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Please Help Me With Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue

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  • Please Help Me With Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue

    I did an adrenal test with Sean Croxton of underground wellness, and he has concluded that I have stage 3 adrenal fatigue. He prompted me to stop all exercise except walking. This is going to KILL me! I live to do weights and body circuits. Any advice or opinions on stage 3 adrenal fatigue would be greatly appreciated.

    If anyone has had stage long did it take you to recover and how did you do it?

    Depressed....... =(

  • #2

    Forgive me for my ignorance --- is this a real condition? I went to the underground wellness site and it seemed a little fishy to me. A little googleing pooped up lots of people selling products to cure this ailment. Red flags went up for me, but I'm naturally skeptical of everything.

    Perhaps you are over-training. Maybe if you post your workouts people here can help. Presumably you had the test done because you are feeling tired, folks here can give you some advice on how to optimize your diet and exercise.

    It's grandma, but you can call me sir.


    • #3

      hannah, curious as to what he considers stage 3? or even 1 and 2? grandma, adrenal fatigue is a real condition though not recognized by cw medicine, which doesnt mean anything. people can be hypoT and not be diagnosed by some gp's because their blood work is 'normal' there are other threads dedicated to this particular topic.

      the only way that eating primally will help any

      is that the amount of saturated fats in this way of eating will aid hormone production. stay away from stimulants altogether ie alcohol and caffeine. get rest, walking and yoga, good combo. try and sleep as much as you can. its a long haul out.


      • #4

        Thanks for the advice. I really don't have all that bad of symptoms compared to what most people feel like in stage 3.....I have: No Sex drive, awake after 8 hours sleep and don't feel really rested, moody, irritable, loss of period for over 9 months, recent 10 pound weight gain.

        62Shelby....Do I really need to cut out the weights? Did you take any supplements to help you??


        • #5

          did you have cortisol levels checked? any saliva or acth testing? does he do that or was it just a series of questions? any exercise that puts the hr up is stressing the adrenals, so you need to keep cortisol levels down. its up to you and how you feel though I can understand how hard it is to give it a rest for a while.

          as for supplements, adrenal cortex supplement might help, some amino acids and vit b's. there are a few websites outlining what can support as well. what youre describing sounds a bit thyroid as well.


          • #6

            What sort of adrenal test did you do. Perhaps you are only stage 2?

            "Stage 1

            The first stage, which is called hyper-adrenalism, is characterised by abnormally high cortisol levels and subnormal DHEA levels. With the high cortisol levels you may still have energy, perhaps too much, and you may not be sleeping well or restfully. You may be losing muscle mass because cortisol cannibalises muscle for energy resulting in weakness. It may also cause moon face and weight gain around the trunk as well as fluid retention and glucose intolerance. Cortisol decreases serotonin levels which may cause depression, it also decreases melatonin levels which adds to poor sleep. It is also immunosuppressive which may result in frequent infections and illness. High cortisol can cause hot flushes in women which is often considered only an estrogen deficient symptom. Sugar cravings, confusion and muscle weakness may also occur.

            Stage 2

            Stage 2 is where cortisol supplies have finally run low but have not run out yet. For a year or so cortisol and DHEA will hover in the low-normal range leaving you feeling tired and stressed, but functional.

            Stage 3

            Stage 3 is where cortisol and DHEA levels are low for most of the day leaving you with low energy levels. Common signs and symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include: inability to tolerate exercise, depression, dark circles under the eyes, lack of mental alertness, headaches, oedema, salt and/or sugar cravings, feeling tired all the time, mentally and emotionally overstressed, light headedness, heartburn, low blood pressure, recurrent infections and trouble sleeping.

            Testing for Adrenal Fatigue

            In order to determine which stage adrenal fatigue you are in and therefore what is the most appropriate treatment you will need some testing. We recommend either a saliva test measuring levels four times throughout the day or alternatively a serum DHEA-S blood test in conjunction with a 24hr urine cortisol test. Thyroid testing (T3, T4, reverse T3) is also highly recommended as adrenal fatigue may result with thyroid imbalances which further complicate fatigue symptoms."



            • #7

              He did saliva tests with me. Said it was stage 3.

              My cortisol results were:

              morning: 8.8

              noon: 6.1

              evening: 3.3

              Night: 2.6

              Cortisol sum: 20.8

              DHEA-S AVG: 4.73

              Total Cortisol/DHEA-S Ratio: 4.4

              SAlivary Estradiol: 1.7

              Salivary Estriol: 1.3

              Salivary Progesterone: 34

              Testosterone (AM): 46.7

              Melatonin (PM): 17.7

              ANother doctor (fertility doctor) said my thyroid levels were fine. Should I be concerned about thyroid? Would it be hyper or hypo?

              I don't feel all that bad though in general.

