Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms: What They Really Mean

The Connection Between Fatigue, Brain Fog, Headaches, and Gut Health

For a lot of people with symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, or difficulty sleeping, adrenal fatigue seems to offer an explanation. But research shows that the adrenal fatigue theory doesn’t hold up to closer scrutiny. So what do these symptoms really mean, and what can we do about them? 

Often, the things that we think of as adrenal fatigue symptoms are actually signs of a different problem, like an imbalance in the gut. Investigating and treating these underlying issues can help to improve symptoms, while nutritional and herbal products can provide simultaneous adrenal support. 

Let’s dive in.

adrenal fatigue symptoms: Yawning woman with glasses

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real?

The adrenal glands are responsible for several hormonal functions, including releasing cortisol in response to stress. The theory behind adrenal fatigue is essentially that with prolonged or chronic stress exposure, the adrenal glands become overworked and overtired. Eventually, this renders them unable to produce sufficient cortisol. 

However, high-quality research simply has not been able to prove that adrenal fatigue is real

  • A 2016 systematic review concluded that there was no proof of the existence of adrenal fatigue. The review, succinctly titled “Adrenal fatigue does not exist,” looked at 58 different studies and found no evidence to support a meaningful connection between fatigue and cortisol levels or patterns [1]. 
  • The review also showed that the testing methods used in adrenal fatigue studies were unable to determine adrenal function.
  • A 2019 systematic review of 108 observational studies including almost 6500 participants found that cortisol levels and patterns were generally similar between those with PTSD and healthy individuals. This calls into question the idea that stress directly impacts adrenal function and/or cortisol production [2 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].

On the whole, endocrinologists don’t support the adrenal fatigue theory. In contrast, Addison’s Disease, or primary adrenal insufficiency, is a true medical condition in which the adrenal glands are chronically unable to produce sufficient cortisol and aldosterone [3]. 

In concluding that adrenal fatigue is not a valid diagnosis, though, we want to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. 

Symptoms commonly associated with adrenal fatigue are real and worthy of being addressed seriously. But the adrenal fatigue theory can end up distracting us from what’s really going on and can get in the way of effective treatment.

So let’s explore these symptoms further. 

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

adrenal fatigue symptoms: Woman holding her head in pain

The symptoms that we associate with adrenal fatigue tend to be what we refer to as “nonspecific.” This means that they are somewhat vague and could be symptoms of many different conditions. 

Symptoms may include things like tiredness, brain fog, lack of motivation, or frequent headaches. They’re often hard to pinpoint, and their causes can be elusive.

In my clinical experience, adrenal fatigue symptoms are often caused by what’s going on in the gut. It’s important to note that gut issues don’t always present with obvious digestive symptoms. 

In fact, many people who have imbalances like SIBO or Leaky Gut Syndrome don’t seem to have any digestive issues at all. Instead, they may struggle with fatigue, low drive, anxiety or depression, and brain fog [4 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 5, 6 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 7 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 8 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 9 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 10 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source 11]. 

Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common (and frustrating) concerns people seek medical help for, whether it’s a seemingly isolated issue or one in a cluster of symptoms. 

Fatigue or tiredness has been reported as one of the most common symptoms of several gut conditions, including IBS, IBD, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and leaky gut [4 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 5]. 

Fatigue has also been linked to gut infections and imbalances in the gut microbiome [13, 14]. I have seen in the clinic that when we treat imbalances in the gut, chronic fatigue is often resolved.

A limited number of studies show that some gut treatments can help with fatigue and low energy: 

  • A study on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome found that treating leaky gut helped to improve fatigue symptoms [8 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. 
  • The low FODMAP diet, often recommended to patients with IBS and/or SIBO, has been shown to reduce fatigue in those with IBS and fibromyalgia [15]. 

Fatigue can also be a sign of hypothyroidism (low thyroid), hormonal imbalances, infection, high or low blood sugar, nutritional deficiencies, or food intolerances. 

Brain Fog

Brain fog is another common symptom that can interfere with day-to-day life. Many people describe foggy thinking, difficulty remembering things, or trouble concentrating. 

Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been shown to affect cognition [16]. Brain fog is often the result of inflammation in the brain, which may begin as gut inflammation [11].

A lower sense of coherence has been reported as a common symptom of IBS [17]. 

Brain fog is also commonly reported in both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In these cases, research shows that cognitive symptoms like brain fog may worsen when gluten is consumed, and improve when a gluten-free diet is followed [18, 19]. 

