Adrenal fatigue has been getting a lot of attention lately in the wellness industry, and for good reason. More than ever, women (and even some men) are experiencing debilitating, unexplained fatigue. What was once considered “fake” is now widely accepted as real. In this guide, you are going to learn everything you need to know about adrenal fatigue:

  • What is it? 
  • How to test for it?
  • How you got here
  • How it impacts every other system in the body 
  • How to heal, naturally 
  • Best foods, supplements, and lifestyle practices for adrenal support 
  • And more. 

Let’s get to it. 

What are the adrenals?

The adrenal glands, also known as suprarenal glands, are small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of both kidneys. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating your metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar, stress response, immune system, and other essential functions. They also produce and regulate hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, aldosterone, and even sex hormones. 

Adrenal glands are composed of two parts: the cortex and the medulla, which are each responsible for producing different hormones. 

The adrenal cortex is the outer region and the larger part of the gland. It is divided into three separate zones: zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata, and zona reticularis. 

The adrenal medulla is located inside of the adrenal cortex and produces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. 

Adrenal Gland Hormones 

One of the main and most-known roles of the adrenal glands is to release certain hormones directly into the bloodstream as a response to stress. These hormones are vital for survival and existence! 


A glucocorticoid hormone that helps control the body’s use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates; regulates blood pressure; suppresses inflammation when properly excreted, increases blood sugar; and can also decrease bone formation. 

Cortisol controls the sleep and wake cycle. When in balance, it rises in the morning to help you wake up and decreases at night to allow you to fall asleep. During an intense time of stress, cortisol helps your body get an energy boost to better handle an emergency. Soon, we will learn how too much cortisol can be detrimental. But for now, it’s important to know that cortisol is necessary and amazing— when in balance! 


Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid hormone that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and certain electrolytes. It’s absolutely essential for hydration, so if you are struggling with adrenal fatigue, you can experience poor hydration. 

Aldosterone sends signals to the kidneys, allowing the kidneys to absorb sodium into the bloodstream and release potassium in the urine. This means that aldosterone also helps to regulate pH by controlling electrolyte levels in the blood. 

DHEA and Androgenic Steroids 

While these are produced in much larger amounts in the ovaries and testes, they are still produced in the adrenals. They are precursor hormones for estrogens and androgens. 

Adrenaline and Noradrenaline 

The adrenal medulla controls hormones that initiate the fight or flight response, like adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones are capable of increasing heart rate, heart contractions, blood flow to muscles and brain, assisting in sugar metabolism, maintaining blood pressure, and increasing stress response. Necessary for survival, but too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. 

What is adrenal fatigue? 

So what exactly is adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue, also known as HPA axis dysfunction, happens when chronic stress causes the adrenals to become so overworked that they slow down cortisol secretion to protect you from exposure to high cortisol levels.

You can think of your HPA axis as your stress-response system. It’s made up of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. In this communication network, these three work together to control hormonal output. 

When you go through prolonged stress periods, your hypothalamus and pituitary gland down-regulates the entire HPA axis, halting your cortisol production in your adrenals. When that happens, you can feel fatigued and low energy. 

Adrenal Fatigue Vs. Adrenal Insufficiency 

There are two types of adrenal insufficiency: primary adrenal insufficiency also known as Addison’s disease and secondary adrenal insufficiency, diseases in the hypothalamus and pituitary. 

As we just learned, the root cause of adrenal fatigue is HPA axis dysregulation. The major difference between adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue, is that adrenal fatigue is an early stage of adrenal insufficiency. That is why it is so crucial to address adrenal fatigue as soon as possible to avoid getting to that palace. 

Adrenal insufficiency is characterized by low levels of adrenal hormones. The problem with having “normal” or “less than optimal” adrenal hormones is that we are often left dismissed at doctors’ appointments, just to come back in years to have reached a worse stage. 

So if we want to avoid getting worse, we need to look at the real root cause of adrenal fatigue and address it there: HPA axis dysregulation. 

The Four Stages of Adrenal Fatigue

It’s not typical to not have adrenal fatigue one day and then immediately have it the next day. There are adrenal fatigue stages, and it’s important to understand these so that you don’t enter into a worse stage.

Stage 1: The Alarm Phase –  This is the beginning stage that describes the body’s immediate reaction to a stressor. During the first stage, your adrenals and body are capable of having an appropriate stress response. Cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, and insulin all rise to help take care of you. You benefit from a state of increased arousal and alertness. You may not notice that you are entering adrenal fatigue at this stage. You may become a bit more tired than usual, but you probably won’t consider a change. You may increase your intake of stimulants. 

Stage 2: The Resistance Response – Chronic stress leads to chronic hormone release resulting in inflammation, hormone imbalance, etc. During this stage, you will start to feel the effects of overexertion from your body’s stress system (HPA axis). Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue, like we mentioned, now come into play. And most likely, dependence on caffeine. At this point, you may go to a doctor, but your symptoms will be treated as a separate condition. For instance, you may experience depression, and you may be prescribed antidepressants. This is oftentimes the bandaid stage.

Stage 3: Adrenal Exhaustion – Stage three is when your adrenals are worked to the point of exhaustion, and your HPA axis downregulates to help protect your body. This means that you may experience pronounced insomnia, feel like you need a nap every afternoon, you are gaining weight for no reason, and cravings are out of control. Basically, what is happening is multiple endocrine axis dysfunction. Not just HPA but also HPA and HPT (ovarian and thyroid). A cascading decompensation happens, and we enter a disequilibrium state. Our body is severely compromised, and when left out of balance for too long, we reach stage four. 

Stage 4: Complete Burnout & Adrenal Failure – symptoms are at an all-time high, and it is very likely that you can reach adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s Disease. This is when the adrenals are no longer able to produce adequate hormones. Paying attention to your body before you reach the burnout stage is critical. 

The Real Root Cause of Adrenal Fatigue: HPA Axis Dysregulation 

What is the HPA Axis?

The HPA axis is your stress response system. In this communication network, your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands talk to each other to control their hormonal production and output. 

According to Chris Kresser, HPA axis dysregulation is a root cause of adrenal fatigue. He says that it’s not that your adrenals can’t produce the hormone cortisol, but it’s that once you’re under chronic stress for a long period of time, your body wants to protect you from the dangers of prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels. 

As part of this protection, your hypothalamus and pituitary gland downregulates the entire HPA axis. It stops telling your adrenals to produce cortisol, resulting in levels that are too low and cause fatigue. 

What Causes HPA Axis Dysregulation?

Perceived stress 

Stress looks different for everyone. Perceived stress means that something that may be stressful to one person may not be to the other. A consistent large to-do list may be the root of someone’s chronic stress while to another person it may be chronic negative self-talk. Research also suggests that childhood trauma (also perceived differently) can also result in an overactive HPA axis, contributing to chronic anxiety and stress. 

Blood Sugar Imbalances 

Blood sugar imbalances will trigger inflammation, aka stress in the body. Issues with insulin and leptin signaling impacts the function of the HPA axis. For example, say you wake up in the morning and the first thing you consume is black coffee. Black coffee, ehem caffeine, causes our adrenals to release cortisol and other stress hormones, setting you up for a day of blood sugar rollercoasters. This wreaks havoc on hormones and adrenals! Now imagine doing that everyday for years—it takes a major toll on your HPA axis and adrenals. 

Poor Gut Health 

When gut health is inflamed, hormones fall out of balance, and the body becomes stressed. A lot of hormones are produced in the gut, like serotonin. If you’ve ever noticed, when you’re stressed, your digestive system takes a hit. Enter constipation, bloating, IBS, diarrhea, etc. This happens because stress hormones are released, and all your energy goes to dealing with that, putting digestion on the back burner. 

Poor Quality Sleep & Circadian Disruption 

Poor gut health negatively impacts sleep. High stress also disrupts your circadian rhythm, your natural rhythm of hormones, and bodily functions. 

Sleep is our bodies’ chance to rejuvenate and heal themselves. If we don’t get enough sleep, our organs and bodily systems don’t get enough time to replenish and rest. Enter hormonal imbalance. 

A normal circadian rhythm should look like higher cortisol levels in the morning and lower levels at night. When someone has adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels are swapped, causing sluggish mornings and tired but wired evenings. 

What do the adrenals impact?

Gut Health & Digestion 

Leaky gut is known as an increased intestinal permeability when the tight junctions of the cells lining the small intestine lose their integrity. When this happens food particles that should not enter the bloodstream do and cause inflammation and food sensitivities. Initial leaky gut symptoms include: bloating, food sensitivities, disrupted thyroid, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, skin issues, digestive issues, weight gain. 

  • Adrenal fatigue is often caused by chronic stress. Our stress responses can create damage in the gut. A lot of times, we respond to stress with emotional eating, eating on the go, and processed foods. All of this can damage the gut integrity. 
  • Adrenal fatigue sufferers often rely on sugary sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. Excess sugar from these drinks can wipe out good gut bacteria and feed the bad compromising bad bacteria. This can lead to yeast infections, candida, and cravings. 
  • Stress itself can be physically damaging to the gut, triggering poor digestion and worsening gut issues. 


Your immune system lives in your gut, and your gut and hormones (especially adrenal hormones) are closely tied together. When gut health is compromised, so is immune health. Your adrenals are also in charge of returning your body to homeostasis when you get sick. Because this requires a lot of energy, people suffering from adrenal fatigue have a compromised immune system and a slower healing time. 


The adrenals are responsible for producing cortisol, which has many jobs, including energy level regulation. Adrenal fatigue is essentially a cortisol imbalance issue, so that’s why people with AF can wake up after 9 hours in bed and still feel sluggish. It’s also why you may get that tired but wired feeling at night. 


Adrenal fatigue also means poor sleep quality. This lack of sleep has a major impact on your skin and radiance. The adrenals also are in charge of producing androgens and sex hormones, so when those are out of balance, you may experience thinning hair, acne, sagging skin, and even facial hair. 

Blood Sugar 

Cortisol is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, so when our cortisol levels are out of whack it can cause blood sugar imbalances. Blood sugar imbalance can result in ovaries making more testosterone, excess estrogen, acne, heavy menses, hair loss, increased PMS symptoms, infertility, PCOS, and more. 

Fertility & Libido 

Imbalanced cortisol can lead to an excess of estrogen, having an impact on women’s fertility. But the adrenals also produce sex hormones; when they struggle, they can have a hard time producing them. When testosterone and DHEA production is down, we can experience low sex drive. 

As we mentioned above, adrenal fatigue and PCOS are connected.

Adrenal PCOS is a type of PCOS that happens because of adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue PCOS is a result of chronic stress done on the body. Women who struggle with adrenal PCOS typically have experienced/are experiencing high, chronic levels of stress. In this case, you will have high levels of DHEAS, an androgen produced in the adrenal glands, and normal levels of other androgens in the ovaries like testosterone. 

You can learn if you have adrenal fatigue PCOS by looking at the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and PCOS. You can also get your DHEAS levels tested, and if those are elevated compared to other androgens, then you are most likely dealing with adrenal PCOS. Read our whole article on Adrenal PCOS here.


When the adrenal glands are struggling, that means the entire endocrine system is. So hormones like melatonin, the sleep hormone, are going to be affected. Insomnia and poor sleep is a common symptom of people suffering with adrenal fatigue. 


One of the surefire signs of adrenal fatigue is cravings for processed foods, sugars, and salts. When we are feeding ourselves these foods, we are further disrupting hormones. It’s not news that a healthy diet is necessary for happy hormones, and if we are missing out on important nutrients by opting for sugary processed foods, hormones can suffer. One of the reasons for this is that conventional, processed foods are loaded with GMOs, pesticides, and herbicides, all things that mess with estrogen levels and other hormones. 


This may come as a surprise, but one of the ways the adrenal glands impact hormones is through hydration. We talked about the hormone aldosterone, but I want to touch on it here again. 

The hormone aldosterone is in charge of regulating electrolytes and fluid balance. It is largely controlled by cortisol. So when cortisol is imbalanced due to AF, aldosterone levels get all messed up, and we can have a harder time properly hydrating. When we are dehydrated, our entire body surfers! The fix here is to carry a huge water bottle around and properly hydrate with minerals and electrolytes to help keep cortisol and aldosterone regulated. 

Cardiovascular Health 

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the world. Recent studies have shown a relationship between adrenal insufficiency and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. This is all thanks to too low cortisol levels. Cortisol is responsible for regulating blood pressure. When our cortisol levels are struggling due to adrenal fatigue, our heart is taking the heat. 

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms 

There are 10 key symptoms of adrenal fatigue that we are going to talk about. If you have a combination of these symptoms, there is a good chance that your adrenal health is struggling. 

1 – You are still tired after a full night’s sleep 

Do you wake up sluggish in the morning? Even after what had seemed like a good night’s sleep, do you have a hard time getting your day started? This is one of the most common adrenal fatigue symptoms. 

If you ask yourself, “why am I so tired in the morning?” listen up. 

When someone has adrenal fatigue, their cortisol regulation is backward. In the morning, when cortisol levels are supposed to rise, they are actually really low. And at night, when they are supposed to be low, they are high and create that feeling of tired but wired. 

2 – You crave salty foods 

If you constantly crave a bag of chips, salted nuts, or a whole charcuterie board, your hormone aldosterone is out of whack. The adrenals regulate aldosterone, which is the hormone that helps regulate sodium and potassium levels. Often when we crave salty foods, we are dehydrated, and dehydration can be a result of cortisol and aldosterone dysregulation as a result of adrenal fatigue. 

3 – You experience an afternoon slump daily 

2:30 hits, and you feel like you could pass out. You are completely exhausted and probably want to reach for another latte or energy drink. The dreaded afternoon slump is a primary symptom of adrenal fatigue. This persistent feeling of exhaustion is a result of cortisol level imbalance. 

4 – Low to no sex drive 

At the root of AF is HPA axis dysregulation caused by chronic stress. Low libido is almost always caused by stress and is a telltale sign of adrenal fatigue. What most people don’t know is that adrenals play an important role in sex hormone (like testosterone) production. If your adrenals are suffering, there is a really good chance your sex drive is too. 

5 – Inability to handle stress 

Because the adrenals are responsible for producing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, when these hormones are out of balance, the tiniest inconvenience can lead to a breakdown. Inability to handle stress is one of the biggest signs of adrenal fatigue. Remember, perceived stress is at the root of AF. So if you lose your temper or experience breakdowns regularly over things that would normally not trigger you, you may have AF. 

6 – Slow healing time 

If you take longer than a few days to get over the common cold, you could be struggling with poor adrenal function. This is because adrenal function and immunity function go hand in hand. Your immune system lives in your gut, and your gut hormones (especially adrenal hormones) are closely tied together. When gut health and digestive health get put on the back burner, thanks to a spike in adrenal hormones, so does immunity health. 

Your adrenals are also in charge of helping the body return to homeostasis after getting ill. But when they are in a state of slow down and fatigue, they can’t do their job properly. 

7 – Mood issues 

Adrenal fatigue directly impacts mental health. Feelings of anxiety, nervousness, sadness, hopelessness, and lack of control over emotions are extremely common. This is because HPA axis dysregulation is at the core of adrenal fatigue. Your HPA axis is your body’s internal stress system. When adrenal hormone production slows down, the rest of your endocrine system is impacted. Think of important mood-regulating hormones like serotonin and dopamine. It’s really common to feel blah, numb, and unlike yourself. Check out this article on 15 foods to boost mood and nourish hormones. 

8 – Increased PMS symptoms 

With adrenal fatigue comes an increase in bloating, cramps, mood swings, headaches, and fatigue during and before your period. This is not normal! This has a lot to do with stress hormones being out of balance and impacting sex hormone production. We have a whole article on the best foods to support PMS hormone imbalance that you can check out here

9 – Dependency on Stimulants 

If you need coffee the second you wake up, or if you need caffeine to get you through your day, that’s a major sign of adrenal fatigue. The problem is, the more you drink caffeine, the more you need it. Caffeine is a major stressor to the adrenals and is one of the worst things to consume when struggling with adrenal fatigue. 

We wrote a whole article on the crazy connection between adrenal fatigue and caffeine that you can check out here.

10 – Lack of mental clarity 

Do you struggle with a lack of concentration, brain fog, memory, and productivity? Prolonged stress can lead to poor brain function. Mental clarity can be easily supported through supporting the adrenals. 

Other signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue 

Here are signs that you are headed straight for adrenal fatigue:

  • Using stimulants to get by 
  • Ignoring your body and staying up past the point of being tired 
  • You are constantly pushing yourself 
  • Consistent lack of good sleep
  • You struggle with perfectionism 
  • You have no margin or downtime 

Testing for Adrenal Fatigue 

Chances are you’ve been to a doctor (or three) to talk about your debilitating fatigue. And chances are they said it was stress. And while they’re not wrong—they probably made you feel frustrated and invalidated. I’ve been there. 

Conventional doctors’ view on adrenal fatigue is either functioning or failing. If you don’t have the most severe case, then you’re considered fine. This is a huge problem because adrenal fatigue leads to the more severe cases known as Addison’s Disease and Cushing’s disease. You can learn more about both of those in this podcast episode, but for now let’s talk about the best test for adrenal fatigue. 

The Best Test for Adrenal Fatigue 

At-Home Test for Adrenal Fatigue 
Iris Contraction

When light is shining on someone with adrenal fatigue, the pupil will not be able to hold its contraction and will dilate despite the light. This will take place within 2 minutes and last for about 30-45 seconds before it contracts again. 

Low Blood Pressure and Postural Low Blood Pressure

If you have a blood pressure drop when you stand up from a lying position, this almost always indicates low adrenal function. 

Sergeant’s White Line 

Sergeant’s white line is present in about 40% of people with adrenal fatigue. For this test, take the full end of a ballpoint pen and stroke the skin of your abdomen, creating a 6-inch mark. The line may stay white for about 10 minutes if you have adrenal fatigue. 

Lab tests for Adrenal Fatigue 

The standard lab tests do not detect adrenal fatigue in its varying degrees of severity. However, there is a lab test that accurately measures several adrenal hormones, and it is our favorite: the saliva hormone test. 

Saliva hormone testing measures the number of adrenals in your saliva. This is better than a blood test because saliva measures active forms of hormone, whereas blood testing does not. We love the saliva test because it is simple, reliable, and economical. 

Reach out to us to learn more about our testing and coaching program for adrenal fatigue. 

Overcoming & Healing Adrenal Fatigue 

When overcoming and healing from adrenal fatigue, there is something you need to change first, before anything else: your mindset. There are 3 mindset changes about how to treat adrenal fatigue that you need to make before healing. Trust me. This was a complete game-changer for me. Here they are:

1 – Understand that low energy is not normal: yes, it’s common, but no, it is not normal. So many people’s healing journeys are halted because they sincerely believe what society and conventional medicine has told us: the older you get, the more tired you’ll be. Acknowledge that something is wrong. 

2 – You have to do something different to get a different result: how long has it been that you have felt like this? You have to come to terms with the fact that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will feel how you’ve always felt. It’s time to get disciplined and step out of your comfort zone. Healing requires it.

3 – There is no magic bullet or quick fix to adrenal fatigue: I talked about this in a podcast episode. The sad truth is that there is no quick fix to adrenal fatigue. No shortcut. You’ve got to be in this to really heal. 

You can listen to the whole podcast episode I did on the 3 mindset shifts you need to make to heal from adrenal fatigue here

My Personal Healing Journey

Before I get into specifics about healing, I wanted to share the four-step protocol that I was on to treat my 5-time adrenal fatigue. Listen to the whole podcast episode here

  1. Stress and energy management: proper hydration, managing physical, emotional, and mental stressors. 
  2. Regulating circadian rhythms: sunlight in the eyes first thing, avoid blue light at night, go to bed early. 
  3. Improve nutrition and heal the gut: cut out trigger foods and processed foods and prioritize deeply nourishing foods. 
  4. Prioritize self-care: I ditched TV and media at night, and prioritized self-care like journaling, stretching, reading positive books, and taking baths with essential oils. Speaking of books: we have a whole list of the best books for adrenal fatigue that you can find here.

How to Reverse Adrenal Fatigue 

Stress Management 

As we know, at the root of adrenal fatigue are emotional, mental, chemical, physical, and environmental stressors. While we can’t completely eliminate these stressors, we can mitigate them. And in fact, it’s absolutely essential. 

We can look to specific hormones that get thrown out of whack thanks to stressors: cortisol and estrogen. 

Cortisol is our stress hormone that is necessary for survival, but when we have too much or too little over a long period of time we can get completely burnt out. We can help balance cortisol by practicing breathing methods, meditation, grounding outside, journaling, and taking a bath with essential oils. 

People with adrenal fatigue often struggle with out-of-balance estrogen levels thanks to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals are horrible for mood, libido, and beauty. We can tamp down these stressors and regulate estrogen by switching to organic cosmetic products, consuming organic food as much as possible, and following a seed cycling protocol! 

Fostering a resilient stress response may be one of the best things we can do. We need a strong nervous system and vagal tone, and while there are some herbs that we will talk about, lifestyle practices like breathwork should be non-negotiable. 


Get your sleep wherever possible. Yes, this means naps are more than acceptable. Oftentimes, people who are suffering from adrenal fatigue can’t get a full night’s rest in. Whether it’s insomnia, waking up every hour, or never getting into a deep delta wave sleep cycle, your body cannot flush toxins from the brain and body. 

My suggestion here is to prioritize sleep. Get it where you can, but change your lifestyle so that you can begin to fall asleep easily and rest soundly through the night. 

That might look like shutting off electronics when the sun sets and going by candlelight or putting blue light blockers on. It may look like taking a bath with essential oils, or drinking a calming tea or magnesium supplement. Whatever your winddown routine, it should definitely look like getting to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day. This will do wonders for resetting your circadian rhythm. 


Did you know that 80% of people are chronically dehydrated?! Dehydration is the number one cause of exhaustion. And in our client business, we see dehydration as the root cause of adrenal fatigue over and over again. Why? Because it stresses the body out! And it doesn’t allow for your organ systems to function properly! It’s no wonder that the adrenal glands are suffering. 

If you crave salty foods, that’s a tell tale sign you are dehydrated. For your adrenal glands and entire endocrine system to function properly, an adequate amount of electrolytes is crucial. 

For proper hydration, drink half of your body weight in ounces of properly mineralized water per day. I am obsessed with our Hydration Superfood Energy powder for this. 


We’re going to do an entire section on the best foods for adrenal fatigue, but let’s cover the basics here. 