              Not lethargic or anything.

              I am desperate for help, I can't keep paying Sean to run more tests. Any more advice on supplements and recovery is greatly appreciated. =)

              Thanks in advance


              • #8

                check your body temperature to be sure, if youre posting sub 98 regularly then thyroid might be playing into it, even if youre 'normal', blood work doesnt tell the whole story, symptomology is required as well.


                • #9

                  and p.s wouldnt recommend intermittent fasting in your fatigued state, it doesnt work and can make things worse.


                  • #10

                    Thanks for your input.....does anyone else have experience with adrenal fatigue?


                    • #11

                      Hey Hannahm!!!

                      I've also been working with Sean since January of this year - and am totally messed up - I'm on the border of Stage II/Stage III adrenal fatigue, all my hormone levels have tanked (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone), and I have some sort of funky bacteria floating around in my body at the moment (aka leaky gut syndrome).

                      I backed off all training once I did my second Olympic triathlon this summer (was slated to do a half Ironman in July, but wasn't even close to feeling up to it). I gave myself a break, went off all the supplements that my naturopath at the time was feeding me (which didn't do a thing to help me, I might add), did the 4 point cortisol test, a metabolic workup, and the mucosal barrier test.

                      I've discovered with Sean's help that my problem is due mostly to the leaky gut syndrome - which I'm currently battling by doing the Kaufmann anti-fungal diet, which means essentially giving up all grains, caffeine, and sugars for six months. I'm only back to starting to work out but have been told that I need to work out like an 85 year old - which is really hard when you're used to training for Olympic to IM distance races - I'm still on the learning curve on that one.

                      Sorry this is so long - I think that my problem began with overtraining a number of years ago, then was only compounded by poor eating habits, the loss of two family members, a divorce, and really not looking after myself that well. I'm hoping that getting through the anti-fungal eating plan, then working on the adrenals/kidney/liver issues and putting good flora back into my system will do the trick. I have noticed that my energy has come back somewhat in the last three weeks anyway, which is promising.

                      Best of luck - I'm hoping that there's a way out of this, but from what I understand, it's a long road...


                      • #12


                        Best wishes for you!

                        I hope you recover faster than expected.

                        That's part of the reason for my reasoning to not eat grains.

                        Although you may not directly notice it, I do believe most people are at risk of wheat/grains stripping the mucous lining of their gut. And that can lead to some pretty "not fun" issues.

                        Again, best of luck, and here's to a speedy recovery,




                        • #13

                          Trigal, sound very much like what I have just figured out with the sports med doc, similar over training issues caused by poor nutrition and not enough of it, grief and stress and lack of sleep. having to back off is so freaking hard.

                          glutamine has helped seal my gut up, tmi, had diarrhea for about four months but has recently eased up, I take about 10-15 gms of pure powder. also for probiotics, recommended is bioK which is supercharged yogurt, 100billion bacteria in every tiny serving. its on the expensive side but its like the storm troopers coming in and taking over in a good way!

                          Youre right its a long road out, very hard when youre type a and your mind wants to push you to do it. my fiance is competing in our sport @ world masters in October, I was meant to be competing as well but energy just got worse and worse this year, so maybe a couple of years before I can go. I am going to force myself to stay off the bike for three weeks, take long walks with my sis in law and do tonnes of yoga. think this will be a pill for my poor endocrine system.

                          best of luck.


                          • #14

                            Thanks guys!! It has definitely been hard to back off, but I had a coach once who told me that the most important thing you can learn as an athlete is to listen to your body...apparently I was ignoring mine for too long!!!

                            I've switched my eating to all organic, although because I'm in Canada, and not in the US, it may be hard to find the yogurt...RATS!!! Even just eating organic has made a difference along with eating "closer to the ground" - I eat nothing that's processed any more.

                            I'm also doing yoga 2-3 times a week and some stuff on the Concept 2 rowers and light weights - watching my HR to make sure I don't go anaerobic...although I must admit I've pushed the red on the rower - OOPS!!

                            Good luck to you too, Shelby...pity that you couldn't get into the Masters - the timing of these things always sucks, doesn't it???


                            • #15

                              Trigal, the sports med doc told me that its going to be hard to listen to my body during recovery as I will get mixed messages, the single mindedness that gets athletes like you to an olympic level is a blessing and a curse, no?

                              good news......I am in Canada, and just got my biok from Zehrs, so you should be able to get it in from somewhere, loblaws if you are in the T.O area, but cant speak for other provinces. B.C will definitely have it I reckon.

                              here is the store locator


                              as for timing, yeah sucks alot! the yoga helps a bit but its a mind f**k for sure not being able to go hard, and like you trying to keep the hr down!

                              let me know how you get on with the biok, it really is the bomb. just checked the box its 50 billion guaranteed at consumption