What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Did you know that excessive fatigue and lack of energy is the number one cause of visits to a doctor’s office? The conventional medical solution is to have you relax, take a combination of anti-depressants, sleeping pills, metabolic stimulants such as thyroid medications, and/or anti-anxiety agents.

This symptom-patching approach seldom works because the root causes are masked and left to deteriorate. This can lead to a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, where the body’s main stress control and fatigue regulation center — the adrenal glands — become tired and unable to perform their job optimally.

Why can’t most doctors figure it out? The short answer is they’re not trained to. Conventional tests and labs are often normal, and because symptoms aren’t specific, doctors often don’t find the true cause in the few short minutes you have for a normal office visit. Most sufferers are told all is well.

This cannot be farther from the truth because symptoms can be severe and debilitating. Common symptoms include:

  • Needing to eat or snack frequently to avoid fatigue, irritation
  • Salt craving
  • Low blood pressure
  • Being wired and tired at night, with difficulty falling asleep and frequent awakening
  • Heart pounding and palpitations
  • Multiple chemical and food sensitivities
  • Paradoxical reactions to medications and supplements
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist — This weight is almost impossible to lose!
  • Reduced sex drive and libido, with excessive fatigue after intercourse
  • Brain fog, with difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Lack of energy in the mornings and mid-afternoon
  • Migrating pain for no reason
  • Inability to handle stressful situations
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, and easily startled
  • Inability to tolerate heat or temperature fluctuation
  • Reduce exercise capacity and breathlessness on exertion like going up a flight of steps

These are just some of the more than 75 signs and symptoms that can present. If you have any or all of these signs and symptoms and can’t figure out what’s wrong, it’s time to consider adrenal fatigue as a possible cause if your doctor cannot find the cause.

Adrenal fatigue is not taught in most medical school curriculums, as such, most conventionally trained physicians are ignorant of this. Instead, conventional doctors will look towards more conventional diagnosis such as hypothyroidism or depression to explain the symptoms that you are experiencing. In doing so, you may be started on prescriptions medications that you did not need, a very common mistake that is often made.

» Read more here to find out why conventional medicine rejects adrenal fatigue.

But My Lab Results are Normal…

Another common reason that allopathic physicians reject adrenal fatigue is that routine or specialized blood laboratory results often come back normal or borderline. Therein lies one of the key differences in naturally oriented physician and conventional medicine. Naturally oriented doctors place a greater emphasis on clinical presentation and the history of the person. Astute clinical observations paired with soft laboratory test are the key foundations of proper assessment.

Conventional medicine’s ignorance tends to lead to an over-reliance on testing instead of clinical presentation. Just because test results do not meet the requisite requirements of a pathological disease state, sufferers are told they are in good health, and nothing is wrong.

» Read why there are many reasons as to why your laboratory results may come back normal and what to do about it.

Getting Better: Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue with the Total Body Approach

Even if you were able to find a health practitioner such as a functional physician, nutritionist, chiropractor or naturopathic doctor who is adrenal fatigue literate, the next part is learning how to recover through developing and following a specific and comprehensive plan of nutritional recovery designed just for YOU.

Glandulars, pro hormones, adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals are just some of the natural, commonly deployed compounds by these practitioners. Other examples include ashwagandha, adrenal cortex, Rhodiola, Macca, Progesterone, high doses of Vitamin C and B-vitamins, zinc, etc. Even cannabis is sometimes looked to as a solution. These natural compounds are similar in nature and can worsen the condition over time if improperly used. It is vital to make sure that your recovery plan involves a short-term plan to help manage your symptoms as well as a long-term plan to make sure that the core issue is dealt with and resolved, so there is no relapse. The inability to fully recover and regain your vitality and frequent relapses with adrenal crashes with greater intensity and longer recovery period are key signs that your recovery is on the wrong track.

» Discover the Dr. Lam Difference — The TOTAL BODY APPROACH and 4 Simple Steps to Recovery

Here is how forward-looking doctors or naturopathic doctors typically deal with adrenal fatigue. Laboratory results may show that there is an imbalance in your bodies hormone production. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone levels may be off. Bioidentical hormone therapy is started to help rebalance these laboratory levels. Not much is done to explore why the levels are off. Cortisol levels are taken via a saliva or urine test. If the levels are off, adaptogens or glandular may be started to once again help balance these levels out. Once again, the root issue as to why the cortisol levels are off is seldom looked at. This approach can be helpful, but only as a short-term patch. If an individual has a strong enough constitution, stimulating the body with these hormones, herbs, glandular and stimulatory supplements may be good enough to snap the adrenals regain energy flow. Sufferers are misled into thinking that recovery is successful, and there lies the danger. What the body needs is a program to resolve the root problem and adrenal glands to be given the proper nutrients at the foundation level for self-healing, not be driven and whipped into working harder which only hasten the downfall later.

Most sufferers, therefore, will find that short terms benefits tend to subside over time and in fact, they start to get worse, with frequent crashes, reduce exercise capacity, and energy slumps and crashes as time progresses. They become “wired and tired.” As well, hypersensitive, paradoxical reactions and unusual reactions start to occur with greater frequency. These are classic signs of Adrenal Exhaustion. A paradoxical reaction is when a treatment modality has the opposite effect to what is normally expected. For example, if you take a calm supplement, but instead of feeling calmer, you felt more anxious after taking it. When these reactions appear, many practitioners are at a loss as to what to do. The tendency is to increase dosage under the pretenses that more aggressive therapy is needed. Unfortunately, this usually which makes matters worse. Ultimately, sufferers are dissatisfied, frustrated and feel hopeless. They are abandoned and left to self-navigate.

» Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue - Take This Test and Find Out‎

Another reason that the typical recovery program fails even with the best practitioner is because they lack the clinical experience. Clinical experience that takes decades to develop to properly put the myriad of symptoms into a coherent perspective and plan to deal with such convolution of symptoms when the body is in such a state of disrepair. Remember that the body is much more than just the adrenal glands. Dysfunction of the adrenal glands is inevitability tied to many other organ systems.

One key mistake practitioners make is failing to take into consideration the multi-organ involvement of the body as a whole. One of the most common examples of this is the endocrine, or hormone system itself. The ovary, adrenal, and thyroid glands are all connected to each other in what is known as the OAT axis. As such, when dealing with this condition, it is important not only to focus on the adrenal glands but also the other glands and organs of the body as well. Also, the adrenals, the GI system, and thyroid gland helps to regulate your body’s metabolism. Without a holistic and scientific approach, it can lead to further unbalancing of the body and can worsen the situation. The larger NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system of the body is what ultimately regulate the body’s ability to handle and recovery from stress driven damage.

It is thus of vital importance to have a comprehensive recovery program. Often, recovery strategies that are comprehensive in approach produce positive results, even in severe cases. In contrast, strategies focusing on controlling symptoms and getting quick results often fail. What does a comprehensive recovery program involve?

» Read more about Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Questions? Ask us here!

Dr. Lam's Approach:
Custom Telephone Nutritional Coaching for YOU

  • Customized Nutritional Support based on your individual needs and sensitivities
    Following a shotgun nutritional supplement program with vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, herbs and glandulars is the number one cause of recovery failure. Failure to understand the importance of a custom-crafted nutritional cocktail designed for you specifically can worsen your condition. For example, dosages of Vitamin C can vary greatly among patients. Some people can tolerate 10,000 mg without issue, while others cannot even take 10 mg of Vitamin C. Some people do better with buffered Vitamin C, other people do better with pure ascorbic acid. Based on over 20 years of clinical research and thousands of successful recovery cases, Dr. Lam has personally developed over 100 adrenal specific natural nutritional formulations geared to help even those who are bedridden, hypersensitive, or have extreme paradoxical reactions. Customized dosage and delivery system ensures optimum bioavailability for steady and relapse free recovery.
  • Customized lifestyle program based on genetic makeup, constitution, and body habitus
    Generalized lifestyle tips such as cutting out sugar and caffeine are without a doubt beneficial. However, to maximize your recovery, it is important to take into account what your body can tolerate and adapt your recovery to that. Do you have genetic mutations (COMT, MTHFR) that affect your metabolism? How much energy reserve does your body have to exercise? How do you structure an exercise program that helps to rebuild adrenal function but not drain your internal core energy reserve? It’s vital to understand these components and plan accordingly to avoid overstimulation, detoxification reactions, and adrenal crashes.
  • Customized dietary program based on your blood type, metabolic symptoms, sensitivities, and gut health
    Gut health is an important aspect of helping your body recover. Many nutrients and toxins enter your body through your digestive system. It is thus important to make sure your diet is specifically suited to your body’s needs. Some people do better with protein and fat in their diet. Other people do better with a more plant-based diet. Deciding what is right for your stomach and what nutrients and foods are right for your body is key in helping your body heal naturally. Most diets are geared towards weight loss, yet in adrenal fatigue, excessive weight loss can worsen the condition.

Sufferers usually jump from one doctor to another because they are not improving. The reasons are simple. The body is not getting what it needs at the foundation level to effectively recoup, rebuild and heal itself. More is not necessarily better, and often can weaken the body. Stimulating the body without nurturing the adrenals leads to a gradual decompensation of the body that ultimately can be debilitating. Many sufferers have seen their careers destroyed, social life vanished, becoming homebound, and in severe cases, even bedridden. This doesn’t have to be you. It’s YOUR body! Do not take YOUR fatigue lightly. Short-term patches and ignorant nutritional and medical advice can ruin you. The body has amazing recovery ability if only given the right tools and chance, and that is where the recovery effort should be focused on.

We Can HELP!

Adrenal fatigue is a condition of epidemic proportions that has confused much of the medical community. A lack of objective laboratory testing, as well as fluid approach to understanding, has led to a dismissal of this serious condition.

It is important to find an adrenal fatigue-literate practitioner who understands the intricacies of this condition and is well versed in the modalities to help your body heal. Extensive clinical experience is key. Look for someone with at least 20 years of experience as they have the big-picture perspective and the right approach for long-term recovery, not short-term patches. Only then can a comprehensive, customized approach to recovery be realized and come to fruition.

Dr. Lam takes a Total Body Approach, factoring in your history, genetics, multi-organ involvement, laboratory assessment, and constitution. These components are all correlated clinically in real time to formulate the proper program — a program that involves not just the right supplements, but also the right dosage and delivery system, the right dietary plan, and the proper lifestyle adjustments. Having a complete recovery from adrenal fatigue is vital.

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Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

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What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a condition where your adrenal glands become "tired". This can be due to chronic stress or a host of other illnesses. Your adrenals control many critical hormones in the body. All body parts are affected if the adrenals are not performing optimally. Illness associated with this includes chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ovarian-adrenal-thyroid imbalance syndrome, estrogen dominance, and hypothyroidism.

Do you have these common symptoms associated with Adrenal Fatigue?

Common Symptoms

Here is a checklist of common symptoms associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Check off the boxes that are applicable. See your scores below and find out what you can do about it.

Your AF Score:

What Does Your Score Mean?

Please provide a health history of yourself and your current concerns. The more detailed information I have, the better I am able to provide you with my assessment and suggestions.


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