Food really is medicine. I want you to treat your meals like medicine and your adrenals will love you for it! The adrenal fatigue diet requires a couple of things:

  • Foods that support blood sugar balance 
  • Consistent eating 
  • Whole foods over processed 
  • Elimination of trigger foods to support gut health 
  • Addition of foods good for gut health
  • Eliminate caffeine and coffee if possible 

How to stabilize blood sugar:

  • Eat within one hour of waking up in the morning 
  • Make sure to have balanced meals with complex carbohydrates, healthy protein, high-quality fats, and good fiber 
  • Support optimal hydration 

Unfortunately, thanks to our soil health, we can’t get all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need from food alone. Plus, conventional farming is wreaking havoc on our gut microflora so supplementing with collagen and probiotics is absolutely essential. 

Some of the best supplements for adrenal fatigue:

  • B vitamins to help your body convert food you eat into energy 
  • Antioxidants to fight oxidative stress and prevent cellular damage 
  • Essential vitamins like vitamin C, A, E, D, zinc, and magnesium to meet the basic needs of our organs and bodily functions 
  • Adaptogens like ashwagandha to help increase resilience to daily stressors and even increase libido
  • Collagen 
  • Herbs for adrenal health:
    • Ginseng 
    • Rhodiola
    • Schisandra 
    • Maca
    • Ashwagandha
    • Cordyceps
    • Gotu kola 
    • Nettles 
Essential Oils 

Essential oils always had my back when I was healing from adrenal fatigue. They are versatile and effective natural remedies that help with the many symptoms of adrenal fatigue like brain fog, poor mood, will power, sleep, and hormonal imbalances. I used these oils in the shower, bath, diffusers, roller bottles, or just smelled directly from the bottle. They are my absolute favorite. 


  • Peppermint 
  • Wild orange 
  • Rosemary 

Brain Fog:

  • Rosemary 
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Lemon 


  • Frankincense 
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Wild orange
  • Vetiver
  • Roman chamomile 


  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Ginger 
  • Basil 


  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • Cedarwood
  • Marjoram
  • Roman chamomile 

For recipes and a deeper dive on why you should use essential oils for adrenal fatigue, check out this article

The Best Diet for Adrenal Fatigue 

Now that you have the steps for healing adrenal fatigue naturally, let’s dive a little deeper into one of the most powerful tools: food. We already talked about the best way to eat, but what is the best diet for adrenal fatigue? What are the best foods to eat for adrenal health and healing? I recorded a whole podcast that you can check out here, for more guidance. But for now, let’s dig in. 

Best Foods for Adrenal Fatigue 

Avocado: adding a healthy fat like avocado to help stabilize blood sugar and regulate the nervous system is a dream for the adrenals. Not only that, but avocados contain vitamin B5, a potent stress-fighting vitamin. 

Sweet Potato: is there a perfect complex carb? Why yes, the sweet potato. Packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients, sweet potatoes are a brilliant and nourishing carbohydrate to add to your plate for adrenal health. 

Bell Peppers:  vitamin C is crucial for proper adrenal function. Our adrenals actually store vitamin C, so our bodies can use it when we are stressed! Replenish your storage with bell peppers of all colors for a healthy dose of vitamin C. Other amazing sources of vitamin C are strawberries, tomatoes, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, and white potatoes. 

Kale: a literal superfood when it comes to adrenal health, kale is loaded with vitamins C, A, K, and B. Vitamins A and K are great nervous system report and vitamin K is amazing for building healthy blood and reducing damage caused by stress. 

Pumpkin Seeds: get your magnesium in! Magnesium is vital for good quality sleep and a regulated nervous system. 

Organic Turkey:  good quality protein is absolutely necessary, and organic turkey is a fabulous option. It contains the amino acid tryptophan which can help foster feelings of calm and maintain a balanced mood. 

Wild-Caught Fish: another excellent protein source is salmon and sardines. They are loaded with omega-3 fats for blood sugar balance, less inflammation, and better brain function. 

Asparagus: one of the best veggies for adrenal fatigue as it contains essential B vitamins and sulfate which can help balance hormones and regulate the nervous system.  

