Top 5 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue 

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 Signs of Adrenal FatigueThe signs of adrenal fatigue can come on suddenly, but the condition will have been present for a while, though you may not have noticed it.

This is typical because adrenal fatigue often presents itself as a hormonal crash, when cortisol is produced at a lower rate than normal and the body and mind collapse in fatigue because the system has been running too high for too long.

Most conventional doctors do not recognize the signs of adrenal crisis and do not believe adrenal fatigue to be a valid medical issue, so seek the advice of a naturopathic doctor.

Alternative medicine may help pick you up from your run-down and over-stressed state and get you back to feeling normal again. It can take quite a long time to heal the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, but it’s possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

Have you been feeling more tired than usual lately? Maybe you can’t seem to get back the energy you once had, or the days seem unbearably long to you, or maybe you feel off-balance or dizzy at times. Perhaps headaches come and go but more so than normal, or you’re feeling anxious and are having bouts of insomnia.

This isn’t how you typically feel, so what’s going on? These are just some of the signs of signs of adrenal insufficiency. Below is a review of the symptoms that can happen when you are suffering from an adrenal crash. This is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. The top five signs of adrenal fatigue are:

1. Blood Pressure Irregularities
One of the hallmarks of adrenal failure symptoms is a change in blood pressure, whether that’s higher or lower than normal, though it’s usually seen as a spike because of higher cortisol levels at the start of an adrenal crisis. A low cortisol level is more common in the later stages of adrenal fatigue, and that’s why people feel tired, but a high cortisol level can also be present during the day, which will increase blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure a few times a day and chart it so you have a long-term record.

2. Weight Changes
Weight changes manifest themselves as a sudden increase in weight. You may also find yourself craving certain types of food, especially salty foods.

3. Difficulty Getting Up
Most people with adrenal fatigue issues have low cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone our bodies use to fire us up and stay active and alert throughout the day, so low cortisol can make you feel sluggish.

4. Foggy Thinking
This symptom can present itself in a few different ways. It’s not just an inability to think clearly; it can also show up as racing thoughts or difficulty focusing or staying on task.

5. Sleep Issues
Even though you might sleep soundly for eight hours, you still wake up feeling exhausted, as though you pulled an all-nighter. Conversely, when cortisol levels are high, you may find that you can’t sleep and are waking up several times throughout the night.

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Other symptoms include:

  • Irritability;
  • Low libido;
  • Heart palpitations;
  • Panic attacks;
  • An inability to handle stress;
  • Depression;
  • Feeling as though your blood sugar is low when it isn’t;
  • Cold hands and feet;
  • Dizziness for no known reason;
  • Drier skin than normal; and
  • Feeling overwhelmed.

The signs of adrenal fatigue in men are no different than they are for women, minus one glaring biological difference that’s applicable only to women: possible early menopause.

Reducing Adrenal Fatigue Naturally

Reducing adrenal fatigue involves a three-part system that includes an adrenal fatigue diet, increased vitamin intake, and reducing stress. An adrenal fatigue diet, like many diets, is twofold. It involves:

  • Adding beneficial foods that boost adrenal function, such as coconut, olive oil, broccoli, salmon, chicken, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, to name a few; and
  • Eliminating foods that stress your system and tax your adrenal glands, such as caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils.

Taking supplements can also help restore adrenal function, such as fish oil, vitamins B5, B12, C, and D3, magnesium, zinc, holy basil, and ashwagandha.

Lastly, reducing stress is vital. Some stress-reduction ideas you can try range from simply resting when you feel tired (too often, we keep going despite exhaustion and don’t take care of ourselves) to avoiding much larger stressors, such as family politics. More stress-reducing ideas are below.

Lifestyle Changes while Dealing with Adrenal Fatigue

You can make some simple lifestyle changes to will help with adrenal exhaustion symptoms, such as:

  • Laughing every day (do something fun to take your mind off your troubles);
  • Eating three meals a day;
  • Going to sleep at the same time every night, even on weekends;
  • Taking a short nap (no more than 30 minutes);
  • Exercising, even moderately (walking is a good activity to do during this time, as getting outside in the fresh air will improve your outlook); and
  • Avoiding negative people—surround yourself with those who see the good in life, and while you’re at it, avoid negative self-talk as well.

While exercising is a good idea for many reasons, try to avoid highly competitive sports situations—you’re trying to relieve stress, not add to it.

Signs of adrenal fatigue recovery will essentially include a return to a feeling of normalcy. You will be calmer, have more restful sleep, and if panic and anxiety attacks were a symptom, they will have disappeared or at least be much less frequent. Your diet and appetite will return, and above all, your energy levels will be restored and you will be ready to tackle life once again.

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Sources for Today’s Article:
“What Are the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?” The Adrenal Fatigue Solution web site;, last accessed April 6, 2016.
“Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Imbalance,” Women to Women web site;, last accessed April 6, 2016.
“75 Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms and Signs,” Dr. Lam web site;, last accessed April 6, 2016.
“3 Steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue,” Dr. Axe web site;, last accessed April 6, 2016.
“Recover from Adrenal Exhaustion with Simple Lifestyle Changes” Integrated Wellness web site;, last accessed April 6, 2016.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »