Adrenal Fatigue: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Treat It

Hey guys!

Today we want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to our hearts: Adrenal Fatigue.


Why is Adrenal Fatigue important to us?

We recently found out that Hayley is suffering from a myriad of ailments (and we’ve gotten a lot more results and info since that post a couple months ago), many of which are contributing to stressed adrenals (with the sky-high cortisol test results to prove it). We have both really dug in and researched the heck out of Adrenal Fatigue, and wanted to put together a great collection of resources for anyone wanting to go further. But today is a special day, and we have something really exceptional to share with you.

What’s so exciting is that today is the release day for the Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue program by Kelsey Marksteiner and Laura Shoenfeld, two very talented nutritionists with masters degrees, who worked under Chris Kresser’s guidance for several years. We’ve personally gone through this 5-module program and they are providing their expertise at a fraction of what you might spend otherwise. (Believe us, we’ve been there, and you’ll spend A TON of money on doctor’s visits.)


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This program is a huge bargain, and we are just brimming with excitement to share with you. We’ve gone through the entire thing, and it’s pretty amazing! If this program had been available to us a year ago, we could have kick started Hayley’s adrenal recovery much sooner.

We’ll talk about what you get with the program later (the list is huge), but to start, let’s cover some basics of Adrenal Fatigue.

What is Adrenal Fatigue & What Causes It?

The adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys are part of the endocrine system, and release hormones. The adrenals release hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The adrenals are just one player in an entire system that controls our stress reactions in the body. This system is called the HPA Axis (Hypothyllamic-Pituitary-Adrenal). Many different types of stressors can activate the HPA axis. In healthy, normally functioning people, the HPA axis is activated when needed, and shut off when the stressor is resolved. The problem is that in today’s busy world, many of us hardly ever get a break from the HPA axis being switched to the “on” position.

The over-activation of the HPA axis over long periods of time can lead to higher production levels of Cortisol, our primary stress hormone. Longer term problems can lead to cortisol that is too low, and lead to Adrenal Fatigue. Let’s stop here and talk about Cortisol, one of the most important hormones in the body.

I can't think

What is Cortisol, and what does it do?

Generally referred to as the stress hormone, Cortisol plays a key role in regulating homeostasis in the body (or, put plainly, balance). Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands that helps to regulate:

  • Blood Glucose Levels
  • Immune response (think of Hydro-cortisone suppressing an immune response for skin rashes)
  • Blood Pressure
  • Glucogenesis (fat, protein, and carb metabolism, as it relates to blood sugar)
  • Circadian Rhythm,
  • and many other functions

Don't mind me, just suppressing my melatonin

A person with well-balanced cortisol will show highest levels in the morning around 8 am. This is because cortisol is a hormone that helps the body maintain its circadian rhythm. As the day goes on, the cortisol levels will drop and drop, until it ideally reaches its lowest point around midnight. This enables Cortisol’s counterpart in the circadian rhythm, Melatonin, to lure us to bed and shut off the HPA axis for 6-8 hours. (If you like to look at your phone or computer at night, the blue light will suppress your body’s natural melatonin production, which makes it harder to get to sleep!)

Naturally this is a huge oversimplification of the hormone and it’s role in the body. If you want to learn a LOT more about it, check out the Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue program. It’s amazing!

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue is typically described in three stages, and in the Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue course, you’ll go much more in depth with the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Here’s the short version:

Stage 1: You feel stressed out often (Can be a good stress like a baby or intense workout, or bad stress), you might have some weight gain around your waist, sitting still drives you crazy (this is SO ME…. -Bill), you get a second wind in the evening, and might have trouble falling asleep. Many of these symptoms can be attributed to elevated levels of cortisol throughout the day.

Stage 2: You begin to show signs of depleted cortisol. Depleted energy, blood sugar imbalances (feel bad if you go too long between meals), brain fog, decreased ability to handle stress, etc…

Stage 3: is really just a more advanced version of stage 2. Everything feels to a higher degree.

If you identify yourself with any of these symptoms, you should go through the modules of the Adrenal Fatigue rehab program, and ultimately see a practitioner.


Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue Program

This program is a fantastic resource whether you’re just feeling fatigued from time to time, or you suspect your cortisol production has taken a nosedive. Laura and Kelsey have developed a great approach, and make it easy to understand what would otherwise be a complicated subject. (Hayley wanted to add that it was remarkably soothing listening to them on the video slideshow presentations!)

Here are just a few of the important lessons you’ll learn in this dynamic program:

  • Learn all about what HPA axis dysregulation is, why it happens, and get exclusive access to at ­home lab testing!
  • Get individualized diet recommendations plus meal plans, snack guides, and more!
  • Take the high quality, targeted supplements we use with our patients.
  • Learn how to reduce your stress, sleep better, and exercise the right way.
  • Discover how to form a good relationship with food and your body, and how to listen to your body’s signals, to start loving your body today.


5 Program Modules, TONS of great information

Module 1: What is Adrenal Fatigue?

What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue Testing
Symptoms and Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Your Transformation
Bonus Lesson: Women’s Hormones and Adrenal Health

Module 2: Eating To Heal

Basic Diet Overview
Adrenal Superfoods
Bonus Lesson: Mastering Your Blood Sugar

Module 3: Supplement Recommendations

Introduction and General Supplements
Stage 1 Supplements
Stage 2 Supplements
Stage 3 Supplements
What About Hormones?

Module 4: Lifestyle Changes

Stress Management
Social Connection
Exercise and Recovery

Module 5: Healing Your Relationship With Food

Orthorexia and Disordered Eating
Expert Advice: For Loving Life, Food, And Yourself

What’s included in the program?

  • 3 hours of video slideshow presentations (embedded mp4s)

  • 3 hours of audio presentations (mp3s, available as downloads)

  • Transcripts for each presentation (PDFs)

  • Handouts and worksheets for each module (PDFs)

  • Bonus materials provided by presenters (PDF, mp3, etc.)


Adrenal Fatigue Program 1

All of that for $197

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Bonus Materials with the program

Kelsey and Laura could have easily charged more just for these bonus materials. Here’s just a sampling of what you will get at no extra cost along with the Adrenal Fatigue Program:

  • 8-minute guided audio meditation by Chris Kresser
  • Exercising with Adrenal Fatigue guide by Jen Sinkler
  • Caffeine & Adrenal Fatigue guide
  • Strict Paleo Meal Plan
  • Paleo “Plus” Meal Plan
  • Snacks guide
  • Macronutrients guide
  • Superfoods Guide
  • Fermented Foods guide with recipes
  • Reducing Stress worksheet, log, and resources
  • And many more!

How does the program work?

The package will be available in digital format in an online membership site. Customers will receive a login, password and lifetime access to their Dashboard, where they can watch the presentations online and download all the files they need. (We’ve had a chance to personally check out this format, and it’s really user-friendly! I’ve already gone back and re-watched things a few times. -Bill)

This program contains a combination of online video files, audio file downloads, and PDF downloads. The user must have internet access, a computer that can display PDFs and videos, and an audio player that can play MP3/MP4 files.

The program will be delivered through the student portal at learn.mypaleorehab.com, where students will have their own username and password to access the materials. Each module will be delivered on a weekly basis, with other modules remaining locked until the prior module has been available for a full 7 days. Once all 5 modules are unlocked, participants will have access to the materials for as long as the program exists.

Another sleepless night

Is this program right for me?

  • My doctor told me “adrenal fatigue” isn’t real… what’s that all about?
    • Doctors eyes tend to glaze over when they hear terms that sound like they’ve come straight out of the mouth of “Dr. Google.” The real term for “adrenal fatigue” is “HPA axis dysregulation” and it’s actually a well-researched condition with lots of evidence to support its existence. We use the term “adrenal fatigue” in this program because it’s the term most people use to describe the condition. But rest assured that HPA axis dysregulation is real, and it’s absolutely possible to heal from it.


