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on May 22, 2002
This is an incredibly informative and reader-friendly book about a common debilitating medical condition that goes largely undiagnosed and untreated. ADRENAL FATIGUE: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome is a very empowering work cram-packed with vital information about a condition that very likely affects millions of people. Author Dr. James L. Wilson gives us both the bad news and the good news about this situation. The bad news is how this illness is devastating so many lives, how so many people are being left without hope, and why traditional (allopathic) medicine has failed to recognize or remedy this tragedy. The good news is that this condition can be diagnosed, can be treated, and that there is hope. And Wilson ought to know. With 3 doctorate and two master�s degrees all from different disciplines (including Human Nutrition, Naturopathic Medicine, and Bio/Nutrition), Wilson lectures extensively to physicians and is an internationally acknowledged expert on alternative, holistic approaches to health. Supporting Wilson�s claims about adrenal fatigue are his 25 years of clinical practice and a depth and breadth of research based on over 2400 scientific references. But don�t be daunted by the academic and scientific pedigree of the author; this book is a very easy read�deceptively so for the quality and import of the material.
The book opens with an overview of the function of the adrenals, and how they are prone to chronic fatigue given our hyper-stressed contemporary lifestyles. This is followed by a section on how to tell if you have adrenal fatigue, which includes a questionnaire, several simple at-home diagnostic tests that you can perform yourself, as well as thorough information on the availability (and usefulness) of different laboratory tests. The heart and soul of Wilson�s book (and where you get a sense of this doctor�s caring �bedside manner�) is the lengthy section on the treatment of adrenal dysfunction, �Helping Yourself Back to Health.� This is the good news section. It includes detailed information and sage advice on multiple strategies for treatment, such as lifestyle, food, food allergies and sensitivities, dietary supplements, adrenal cell extracts, and replacement hormones. This section concludes with a suggested daily program for adrenal recovery, advice on what to expect on your road back to adrenal health, a very helpful list of questions and answers, and even a trouble-shooting guide if you discover that you still need help. The final section of the book is the most scientific; it details the functions of the adrenal glands. This section (as well as the entire book) is supported by helpful�and often entertaining�illustrations.

I discovered through answering the book�s questionnaire and performing two of the self-diagnostic tests that I probably do not suffer from this ailment (although I�ll bet that I have numerous friends who do). I do however suffer from migraine headaches, and since much of the book addresses general wellness, I read on with great interest. Most of Dr. Wilson�s information and advice on lifestyle, food, food allergies and sensitivities (for me, especially this one), and dietary supplements, is material we can all benefit from�the infirm and the healthy among us alike. For the millions of people who do suffer from adrenal fatigue, there are several aspects of the book that I imagine will be most welcome. Foremost will surely be the confirmation that yes, there is something identifiably wrong with you, and the clear beacon of hope for recovery that his program projects. Especially for those readers who are afflicted with adrenal fatigue but are not quite ready to give up on traditional western medicine, Wilson presents a very balanced picture of what you can and cannot expect from your physician, and plenty of good advice for how to negotiate the interface between traditional and alternative healthcare. Lastly, Dr. Wilson has created a website,[URL], that offers updated information and advice, including information on the availability of products and services sure to be of help to sufferers from adrenal fatigue.

Comprehensive, yet very friendly; empowering and very hopeful, this book is certain to help a lot of people.
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on May 30, 2012
When I read this book, I quickly realized that I was a "textbook" case. I had suffered from classic adrenal fatigue since 1989 when I became very exhausted and it never lifted. Then I suffered many related symptoms of adrenal fatigue which Wilson describes so clearly in the book.

I have to say that the first benefit of this book was to realize that here was a doctor who understood me. I wasn't crazy and this is a known syndrome. That, right away, removed 50% of the suffering (which was the psychological component of not knowing what was going on.)

The rest took a while and involved actually implementing the many recommendations Dr. Wilson makes. Warning: It isn't 3-easy steps! If you have adrenal fatigue and want to get well it will take focus and commitment. And Dr. Wilson states that fact directly.

For those who are skeptical about the existence of adrenal fatigue, there is a lab test called the ACTH-Stimulation test which, in my case, positively confirmed the my adrenals were unresponsive to the pituitary signal of ACTH.

The number one key was to make Dr. Wilson's recommended lifestyle changes by changing my apply-more-pressure orientation to life. I had to learn to stop motivating myself through fear, anxiety and pressure and, instead, learn to have more orientation towards the simple pleasures in life. This took away a great deal of the stress which was preventing me from healing my adrenals. There were also many dietary, exercise and sleep changes I had to make.

Next, the nutritional supplement recommendations were tremendously helpful, in particular Siberian ginseng, ashwaganda, and licorice. Here are the two products I used which were formulated according to the author's recommendations in the book itself.
Adrenal DefenseTM
Adrenal BoostTM
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on August 25, 2005
The different books on stress on the market offer different visions on the causes of stress and the ways to fight it. Adrenal Fatigue offers a revolutionary different approach saying that the main reason behind stress is the stress of the body's adrenal glands, two peanut-sized glands on top of each kidney, that are crucial for regulating the body's temperature, hormones, mood and energy.

