Could You Have Adrenal Fatigue? Signs and Symptoms You Should Know

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. Learn more in our disclosure.

Do you have or think you might have Adrenal Fatigue? Here are Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms you should know.

If you are:
– tired
– stressed
– wanting a whole healthy life

this post is for you.

And for those you love.

Want to Save This Post?

Enter your email & I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, you'll get healthy living updates too.

Save Recipe

What’s all the Hubbub about Adrenals and Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is epidemic.  And the adrenals are affected by so much and affect so much, you really can’t afford not to pay attention to these glands and how they are functioning.

Adrenal fatigue is a stress condition where the adrenal glands become fatigued, tired, exhausted, and in the later stages of progression, the adrenals can even become dysfunctional.

Adrenal fatigue is a rising phenomena and yet it’s not something that medical doctors frequently detect or test for.

Trust me, I know I’ve had it myself and had to research far and wide for information. In the end this was great because I managed to overcome it, and I also wrote a book about it and have gone on to help other people overcome it too.

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that has far reaching effects when it comes to our health.

It’s not just feeling tired. but all the other things that start to become compromised as a result of high cortisol (our stress hormone).

Another thing to be aware of is that if you have thyroid issues, your adrenals have usually become compromised first. So in order to effectively address thyroid problems you have to heal the adrenals as well.

And if you’re a woman entering peri-menopause or going through menopause right now, the health of your adrenals has everything to do with the severity of your symptoms because the adrenals take over hormone production from the ovaries.

If the adrenals are shot, your adrenal fatigue symptoms will be worse.

So let’s get to know a thing or two about the adrenals to get an understanding about just how important it is to get a hold of our stress and our health.

What Are the Adrenals?

The adrenals are two small glands that sit slightly above and adjacent to the kidneys. They are part of the endocrine system and produce around 50 different hormones.

Yes, these two little glands are very busy!

The hormones in our body are chemical messengers that are secreted by the various glands of the endocrine system. We do also produce hormones from places other than our endocrine glands but these are the main hormone producers.

Hormones are activated by altered conditions in the body. Hormones have many roles but essentially they are there to maintain balance in the body so that your body keeps functioning the way it should.

endocrine system diagram

Amongst other hormones the adrenals produce cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, adrenaline, norepinephrine, aldosterone, pestrogen, dopamine, DHEA, and sex hormone precursors. The adrenals are our central energy centers and are involved in many important bodily functions including blood sugar regulation, brain alertness, stress adaptation, sex hormones and sex drive, and helping to moderate the body’s mineral balance.

Cortisol is the predominant hormone that is activated under stress and what often happens at first is it becomes hyperactive and it can also become erratic. In the later stages, people can find themselves with low cortisol and completely dysfunctional hormones.

So it’s best if we catch things early by understanding the symptoms of adrenal fatigue–that way you can start doing something about it.

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Some adrenal fatigue symptoms are:

  • tiredness in the morning and the need for caffeine and stimulants to get you going
  • slump in the afternoon between 2-4pm and the need for stimulants to keep you going
  • a second wind around 6pm and more energy at night
  • being tired and exhausted all the time
  • feeling tired yet wired
  • feeling like you have to push through all the time
  • difficulty getting to sleep, waking frequently, or poor sleep
  • dizzy spells when you stand from a sitting position
  • poor memory or inability to concentrate
  • strong cravings for sugar, refined carbohydrates, and stimulants
  • craving salty foods
  • feeling wrecked by the end of the day
  • anxiety
  • feeling generally rundown or overwhelmed

Additional Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

As you can see adrenal fatigue can have varying effects on the body, mind and soul!

It sounds daunting, but there’s A LOT we can do to minimize the stressors in our life and I’ll be sharing a post about that very soon.

Additionally, you can read here for Adrenal Fatigue Diet helps.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve found this information helpful and that you share it with others to help them on their health journey as well.

Please note – neither Jedha nor Adrienne are doctors. Please consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise or supplement regimen.

Have you or do you suffer with adrenal fatigue?
Please feel free to leave your comments below.

