Chemical Imbalance and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome – Part 1

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

Adrenal fatigue can even affect the firing of neurons and cause a chemical imbalanceNeurotransmitters (NTs) are chemicals in the brain that act as messengers, transmitting signals between the neurons, allowing communication to take place with the multitude of organ systems functioning within the body. These are potent neurochemicals that regulate nearly every function in the body including, physical and cognitive performance, weight, the perception and response to pain, sleep patterns and our emotional and mental state of being. A chemical imbalance in these will be felt everywhere in the body.

Scientific research reveals that malfunctions in neurotransmission, such as a chemical imbalance, deficiency, or disruption is very common these days and are the root cause of many commonly found health conditions. When our neurotransmitters experience a chemical imbalance or are not working at optimum levels our mind and body cannot communicate clearly and effectively. It is estimated that about 80 percent of people have some form of chemical imbalance in their neurotransmitters. Fortunately, only a small number are clinically symptomatic and debilitating.

Brain function will be affected whenever there is a chemical imbalance or a dysfunction of poorly functioning NTs or malfunctioning hormonal axis that are the ultimate conduit upon which NTs exert their effect, such as the hormonal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). This paper will examine both defects in a setting of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Can a Chemical Imbalance Affect How our Nerves Communicate with Each Other?

Before we can fully comprehend the effect neurotransmitter problems can have on us, we first need to understand how they communicate with each other. We can compare our nervous system to the electrical system in our homes. Nerve cells communicate with each other via tiny circuits called neuronal pathways. What’s different is that our nerve cells don’t touch each other, they come close but there is a gap between them called a synaptic cleft. The neuron sending the message is the presynaptic cell or axon, and the neuron receiving the message is the postsynaptic cell, or dendrite.

The direction of communication is one-way and to assist the message to make it across the synapse from the presynaptic cell to the postsynaptic cell, chemicals called neurotransmitters are used. For example, a typical synaptic transmission using the neurotransmitter serotonin would involve a presynaptic cell producing serotonin from tryptophan (an amino acid), accumulating the serotonin into small vesicles, which are in the terminals at the end. When your brain sends a signal (an action potential) it goes down the presynaptic cell and arrives at the end terminals. Upon arrival, serotonin is released and fills the synaptic cleft, crosses, and binds with its serotonin receptors located on the surface of the postsynaptic cell. When there is adequate serotonin binding to its receptors, a certain minimum threshold level is attained, and the signal (action potential) will arrive in the cell and continue to be propagated by moving on to the next cell. The goal is for the signal to reach its intended target, like skeletal muscle fibers in order to cause movement.

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter and a chemical imbalance can be impactfulTo avoid having the nerve in a constant state of being on, the excess serotonin molecules in the synaptic cleft are eliminated by monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes plus a process called catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT). Some of the remaining serotonin does return to the presynaptic cell in a process of absorption called reuptake. As the serotonin level reduces, the nerve signal is turned off and the system resets to baseline. The communication system is now ready to receive another signal or action potential. The classes of antidepressants that block the reuptake process, leading to increased serotonin, are called SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They include drugs called Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.

Neurotransmitters 101

The body’s main neurotransmitters are:

  • Dopamine (DA) acts as precursor to norepinephrine and adrenaline
  • Norepinephrine (NE) the workhorse NT for the sympathetic nervous system
  • Adrenaline (A) the NT for the sympathomedullary nervous system
  • Acetylcholine (ACh) the NT for the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Serotonin (5-HT) the body’s feel good NT

We now study each of these in more detail, starting with a group called catecholamines. Catecholamines are a grouping of NTs, which are very often referred to as the stress hormones. They are all derived from tyrosine, an amino acid. These neurotransmitters have the ability to act faster than cortisol, a hormone that responds to stress. The key catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.

Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter as well as a precursor to norepinephrine. Dopamine released in the brain acts as a natural reward for pleasurable experiences like when having sex or dining on a delicious meal. It can also be released in response to neutral stimuli and as a result, pleasure becomes associated with those stimuli.

When dopamine is released in excess amounts in the brain, the effects can be anxiety, hyperactivity, and paranoia.

When dopamine levels are low, the effects can be addiction, cravings, compulsive behavior, depression, and inability to concentrate or focus.

