Just Tired? Or Something More? Take This Quick Test

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Are you tired all the time–wondering if it is just normal — or if it is something more? Here’s an adrenal fatigue test that can help give you a clue to what is going on in your body.

Though it is not discussed much in mainstream medicine circles, adrenal fatigue is on the rise.

In fact, I think that it is now affecting people in our Western societies in epidemic proportions.

Including me.

How can you find out if you have it or not without breaking the bank?

Well, I have for you what is perhaps the best and easiest test of all.

It’s a great test, but one that you may wish that you never took because so many of us these days will fail it.

However, knowing you have a problem means you are on the way to a cure.

So while this isn’t a true diagnostic test of a medical condition, it’s an interesting thing to consider and it will for sure get you thinking about how you keep yourself going.

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Adrenal Fatigue Test

Again, this “test” isn’t going to lead to a real medical diagnosis, but it is helpful to see the workings of your body and gives clues about what you might want to change.

Here is the test:

Do you rely on stimulants to keep you going? If you feel you really can’t exist without stimulants, then you might have an adrenal problem.

That’s it.

Oh boy.  Stimulants?

“What do you mean”, you ask, “stimulants?  I don’t take illegal drugs, so what are you talking about?”

Well, how about this list of things that can get your adrenals going — and keep them going.

Stimulant List aka “Adrenal Crutches”

  • caffeine (still trying to get off coffee or chocolate?  Here’s a great coffee substitute recipe that can help.)
  • exercise (do you feel that you need to get a run in or you can’t make it through the day?)
  • sugar (do you keep reaching for sweets for the temporary energy boost that they give you? Check out What is Candida and Why I Went Sugar Free.)
  • stress (do you push everything to the last minute, feeding off the adrenaline rush that you get from deadlines?)
  • busyness (gotta keep running from one thing to the next to keep life interesting? This post on “Best Autism Therapy” has a tip for you.)

Really anything that “stokes your fire” is a stimulant.

We are not designed to be constantly under stress. Our bodies need rest from all the stimuli in our lives.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have any stress in our lives.  In fact, we can’t live without any stress.  But clearly, we have been overdoing it. I have been overdoing it my whole life.  How about you?

In the future, I will be (slowly and with as little stress as possible :-)) sharing with you how I have been working both on my own and with practitioners to get my adrenals back in balance.  I will also be giving you tips on how I am trying to reduce my dependence on all of the above stimulants — and how you can too!

We all need to be taking better care of ourselves.  Body.  Soul.  Mind.

Other Health Posts You Might Like:

– Could You Have Heavy Metal Poisoning and Not Know It?
– Which Best Essential Oils Company is Best?
Natural Ear Infection Remedies

How did you do on the test?

Which stimulant do you need to work on giving up first?

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133 Comments

  1. Adrienne! Thank you for this post.
    I have been trying to stay off coffee and drink the dandelion mixture instead. Tastewise; it’s great! I totally feel like I’m still drinking my coffee. However, how long will I feel like a zombie without caffeine? I went four days completely off of it, and caved to several swallows of caffeine the fifth day. I’m also reaching for sugar more!
    How long did it take you to feel like you had energy, once you went off of caffeine?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi there and you are welcome! Well, the energy thing was much more complicated for me than just going off of caffeine. The reason most say to go off of caffeine is that it’s not great for thyroid and adrenal supports. I had to really stay away from sugar and most recently found other issues. We had mold in our home (not a lot) and then found that I seem to have a sulphur intolerance. I’m working on figuring out why w/ my practitioners but once I removed those foods from my diet things improved dramatically. There are a lot of things that can be involved.

      This post is by a pharmacist–might be of help to you :). https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/causes-of-fatigue/

  2. I thnk I have a Throid problem, How do I have my DR. help me. I have terrible sweating , tired all the time,hair falling out ,hard to swallow don’t sleep what should I do

  3. So reading this thread, would you say nutritional balancing using the hair testing and detoxing copper while supporting adrenals worked for you?

    1. No- I did much better with my later practitioners. But I can’t say that nutritional balancing wouldn’t be good for anyone. Might depend on the practitioner.

