Adrenal Fatigue

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Latest Edit: Iva Lloyd, ND 2017-10-11 (EDT)

Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe "hypo" functioning adrenal glands. Excess physical, emotional, and psychological stressors can deplete the adrenal glands causing a decrease in output of adrenal hormones, especially cortisol. This can have a profound effect on the body.[1]

Adrenal Fatigue
Causes Dietary Factors, Insomnia, Stress
See Also Endocrine Conditions, Hypothyroidism, Fatigue, PMS, Anemia, hypoglycemia
Books Books on Endocrine Diseases
Articles Articles on Endocrine Conditions

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With adrenal fatigue, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to adrenal fatigue.



  • Demanding work, social, home life

Diagnostic Testing


Related Symptoms and Conditions

Other conditions that are commonly associated with adrenal faigue include:


Common Symptoms

The symptoms generally associated with adrenal fatigue include:[1]

  • Fatigue not relieved by sleep
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Craving for salt or salty foods
  • Lethargy
  • Increased effort required to complete every day tasks
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Increased time required to recover from illness, injury, or trauma
  • Light-headedness when standing up quickly
  • Mild depression
  • Brain fog
  • Decreased productivity
  • Bloating

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

Home Care

Home Care strategies include:

  • Avoid environmental triggers (ex. viral infections, changes in sleep schedule, mental or physical overexertion etc.) [2]


Lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Dietary recommendations include avoiding refined sugar and carbohydrates, caffeine, and alcohol. Patients may benefit from eating smaller, more frequent meals. Salt is typically not restricted. [3]
  • Ensure you drink adequate water.
  • Incorporate movement and fitness into your daily routine.
  • Deep breathing exercises may be helpful.
  • Sleep is critical. Ensure you are sleeping 8-10 hours per night, improve sleep hygeine.
  • Take time for yourself, learn how to set personal and emotional boundaries.

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for adrenal fatigue include:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wilson JL (2001) Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome Smart Publications
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prousky, Jonathan. (2008) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Clinical Nutrition. CCNM Press Inc.
  3. Gaby AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing.
  4. Head KA, Kelly GS (2009) Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep. Altern Med Rev;14(2):114-40. PMID:19594222
  5. Lockie A, Geddes N (1995) The Complete Guide to Homeopathy: The Principles and Practice of Treatment With a Comprehensive Range of Self-Help Remedies for Common Ailments. RD Press.