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Energy & Fatigue

Is adrenal fatigue "real"?

January 29, 2020

About the Author

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Marcelo Campos, MD, Contributor

Dr. Marcelo Campos works as a primary care doctor at Atrius Health. He is a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a clinical assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Campos completed medical school … See Full Bio
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April 10, 2018

What does that silly Harvard trained medical specialist know, anyways. You do YOU, Anne. Treat your adrenal fatigue and live life to the fullest.

April 10, 2018

Hi Anne,

Who was your naturopathic doc? I would love to know. I have similar issues and need help…badly!

March 13, 2018

I had a horrifically stressful past two years with job changes and a death in the family and identified with the symptoms described above and more. After seeing regular doctors and a psychiatrist, I finally found a naturopath doctor who had me thoroughly tested. My DHEA-S level was below normal range and the 4x/day saliva test showed my cortisol level dropping over 90% from the mid-range of normal in the morning to the very bottom of the range by noon and lower the rest of the day. She called the pattern “flat lining.” So this is clearly not normal, but it’s also not a “recognized condition”? I’ve been taking two thyroid medications for nearly 30 years – including Armour Thyroid, which most doctors don’t know how to prescribe – and have now added an adrenal supplement. Once we got the right dosage I started to feel better within a few days. I can finally sleep and have more energy throughout the day. I don’t care if you think adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist. I am proof that it does, and that it can be treated.

Abdulmalik Koya
March 15, 2018

Mrs. Anne, your narrative is fascinating. You just mentioned you’ve been on thyroid medication for 30years, is it for low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) or abnormally high thyroid level (hyperthyroidism)?

Joann Hnat
April 4, 2018

I was diagnosed with secondary adrenal insufficiency in 2005, and see a very good endocrinologist for treatment. She says that cortisol levels do not remain constant, and normally fall throughout the day.

Maria Galvão
March 13, 2018

I AM 87 years old and all the symtoms descrived I have in my BODY . But mentally and emotionally I am another person : very healthy , active , excellent mood , ready thinking … Is this split natural ? Is one part of me dying and the other just watching ?

Sam Tschudin
March 12, 2018

I think adrenal fatigue is real and could be the symptom of other illnesses. When your cortisol level is low for whatever reasons your blood pressure is bound to be low resulting in lethargy and general weakness. People who complain of tiredness should be checked thoroughly by endocrinologists to ensure that they are not suffering from serious illnesses such as Addison ‘s disease for example.

Deborah Daw Heffernan
March 12, 2018

I am lucky to have lived now for 12 years with a heart transplant, requiring that I take myriad drugs to suppress my immune system and manage inflammation, as is the normal course. With a suppressed immune system, one is vulnerable to infections and I have been no exception. Every winter I am sick sick sick with colds and bronchial infections verging on pneumonia. But not this year. My PCP wondered if my adrenals had become “lazy” from prednisone doing their work for them. This fall we tried a daily dose of 1,000 mg of B12. The boost of energy was immediately noticeable. Most importantly, I fought off a cold, unheard of for the past 12 years—even during a very stressful period over Christmas in which my husband was suddenly diagnosed with cancer (in remission already!). Despite all the stress of caring for him and being with him in the hospital, exposed to pathogens for weeks during flu season, I remain astonishingly vigorous and well. I would recommend that heart transplant patients and others with suppressed immune systems explore this solution with their clinicians. I am only a short-term case-study of one, but the difference has been astonishing—and right at the moment I needed the wellness to save my husband’s life.

March 12, 2018

As I belong the forensic medicine branch and my observation is first rule out metabolic disorders, endocrinal disturbance , systematic diseases and any one defiantly find out the cause if they are not responsible then the fatigue is psychological if this is also not responsible than it is left for various environmental factors such as age, sex, life style, eating habits etc etc.

Arthur Burns
March 12, 2018

My guess? It is lack of B vitamins. To start with!
The Art of it!

Holly Hart
March 12, 2018

I have all these symptoms but I also know that my lifestyle is the cause of a lot of it. I agree that people do not seek the best treatment for many conditions. Taking a pill is the easy way and that is what people want. Continue my unhealthy lifestyle but take a pill to conteract the effects of it. That does not work.

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