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Adrenal Fatigue: Signs, Causes and What To Do To Recover

Do you experience any of these 11 Common Signs of Adrenal fatigue?

1. Difficulty getting up in the morning, and feel tired even if you had enough sleep?
2. Low energy later in afternoon between 3-5pm?
3. Feel more awake and most energetic in the evening?
4. Do you crave salty foods?
5. Dealing with stress or physical challenges makes you feel overwhelmed?
6. More susceptible to illnesses, tending to get sick too often or for too long?
7. Sometimes, or often get lightheaded when you stand up quickly?
8. Need caffeine to get going or keep going?
9. Often feel tired, but wired?
10. Struggle with low drive, low muscle tone or apathy?
11. Weight gain, especially around the middle?

These could be signs that your adrenals need support.

Adrenals are glands that are located on top of each kidney. (The word 'adrenal' actually comes from the Latin words 'ad renes', meaning near the kidney.) Each gland is approximately 2.5 inches long and 1 inch wide, with a yellowish color. The right adrenal gland is triangular shaped, and the left adrenal gland is shaped more like a half-moon.

The adrenal glands produce hormones which the body uses to respond to stress. Adrenaline is one that helps to quickly react to stress with a fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline causes the heart rate and blood pressure to increase, and the airways to open for faster breathing and to bring in more oxygen. There is also cortisol which releases stored fat to use for energy and keeps blood sugar circulating in high amounts. It stimulates short term memory and the liver's detoxification of wastes in the blood. Cortisol also reduces inflammation, but suppresses the immune system which isn't considered vital during a fight-or-flight response. Aldosterone is another adrenal hormone that has a strong effect on the kidneys, helping to regulate water and electrolyte balance, and blood pressure.

Maintaining healthy adrenals allows you to respond to stress and recover with resiliance.

What are some of the Causes of Adrenal Fatigue?


Any excessive or constant physical stress can deplete the adrenals. Physical demands from work or exercise, lack of sleep, illness or exposure to weather temperature extremes or chemical toxicity can deplete your reserves.

Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and televisions, wearable electronics, microwave ovens and computers give off strong EMF fields that can be stressful to our bodies. Most of us use at least some of these appliances frequently, and are susceptible to this invisible stress.

Likewise, personal inner turmoil especially prolonged or without a solution, can cause immense stress which eventually affects your body and health. Most of us would appreciate support to deal with problems relating to family and relationships. Lack of support or knowledge to understand how to achieve our goals, or deal with financial necessities, work, moral dilemmas and other problems are among the stresses which may contribute to exhaustion.


It is common to develop minor deficiencies of essential nutrients, like B vitamins, Vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, zinc other trace elements. Under stress, the need for nutrients is even greater. The adrenal glands need minerals, and Vitamins B and C in particular. Many people don't eat anywhere near enough fresh vegetables on a regular basis to provide minerals and antioxidant nutrients needed.

Refined carbohydrates and sugar stress the adrenals also. (See blog post-Sugar Hangover ) Diets too low in protein may also create deficiencies. On the other hand, a diet too high in protein can over-acidify the body and stress elimination systems. You might like to know more about the advantage of eating a good alkaline-acid balance diet from our 80-20 Alkaline-Acid Chart

The Standard American Diet is high in processed carbs and sugar, altered fats and proteins. Read Insights on Processed Foods from a Formerly Toxic Individual. The standard diet is low in quality fats, clean proteins and fresh vegetables. It is lacking nutrients while high in calories. This itself is stressful, and an unhealthy way to eat. Learn more about Healthy vs Unhealthy Fats & Oils in this excerpt from the instructions for our Cleanse Kits.

Our diets are often low in nutrients required by the adrenals like minerals and vitamins. One reason for this is the depleted soil in which our food is grown. Our soils today contain a fraction of the magnesium or other minerals that soils hundreds of years ago did. Pesticides and processing deplete nutrients even more. Also, bad habits like eating on the go, or in the car, lessen the value of food and our ability to digest it.

Not enough or poor-quality water affects oxygenation of the tissues because water is needed to carry nutrients through the blood and into the cells and carries wastes out of the cells and body. It also helps enzyme activity needed for cellular processes. So, the partially dehydrated state many people live with can also be considered a deficiency and affects the adrenals negative.