Norepinephrine (NE) is an important neurotransmitter that helps to regulate attention and arousal, and plays a part in the fight-or-flight response. It acts both as a neurotransmitter and a hormone. In the brain, it functions as an excitatory NT, putting the body in a state of mental alert. It is produced and acts in the brain to prepare the individual to deal with a perceived threat. It also travels outside the brain. Once outside, it acts as a hormone and plays an important role in increasing heart rate and blood pressure, dilating eye pupils, dilating air passages in lungs, and narrowing blood vessels. It is the main controller that facilitates the actions required for day-to-day stress that we take for granted, such as standing up quickly without feeling dizzy from a reclining position.

If someone is living under ongoing stressful conditions, a long-term excess of norepinephrine in the brain can result. Such is the case of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, especially in the moderate to advanced stages. Chronic excess of norepinephrine is called sympathetic overtone. It can cause cellular and tissue inflammation, higher blood pressure, symptoms of hyperthyroidism, and panic attacks.

Chemical Imbalance of NorepinephrineOn the other side of the spectrum, if there is a deficiency of norepinephrine over a long period it may cause behavioral problems, immunological chemical imbalance, impaired cognitive functioning, or secondary hypothyroidism.

Adrenaline (A), also called epinephrine, plays the key role in the urgent fight-or-flight reaction that takes place physiologically in the body in response to an immediate threat when survival is perceived to be at risk. It is the chemical daughter of norepinephrine. Their actions are similar, but adrenaline is much more potent. This hormone is secreted in the adrenal glands under the direction of the HPA axis and produces a rapid rise in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and stimulates the release of glucose in the liver. This is the hormone of last resort as far as the body is concern when it is under imminent danger. The more danger the body is perceived to be in, the more adrenaline will be released. Those who are in very advanced stages of AFS are invariably flooded with adrenaline internally. Symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness on standing, and panic attacks.

Acetylcholine (ACh) is a major neurotransmitter for the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and helps the body carry out the day to day housekeeping functions for stimulation of rest-and-digest or feed-an-breed activities that occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including urination, sexual arousal, bowel movements, and digestion.

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter synthesized in specific neurons in the brain, central nervous system and in enterochromaffin cells located in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also called the feel good NT. Inside the brain, the pineal gland is the center for serotonin production. Throughout the entire central nervous system, serotonin has a vital role as an effective neurotransmitter in modulating a number of different areas:

  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Appetite
  • Body temperature
  • Erection and ejaculation
  • Mood
  • Sexuality
  • Sleep
  • Stimulation of vomiting

Serotonin is also a precursor to melatonin. Once they have completed their task a reuptake or reabsorption of the hormone takes place. Serotonin is effective in making us feel calm and basically good naturally. It helps the mind to relax so that we can easily fall asleep and stay soundly asleep.

Serotonin and melatonin are produced in the body from tryptophan, an amino acid. As we have already discussed, a person who doesn’t have any serotonin cannot produce abundant amounts of melatonin. The ability to convert from one type to another depends on a variety of nutritional cofactors and coenzymes.

For a person to feel well, the overall serotonin level cannot be too high or too low. There should be no chemical imbalance. Chronic excess of serotonin over a long period of time may result in:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Hormonal and immunological imbalances

A long-term depletion or deficiency in serotonin can cause:

  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Imbalances in the immune system
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia due to low melatonin
  • Onset of various medical conditions

Neurotransmitter Precursors

Chemical Imbalance and DepressionThe compounds utilized in the manufacturing of neurotransmitters are called precursors. Anything affecting the precursors will in turn affect the resulting NTs and influence how the nervous system functions in the end. If a precursor has a deficiency in a certain aspect, then that can cause a bottleneck or delay in the creation of a particular NT and affect its ultimate functionality. It is also true that if there is an excess of a certain precursor that can cause the resulting NT to have excessively high levels.

  • Precursors of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and adrenaline (A):
    DOPA, phenylalanine, tyrosine
  • Precursors of serotonin (5-HT): 5-HTP, tryptophan
  • Precursors of acetylcholine (ACh): phosphatidylcholine, acetyl group amino acids such as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) or acetyl-L-carnitine (ACL)


There are a number of different neuroactive substances working to promote the proper functioning of the neurotransmitter. The following are some and their contributions:

  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)—an anti-oxidant
  • Histamine—mediates allergic and pain reactions, also acts as a potent vasodilator
  • L-Aspartic acid—an excitatory amino acid
  • L-Glutamic acid—an excitatory amino acid
  • L-Lysine—works to prevent extracellular matrix destruction

Neurotransmitter precursors and modulators serve important functions. They are generally less potent and thus available as over the counter nutritional supplements. Their gentle character lends well when used in cases where medications such as NT repletion tools are not indicated or well tolerated, for example. They are also less addictive because they tend to be weaker in action.

