In past posts I have talked about adrenal fatigue, something that often comes hand in hand with thyroid problems, as they’re all part of the endocrine system.
You can determine if you have adrenal problems by completing a 24 hour saliva cortisol test, that tests your adrenal function at four key points of the day. Most doctors will only do one-time blood or urine tests for cortisol output, which are not accurate.
Do you experience any of the following:
- Struggling to fall sleep at night, or waking up a few hours after you do?
- Feeling more tired in the morning?
- Have a mid-afternoon ‘slump’?
- Get over-emotional?
- Have anxiety?
- Have on-going fatigue that affects your day to day life?
- Often want to be alone?
- Unable to tolerate stress?
- Hot flushes/sweats?
- Jumping or feeling irritable at loud noises?
- Being a bit sensitive and taking things to heart more so than you used to?
- Been on thyroid medication for a while and still not feeling better?
- Been hypothyroid for several years before being diagnosed?
- Been through chronic emotional, mental or biological stress of any kind?
- Craving for salty foods?
- A weakened immune system?
- Asthma, allergies or respiratory complaints?
- Dark circles under the eyes?
- Mental fog?
- Changes in bowel movements?
- Sudden sensitivities to certain foods, like gluten or dairy?
- Dizziness, imbalance, collapsing and blacking out?
- Dry mouth?
- Joint pain?
- Weight gain/ weight loss?
- Low libido?
- Coldness in hands/feet?
- Cravings for sugar/ salt?
- Leaky gut, GERD, GORD etc.?
- Dry skin?
- Extreme tiredness after exercise?
- Loss of muscle tone?
- Lower back pain?
- Numbness in your fingers / Poor circulation?
- Unable to fall asleep despite being tired?
- Heart palpitations?
- Low thyroid function?
- Feeling of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) though test results are normal?
- Hair falling off out?
- Muscle pain of unknown reason?
- Inability to concentrate or focus?
- Short of breath even though breathing is fine?
- Legs that feel heavy at times?
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome unimproved with medicine?
- Fibromyalgia unresolved after conventional help?
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle?
If you have quite a few of these, then your adrenals may be stressed and you could have adrenal fatigue. Read more here.
The above symptoms are reported by people who experience adrenal fatigue.
I have written a typical day of someone with adrenal fatigue and/or hypothyroidism. See if this sounds a bit like you. A lot of these symptoms are reflective of other conditions, and whereas some patients get lots of them, others only have a few. It’s different for everyone.
The only way to confirm if you have adrenal fatigue is by completing a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. If your doctor won’t do this, you can very simply order it yourself and complete it at home. A UK test can be found here and a US test here.
The four readings to come back from this should read: 8am – Top of the range.
Midday – Upper quarter of the range.
4-5pm – Mid-range.
11pm – Midnight – At the very bottom of the range.
James Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue book and is enlightening. It includes how to recover from adrenal fatigue, such as changes in diet, supplements, meditation, staying calm and avoiding stress etc.
Never guess if you have adrenal fatigue. Attempting to treat it could be dangerous if you don’t actually have it. Always work with a doctor/pharmacist/physician where possible. Though if you have any of the above symptoms, I would always suggest checking if you have it. Only a 24 hour 4 sample saliva test will tell you this.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
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