Oysters: loaded with zinc to help neurotransmitters function properly, oysters can help you adapt to stress (the root of adrenal fatigue!) Oysters are also an incredible source of B12 and vitamin D, which most of us, and a ton of people with adrenal fatigue, are deficient in.  

Beans: beans, if tolerable, are some of the best foods for clearing excess hormones from the body. They are a great protein-rich ally that can help balance hormones and eliminate toxins for better adrenal health. 

We created a mega shopping list for adrenal health that you can find here, including our favorite supplements and herbs! And speaking of herbs and beans… 

What About Coffee?

Coffee is unfortunately a no go when healing from adrenal fatigue, especially black coffee. Coffee on its own has a ton of caffeine that stresses out the adrenals and creates inflammation in the body and spikes blood sugar. And if you are drinking coffee black and on an empty stomach, that only makes matters worse. Not to mention, coffee dehydrates important electrolytes that your adrenals need to function properly! 

If you want to truly heal from adrenal fatigue you need to eliminate coffee (and potentially all caffeine) to help keep stress and inflammation down in the body. If you absolutely need it, I recommend finding a really good quality decaf coffee and adding in protein and fat to help balance blood sugar. 

If you want all day energy without the blood sugar spike and inflammation, try our Hydration Energy Superfood powder.

Ok, so now that I’ve taken your coffee “breakfast” away – let’s talk about breakfast ideas. 

Breakfast Ideas for adrenal fatigue 

Superfood Smoothie 
  • Frozen berries
  • ¼ – ½ of an avocado 
  • 1 scoop of Beauty Collagen Complex (adaptogens to combat stress and collagen to rebuild gut lining) 
  • 1 cup of milk alternative 
Hardboiled eggs and…

Anything else like avocado, tomato, turkey bacon, gluten free toast, salmon. 

Protein Packed Oats 
  • Oats
  • Alternative milk 
  • Nut butter like almond, peanut, cashew 
  • Scoop of Beauty Collagen Complex 
  • Berries 
Vanilla Honey Chia Pudding 
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds 
  • Plant-based milk such as almond or coconut
  • 1 scoop Beauty Collagen Complex 
  • Berries of choice for topping (I love raspberries and blueberries!) 
Breakfast Tacos 
  • Gluten free tortillas of choice (we love Siete wraps) 
  • Black beans 
  • Roasted veggies 
  • Eggs 

For the full recipes and more breakfast inspo, check out our Adrenal Fatigue Breakfast guide.

Adrenal Fatigue Snack Ideas 

Snacking is not bad! Snacking is essential to heal from adrenal fatigue, because consistency, nutrient-dense food will help nourish adrenals and keep blood sugar stable. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Dairy-free yogurt and berries (or if you can tolerate dairy, a high-quality choice) 
  • Trail mix 
  • Hummus plate 
  • Guacamole and turkey roll ups 
  • Sweet potato

For more snack ideas and recipes, check out our Adrenal Fatigue Snack guide

The Adrenal Fatigue Cocktail 

This wouldn’t be an adrenal fatigue guide without a section on the adrenal fatigue cocktail. 

The wellness trend took over social media this year, and for a good reason. It’s a refreshing, energizing, and nourishing drink for the adrenals! 

It helps balance electrolytes, replenish minerals, and promote healthy hormone levels. It’s packed with vitamin C, sodium, potassium, and healthy fat if you make it right (; Here is one of my favorite simple recipes. 


  • 1 cup of orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)
  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut cream from the
  • Optional: 1 scoop of Beauty Collagen Complex


1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Option to serve over ice or add ice to blender!

For 2 more adrenal fatigue cocktail recipes, check out this article.  And that’s it! I hope this in-depth guide has helped you learn everything you need to know about adrenal fatigue. For daily tips and more info, follow me on instagram @elevayshealth. Questions or comments? Let us know below!

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