5 Surprising Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

How have you been feeling lately? Dig deep and really feel it for a second.

Are you feeling fantastic? Do you jump out of bed every morning ready to tackle the day?


Are you feeling less-than-stellar? Do you have a bad case of the “blahs” or the “I-don’t-wannas”? 

What about feeling downright tired? Dragging yourself through your day, just barely getting by?

If you’re feeling fantastic – wonderful! And, sadly, you’re a rare exception in the world today. 

Most of us are feeling either blah or totally exhausted. It’s so common that we seem to be normalizing exhaustion in our lives.

I know this feeling well too. As a self-employed adrenaline junkie, I’ve burned myself out more than once (oops, my humanness is showing…).  

The first time I burned myself out I lived in a fog and just thought it was “normal”. Like it’s normal to be so foggy that I’d forget what day of the week it was and where I was going. It was normal to feel so foggy that finding any information stored in my brain was difficult.

But, I thought how I felt was normal for a few reasons – 

1) It came on so slowly that I didn’t fully realize how foggy I was.

2) Doctor after doctor kept telling me I was fine.

I was NOT FINE. That’s for sure!

Then, one gloriously wonderful day early in my healing process, my brain turned back on. It was such a glorious day. For me the fog lifted overnight (it’s usually slower), and suddenly I could think again. And learn. And, honestly, live my life again.

It was that day that I decided to dive into health and nutrition to help myself recover and I learned as much as I could. 

It was the very beginning of my journey toward becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist :).

A not-so-perfect Holistic Nutritionist because I burned out again while building my wellness business. But! (an important but), I caught myself in an earlier stage of burn out and healed much faster. Woo!

I feel it’s important to be open and honest about my experience with Adrenal Fatigue and burn out. I feel we need to talk about all of our experiences because so many of us are silently dealing with these difficult symptoms. 

In fact, the number of people who are dealing with full-blown adrenal exhaustion in my consulting practice has skyrocketed in the past year. This is a level of exhaustion that makes it difficult to work. Frankly, getting out of bed can be almost impossible.

And the number of people I see at this stage has seriously skyrocketed. Instead of seeing a few people in totally burn out a year I’m seeing a few a month. I’ve seen around a 10x increase. 

And we don’t need to feel this way! So I’ve made it my mission to spread to word about Adrenal Fatigue so you can start yourself onto the path to healing.

From my experience working with 100s of people in full-on burnout, I can say this for certain – You CAN feel better than you do right now. And you can feel better in a relatively short period of time.

Feeling tired all day long, a foggy brain, and losing your get-up-and-go are common signs of adrenal fatigue, and here are some of the more surprising signs.

5 Surprising Signs of Adrenal Fatigue –

1. Salt Cravings 

Do you prefer chips over chocolate? (you can love both, that’s allowed :) Or, are your salty food cravings new?

Whether you’re a long time salt craver or a new one, any increase in your salt cravings can be a sign that your adrenals are getting tired or are overwhelmed.

Your adrenals manage your blood pressure, they raise it when you’re under stress and lower it when you’re relaxed. And salt (a good quality sea or Himalayan salt) is a very medicinal food for your adrenals. Click here to learn more :)

The best news – your salt cravings are real cravings for salt! 

So, as long as your doctor hasn’t advised otherwise (always listen to your doc’s advice), add some sea or Himalayan salt to your diet. Sprinkle it on your food to your taste and your adrenals will thank you for it <3 

2. Light-headedness 

This symptom tends to arrive later than salt cravings and they’re related. As your adrenals get tired they struggle to keep your blood pressure up, especially when you stand up suddenly after tying your shoes.

But! Light-headedness can be caused by many things, so please talk with your GP about this too. 

3. Wired but tired

Have you ever felt tired all day but then felt wide awake once you go to bed? 

If you’re thinking “Heck yes!!”, then you’re definitely not alone. This is a common symptom of Adrenal Fatigue, as well, many women feel it a lot during perimenopause.

As your adrenals heal and your stress hormone cortisol start to balance out, you WILL sleep again. Until then, try some sleep hygiene to help wind down before bed. 

4. Extra jumpy/easily overwhelmed

This is one of my first red flags when I know I need to cut back on caffeine and bring in some relaxation.

For me, I get jumpy when I drive, but for others, it could be a loud noise, a sudden change in temperature (like going outside into the heat or cold), or just feeling like your “nerves are fried”.

Herbal nervines, like passionflower, kava kava, and chamomile can help your body calm down and recover.

5. Big energy crash mid-afternoon

It’s common to feel a bit hungry or a little sleepy in the afternoon. 

This is a time where our cortisol levels are naturally on their way down so we can sleep at night, and our blood sugar is going down after lunch. That combo can make it hard to concentrate in the late afternoon.

But, if you feel T-I-R-E-D and/or hangry (so hungry it affects your mood), then it’s a sign that your adrenals might be getting tired.

Bring a high energy snack with you for the afternoon (like a piece of fruit or a few squares of dark chocolate), and be kind to yourself. Until you’re feeling better, try not to book any difficult or creative work, or high-stress tasks for the late afternoon whenever you can. 

However you’re feeling right now, you CAN feel better. If you’d like to get an idea of where you land on The Adrenal Fatigue Code, click here to grab the quiz.

Or, if you’d like some personalized help or direction to get your energy back, grab a spot for a 1:1 appointment here. (US peeps – my rates are in Canadian $, so they’ll be about 30% cheaper to you :)

I’d love to help you feel vital and energetic again :)