Kris Carr

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Adrenal Fatigue: Feeling Frazzled, Fatigued and Foggy?

Hi Sweet Friends,

Are you feeling tired, fried and foggy most of the time?

After years of ups and downs in my energy department, I finally pinpointed the culprit — my adrenals. You may be walking around with the same misdiagnosed or unidentified issues. That’s why I invited my trusted friend and doctor, Kenneth Bock, Integrative MD, to sit down and talk with us about this common health challenge and how anyone can jump on the road to recovery.


In this Chat & Chew episode, you’ll learn:

  • What the heck do our adrenals do?
  • Why adrenal issues are often overlooked.
  • The main signs of adrenal problems.
  • The key to healthy adrenal glands.
  • How to support your adrenals (hint: lifestyle is a major player!)


And in case you’re curious about the supplements I take to support my adrenal fatigue, here are the deets:

  • Ashwaganda (Gaia or Organic India brand)
  • Licorice Plus (Metagenics brand)
  • Adrenal Essence (Xymogen brand)

But it’s not just about supplements.

As you’ll learn in this video, stress tramples our adrenals like no other. As a result, I’ve had to make a conscious and consistent effort to monitor my workload and not stretch myself too thin physically or emotionally. Once I got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I knew it was time to lovingly care for those cute little glands, my adrenals. I bet some of you can relate.

Your turn: Do you have something to add to the adrenal conversation? Share! I’m always amazed by how much we all learn in the comments.

Peace & renewed energy,

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  1. I had adrenal fatigue years ago and was able to heal it along with my digestive issues. When the adrenals crash, digestion can also crash but I was able to fix it with a year long healing program. However since starting my business of helping people heal digestive issues I have been working way too hard and feel like my adrenals have started pooping out again. It is a sign to stop working so hard and slow down. I am listening. My health is my most previous resource.

  2. Tami says:

    What a timely post! My acupuncturist requested I complete a saliva test to see how my adrenals are doing. I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer (surgery, radiation, Gerson Therapy, naturopothy & acupuncture). I am anxious to get results…I suspect they have been working overtime! Thanks for the info!

    • Chris says:

      Tami,may I ask what kind of breast cancer you had? I have breast cancer and was scheduled for surgery. But a few weeks prior to that I was hospitalized with hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) and it is a really difficult thing to get thru. My regular dr nor my surgeon would listen to me when I expressed concerns about how I was feeling. In my heart I felt that if I felt this badly what would surgery do to me? So I got a third opinion and that dr told me that to undergo surgery with the anesthestic that would be toxic to my brain wasn’t a good idea but she left it up to me. So I still haven’t had the surgery. I am now going to an ND in Colorado..I live in Nebraska and we don’t have those kind of drs here. So I am doing all alternative at the moment. I am a big believer in the Gerson Therapy…my ND is to a point but not completely. She has helped me so much in just a few short weeks. Guess I just wanted to connect with a fellow breast cancer fighter. Hope you don’t mind my asking.

      • Chris – I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma (aka: breast cancer) that was triple positive (ER, PR, HER2) in December 2011. I was only 37 years old.
        It’s been a LONG road since then. I’ve consulted with a ton of different doctors, holistic practitioners, naturopaths, acupuncturists… Started out with conventional medicine (chemo & surgery) but as time went on I’ve become more & more convinced that holistic/alternative treatment is the way to go. So I recently stopped taking Herceptin. And I am refusing radiation as well as hormone meds (ie. Tamoxifen). And I completely changed my lifestyle. There’s been many hiccups along the way but as of my most recent scans I am now cancer free!!! I still can’t believe it.
        I talk about my journey on my blog. Kris was one of the first people to get me kick-started into a healthier way of being after I was diagnosed (i became vegan, and implemented tons of the recommendations from her books).
        Feel free to get in touch if you want to connect. My info is on the blog.
        All the best, – terri

        • Susie says:

