Take The Adrenal Fatigue Quiz
Each of the questions in this adrenal fatigue quiz is written so you can provide a quick yes or no answer. Keep track of how many yes answers you give youre going to need to know that number to get your result.
Remember, this quiz was adapted from my book, Total Health Turnaround, which features a much longer, more detailed assessment.
I hand selected the questions below based on a few different factors, so that you can get a true idea of whether or not you may have adrenal fatigue.
Now, lets get started .
1. Do you constantly feel overwhelmed by small changes or new responsibilities?
2. Do you feel tired all the time, despite the amount of sleep you get?
3. Are you regularly snappy or irritable or feel more on edge than you used to?
4. Do you have a hard time getting up in the morning and have to put in a lot of effort to get through your day?
5. Is your most energetic time of day late at night due to an evening second wind?
6. Do you tend to wake in the middle of the night or early morning and have a hard time going back to sleep?
7. Do you have vague feelings of being unwell, with no apparent cause?
8. Do you tend to skip meals?
9. Is your mental focus impaired, causing you to feel less productive than you used to be?
10. Do you have IBS or digestive concerns?
11. Has your sex drive diminished?
12. Are you dealing with dental concerns?
If you answered yes to three or less questions:
If you answered yes to four or more questions:
Treatment Of Adrenal Fatigue
“Optimal adrenal health is one of the major keys to the enjoyment of life,” according to Dr. Wilson. If you have adrenal fatigue, you can fully live life again by making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes to treat your disorder.
Treating adrenal fatigue is as easy as:
- Adopting a natural whole-foods diet
- Avoiding junk food
- Drinking high quality water, not from the tap. Distilled or spring waters are best
- Eating five to six servings of vegetables each day through juicing or adding them to meals
- Avoiding white flour and other processed grains
- Adding sea salt to your diet, replacing your table salt
- Taking 2,000 to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day
- Taking a high strength B-complex supplement
- Taking high quality fish oils
- Adding licorice root extract and kelp to your diet
- Doing a detox and using an infra red sauna
- Replacing toxic chemical products used around the house with non-toxic alternatives
- Spending some time in the sun each day
- Doing something fun each day
- Getting lots of rest
Get Serious About Meditation
Meditation of any kind is one of the most powerful ways to deal with stress, and it can go a long way toward normalizing your cortisol levels and treating adrenal fatigue.
If you want to take your meditation to the next level, I suggest 40 Years Of Zen. It uses advanced neurofeedback technology to give you the brain of a lifelong Zen monk in five days. You can also check out this Biohackers Guide To Meditation for other ways to improve your meditation and find more inner calm. If youre new to meditation, start slow, with just 5 minutes a day, and work your way up.
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How To Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue & What To Do About It
How do you know you have adrenal fatigue? I mean, aren’t we all tired? In my experience, it’s really easy to shrug off the signs of adrenal fatigue and just push through, but that can make things much, much worse over time and can start to negatively affect your entire hormonal system. That’s what happened to me, and it brought me to my knees. I implore you to educate yourself about he signs and symptoms and do what you can to be proactive to begin the healing and make the lifestyle changes that adrenal fatigue requires in order to resolve. Adrenal fatigue is a loud and clear message from your body that things are not well.
What Are Your Adrenal Glands
Your adrenals are two little triangular endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys. These guys secrete hormones like cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenaline to name a few.
Lets take a look at each one of these hormones because theyre the ones that most closely relate to adrenal fatigue.
Cortisol: Cortisol is a steroid hormone thats released in response to low blood sugar and stress. It increases blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, and helps us metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
When you drink coffee, this can increase your cortisol levels. When youre not sleeping, or your boss yells at you, or you havent eaten all day, these things can increase your cortisol levels too.
Ever use hydrocortisone for a poison ivy rash? Thats another form of cortisol. See? Learning about hormones is not all that scary.
Cortisol has a role in our sleep, our mood, and even our memory, among plenty of other things. But thats an entire blog post in itself.
Aldosterone: Aldosterone is a steroid hormone that, in short, regulates how much you pee and how much sodium and potassium your body retains. It helps keep our blood pressure stable.
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Ever hear of the fight or flight response? Thats adrenaline that causes it. Adrenaline increases blood flow to the muscles, increases blood sugar, and makes your heart pump harder. Exercise increases your bodys epinephrine secretion.
Thats the question.
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What Is The Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue
The treatment for adrenal fatigue is essentially lifestyle advice, including sleep, diet and exercise. Talk with your doctor to discuss how you are feeling so that your doctor can arrange tests if needed and also provide you with advice and support.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Avoid junk foods and processed foods. Also avoid or reduce coffee and any other stimulant drinks and reduce your intake of sugary drinks and foods. See also the separate leaflet called Healthy Eating.
