The presentation of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) can be affiliated with any of the following signs, symptoms, or conditions. Currently, there is no definitive laboratory test for AFS but you should always be on the lookout if you are suffering from a high number of the following Adrenal Fatigue symptoms.
It’s important to note that not everyone has all of the signs and symptoms listed below associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Everyone’s body is different, and as such, everybody presents differently. However, the higher the intensity and the more widespread the symptoms listed below are, the higher the likelihood of having Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome becomes.
Characteristic Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Unable to fall asleep despite being tired
- Waking up in the middle of the night for no reason
- Heart palpitations at night or when stressed
- Consistently low blood pressure
- Low libido and lack of sex drive
- Low thyroid function, often despite thyroid medications
- Feeling of hypoglycemia though laboratory values are normal
- Depression, often unresolved after anti-depressants
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
- Fibrocystic breast disease
- Hair falling off for no reason
- Irritable under stress
- Panic attacks
- Feeling “wired” and unable to relax
- Feeling of adrenaline rushes in the body
- Foggy thinking
- Inability to handle stress
- Waking up feeling tired in the morning even after a full night’s sleep
- Feeling tired in the afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00 pm
- Inability to take in simple carbohydrates
- Needing coffee to get going in the morning and throughout the day
- Coffee, tea or energy drinks triggering adrenaline rush and adrenal crashes
- Feeling tired between 9:00 and 10:00 PM, but still finding it hard to go to bed
- Craving for fatty food and food high in protein
- Craving for salty food such as potato chips
- Dry skin more than usual
- Unexplained hair loss that is diffuse
- Exercise helps first, but then makes fatigue worse
- Chemical sensitivities to paint, fingernail polish, plastics
- Electromagnetic force sensitivity, including cell phone and computer monitors
- Delayed food sensitivities, especially to dairy and gluten
- Unable to get pregnant, requiring IVF
- Post partum fatigue and depression
- Recurrent miscarriages during first trimester
- Abdominal fat accumulation for no apparent reason
- Temperature intolerance, especially to heat or sunlight
- Dysmenorrhea advancing to amenorrhea
- Premature Menopause
- Constipation for no apparent reason
- Joint pain of unknown origin
- Muscle mass loss
- Muscle pain of unknown reason
- Cold hands and feet
- Premature aging skin
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Psoriasis of no known reason
- Gastritis despite normal gastroscopy
- Low back pain with no history of trauma and normal examination
- Dizziness for no known cause
- Fructose mal-absorption
- Chronic Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Numbness and tingling in extremities bilaterally
- Recurrent mouth sores
- Shortness of breath even though breathing is fine
- Presence of ovarian cyst
- Breast cancer associated with estrogen dominance
- Grave’s disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Legs that feel heavy at times
- Dark circles under eyes that do not go away with rest
- Loss of healthy facial skin tone color
- Body feeling tense all over and unable to relax
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome, with more constipation than diarrhea
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome unimproved with medicine
- Fibromyalgia unresolved after conventional help
- Systemic Candida that gets worse when under stress
- Electrolyte imbalance despite normal laboratory values
- Irregular menstrual cycle that “stops and goes”
- Lyme Disease but unable to fully recover after medication or intolerance to drugs
- H. Pylori infection in the past and was told resolved but never feel the same since
- Heavy metal and mineral toxicity may mimic Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
This list is not intended for you to self-diagnose Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. If you think you may have some of these symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, the first task is to get more educated. Because of the rather convoluted and complex nature of this syndrome, always consult a qualified health professional prior embarking on any recovery plan. Most recovery programs fail and the condition may worsen if you lack a clear understanding of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue and what lies ahead.
Dr. Lam’s Key Questions
Is an Adrenal Fatigue diet high enough in calories to support a healthy pregnancy?
Good question. There are several aspects to a diet for AFS are very helpful for healthy pregnancy also. Avoidance of inflammatory foods such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, trans-fats, processed food, etc. Eating smaller meals to keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day, and should give you enough calories to support a healthy pregnancy.
How does yoga help those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue?
Yoga exercise can be very mild or very intense. With proper guidance, the exercises can be personalized to your need. DrLam’s Adrenal Yoga Exercise is a good example of how to increase the intensity as you improve your AFS.
Is there a way to build muscle without bringing the heart rate up too much, which adversely affects those with Adrenal Fatigue?
Any time you need to build muscle, you need to strain those muscles. As a result, you can affect the heart rate. There should be no issues if your adrenals are strong and able to handle the stress of heavy exercise.
I’ve read that having a sodium/potassium imbalance is a sign of adrenal fatigue. I’ve been taking potassium pills for the last several years. Should I still continue or is that something I need to stop?
Most people take potassium pills because the doctor prescribes it for certain blood pressure medication. You need to check with your doctor whether to continue or not because potassium balance is very critical to be well maintained and is not something you should self-navigate.
Are there any exercises that a person could do that would give them a good idea if they have AFS or not?
If you don’t have advanced stages of AFS, any exercise is good for the body provided they are not extreme. Walking, biking, hiking, yoga and flexibility exercise in moderation are all safe for everyone. If you have advanced stages of AFS, make sure you follow professional guidance before embarking on exercise.