The Women's Journal

ADRENAL FATIGUE . . . What Is It? Is It A Real Thing?

By  |  0 Comments

Path Rooks jfm16

Dr. Heather Rooks, DC, Executive Director

PATH Integrative Health Center

Let’s get real for a minute.

Have you even heard of the ADRENAL Glands? If not, allow me to introduce you to these gems.

They are small glands that sit atop your kidneys, they weigh 4-5 grams each and they have big jobs to do. They produce many of your STEROID hormones and also produce some of your SEX hormones.

What hormones do my adrenal glands produce?

The adrenal cortex produces three hormones:

1. Mineralocorticoids: the most important of which is aldosterone. This hormone helps to maintain the body’s salt and water levels which, in turn, regulates blood pressure. Without aldosterone, the kidney loses excessive amounts of salt (sodium), and consequently, water, leading to severe dehydration and low blood pressure.

2. Glucocorticoids: predominantly cortisol. This hormone is involved in the response to illness and also helps to regulate body metabolism. Cortisol stimulates glucose production helping the body to free up the necessary ingredients from storage (fat and muscle) to make glucose. Cortisol also has significant anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Adrenal androgens: male sex hormones, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone. All have weak effects, but play a role in early development of the male sex organs in childhood, and female body hair during puberty.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, primarily affects release of glucocorticoids and adrenal androgens by the adrenal gland and, to a much lesser extent, also stimulates aldosterone release.

The adrenal medulla produces catecholamines:

Catecholamines include adrenaline, noradrenaline and small amounts of dopamine – these hormones are responsible for all the physiological characteristics of the stress response, the so called ‘fight or flight’ response.

If you have heard of them, Great! Now you know what they do. The BIG question is have you ever had them tested by your doctor? In most cases the answer to this is NO.

Traditional medicine does not recognize adrenal dysfunction unless they are in an extreme diseased state.

However, STRESS of all kinds—physical, mental, chemical—is managed in our stress management system with the adrenals and brain.

Regardless of your physical diagnosis, if you experience any of the symptoms below, your adrenal gland function needs to be addressed in order for you to recover!

I personally suffered from an extreme adrenal fatigue 11 years ago that basically took me out of my life. So I know firsthand being told nothing is wrong with you, you’re crazy, you’re depressed, you have PCOS, you have chronic fatigue syndrome.

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

First things first, check to see if you have signs of adrenal fatigue. They include:

  • Feeling tired; struggling to wake up in the morning
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • A mid-afternoon slump
  • Anxiety, or feeling on edge
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Brain fog
  • Body aches
  • Hair loss
  • Lightheadedness

Functional medicine routinely tests the function of these little “engines that could” that produce MANY hormones needed for good health, vitality, energy, sex hormone production after menopause, as well as fight or flight stress hormones.

Integrative healthcare uses saliva testing to check the pathways of all of these hormones production: this is the best way to test both the STRESS hormones, as well as SEX hormone levels, as it is a tissue sample. This specialized test gives us volumes of information, and it is typically used with our client base to determine levels and to help us get you back to your energetic, healthy state.

GET TESTED NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING AND SUFFERING WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE ISSUES. The adrenals really are a BIG piece to the WELLNESS maze and may hold the answers for why you can’t get well despite lots of effort. They are the seat of your vitality, vigor and recovery. 

I personally think EVERYONE over the age of 35 should have them routinely tested.


“I feel awesome! I’ve lost 15 pounds and I think I’m looking great. I am a 57-year-old man and I’m on zero prescriptions. I think she’s just awesome!” ~ Vincent C.

“Seeing Dr. Rooks was probably the best decision I’ve made. She’s so knowledgeable and tailored everything for me. My thyroid is functioning better and my head in clearing. I feel so much better and I would recommend her to anyone.”  ~ Debbie M.

“Within 4 months of following Dr. Heather’s protocol I was off all medications totally. My family physician that I’ve been with for over 40 years was astounded by the turnaround and my health. My A1C was in non-diabetic range, my cholesterol numbers were perfect, and I no longer had high blood pressure. It’s been a dramatic turn around.”  ~ Dan D.

Dr. Rooks is skilled and experienced at finding and addressing the root physiological, biochemical, hormonal and neurological imbalances causing the poor health status of people today. In the current health tragedy most people find themselves in, she has found an emphasis in Metabolic disorders like weight gain, pre diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, digestive disorders and Hypothyroidism, but she works with all kinds of conditions.

Dr. Heather Rooks, DC  

PATH Integrative Health Center

Suite 3, 98 Wilmington-West Chester Pike (Rt. 202)

Chadds Ford, PA 19317         


Call today for a complimentary consultation

[email protected]