Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue

A new topic on fibromyalgia that has been brought to my attention is adrenal fatigue. I first became aware of it after my husband read an article about it. I have also seen many articles about the topic over social media. With so much talk about adrenal fatigue in a week, I decided to do a little bit of research. I was shocked about what I found and how fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue are related.

Fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue #adrenalfatigue #fibromyalgia #beingfibromom
created by Brandi Clevinger using the image from © AVAVA at www.stock.adobe.com

What are the adrenal glands?

The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system, and are located just above your kidneys. The glands are responsible for regulating over 50 hormones that regulate a majority of the body’s functions including sleep, digestion, growth, and emotions.

adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia #adrenalfatigue #beingfibromom #fibromyalgia
image from © shidlovski at www.stock.adobe.com

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue comes from too much stress on the body causing the adrenal glands to overproduce, or under produce, the hormones used to regulate the functions in your body.

What are symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

When the adrenal glands are either producing too much or none at all, the hormones regulated by the glands are negatively affected. As stated in the above paragraph, hormones help with sleep, digestion, growth, emotions, and other bodily functions. This makes sense as to why these functions are affected when the glands are not producing the right amount of hormones.

Symptoms include:

  •  fatigue
  • anxiety
  • foggy thinking
  • excess weight around the abdominal area
  • recurring infections
  • inability to fight infections
  • asthma
  • skin rashes
  • trouble sleeping
  • ulcers
  • headaches

As you can see, a lot, if not all, of these symptoms are the same symptoms seen in fibromyalgia patients. So how do we know what is fibromyalgia and what is adrenal fatigue?

What are the treatments for adrenal fatigue?

Ask your doctor about low-dose Adrenal hormones and if it could be something you should try. Reducing your stress levels also help with adrenal fatigue, but it also helps with fibromyalgia and chronic pain sufferers. Functional medicine provider Dr. Amy Myers has a great article about “The 5 Best Adaptogens to Combat Stress and Adrenal Fatigue“. If you think you may have adrenal fatigue, let your doctor know your concerns and which symptoms you’re experiencing. Ask him or her to check your hormone levels.

adrenal fatigue overview
image from Dr. Axe

Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

22 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue

  • Pingback: Fibromyalgia Sleep Wake Cycle

  • November 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm
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    Thanks for letting us know more about adrenal fatigue. My endocrinologist basically shut me down and wouldn’t even order tests for diagnosis. Needless to say having fibromyalgia is tough enough, but when doctors refuse to listen, one can become discouraged.

    Reply
    • November 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm
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      Yes, it is discouraging when an expert doesn’t genuinely listen to our pains. I hope you find someone that listens. Please contact me if you need any further help.

      Reply
      • April 3, 2018 at 10:30 pm
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        Hi I am 58 and I have fibromyalgia I also have degenerate disc disease lately I have had a lot of problems sleeping, then when it is time to wake up it is almost impossible. I have had the numbness in my thighs and then if I sit or stand too long I will get this burning pain in my thighs . I have also been getting headaches a lot also I thought it was from my eyes . Do you think this could be adrenal fatigue? What kind of test should I ask my doctor to run ? I am so sick of feeling like this . It takes me a lot long to do stuff lately.

        Reply
        • April 5, 2018 at 8:26 am
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          Hi, Marguerite, I’m having similair issues with numbness and weakness in my legs. I have no idea what it is, and I am seeing a physician about it today. I don’t think these symptoms are related to adrenal fatigue, but rather from neuropathy. I’ll know more about it this afternoon.

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        • August 23, 2018 at 10:32 pm
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          Having degenerative disc problems I’m sure your facing another auto immune problem, Rheumatoid Arthritis…if they haven’t checked yet. This will cause your headaches and if standing too long, you might even feel like your legs want to give out from under you along with the burning. I have Fibromyalgia & Rheumatoid arthritis & more that I won’t get into. Also, you should check with your heart doctor about your legs. They have common symptoms too, just to be safe

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          • June 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm
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            My doctors didn’t catch the adrenal fatigue early enough. I do have fibromyalgia and CFS/ME, among other diagnoses. As a result of not catching it early, I am in (and have been since late 2011), complete central adrenal Insufficiency. I have to take low dose steroids for life to replace what my body no longer produces.

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm
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      So true! My doctor has done the same to me over other things I’ve asked her about and I think it’s because she really doesn’t know what to do except the recommended basics of anti-depressants. (I’ve already gone thru the useless Gabapinton, Lyrica and pain pills.). Thanks for this article though! I’m going to ask her about it next time. You never know, she may say, “Let’s take a look!”.

      Reply
      • March 29, 2018 at 11:40 am
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        You’re right! She may not know what to do. Giving her direction would be good. Also, thyroid and lyme also mimic fibromyalgia. Have those checked as well (if you haven’t already).

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    • April 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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      I couldn’t agree more, Kaye.

      Reply
    • April 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm
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      Kate, my Dr ran a blood test and said my adrenals were fine, I kept searching for answers and found a Nurse practioner than had me do saliva test which showed my adrenal were overworked. Went to local Medicine Man and started taking a recommended supplement. Not only did my energy increase but my thyroid levels stabilized. I had a total thyroidectomy, years ago.
      Insurance doesn’t pay for the saliva test, but it was money well spent

      Reply
      • June 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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        What is the supplement you take?

        Reply
      • July 22, 2018 at 1:50 am
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        I have fibro and I really need an energy boost. I am so tired all the time and can’t sleep at nights. I hurt so bad that I’m miserable and tired of finding new ways to get comfortable. Please tell me what supplement to take. Just a little energy is better than none.

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    • November 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm
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      My friendly friend told me, if dr doesn’t want to run tests you’ve asked for ,time to get another dr. It’s your money , find a dr that will help you. There are good drs out there.
      Good luck.

      Reply
    • June 23, 2019 at 6:13 pm
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      It took me 10 years to get diagnosed with fibromyalgia my doctor ran every test imaginable until finally she sent me to Mayo clinic and I was diagnosed with it 33 years ago. I have had a very painful painful life with this dreaded disease and now I have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

      Reply
  • August 23, 2018 at 11:21 am
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    Hi! I am 29 and have had fibro for some years now but only diagnosed 2 1/2 years now. I have been doing lots of research and seen countless doctors. They all say it’s either undiagnosed sleep apnea (which I had a negative sleep study) or it’s related to abuse I have suffered in my past (basically it’s in my head). So I don’t know what to think or do anymore… I did start taking a new supplement that has helped alot. But its so frustrating to not know exactly what is going on with my body. . I’m still pretty young but feel 80…I need answers… :/

    Reply
    • August 24, 2018 at 8:25 am
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      Hi, Amber, It’s difficult to figure out what exactly is causing the issue. For me, chronic pain triggered fibromyalgia. Some days I struggle to figure out if it’s more of my pain or a fibro flare. I’ve managed to get my sleeping and eating healthier, and now my pains have calmed down. If you’d like to chat more, contact me via my Facebook page.

      Reply
    • June 24, 2019 at 4:28 pm
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      Hi, Amber,
      There are actual studies that show links between traumas and fibromyalgia & other chronic health conditions, so that does not mean it’s “just in your head.” There’s a wonderful book that has been very helpful to me called “Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology” by Donna Nakazawa. I encourage you to not pass off the idea of fibro being related to abuse/trauma in your past; I know without a doubt that mine are related!

      Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm
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    I was just glancing through some of the posts and am wondering if any of you have tried acupuncture for your fms?

    I am sad when I hear that people’s doctors don’t always take them seriously etc. I hope you all end up finding a doctor that you have a good relationship with because I can’t imagine the frustration you must feel during and after appts with them.

    I wish good days ahead for all of you. I want to say great days, but am being realistic I guess. If anyone has great days with their fms, teach me your ways!!

    Reply
  • October 26, 2018 at 6:08 am
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    Hi. My name is Stephani, I am 50yrs old and have fibro, 3 spinal surgeries one after the other the past 3 yes. I still have issues with spine. I recently was told that an MRI found several cysts on my kidneys and adrenal gland. I have to wait a month to get into a urologist. I am thinking if he does not order hormone test I should ask. I get severe pain in my left hip and groin. It makes walking so painful at times I cry. Even laying down it throbs to my heartbeat. I swear all we continue to do is chance these doctors in hopes for relief that seems to be a dream.

    Reply
    • November 2, 2018 at 10:59 am
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      I’m so sorry to hear that, Stephani! Yes, ordering hormone tests would help determine if the levels are off. That could cause issues, too.

      Reply
    • May 23, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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      I was wondering what has been happening to you recently. we have similar issues so I’d love to hear how you are doing and any recent updates?

      Reply

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