The book does not only offer a diagnosis but rather offers a complete lifestyle plan that is supposed to make the body relax and restore its energy. The suggested program is around three months long and includes changing one's diet by decreasing the intake of junk food and increasing that of organic food and vitamin supplements. The book is also strict on the importance of organizing eating and sleeping hours.

Even though the book suggests an alternative lifestyle that might sound harsh to many, its insight is very relieving for stress sufferers and if those manage to implement half of the book's suggested plan, they would notice an improvement in their health, restoration in their energy and reduction in their stress levels.

Even though in terms of style the book is sometimes needlessly long and in other times dry and written in a medical style, it offers self-tests as a means of diagnosis and these tests also determine the levels of stress among those who take them.

So far, this is the most convincing, cohesive and well-designed books on stress that brings together alternative medicine, diet and other tips that would certainly help doing away with stress.
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on March 12, 2002
When I read this book I laughed and I cried because I finally found something that made sense out of how bad I've been feeling for the past few years. I got more practical help and more hope from this book than from all the fruitless visits I've made to various specialists. One thing that was great about Dr. Wilson's book is that it was so clear and easy to read. The illustrations and the anecdotes from his patient files were entertaining and a lot of them touched me personally. This book is like an ideal visit to a trusted doctor who takes the time to help you understand what's wrong, why it happened, how you can get better and how to prevent it happening again. While reading the book I thought of at least a dozen people I know who have symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. In fact, when I look around, I think just about every adult and teenager would find something useful in this book. It's not just about "dealing" with stress, it's about keeping the stress we all live with from harming us. I hope there are some doctors out there who will read it too.
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on January 9, 2009
If you are unfamiliar with the role the adrenals play in the body, this is a very good introductory book. Dr. Wilson includes lots of case studies of his patients and has easy to read graphics. He discusses why so many people are undiagnosed for so long. It was very helpful to me years ago when I was just learning about adrenal issues.

The book doesn't go very far with treatment though, and tips like "avoiding stress" and "don't get out of bed before 9 am" just are not practical for 99% of the people on the planet who have to work, raise families, etc. He also doesn't cover the progression of the disease like I would have liked. I think in many ways following his book delayed my proper treatment and I progressed to Addison's disease.

I recommend it as an intro book, but if you are looking for treatment and more advanced knowledge, the book falls short. I would love to see him do a follow-up with more in-depth information, but I don't think he is as interested in working toward that as he is in selling his supplements (very overpriced I may add) which is a disappointment. I did meet Dr. Wilson in person and used his supplements for a long time, until I realized they weren't working after an initial good bump.
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on November 3, 2004
After reading this book through almost twice...a rare thing for me to do, unless the book contains a wealth of useful information applicable to my own life, I believe Dr.Wilson has identified a very real syndrome in our society. More of us need to read this book, & realize that the awful heaviness, the feeling of plodding through quicksand for most of the day, the supreme effort it takes just to keep going ...in short the fatigue we are feeling isn't just "laziness", or "all in our heads". I was also impressed with the fact that Dr. Wilson gives you the names & amounts of supplemental nutrients to try taking, in order to support your adrenal glands. He lets you know that you can also buy them via his website, but he leaves the choice up to you. After having the book for just 2 weeks, [on loan from the local library], I have heard from 5 people who want to know where I got it ,& how they can get a copy, as they realize something is wrong in their exhausted lives. I know of many more who would benefit from it,& I intend to let them know. The small detail of adding more salt to my diet has already made a big difference in how I feel. Thank you Dr. Wilson, for your extensive research into a subject that many are pooh-poohing as not REAL. I'm not crazy, lazy, or depressed...I have adrenal fatigue.
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on December 21, 2007
Adrenal Fatigue by James L Wilson, ND, DC, PhD is unquestionably the definitive work on low cortisol adrenal fatigue, written by the top expert in the field after compiling 2400 medical references. Originally intending to educate physicians about adrenal fatigue, a syndrome currently ignored by mainstream medicine, Wilson changed his mind, and wrote a self-help guide for all of us chronically stressed out members of the "rat race" suffering from this new 21st century epidemic.

Chapter 5, the Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue contains humorous illustrations which communicate very clearly in non-technical language the symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, craving of salty foods, hypoglycemic episodes, decreased libido, stress intolerance, light headed upon standing, depression, loss of memory and cognitive decline, and prolonged recovery time from flu-like illnesses, which characterize adrenal fatigue, the net result of years of chronic stress.

In Chapter 7, Wilson explains that adrenal fatigue is not recognized by mainstream medicine because there is no ICD-9 code, and health insurance companies will not pay for diagnosis and treatment without a code. This is perhaps a simplification because the ICD-9 code 255.4 for adrenocortical insufficiency can be used. Wilson goes on to explain that that the only codes and lab tests are for Addison's disease which is complete adrenal failure, so even if testing is done, most people with mild adrenal insufficiency will be told the test results are normal. Thanks to Wilson's efforts to publicize the syndrome, hopefully this is changing.

Chapter 8 contains a lengthy questionnaire which will assist the reader in self-diagnosis.

