Adrenal Fatigue Is Bacterial Infection

Do you have psoriasis? This post will be about it and why you should stop hunting the useless supplements and protocols for psoriasis and adrenal “fatigue” as well.

Animal glandular tissue, hormone replacement therapies, infinite B12 injections, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, licorice root, etc….

Don’t get me wrong some of those supplements are very helpful when used right but rarely completely resolve the underlying problem of psoriasis. They may work for some time and after that people usually just up the dosages in hope they need to take “more of this and more of that” to get better.

You should understand that adrenal “fatigue” is caused by toxicity and deficiency just like every other chronic disease! In other words: adrenal fatigue is caused by bacterial infection.

Adrenal “fatigue” and psoriasis caused by endotoxin induced inflammation

The scientific paper “Characterization of the LPS-induced inflammation of the adrenal gland in mice.” describes the aspects of endotoxemia and associated adrenal gland insufficiency.[1]

The authors concluded that adrenal dysfunction which is so often present in critically ill patients including the patients with sepsis may be the result of LPS induced inflammation.

In mice the systemic administration of endotoxin induced systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Administration of endotoxin (LPS) led to increased levels of many proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and other molecules. This caused massive infiltration of immune cells into the adrenal gland.

This endotoxin mediated inflammation was associated with increased cell death of adrenocortical and chromaffin cells.[1]

Endotoxins disrupt the proper HPA axis function

It is well known that endotoxins are a powerful systemic stressor which activates the HPA axis. The major HPA axis response induced by endotoxin challenge is mediated via these cytokines: IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha. These cytokines are the same which are heavily involved in inflammation associated with psoriasis. These cytokines stimulate the immune cells which in turn stimulate the various HPA axis pathways.[2]


So even if you ever believed in adrenal “fatigue” as real organ fatigue this endotoxin induced HPA axis activation would perfectly fit in your belief model.

Scientific data from rat study proved that previous exposure to endotoxins results in hyporesponsiveness of adrenal glands to ACTH stimulation. ACTH is a major hormone responsible for activation of cortisol release.

Pretreatment with lipopolysaccharides (LPS – endotoxin) caused a significant decrease in corticosterone production which is a major glucocorticoid in rats.

Now just look at the next picture. You can see that ACTH levels in psoriatics are significantly higher and cortisol significantly lower than in healthy people. The results are the same in people with psoriasis as they are in the rats exposed to endotoxins.

Endotoxins are considered as the cause of psoriasis also by L. Bertók who published many papers about the importance of bile acids for breaking down the endotoxins in the small intestine.


Image source: F. Z. Zangeneh and A. Fazeli. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF STRESS HORMONES IN PSORIASIS. Acta Medica Iranica 2008; 46(6): 485-488.

All this data give us a clue that all those saliva cortisol tests and cortisol replacement therapies used for adrenal “fatigue” are mostly useless.

If endotoxemia which means bacterial infection causes low cortisol and overall adrenal insufficiency then why would anybody take replacement therapies instead of eliminating the infection?

Short-term replacement therapy may be OK and speed up the healing but how many people actually healed following the regimen prescribed by the doctor?

How to get out of adrenal insufficiency?

The data show us the cause of adrenal dysfunction – it is the inflammation. The endotoxins can cause massive systemic inflammation which directly affects the adrenal glands as well.

Resolve emotional stress, toxins and correct the deficiencies. Then healing occurs itself.

No need to take countless supplements to manage the adrenal “fatigue”. Adrenal fatigue does NOT EXIST and I wrote about that before.

It is not the fatigue. It is the dysregulation of hormonal and nervous system. Low cortisol levels have the underlying cause: it is the adrenal hyporesponsiveness to ACTH what is a major problem!

Adrenal glands produce and are controlled by hormones as well as neurotransmitters. Whether it is the most blamed cortisol or mostly underrated adrenaline – both are very strong hormones which have a huge impact on our health. Adrenaline plays a critical role as a neurotransmitter as well; which makes it even more important than cortisol in my opinion. But not a lot of doctors are concerned about that.