Inhibitory vs. Excitatory Neurotransmitters

NTs generally fall into two groups when classified by their actions:

  • Inhibitory NT—Serotonin, glycine, and GABA fall into this category. When we have plenty of these in our system we feel good. These NTs also assist with our sleep and contribute to our sense of self-esteem. When these become depleted in our system we can become angry, depressed and suffer from insomnia.
  • Excitatory NT—These neurotransmitters keep us focused, alert, motivated, and help our memory. They include catecholamines (dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine), and glutamate. A chemical imbalance or a low level of dopamine causes impaired short-term memory, a low sex drive, difficulty with numbers and general fatigue. A chemical imbalance or shortage of norepinephrine will bring on depression, a lack of motivation and ambition, and an increased likelihood of becoming dependent on caffeine and other stimulants. If we have too much norepinephrine then we can arouse panic and have difficulty sleeping. Many street drugs work by stimulating this pathway.

For the body to be in optimum health, NTs of opposing actions need to be perfectly balanced.

L-Glutamate (glutamic acid) is the most vital excitatory neurotransmitter functioning in the brain. It performs a significant role in brain chemistry. It is released by a variety of neurons and acts to stimulate other neurons during synapses. The more glutamate, the higher the levels of excitation will be. Proper rest and sleep are important factors to recover from Adrenal Fatigue and keep a chemical imbalance from happeningIf the excitatory neurotransmitters reach excessively high levels, a state of excitotoxicity exists. This is when the neuronal activation has reached such a high level that the stimulated firing of neurons has become neurologically damaging. Many of the illicit or prescription drugs that abusers take affect either one or both neurotransmitters and cause stimulating or tranquilizing effects on the brain.

On the other end of the spectrum, molecules such as GABA and taurine are part of the inhibitory NTs. GABA is derived from glutamine and synthesized when the active form of vitamin B6 (P5P) is present. Inhibitory NTs inhibit or prevent the firing of neurons. It plays a critical role in the regulation of neuronal excitability throughout the entire nervous system so that the body does not operate in a continuous state of high or excitment. They reduce anxiety and promote calmness.

Read Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

© Copyright 2015 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Questions

That is an interesting question. Normal, the body self-adjusts. However, in severe cases, the thyroid function could be permanently affected. In such case, during and even after anorexia is resolved, there are residual problems with thyroid that can remain for a long time.

The cortisol produce by the adrenal glands is anti-inflammatory. When the adrenals are fatigued, cortisol production goes down, and your body becomes more sensitive and sensitivities to food, chemicals will start surfacing.

Modern medicine is controlled by the pharmaceutical companies, where the big bucks are. Using food to improve health does not generate the money.

Chemical Imbalance
5 - "Dear Health Coaches:"
Dear Health Coaches:

First of all, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking me on as a client. I can't tell you how comforting it is to actually be able to work with people who are so knowledgeable about this complex condition. It has been such a confusing and scary journey over the past 20 years.

I am very sensitive to any change going on in my body - good or bad - so I always have to go very slow when starting anything new or making any changes From reading all the info in the books and on the site, I can tell you have worked with people like me before (and some who are probably much worse) so it's comforting to know you understand my sensitivity and that I will have to go really slowly. Other doctors in the past have just thought I was being a hypochondriac and not believed me or tried to rush me through protocols and just made my situation much worse.

Thanks so much for your time.


  • Joshua says:

    Neurochemical imbalances are intimidating, but Im glad this website is able to break them down a give us an insight to what is going on in the brain. Are there any hints the body gives out before the issue gets serious?
    Maybe Im not reading between the lines.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Usually, the signals are subtle, and unless you very intune with your body, most people tend to miss the whispers. That is why a detailed history taken by astute professional is key.

      Dr. Lam

  • Rob says:

    How would one check pineal gland function?

  • Javi says:

    How can you tell if you have the right levels of dopamine and serotonin?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Labs are not very accurate. Your history and learning to listen to your body are best.

      Dr. Lam

  • Annabeth says:

    Could grilling my food in the summer time promote such dysfunctions because of the chemicals?

  • Montey says:

    Can prescription drugs produce these kinds of dysfunctions?

  • gil says:

    dr LAM, please give more info, when to take them and at what dosage… because this is leading to a shotgun approach for the blind that want to relax their nervous system… thank you

  • Malcolm says:

    Should severe chemical imbalances be treated by a conventional dr.? If so, what information should I bring to my doctor?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Most conventionally trained docs are not into chemical imbalances. the key is a knowledgeable MD which understand the interconnections. Remember that NOT all chemical imbalances needs to be treated. Sometimes the treatment can worsen you.

      Dr Lam

  • Tammy Coleman says:

    Is Dr. Lam accepting new patients?

  • Lucy says:

    I know plastic cups are often a source of unwanted chemicals, but what about clay? Are some coatings or glazes unsafe?

  • sharon says:

    I have adrenal fatigue and recently after a long period of not having anxiety, started having really tuff anxiety attacks. When I take an anxiety med, it goes away but as soon as they pill wears off, I am in a very heavy anxiety attack. shaking, etc. My primary wants to put me on anxiety depression meds . I have heard anti depression meds can cause the sereotonin to be affected and your anxiety gets worse. I do not know what to do.

  • Sigmond says:

    I was addicted to drugs for over a decade and I believe that I have completely damaged or at least ruined my neurotransmitters. Before starting any recovery protocol, is there a test that I should do? What are the chances that I can fully restore my neurotransmitters?

  • Brian says:

    Dr Lam
    I took SSRIs for about a year and now I suffer from very low libido , erection problems, brain fog and reduced immunity along with anxiety (which i never had before). Do you think this could be Adrenal Fatigue ? Doctors here in India do no consider any of my symptoms to be a cause of taking SSRIs . I feel like Im on my own trying to treat this. Can you suggest anything in my situation?

  • Trent says:

    I’m really fuzzy on the idea of “dilutional hyponatremia”… can you explain how that affects the brain?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      The concentration of sodium to water is set at a certain ratio. When the volume of water goes up, then the same amount of sodium will be diluted. The brain can slow down, and in extreme cases, coma can arise.

      Dr Lam

  • Ellie says:

    My body breaks out in rashes whenever I take GABA – does that mean I’m allergic? Would you suggest another alternative to GABA to help calm my body down?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      It could be allergic reaction. See your doctor is best. Magnesium is a calming natural supplement.

      Dr Lam

  • Lauren says:

    Hi Dr. Lam
    Thank you for the great information. I’m in my mid thirties and have been aware that I have problems with adrenal fatigue for almost 15 years. I have done my best to be as healthy as possible which has helped. I have struggled with mild depression for as long as I can remember but due to some traumatic experiences over the last couple of years it has gotten significantly worse. In the past I have managed my depression with exercise, healthy living and Sam-e, but this is no longer working. My doctor put me on Wellbutrin over the summer but after a couple of months this began to cause intense headaches and vertigo. My question is, are there certain antidepressants that work better for people with adrenal fatigue? Some of my other symptoms are: difficulty getting up and moving in the morning, difficulty losing weight, forgetfulness and difficulty with memorization, low blood pressure and orthostatic hypotension, low body temp (only mildly) and diagnosed hypoglycemia. It seems to me that I may have problems with both norepinephrine and serotonin and have been considering trying a SNRI, but am hoping for your thoughts. Thank you!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Each antidepressant is specific and some trial and error is needed to determine which one is best for what kind of body. Drugs, whether antidepressant, SSRI, or SNRI are generally not long term solutions to AFS as they mask the real underlying problem. They can be helpful for short term use when closely supervised. Be very careful.

      Dr Lam

  • Kenner says:

    Are there any supplements that can cause bad absorption of serotonin?

  • Eric B says:

    Hi Dr. Lam

    I am 43 and have struggled with depression most of my adult life. I recently stopped Lexapro 2 years ago, which I had been on for 10+ years. I recently did a saliva test revealing almost a flat line cortisol level throughout the day, hovering around 5/6. I am wondering about paradoxical reactions to aminos. I tried a low dose of 5 htp (200), and for about five days, I felt amazing! The best I had felt in my adult life, and different that even the best times on Lexapro. Then the negative reactions came on. Night sweats, big increase in anxiety, extreme fatigue. I gave it some time, then tried it again at 50 mg. Same pattern – great for a few day, then a crash. Interestingly enough, I tried the same thing with Sam-e after waiting to get back to normal, and the same thing occurred. I’m wondering if it sent my adrenals into crash. Is it possible that I need to get my adrenals sorted out, then perhaps these supplements will be better tolerated? I don’t want to give up on 5 htp or the like, as it made me feel the best I have ever felt!