I found Chapter 10 on physical signs of adrenal fatigue the most useful, describing findings on physical examination such as the unstable pupil, blood pressure reduction upon standing, and Sergent's white line test.

Chapter 11 provides complete coverage of laboratory testing for cortisol levels in saliva, blood, and urine samples, as well as ACTH stimulation. Wilson favors the 4 sample salivary cortisol test as the easiest and most convenient method, with the added advantage that salivary testing can at home without a prescription

The largest section of the book, Part Three, deals with treatment and recovery from adrenal fatigue discussing lifestyle, diet, food allergies, replacement hormones, and supplements, and a discussion of cortisol vs. adrenal cortical extracts.

Adrenal fatigue is the net result of years of continuous high cortisol output by the adrenals caused by chronic stress from job, family, illness, injury, and poor diet and lifestyle associated with high-tech modern living. After years of chronic stress, the two small triangular supra-renal glands poop out, and we become another casualty of adrenal fatigue, the 21st century epidemic. Since mainstream doctors can't seem to help, either ignoring the syndrome, or prescribing anti-depressants for it, this self-help book may be a life-saver. Thank you, Dr. Wilson.

Other books recommended are Safe Uses of Cortisol by McK Jefferies, Hypothyroidism the Unsuspected Illness by Broda Barnes, From Fatigued to Fantastic by Teitelbaum.

Jeffrey Dach MD
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on August 20, 2004
My doctor was unavailable and his locum recommended I review the book. Thanks to her inititative and open mindedness, after just two weeks of following the books recommendations I have lost 15 pounds and have an energy and mental clarity I haven't had for years. Yes you can buy the supplements per the book, but there's enough easy to read info to enable you to substitute local generics. I've made the life style changes required because I had every symptom and the stress timeline outlined in the book. I can believe the books premise that doctors and the medical establishment don't like this guy because basically he provides the info - you do the work; and theres NO LONGTERM DRUG sales for the industry to make money out of. If you're browsing the book and recognise the symptoms - buy the book and start living again.
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on May 25, 2007
I purchased this book a few years ago at the recommendation of my pharmacist. It described me to a "T." I'd had several things happen in the recent past (extended sickness and death of family members) and was doing quite well I thought, except that I felt run down all the time, was having trouble with my asthma and couldn't keep weight off. Using the book and its suggestions, I was able to turn around my health significantly. My asthma improved, my weight came down, and I stopped catching every cold and flu bug that came my way.
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on May 11, 2015
I'm an RN. I can't recommend this book strongly enough. I bought my supplements two weeks ago now and am feeling better already. Dr Wilson has the courage to tell people what their medical doctors won't. I followed his recommendations and in addition to the supplements, wrote out my plan after his writing exercise. That was 2 lists: What makes me feel good (enjoy) and What makes me feel stressed (bad). I did this in just a few minutes thinking I would go back to it later. As I kept reading, the next thing was to arrange the top 5 in each list. For fun, I did it right away. OMG! In each list I had put them almost in the right order.

The next task was to make a plan to increase the good things, situations, etc and decrease the negative. I still work. Unfortunately, the night shift. The on, off biorhythm was/is my biggest enemy. Since my management won't let me change from that shift to either of the other two, I have decreased my available time each month. The benefit of working Per Diem. Unusual but at the facility I work, management only considers per Diem as a one shift thing. I am able to work with the 2nd shift supervisor to pick up extra shifts so I can maintain the hours I need to work each month. This book gave me the impetus to change my situation. I had been "waiting" for over a year for them to hire someone to replace me on the night shift.

Dr Wilson's book should be required reading for every medical person! I have shared with a few co-workers and two have just purchased their own books. And, as an R.N. I can see residents whom I care for who most likely also would benefit from this method. Instead, they are filled with drugs. No, I'm not against drugs but I AM a strong supporter of feeling well. Unfortunately, many times drugs mask what is really going on and the real problem still remains. Therefore, one never REALLY "feels well".

I guess what I'm trying to say is this. When you are caught up in life like a boat without paddles down a raging stream..... Then this is the book for you. dr Wilson's information gave me the oars and the insight how to paddle myself back to calmer waters. One little nugget for me is the following:
I hate naps....with a passion. Now is the past three weeks, I have taken 2 twenty minute "naps". Laying down. He explained why it's better for the adrenal glands. I had always just pushed through. Wow, this and other suggestions, supplements, and life changes have made a difference.

The most difficult is the exercise. I had gotten so bad that I had severe pain located above both kidneys then experienced hot burning on my back every time my back touched a seat, especially when driving. Yup, doctors had no idea! Finally ended up having acupuncture and Dr G. educated me.

Now I love exercise but was so exhausted that it was a chore... As an aside, I work so I can keep my two horses. We had a family emergency and one of our boys has narcolepsy and ended up living with us. Real rough year as many of you who may be reading this. But there is an answer.
Now I finally am a bit better and slowly working some exercise back into my daily routine. My near goal is to be riding like I was two years ago

I wish the best for the thousands of you who have been misdiagnosed. Keep up the faith and heal yourself as I know it can be done.
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