What is Adrenal Fatigue or Burn Out?

Adrenal fatigue, also known as burn out, is a prevalent condition manifesting when your adrenal and stress system overwork to the brink of dysfunction.

This state transitions you from being stressed or overly-stressed to a phase of despondence and overwhelming feelings.

Various individuals may describe it as a nervous or a mental meltdown. Regardless of the terminology, it's imperative to recognize its symptoms, understand its causes, and explore recovery pathways to prevent a recurrence.

From my extensive practice, I've observed that a recovery journey from burn out typically spans at least 3 months, with a more common duration being 6 to 12 months.


The manifestation of symptoms largely depends on the stage of digression you find yourself in.

In my publication, Chill Out or Burn Out, I elucidate four stages of burn out, based on my clinical experiences, which have been instrumental in diagnosing and aiding my clientele.

  1. Stage One: Individuals feel stressed with a heightened state of arousal, encountering difficulties in relaxing and falling asleep. The causes may range from work stress, relationship issues to financial challenges.

  2. Stage Two: Here, the stress perseveres, but fatigue begins to creep in - a stage I refer to as 'tired but wired'. Individuals may feel irritable, and despite their active social engagement, the zest for life seems to diminish.

  3. Stage Three: Physical discomfort surfaces. Leg and shin pains, shoulder blade pains, headaches, and low energy levels become commonplace. For menopausal women, flushes may increase, and weight gain may occur. The emotional landscape flattens, making motivation a scarce commodity.

  4. Stage Four (Burn Out): At this juncture, individuals endure extreme fatigue. They wake up tired, battle with concentration during the day, and insomnia plagues the nights. Even daytime naps fail to rejuvenate.

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

The root causes are multifarious. While some are evident, others require a deeper introspection or discussion with a professional. Predominant triggers include financial anxiety, job insecurity, poor diet, lack of exercise, or overcommitting oneself.

Moreover, a deficiency in crucial nutrients like tyrosine, B6, B5, or enduring bacterial, viral, or mold infections can perpetuate adrenal fatigue.


Diagnosing adrenal fatigue can be a complex endeavor as some medical practitioners do not acknowledge burn out. Conventional referrals often lead to psychiatric evaluations diagnosing depression.

A holistic approach, often adopted by naturopaths or holistic doctors, emphasizes understanding your personal narrative extensively. In my practice, the initial consultation lasts an hour, probing for potential clues and suggestions before diagnosing burn out.

I utilize saliva hormone tests, patient symptomatology, and occasionally hair tests to diagnose this condition.


Treatment modalities are highly individualized and contingent on the identified causes, which may sometimes remain elusive.

If immune issues are suspected, especially post a hair test, I generally advocate for immune system supporting vitamins, antioxidants, ample rest, and tailored exercise regimens.

For those grappling with life circumstances as the primary causative factor, extended life coaching sessions are provided. When necessary, referrals to psychologists or back to the individual's doctor are made.

I have meticulously crafted retreats aimed at elucidating the subtle ways burn out impacts individuals, and nurturing the paradigm shift towards prioritizing self-care—a pivotal transition for many on the road to recovery.

Embarking on a journey towards understanding and recovering from adrenal fatigue is a monumental step towards reclaiming your vitality and enjoying a fulfilling life once again.

More info

My latest book is on this topic and you can order a copy here.

Or to measure you hormones and hair testing with a private consultation with me, click here.