          Please don’t say you can’t believe it…. You have manifest the balance you wanted, and thank God for that, the World is vibration, and word is vibration, so please don’t undo the beauty you have created with the Universe behind you, if you keep saying you can’t believe it, you will manifest that… When my mums cancerous brain tumour disopeared after just 12 days of focused healing preyer, herbs and homeopathy, when the Dr came to say it was gone and the surgery cancelled, she said I can’t believe it, I said no mum, we say ” thank God my preyers are answered” check out the book the game of life and how to play it. Florence shovel shinn…..all Blessings and good health to you…

      • Tami says:

        Hi Chris-
        I was diagnosed in August with lobular invasive carcinoma. In November I had a modified mastectomy on the right and they took 16 lymph nodes and 3 of those tested positive. Having never had surgery it took awhile and a lot of debate to even have it. I believed the anesthesia was just going to be one more toxic thing for my body to deal with. I did it. I may have done it differently knowing what I know now, however we can’t go backwards, only forward. I had a PET scan in January, all clear. Went to 2 oncologists, both prescribed the standard, Chemo, Radiation and Tomoxifen. I was scheduled to start chemo the first week in February and just couldn’t do it. My guts told me NO! It didn’t make sense to me to tear down the whole body to try and build it up again so I just said no. Than I found out about the Gerson Therapy and that totally resonated with me and my way of thinking. Hang in there and remember to BREATHE! Feel free to email me if you want to chat further. Take care!

      • emily says:

        Teri,Chris and Tami-
        It is nice to meet all of you:) I am also a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in November of 2010. I was only 35 at the time and diagnosed stage 4 (Er and Her2 positive). The cancer had metastasized to my spine. Ever since I was diagnosed, I juice everyday, 30-60oz. I eat mainly vegan. In April of 2011 I was in remission and have been ever since. I do take tamoxifen and also herceptin. It was just nice to see other survivors on here and also someone my age!
        Good luck to all of you! Keep Fighting!…I have also started a blog, so feel free to contact me,

  3. RachelD says:

    I have recently discovered that even taking little breathing breaks and tea breaks at work really helps me manage the secondary stress of being a social worker in the addictions field!

    • Deb says:

      I agree that this is very important as well! I put an appointment on my Outlook Calendar at work for a time early in the morning so a reminder pops up when I first get to the office daily. When it pops up, I click on ‘remind me in 30 mins’ and then when it pops up, I click the ‘remind me in 30 mins’ again AND take a moment to breathe, look away from the PC! and take 30 seconds to stand up and move around a bit. It has really helped me to just build these pauses in and I think it has actually improved my productivity as well.

  4. Liz says:

    Look into nettle seeds for adrenal support (consult a qualified herbalist) – they taste great (nutty)

  5. Liz says:

    Oh…and visceral manipulation (Barral Institute stuff) – again ensure with someone who is properly qualified.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Thank you, Kris for all this information. I actually know very well what you are talking about and I have a question. I had a kidney cancer : my kidney needed to be removed as well as the attached adrenals. Since that event (7 years ago), I have the impression I get more easily tired and I am less resistant to stress. I can not figure out or find information whether this is because I am now more aware that I shall not push myself and my body too hard (like more sensitive my personal alarm sensors) or whether it is related to the fact that I have only one adrenal. When you get only one adrenal, does it impact your resistance to stress and fatigue? Thank you
    Cheers from a French fan of yours

    • Sophie says:

      hi everyone,
      i have had 4 operations to remove granulosa cell tumours and had 2x chemotherapy in my life and i feel so tired… I try to follow your green juices but sometimes i need a coffee just to feel good, i know coffee is not good and then i am craving for chocolate. God why did we make such nice things ? it is so hard sometimes to just follow a strict diet. I am hungry, i lost weight due to the diet and i do not feel a lot of energy right now. I eat every day my garlic , crushed and raw, my parsley in my juice and red onions in my dish.
      Drink lots of tea, green and herbal, lots of water, no cow milk, no meat, no alcohol.
      I wish you could encourage me to say : come on Sophie , it will be allright.
      finally about stress: i need to go back to work to earn some money but I can not handle any kind of stress, how do you manage that?
      please help

      • LizK says:

        Sophie – you are working so hard! That’s great – you are very dedicated. I recently read a study that showed that just 15 minutes of meditation every day raises your T cells by 20%. I’m trying hard to add meditation into my life to improve my overall health and well-being. What do you think of adding that to your day?

      • Erika Flores says:

        Sophie Great job! you are doing awesome. Please keep up the great work and please always reach out to you support group, friends, family and internet community 🙂 We all need encouragement from time to time.

  7. Liz says:

    And third, forgot to say a good massage, perhaps with some Cranio-Sacral Therapy too…(and yes to diet).

  8. Ally says:

    Thank you for including your supplement information. I have read a lot of blogs (and even a whole book) about adrenal fatigue. All said that once your adrenals are wiped out, they’re done. Depressing. Glad to know of supporting herbs.

    I do wonder about coffee. Everyone says to cut out caffeine, but I’m one of those people who likes a vice. And frankly, sometimes it is not only energy-inducing but totally mood-boosting – almost miraculously so. MUST I ditch it?

  9. Mary C says:

    What about the sugars in fruit? Are they ok if your adrenals are challenged?

    • Tricia says:

      Mary, my nutritionist does allow for fruit, but only if it’s eaten with some protein (almond butter, for example) or after a meal. This helps to keep your blood sugar stable and doesn’t tax your adrenals too much!

  10. Janet says:

    Kris, what a great topic! I think the adrenals are often overlooked by doctors. I had toxic mold in my home (which I didn’t know about yet) and was losing my hair and could barely get out of bed. Many of the doctors I went to for answers thought about thyroids but not adrenals. My chiropractor suggested I take an adrenal saliva test…and yep, I had adrenal fatigue. I found a wonderful supplement that has many of the things that your doctor suggested…and everything the saliva test recommended… It is called Adreno-Plus With the help of this supplement (leaving my home because of the mold) and lots of mold detox…I have now healed to the point I no longer need the supplement — the first time in about 3 years! So be patient everyone — it usually takes a few weeks for you to feel your supplements working; and it can take awhile for the body to heal, but it can.

    Also, I’d like to throw out another idea for your readers …if you’ve battled not having enough energy up and downs for a long time (I had my whole life and thought I had low blood sugar)…it would be a good idea to look into Gluten Intolerance. There is a stool test from Enterolabs that I hear is more reliable than blood tests. When you are celiacs or gluten intolerant, eating any gluten (wheat, barley, rye) can cause an auto-immune reaction. To learn more about this, there is a great book called “The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health – And What You Can Do to Take Control Now” ( which helped the light bulbs really turn on in my head….since symptoms can be so varied from person to person.

    • kris carr says:

      Great suggestions. Thank you. 🙂

    • Ashlee says:

      Janet what type of mold have you been dealing with and how did you identify it? I just moved out of my recent living arrangement due to fatigue and hair loss and still have not found a solution. Please help

  11. Nathalie says:

    I have also been diagnosed with AF, several times…. I hear that it is one of those hiccups that keeps coming back if you don’t take care of yourself… I was told that exercise is good but don’t push yourself to your limits as this will also take a toll on your recovery. So things like walking or hiking are good but a gym workout for 2 hours is not. Ya godda love that internal alarm clock that keeps us in line! Most valuable lesson since AF diagnosis: listen to your body, it tells you secrets, gives you a nudge or pushes you over the edge if you don’t listen!

  12. Gabrielle says:

    Dr. James L. Wilson has written a fantastic book called Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress syndrome. As a young person one of the hardest things I am trying to grapple with is the fact that my relatively low stress life has left me with ptsd-like reactions to noise. I have found it helpful to honor the stress and even the weakness of my particular constitution and have been trying to not compare myself to other people. It is so easy to get discouraged if you look around and see people functioning and then think that you are the only “weak” one. Remember, you are special! When I feel like I am too fragile sometimes for the fast-paced, noisy world out there, I remind myself that people born a hundred and fifty years ago would not survive two hours in our cities without going a little batty.

    • Christie says:

      You are not alone- thank you for this post. I often feel the same way-very sensitive to too much stimulation and often heard as a child that I am just “too sensitive”. Comforting to hear what you wrote, I really appreciate your sharing.

      • Mary says:

        Oh thank God I’m not the only one. I am super sensitive to noise and just overly sensitive in general. I often wonder why I can’t handle what everyone around me can. I am highly functioning and successful in my endeavors, but often stressed or overwhelmed by what it takes to achieve them.

    • Leigh Mitchell says:

      Have you read The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aaron?
      If not, I highly recommend it and think you would find it to be a very valuable resource.

  13. Kate says:

    Hey Kris, I joined the B-School through your link, how do I receive the spotlight bonus? Thank you 🙂

  14. Debi M says:

    I’m grateful for this vlog and the comments below. I have stage 3 adrenal fatigue. I know that it took years of stress, not sleeping well, over exercise and poor nutritional habits to get me here. In March 2012 I lost my young cousin and in December, my father. 2012 was the year that put me into a spiral of fatigue, illness, lack of motivation, and failure at the things I wanted to accomplish. Now that I am taking the steps needed to heal, I know I’m on the right path. However, it is a long road to recovery. And it’s a delicate balance. I’m still exhausted several times a day. Doing one chore can wipe me out (and I have three small kids). Sleep is still something that is hit or miss many days. I am following a protocol set up by my holistic chiropractor. I know I need to be patient and kind to my body. It’s really difficult to feel this way – being an active mom, a kickboxing instructor, a health coach…and to have to balance all that encompasses my lifestyle. Lots of changes, lots of patience. Support is KEY – finding people who can help you to slow down, lend an ear, and understand how to take time to relax in our go, go, go society…that’s what’s going to help heal as well. Connecting with others who are going through a similar healing journey is also super helpful. Adrenal fatigue is more common than we might think, in various stages. Listening to our bodies and resting, eliminating stress, moving our bodies and eating healthy foods – these are really great ways to stay healthy or get back on the road to optimal health.

    • Jess says:

      Wow you have been through it dear! I have been on the energy rollercoaster for several years due to Lyme Disease and all the stress it created in my life on mutliple levels. What you said about support resonated with me because I have been recently trying to find it. I have been to a couple counselors and a Lyme support group but the counselors can’t seem to relate to chronic health problems and only one other person showed up for the L. support group (we did not connect unfortunately). Anyway I am wondering if you can point me in some direcions for finding support. Any suggestions, greatly apprecieated! Peace!

      • Linda says:

        I had Lyme disease several years ago. Was hospitalized for a week, I.v. Fluids and antibiotics. And a few complications. It took a year for my joint pain to leave my elbow.

        I’m sure I was tired, having 3 children and working full time. I did not know there was a support group.

        I can only recommend stabilize your blood sugars, minimize caffeine and alcohol, and Breathe. Learn to meditate everyday, even if only for a few minutes. Can’t fit it in, wake up 5 minutes earlier or before bed. Be patient with yourself and your practice. It will work!(I’m a huge fan of yoga as well). Stress will suck the life out of you, breath, will bring it back. I too set an appointment in my outlook at work and take 1 minute of cleansing breaths each hour, I deserve it! Best to you Jess.

  15. Lauren says:

    Kris I love what you do and am always inspired by your story. I suffer from severe adrenal fatigue and it has been one of the reasons why I have become so interested in health and wellness. So pleased to see this and will definitely be taking all of this advice. Thanks !

