Adrenal fatigue is contraindicated with fasting

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Adrenal fatigue is contraindicated with fasting

This topic contains 32 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  bigbooty 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • Since I love to cook AND to eat, I thought I.F. seemed like a great way to maintain good health and hopefully stave off the dementia that claimed both my dad and his mom! However, if you have adrenal fatigue, you should not fast.
    The symptoms of AF include extreme exhaustion, even after a good night’s sleep, feeling easily overwhelmed and having most of your energy at the end of the day. More and more doctors are measuring adrenal function and the test is not that difficult.
    So, why shouldn’t those of us with AF fast? When the body is deprived of food, it relies on the adrenal glands to provide adrenaline and cortisol to function. If your adrenals are taxed from stress, overwork, or poor health, fasting could further burden them. Additionally, AF mimics hypoglycemia, so it’s so important to make sure you eat adequate amounts of fat, protein, and good carbs every couple hours. There are numerous sites addressing AF, but beware, many are hawking supplements to “repair” your adrenals. Best wishes in your search for well-being!

    Hi betsy

    I read your post with interest as I suffer from adrenal fatigue. I also notice that you are from the states (lucky you-regarding the medical profession I mean).

    You mention that ‘more and more doctors are measuring adrenal function…’ Well not in Britain – at least not to my knowledge – and if you do want to get them checked out; you have to pay a lot of money to visit a private specialist.

    I would be really interested to hear from folk living in Britain who would disagree with that?

    What I would like to know is: where did you get your information? and what is the simple test to establish adrenal function?
    (Mine was saliva).

    Betsy, I have Arenal Fatigue and have been diagnosed for 7 mths. Just went to my Dr. last week and I had lost weight on the IF diet and he was delighted. Granted I have a lot to lose but he was OK with it, even though he has started a weight loss group at his office.

    I was more excited about his positve response to this diet than the actual wt. loss because I feared he may not approve. No diet is easy but I don’t understand the compaints against this diet. People have been fasting for religious reasons for years.

    Would you rather people get gastric bypass surgery or continually fail on Weight Watchers? I do not understand how this is a bad diet for most people?

    Precious, I wanted to say that Betsy’s response is typical in the US, It is not being accepted by many health professionals and it is frustrating. My sister and SIL both nurses thought it fine when you explain it as something people have done for years. It is not a radical diet. Also, I am not sure how many doctors in the states are aware or supportive of the diagnoses of AD, I may have gotten lucky.

    My 1st test was the salive test. My next test will be a urine test and covered by my insurance. We of course know each other from another thread. And you know how committed to this diet. It just makes sense. On another web site I was on, the subject was a TV show called “My Five Wives”, which features Mormans someone metioned they fast and that might be the reason the wives were slender. I posted about this diet and the response was “No I don’t think so.” Right now it is not widely accepted.

    I actually think that IF is a great idea! I certainly don’t want people going to extreme measures to manage their weight, i.e. surgery.
    I found many sites that have information about adrenal fatigue, along with their herbal supplements to help.
    The sites I encountered that stated IF is contraindicated to AF include:
    1. The Kalish Method –
    2. Health for the 21st Century –
    3. Dr. Christine Northrup –
    My doctor provided me with a saliva test at about $100 to test my cortisol. I had to swab my mouth 4 times in one day, before meals and bedtime, if I remember correctly. I suppose if you’re not having adverse reactions, like I did, then you could proceed. My body just screamed “STOP!” That prompted me to some research and the above is what I found. I had searched this website for the effects of IF on AF, and found nothing, thus prompting my post.
    Again, best wished in your search for health and well-being!

    Hi betsy and Applecrisp

    Hi Betsy – I will look at your links later and thank you for them. I am concerned at what you’ve found because, as I’ve stated, I do suffer from adrenal fatigue but am not being monitored by a private doctor at the moment. It is a costly business.

    I am taking supplements which were proscibed by said private doctor who is a specialist in thyroid/adrenal function; so I don’t have any worries about that.
    But I wouldn’t necessarily know whether I was further compromising my adrenals, by fasting, because my hormones are all over the place anyway and I have symptoms which fit PMS/menopause/hypothyroidism/adrenal fatigue and they last all month long.

