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Image by Stacey Koenitz


Almost every person can experience adrenal fatigue, also known as hypoadrenia, to some degree at a particularly stressful point in his or her life. Prolonged (especially for over a year), ongoing stress can cause adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective. This can lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream. As adrenal fatigue progresses, the cortisol rhythm becomes disrupted, and often “flattens out”. This can happen even with somewhat normal levels of cortisol being produced — but the “below normal” morning cortisol tends to indicate that there is a problem. People with adrenal fatigue also often don’t have enough DHEA, which is responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.


Adrenal fatigue can be caused by:

  • Stressful experiences like death of loved one, divorce or surgery

  • Chronic physical stress such as regular exposure to environmental toxins and pollution, heavy metal toxicity from amalgam teeth fillings, mold/biotoxin illness

  • Prolonged emotional or mental stress, such as from relationship issues, work or past trauma that hasn’t been dealt with

  • Regularly lacking sleep/chronic insomnia or sleep disturbances

  • Poor diet (including crash diets and inconsistent nutrition) and lack of exercise

  • Chronic pain or inflammation

  • Underlying chronic infections such as EBV, CMV, Lyme

  • Food sensitivities

  • Adverse events in childhood

  • Reliance on stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks

  • Diabetes/impaired glucose levels

  • Not getting enough sleep

  • Undetected/unmanaged hypothyroid


Progression of adrenal fatigue throughout the day may go as follows:

  • You wake up feeling unrested and are unable to function without a significant amount of caffeine.

  • You finally feel a boost of energy during the early part of the day.

  • Then your energy levels crash around 2 pm, rise around 6 pm and fall again around 9pm

  • Your energy finally peaks again at 11pm, which can make it difficult to sleep.


Adrenal fatigue symptoms include:

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Chronic fatigue, always feeling tired

  • Brain fog

  • Hair loss

  • Hormone imbalance

  • Weakened stress response/ stress intolerance

  • Insulin resistance

  • Lightheadedness

  • Decreased sex drive/low libido

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Depression

  • Muscle or bone loss

  • Skin ailments

  • Sleep disturbances/sleep apnea

  • Weight gain

  • Sweet and salty food cravings. Salt is released via urine when adrenals are sluggish, leading to sodium deficiency

  • Loss of appetite, especially in the mornings

  • Blood pressure tends to be on the lower side.


Treatment for adrenal fatigue: 

  • Manage/reduce stress. Try medication, diaphragmatic breathing and going for walks regularly.

  • A clean, healthy diet that meets the individual needs of the person’s gut and health status

  • Adaptogenic herbs to balance stress hormones

  • Supplements – magnesium, vitamin c and others depending on the needs of each person and their root causes

  • Some may require hormone therapy using hydrocortisone, DHEA, adrenal cortex, progesterone cream

  • Some may need to detox heavy metals/mold 

  • Practice a low-tox life

  • Treat underlying infections

  • Support the thyroid if needed


When all issues are corrected, such as hypothyroid, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, chronic inflammation, mold exposure, candida die off, high life stress and anything else which could be stressing one’s adrenals, adrenal function will begin to recover when supported. It can take up to a year or so, depending on how stressed a person was to begin with.


Connect with Origin Healing to rebalance your adrenal function in a highly personalised way.

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