  • Michael P. says:

    I have Stage 3 or 4 adrenal fatigue. I can’t get to sleep and once I do I am awake in 4 hours. My cortisol levels are in the toilet until evening when they rise to high normal. I get sick with every virus going around. Is there any help (meds or supplement) to help sleep? I already work with a Naturopathic Doc, but all he suggests is nutmeg in milk at night, magnesium, and melatonin. I do ALL that, and still I barely sleep. Please offer me some real suggestion (I already sleep in a cool, dark room…have tried all the tricks).

    • Dr.Lam says:

      When you come to this point, a personalized program is needed as your body is fragile, and without knowing much more and clinically correlate your progress, any suggestion can backfire. You should return to your doctor and seek further advise. We deal with this type of situation daily by phone, and if you cannot find help, you can call my office. Just becuase you have exhausted all your tricks does not mean no recovery possible. Do not give up.

      Dr Lam

  • Katie says:

    do you believe there is a correlation between Adrenal Fatigue and Chemical Imbalances?

  • Neelam says:

    I has adrenal crash before 7 months, I have recovered well by making changes in my life style and eating balanced diet. However, I still suffer from anxiety every 2 or 3 weeks which is comparatively mild and last for few moments for 1 or 2 days. Is this sign of recovery?

  • Nadia says:

    I hate these heart palpitations.. i relate so much… what can help these??

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Heart palpitations are often symptoms and not disease unless there is structure issues involved. Focus on looking into the cause of heart palpitation is the key. Your doctor should be able to help you, and remove offending chemicals also can help.

      Dr Lam

  • Nancy says:

    Can stroke put you at high risk for developing Adrenal fatigue?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      not directly, but most post stroke debilitiating symptoms , if any , can drain the body of reserves, especially the adrenals.

      Dr Lam

  • Janet says:

    Can chemical imbalances such as bipolar disorder make you more susceptible to developing AF?

  • Nicole says:

    You mentioned a few “neuromodulars” that promot proper functioning of the neurotransmitters. out of the one you mentioned which one(s) are the most effective?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      There is no one that is more “effective” than another because the effectiveness is based on the root problem. That is why a detailed history is needed rather than trial and error .

      Dr Lam

  • Chris says:

    Doctor I’ve loss fat at face maybe caused of chronic stress and have insomnia I’ve taken zoloft and aprazolam for a few weeks it’s that medication can help reduce my stress? caused I’ve heard some article said that ssri elevated cortisol from adrenal gland so make adrenal fatigue, is that true? Thanks before ~

    • Dr.Lam says:

      SSRI is designed to elevate seratonin. Unfortunately, it can have collateral side effects and people with AFS may be worsen. It is case specific.

      Dr Lam

      • Chris says:

        How can I get my fat back doctor? Can you recommend better medication for me ? Or can I take omega 3 and multisuplement with my zoloft and aprazolam? Thank you so much: )

      • Maire says:

        Hi Dr Lam, thank you for all you information on AF. I am suffering what appears to be severe enough AFS. I also have generalised anxiety disorder and have suffered terribly from OCD in the past, both the pure form and forms with behavioural manifestations as well as anorexia nervosa for five years in the past (I am healthy weight now and have recovered from that). I am currently completing a PhD and have suffered a close bereavement of my best friend to suicide as well as have recent history of heavy alcohol and drug intake. In other words I have encountered multiple and severe stressors over the past couple of years and it has all come to a head as my body is in breakdown. My doctor has prescribed me lexapro but I am scared to take it in case it makes the AF worse. I have all the symptoms of AF like cortisol rushes, severe brain fog and fatigue, PMS, anxiety, depression, constipation IBS, the works. I am at a such a complete loss as what to do. Could the lexapro make this worse? I just starting taking adatogens so I am hoping they have an effect soon. Your point of view on this would be immensely appreciated as I am so lost in this world right now.

  • Candice says:

    I am always under stress and I am unsure how to calm down I am constantly wired and everything I take I have a paradoxical reaction to I dont know what to do anymore

  • Jessica says:

    Hi I was wondering if you could help answer some questions of mine because doctors here like to just put you on medication and not find out the culprit. I am 29 years of age and was always normal until my mother in law passed away from cancer in 2015. We had to slowly watch her waste away to nothing and just sat waiting for her to pass. Terrible terrible thing. Ever since that day. I have developed anxiety. It isn’t constant. I can usually get through normal daily activities. Except when it is at the peak. Usually it is heightened the week after my period. Than I feel better once that week is over. I wake up nervous. I don’t like it because I feel as though it’s an underlying issue and I want to fix it without medication. My periods have also been irregular starting 7 days early. Do you have any ideas what this is? If I have a horomone imbalance ? Thank you so much!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Stress can be a big modulator of hormones. If conventional medicine have turn up nothing, then you should study AFS more, because what you mentioned is quite typical of a body under stress , unable to maintain equilibrium, and never fully recover. Try to stay away from any thing that can mask the underlying problem. Look for the root cause. A detailed history is the best from someone who knows. Labs are usaully not helpful. Anxiety etc are common in these situations, and so does the menstrual cycle.