Salt or Sugar Cravings

We tend to crave things like salt and sugar when we’re tired or stressed, making this a somewhat unsurprising symptom. 

Sugar cravings can also point to issues with blood sugar regulation or insulin resistance. 

Cravings can also perpetuate a vicious cycle in which more sugary and/or processed foods are consumed, contributing to symptoms like fatigue. 

Trouble Sleeping

Many chronic fatigue patients describe difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, in spite of feeling tired. Difficulty sleeping is frustrating and can contribute to a vicious cycle of fatigue. 

Difficulty sleeping may be related to gut imbalances. Gut inflammation can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle [20]. Sleep disturbances have also been linked to leaky gut [21 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. 

Both high and low blood sugar can also contribute to challenges with falling or staying asleep. 

Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety, depression, and low mood are common symptoms of gut disturbances, as research into the gut-brain connection continues to show:

  • Depression and anxiety are among the most common non-digestive symptoms of IBS [4 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. They are also common symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity and have been linked to leaky gut [9 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 10 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].
  • A meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials found that probiotics are effective at treating mild to moderate depression [28 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].
  • A systematic review of 21 studies found that more than 50% of individuals with anxiety had improved symptoms with the use of probiotics and/or diet intended to support the gut microbiome [29].

Headaches

Headaches are another surprisingly common symptom of gut disorders. 

  • One study on patients with non-celiac gluten Sensitivity found that dietary changes (adopting a gluten-free diet) improved migraine symptoms [30].  

Other Symptoms May Include:

  • Low motivation or drive
  • Dizziness when standing up quickly
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Low libido 
  • High or low blood pressure 
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Adrenal Fatigue, Stress, and the Gut

adrenal fatigue symptoms: Photo of bacteria with a blue background

The adrenal fatigue theory posits that ongoing stress leads to impaired functioning of the adrenal glands and adrenal hormones. 

While adrenal fatigue may not be a valid diagnosis, chronic stress certainly interferes with how the body functions

For example, stress might be causing you to sleep poorly at night, which will cause you to feel tired and experience other poor health symptoms as a result. 

Stress affects endocrine function, immune system function, and overall health. We also know that stress affects gut health, and gut health affects stress [31 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. Again, many non-digestive symptoms are actually related to what’s going on in the gut. The impact of gut health on the body’s stress response and hormones, and the way in which that can lead to “adrenal fatigue” symptoms, is one example of this. 

A gut imbalance like SIBO or a fungal infection creates stress for the body. Chronic inflammation caused by a leaky gut creates stress. Even eating inflammatory foods creates stress. 

How To Treat ‘Adrenal Fatigue’ Symptoms

If you’ve been struggling with symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, or trouble sleeping, it’s time to get to the true root of the issue and start to heal

There’s generally no need to spend time or money on saliva tests or blood tests that look to diagnose adrenal fatigue.

When it comes to healing the gut, reducing stress, and improving symptoms like fatigue, the first step is to establish healthy diet and lifestyle habits. Good places to start include following an anti-inflammatory diet and prioritizing 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Stress reduction techniques may include practicing mindfulness meditation or getting regular, moderate exercise. 

Next, we want to identify and treat any underlying gut imbalances that may be contributing to inflammation, hormonal dysfunction, and the symptoms we associate with adrenal fatigue. 

There are also a few nutritional and herbal products documented to help with energy support, burnout, and overall wellness. There’s a certain amount of overlap between supplements that support the stress response and those that improve gut health. For example:

  • Probiotics offer plenty of benefits for gut health. Research has also shown that probiotics can help to lower levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol [32 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. 
  • The adaptogenic herb ginseng, best known for helping the body’s stress response, has also been shown to boost levels of beneficial bacterial species in the gut [33 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. 

Adrenal Supports

There are a few nutritional and herbal products that may help to support hormone function and cortisol levels, and which have been shown to help with symptoms like fatigue and brain fog. 

You don’t need to go through any expensive or unnecessary testing to get these supports, and they may be effective alongside a gut healing protocol. 

Nutritional products that may be helpful include: 

Adaptogenic herbs can also provide energy support. Adaptogens are a category of herbs that can help support a healthy stress response. The use of many of these herbs dates back centuries, and today, they are often recommended as adrenal supplements. 

Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are two adaptogenic herbs that have been shown to help decrease symptoms of fatigue and the effects of chronic stress and burnout [39 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 40 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 41 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 42 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. 

The Ideal Diet for Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

A plate of fruits, vegetables and eggs with gold knife and fork beside it on a white surface

Adopting a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important and effective ways to improve gut health.

When it comes to choosing the best diet for symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, we want to focus on a few key things: 

  • Avoid processed and refined foods, sugar, and alcohol. All of these foods can contribute to gut imbalances, feed bacterial and fungal overgrowths, and increase inflammation. Focus instead on fresh, whole foods.
  • Eat to balance blood sugar. Consuming adequate, high-quality protein and monitoring carbohydrate intake can help with this.
  • Identify any food intolerances or sensitivities that may be contributing to inflammation and symptoms. Keeping a food and symptom diary is one good way to do this.

The paleo diet is a good option that can help to reduce inflammation, support gut health, and get you feeling better.  

One of the most effective ways to support gut health alongside an anti-inflammatory diet is with the use of high-quality probiotic supplements. Probiotics can help to boost levels of beneficial microbes in the gut and promote bacterial diversity. The widespread health benefits of probiotics are well-documented.  

Heal the Gut To Improve Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Many of the symptoms that we associate with adrenal fatigue, including tiredness, brain fog, and headaches, may actually be signs of an underlying gut imbalance.

Treatments that target the gut including diet and probiotics have been shown to help with fatigue, anxiety, and other symptoms of adrenal fatigue. For a step-by-step process for healing the gut, check out my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

