Chronic Fatigue and Stress Issues

Stop Blaming Your Adrenals!

Adrenal fatigue is associated with cortisol imbalances and chronic fatigue.

Your adrenal glands might be working just fine, and you blame them for a crime they didn’t commit. Consequently, you might be ignoring the real culprit.

Only about one-third of cortisol is made in the adrenal glands, one-third in the brain, and the last-third in fat tissue.

Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory. Think of someone with a bad shoulder or knee injury. What would they give them?

Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is a primary anti-inflammatory medication. That is synthetic cortisol at high levels.

Hormones like cortisol are not a big issue.

They are secreted in a pulsatile fashion, showing up when needed and then being processed out of the system.

The trigger for the initial cortisol pulse comes from the nervous system in a sympathetic (stress) response. 

Usually, that trigger comes and goes, and cortisol does its magic. 

The body then cleans the excess cortisol out of the system, which is all good and very healing.

When the nervous system continually triggers the sympathetic response, even if mildly after a pulse of cortisol, the clean-up doesn’t happen, and the cortisol stays around to create that overexposure state and turn a healing experience into an illness experience.

The nervous system has to switch out of the sympathetic mode and turn up the parasympathetic or cleaning mode.

One major contributor is insulin.

Here is the kicker: insulin does this primarily in the fat tissue and brain. So, your little adrenals might be working fine. 

Still, the agitation and sympathetic stimulation in the brain and fat cells, forming the chronic presence of moderate to high insulin, keep them inflamed and producing cortisol. 

Hence, cortisol levels might return “normal” in the blood, but there is still a problem.

So, if you are not aware of this or your doctor isn’t, then we could get in the habit of whipping our poor little adrenals when they are not at fault here. People are taking all sorts of products designed to target adrenal function, fatigue, and energy when these little guys are the only ones not involved. 

In this case, too much of a good thing can throw off a negative feedback loop and eventually wear out one-third of your cortisol and adrenals, compounding the problem. And why you might get worse even when “helping” the adrenals.


  1. Insulin friendly diet
  2. 5-8 walks a day that are 5-8 minutes each
  3. Fasting rotation concepts
  4. Raise parasympathetic tone: Breathing, meditation, chiropractic
  5. Targeted brain/fat detox efforts/support if indicated

Your adrenals might be doing just fine in all this. Give them some credit, and go after the 66% that matters!

You got this.

We can do better!

Dr. Don

cancer is metabolic
strength of heart arteries
cortisol during fasting