Regular exercise is also important. See the separate leaflet called Exercise and Physical Activity.
There is no evidence that supplements are of any value, and some supplements may be harmful.
Distinction From Addisons Disease
Adrenal fatigue is closely related to, but not to be confused with, Addisons Disease, a disorder characterized by insufficient cortisol production due either to a pathology directly affecting the adrenals or a disruption of signaling between the brain and the adrenals. While symptoms of Addisons Disease are similar to adrenal fatigue, the primary difference is that adrenal fatigue is considered a possible result of the overuse of otherwise healthy adrenal glands due to stress.
The adrenals are necessary to have gluconeogenesis to take place in the liver, as well as the glycogen storage where it stimulates the production of blood glucose, says Dr. Wilson. So, most of the major symptoms of either adrenal fatigue or Addisons Disease are a result of either a lack of cortisol or a lack of blood glucose and the many effects that it has systematically throughout the body.
He theorizes, Unlike Addisons, adrenal fatigue doesnt have a pathological origin, with the exception of the overuse of antibiotics which may partially shut down the use of the adrenal glands. So, you do get different symptoms with versus adrenal fatigue, because youre talking about the difference between a body that cant secrete cortisol versus a body that isnt secreting sufficient cortisol.
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So What If Youre Experiencing Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Organs and glands dont get tired. Theyre made to work until you drop. Literally. But, if your life is stressful, its time to make some changes. Does adrenal fatigue exist? Nope.
But how about those adrenal fatigue symptoms that youre being told you have?
It is safe to say that chronic high levels of stress can leave that fight or flight impulse turned on in your body, and this may cause all sorts of issues like anxiety, lack of sleep, weight gain, digestion issues, and mood disorders among other things.
And the remedy to your chronic stress may be simple: more sleep, a healthier diet, and better management of, well, whatever is stressing you out.
Most of us get too little sleep, we eat meals in our cars while running from one place to the other, and we rarely get the chance to fully disconnect and chill the hell out.
If this sounds like you, its probably not your adrenal glands as much as its your lifestyle. No supplements, books, or crazy woo woo practitioners testing your saliva for cortisol are going to have a magical effect on this.
And if youre really not feeling well, get yourself checked out. Blaming symptoms on adrenal fatigue when they could actually be something worse can be dangerous.
See A Wellness Chiropractor:
Stress on the upper cervical spine can cause an increase in sympathetic tone and stress hormone production. If this problem is not corrected, over time, it can lead to poor tissue healing and adrenal fatigue .
Seeing a wellness based chiropractor who can accurately assess for upper cervical subluxations and give specific corrective adjustments and exercises to stabilize this region can be extremely helpful in reducing stress on the body .
Other subluxation problems that need to addressed include forward head posture, loss of cervical curve which both put a lot of pressure on the nervous system and lead to an increase in sympthatic tone.
How Do I Know If I Have Adrenal Fatigue
We all have those days where we cant seem to get motivated, were feeling tired, and nothing seems to wake us up not even that third cup of coffee! But if youre constant fatigue lasts more than a just a day or so, you may have something called adrenal fatigue. What exactly is adrenal fatigue and how do you know that youve got it?
While the only real way to tell whether you have adrenal fatigue is to consult a functional medicine practitioner like Luke Clarke, there are some common symptoms of adrenal fatigue which you may have observed in yourself. In this post, well explain adrenal fatigue and some symptoms associated with it.
Q: Why Is A Multidisciplinary Approach So Important
A: After ruling out possible endocrine disorders, your endocrinologist can refer you to other specialists, including urologists, cardiologists, rheumatologists, allergists/immunologists and infectious disease physicians.
If youre diagnosed with POTS or another disorder, these specialists will work together to manage your health and develop a targeted treatment plan putting you on the path to symptom relief.
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How To Prevent Adrenal Fatigue
One of the significant ways that you can prevent adrenal fatigue is by not drinking caffeinated beverages. Easier said than done, but every time you consume caffeine, you activate the bodys fight or flight response. This starts what is called the HPA Axis which consists of the Hypothalamus, Pituitary, and Adrenal areas of the brain, and then signals your body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine , norepinephrine and cortisol.
The issue with activating your bodys fight or flight response is that instead of releasing adrenaline so that your body can react to an immediate stressor, you are training your body to release adrenaline every time you consume caffeine. Over time, your consumption of caffeine will begin to cause your adrenal glands to burn out.