About the Author

Jedha - writer for Whole New Mom

Jedha Dening is the Nutritionist and Health Coach behind Good Food Eating. She’s also a Mom, passionate writer, and lover of good food that’s also good for your waistline. With over 10 years of experience in health and wellness, Jedha is passionate about taking care of people’s nutrition and health so they can feel fantastic everyday. When she’s not cooking, researching or writing about nutrition, she can usually be found in the great outdoors gardening, bushwalking, or kayaking.

Leave a Reply

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



  1. I was recently diagnosed with adrenal hyperplasia which is a birth defect. I pretty much check with Mayo clinic or the Cleveland clinic’s websites for
    health issues. This is what the Mayo clinic’s website says about “adrenal fatigue” –
    If you are experiencing the above symptoms, you should visit an endocrinologist. I was diagnosed after a follow-up CT scan after having Covid and ended up in the hospital with blood clots in my lungs. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Yes, there are differing thoughts on adrenal fatigue. Overall I’m doing quite well and yes anyone with those symptoms should get checked. Take care!

        1. Thank you! You can read a bit more about it here – more info to come. Let’s stay in touch.

        2. Hi there – Did you happen to delete your comments on YouTube? I saw another notification, but hopped over, and they’re gone!

          1. Yes. I thought the conversation was done, although sometimes YouTube algorithm has deleted my so-called “spammy” comments before. smile! I’m sorry, is there something else you wanted to say? I have your cookie recipe in my “Freedom Diet” playlist.

            1. Weird!! I can see the comments in notifications but they aren’t under the video any longer. I guess you could try posting one of them again and see if it works……. Your comments were for sure not spammy!

  2. hi guys , let he state by saying I don’t have a thyroid and have been on meds for about 15 yrs. a lot time I get tired around 2 on some days other day no change , every morning I get up and work out , few hundred sit ups and do a different body part every day ,some days I have to push to get started. then there are days I don’t get started at all , I take my levothyroxin between 11:30 PM and 3 AM this way no conflicts with food blood test always came back 2.5-3.9 but last time came back 5.1 don’t no why I’ve been doing the same thing for years , doc said we will keep a check on it next docs. visit Oct. I don’t think I will wait that long maybe in 4 wks don’t like feeling this way

  3. I’m a guy and I seem to feel like this to always tired and cold.I’m just wondering does this diet work for guys to?

    1. My understanding is adrenal issues are applicable to both sexes but hormonal issues would be different a relates to the sex hormones. But this isn’t medical advice.

  4. I have been going to the doctor for three months trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. He finally looked at me as if I was just trying to get attention and in an exasperated voice said, “What do you really think is wrong with you?”. I said, “I don’t know! That’s why I’m here, to find out from you.”
    I read your blog and see clearly that this is what has been wrong with me for a few years now. It has just recently gotten worse, which is why I’ve been going to the doctor for help.
    Thank you so much for explaining adrenal fatigue in words that this Mom can understand and hopefully fix without a doctor’s care. I’m still shocked that I mentioned my adrenal gland possibly not functioning well to two different doctors, and both of them acted like it was irrelevant information. I feel better now just realizing that I do know what is wrong with me, and I can do something to hopefully improve my condition. God bless you.

  5. So I’m 29. I have two children, my youngest three. I had two c sections, & after my last I had a tubal. I feel like I’m constantly tired I have to talk myself into getting up out of bed or off the couch because I’m so tired all of the time. (IM 29! ) I feel like I should not feel this way, I use to sleep well, I don’t sleep through the night I constantly toss and turn. I have zero sex drive I’ve tried antidepressants and feel they just make it worse. I have mood swings, when I’m laying or sitting down and I get up I get extremely dizzy and a sharp pain in my head. I also get fainty with low blood sugar issues (not diabetic) I had blood work done and they said everything looked fine. I still feel like something is going on. Any suggestions?

    1. This sounds like classic endocrine and thyroid and adrenal issues. Are you able to hire someone to work with you? My doctor said everything looked great. But it wasn’t.

