Adrenal Fatigue Signs & Symptoms

Posted on Posted in Mindful Living, Self-Care, Self-Study

Hello everyone!

Last week I shared my history with adrenal fatigue, if you missed it, you can check it out here.

Today I wanted to share with you some common complaints from people who suffer from adrenal fatigue to help you to better understand the condition, and to help guide you in making decisions about your heath.

I do think it’s worth noting that many disease symptoms overlap, like cravings for sugar is common both with candida overgrowth and adrenal fatigue. That is a very simple example, but I use it to make the point that just because you have a few similar complaints as sufferers with adrenal fatigue, this does not automatically mean your adrenals are taxed. However, it doesn’t mean you should discount your findings either.

Below are some common issues that people with adrenal fatigue have in common. As always, I encourage you to “think” with your body and see what resonates with you. So much of our healing is, and should be done intuitively. If we could only silence the voice of doubt in our mind and go with our guts, things would be much simpler.


  • Cravings for sweet foods like ice cream, cake, doughnuts.
  • Cravings for simple carbohydrates like cake, doughnuts, muffins, cookies, crackers, chips.
  • Cravings for salty food like soy sauce, chips, etc.
  • I over-salt my food even when others eating the same meal feel it is sufficiently salted.
  • Cravings for coffee or other caffeinated beverages, especially first thing in the morning and the middle of the afternoon.
  • I often get cranky/edgy without caffeine, especially in the afternoon.
  • I feel “instantly” better after eating sugar or caffeine.
  • I do not eat regularly.
  • I have issues with blood sugar regulation and often feel “hangry”, shaky, or weak when I do not eat.

Energy Levels

  • I often feel exhausted, even after sleeping 8-9 hours at night.
  • Naps barely make a dent in my levels of exhaustion.
  • I am easily fatigued by everyday tasks.
  • I am more tired than most people.
  • I have trouble waking up and getting out of bed in the morning. Sometimes it’s a struggle to even open my eyes.
  • I feel much better right after meals high in sugar/carbohydrates, but then have an energy dip a couple hours later that is only relieved by more sugar/carbs/caffeine.
  • I get a rush of energy after dinner.
  • I force myself to keep moving and going, even though I’m exhausted. If I stop, I will fall asleep.

Environmental Aggravations & Physical Ailments – This section includes both signs/symptoms of adrenal fatigue, and other factors that may be impacting how your adrenals respond to daily stress. 

  • Loud or constant noise really gets on my nerves/makes me feel anxious.
  • I suffer from multiple upper respiratory infections per year (more than two) or frequently have digestive complaints.
  • I suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks.
  • My home life or work situation is very stressful.
  • I have economic stresses that impact my life daily or weekly.
  • My ability to handle stress and stressful situations has decreased noticeably.
  • I avoid going out in public because I find it too stressful.
  • I avoid seeing friends or leaving the house because I am too exhausted.
  • I have little to no interest in sex.
  • People irritate me more than they used to.

How did you do with these questions? This is by no means an exhaustive list of ailments when it comes to adrenal fatigue, but more of a “greatest hits” list.

If you find that you identify with 90% or more of this list, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor immediately. If your doctor is not prepared to listen to you and give you the attention and respect that you deserve, see someone else, and keep searching until you find the right doctor.

If you have the ability to do so, I highly recommend an appointment with a Naturopath over an MD. The reason for this is, overall, Western medicine doctors are trained to prescribe pills for singular issues and are less likely to approach your situation with a desire to treat you holistically and get to the root of the problem. Not only that, but Western medicine is woefully under-educated about adrenal fatigue and many doctors are ill-equipped to deal with it.

But again, I encourage you to go within, and listen to your body. Our bodies are extremely intelligent and are sending us messages all day everyday, the key is that we get quiet enough to listen and understand. Once we have listened, the next key step is to make the changes that it is asking of us.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope that you found this helpful and empowering. We must be our own best advocates when it comes to our health. YOU know your body better than any doctor ever will, and that knowledge should guide you in making decisions. ♥

Lastly, just a quick reminder that my eBook goes on sale next week! Wednesday May 10th my eBook will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop.  Check back next week for the link and a coupon code!

Some of these questions stem from my own personal experience with adrenal fatigue, and others have been paraphrased from the book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD.



Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be. This post, as with all others found on my site, are for informational purposes only. None of my posts are intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or disease process. Any and all health concerns should be directed to your qualified healthcare professional. 

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