How Is Adrenal Fatigue Diagnosed?

Read Transcript

Adrenal fatigue is what we call a clinical diagnosis, it means there aren't necessarily really great tests that can say you do or you don't have adrenal fatigue and we base that on symptoms once we've ruled out as physicians other complicating medical problems that you might have.

So there are other things that we think of when someone has a lot of fatigue for example Anemia might be a reason or low thyroid, so we check those things in the clinic and if that's normal and you fit this other symptom picture then Adrenal Fatigue is high on the list of what might be going on for you.

Now there're some tests that can be done one of them is a 24 hour cortisol test and that actually looks for frank Adrenal problems, but if you're on the low end of normal some integratable functional medicine doctors would consider that indicative of having Adrenal Fatigue, and then some integrative and functional medicine doctors also look at something called the Adrenal Stress Index.

It's a 24 hour salivary cortisol also you actually collect your saliva for 24 hours and we look at the cortisol levels and we're actually looking not just at the level, but the specific pattern throughout the day because cortisol is supposed to be higher in the morning, gives you the energy to get up and get out of bed in the morning.

And then it's supposed to decrease throughout the day so that by the time you're ready for bed it's actually pretty low, and that's normal, and it allows you to settle down and go to sleep. So sometimes we see flipped patterns in people, and that can tell us if there's Adrenal Fatigue going on.

That test also looks for a few other hormones, that can be, or add a balance in conjunction with Adrenal Fatigue like DHEA, progesterone and few other things.