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Adrenal Fatigue: The RIGHT Tests


Adrenal Fatigue: The RIGHT Tests

by Jen Springer


Everyone has a different opinion, what should you do?

One thing’s for sure, guessing what your adrenal health is NOT the way to go. So many of the adrenal fatigue symptoms cross over to other imbalances in the body. Nagging problems like fatigue, foggy thinking, poor memory, insomnia, bloating, irritability, and chronic inflammation all can have many causes. Talk about confusing!

To mix things up even more, there are 3 primary stages of adrenal fatigue: acute, fatigue, and exhaustion. All of these show up different with testing.  Plus, you’d better pray your doctor / health practitioner knows how to interpret your test results properly.  Different phases of adrenal trouble require different treatments to help pull you out of the never ending fog.

Whatever you do, DO NOT let your doctor pull your blood for a one time test at 8 am. It is a complete waste of time and money. Adrenal tests measure the hormone cortisol, which changes throughout the day.  Taking a one time test is silly, unless you happen have a problem at 8 am. People with adrenal issues can have spikes or crashes in cortisol at any time – not just 8 am.

One of the docs I fired ordered an 8 am test, which came back normal.  I was in the slippery stage 3 exhaustion, which often looks normal on tests. He was belligerent about taking a functional test that takes multiple samples over the entire day.  For another 4 months I suffered with raging anxiety 24/7, tremors, and paralyzing exhaustion.  His only answer was to offer me Prozac; no thanks dude!

A few months later I found another doctor who ordered the right test.  This test measured my adrenals by taking cortisol samples 4 times a day plus DHEA.

The results? Surprise, surprise … the results showed my cortisol levels were off at all other times of the day but 8 am!  At the time I was frustrated because I could have been feeling better 4 months prior if I’d had the right test to begin with.

So what do you ask your doc / health practitioner for? You need to ask for a test that checks your cortisol rhythm  (most likely 12 hr) and DHEA-S.

DHEA-S is a metabolite of DHEA and is more reliable than DHEA alone. If you can get an average DHEA-S, that would be fabulous.

Of course if you can check all the other hormones too, go for it. If you haven’t had a full hormone panel in a while, it’s best to have one so you’re not guessing with your supplements (prescribed or otherwise). Plus, funked out adrenals mess up other hormones too like melatonin (sleep), testosterone, progesterone, estriol, and estradiol.

To recap, ask for an a cortisol 4X and DHEA-S 2X. That means a four sampling of cortisol over 12 hours and two averaged samples of DHEA-S.  Capisce?

Getting the results of your tests provides radical mental relief. You’ll know where you stand. Then, it’s time to take action and get your body strong again through diet, rest, supplements, and laughter.

Remember, different stages of adrenal problems require different protocols.

The next step?  If you don’t have one, ask your health care provider for an adrenal test. If he/she has no idea what you’re talking about, contact my office at Support@NaturalAnxietyTherapy.com.

Working with your local practitioner is preferred, but some of you live in areas where this isn’t possible. I’m not a doctor, but I can coach you through the confusion of rebuilding your adrenals!


Meet me over on the Natural Anxiety Therapy’s Facebook page. I want to meet you and hear your stories!!!


Jen Springer is a Holistic Nutrition Expert who currently serves 10,000 clients.  Her approach to health is refreshing and out of the box, yet makes so much sense.  She has a track record of  helping people have the “A-HA” moment they need in order to start rebuilding vibrant health which is their birth right. With her guidance, people quickly get results even though  they’ve spent years of chasing for answers. Jen has been a health educator and practitioner for the last 10 years


8 Responses to “Adrenal Fatigue: The RIGHT Tests”

  1. Tara says:

    I’m going through adrenal diagnosis for the second time (long story involving multiple doctors). This is a great post. Very informative and spot on. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Adrenal stories always involve multiple doctors Tara! Thanks for visiting.
    Be well,

  3. Dana says:

    My old nutrionalist tested me for adrenal fatigue the right way (several tests per day). She was leaving the practice and when she got the results she sent me to a doctor that specializes in adrenal fatigue and Addisons.
    I went, he barely looked at my results and said all he had to do was look at someone to know if they had adrenal problems and I wasnt one of them. I’d read the book Adrenal Fatique and felt my nutritionalist was well informed and we both believed I had adrenal fatigue. Brought the results to my GP and he laughed and said everyone gets the diagnose of AF when no-one is sure how to diagnose.I jugst giutrr

    The tests are old, and I recall paying a lot for them.

    Do you know anyone in the Scaumburg area that will help me with this? I recall my insurance didnt cover this, do please dont send me to Dr Mercola. Great Doc, but I can’t afford him!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Problem is many docs don’t even know how to read rhythmic cortisol testing! Stage 3 adrenal exhaustion can look like adrenals are ok, except there are a few minor details they must look for on the test.

    I wrote this note on Facebook that gives you resources to finding a doc. My personal doc is in Madison, WI – might be worth a trip. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=105644406143518

    Be well,

  5. Renee says:

    What is a Cortisol Suppression Test ? … my doctor order this today.., havn’t done it yet. Is it safe to do? … … I will do whatever it takes to get a an accurate dx and TX !… I m doing several other tests due to Im not responding to synthroid and my symtoms are chronic now…. bad breathing isses…(Scary!) exhaustion, heart palputations..fluttering in the ears..and hearing a(Swish) soound in my ears,mostly my right ear with every pulse… can really hear it when I’m laying down…., swollen belly with bad digesive issues…., anyways I’m wanting adrenal testing to be done because they say people do not respond well to hypothyroid medications if their adrenals are not functioning properly… PLEASE HELP !…. symptoms are getting me scared…

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is from WebMD.com http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/overnight-dexamethasone-suppression-test. It’s used to check for Cushing’s.
    There are other tests for the adrenals as well, Cushing’s is one of the far extremes of many things that could be going on. Did he/she mention a 12 or 24 hour cortisol as well?
    Be well,

  7. Cindy says:

    I did take the 4 tube saliva test (tested cortisol, DHEA and hormones) over a year ago ($385.00), which came back with Stage 2 Adrenal Fatigue. This was when I was basically just really tired. Now I am much worse and would suspect probably Stage 3 if I were to do the test again. I have been taking all vitamins and supplements as suggested on several other sites (and books I have read)for over a year now, gluten free etc. and seem to be slowly getting worse not better. I am also now on thyroid medication (for about 4 weeks) because my TSH has been high each time it was tested – but no difference since I started taking that either.

    Suggestions of what to do next???

    Any suggestions of what to try next?

  8. admin says:

    The key is to figure out why your adrenals are burned out and addressing that. Taking supplements help rebuild them but if the reason they are fried out is still there, you’ll stay at status quo or slip further back.

    Many causes: emotional / life stress, imbalanced blood sugar / poor nutrition, digestion, underlying infection, toxicity, electromagnetic pollution, and congenital.

    I hope that whomever is working with you knows how to time your herbs and nutrition to match the cortisol rhythm.

    Be well,

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