Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue  ⁃ be careful with saliva tests

  •  HPA axis dis regulation
  •  HPA AXIS – key
  •  Governs reaction to stress
  •  Very impacted by stress
  •  Cortisol is key hormone
  •  Homeostasis disturbed in stress
  •  Blood pressure , blood sugar are all affected

4 key drivers

  • Perceived stress
  • Blood sugar dis regulation
  • Circadian disruption ( 24 hr rhythm ) — blue light, travel and jet lag, sleep deprivation and lack of vitamin D ( sunlight )
  • Inflammation of any kind ( stresses HPA axis ) including microbiome issues, food allergies , food and chemical toxin exposure

Adrenal fatigue

  • Not a sound concept about how adrenals stop producing cortisol and DHEA
  • HPA dysfunction is the key
  • Not actually low cortisol

BRAIN – key not just adrenals

  • Cellular resistance to cortisol
  • Decreased receptivity to cortisol !!!
  • Hence cortisol stays high

Saliva tests

  • Limited to free cortisol
  • Not best marker
  • Most is secreted in urine as metabolite
    Dutch Urine Test
  • Precision analytical lab
  • Best test
  • “Dried urine total cortisol hormone test “
  • Eliminates discrepancies
  • Most accurate test

Brain and local tissue response is what drives cortisol problems not just the adrenals !!

HPA axis dysfunction

  1. Perceived Stress
  2. NUTS:
  3. New, unpredictable, threat sense of what’s happening to us
  4. Envirnonmental:
    • Circadian disruption
    • Blood sugar disruption
    • Lack of exercise
    • Inflammation – cytokines can raise cortisol levels. The body pumps up cortisol to deal with inflammation. If the inflammation is chronic – cortisol keeps getting released. This leads to cortisol resistance or down regulation of HPA axis.

Stress Response

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Poor memory
  • Brain fog
  • Postural hypotension
  • Cold and flus
  • Depression
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tachycardia in am

Chronic disease affected by HPA axis regulation:

  • Depression
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome


  • Gut microbiome – inflammation – HPA axis involved – inflammation – continuous cycle

Thoughts – huge player on stress response. It’s how the stress is perceived. Is it a threat or a challenge ?

Sense of urgency is a factor – do we need to address it right away ? Can it wait ?

Expand your time horizon.
Recognize that not all stress is harmful.

Diet and lifestyle changes to help HPA axis:

Reduce these

  • Diet
  • Blood sugar
  • Exercise ( over or under )
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Negative thoughts
  • Lack of relationships
  • Money problems
  • Unresolved conflicts

1. Dutch Urine Test

  • Total cortisol


3. Using strategies that quiet sympathetic nervous system- meditation / deep breathing.

4. Diet, sleep , social support, exercise

5. Often people lack knowledge and motivation.

See Paleo Rehab Program