On Your Mark Nutrition

Adrenal Fatigue



Identify and Lower Your Stress

Do you have trouble losing weight? Are you always feeling sluggish and tired? Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you continually feel stressed at work?

Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which there is an imbalance of hormones secreted from the adrenal glands (i.e., "stress" glands), which are located above the kidneys. The adrenal glands release hormones that help our body respond to changes in our environment and our ability to combat stress. They play a pivotal role in regulating glucose, insulin, inflammation, muscle building, mood, stamina, libido and sleep. Continuous stress from emotional stressors (e.g., work or school) or physical stressors (e.g., sleep loss, too much training/exercise, pain) can lead to an imbalance of adrenal hormones.

The hormones released include:

  • Cortisol: the "stress" hormone that prepares our body for the "fight or flight" response

  • DHEA-S: makes estrogen and testosterone and balances some of the consequences of high cortisol levels

Cortisol is typically the highest within 30 minutes after waking up in the morning. It then declines throughout the day and reaches its lowest point in the evening. However, this goes out of whack in adrenal fatigue.

  • Symptoms of high cortisol levels include anxiety, increased abdominal weight gain, increased appetite and sugar cravings, lowered immunity, sleep disturbance, bone loss, decreased libido

    • High levels of cortisol can suppress the production of other hormones, especially those related to reproduction and immunity. When this happens for a long period of time, it can increase the risk for infection, low libido, bone loss and hypothyroidism.

  • Symptoms of low cortisol levels include chronic fatigue, low energy, poor exercise tolerance or recovery, food and sugar cravings, weaker immune system

Chronic psychosocial stress leads to low levels of DHEA-S. When comparing DHEA-S levels in individuals with perceived stress at work and individuals with no perceived stress at work, stressed individuals showed to have on average 23% lower levels of DHEA-S than the non-stressed individuals. DHEA-S levels decline with age, but those who are stressed typically show DHEA-S levels at age levels higher than their own. This results in consequential effects on health and aging. Those who have prolonged exposure to high levels of perceived stress may experience accelerated aging and other health consequences.

  • Low levels of DHEA-S are associated with different health outcomes, such as depression, low back pain and mortality of cardiovascular disease in elderly men

  • When DHEA-S levels drop, your body becomes more sensitivity to glucose (sugar), which increases your risk for storing glucose as body fat

    • High levels of DHEA-S are associated with well-being and good health

  • Levels can vary depending on environmental and lifestyle factors

  • Out-of-balance adrenals will result in high or low DHEA-S

This test is ideal for those who are experiencing:

  • Poor recovery from training

  • Habitual fatigue, especially in the morning and mid-to-late afternoon

  • Higher energy levels in the evening

  • Poor sleep

  • Work stress or an overwhelming "stressed out" feeling overall

  • Weight gain

  • Repetitive illness, especially with a difficulty in getting back to healthy

  • Negative thoughts

  • Difficulty concentrating


Test your saliva to help identify and correct the issue.

This non-invasive test is provided by ZRT Laboratory. It collects saliva instead of blood because this allows for multiple samplings over the course of a day, and saliva is the most commonly used method for studying adrenal function in clinical studies (e.g., job-related stress in teachers).

Example Results

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Test Details

  • Purchase the test

  • Pick-up the collection kit

  • Collect saliva samples

  • Mail your collection kit to ZRT Labs using the pre-paid label

  • Wait ~1 week for the results

  • Receive a 15-minute consult to go over your results and discuss a plan of action