Know Your Stage Of Adrenal Fatigue To Get Your Energy Back

stages of adrenal fatigue
Stop and read this article before you spend any more money on adrenal fatigue treatments and supplements.

If you suspect you have adrenal fatigue and are currently seeking treatment it is imperative that you know what stage of adrenal fatigue you are in and customize your protocol to your level of adrenal fatigue.

If you take the wrong supplements or herbs it can set you back in your healing process and sometimes make you’re symptoms worse.

In this article, you will learn about the general symptoms of adrenal fatigue, how the stage of adrenal fatigue progress and how to tell what stage you are personally in so you can get on a protocol that works for you.

Adrenal fatigue is the result of long or short term of continuous stress and elevated cortisol levels (your stress hormone).

Prolonged or acute stress causes cortisol production to continuously increase and become dysregulated. This dysregulation is how the body copes with ongoing stress in order to meet the demands you set for it.

The result is symptoms such as:

o   low energy, don’t feel well-rested

o   feeling ‘wired but tired’

o   cravings, coffee and sugar addictions (especially the late-afternoon pick-me-up)

o   overwhelmed

o   feeling irritable

o   anxiety, heart palpitations

o   crying fits, breakdowns

o   stubborn weight loss, especially belly fat

o   loss of self-confidence and zest for life

o   low sex drive

o   brain fog

o   concerned your health is getting worse



When your adrenals are fatigued, it affects every aspect of your life: your relationships, career and your life goals. It stops you from reaching your potential, feeling your pleasure as a woman, and increases the chances of developing severe health conditions.

Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue is not recognized by doctors because it’s something you can live with, but you can’t thrive with.


Understand The 3 Stages Of Adrenal Fatigue


Usually adrenal fatigue progresses from stage 1 to stage 3. How quickly you progress depends on your own unique DNA makeup and the underlying stressors in your busy lifestyle.


Stage 1- High Cortisol

In this stage, cortisol levels are elevated throughout the day. Your body flips from the relaxed parasympathetic nervous system to your ‘stressed’ sympathetic nervous system (aka ‘fight or flight response’). Usually, this happens when you go through a time of extreme stress such as an illness of a family member. It can also be induced by the everyday grind of a high-stress job.


Stage 2- High/ Low Cortisol

Next, your circadian rhythm becomes dysregulated or abnormally impaired. Instead of feeling high energy at the beginning of the day and low energy when you prepare to sleep, it’s difficult to wake up because cortisol levels are low. In the evening, you get a second (or third) wind. Cortisol levels are high and you find it hard to wind down or sleep. You may notice symptoms of other hormone imbalances such as decreased libido, thyroid issues, more PMS or amplified menopause symptoms.


Stage 3- Low Cortisol

At this point you experience low cortisol throughout the day, resulting in constant low energy. Even though you get your z’s, you don’t feel well-rested in the morning.

Consistently low cortisol levels creates a hormone imbalance with other key hormones such as DHEA, progesterone, testosterone and estrogen. Symptoms of an autoimmune disorder may pop up and you are more susceptible to catch a cold or flu. You could experience achy joints and an increase in allergy symptoms. Stage 3 is common after cancer treatments or extreme surgeries.

Stage 3 of adrenal fatigue is serious. It is imperative that you work with a professional to do what it takes to take your health back.



What Stage Are You In?


You can use your symptoms to determine what stage of adrenal fatigue you’re in. These symptoms can of course indicate another underlying condition and we recommend that you consult your doctor to rule out a more serious condition.

We developed a quiz based on symptomatology so that you can quickly and easily find out where you are on the adrenal fatigue spectrum. Take our Adrenal Fatigue Discovery Quiz and get clear on where you are!

Request a saliva-based cortisol test and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on with your cortisol levels.  

When seeking treatment for adrenal fatigue it’s important to have an awareness of the stage of adrenal fatigue you’re in. You also need to work with a professional with an awareness of each stage so that you are being treated appropriately.

Ultimately, if you don’t receive proper treatment for your stage of adrenal fatigue, it pushes you farther away from recovering your energy and your life.

The problem arises when you are prescribed a cocktail of different herbs to heal your adrenals.

For example, licorice is a herb typically used to increase cortisol. If you are in stage 1, this will only serve to enhance your symptoms. Taking licorice in stage 2 anytime but the morning will make it even harder for you to fall asleep at night and get the rest you need to heal. 

On the other hand, if you have progressed to stage 3 holy basil and other adaptogens will be counterproductive to your healing because they work to lower cortisol.

In addition, if you are combining herbs that increase cortisol with others that lower cortisol, you are wasting your time and money on supplements altogether. 

For these reasons, you need to make sure you have an approach to healing your adrenals that is customized.  You, your lifestyle, and the specific stage of adrenal fatigue you struggle with all need to be considered. The best approach is agile; changing as you begin to heal and emerge from the stages of adrenal fatigue.

Back to the first step: you need to personally know what stage of adrenal fatigue you’re in to heal effectively on your own or with a health professional.

We developed a quiz based on symptomatology so that you can quickly and easily find out where you are on the adrenal fatigue spectrum. Take our Adrenal Fatigue Discovery Quiz and get clear on where you are!


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Krissie says:

    This is great that you point out the caution of over using commonly used herbs when dealing with adrenal fatigue. It’s hard sometimes to grasp the concept of “less is more”. Not only was I using way too many supplements, but my cycles and female hormones were almost completley hindering any real progress in my recovery it seemed like. (super awesome article right here that gets into hormones: Finally after figuring out all these hormones and everything and properly using supplementation, I have improved immensely.

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