Lesson 2: Stages of Adrenal Fatigue

stages of adrenal fatigue

Stage one: Boost of Energy and alertness

When you’ve got work deadlines, or you’re rushing around trying to get things done, your body helps you out by giving you a short and sudden burst of energy. The adrenal glands release stress hormones that give you the energy to do whatever it is that you need to do. Whether or not you’ve had any sleep or coffee, your body will find you the energy to power through. However, shortly after, your energy levels crash and leave you feeling exhausted.

Stage two: Tired but jittery

If you’re under chronic stress, your adrenal glands are continually going through this cycle of releasing cortisol and giving you energy and then depleting energy levels shortly after. You eventually start to feel tired, but you still need to get your stuff done, so you start drinking caffeine to give you a more “reliable” energy boost. However, caffeine makes your hormone imbalances worse.

Stage three: Burnout

Eventually, the adrenal glands struggle to keep up with the body’s constant demand for cortisol. Your body becomes cortisol resistant in an effort to balance your hormones and get rid of this excess cortisol. As a result, your cortisol levels can no longer peak in the mornings to give you that extra energy to start your day. Instead, you have low cortisol levels throughout the entire day, leaving you feeling extremely fatigued.