    One thing I do know for sure; is that my insomnia became much worse when I started FD. It was bad to start with but went off the scale especially on fast day nights. I felt like I was ‘revved’ up by the time bedtime came around. And I didn’t sleep a wink all night long.

    When I mentioned this on THE LOACA thread; someone told me that they read that when you are fasting your body fills up with adrenaline and that certainly could explain the strange experiences with my fasting in the early days.

    It would be utterly pointless going to my G.P regarding this; they would look at me blankly (trying valiantly not to roll their eyes) and be thinking ‘What new condition has she come up with now?’
    I have read about people in this country (Britain) being referred to Consultants specialising in the thyroid and not knowing anything at all about the adrenal glands and how integral they are to each other. Scary.

    I would be really reluctant to give up FD because it is the only thing I have tried in the last decade that has allowed me to lose some weight. I have tried other diets and did a fair bit of exercise all to absolutely no avail.

    I am interested in what way did your body scream ‘stop’? If that is not too personal.

    Hi Applecrisp – Thank you for responding to my plea for assistance. Did your doctor, who clearly knows about the adrenals, make any comment at all about the fasting part of this WOE? Surely he would be aware of the kind of things Betsy is citing?

    Hi Precious,
    No, I’m happy to share how I felt, although it is anecdotal 🙂
    I felt super jittery and anxious, but at the same time extremely weak and “achy,” especially in my hips. I had to get some groceries, and could barely make it through the supermarket. Rough time sleeping, too. Then had a panic attack. UGH. All of these symptoms are a sign that the adrenals are hard at work, which I don’t want mine to be. This might be why you weren’t resting at night. I hope that has resolved.
    Dr. Wilson’s site ( has a lot of info about adrenal fatigue as well as a self-assessment you can take. Also, the above site for The Kalish Method says that once a person’s adrenals are healthy, IF can be added. Perhaps you have healed enough from AF?
    On another note, I totally get your description of your docs! I feel same way. My old MD tested my adrenals, said, “OH MY!” and then suggested I get some rest. Duh!
    Applecrisp is absolutely right about the MD’s and many patients over here: they stick to a certain protocol and rarely if ever look to alternatives. And when you, the patient/customer suggest anything besides painkillers or antibiotics, they give you funny looks!
    I don’t believe IF is a crazy diet; it seems very logical and makes sense biologically. I just know I can’t do it until my body heals from AF. Sadly, I feel like fasting set me back several months in my recovery.
    I wish I could help you more, and certainly wish you all the best in your weight loss and AF!

    Betsy, if I came on to strong I apologise. I too, am fed up with doctors here. I started with supplements 7 months ago and have not been rechecked. It may be that I have healed enough. I don’t know but will be rechecked soon. Maybe we can compare notes. I hope you can continue to post. Dr. Wilson’s book was rec’d to me by my Dr. and he is respected by the community that accepts AF as a problem.

    Two questions( personal I know) how much weight would you like to lose and are you peri or menopausal? I am yes to both. My main goal is to prevent diabetes. It is a real problem that there aren’t answers out there. I will try to talk to my Dr. tomorrow because I left so quickly I did not get my order for the tests.

    Betsy, I know the jittery/anxious feeling and it is terrible and I would have stopped as well. I got that way with the bio-identical hormones. You provided some great resources and I thank you.

    Hi there, just to add to discussion re fasting reactions and possible contraindications, I was struggling with IF, ok in morning but by mid afternoon murderously cranky, exhausted and sometimes anxiety. I have thyroid issues and likely adrenal problems. I was discussing reaction to IF with TCM who suggested sounded like Vit B deficiency. Started vit B supplement, now no problem with IF

    Hi! Shoes glad you found a solution. Not familiar with TCM, could you explain. Mid-afternoon is a real struggle for me too. I think my adrenal fatigue is improving. Have you had your hormone levels checked? Just keep us posted. This seems to be the solution for dropping pounds for me.

