Why Am I Always So Tired?

Jun 18, 2013

Adrenal FatigueThe sneaky imbalance affecting 8 out of 10 fatigued women.

Is it just me, or do we all seem to be more tired than ever? Overwhelming exhaustion seems to be the most frequent concern among my readers and followers these days – no one seems to be able to get out of bed in the morning!

So what’s to blame? I find that as many as 8 out of 10 women starting in their twenties and thirties are suffering from some type of adrenal slowdown or burnout.

The adrenals, small walnut-size glands that sit on top of the kidneys, act as the body’s “fight or flight” glands and produce important hormones like adrenaline and the body’s stress hormones – cortisol and DHEA.

When we are overwhelmed with the unrelenting stressors of today’s world, the adrenal glands just can’t keep up. In fact, looking at my clients’ Salivary Hormone Testing and Tissue Mineral Analysis reports since January 2009, nearly one half of all women suffer from low levels of stress-fighting cortisol and rejuvenating DHEA.

Common Signs of Adrenal Burnout

Does this sound like you?

  • Overwhelmed by stress
  • Always tired, especially around 7am, 11am and 3pm
  • Cravings for caffeine and sugary foods to boost energy
  • Cravings for salt
  • Trouble sleeping through the night
  • Suffering from “Night owl” syndrome – getting a second wind late in the evening
  • Constantly fighting belly fat
  • Dark circles or bags under your eyes

5 Solutions to Restore Your Energy

When you feel a dip in energy, never reach for a quick fix like caffeine or artificial stimulants which only force the adrenals into overdrive. This over-stimulation forces the adrenals to secrete high levels of cortisol which causes fat to stockpile around the belly – enter today’s belly fat “phenomenon.”

Follow these suggestions to nurture and rebuild your adrenal glands for sustained energy levels:

1. Reduce Your Stress Levels – Set aside time to relax each day – escape with a good book, work in the garden, start an exercise routine, or take a walk.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep –The hours before midnight seem to be the most beneficial for adrenal rejuvenation, so be in bed by 10pm, and try for 7 hours or more.

3. Take Essential Minerals
Sodium: Low levels of sodium are common with adrenal burnout. I find that taking ¼ to 1 teaspoon good quality salt daily helps to balance cortisol levels. Salt is especially important if low blood pressure is an issue.
Potassium: Under prolonged stress, potassium can easily get out of whack resulting in blood sugar abnormalities. I recommend taking 99 mg potassium chloride daily.

4. Power Up with Protein – Keep metabolic fires burning by consuming 20 grams of protein with each meal. Not only does protein boost metabolism by up to 25% for about 12 hours, it keeps blood sugar/insulin levels steady. Choose from organic, hormone-free protein sources like eggs, lean beef, lamb, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu and tempeh. Or, for an excellent protein boost on-the-go, sip a smoothie made with clean protein powder like Fat Flush Whey Protein or Fat Flush Body Protein, which both contain 20 grams of protein per serving.

5. Rebuild Adrenal Function  Take a supplement like UNI KEY’s Adrenal Formula that contains adrenal glandular tissue, an extract from bovine adrenal glands that carries the DNA/RNA blueprint of the adrenal gland that promotes cell healing and gland function and repair. Adrenal Formula also contains important revitalizing nutrients including vitamin C, pantothenic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin A and tyrosine. Start with 1 caplet three times daily at 7 am, 11 am and 3 pm. If blood pressure is 90/60 or below, consider upping the dosage to two caplets three times daily at the “adrenal times.”


Has adrenal burnout affected your health and energy levels? Post a comment below to share your experience.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Julie

    Ok. I’m starting back on the Fat Flush Diet, and I’m trying to keep everything straight. I think I may have Leaky Gut syndrome as many my age do. I did the salivary test and adrenal support was recommended, along with progesterone.
    But adding salt back in???
    Is that correct while also trying to flush?
    If so-Yay!

    • Jan

      Yes your Body needs salt to flush! Minerals like Magnesium and selenium may also be deficient! To strengthen your Adrenal go outside without sunglasses and allow the sun in! eliminate all toxins(fluoride in water and toothpaste)

    • Sierra

      Yes Julie, adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt per day may be beneficial.

  2. Suzanne

    When you write about the effect of coffee on cortisol levels, does this include decaf? I got myself off caffeinated coffee when I started the Fat Flush Protein smoothie routine, but I love the taste of my Swiss water processed decaf, and would hate to have to give it up, too.

    • Sierra

      As per the Fat Flush protocol, 1 cup of organic black coffee (full caffeine) is permitted.

  3. Midge Howard


    This sounds like me. I have one added challenge, my white blood cell count has kept going down. It is at 2 now. What causes this?

    • Sierra

      Sounds like an auto immune disorder perhaps? Adrenals are a major player in immunity, so supporting them would be one of the best things you could do!