➕ References
  1. Cadegiani FA, Kater CE. Adrenal fatigue does not exist: a systematic review. BMC Endocr Disord. 2016 Aug 24;16(1):48. doi: 10.1186/s12902-016-0128-4. Erratum in: BMC Endocr Disord. 2016 Nov 16;16(1):63. PMID: 27557747; PMCID: PMC4997656.
  2. Schumacher S, Niemeyer H, Engel S, Cwik JC, Laufer S, Klusmann H, Knaevelsrud C. HPA axis regulation in posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis focusing on potential moderators. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 May;100:35-57. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.005. Epub 2019 Feb 19. PMID: 30790632. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  3. Frändemark Å, Jakobsson Ung E, Törnblom H, Simrén M, Jakobsson S. Fatigue: a distressing symptom for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Jan;29(1). doi: 10.1111/nmo.12898. Epub 2016 Jul 11. PMID: 27401139. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  4. Nocerino A, Nguyen A, Agrawal M, Mone A, Lakhani K, Swaminath A. Fatigue in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Etiologies and Management. Adv Ther. 2020 Jan;37(1):97-112. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01151-w. Epub 2019 Nov 23. PMID: 31760611; PMCID: PMC6979464.
  5. Han CJ, Yang GS. Fatigue in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pooled Frequency and Severity of Fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 1. PMID: 27021828. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  6. Maes M, Coucke F, Leunis JC. Normalization of the increased translocation of endotoxin from gram negative enterobacteria (leaky gut) is accompanied by a remission of chronic fatigue syndrome. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2007 Dec;28(6):739-44. PMID: 18063928. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  7. Maes M, Leunis JC. Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Dec;29(6):902-10. PMID: 19112401. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  8. Volta U, Bardella MT, Calabrò A, Troncone R, Corazza GR; Study Group for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. An Italian prospective multicenter survey on patients suspected of having non-celiac gluten sensitivity. BMC Med. 2014 May 23;12:85. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-85. PMID: 24885375; PMCID: PMC4053283. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  9. Maes M, Kubera M, Leunis JC. The gut-brain barrier in major depression: intestinal mucosal dysfunction with an increased translocation of LPS from gram negative enterobacteria (leaky gut) plays a role in the inflammatory pathophysiology of depression. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Feb;29(1):117-24. PMID: 18283240. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  10. Balter L, Bosch J, Aldred S, Drayson M, Veldhuijzen van Zanten J, Higgs S, Raymond J, Mazaheri A. Selective effects of acute low-grade inflammation on human visual attention. NeuroImage. 2019. Volume 202, 116098, ISSN 1053-8119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116098.
  11. Farrell D, McCarthy G, Savage E. Self-reported Symptom Burden in Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Crohns Colitis. 2016 Mar;10(3):315-22. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv218. Epub 2015 Nov 22. PMID: 26598526; PMCID: PMC4957479. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  12. Naess H, Nyland M, Hausken T, Follestad I, Nyland HI. Chronic fatigue syndrome after Giardia enteritis: clinical characteristics, disability and long-term sickness absence. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb 8;12:13. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-12-13. PMID: 22316329; PMCID: PMC3292445.
  13. Nagy-Szakal, D., Williams, B.L., Mishra, N. et al. Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Microbiome 5, 44 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-017-0261-y
  14. Altobelli E, Del Negro V, Angeletti PM, Latella G. Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 26;9(9):940. doi: 10.3390/nu9090940. PMID: 28846594; PMCID: PMC5622700.
  15. Rogers GB, Keating DJ, Young RL, Wong ML, Licinio J, Wesselingh S. From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;21(6):738-48. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.50. Epub 2016 Apr 19. PMID: 27090305; PMCID: PMC4879184.
  16. Frändemark, Å., Jakobsson Ung, E., Törnblom, H., Simrén, M. and Jakobsson, S. (2017), Fatigue: a distressing symptom for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Neurogastroenterol. Motil., 29: e12898. https://doi.org/10.1111/nmo.12898
  17. Croall ID, Hoggard N, Aziz I, Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS. Brain fog and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: Proof of concept brain MRI pilot study. PLoS One. 2020 Aug 28;15(8):e0238283. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238283. PMID: 32857796; PMCID: PMC7454984.
  18. Manuela P, Alessia B, Mariagiovanna C, Giovanni P, Rita B, Giuseppe L. Neurophysiology of the “Celiac Brain”: Disentangling Gut-Brain Connections. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2017. Volume 11, Pages 498. ISSN 1662-453X. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00498.
  19. Khanijow V, Prakash P, Emsellem HA, Borum ML, Doman DB. Sleep Dysfunction and Gastrointestinal Diseases. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2015 Dec;11(12):817-25. PMID: 27134599; PMCID: PMC4849511.
  20. Swanson GR, Burgess HJ. Sleep and Circadian Hygiene and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;46(4):881-893. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.08.014. PMID: 29173529. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  21. Wang B, Duan R, Duan L. Prevalence of sleep disorder in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2018 May-Jun;24(3):141-150. doi: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_603_17. PMID: 29652034; PMCID: PMC5985632. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  22. Takada M, Nishida K, Gondo Y, Kikuchi-Hayakawa H, Ishikawa H, Suda K, Kawai M, Hoshi R, Kuwano Y, Miyazaki K, Rokutan K. Beneficial effects of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on academic stress-induced sleep disturbance in healthy adults: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Benef Microbes. 2017 Apr 26;8(2):153-162. doi: 10.3920/BM2016.0150. PMID: 28443383. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  23. Faghihi AH, Agah S, Masoudi M, Ghafoori SM, Eshraghi A. Efficacy of Probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Double Blind Placebo-controlled Randomized Trial. Acta Med Indones. 2015 Jul;47(3):201-8. PMID: 26586385. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  24. Romijn AR, Rucklidge JJ, Kuijer RG, Frampton C. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum for the symptoms of depression. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2017 Aug;51(8):810-821. doi: 10.1177/0004867416686694. Epub 2017 Jan 10. PMID: 28068788; PMCID: PMC5518919. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  25. Marotta A, Sarno E, Del Casale A, Pane M, Mogna L, Amoruso A, Felis GE, Fiorio M. Effects of Probiotics on Cognitive Reactivity, Mood, and Sleep Quality. Front Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 27;10:164. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00164. PMID: 30971965; PMCID: PMC6445894.