  4. I’m a guy and I feel tired all the time I do not sleep well and when I do I sleep like 14 hours it not normal I think I suffering from the same thing as you are do you have a book or something that I could buy to help me with adrenal fatigue to fix it I’m cold all the time to. And thanks

  5. Wow Julie that article DEFINATELY proved AF is not real! (Insert sarcasm here ^^) This is interesting information to those of us who have these difficulties and mainstream med has no explanation for.

  6. Hi! “adrenal fatigue” isn’t real. (site linked to is now gone so it was removed by Whole New Mom)

    1. Hi Julie. I am not sure I understand your post. Clearly the adrenals get really fatigued and many of us have experienced it. It is a complicated condition for sure, but I don’t see how you can make the claim that adrenal fatigue isn’t real. Thanks.

        1. Hi Laura,

          Sorry for the delay in responding. Sometimes I get bogged under a pile and this is one of those times! If you look above, Julie said it wasn’t real but another commenter had the sarcasm mention. Hope that helps :).

  7. I don’t have hypo or hyperthyroid. I do have adrenal fatigue. Are you using oils and if so, what? Or how are you treating? My docs plan was so intense with a million vitamins and special diet I couldn’t do it,

      1. Adrienne, I was in a similar boat, similar dietary strategies – then I started taking the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha – it’s been a complete life-saver. It’s specifically for adrenal fatigue.

        1. I have been taking that too, but it is a nightshade so I have to be careful. I use rhodiola as well. Have you tried that?

  8. I just found your site and am interested in learning how you handled your adrenal fatigue. what products you used, nutrition and all that jazz. I’ve been dealing with it for years and just 2 years ago diagnosed myself (since the docs just kept saying I was depressed…ugh) so i’m out here on my own trying to figure it out, do lots of research, try different supplements and spend tons of money. I believe I have systemic candida as well as Hashimotos. I just want to get well and have a life…right now i have nothing. Thanks

    1. It’s been a long road, Traci. I am not sure but I think cleaning up my diet (no sugar, no gluten and few grains) has done a lot. I am working on my thyroid and adrenals now but I am in limbo about the treatment. I am trying to keep my protein up, eating nori in the morning and heading to a functional neurologist (chiro w/ extra training) on Monday for the next step. I really wanted to share more but I am not convinced about where I am right now. I will likely post on a tea that has helped me and a tinture that helped for various things. But for overall treatment I can’t say yet – so sorry.

      The candida…have you tried a good candida diet? That’s crucial, IMHO but I am not a medical professional at all. Wish I were….

      1. Just saw this. Candida: Greek yogurt, low sugar diet, and APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (Braggs raw, cheap at the Vitamin Shoppe). Drink a shot every day.

  9. I came across an article today called “Defending Fruit and Other Noncomplex Carbs” It spun me out!

    Stevia: increases appetite and elevates adrenalin in that it “tastes” sweet but does not provide glucose to the cell when it’s needing it (perpetuating hypoglycemia).

    1. Hi there.

      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I was doing some thinking. I don’t know what to say except that that seems like a very odd article to me. It seems she favors Ray Peat quite a bit. She quotes him several times in her post and then has 2 of his works cited as “for further reading.” Well, I was just on his site and all I can say is, “bizarre”. Here is a quote from it:

      Feeding animals a normal diet with the addition of Coca-Cola, or with a similar amount of sucrose, has been found to let them increase their calorie intake by 50% without increasing their weight gain (Bukowiecki, et al., 1983). Although plain sucrose can alleviate the metabolic suppression of an average diet, the effect of sugars in the diet is much more likely to be healthful in the long run when they are associated with an abundance of minerals, as in milk and fruit, which provide potassium and calcium and other protective nutrients.

      Avoiding the starches such as cereals and beans, and using fruits as a major part of the diet helps to minimize the effects of the polyunsaturated fats.

      I really can’t believe he is saying that Coca-Cola has a beneficial effect on animals.

      Furthermore, I have interviewed one of the stevia experts on some of the negative things in the press about stevia and he showed me how so much of the research is skewed. I would need to do a lot more studying but I will add something very compelling from my personal experience. I was hypoglycemic for years and I have been cutting my sugar almost to ‘nil and moved my proteins up and I use a lot of stevia extract. I just got my blood results back (I have been using supplements as well) and my blood sugar is in the normal range finally. I was concerned about some things I had read but at least for now, my concern is abated. And I really struggle w/ not getting hungry enough so I don’t see that borne out in my life at all. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi Adrienne,
    I found your website while looking for recipes, and it’s nice to follow along with someone whose health journey is similar to mine. I have hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, high histamine, pyroluria, adrenal fatigue and IGG sensitivities to malt, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, lamb, and beef. I also had high levels of candida.
    I’m taking pantothenic acid and adrenal cortical extract to help the fatigue along with several supplements for the other issues.
    I think you said your son was having anxiety. Maybe it could be caused by pyroluria? There are many symptoms, and the body gets rid of all the b6 and zinc.
    I hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing. Interestingly enough, my practitioner is very well-versed in pyroluria. We did give him B6 but if I recall, for other reasons, she suspects strongly that he doesn’t have it – thanks, though!

  11. Did you mean to say “now affecting people”…?

    “Though it is not discussed much in mainstream medicine circles, adrenal fatigue is on the rise. In fact, I think that it is not affecting people in our Western societies in epidemic proportions.”

    A couple of years ago, after years of trouble, I finally got my teenage daughter to visit a naturopath who tested her and said her adrenal readings were off the chart! I was horrified but not surprised because she runs from one things to the next, but probably most of it was caused by her asthma. She was using her puffers all the time, coughing all the time, and not able to sleep most of the time, but yet had to go to school and to work. She finally (just a couple of months ago) decided she was gluten intolerant at the same time I discovered how bad our modern adulterated wheat is for us–so we both stopped eating anything made with wheat. WOW! What a difference it has made! Within days she stopped coughing all the time and can now sleep, and she’s finally losing weight. Today she told me she barely uses her white puffer! Of course she is much less stressed. The stomach pain I suffered from for probably 4 or 5 years is almost gone.

    Thank God for people like you who are working to wake us all up!

    1. yes – thank you! Just fixed it. Wonderful about your daughter. That is great. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Hi Connie and Adrienne,

      My 10 year old son has been suffering from adrenal fatigue for quite some time and the practitioner he saw has him taking way too many things. He is becoming frustrated and doesn’t want to continue taking everything. Is there something I should look at to help us get on an easier protocol so he can be successful. Any info would be helpful.

      1. Hello there. My practitioner told me to look at any kind of stress (internal and external) and try to remove it. That includes food allergies / sensitivities, parasites, bacteria, gut issues, other allergies, emotional stressors, candida, …….. it’s a hard thing to deal with. Then we did things to support the adrenals like adaptogens. Does that help? Not medical advice, of course, but it’s my experience. https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/what-are-adaptogens/

  12. Hi,

    That’s a great break-down of common stimulants. I diagnosed myself with adrenal fatigue about a year ago. I noticed it getting increasingly difficult to stay away from sugar to make me feel better and relieve stress for a while, but I didn’t quite see it as one of the “stimulants” people talk about needing to start or get through the day. I also wait until right before I need to get things done to do them because I know I can depend on that adrenaline rush to get it done in time. Yikes! I’m taking extra care now to rest and eat a nourishing diet. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Adrienne,
    Lots of interesting info. Not sure if I fall into any of these…but up until about 3 years ago…I would go go go. I worked 40 – 55 hours a week at work, then I’d run by the grocery, come home, cook dinner, clean up dinner mess, I would literally sweep (I have lots of tile) every single day and mop almost every single day. house was clean, laundry done, 4 kids got to all of their sports and so on without a hitch. Then, in Nov. of 2009 I guess, I started losing weight. It was only about 15 pounds, but I’m already smallish…I use to be 115 to 120. Now I struggle to stay at 103. (No idea if weight loss has a thing to do with the rest) Then I got laid off, and I kinda gave up. I just thought it was being down because of the lay off…but I’m back to work..have been for a while. And I struggle to get up in the mornings…I am droopy eyed by 930 am…I come home and think..I’m just going to relax for a minute…and then I’m barely getting dinner handled by 830 which is ridiculous. I try nightly to get to bed at a decent time but it’s usually 1130 or 12. But lack of sleep isn’t the whole issue…i have had lack of sleep since i began having my kids. Just wondering, since you have done a lot of research and so on if you had any ideas or thoughts. Thanks.

    1. The weight loss happened to me as well. It is back on now. I believe it is connected to the adrenals and energy. I am doing a lot of work. The more I learn about heavy metals and adrenals and energy this is all making sense. Did you read my post on heavy metal toxicity?

  14. The test, huh? Well I don’t know if I passed or failed. My doctor is trying stimulants, but I am sleeping through them…lol 🙁 I set an alarm for 7am, take the med, and am so tired I go back to sleep and sleep ’til 10:45 or 11am… sometimes later. (I usually go to bed by 10:45pm or 11pm the night before.) I often feel tired around 3pm, and am exhausted by bedtime (feeling as if I have lifted weights and / or run a marathon).

    I have IgG food sensitivities to wheat, barley, rice, soy, dairy, egg, and mango. (Perhaps more, but the test only tested for 94 items.) And I avoid them all.

    I have paraesthesia in my fingers at least once a day (feels like an extreme version of your hands going to sleep – tingling and pain). It is unexplained by all doctors.

    I also suffer coccydynia – extreme pain in the coccyx / tail bone (like someone put it in a pencil sharpener) it is very painful to both sit or rise. The only offered relief is injections of corticosteroids every 3 months.

    And for the past year, my chest, back, and spine have been achey, but an x-ray a year ago showed nothing. (So no explanation)

    Any ideas?

  15. I am researching essential oils and came across your article, which lead me to this article and now to a bookmark. I find your site extremely interesting. Thank you.

    Back to comment specifically to this topic.

    I won’t go into to detail about my health, but I do want to share something I’ve started doing that has helped me give up my addiction to caffeine. GINGER ROOT AND LEMON.

    For the last 6 weeks I start my day with an infusion of grated ginger root (about 3-4 tablespoons) and a stick of cinnamon (broken into pieces)that is seeped for 20 minutes, longer if you like it stronger. Sweeten with honey or stevia, at least until you get use to the ginger taste. I also try to add about a tablespoon of ginger juice to the teapot, but that depends upon how bad my hands are feeling and if I’ve pre-squeezed.

    The hotter the better in my opinion, but I will drink it cold, I even add left over “tea” to my next drink.

    Each night I slice 1 lemon, 1 lime and about 2 inches of peeled ginger root, place all in a 2 quart canning jar fill with filtered water add several leaves of mint leaves and place in the refrigerator til morning. I sip this all day in addition to my daily water intake. I find it to be refreshing and flushing. Again, I no longer crave caffeine, not even my ice tea.

    I began drinking both because my research had shown me that they would help with my pain issues and would help with the fatigue, especially the adrenal fatigue. I didn’t really feel like it was making much of a deference until one day I did not get my full “dose” of both and by the end of the day my pain was reaching uncontrollable levels and I was exhausted. I am now a believer. Everyone thinks I’m a bit crazy, but that is ok, it is working for me and I just wanted to share.

    Now I’m off to read more of your articles.

  16. Thank you Adrienne. That’s my next read. Meanwhile, my 5 year old drinks our well water and plain old Toothpaste without sweeteners or flouride. I’m always shocked by the “healthy snacks” that people send their kids to school with-YUCK! I’m on a basically anti-inflammatory diet. The doctors like to call me “over-protective” of my family. But they haven’t come up with any better solutions.

  17. Having been tested and found to have a “positive marker for thyroid disease”, I have blood drawn yearly. Problem is, T4 is not a good indicator of how the thyroid is functioning. New doctor! If I must be on a replacement, I want a bio-identical hormone. I’m stressed to the max on a daily basis and I’m a caffeine addict. Yup, I need some work. But first, I have to find a day where I’m not too tired to get it all done. Vicious cycle 🙁 Great articles btw-thank you! Oh! And I had all my mercury fillings removed by a natural dentist. Still some left in the tubules but unless i want to lose those teeth-he can’t get it out. I need to chelate it out. Still working on finding the right way to do that.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Did you happen to see my post on heavy metals and the info on nutritional balancing? That might be of interest to you.