How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) are two very similar yet distinct conditions. Both are characterized by the hallmark symptom of profound fatigue unrelieved by rest, along with a host of other symptoms. Can the way we treat Adrenal Fatigue offer hope for Chronic Fatigue sufferers? Can the same treatments be used for both conditions? Let’s examine these conditions in a bit more detail first.

What causes CFS and AFS?

Hidden stress like stealth infection can cause fatigue, and you may impact how to treat Adrenal FatigueRight now, there is no established direct cause for CFS, though several factors seem to be involved. Subclinical stealth infection that constantly secretes toxin is a primary suspect. Diagnosis is made by eliminating other possible causes of symptoms including fatigue, loss of memory and concentration, and exhaustion after exercise. Infections, immune system problems, and imbalances in hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal hormones have been commonly reported among sufferers.

AFS is caused by compromised adrenal function brought on by chronic stress, which leads to adrenal hormone imbalances that can cascade out to other hormone systems. This cascade of imbalances throws the body’s internal functions into disarray, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, impaired cognitive function, allergies, recurrent infections, and depression. For these reasons it is critical to Adrenal Fatigue Treatment promptly after determining if you are a sufferer.

You may notice some overlap here. This suggests that while not the same, CFS and AFS are connected, and indeed, many people with AFS exhibit symptoms of CFS, and vice versa. Let’s start by looking at the treatment protocol for CFS.

Are there medications to cure CFS? How does this affect my AFS?

It is important to note that currently, CFS is a diagnosable medical condition, but AFS is not a recognized condition and is a condition that conventional doctors rejects.

This means that while there are recommended treatments for CFS, there is no standard medical response to AFS, and in fact, many doctors are dismissive of AFS as an ailment.

Let’s start by taking a look at the medical treatment protocol for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At present, there is no cure for CFS. Doctors usually prescribe various medications to mask the symptoms; these include painkillers, antidepressants, and antivirals. Sufferers are also recommended to not exert themselves, avoid stress, and get better rest. Clearly, conventional treatment takes a palliative approach rather than a curative one.

Reducing the stressors you have control over is a vital part of how to treat Adrenal Fatigue and Chronic FatigueFor those with concurrent AFS and CFS, the approach by conventional medicine is much the same. In fact, since AFS is not properly recognized as a condition, palliative treatment of symptoms is the only thing that is done. Antidepressants, thyroid medications, and sleep aids are some possible medications prescribed to alleviate symptoms. Masking these symptoms, however, makes it more difficult to recognize the true state of the body, which can be worsening over time. The same conventional medical philosophy that doesn’t address the root problem of CFS, is just as ineffective against AFS.

What are other treatments there for CFS?

So if conventional chronic fatigue treatment doesn’t help cure the condition, much less help with AFS, are there other approaches that have a better effect? Alternative health approaches have been helpful in reducing the severity of the condition for many people with CFS. In fact, some of these approaches of improving diet and reducing stress are wholeheartedly supported by most doctors who cannot prescribe anything to actually cure the condition.

Dietary approaches focus on avoiding refined and processed foods that can stress the body, and balancing nutrition and energy by consuming a proper mix of different food groups spread across many small meals and snacks throughout the day. Reducing stress is done by pacing energy expenditure to prevent overexertion. Nutritional supplementation helps to provide the body with the nutrients, minerals, and building blocks to promote enhanced function. A combination of all three approaches done properly will be very successful in setting the body on the road to recovery.

Will this approach work with AFS?

If you are familiar with how to properly treat AFS, you may have already noticed some similarities with proper CFS treatment. Let’s compare the approaches:

The most important thing for AFS sufferers is to avoid stress, similar to the stress reduction strategy employed in CFS treatment. AFS sufferers also need to be careful with their diet to avoid processed foods such as refined sugars, and balance their nutrition to let the body’s natural healing functions start the body on the road to recovery. Natural supplementation is a very powerful recovery tool, but must be used carefully; improper administration of too much at the wrong time can stress the body and cause crashes that set back recovery.

Treat Adrenal Fatigue Or Chronic Fatigue First?

The adrenals may be involved in chronic fatigue syndrome, how to treat Adrenal Fatigue may be key in treatment for Chronic FatigueYou can see that the treatment methodologies for AFS line up quite neatly with CFS. So does this mean CFS treatment can help resolve AFS too? In reality, the situation may in fact be the reverse.

CFS is a condition with an unknown root cause, and seems to show up in individuals with a history of some kind of stress, whether it be from infection, hormonal imbalance, or some other source. Symptoms of CFS are often reported in sufferers of AFS, which is caused by chronic stress overloading the adrenal glands and leading to a hormonal imbalance. The process used to treat Adrenal Fatigue is very similar to that of CFS because AFS may actually be a major underlying factor in CFS.  For those with both CFS and AFS, the modalities used to treat Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome may result in the spontaneous resolution of many CFS symptoms.



Treat adrenal fatigue