As someone with diagnosed Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison's Disease), I would recommend to anyone who suspects that they may have this problem to ask your doctor (MD) to run a morning cortisol test to begin with. The range of normal is quite large, and you may have a low normal reading that would indicate you may need cortisol replacement or prednisone. Some other tests can be done to determine whether the problem is in the adrenals themselves or in the pituitary or hypothalamus. The A.M. cortisol test is a blood test and should be done in conjunction with other tests for blood counts, electrolytes, and hormones. Cortisol is at its highest level first thing in the morning, so if it is low, it is only going down from there for the rest of the day.
Low sodium and postural hypotension are common symptoms as are abdominal and flank pain, sleeplessness, low body temp and feeling cold, hypoglycemia, an unusually dark tan, extreme fatigue(an overused term), and cravings for caffeine, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances to boost you up. If you have all of these symptoms, you need to be tested for adrenal insufficiency asap.
Anything that you use to boost your metabolism-- thyroid hormone, diet products, adrenal stimulating complexes--will make your problem worse. I take supplements that strengthen my body and its overall function: Vit C, 1-3 g/day; Vit E, 400 IU/day; L-Tyrosine, 500 mg/day; liver cleanse product; green foods tabs. I tried licorice for about a month and noticed no difference. DO NOT TAKE POTASSIUM. Adrenal insufficiency causes hyperkalemia (excess potassium) and hyponatremia(low sodium). Be careful of B viamin complexes, too much B6 in the presence of low sodium causes magnesium overabundance which is manifested by tingling in feet, legs, hands, and arms. Low magnesium is not a symptom of adrenal fatigue. Avoid taking supplements that do not have a cal/mag ratio of 2/1.
Someone suggested tin chloride supplements. NO. Tin salts are toxic.
I also have tried to detox my enviroment by eating organic food, avoiding pesticides and chemicals, and changing all the products I use on my body. I juice organic fruits and vegetables almost everyday. The Blood Type Diet has made a big difference by eliminating agglutinating foods from my diet that were making me feel lousy.
I try to control my stress as much as possible by making choices about how I spend my time (as much as a mom with 4 kids can) and with whom I spend it. Some of these are tough choices and require a change in expectations on your part and those you interact with.
Not everyone who is fatigued has adrenal fatigue. Toxic enviroment, toxic food, and toxic relationships all cause a great deal of stress.