      Dr Lam

  • Askari says:

    Is there a connection between melatonin and seratonin?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Serotonin is the biological mother of melatonin chemically speaking. both have similar qualities, but also big differences. Serotonin makes us “feel good”, while melatonin unique is that it has duo properties. It is a sleep aid in low dose and an antioxidant at high dose. The effect of melatonin is also NOT dose dependent. Some people do well with high dose while others at low dose.

  • Constance stieger says:

    You listed the 4 ssris in the article explaining serotonin, etc. but you didn’t say if they helped or hindered the proper balancing of serotonin. Should they be considered helpful of hurtful in Arsenal fatigue.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Whether it is good or bad depends on many factors. It is not straight forward because NT has self rebalancing properties, but for some people , even good compounds can be negative. That is why the key is a detailed history and the understanding of the physiological pathway of each compound. That way you will know when to use the right compound at the right dose. That is how natural compound differs from prescription medications.

      • Kelly says:

        Dr.Lam, my grandfather died of adrenal cancer. I am 52 and have been taking bovine glandulars to combat my diagnosed adrenal fatigue that started 9 years ago. It has saved my life but it seems I now need antidepressants to deal with my low levels of serotonin, which do seem to help tremendously with sleep patterns are much better, less desire for chocolate and sweets to find energy, less anger outbursts, overall general balance and well being. I have figured this all out in my own from reading for years books and online information and studies. Although I feel better, it does seem to be a balancing act in that daily ssri is too much, every other day seems to be better and I only nibble a very small piece, every other day where one pill lasts three weeks. I’m so sensitive to everything that I feel better in minutes after one nibble. Do you have any thoughts or comments on how to get a better reading of what my levels are with my adrenal fatigue so I can correctly take the amounts necessary of ssri’s?? I also keep my weight down much better with these anti depressants. I’ve always been a naturally happy go lucky person so this is definitely hard to understand, I’m assuming it seems to be related to my adrenal issues. Thank you for any input you may have 😉

        • Dr.Lam says:

          NT rebalancing is very individualized and deep rooted as it reflect systemic imbalances. Your clinical picture is actually quite common in that long term use of glandular can dysregulate your NT, though it help you with your AFS. Our approach to problem like this is first to truly understand the underlying problem. It is not so simplistic as adjusting SSRI, because even if you are successful short term, long term the root problem remains unresolved and there will likely be imbalances in some other systems, so you will be chasing a moving target, which gets more difficult with aging. Only with a detailed history will a full understanding emerge. Remember that SSRI, along with glandular, are patches to solution . They have their place short term, but not long term if you desire true healing from within.

          Dr Lam

  • Michele Finizio says:

    How can i balance my nt. I wake up several times in the night. Is there supplements to balance out nt. Is meditation good to balance these out?

  • Marilynn says:

    Dr. Lam
    You described me perfectly – moderate to advanced stage and bathed in adrenaline, including waking at night. I do have a very strong constitution with no other known illnesses or known health deficits. What would your recommendations be to do or to take to “curb”/quiet down the adrenaline rushes. I am contemplating GABA and melatonin to sleep. I am up and about during the daytime, do not work and am not doing very much of anything or any strenuous or stressful activity during the day – trying to eat nutrient rich food, go for a short walk, breath, relax, etc. What else could I be doing or taking at this point in my recovery. I live in Canada and have ordered your book, but with customs it will be likely 2+ weeks yet to for it to
    arrive. I appreciate your time and help. Thank you very much.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      There are various sleep aids, including what you mentioned, for short term help. you have to try them as their effect on each person varies and there is no one size fit all. We tend to be careful with these compounds because they can mask the underlying issues. For long term recovery, you need to focus on rebalancing the neurotransmitters naturally by the body by optimizing the biological rhythm and looking at the underlying issue. This is best done by detailed history as lab test are not very productive and sometimes can be confusing. Click Biological Rhythm Disruptions & AFS for more information.

      Dr Lam