    Hi All

    Hi Betsy – Lordy, do I remember the super jittery horrible frightening feelings. I once had to go to a hospital to give blood and the reaction I had was truly scary. My legs felt as if they were filling up with concrete and it was ‘setting’ as I walked into the room. I wasn’t able to give a sample; I was just too stressed and I felt ill for hours after.
    I am certain that my adrenals have improved with the supplements I have been taking but it’s still a worry that I could be setting myself back (by fasting) without really being able to quantify that without, for me, expensive tests. It’s all too ‘muddy’ if you know what I mean.
    You might want to check out a book called FAT, FUZZY AND FRAZZLED – sorry can’t remember the author but there won’t be many books with that title!

    Hi Shoes – I think you are really fortunate if simply taking Vit B supplements have helped you that much. I already take various Vits/Minerals so cannot try that suggestion unfortunately.

    Hi Apple crisp – Did you manage to contact your specialist? You said you were going to; it would be really helpful if he could give you some reassuring information re-people with AF doing FD.

    The books I have recommended to you and discussed were written way before the FD was in vogue; therefore there is no mention of whether it is advisable for folk like us with AF to follow this kind of WOE.
    Clearly it’s not just you and us chickens with AF…..

    This is another area that I would love MM to research as part of a much wider study into HORMONES and their affect on pretty much everyone!

    Boo My doctor did not have a problem with me on IF diet. He was Ok with it at my last visit. He simply asked me what I eat on fast days. He never said to stop and was happy with my results so far. We never talked about the fasting in general.

    I just need to ask my dr. about a new supplement he wanted me to take. Also, need to have hormone levels checked with a 24 hour urine test which thanfully is covered by insurance but really sounds like a pain.

    In Betsy’s case she had some really alarming symptoms on the diet and I too would have stopped.

    Precious Boo Boo, you and I have been using supplements for awhile so that may make the difference. I wish I knew more and my dr. is knowledgeable but I don’t know if he would have the definitive answer.

    This is for Precious Boo Boo, I am leaving this site. I think I have fell from your good graces because I did not talk to my dr. on your behalf. He is not an expert on Adrenal Fatigue and certainly not on IF, You befriended me and even had a little pet name Eeyore which I was not thrilled with but OK. I found where you did this on another thread and renamed someone “Dumpy”

    If I could e-mail you privately, I would. I did not want to say it on the LLoCA thread. I really do not feel a lot of support and it is your thread. It was silly of me to think I could get any meaningful support on a website. In the future try not to give people little “pet” names such as Dumpy. It is rude.

    Hello Applecrisp

    I have poor adrenal results – but as it happens I am on 5:2 because my doctor asked me to try it.

    I have been reading this forum for many months, but do hadn’t bothered taking part much because when reading it I found it obvious that this forum, like so many forums, has someone who thinks she is ‘queen of the forum’ and wants everyone to bow down to her. I have seen several passive aggressive posts from this person and I think it is sad when decent people feel excluded because of it, although I fully understand why people just cant be bothered to wade through that when all they want is friendship and support whilst making life changes.

    best wishes to you


    Hey Stone, thanks for the support.

    How is this diet working for you with the Adrenal Fatigue? I am slowly trying to build up my cortisol level and keep my hormones in check. They really can make you feel lousy.

    Good luck,

    Hello Applecrisp

    I am really upset and disappointed to read the post you have left on this thread. Of all the women on the LOACA thread; you would be the last one I would imagine would turn on me in this way.

    I want to say that I massively resent you putting me in this position. I’m damned if I do defend myself and damned if I don’t.

    When I told my husband what you and the other offensive person had posted; he told me to not bother with the forum anymore. It was literally a ‘thankless task’ (as you have proved) and certainly not to bother responding to you directly on this thread in case more nasty people come out of the woodwork to take the opportunity to further malign me.

