Dr. Margaret Taylor – Margarettaylormd.com

Margaret H. Taylor, MD
Taylor Functional and Integrative Medicine
34 W. Colt Square Drive; Suite 3
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Office: (479) 957-1105
Cell Phone: (479) 372-0008


Millions of Americans just like you are trying to figure out why they feel so tired all the time, why they’re suffering from brain fog, depression, food cravings, insomnia, and why they don’t feel as sharp or energized as they used to. Why is it so much harder to make it through the day?

What you’re experiencing is very common, and it’s NOT your fault. It is described in popular literature as “Adrenal Fatigue.”  Doctors and scientists may call it hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction.  Whatever we choose to call it, it is the result of stress hormones – chiefly cortisol and adrenaline - getting completely out of balance in our modern world of constant tension and strain.

Those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue often note the insidious onset of fatigue and difficulty handling stress any more.  Many women and men begin to blame themselves that they’re just getting lazy or they become concerned they are suffering from depression.  They don’t realize they may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.  Adrenal fatigue (or HPA axis dysfunction) can be reversed if it is diagnosed and if the proper nutrition and lifestyle choices are made.

What Are the Adrenal Glands?

The Adrenal Glands are little cone shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  They are perhaps best known for their production of cortisol, the stress hormone.  They release many different hormones that influence nearly every function of your body; your energy levels, your mental-sharpness, your libido, and most importantly - your stress levels.

What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?

Stress:  When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, the primary “fight-or-flight’ hormones, increasing your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.  Once the stressful situation has passed, your adrenal glands are supposed to stop releasing those hormones, and you relax again.  Unfortunately, with today’s fast-paced lifestyles, people are under significantly more stress than ever before with fewer opportunities to truly relax and refresh. The adrenal glands are left to try and take the edge off by working overtime to secrete stress-response hormones. As this situation of constant tension persists, at first those stress hormones are over-produced, and then when the body can’t take it any more, their production shuts down.

Diet: The modern diet is filled with processed foods. These contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and ingredients that cause inflammation which all put additional stress on the body and make adrenal fatigue worse.

Sleep Deprivation: When you’re not getting enough sleep, your adrenal glands pump out stress hormones to keep you awake. The problem is, you don’t have time to succumb to ‘sleep deprivation,’ so you drink more and more caffeine to make up the difference. Can’t fall asleep?  Maybe a few glasses of wine at night might seem like the solution, but alcohol negatively affects sleep quality, just like caffeine!  Thus it becomes a vicious cycle, turning sleep deprivation into the symptoms of chronic exhaustion and adrenal fatigue.

What are Other Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

  • Severe morning fatigue/difficulty getting out of bed
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar
  • Symptoms of low blood pressure

Is There a Test For Adrenal Fatigue?

While there are many methods for testing adrenal function, the method of choice that Dr. Taylor uses is through saliva.  Saliva offers a great, non-invasive way to look at the main hormone produced by the adrenals: cortisol.  A four-point salivary stress panel will give you a daily pattern of cortisol output, and you will also get a measurement of DHEA, the hormone of growth and repair.  Salivary testing makes it much easier to see how cortisol levels vary and if they are following the normal pattern throughout the day.

This test is collected in the privacy of your home and avoids having you go in 4 times throughout the day for blood draws, so that we can measure your normal stress response hormones, not the additional stress of being poked with a needle to get your blood drawn!

Is There Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue?

Treatment for adrenal fatigue requires a great deal of cooperation between the physician and the patient, working together as a team.  Lifestyle adjustments are a key part of treating adrenal dysfunction and may include getting on a good, consistent sleep schedule, improving diet, limiting exposure to computers and TV just before bed, and starting a routine exercise program if one is lacking.   Dietary treatments include limiting sugars, white flour and processed foods while focusing on clean proteins and vegetables.  Nutritional support may include pharmaceutical grade multivitamins, antioxidant, B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. Dr. Taylor may also recommend adrenal adaptagenic herbs and glandular products to help support as adrenal function heals.

It’s important to remember that adrenal dysfunction didn’t develop overnight.  It is the result of years of chronic tension and stress.  Thus, it is common for the full repair process to take one to two years.  Try to be patient and kind to yourself as you and your physician work to heal your adrenal fatigue!

Call us today (479) 957-1104