the burnout stage. And adrenal depletion can lead to many diseases such as fibromyalgia, diabetes...the list goes on.

What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Burnout?

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat well. Research also indicates that a balanced diet, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and plenty of whole grains can help your digestion. Your body will be better fueled to better handle stress.
  • Stress management is crucial. Find ways to reduce your stress.

Do you need some easy ways to reduce the stress in your life to avoid burnout? Get Susan's FREE report, "Manage Stress Now - 25 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Stress" available at

By Susan J. Parker, who helps her clients eliminate the root causes of stress and pain.

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By Dr. Raj Banerjee

Can cortisol tests for adrenal fatigue help? The most common thing people complain or rant about is stress. Too much work is just stressful. Not to mention the fact that work isn't the only thing in your mind all day. There are other problems like emotional problems and personal problems. And when you have all these bugging you, there is a huge guarantee you will experience stress. There is also a huge chance that you develop adrenal fatigue syndrome.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue All About

The adrenal fatigue syndrome is a condition where your adrenal glands are fatigued. Once the adrenal glands are fatigued, your body will get lesser help from the glands. The glands will work much less effectively. One thing that glands will not do anymore is the production of cortisol. These hormones called cortisol are hormones that help your body cope with stress.

These hormones are responsible for the body's reaction to stress. It is what gives the body the options to "fight" or to take "flight", away from stress. Too much of fighting stress will result to stressed adrenal glands. Once the glands are damaged, they will stop production of cortisol and this is bad. The body will have reduced protection from infections and you will catch flu's and other respiratory diseases faster. Other consequences and side effects will also occur.

How To Know If You're Fatigued

So what is the best way to know if you have stressed adrenals? How do you know if you have low or high cortisol? It is easy. You take cortisol tests.

What's The Use?

There are two ways to use this kind of test. One is the blood and urine tests for cortisol. Urine and blood tests for cortisol could be used to assist the diagnosis Cushing's Syndrome and Addison's Disease, which are two very grave adrenal disorders.

Some physicians use salivary cortisol to analyze Cushing's syndrome as well as to evaluate some other possible stress-related disorders. Even though both the urine and saliva tests are used more often to evaluate excess production of cortisol, salivary tests are more accurate.

Take note that cortisol levels rise and sink at different periods of the day and if you are doing different activities. In normal people, the cortisol level is usually very high when you just woke up.

Cortisol are very low, however, during your bed time. When your "body clock" is disturbed, meaning you wake up late or earlier than usual and sleep in different times of the day and not usually on the time you go to sleep normally, the cortisol production might be disturbed.

Sometimes the cortisol production will rise resulting in too much stored cortisol. Remember that excess in cortisol isn't good. This might lead to a tumor outside the pituitary gland if your adrenal has problems. You might also catch Cushing's Syndrome due to too much cortisol produced by the adrenal glands.

Once an abnormality is seen or identified in the pituitary gland or adrenal glands, doctors may use alternative or other tests such as the computerized tomography or CT and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans to find the source or cause of the excess and to assess the degree of any damages to the glands.

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By Barry R Parker

Peggy was a highly-driven and successful career woman with boundless energy who had worked long days for several years. Healthy and vibrant, she seemed indestructible. Then one of her children got seriously sick, and as she helped nurse him back to health, her own health began to suffer. Long after her son had recovered she still felt weak and listless throughout the day, and eventually she began to have problems getting out of bed in the morning. She went to the doctor, but he could find nothing physically wrong with her. Finally a nurse-friend suggested that she might have adrenal fatigue.

What is adrenal fatigue? Although it can be caused by several different things, it usually involves stress and the body's response to stress. The response to stress comes into play when the brain senses an emergency. It goes into what is referred to as the "fight or flight" mode. Within a fraction of a second, a region of the brain called the hypothalamus sends a signal to the adrenal glands. (They are glands that sit on the top of the kidneys.) When they receive the signal they excrete adrenaline that rushes to the heart and other parts of the body. The heart responds by beating faster, which in turn, sends extra blood to the muscles and organs. At the same time the respiratory rate increases and the lungs rush extra oxygen to the brain. The brain then releases endorphins which help the body function more efficiently, and finally the adrenaline helps increase the body's energy by releasing glucose from its glycogen stores.

The Adrenaline surge is just the first part of the stress response; once it is underway, the adrenal glands also secrete cortisol. It surges through the body performing many important functions: it replaces the energy that the adrenaline rush has depleted, it is used by the immune system to put it on alert, and it acts as a check on the overall response, and when it is complete, it signals the brain to stop it.

It's easy to see from the above that the adrenal glands play a vital role in our body. They help us respond to stressful situations and they protect our body. The problem is that our lives are now so full of stress that stressful events frequently come one after the other, with several occurring in a day. And each time they occur the adrenal glands have to respond, and if they are forced to respond too frequently they start to run down and wear out. When this happens they are soon operating well below their optimum; this is what we refer to as adrenal fatigue. It's important to point out, however, that while stressful events are a major factor in adrenal fatigue, many other things also contribute to it. Some of them are: poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, overuse of stimulants such as coffee, and illness.

The major symptoms of adrenal fatigue are: chronic fatigue, trouble getting out of bed in the morning, problems sleeping, low energy, depression, weight gain, lack of endurance, problems handling stress, and a craving for salt. It's important to catch the condition at this stage; if it is ignored, the adrenal glands will eventually stop working, a condition referred to as Addison's disease. Addison's disease causes such things as suppression of the immune system, muscle and bone loss, hormonal imbalance, and it can be fatal.

One of the major difficulties with adrenal fatigue is that it is not universally recognized by the medical profession, and many physicians are not familiar with it. And although it is important to talk to your doctor about it, drugs are usually not needed to overcome it. The major thing that is needed is a lifestyle change. Stress is the main thing that brings it on, so the first thing you have to do is get rid of any stress in your life. In addition, however, several other things are needed. The major ones are:

1. Take more breaks and concentrate on relaxing.

2. Regular meals and better nutrition are important. Concentrate on getting enough vegetable, whole grains, nuts, and fish (for omega-3). Also, avoid hydrogenated fat, coffee, simple carbohydrates, and junk food.

3. Exercise, but don't overdo it. Aerobic exercise is particularly important, but you should couple it with some weight lifting.

4. Make sure you get to bed early and get enough sleep.

5. Several supplements are also helpful. some of the best are:

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-6, B-complex, Niacin, and minerals, Magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium. Finally, licorice and ginseng are also helpful.

Barry Parker is a professor emeritus (physics) at Idaho State University. He is the author of 22 books on science, health, writing, and music. His website is and he has several blogs, one of them is at He has done research in biophysics (mutations in the DNA molecule) and in relativity theory (Einstein's field theory), has a strong interest in health and fitness, self-improvement, and in music (particularly piano). He taught a writing class at ISU for several years. His most recent book is "Feel Great Feel Alive."

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How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue.