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
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
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
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
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.