  26. Nakakita Y, Tsuchimoto N, Takata Y, Nakamura T. Effect of dietary heat-killed Lactobacillus brevis SBC8803 (SBL88™) on sleep: a non-randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled, and crossover pilot study. Benef Microbes. 2016 Sep;7(4):501-9. doi: 10.3920/BM2015.0118. Epub 2016 Mar 25. PMID: 27013460. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  27. Ng QX, Peters C, Ho CYX, Lim DY, Yeo WS. A meta-analysis of the use of probiotics to alleviate depressive symptoms. J Affect Disord. 2018 Mar 1;228:13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.11.063. Epub 2017 Nov 16. PMID: 29197739. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  28. Yang BWei JJu P, et al
    Effects of regulating intestinal microbiota on anxiety symptoms: A systematic review
  29. K. Griauzdaitė, K. Maselis, A. Žvirblienė, A. Vaitkus, D. Jančiauskas, I. Banaitytė-Baleišienė, L. Kupčinskas, D. Rastenytė. Associations between migraine, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and activity of diamine oxidase. Medical Hypotheses. 2020. Volume 142, 109738. ISSN 0306-9877. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109738.
  30. Vanuytsel T, van Wanrooy S, Vanheel H, Vanormelingen C, Verschueren S, Houben E, Salim Rasoel S, Tόth J, Holvoet L, Farré R, Van Oudenhove L, Boeckxstaens G, Verbeke K, Tack J. Psychological stress and corticotropin-releasing hormone increase intestinal permeability in humans by a mast cell-dependent mechanism. Gut. 2014 Aug;63(8):1293-9. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-305690. Epub 2013 Oct 23. PMID: 24153250. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  31. Messaoudi M, Lalonde R, Violle N, Javelot H, Desor D, Nejdi A, Bisson JF, Rougeot C, Pichelin M, Cazaubiel M, Cazaubiel JM. Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):755-64. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510004319. Epub 2010 Oct 26. PMID: 20974015. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  32. Guo M, Ding S, Zhao C, Gu X, He X, Huang K, Luo Y, Liang Z, Tian H, Xu W. Red Ginseng and Semen Coicis can improve the structure of gut microbiota and relieve the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Mar 13;162:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.12.029. Epub 2014 Dec 30. PMID: 25554637. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  33. Kennedy DO, Veasey R, Watson A, Dodd F, Jones E, Maggini S, Haskell CF. Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul;211(1):55-68. doi: 10.1007/s00213-010-1870-3. Epub 2010 May 8. PMID: 20454891; PMCID: PMC2885294.
  34. Stough C, Scholey A, Lloyd J, Spong J, Myers S, Downey LA. The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011 Oct;26(7):470-6. doi: 10.1002/hup.1229. Epub 2011 Sep 8. PMID: 21905094. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  35. Suh SY, Bae WK, Ahn HY, Choi SE, Jung GC, Yeom CH. Intravenous vitamin C administration reduces fatigue in office workers: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Jan 20;11:7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-7. PMID: 22264303; PMCID: PMC3273429. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  36. Huck CJ, Johnston CS, Beezhold BL, Swan PD. Vitamin C status and perception of effort during exercise in obese adults adhering to a calorie-reduced diet. Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):42-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.01.021. Epub 2012 Jun 5. PMID: 22677357. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  37. Cox IM, Campbell MJ, Dowson D. Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet. 1991 Mar 30;337(8744):757-60. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)91371-z. PMID: 1672392. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  38. Biswal BM, Sulaiman SA, Ismail HC, Zakaria H, Musa KI. Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the development of chemotherapy-induced fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Jul;12(4):312-22. doi: 10.1177/1534735412464551. Epub 2012 Nov 9. PMID: 23142798. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  39. Olsson EM, von Schéele B, Panossian AG. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med. 2009 Feb;75(2):105-12. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1088346. Epub 2008 Nov 18. PMID: 19016404. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  40. Anghelescu IG, Edwards D, Seifritz E, Kasper S. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;22(4):242-252. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1417442. Epub 2018 Jan 11. PMID: 29325481. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  41. Ross SM. Burnout: A Multicenter Exploratory Clinical Trial With a Proprietary Extract of Rhodiola rosea in Patients With Burnout Syndrome. Holist Nurs Pract. 2018 Nov/Dec;32(6):336-339. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000299. PMID: 30320658. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source

Recommended Products

Need help or would like to learn more?
View Dr. Ruscio’s additional resources

Get Help

Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

2 thoughts on “Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms: What They Really Mean

  1. Thanks for this article! So glad to see you pushing back against this trendy-yet-questionable “adrenal fatigue” diagnosis. However, I’m curious why at the end of the article you promote your own product with adrenal glandulars? As a Nurse Practitioner, I’ve seen a few patients take similar products with serious adverse effects – if ones adrenals are working fine, taking such a supplement is not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous. It can cause suppression of intrinsic adrenal function and then an adrenal crisis when one stops taking it. Yikes!!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. That’s interesting that you’ve had patients react to these products, we’ve never seen that happen. I’m not clear on how how a glandular supplement would suppress an entire organ since organs do not behave as receptors. We’ll keep an eye out for anyone reporting negative feedback from glandulars. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *