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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kathleen Jones

Stress- Adrenal Burnout

Young man in hoodie covering face with hands to depict stress

“Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” – Natalie Goldberg

Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired?  Does your boost of energy dwindle as the afternoon approaches; causing you to crave something sugary or even coffee?  Just to function at work or home do you need to be constantly stimulating your body with caffeine, sugar or food?  You may be experiencing what is known as Adrenal Fatigue. How do we get Adrenal Fatigue? Adrenal Fatigue is just a name for a long term problem that finally ends in additional stress or overload on the adrenal glands from multiple system failures. Simply stated: our body needs energy to function and also healthy organs and nervous system to manage everything.  Glucose is the first level of energy mostly regulated by the liver.  Thyroid function is also critical to maintaining good energy, repair and overall metabolism. Foods that are stimulatory like caffeine and sugar adversely affect both of the primary energy maintaining systems: liver and thyroid.  As the liver and/or thyroid functions decline, glucose levels will wildly fluctuate from high to low often quite quickly, such that a constant infusion of caffeine or sugar is needed to keep ones energy at a level high enough to work, live etc. With progressive use of stimulants like sugar, caffeine as intake of poor quality food, and other environmental insults the liver and thyroid function are further affected. General Adaptation Syndrome Dating back to our ancestors, our bodies were designed to protect ourselves from perceived danger from predators and other threats. When faced with an emergency, our bodies kick into gear what is known as the “fight or flight” mode.   During the “fight or flight” response the brain causes the pituitary gland to release a hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands. This ultimately leads to a cascade of events that secretes adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones to release energy to prepare for battle or to run away.  Unfortunately, because so many people have abused their system and have sluggish liver and thyroid function, the adrenals are called upon try to provide energy for daily use.  However, that is not what the adrenals were designed for and after prolonged overuse and abuse the adrenals will giveout/adrenal exhaustion but adrenals are never the primary problem, just the final failure of long term stress and dysfunction of the liver, thyroid, digestion, nutrient deficiencies, toxicities etc.  This is why just  treating adrenals will not have a lasting effect or benefit.  In fact, taking adrenal glandular is like taking thyroid medication.  It will have an initial benefit but then your own adrenals and thyroid will slow down and stop working. Adrenal Burnout or Exhaustion can cause the following:

  • Low energy production causing difficulty rising in the morning.

  • Muscle and joint function may be compromised. Tissue healing may be slower and can lead to chronic pain syndromes. More prone to osteoporosis.

  • Reduced immune health: more susceptible to infections and allergies.

  • Hypothyroid symptoms.

  • Sleep disturbances: can’t sleep at night but wants to sleep all day

How to Help Your Adrenals It is important and vital to support the biochemistry of your body. (1)

  • Reduce or restrict caffeine intake

  • Reduce or restrict alcohol intake. Alcohol produces a chemical stressor in the human body. It has the potential to elevate adrenal function which can lead to a disturbance in the sleep cycle.

  • Reduce refined carbohydrates in the daily diet. Refined carbohydrates are typically found in white flour and sugar. If consumed in the daily diet, it may lead to issues in controlling blood sugar levels.

  • Eat small, frequent meals away from the TV or office desk.

  • Exercise (oddly enough) will lead to more energy and better sleep.

  • Guided nutritional supplementation is important to support the adrenal gland and immune system. Vitamin C and E, zinc, magnesium and fatty acids are supplements that support the role of the adrenal glands and help manufacture adrenal hormone. (1)A thorough nutritional blood test is crucial to identify your problems and from that we can recommend a customized treatment program as well as preventative measures including diet and lifestyle changes, and proper supplementation based upon your individual test results. It is time to take your health into your own hands. Find out where your nutritional status lies by completing a nutritional blood test.  Take a couple of months to try a safe natural drug free approach.  Results can often been seen in just a few days or weeks.  Let us guide you down the right path with an individualized plan that is constructed specifically towards your needs and help you discover a safe and natural option to benefit your health.We know you are tired, depressed and think nothing will work but do it now: call today to get started!  You will likely be surprised…


  1. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy 12th Ed. 12th ed. England: W B SAUNDERS (FL/MO)-ELSEVIER Science HE, 2008. Print.

  2. Wilson, James. “What Is Adrenal Fatigue?” Adrenal Fatigue. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2017.

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any diseas


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