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Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia are terms used in alternative medicine to describe the unproven theory that the adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily the glucocorticoid cortisol. Adrenal fatigue should not be confused with recognized forms of adrenal dysfunction such as adrenal insufficiency or Addison's Disease.
The term "adrenal fatigue" may be applied to a collection of mostly nonspecific symptoms such as "tiredness, trouble falling asleep at night or waking up in the morning, salt and sugar craving, and needing stimulants like caffeine to get through the day". There is no scientific evidence supporting the concept of adrenal fatigue and it is not recognized as an actual diagnosis by the medical community.
Blood or salivary testing is sometimes offered by alternative medical practitioners to diagnose adrenal fatigue, but these tests lack a scientific basis. The concept of adrenal fatigue has given rise to an industry of dietary supplements marketed to treat this condition. These supplements are largely unregulated in the U.S., are ineffective, and in some cases may be dangerous.
- "Myth vs. Fact: Adrenal Fatigue". The Hormone Foundation. August 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Adrenal fatigue: What causes it?". MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Archived from the original on 5 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
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