  4. Sophie

    Thank you for the valuable adrenal health guidance.
    I take Unikey Adrenal Formula and Unikey Female Multiple Vitamin. How do I safely balance taking the adrenal supplement with its vitamins and minerals along with the multivitamin? I want to ensure I get all necessary vitamins and minerals but not in too high a dose. I am particularly concerned about taking in too much vitamin A. Thank you.

    • Sierra

      Vitamin A overdose would require a much higher dose than what you’re getting in the Female Multi and the Adrenal Formula combined. I have taken both for about 3 years now!

  5. Linda

    I take synthroyd every am. Can I take the adrenal tablets since I take synthrod

    • Sierra

      Yes, by supporting your adrenals you might actually reduce the burden on your thyroid!

  6. Dena

    Can you take the adrenal formula if you have not been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue? I am pretty sure I have it but not positive and my insurance does not cover saliva testing.

    • Sierra

      Yes, a diagnosis is not necessary. I would recommend starting out as Ann Louise recommends with just one caplet at each adrenal ‘time’. Be mindful of how this makes you feel. After a week or two, increase to two caplets at each time. If you’re getting more than you need, you’ll likely feel like you have a caffeine buzz. If this happens, just cut back to a dose that you feel comfortable on.

  7. Ang

    I have adrenal fatigue and am on synthroid because my thyroid was removed after diagnosis with thyroid cancer. My endocrinologist doesn’t want me taking adrenal supplements, especially those with real glands in them. Is there another way I can support them?
    Thanks, Ang

    • Linda

      I’d like to know the same thing….My thyroid was removed because of cancer too. I don’t want to do anything to interfere with the synthroid I’m taking.

    • Sierra

      Eating a diet rich in zinc, vitamin a, and vitamin c will be most helpful for you ladies. You may also look into an herbal adrenal support like StressCare that UNI KEY carries. Using this for a couple months at a time may alleviate your symptoms.

  8. barbara

    I love your insight and passion for health. Is there a vegan supplementfor adrenal fatique?

    Thank you!

    • Sierra

      Hi Barbara! Yes, UNI KEY can special order a vegan metabolic support for you, or you could try the herbal StressCare formula as well. Call 800.888.4353 for more information.

  9. Angela

    Taking adrenal formula and feel a difference but still experiencing sensitivities to light, refined carbs even after eating protein. Could it be I have candida? If so, does Anne Louise have a test for it?

    • Sierra

      How much vitamin A are you having per day? The carb symptoms may be yeast related, in which case you could have an Expanded GI Panel through UNI KEY to determine any overgrowth.

  10. saman

    can one treat his copper overload himself (no naturopath is there in iran). and what if it is together with adrenal fatigue?

  11. Katherine Turcotte

    I have both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue..I get run down and then terribly exhausted to the point of not being able to get out of bed. I am also post menopausal from total hysterectomy in my early30s, I am mid 50s now. While I think adaptogen herbs would benefit me, would your product work quicker?

  12. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Katherine, the Adrenal Formula will help rebuild your adrenal glands, so my experience has been that it works faster than herbs.

  13. Leaner

    Since April 2015 I have been in and out of different hospitas after a child delivery with CS and much lost to blood. Just I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after which and just last week I was diagnosed with low cortisol. Iam on bed as I write this feeling tired and my head very heavey. My blood level comes on and off since then and my BP is lower than 90/60 each day. I have been placed on Dexamethasone since Thursday last week and am not seeing any improvement xcept at early hours of the morning and at noon or evening, fatigue returns as usual. I have 3 wonderful kids, but can’t for once smile at them and make them happy. Am just not happy with this whole situation. For I used to be a very strong and vibrant lady until April 24th 2015.

  14. Angela

    As a 49 year old athletic woman who works in the health care field (stressful) and caring for family members, just wanted to know if one can take Adrenal Formula on a permanent/daily basis without causing the adrenals & thyroid to down regulate their own production, or cause rebound symptoms? There is so much information out there that adrenal glandulars should not be taken on permanent basis, and it becomes confusing…Am using UH3 and Weight loss formula (for cravings/balance blood sugar) with great results and love your products and would like to possibly incorporate Adrenal formula

    • Team ALG

      Angela, the Adrenal Formula contains synergistic nutrients and glandulars that support rebuilding of the adrenal glands. It does not contain any hormones. We have had no reports from people taking it long term with any problems related to the adrenal or thyroid function.

  15. Angela

    good morning…I am currently taking Femenessence Maca(lots of clinical studies in helping to regulate hormones/ HPA axis, etc.)for natural help with perimenopause (tried progesterone cream in past at night, but made me groggy the next a.m…)…can I take adrenal formula with my maca, as well? just want to make sure no interaction…I am currently taking Ultra H3, as well & will never stop this:)

    • Team ALG

      Angela, yes you can take the Adrenal Formula with the maca. There isn’t an interaction.


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