Is Adrenal Fatigue a Real Condition?

Adrenal Fatigue information
Is adrenal fatigue a real thing?

If you’re experiencing sudden headaches, fatigue, and stress, then you’ve probably done your fair share of searching. Unfortunately, the internet is loaded with false claims and phoney symptoms that might lead you astray. Adrenal fatigue is one of the most common self-diagnosed illnesses from the web.

Adrenal fatigue isn’t a real condition, according to numerous experts. It was theorized in 1998, but most medical professionals don’t support it. The adrenal glands produce hormones, including cortisol, which impacts stress levels. Adrenal fatigue is a supposed side effect of malfunctioning glands.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about adrenal fatigue:

  • Whether or not it’s real and accepted
  • Symptoms of adrenal fatigue and what might’ve caused them
  • How you can handle the symptoms and signs at home

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

As stated by WebMD, adrenal fatigue was theorized by James Wilson. He believed that the adrenal glands could be depleted, causing numerous negative symptoms. In theory, it makes sense to believe that the adrenal glands could lack the necessary hormones, which is why it was thought of many years ago.

Since it was coined, thousands of people have claimed that they have adrenal fatigue. A self-diagnosis can be dangerous for numerous reasons. If you think you know what’s wrong, you might be inclined to try various cures. These cures could range from a change of diet to medication that you don’t need.

Another issue associated with self-diagnosing adrenal fatigue is that there might be bigger health issues. If you think you have this false illness, you could be ignoring a serious threat to your health.

Both scenarios can prove harmful, so it’s always best to consult a medical professional before diagnosing yourself with any. Fatigue and headaches are normal, but too much of anything can be a problem. To learn about the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue, proceed to the next section.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

Although it’s not real, there’s no doubt that people can experience the supposed symptoms of adrenal fatigue. As the name states, fatigue is a leading sign of the false illness. People experience headaches, tiredness, exhaustion, and more. Unfortunately, they’re only the start of severe symptoms.

Here’s a list of symptoms of adrenal fatigue as listed by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Drastic weight loss
  • Severe headaches
  • Varying levels of fatigue
  • Adjusted blood pressure
  • Skin discoloration
  • Hair Loss
  • Lightheadedness

Some people also claim that they have adrenal fatigue after bouts of bronchitis, congestion, pneumonia, and more. In reality, most of these symptoms are associated with the initial illness. For example, you can feel exhausted or get a headache from the common cold. It’s also no secret that elevated stress levels can cause changes in blood pressure and discomfort.

If you want to know whether or not it’s real, along with some of the hard evidence, read on.

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real? 

The US National Library of Medicine clearly proves that adrenal fatigue is a myth. It’s not real, and it likely never will be. The theory of adrenal fatigue assumes that the adrenal glands can malfunction, reducing the hormones that the adrenal glands produce. Fortunately, something as simple as stress or the common cold can’t raise cortisol letters too much.

It was theorized in 1998, but it wasn’t taken seriously until 2001. Once it started to gain traction, it was treated as every other medical issue; Experts were skeptical but willing to investigate and perform tests. As mentioned throughout this page, the tests resulted in the disapproval of adrenal fatigue as an actual medical condition.

However, these tests were the beginning of a long investigation process. If you want to know about the science behind adrenal fatigue and find out what the evidence has to say, you’ll learn all of it below.

What the Evidence Says

As explained by Medical News Today, there’s no denying the fact that people can experience symptoms that seem like adrenal fatigue. It’s a perfect explanation for headaches, stress, and similar signs of health problems. However, it’s dangerous to believe that adrenal fatigue is the source of your issues.

The article goes on to explain that there’s no scientific evidence that proves adrenal fatigue is real. In fact, there’s loads of evidence of other underlying health conditions that can seem like adrenal fatigue but are actually part of a different illness. In other words, adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist, but your symptoms do.

It’s no secret that stress, depression, anxiety, and similar issues can cause physical problems. Many people believe that they’re a mental issue, but not a physical problem. The truth is that these conditions can cause headaches, changes in your blood pressure, lightheadedness, and all of the aforementioned symptoms.

It’s important that you know what’s causing your symptoms. Rather than taking medication for a non-existent illness, you should be able to dig deeper and treat the real problem.

There are a plethora of “natural’ supplements available for people with “adrenal fatigue”. Often they are expensive and there is no scientific evidence to show that any supplements will influence your symptoms.

Other Possible Causes of Your Fatigue and Burnout

So, now that you know that adrenal fatigue isn’t real, how are you supposed to treat your symptoms? There’s no way that you’re imagining all of these conditions, which is why you need to get down to the bottom of everything. Fortunately, you’re about to discover the underlying problems that are causing your fatigue.

Here are several causes of fatigue and burnout:

  • Too much stress can cause you to be tired. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with adrenal fatigue. When you get too stressed, it can elevate or reduce your blood pressure. This subtle change is more than enough to impact your energy levels.
  • Sleep is essential, and not enough of it will cause you to have a variety of health problems. Weight loss, fatigue, stress, hair loss, and all sorts of issues have been associated with a lack of adequate sleep.
  • A bad diet can influence your health more than almost anything else. If you’re eating greasy food that’s loaded with fat and carbs, you’ll feel burned out. It’ll change your weight, make you tired all the time, and reduce the amount of high-quality sleep that you get.
  • On a similar note, malnutrition influences your health drastically. If you’re deficient in vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs, or healthy fats, then you won’t be able to perform optimally.

What Should I Do About These Symptoms?

The good news is that there’s a lot that you can do to treat your symptoms. Try these tips to get back to normal:

  1. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep on a set schedule every night. Most people need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
  2. Get your blood tested to see if you’re missing any vitamins or minerals. Iron deficiency is very common, especially in women.
  3. Adjust your diet to remove unhealthy food. Remember that you need enough protein to feel energetic, but carbohydrates influence your energy levels, too.
  4. Increase the amount of water you drink. Many studies suggest that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Other studies claim that you should drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 180-pound person should drink 90 ounces of water per day.


As you can see, adrenal fatigue isn’t real, but there’s an underlying cause of your symptoms. It’s not always serious. In fact, there are many ways that you can fix these problems, including improving your sleep, switching your diet, or taking medication. The best course of action is to consult your doctor if the symptoms persist.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Self-diagnosing yourself with adrenal fatigue can be dangerous.
  • Always consult a professional to find out why you have these symptoms.
  • Evidence proves that adrenal fatigue is a myth.


Emilie MASI

Registered Nurse, Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice Graduate Diploma of Wound Care Working towards Masters of Wound Care

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