  • How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
    • Get tested! While you can sometimes diagnose adrenal fatigue by symptoms alone, you’ll only really be able to know what specific supplements to take by identifying the stage of adrenal fatigue you’re currently in.
    • Make sure to sign up for our free video training series to learn more about testing. We also cover this information within the program itself but you may want to get your testing done before you sign up so you can jump right into the recommendations when they become available.


  • Do I really need to buy a program to learn this information?
    • This course is much more than just an informational program. If you want to save time, money, and energy by accessing the information you need in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step fashion, you will benefit enormously from this program.
    • Healing from adrenal fatigue requires more than just reading pages and pages of information – you need to know how to apply this information in a clear cut way that takes the guesswork out of healing.
    • Many of our patients are suffering from the intense overwhelm that comes with what feels like spending all their time researching – they’ve usually read all the books and blogs, listened to all the podcasts… and they’re still having trouble. All you need to do is simply follow our step-by-step program – no outside resources or hours of study time needed.


  • What if this program is too expensive for me?
    • Please don’t buy this program if it means you won’t have enough food on the table. That will only add stress to your life, and stress is one of the root causes of adrenal fatigue.
    • But consider this… how valuable it is to you to finally feel better. What is the price tag for feeling energetic every single day?
    • All the information to get you on the road to healing has been packaged into a step-by-step program with all the information, testing, supplements, and dietary guidance you need, without the cost associated with working with a practitioner one-on-one.


  • Can I do this course if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
    • Yes! Just note that you may not be able to incorporate a lot of the supplement recommendations until after you are finished nursing. Do not take any supplements without checking with your healthcare provider first.


  • Is this program appropriate for a person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
    • Absolutely! Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has a lot of crossover with adrenal fatigue, and our program is a perfect fit for those suffering from either (or both) conditions. This is a great place to start to get you feeling better quickly.


  • What if I’m not following a Paleo diet?
    • That’s okay – you’ll learn about the ideal diet we recommend for those suffering from adrenal fatigue within the program. As long as you’re willing to follow a gluten free, real foods diet with animal products included, you’ll be a perfect fit for the course.
    • If you are not at all interested in incorporating animal products into your diet or eliminating gluten, this is not the program for you.



Adrenal Fatigue Program 1

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More Adrenal Resources

Whether you choose to go through the program or not is up to you (although we think it’s a wise investment, and something you can get started on asap! Especially with the added bonus of having access to Laura and Kelsey’s office hours). Beyond doing this program, there are some great resources we’d recommend.

1. Murray Susser, MD

Hayley’s grandfather (you know him from the introduction to Make it Paleo) is a very talented practitioner, located in Los Angeles, who leads a practice that blends traditional and alternative medicine. We have consulted with him on a medical basis for years, and his balanced approach has always led to positive results. In addition to seeing patients, he also has a great adrenal supplement that he developed over the last few years that we both take and love, called Primal Boost.

2. Megan Rand of Ginger Newtrition

Hayley has been working with Megan for a couple months now, utilizing her nutrition consulting services, and has seen some life changing results so far. Instagram has been blowing up with Megan’s special “Adrenal Cocktail” which you can find on her site. We’ll be sharing a guest post from Megan on the blog sometime soon.

3. The Adrenal Reset Diet book by Alan Christianson, NMD

I recently read this book cover to cover, and really appreciated Dr. Christianson’s clarity and approach to healing the adrenals. He presents the information in a way that’s clear and not at all scary. Everyone should read this book, because even if it doesn’t apply to you, it certainly applies to someone you know.

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    1. lauraschoenfeld
      April 28, 2015

      What a great overview, you guys! Glad you loved the program.

      My favorite part of this blog post: “Hayley wanted to add that it was remarkably soothing listening to them on the video slideshow presentations!”

      I’m so happy about that, y’all have no idea. 🙂

    2. jenwright
      July 14, 2015

      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I suffered from adrenal fatigue for many years and this is the type of advice that really helped me to overcome my problem. So, to all you sufferers, YES! There is hope! Just don’t lose faith and know that your body can heal itself. I was lucky to find some great advice that helped me overcome my adrenal fatigue and get better. Here is one of the resources that helped me a lot: http://adrenalfatiguenomore.com/adrenalfatigue.html

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