Other ways that you can prevent adrenal fatigue include getting enough sleep and making time for rest and recovery. Meditation and yoga have been known to reduce your bodys cortisol levels significantly.
Adrenal fatigue can be prevented, but if you think that you may be fighting it, and cant seem to shake it, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your provider will be able to rule out any other issues that may be causing your symptoms and can help with a treatment plan for you.
Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue
Excessive stress, an important cause of burnout, can be from many sources. Chemical toxicity and nutritional depletion are among the physical causes. Mental, emotional or spiritual stress may be a major factor. Financial, family or other stress may also contribute to burnout.
Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals, especially when weakened by poor nutrition. Working too much or emotional stress are two common causes. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, is another cause. Fast-paced, high-stress, fear-based lifestyles are a sure prescription for adrenal burnout. Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and computers give off strong electrical fields.
Chronic infections play a critical role in some cases of adrenal exhaustion. Chronic infections may originate in infected teeth or gums, though they can be located anywhere in the body. They contribute greatly to the toxic load of the body. Infections also cause inflammation and stress that must be countered using the adrenal hormones such as cortisol and cortisone.
Stimulants damage the adrenal glands. They whip the adrenals. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are among the most common stimulants.
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Should You Take Hormones To Treat Adrenal Fatigue
If an adrenal test shows that you are producing inadequate levels of adrenal hormones, you have several options for increasing either DHEA, cortisol, or both.
First, you can take the hormone directly. If you take DHEA, opt for small doses of pharmaceutical-grade DHEA . Have your levels retested every three months, and when levels return to the normal range, the dose should be gradually tapered until youre off the hormone completely.
Some individuals require very small doses of hydrocortisone, which can be used safely and effectively if prescribed by a health care provider knowledgeable about how and when to use it.
Be aware that if you supplement your adrenal hormones in dosages that are too high or if you take supplements for too long, the result can be permanent depression of adrenal function.
Seven Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is often caused by excessive stress, which can be from many sources.6 Chemical toxicity and nutritional depletion are among the physical causes. Mental, emotional, or spiritual stress may be a major factor, too. Financial, family, or other stress may also contribute to burnout. Even infections can play a role. You need to identify the stressor causing your symptoms to properly treat adrenal fatigue.
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Take Epsom Salt Baths:
Epsom salt baths are relaxing and rejuvenating. The salts provide magnesium and sulfates to help support the health of your adrenals and liver detoxification. I recommend doing one for 30 minutes each night with lavender and chamomile essential oils in the water and diffusing in the air.
Dim the lights and play some light worship music or classical music and focus on deep breathing. This is an EXTREMELY restorative nightly ritual that will help you sleep deeper and feel more rejuvenated each morning when you wake.
The Beginning Stage Adrenal Fatigue
You can see how this constant triggering of the adrenals over time results in overworked and underperforming adrenal gland function. I was at this stage for years. I depended on my coffee to get me going in the morning and again later in the day to keep me going. After my kids were born I became chronically sleep deprived and pushed myself to learn to live with it. certain days I’d fine, others I’d bone tired, and still others I’d feel wired.
Does this beginning stage sound familiar to you, too? It’s at this stage where you ideally need to start making permanent lifestyle changes to avoid the more serious implications of adrenal fatigue. Eating better, getting more sleep, quitting coffee, and making real changes to minimize chronic stress can really help.
How To Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue: Signs And Symptoms
I get this question all the time: How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue? Paying attention to the signs that your body is giving you is the first step. Symptoms often occur even after disease is already present so it is important not to ignore your bodys warning signs. There can be hundreds of symptoms of adrenal fatigue. The worse the adrenal fatigue, the more symptoms you might have, which is one reason I recommend that all my clients check their hormones . The earlier you can catch an imbalance, the better off you will be. I am sharing my top 10 ways to know if adrenal fatigue is an issue for you.
1| Get Tested
The only real way to know for sure is to get properly tested. Cortisol is the most common way to measure the function of the HPA axis. I use DUTCH testing on my clients to evaluate the adrenals. The two main cortisol markers on the DUTCH test are metabolized cortisol and 24-hour-free cortisol. Metabolized cortisol is the total cortisol production for the day. Free cortisol is the total amount of active cortisol available to tissues of the body for the day . The DUTCH test also shows the pattern of free cortisone . Cortisone helps us understand what the free cortisol in our body is doing and its link to our adrenal function. You can see how testing is an important step if you want to know if adrenal fatigue is an issue for you.
2| Low Blood Pressure or Light Headed Upon Standing
3| Sleep Disturbances
4| Blood Sugar Issues
5| Hormone Imbalances