      I can’t medically advise, of course, but I personally eliminated problematic foods (sugars, high refined carbs, inflammatory foods like dairy, egg, gluten, soy, and corn, and then I did a bunch of tests to see what I needed to improve. There are things you can do without a professional’s help like improving gut health and taking a natural detox supplement and maybe cleanses and adaptogens. This post might help:

      Let me know what you think and I hope you can get better. There are some more thyroid and adrenal posts on my site as well.

  6. Hello! I had to have an adrenalectomy on the left side & now I have another tumor on the right. Any suggestions? I have diabetes, squamous cell carcinoma, temporal arteritis. & total exhaustion … Thanks!!!

    1. Hello Bryce, I am sorry that you have all of these things. I cannot medically advise. Have you worked w/ a medical practitioner and/or natural holistic practitioner? The whole body is connected so any progress in one area should help others.

  7. As a therapist and a person who believes she is suffering from this as well as clearly diagnosed underactive thyroid this is useful, although there are a lot of sites and posts about this now. The thing is what to do about it. Not just moan about how awful it is and put up with it! I am going to try ashwagandha and see how that goes, having read that it has helped a lot of people with thyroid and’/or adrenal problems. Feel free to write to me at rychhmo at aol dot com if you wish to get intouch.

    1. It does help some – not me. And it’s a nightshade so be careful. Have you been tested for hashimoto’s?

    2. Hi my son is 13 and he is been loosing his hair since he was 10. I took him to doctor they did all the blood work done and every thing came out negative. He had his appendicitis on August of 2012 and from october 2012 he started loosing hair i took him to 2 different dermatologist and both of them are saying he is fine but he is not he is loosing tons of hair and i can see his scalp..i am so worried about it. Do you think does it has to do anything with Adrenal issue? Thank you

  8. Everyone with adrenal fatigue should also rule out if they are the one in six that have trouble processing B9, if so they should get checked for the MTHFR gene…. Go to for more info. Also rule out a thyroid issue; for more info, go to Wilsons temperature sydrome websites; basically you can have normal Thyroid labs but still be hypothyroid. From the school nurse!

  9. I got acute thyroiditis April 2014 and lost 14 kg. I was very unwell. Thyroid finally came right but then my adrenals fatigued. I have been fatigued since. Lots of food intolerances make it very challenging to feed myself. Thankfully I have put 10 kg back on. I haven’t been able to work. It would be great to get my life back again. Doctors seen to disagree with each other about adrenal fatigue and the accuracy of the saliva test for cortisol levels, makes me feel controversial.

  10. Hi Jedha,

    I ticked all the symptoms. I had earlier put it down to the stress of having a special needs child. I don’t want to spend money on tests ( I already spend a lot on my son), so what is the most natural way to start TREATING myself? I have started aerobics which gives me a lot of energy but am very irregular.


    1. Hi.
      I can share what helped me as I’m disabled and it all makes my neuropathy worse too.
      Gut health n leaky gut. This makes th rest of you sick.
      Leaky gut means a few food allergies so start w/ th 5 biggies.
      Check hypothyroid mom site-great advice n easy read.
      Th thyroid quits from hormone unbalancing n no detox. Then th liver gets sluggish. All test good until it doesn’t. Th US can’t decide on standards-won’t use th EU’s.
      Bone broth, collagen have helped me heal.
      ADD/Autistic/ ADHD all have acidic guts too. Makes u malnourished n teeth r now falling out ( I’m almost 60 now).
      This all impacts nutrient uptake.
      Use only whole food vitamins n min. I’ve done much better since.
      Stop any medication u can substitute with herbal or homeopathic. Functional medicine is th big answer

      1. Hi Lorraine – thanks for chiming in, but I’m curious what you mean about acidic gut – since the gut is supposed to be acidic. Thanks!

  11. I wonder if this isn’t the same as what used to be diagnosed as PCOS Lite (PCOS symptoms without the actual cysts). Can you direct me to a more detailed list of symptoms? I was diagnosed with PCOS Lite about 9 years ago, and most of these symptoms are the same as mine. Very interesting…

  12. Is it possible for a 9 year old to have adrenal fatigue? My daughter LOVES salt, like way too much.

  13. I was wondering Adrienne if you still recommend the same person you were working with in 2012? I am 59 and know I am hypothyroid and have probably been for many years. I was low in progesterone and had all my children early probably because of this. My body temps have always run low as does my sis and mom and my kids. I am not in pretty good health but take Klonapin for restless legs (ugg) I know!! and have for many years. I don’t take a large dose and really don’t know if I even have it (restless legs) any more but coming off of it is kind of scary as I have been on it for 10 years. I did not have weight problems until I was about 45 (had my last child at 41) and was always thin all my life and now am up to 162 even though I eat no sugar or grains. Was going to try keto diet but I guess was wondering if there was any way to heal my thyroid and hormones at this late date? I know that I am high in bad estrogen too and have an appt with a integrative doctor on March 31 but have wondered if I could find help in a less costly way. I also have a mouth full of fillings and root canals from my youth that I must live with.
    Unfortunately like many we are stuck this year with very high deductibles and must pay out of pocket 4,000 before insurance kicks in for the small part it plays. I was wondering if you still feel the hair testing is a great way to go?

    1. No, I am working with someone new. I can give you her contact info if you like. I have someone for me and someone for my son. They both are familiar w/ hair testing but they do other things as well. It isn’t cheap but I am moving in a good direction I think. Let me know. Both of them can work w/ adults.

      1. Yes that would be great 🙂 Do you work with a doctor to (do you have to have any thyroid meds ect) or just one person. I know even integrative doctors can leave much to be desired. My daughter is being treated by this doctor I have the appt with for Lymes disease that was just diagnosed in Dec – she is 18 and has suffered for years with symptoms. I read with very much interest your friends posts about Lymes.
        I have friends that think they can help me get rid of excess estrogen (diet, cleansing such as coffee enemas) but they are in their 30’s and have more time to try different things. I notice I am not as sharp as I was and my daughter says I repeat things so I don’t want to let this go. I am sure you have been around enough to know when you find someone that you trust:)
        Thanks again!

        1. Hi.
          It’s awful-right ?
          As we mature my husband and I too r in a bog.
          Look at food allergies, heal th gut, add progesterone if possible because it’s needed in all of us. Get hormones tested n thyroid.
          Then Detox.
          We take meds so a bentonite clay is out of the question.
          Zeolite is a volcanic ash that does gut n cellular. Give it a read maybe ?
          Good luck , God Bless

    2. Hi Pat, Yes you can still do a lot with your health and hormones at any age! Definitely sounds like a thyroid/adrenal issue with that weight gain. Sounds like you will need some assistance to work out the right supplements and eating plan because with your variety of symptoms I wouldn’t go it alone and try to work it out if you want a speedier recovery.

      Hair testing is good for many things such as minerals but not for thyroid/adrenals. Salivary cortisol for adrenals and blood tests are usually done for thyroid 🙂

      1. Hi all, I just wanted to add that all of the above guidance is not medical advice, I work with the body to support healing via nutrition and the above is not meant to replace the advice of a medical practitioner 🙂

  14. If this question was answered in the article or in the comments already I really do apologize. What test should I ask my Dr. to run? In the last 12 years I have donated a kidney, had mononucleosis and completed menopause and I am losing my mind,exhausted, irritable, can’t shut my mind down so that I can sleep….trust me the list goes on and on. Help! Is there a specific test?

    1. Hi Dawn, ask you doctor for a salivary cortisol test. Cortisol is the key stress hormone and that’s what will indiccate if adrenals are a bit out of balance. The most accurate way to test is via saliva at 3-4 periods throughout the day. Measuring salivary hormones shows the tissue concentration of the hormones – the active component. They may offer blood test but it tests total hormones not the active component.

