Adrenal Fatigue & Problems It Causes

There has been evidencereported that adrenal dysfunction is commonly found in patients with ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic and well-known CFS/Fibromyalgia physician, recommends using small doses of cortisol to treat adrenal dysfunction.

The adrenals are glands about the size of a pea located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing hormones that help us deal with stress. When the adrenal glands are not properly functioning, as is seen in CFS & FM, it becomes impossible for these patients to deal with stress without causing further fatigue and symptoms.

Adrenal fatigue is typically caused by prolonged or extreme stress or can happen after an acute or chronic illness/infection. This is particularly true with upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

I know I am physically unable to deal with stress. As soon as I get in a stressful situation, my body shuts down and I can’t function.

Which comes first -the adrenal dysfunction or the chronic illness? The symptoms of ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia alone would be enough to wear out the adrenal glands. But is it the initial adrenal dysfunction that causes these symptoms and causes the body to start breaking down, making it more vulnerable for illness?

Adrenal fatigue shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can cause many physical problems. See if any of these sound familiar to you:

  • low blood pressure or hypotension
  • low blood sugar or hypoglycemia
  • dizziness when initially standing
  • depression
  • decrease in metabolism
  • weight loss
  • muscle and joint pain
  • hair loss
  • weakened immune system
  • excess facial and body hair
  • diarrhea and/or constipation
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • excessive skin color changes
  • craving salty foods

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are very similar to those of ME/CFS:

  • muscle/joint pain
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • hypotension
  • hypoglycemia
  • fever
  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • sleep disorders
  • heat/cold intolerance
  • nausea

In more severe cases of adrenal fatigue, the person can bepractically bedridden. The more severe the adrenal insufficiency, the more every organ and part of the body is affected. Adrenal fatigue can last for as little as a few days and as long as years or a lifetime.

Any chronic illness will have an effect on the adrenal glands. If you have a chronic illness where one of yoursymptoms is morning fatigue, your adrenal glands are most likely not functioning properly.

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  1. I recently was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue- no surprise I guess do to my MS. However, the doctor said the traditional treatment is steroids, which I can’t take due to being on blood thinners. So, I am trying to rest,etc. but I tell you it was comforting just to know what was making me so bone achingly tired, other than the MS.

    Thanks for a great post!

  2. Jacqueline says:


    I’m not sure about the blood thinners, but wanted to pass along a number of really help Adrenal Fatigue articles from Marcelle Pick at Women to Women. Maybe you can find your answer there (I also left this as a comment on your blog) but am not sure if the link went through: Eating to support your adrenal glands — small choices can make a difference

  3. Thank you very much for doing this article about adrenal fatigue. This is a great and informative site that really gives you insights what is the cause and effect of adrenal fatigue. I have experienced this before and it really took a toll on my personal life and even job! It is troublesome and at first I didn’t know that I already have this problem. So, I researched and found out alternatives and solutions to really beat adrenal fatigue.

    I really recommend checking this site, they have the best supplements and solution for beating adrenal fatigue.

  4. Thank you for the good article. Adrenal fatigue is a real problem that has been under reported and largely ignored by the conventional medical community for years. In addition to the right supplement regimen, the change that helped me the most was diet related – more lean protein, less simple sugar, and more water consumption. Those change made a greater impact than I would have thought possible. Wish good health to everyone.

  5. After the birth of my daughter I did suffer a lot and the doctors could not find what was wrong with me. I remember just not being able to do anything at all. I did help myself by finding out about adrenal fatigue and adrenal exhaustion and changing my diet. It is so bad that doctors do not recognize this. I am now sharing all that I know about this problem online.

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