You can listen to the article here.


Exhausted WomanI don’t know anyone nowadays who doesn’t answer affirmatively to dealing with some kind of stress.  The question really is for how long?  For some people it’s been low to moderate stress for quite a long time and for others it’s been high stress in repetitive episodes.  No matter what kind of stress you have experienced, at some point your adrenal glands will suffer.

The underlying stress induced biochemical changes that are occurring in your body that  not only lead to fatigue that you may or may not recognize are the same chemical changes that can be at the core of your resistance to losing fat (especially your belly fat)  even though you eat well, your erratic energy patterns that might make you get a second productivity wind at night or food cravings that just seem like they’ve got you by the tail!

All of these issues can be coming from some stage of adrenal dysfunction which has to be found and fixed before you can really attend to resolving the other related health conditions!

What’s in between Addison’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome?

Both Addison’s and Cushing’s are medical diagnoses of adrenal pathology, Addison’s being not enough adrenal output and Cushing’s being too much output.  Your doctor can diagnose these for you but what about the large grey zone of suboptimal adrenal function that lies between these diagnoses that can be present for long periods of time without ever being found?  I call it the grey zone of suboptimal function because traditional medical practitioners don’t know to look for it, there isn’t a formal diagnostic name or medical code for it and yet these less than optimal adrenal levels can contribute to serious shifts in your chemistry that can account for growing abdominal fat, out of control inflammation, insomnia, depression……..the list goes on!

How do I know if I am in the grey zone of dysfunction?

The primary adrenal hormone that is assessed is cortisol and that can be done with a fasting morning blood draw, a 24 hour urine collection or multiple salivary samples. Although the 24 hour urine test tells you about your total cortisol output for the day which is much more information than just an early morning blood cortisol will give you, it still doesn’t give the circadian rhythm of cortisol output which is so important to see when it comes to assessing the brain’s communication with the adrenals or the adrenal’s normal high to low shift of daily cortisol output.  The salivary sampling test gives you all of this information which allows you to know the stage of adrenal fatigue that you are in within the grey zone of dysfunction.  Normalizing the different stages of dysfunction requires different regimens.

A Breakfast of organic fruit and yogurt is always better than salty sausage and eggs, right?

Not if you are in Stage 3 of  adrenal decompensation!  A few of the hallmarks of stage 3 adrenal dysfunction are low morning cortisol felt as fatigue no matter how many hours of sleep you’ve had,  difficult to control blood sugar, cravings for salt, sugar and/or spices, irritability, low mood, low blood pressure and a host of other symptoms. Low adrenal hormone output defines this stage and that often results in low sodium levels in the blood.  You might actually crave salt and will feel much better with a bit of salt in the morning.  A protein breakfast is critical in this stage to get blood sugars to rise slowly and to begin stabilizing you for the day, you won’t snack so much through out the day because of constantly dipping brain energy.

These are just a few facts among many about identifying and healing adrenal gland dysfunction.  Among the primary pillars that make up optimal health, balanced hormones are among them and the adrenal hormones are as crucial to creating vibrant health as are the androgens and estrogens that we usually think of first  when it comes to hormone balance.

I am passionate about helping people sleuth out the reason for their persistent health issues and finally fix them which is why I am including a section on this topic of adrenal health within my upcoming class:  Manage Your Energy, Master Your Health!™ on May 7th, Corte Madera, CA. 

About Sheila Wagner PT, CN, BCHN

Sheila’s cutting edge ability to uncover hidden source(s) of health issues when no one else has is the first piece to her step wise approach in solving your persistent health complaints.

+Sheila Wagner is the ultimate expert assisting people nationwide to finally fix their health through 1:1 consults, group programs, lectures and classes.

Opinions & Feedback:

  1. Fatigue is SUCH a pervasive issue! I blogged about it just last week!! Thanks for all your deep insight into the medical side of this issue. You ROCK!! ♥ ♥ Katherine.

  2. Sheila,

    I have so much to learn about my health. Thanks for explaining what could be causing fatigue as well as some solutions aka testing.

    Write on!~


  3. Thanks for sharing such important information, Sheila! Your work is life-changing. Keep it up!


  4. Very interesting Sheila!
    There is so much brilliance within our bodies, the art is understanding its brilliance.

  5. Thanks Sheila, I had not heard of adrenal gland dysfunction before. Thanks for sharing this information.

    p.s. Enjoyed the audio program as well.

  6. Sheila,
    Thanks for the info.

  7. Sheila,

    Thank you for sharing this. I have a friend I need to pass this article along to. She is having adrenal issues.

    Kiyla Fenell

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