      I’d say if you are suffering symptoms start taking action on your diet and lifestyle. There really isn’t medication for adrenal fatigue anyway, the best healing strategy is diet, lifestyle and supplements. If you need help with that you might want to visit my website.

  15. I’ve had adrenal fatigue along with my thyroid, gut, etc., issues. It’s still unbelievable to me that my *former* endocronologist once told me that she did not believe in adrenal fatigue!

    1. WOW Stephanie, that’s crazy! It’s a number one endocrine issue and that’s so surprising that an endocrinologist would say that. Unfortunately the main stream medical model does not acknowledge this condition enough even though it is an epidemic. I treat clients with this condition all the time and it IS very real.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope your health journey is going along better these days 🙂

    2. I have adrenal fatigue also, and before I was diagnosed I saw an endocrinologist about my symptoms (extreme hypoglycemia–my body HAD to have food every two hours, or I’d experience the full range of unpleasant hypoglycemic symptoms–needless to say, I had gained a lot of weight, lol!), and she told me that they couldn’t find anything wrong, and to just keep doing what I was doing to manage it. Eating every two hours was not a satisfactory solution to me!

      1. I suffer from adrenal fatigue associated with toxic levels of copper revealed by a hair/mineral analysis. The recovery process is slow especially when under persistent stress. I think a lot of people have this sort of problem and have no idea because conventional medicine doesn’t address nutrition and the importance of minerals.

        1. Absolutely right Diane! Unfortunatley conventional medicine doesn’t address much of anything that is really important and is not a model that is designed to assist people in gaining optimal health. It is really only there to help manage disease and there is a HUGE difference in those ideals, wouldn’t you agree?

    3. I just had that experience this year seeing new endocrinologist who basically dismissed me. adrenal PAIN since a child adrenal swelling, FIBRO , chron. fatigue, had hashimoto’s was hyper am hypo at bottom of ‘normal. take well butrin as decades of stress and hyper sensitivity and being an empath has jacked up the cortisol. natural MD saw it off the charts told me to take norco as pain was so and is still, BAD! she looked at the tests, look at me. an told me to see a psychiatrist. WT HECK?! so much inflammation hyper vigilance etc. this is 7th anti depressant is working ok but not for pain. side effects but keeps my attitude less hopeless. God bless!

  16. Hello,

    Yes, I do have adrenal fatigue, and have for many years. What started out as thyroid issues (Graves Disease) eventually came around to the adrenals issues as well. Since then, I have taken Maca, Plus ( from Mannatech and is totally awesome for the whole endocrine system, check it out!!) Silica, and on occasion bee pollen if I know I have a busy day. Maca does not work for everyone but it works wonderfully for me. Also added bio-identical progesterone and testosterone and it made a huge difference in my memory and most importantly, my sleep. i am totally off sleeping pills now after 20 something years!! I also add 5htp for sleeping as well as Melatonin.

    I have lost 40 lbs, yoga 3 or 4 times a week, snow ski, hike, volunteer, and feel sooooooooooooo much better. I have had a full hysterectomy, my thyroid gland irradiated ( from Graves Disease that was unaffected by meds). Had no naturally occurring hormones which made my adrenal issues even worse. Now I am doing well. There are non prescription ways to get better.!!


    1. Hi Melissa. One thing I did hear is not to use maca when you are ill as it can cause the illness to go in farther. I can’t medically advise, but a previous practitioner told me that.

    2. Great to hear you’re going better Melissa 🙂

      It is true that natural treatment is the way to go. Primary treatment strategies are diet, supplements and lifestyle changes and when implemented right can help anyone overcome it, though it can be a journey for most of us who have or do suffer. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. Is there you can glean from a test from the dr. for this? My husband just had his blood tested for adrenal function and his cortisal was high.

    1. Hi Melissa, Blood tests are not accurate for measuring cortisol because they test total hormone levels but not necessarily the active component. The most accurate way to test is via saliva at 3-4 periods throughout the day. Measuring salivary hormones shows the tissue concentration of the hormones – the active component. If he is having troubles ou may want to request that test be done 🙂