    I would have taken his advice if it wasn’t for the fact that you were blaming me for your decision to ‘leave the site‘ (which clearly was insincere ‘hot air’).
    Let me make this clear, I will be delighted if you remain posting on this forum; I actually think you got a lot more out of it than you appreciate. If nothing else, ‘speaking’ to other people takes your mind off your own problems/issues for a period of time. If you want to continue posting on the LOACA thread, feel free but I would not give you any advice or support in case you do this to me again but there are lots of other women on the thread who can help.

    But why should I allow you to post unfair and untrue comments about me, which has encouraged other people to take pot-shots at me, without defending myself? You have jumped to conclusions which are wrong and have a totally different attitude to some things than me; and you have sat in judgement based on that.

    I did not expect you to talk to your doctor about ME! Please read back to what I actually said. You stated that you were going to contact him and I thought it was a golden opportunity to see what his thoughts were regarding the affect of fasting on the adrenals. I think I have gotten the impression he was more of an expert on the adrenals than is the case. I would have happily have done this myself except, as you know, I am not consulting a private doctor at the moment; so there is no-one I could seek this kind of professional advice from.

    As for ‘falling from grace’ with me; did you jump to this wrong conclusion because I didn’t post after I asked the above? Applecrisp; I have to choose which thread/s I have time to post on and that is it. So I may only ‘speak’ to Lulu01 on another thread one night or I may only post on the LOACA thread but it takes me a long time to try to include most people in my posts.
    Ask yourself; have you chosen to interpret my ’silence’ (non-posting) as being annoyed or negative? You couldn’t be more wrong; I just didn’t have anything else to add. You seem to have a lot of time at your disposal; not everyone does. It’s just that simple.

    I did point out to you on the LOACA thread that I had made a joke which the majority of people would have known anyway. We discuss lots of issues on the LOACA thread and obviously illness is a part of that. When you get to our stages in life, for some unlucky folk, illness features heavily and can make everyday life very miserable. However, I do feel that the thread should have a lighter side to it too otherwise it could become top-heavy with only one, it has to be said, fairly depressing subject.
    But if me making that ONE comment has brought all this on? It seems to have brought to a head many misconceptions you were harbouring towards me. It does actually make me ask myself ‘Why do I bother’ when someone like you can turn around and literally kick me in the teeth.

    Your issue with ’pet’ names really does illustrate how you can never really know what another person is thinking unless they tell you….. I don’t know if you have been called nasty nicknames in the past but I only view ’nicknames’ in a positive, affectionate way. If I had called you something like ’pigface’ (though I love pigs) or ‘fatso’ or something I could understand.
    What I cannot understand is that I asked you if I could call you that nickname. I love Winnie the Pooh and I love the Eeyore character the most and you brought Eeyore into the ‘conversation‘, so I thought it was fair to assume that you liked this character.
    Why on earth, if you, for whatever reason, didn’t like it; why didn’t you just say NO? That would have been nice and clear and the end of the matter.
    As for trawling back to read my other posts to find something else to criticise me for…..yes I did call someone ‘Dumpy’ along with Nika (who I also gave a nickname to; she knew it was a term of affection and took it in the way it was intended). Dumpling never said she didn’t like this; she seemed to find it funny aswell which was the spirit in which it was intended. If she didn’t, she’s a grown woman like you and could have simply told us and we would have respected her wishes without any resentment or ill feeling.

    So, I’m disagreeing with you strongly that giving someone a nickname is rude; it’s only ‘rude’ if the person thinks like you. You can bet I won’t be giving anyone else a nickname though.

    Lastly, you stated that ‘you really do not feel a lot of support….‘ on the LOACA thread. How much support do you want Applecrisp? You have had more support than anyone else on the thread and I have supported you more than anyone else, which is why I feel utterly let down by your attitude.
    No-one has the ‘right’ to expect support on this forum or the LOACA thread; you will probably get support from some people, definitely not all, but no-one has a right to expect it.

    Let’s just remind ourselves that this is a forum for the FAST DIET way of eating. The LOACA thread does deal with illness and other factors which affect us menopausal women. Illness will affect how the diet can work or not work for someone; so we discuss those issues, exchange information and try to help each other.
    I don’t really know how you could have gotten anymore support than you have; it’s not a medical site with trained professionals. It’s not a counselling organisation with trained professionals paid for their time. It’s just a bunch of usually nice women, in the same boat, trying to follow the FD and help each other out and have some laughs along the way.

    If you want more than that then I think that your expectations are not realistic.

    I have to say; I am very relieved that you do not have my private email address. I hate to think what other hurtful things you might lay at my door.

    And as for you Stone; I am not willing to dignify your drivel with a response. I am disappointed to learn that this forum is just like many others; where people like you come out of the woodwork to join in with someone being denigrated.
    Have you read the Commenting Guidelines? You should.

    stepping away from what seems to be misunderstandings, I wanted to share my story.

    I am almost 44, but began having menopausal symptoms about 6 months ago. They were awful. I thought to myself at 43, “this is what almost all women go through, but I have never heard that it was this bad?!!” After a lifetime of healthfulness, activity and mostly normal healthy weight, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 41. They removed it, and it was benign, but it was awful. My brain will never be normal again. I have had a lot of side affects from the surgery, including chronic pain, dizziness and forgetfulness.

    Fast forward to 43. I had started a new job, have a toddler (who was 6 weeks old when my tumor was found) and continue to struggle with my surgery symptoms. After two months of feeling HORRIBLE, I was referred by my doc to a functional medicine specialist, because I refused to take hormone replacement therapy. after some discussion and testing, the function medicine doc eventually suggested supplements – mentholated B-12 and Folic Acid. Within a week, I was feeling better. I now take them daily and my period is back and I don’t have the severe hot flashes, fatigue, irritability, et al that comes with menopause (low libido and on and on). For the past few years I have steadily gained weight – only about 15 pounds, but it’s mostly in my mid-section and hips. Yes, supplements can help with menopausal symptoms, but she told me the pharmaceutical industry has suppressed that information. She found out about the importance of supplements 10 years after going to medical school. We were both expressing our shared anger at society for not supporting women! Alternative medicine has it’s place and should be looked into by anyone who isn’t getting the answers or results they want. I went on a fact finding mission after my symptoms, so I didn’t make any choices without thorough research.

    I am at a place where I would like to lose 20 pounds. In the past, I have been able to lose small amounts of weight when I want to with behavior change, so I thought I could do it again. I remain very active, going to the gym and walking/hiking/kayaking/snowshoeing/chasing my toddler etc, but am a little less active with a toddler and my brain surgery symptoms (I can’t just hit the mountains hiking anymore and I won’t be an olympic gymnast with my balance problems!). A co-worker has had amazing results with 5:2, so I started it 2 weeks ago. Yesterday was my 4th fasting day. I have not lost a pound. I definitely feel more connected to my body not eating much two days a week, but the purpose is to lose weight. I am less likely to work out as much on my fasting days, because I don’t have the energy.

    Last night I remembered that my (Goddess) functional medicine doctor told me that it wouldn’t hurt to start a supplement to support my adrenal gland. Because I felt better, I didn’t follow through. Now I am feeling like I should be taking the supplement, which I think will help my weight loss. The 5:2 diet is doable. It’s not my most favorite thing not to eat much, but I have been able to do it and don’t feel especially ravenous on my regular calorie days, but not losing weight is really pissing me off! I forgot which supplement she suggested, so I emailed her last night to get the information.

    Wanted to share my story. Potentially others have similar experiences. Peace to all.

    Hello Woods, thank you for sharing your story. I would like to ask you what the adrenal supportive supplement is if you can remember/find out please. I seem to be suffering very similar symptoms/life story to yourself (although no toddler and I’ve not had brain surgery but several head injuries). I am convinced I have AF but my doctors do not believe it exists. I have been having some problems on 5:2 (referred to in other posts) and I have also not lost any weight. I have decided to take a vitamin b complex anyway but if you could possibly point me in the direction of the aforementioned supplement I would be eternally grateful to you. Thank you and best wishes.

    Hi! Pip-squeak and Woods, Sorry I was a part of some negativity on this thread. I am being treated by a doctor who also uses supplements. I take Pregnenolone 10 mg., Dhea 5mg. and a stress tablet called Adrenal Health by Gaia Herbs. They can be found at Metagenic Products on the internet. They carry Adrene-vive as well.

    I am going to try the suggestions by Woods- folic acid and B-12. As far as the diet, I had been on the supplements for about 4 months before I started it. I am losing weight slowly and am happy with the diet. Perhaps it is working for me because of the supplements. My doctor recommeneded “The South Beach Diet.” But he was just happy I lost some wt. I had more to lose than you. Good Luck. Also good book By James Wilson on AD.

    Pip-squeak and Applecrisp,

    I’ll let you know the name of the adrenal support supplement when I hear back from the doctor.

    The folic acid and B12 Complex are metholated. spell check on this site wants me to type mentholated! They’re fast absorbing supplements, and not very much each month out of pocket. The doctor told me to take B12 (absorbs under your tongue) for a week until you start the Folic Acid then start that one pill a day for a week, the add second in the second week. Research it and ask a medical professional. My doc told me the B12 detox’s your body, so initially you may not feel well. I had a mild headache, but nothing major. that’s why it’s important to do your research first.

    Peace. W

    Thank you for replying. Will wait with interest to find out the name of the other supplement. I hope you are well now. Best Wishes.

    Hi all.

    I was diagnosed with partial secondary adrenal insufficiency in late-2008. It took 8 long years, a lot of reading on my behalf, and a change in GP. To this day she still comments I would have gone undiagnosed without the homework I did, and the unwillngness to accept I should live with the symptoms – exhaustion, inability to sleep, aching joints, fluid retention, weight loss followed by 40kg of weight gain. I spent a small fortune on weight loss programmes, followed them to the letter/gram, and none of them made any difference whatsoever.

    My diagnosis started when I asked for an ACTH blood test. My results came back so low that the test was re-ordered; it had to be a false result as I shouldn’t have been able to get out of bed. Subsequent tests, including an MRI scan, provided the complete diagnosis. My Endocrinologist prescribed hydrocortisone replacement which improved my energy levels and sleeping dramatically.

    Since then I have tried many alternative remedies as well as altering the hydrocortisone dosage. On good days I only take 5mg morning and lunchtime; enough to boost my energy levels without shutting down my natural adrenal function. I no longer taken any alternative remedies as they did not appear to help.

    I have been on the 5:2 diet since late 2013 and have lost 10kgs 🙂 Finally, something that has my sluggish metabolism working. Given no one other weight loss programme had any impact, I am delighted with this. Looking forward to being back to the old slim me.

    Pip-Squeak and Applecrisp, my doctor suggested a couple of tests before recommending the adrenal support supplement that she already suggested. I asked her to send the blood test, but asked her again to let me know what she had suggested. I thought I had kept the paperwork, but I can’t find it.

    I am in my third week of the 5:2 diet and still no weight loss. I am sticking with it because I am finding it easier and easier. It’s frustrating that I am not losing weight, but I have never had this much trouble losing weight when I put my mind to it, so I am feeling helpful that something else is the issue. I’ll keep you both informed if you’d like. In the meantime, I feel fortunate that our garden is full of leafy greens! W

    Hi Woods:

    If you are doing everything right, you will lose weight. But not necessarily consistently. This might explain:

    Good Luck!

    thanks, simcoelev. I am not clear on how your post is relevant to what I am going through. Are you going through menopause too? Have Adrenal dysfunction? Are you a medical professional?

    As I stated, I have a myriad of health problems. My issue isn’t my current weight as much as it is my weight has been increasing the last few years along with the health issues. They are very real.

    “if you are doing everything right, you will lose weight.” that’s a very strong statement, but guess what, I am doing everything right and not losing weight. I work out at the gym doing cardio and weights at least 3 days a week. for the past few months, I routinely take the stairs to my 9th floor office 2 to 3 times a day on most days, I eat incredibly healthy, but sometimes drink A beer or have A dessert, and I walk, hike and kayak.

    One of my biggest issues with the 5:2 is the amount of energy I DON’T have on the day of and the day after. I did a fairly stenuous 6 mile hike the day after one of my 500 cal days and could tell my energy was waining. Today is my 2 day in my third week. I am giving this a month. If I haven’t lost any weight in 4 weeks and 8 500 cal days, I may try something else. If I am not losing any weight (or gurth), I think that’s fair.


    Lots of new exercise?

    Sorry, just trying to help. You won’t hear from me again.

    Good Luck!

    Woods,did your dr. have you do a saliva test? That is what I did and will do a 24 hour urine test before I see him. I think you are giving The Fast Diet a chance that is all you can do. I do know if you suffer from AF as we do, weight loss is slower and hard.

    I do think it gets easier the longer your are taking the supplements and treating your AF. It is such a frustrating condition so many symptoms. Anxiety is the worst for me. It is a little better, but at times rears its ugly head. Anyhow good luck.

    21andout, In one of the books I read on the thyroid and Adrenal fatigue, small doses of hydrocortisone were a recommended treatment. It explained in the past people were given doses too high and developed serious symptoms. Have you had any side effects from hydrocortisone? I was just curious. As stated before, my main problem is anxiety and more cosmetic ones like thinning hair.

    Of course losing weight has not been easy either. I do think after doing the 5:2 diet and getting used to feeling hunger I could probably do a lower calorie diet such as 1200 cal.

    Good luck Pip, Woods and 21andout , I am sorry for the ugliness on the board that I was a part of.

    Jean, the doses I take of hydrocortisone are low and are prescribed and monitored by an Endocrinologist. I had many, many tests done to identify the issue, including an MRI scan. I did for some time stop taking the hydrocortisone (under medical supervision) but my adrenals had not recovered so I am back taking the low dosage.

    The only side effect I had was when I first started taking them, and I could literally feel the impact on my body. Hard to describe but a little like I could feel it waking up. Apart from that (which I no longer notice) the only side effects are increased energy levels, clearer thinking, and better sleep 🙂

    I’m no medical expert but I was diagnosed by a natural therapist with adrenal fatigue a couple of years ago and it totally made sense. So I was nervous about starting the 5:2 diet as I felt sure I needed small high protein meals frequently. I went back to see the natural therapist (who is great) and asked her about it and she said that intermittent fasting would be great for me, which gave me confidence to continue. Having been doing 5:2 for several months now, I can say that I have never felt better – it is increasing, rather than decreasing, my energy levels and the weight loss (5 kilos so far – there were a couple of small back slides 🙂 ) has had nothing but positive impact on all areas of my health. I sleep really well and deeply the nights after the fast days too.

    Hello, i also suffer from adrenal fatique. I must say that supplements are an important factor but, but most important is getting rid of the cause. Like gluten, stress. I always found it kind of ironic, that people with weak adrenals most of all need good sleep, and this i just the thing that is lacking. I have my regiment of supplements and causes lined up quite good and i am recovering. I used this supplement magnesium malate ( to support my adrenals during sleep.

    Magnesium malate keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night, because the adrenals are just to weak to support a full night of sleep. I must say that i also use a adrenal glandular. I do not recommend using this to long, because it is important that your adrenals get strong enough on their own.

    Also do not use thyroid medication of supplements because this often only causes weaker adrenals, because they get pushed to work harder because of HPA-axis. Ofcourse in case of Addison their is no choice.

    I kept waking at 3am and with my history of total insomnia and hairloss figured I may have adrenal fatigue (our GPs in England never diagnose). I have been using an internet remedy to help the adrenals and get a good nights sleep. I cannot stress the improvement! 1/2 a glass of orange juice with 1/2 tspoon of salt and 1/2 a tsp of cream of tartar just before bed. The first day after my first ‘adrenal cocktail’ sleep I was walking around having to keep my eyes open though I wanted to walk with them shut. Ever since I have been sleeping like a baby and waking better rested. I now yawn when I am tired (havne’t done that for years).

    [[[[When the body is deprived of food, it relies on the adrenal glands to provide adrenaline and cortisol to function. If your adrenals are taxed from stress, overwork, or poor health, fasting could further burden the]]]]]]

    Hey Betsy, thank you for your input!! I have been a sufferer of Adrenal fatigue for a while now and appreciated your post. However;

    while the adrenal glands might indeed be overworked when you are devoid of nutrients, intermettant fasting… or being in a general fasting state.. does not imply a devoid of nutrients at all. When your body burns trough glucose it will switch over to “ketones” which actually provide more fuel then glucose.

    However, personally my brain and hearth are conflicted upon this subject since I believe your diet depends on your state of mind and body.

    I am almost underweight, like allot of adrenal fatigue sufferers, which I could see posing a problem when doing ketosis since you simply have no fat to burn. So your fat has to come from food which means you need to heavily increase fat intake which can pose a problem for people with bad digestion ( a bad pancreas and liver/gallblader ), which most AF sufferers have.

    I would be curious if there are people who have tried fasting while in ketosis vs fasting using glucose (especially related to AF).

    Hi Omer, I’m pretty sure Bigbooty was successful in being able to utilize ketones for energy during fasting. He’s written about this in a few different threads, though as far as I’m aware, he doesn’t have adrenal fatigue of any kind.

    I have the experience of having adrenal insufficiency due to chronic hypothyroid and HPA Axis Dysregulation to the point of being required to rely on cortisol replacement therapy. I took bio-identical oral hydrocortisone for nearly 3 years to replace what my adrenal glads were not able to produce themselves.

    I first found out about 5:2, 3 years ago, however, at the time I knew I wasn’t able to experiment with it due to my low cortisol issues. Thankfully I was able to completely dig myself out of that hole, was able to wean the cortisol steroids in April and began IF late June. I had to start with 6:1 just to see if my body would handle IF. I was very concerned I might crash. I did so well with 6:1 that I’ve gone onto 5:2 and have been doing very well. However, I know 5:2 is my limit! One week, because of various appointments and commitments my fasting days fell into an alternate day pattern of 4:3 and I definitely crashed during that third fasting day out of 5. I developed severe low cortisol symptoms and was required to stress dose medication to pull myself out of this. As great as I’ve been feeling practicing 5:2, I still have to be mindful of my limits.

    Cant say I agree with a lot of what Betsy is saying but Im basing it on how my body has responded to fasting. Your adrenal gland is partially responsible for controlling your blood glucose levels but the major player is your pancreas and the insulin it produces. Of course stress is a major player in adrenal fatigue but after removing stress Id be looking at a poor diet as the next big cause. Give your pancreas and adrenal glands a vacation and start eating healthy!! Eliminate sugar and simple carbs from your diet. The vast majority of your carbs should be coming from veggies. I would be very surprised if eating healthy and incorporating fasting didn’t produce positive results. Prior to losing weight and eating healthy I slept very poorly. Would always wake up during the night having to go to the toilet and would wake up the next morning with a headache and feeling thirsty. My guess was that I was pre diabetic. That is now a thing of the past.


    Not sure I know what youre wanting to know with fasting while in ketosis and using glucose? I do not follow a ketotic diet but I used to water fast for two consecutive days (60 + hours). I now do one day (36 hours) as I reached my goal weight and am in maintenance mode. After an initial settling in period of about a month I actually found the second fast day easier than the first day. After about 8 months I noticed a marked difference in my ability to water fast. I now find them very easy to do. I put this down to my liver functioning very efficiently and my cells have become keto adapted (able to utilise both glucose and fat as energy substrates very efficiently).

    Initially I was taking 48-60 hours to reach ketosis while fasting. I measure this using a blood glucose and ketone bodies meter. I define ketosis as being greater than 0.5mmol/L of ketone bodies. I now enter ketosis after 24 hours, but it took me 8 months to be able to flip over so quickly. Its a slow process getting your liver to work well and your poorly performing cells to be replaced via autophagy.

    Unless you are well below 10-12% body fat, you have fat to burn. What is your current BMI?

    Im not sure if Ive answered your question? Maybe be more specific and I might be able to answer it?

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