What Kind of Doctor Do You See for Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a descriptive term more than a medical diagnosis. Many in the Western medicine community do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a diagnosis, but the symptoms are real and affect many people.

Some of the same symptoms can be attributed to other health conditions, but most people with adrenal fatigue experience the same symptoms. If you feel like you deal with this condition, you might wonder, “What kind of doctor do you see for adrenal fatigue?” Our team can help you explore what this condition is and treatment options.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

The term adrenal fatigue was first used in 1998 by James Wilson Ph.D. He is a naturopath, chiropractor, and expert in alternative medicine. The group of related signs and symptoms appeared to result when the adrenal glands functioned below normal, which he found was often associated with individuals experiencing intense stress or chronic infections.

When you are under stress or sick, the adrenal glands respond by releasing hormones, most notably adrenaline and cortisol. Long-term stress causes chronic release of cortisol and prolonged production can lead to fatigue.

Some believe there is no proof that adrenal fatigue exists because there is no definitive test for the condition. However, it can take many years before medicine accepts new information.

For example, it took many years to recognize the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome or Lyme disease and develop treatments that could reduce the symptoms and relieve the pain and discomfort.


Individuals with adrenal fatigue can experience a range of different symptoms that negatively impact their daily life. These symptoms can include:

  • Brain fog
  • Craving salt and sugar
  • Chronic tiredness and fatigue
  • Waking consistently throughout the night
  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning

This is different from adrenal insufficiency in which you can experience:

Although the symptoms between these two conditions are similar, they are not the same.

Adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed with serum levels of adrenal hormones and imaging tests like a CT scan or MRI. However, adrenal fatigue has no such tests. Instead, it is a diagnosis of exclusion. In other words, when the symptoms are not connected to another condition, and they respond to treatment, you have adrenal fatigue. You can see a specific kind of doctor to help you determine whether you have this condition.

What Kind of Doctor Can Help with Adrenal Fatigue?

The best type of doctor to see for adrenal fatigue are those who practice naturopathic or complementary medicine and have experience recognizing and treating the symptoms.

Many physicians who practice Western medicine do not believe that adrenal fatigue is real, and will likely treat you for conditions with similar symptoms. Unfortunately, the treatments are typical unsuccessful because the doctor is treating a condition you do not have.

There are also gender differences, as women struggle with adrenal fatigue more frequently than men. Coping with a variety of stressful events is impacted by hormonal balance. Men and women secrete different levels of cortisol and adrenaline during stress, which contributes, in part, to women experiencing adrenal fatigue more frequently than men.

Dr. Edward Jacobson is a board-certified gynecologist who has treated women for over 30 years and recognizes the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment to address the root causes of adrenal fatigue.

Dealing with the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can be frustrating and sometimes overwhelming. While lifestyle changes can help, adrenal fatigue requires the appropriate treatment to relieve the symptoms completely.

Underlying Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

Several factors can trigger adrenal fatigue, but the most common one is stress. Continuous and intense stress can come from physiological or psychological conditions. For example, chronic pain from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis places the body under chronic stress and may trigger adrenal fatigue.

Ongoing stress can also be caused by psychological conditions, such as the death of a loved one or a bad manager or employer. Many times, psychological stress can lead to poor sleeping and eating habits and increased use of tobacco or alcohol. Rather than relieving stress, these lifestyle choices contribute to stress.

Reaching a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue requires a detailed history and physical examination to rule out other conditions and determine the right treatment to relieve your symptoms.

Dr. Edward Jacobson has had years of experience helping women and men with adrenal fatigue repair and restore their lives, regain energy, and experience restorative sleep. When you wonder what kind of doctor you see for adrenal fatigue, schedule a consultation and learn how proper treatment can improve your quality of life.