  16. Thank you so much for this! I agree adrenals are the first thing to be overlooked and I myself have fallen into this lately. It is always helpful to be reminded of the small things that can be the culprits and how individual and unique everyone really is. Balance is about finding our own because not everyone needs to be at the exact same levels. Tuning into our bodies and listening closely is the best way to diagnose. (And having a great doctor/mentor like Dr. Bock and Kris Carr! )

  17. Jenny says:

    I’ve also experienced adrenal fatigue, and one of the best things I’ve done is if I start to feel tired approaching the 8 0’clock hours, go to sleep! I’ve been working with an alternative practitioner and she said that the there is a supportive hormone released during that time, and the adrenals can do the most healing, especially if the body is asleep. So by changing my sleep schedule, I try and sleep from at least 7-11 pm, but if I’m awake at 3 am and can’t sleep, use that time to get stuff done. If I wake up at 5 am to exercise, and start to feel exhausted at 7:30am, I go back to bed for a little nap till about 9. I should include a HUGE disclaimer, I just had my 5th baby, so I am up every couple hours feeding, BUT baby’s are very intuitive to their bodies, and almost without fail the longest a baby sleeps seems to be between the 7-11 hours, when the body is working at its prime. I share this because it is a bit unconventional, and sometimes when breaking a traditional barrier, we feel more comfortable when someone gives us permission. So here you go, if you are tired, and its 7:00, you have permission (and your body will love you!) to go to sleep :). Sweet dreams and happy healing!

  18. Jill B says:

    This is such a great video, thank you for putting this together! I’m really grateful to have taken the time to watch this. I feel like you are talking about me on such a deep level. And BTW I really love your kitchen.

  19. Light Bulb! The symptoms and related info really resonated with me. Thanks so much for sharing your personal experience along with this interview with Dr Bock. Super helpful!

  20. Kim Weinstein says:

    Good morning Kris,

    As I lay in bed this morning, about to take my 1st cortisol compound pill of the day, I saw your email.
    I finished 5 grueling rounds of regretted hospitalilized chemo treatments with 6 weeks of daily radiation sandwiched in between, to be assured that no cancer cells remained after having a synovial sarcoma tumor removed from my chest wall, beginning in August 2010.
    I’ve been dealing with a growing amount of aftermath issues since then. I was thrown into menopause after the 1st chemo treatment, then after treatments were completed on May 6th, 2011, it was soon discovered my thyroid was damaged. After treating that for a while (hypothyroidism-not producing enough), I was still dizzying exhausted constantly. A few months ago, thru a blood test, it was discovered that my adrenal glands weren’t functioning well at all. Very minimally. It was getting so bad that I would wake up in the morning after sleeping 8 or 9 hours and feeling absolutely drained and exhausted as if I hadn’t slept in days…and felt just awful. Then I would struggle thru the day, feeling worse. Naps weren’t helping either. I would take 2-3 hour naps and wake feeling exactly the same way. Any small amount of stress would do me in.
    Now, I am on a cortisol compound regime, that I take 4 times a day according to my circadian rhythm and what month it is. The plan is to give my adrenals a rest and hopefully recover and function on their own soon (3 months to possibly a year). I also take supplements, SaMe (stress reducer), and Schisandra adrenal complex.
    The dosage of the cortisol compound still isn’t quite ironed out……still in the adjustment period. I am still experiencing fatigue and feel really bad if I experience any small amount of stress or don’t get enough sleep….BUT there is improvement since starting the cortisol compound.
    I have also recently discovered that my RBC, HCT, HGB, and Platelets are low….that is playing a part in how I’m feeling too. In the process of getting that figured out.
    I’m curious as to why your Dr didn’t say anything about cortisol compounds. Maybe if its not critically low, it’s not needed.
    There’s a lot of great info on adrenal fatigue in the book, Prescription for Nutrional Healing. Love that book!!

    Feel free to email me about any of this.

    Blessings and health,


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