Toxic chemicals play often a large role in adrenal exhaustion. We are exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. One can also include dental materials or beauty products, such as shampoo, lotions, make-up. Cleaning with toxic chemicals also contributes to weaken the adrenals. We offer some good options for non-toxic products for skin and cleaning. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications also add to the body's toxic load. Toxic wastes may also be generated internally due to defective digestion. When food is not properly digested, it can create a fermentation process in the intestines. Which can produce many toxic substances that are absorbed through the intestinal lining. A healthy body has the ability to eliminate many harmful substances on a daily basis. But when an adrenal weakness develops, the body's ability to eliminate toxic residues decreases. This can result in vicious cycle in which weaker adrenals lag the elimination of all poisons, which then further weakens the adrenals.


Chronic infections may stem from teeth or gums but could be located anywhere in the body. They contribute greatly to the toxic load of the body. Inflammation from infections are countered by the body with the release of adrenal hormones including cortisol, which when chronic, suppresses the immune system, and can result in a vicious cycle.


Stimulants like caffeine, sugar and alcohol damage the adrenal glands through constant stimulation of stress hormones and adrenaline, and so over time deplete the body. These activities can provide a temporary "high", caused in part by the secretion of high amounts of adrenal hormones. Over time, this weakens the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal depletion and insufficiency. Even extreme sports like surfing, diving, extreme climbing can eventually deplete the adrenals.


Often overlooked but as important as toxins are emotional responses like anger, rage, arguments, hate, loud music, tragic news, or even movies with excessive violence. These factors could lead to adrenal exhaustion, if they are a constant part of your life.

What other glands could be involved?

The Thyroid (from Greek thureos, oblong shield) is a butterfly shaped gland and is located in the lower front of the neck. It makes hormones that are needed in every tissue in the body. The thyroid regulates metabolism, helping the body make energy, stay warm, and keeps bowels moving and other organs working.

The adrenals and the thyroid work perfect together to supply the body with energy and needed functional hormones. Now when one of these glands goes out of whack, the balance is thrown off and the body has a harder time functioning. In fact, when the adrenals are constantly running on high, the body eventually down-regulates both adrenal and thyroid to slow down and protect from excess stimulation. The adrenal gland is at the bottom of this equation, and when it is supported adequately, the thyroid stays more easily in balance.

We offer supplements to support the adrenals and thyroid; these tinctures and teas are designed to support and nourish and to your energy back.


Change your activities - do more things you like and less of what you don't like. Creating your own life is important too!

Go out and take a walk and observe the beauty of nature. Breathe in the fresh air and scent of flowers, trees and plants.

Worry less and enjoy life more.

Stay hydrated with clean, pure water.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and clean animal or plant proteins. Eat less refined sugars and carbs.

Sit down and eat, take your time. Try to avoid eating on the go or doing TV dinners, enjoy your food. For example have a family dinner to enjoy for everyone. Eat, talk and enjoy each other's company.

Slowly but surely change your habits from processed foods to fresh, healthy meals.

Include more healthy meals and snacks into your life. Check out some of our healthy snacks like Tropical Love Bites, Banana Love Bites, Raw Gluten-free Basil or Curry Wraps. See all healthy snacks

Adrenal & Thyroid DuoYou can also incorporate our herbal support formulas Nourishing Adrenal/Thyroid Tea and Adrenal & Thyroid Tonic which are especially developed to support the adrenal and thyroid and to rebuild over time. Check our link also to the Tea & Tonic Duo package.

Supplement with excellent whole food sources of B vitamins and minerals your adrenals love; like magnesium, selenium and zinc. Adding a whole food green powder to your smoothies can make a big difference.
Try our Brewer's Yeast for B vitamins, selenium and other trace minerals.
Or Vital Nutrition Plus, a wholefood land and sea vegetable powder.

Make sure to get enough rest. Go to bed when you are tired, so you don't get too wound up and possibly become unable to sleep.

Once you have regained some energy from good nutrition and herbs, you may benefit from cleansing your intestinal tract, liver, urinary system, blood, which can be done periodically - learn about total internal body cleansing.

Take one step at the time and don't get overwhelmed. Recovery from adrenal burnout can take 2 or up to 24 month, depending on how long you have been so stressed.

Most important don't give up and stay on your path to health step by step. Acknowledge yourself for good choices.


Copyright 2009-2023 Southern Botanicals H&N, Inc

Southern Botanicals Herbals & Nutrition
611 S Myrtle Ave # D, Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 443-7711

* Disclaimer: Statements made, or products sold through this web site, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Read More...