What Is Adrenal Fatigue? 12 Symptoms, Causes, and Best Natural Treatments

What Is Adrenal Fatigue? 12 Symptoms, Causes, and Best Natural Treatments

This article will break down everything you need to know about adrenal fatigue and the best natural ways to fix it. Here's a quick list of what we'll cover. Just click one of the topics to skip ahead.

Every person on earth experiences fatigue at some point, and the triggers for it are seemingly infinite in scope. While it may be easy to dismiss the causes of your fatigue most of the time, the truth is that something deeper may be keeping you down — not just the typical too much work and too little sleep scenario (although that certainly has an impact and is usually the beginning of what causes adrenal fatigue).

For many, adrenal fatigue is the cause of what’s creating ongoing stress and fatigue throughout the day. Unfortunately, this is a condition that can often go undiagnosed, leading to ineffective responses to many of its symptoms.

By gaining a full understanding of adrenal fatigue, one can then undertake a more effective response to address it, restoring your energy, health, and overall quality of life.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue can sometimes be misrepresented, so it’s important to know an accurate definition.


Adrenal fatigue was first proposed as a new condition in 1998 by Dr. James L. Wilson. His theory described an overstimulation of the adrenal glands coming as a result of chronic stress over time, leading to an inconsistent level of cortisol in the bloodstream.

Here’s a quick primer on cortisol for those who don’t know:

Cortisol is a crucial stress-related hormone that helps to regulate your body’s energy. Typically, it’s supposed to rise in the morning to aid in waking, and then slowly decreases as the day goes on, before dropping even more in the evening before sleeping. It can also help regulate your blood pressure.

Adrenal fatigue begins to surface when cortisol remains at a high level when it’s not supposed to. Chronic stress can often be what’s stimulating the inconsistent cortisol production, but there are other causes as well (see further below.)

However, do note that adrenal fatigue causes symptoms that can overlap with many other health concerns, both significant and minor in scope.

12 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

As mentioned earlier, adrenal fatigue can sometimes be hard to properly identify due it its broad range of symptoms that can sometimes be associated with a lot of other medical issues.

With that said, it’s better to look at the list of common symptoms to get a better idea if you’re experiencing adrenal fatigue. A combination involving the majority of these symptoms is a good indicator of whether or not adrenal fatigue is present:

  • Difficulty getting going in the mornings
  • An increase in cravings for salty or sugary foods
  • Decreased libido
  • Significant fatigue in the afternoon, sometimes involving headaches
  • A surge of energy in the evening
  • Problems sleeping through the night
  • Dizziness when standing up quickly
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Inflammation
  • Thinner, weaker nails
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble losing weight

If you're suffering from any of these symptoms or if you simply want increased natural energy and more restful sleep, check out the Top 3 Supplements to Treat Adrenal Fatigue by clicking below or scroll to the bottom of this page. Or, continue to read on for some of the common causes of adrenal fatigue and simple ways to fix it.

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Common Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue has a foot root causes, some much more easier to identify and deal with than others.

adrenal fatigue and stress

Stress is often the biggest culprit in regards to adrenal fatigue. This is because your body's immune system responds by essentially slowing down when you’re under stress. Your adrenal glands usually respond to stress in your life by releasing hormones such as cortisol.

If you are dealing with a high amount of stress over a long period of time, your adrenal glands will slowly fail in producing the extra cortisol required by your body to regulate your hormones, blood sugar, and heart.

Diet is another driving factor at play. People in general are consuming higher amounts of carbs and sugars than ever before, even with foods that may otherwise seem fine. This can have a drastic effect on your body over time, creating a domino effect that affects your organs — adrenal glands included.

Caffeine can also be playing a role in causing adrenal fatigue and overall stress in your life. Caffeine temporarily tells your brain that you aren't tired even though your body and mind truly need rest. Caffeine has been shown to increase cortisol levels (the stress hormone that can wreak havoc on your body) and deplete your body of B-Vitamins. B-Vitamins are essential for maintaining natural energy levels and a host of other activities within your mind and body. Most of us drug ourself with caffeine to mask the problem when we should instead be providing our body with the nutrients and daily habits it needs to perform at an optimal level. More on this below under "Adrenal Fatigue Treatment".

Sleep issues could also be causing adrenal fatigue. While lack of sleep or trouble sleeping can be symptoms of adrenal fatigue, they can also be what’s causing it. As you already know, getting proper sleep is the foundation for your health, and has a massive effect on your energy levels throughout the day.

Over time, if you are continuing to get bad sleep, it will affect your work and leisure, which can then trigger stress and even depression — two things that can certainly lead to adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment | The Best Ways to Restore Your Adrenal Health

One of the positive aspects of adrenal fatigue is that it can be treated naturally. Not only that, but most of the suggested treatments for adrenal fatigue are beneficial regardless of whether you have it or not.

Reduce Stress

Stress is easily the biggest cause of adrenal fatigue, so it should be a priority in your life to reduce your stress levels in any way you can.

Of course, simply telling someone to reduce stress is easier said than done, and can encompass a number of life issues. So with that said, consider some broad solutions, such as practicing mindfulness exercises periodically throughout the day, and breathing exercises as well.

Yoga and outdoor leisure activities are some other proactive ways to reduce stress, along with focusing more on hobbies that are important to you when away from work.

Improve Your Sleep Quality And Amount

Healthy slumber is absolutely crucial to your health. Lack of sleep or restless sleep will gradually wear you down in several ways. Make an active effort to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep.

This can include things like changing your mattress, going to bed earlier, avoiding eating before bed, avoiding the use of screens before bed, using white noise to fall asleep, and so on.


Food is medicine, as the saying goes.

Altering your diet is a great step in addressing your adrenal fatigue. Some suggestions include reducing your carb and sugar amounts, eating more protein and fat, eating during the right times of day, drinking plenty of water, and consuming an ample amount of fermented foods.

adrenal fatigue and diet

Best Natural Supplements to Restore Your Adrenal Health

There are several natural supplements that can help eradicate adrenal fatigue. The best options are supplements that contain a combination of high-quality vitamins, minerals, and adaptogenic herbs such as these:

Organic Ashwagandha: Look for supplements that have ashwagandha, which helps regulate cortisol production and has a host of other benefits. Be wary though, not all ashwgandha is created equal. Look for a high quality supplement that contains Organic KSM-66 or Sensoril as both of these have been studied and shown effective. As well, they are standardized to contain the active compound withanolides. This is the compound shown to help manage cortisol, increase energy, and reduce stress.

Magnesium: Magnesium is also important as deficiencies are fairly common and can increase anxiety, depression, fatigue, muscle cramps, and migraines. Look for a supplement that contains Magnesium Glycinate as it is easily absorbed and doesn't cause the stomach upset that can come from Magnesium Oxide or Magnesium Citrate.

Vitamin C: Adrenal glands contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C of any part of the body. It's critical to replenish these to support your adrenal gland function and your immune system.

B-Vitamin Complex: Vitamin B5, B6, and B12 can have a profound effect as well to boost energy and help stabilize cortisol levels to get your adrenal glands functioning normal again. B-vitamins work together in a complex process so look for a supplement that contains a complete B-Vitamin Complex.

We've compiled a list of the three best adrenal fatigue supplements below so you can get a head start on improving your adrenal health.

Top 3 Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue:

best adrenal fatigue supplement#1 Adaptify Adrenals. Potent adaptogenic herbs and vitamins work synergistically to address the effects of stress on the mind and body. By helping to manage cortisol levels and provide adrenal support, Adaptify helps: reduce stress, fight fatigue, enhance energy, and improve focus. We've formulated Adaptify to be the best adrenal support and cortisol manager available. Each veggie capsule contains powerful adaptogens (KSM-66 Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Eleuthero, and Cordyceps) plus a Complete B-Vitamin Complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12) and Vitamin C, Biotin, Folate, and Magnesium.

  • Ingredients: Adaptogens: Organic KSM-66 Ashwagandha root extract, Rhodiola Rosea root extract, Eleuthero root extract, Cordyceps Sinesis standardized to 7% cordycepic acid; Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Magnesium, Biotin, Folate
  • Money Back Guarantee: Yes!
  • Price: Around $25 for a 30 day supply. Get 15% OFF Today with Code ADAPTIFY15. Click Here Buy on Amazon
  • Why this is our #1 Choice: Contains KSM-66 Ashwagandha, a Complete B-Vitamin Complex, Magnesium Glycinate (the most easily absorbed form), and other proven adaptogens and herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea, Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng), and Cordyceps in quantities that are shown to be effective and all standardized.

KEY INSIGHT - A Note About Standardization: The most potent and effective adaptogenic ingredients come from the extract of the plant, roots, and leaves. For Ashwagandha in particular, make sure that you're purchasing a product with ingredients that state "root extract" on the supplement facts panel. As well, an ingredient that says it's "standardized" means it's been tested to contain a certain level of the active ingredient. Standardization of an extract provides consistent dosage delivery across batches and guaranteed potency.


gaia herbs adrenal health#2 Gaia Adrenal Health. Maintaining a healthy stress response is necessary for overall health and wellbeing. Supporting the systems that aid the body in reacting and normalizing as stress occurs is critical in maintaining a healthy response to stress. Adrenal Health Daily Support provides nourishment to the adrenals with a combination of Rhodiola Rosea, Holy Basil, Oats milky seed, Schisandra berry, and Ashwagandha. Gaia recommends taking 4 veggie capsules per day.

  • Ingredients: Rhodiola Rosea root extract, Holy Basil leaf extract, Oats milky seed fresh extract, Schisandra berry, and Ashwagandha root extract.
  • Money Back Guarantee: No
  • Price: Around $28 for a 30 day supply. Check current price on Amazon.
  • CONS: You don't know how much of each ingredient you're getting. Gaia hides the amount of each ingredient. This is a BIG detractor in our opinion. We believe you deserve to know what you are putting into your body. It also does NOT contain B-vitamins, Magnesium, or Vitamin C. Last but not least, the type of Ashwagandha used is unknown.


1 Body Adrenal Support#3 Adrenal Support by 1 Body. A blend of many ingredients designed to supplement the dietary needs of your adrenal glands. Each veggie capsule contains Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Eleuthero, a limited set of B-Vitamins (B5, B6, and B12), Vitamin C, Magnesium, L-Tyrosine, Choline, Ginger, Licorice, Gotu Kola, and Schizandra.

NOTE: While there are a lot of different ingredients in this blend, many of them are at levels not high enough to be effective. As well, it does not contain a full B-Vitamin complex. 

    • Ingredients: Adaptogens: Eleuthero root extract, Rhodiola Rosea root extract, Ashwagandha root extract, Gotu Kola leaf, Schizandra berry, Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamin C, Vitamins B6, B12, B5, Magnesium, L-tyrosine, Choline, Ginger root extract, Licorice root extract root
    • Money Back Guarantee: Yes
    • Price: Around $22 for a 30 day supply. Check current price on Amazon.
    • CONS: The potency of most of the ingredients are not effective. This is what is called "fairy dust" or "label stuffing". For example, the 50mg Ashwagandha in 1 Body isn't even enough for your body to notice a difference. That's just one of the reasons we developed Adaptify which contains 200mg of Organic KSM-66 Ashwagandha root extract. As well, it does NOT have a full B-Vitamin Complex. Last but not least, none of the ingredients are standardized and they do not disclose on their label what form of each vitamin you are getting.



Adrenal fatigue doesn't have to be a hindrance in your life. Being mindful of your stress levels, sleep quality, diet, and high-quality natural supplementation are the keys to unlocking healthy adrenal glands.

By combining a proper understanding of what it is and why it occurs, you can take clear and decisive steps to restore your adrenal glands to an ideal level of functionality, ensuring you have optimal levels of cortisol throughout the day - making living an optimized life to its fullest that much more attainable.






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