Emotional stress is the worst and hardest to eliminate

Turn off the TV for good

These days the TV is a shit. The only purpose of TV is to get you in front of it and play you the commercials. Most of those “great shows” they are trying to sell us on a daily basis have the additional purpose of brainwashing the people in every aspect of their lives.

Let go of things you can not change

Like really, if you are trying to change or resolve something which you know you can not do… Just let it go.

Maybe you already know the quote by Reinhold Niebuhr from his Serenity Prayer:

“God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.”

Meet only people you like

Whether it is your work or free time. You should be in company consisted only of people you like or tolerate. If anybody tells you something else he lies. Being around the people you don’t like won’t do any good and just make you stressed. Whether you are conscious about that or not.

Detoxification and supplementation…

I write about the supplements in many of my posts so I will just summarize the ideas here.

B-complex, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, lecithin, omega 3 and vitamin D3 – those are the nutrients I would take for adrenal insufficiency.

Then there are bile acids or artichoke tea to help with the bile flow which helps the endotoxin breakdown in the small intestine. Bile flow will significantly decrease the amount of endotoxins absorbed into the blood from the small intestine.

The best diet is hypoglycemic diet with low amount of starches which would otherwise feed bacteria and fungi in the gut.

The natural way how to increase cortisol levels is licorice root.

Inflammation = adrenal insufficiency

Sure, low adrenal function substantially contributes to inflammation as well but what do you think is first?

  • Adrenal dysfunction just like that because adrenals got fatigued or because of bad luck?


  • Deficiencies and endotoxemia because of bad diet, drugs and emotional stress?

That’s why adrenal insufficiency very rarely resolve on its own. The inflammation in the gut initially affects the adrenals and may lead to serious HPA axis dysregulation. Then dysregulated HPA axis affects the proper parasympathetic nervous system function (rest and digest is impaired). This leads to bad digestion which means SIBO/endotoxins, fungal overgrowth and deficiencies.

You can read more about the Adrenal Fatigue Scam and real issues with Cortisol in my blog post.


1.) Kanczkowski W, Chatzigeorgiou A, Samus M, Tran N, Zacharowski K, Chavakis T, Bornstein SR. Characterization of the LPS-induced inflammation of the adrenal gland in mice. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013 May 22;371(1-2):228-35.
2.) Beishuizen A, Thijs LG. Endotoxin and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. J Endotoxin Res. 2003;9(1):3-24.

23 Responses

  1. Luka says:

    Great post! I was wondering,I have high cortisol levels in the afternoon,and slightly lower levels in the morning. Of course troubles with staying asleep. Anxiety most of the time. In the beginning I had extreme eye dryness. Later on elevated liver enzymes and swollen lymph nodes. I feel way better after I change my diet. But still anxiety is there and troubles with low energy. I started running for a few months now and feel better,anxiety still there but gained some weight which is great thing since I lost 20 pounds before. This all started 3 years ago. Poor diet,excessive drinking and cocaine abuse. Is is it possible to fully recover? Thank you.

    • John says:

      As I said in the blog post I would be less concerned about the cortisol levels than the adrenaline.

      Troubles with staying asleep is usually connected to adrenaline and hypoglycemia. This is very possibly the result of your previous lifestyle.

      Eye dryness is probably caused by dysregulated Autonomic Nervous System, too.

      Liver enzymes may be caused by drinking. The lymph nodes swell if there is some infection in the body or in the teeth.

      For anxiety I would consider reading the book Adrenaline Dominance by Dr. Michael Platt, MD who knows how detrimental is the adrenaline when its production is dysreguated. Basically, he recommends using the natural bio-identical progesterone cream (for both men and women) 3x daily before meals. Progesterone should help with excessive adrenaline release.

      The point is that adrenaline is released in state of hypoglycemia… and hypoglycemia is caused by insulin resistance… and insulin resistance is caused by inflammation… and inflammation is caused mostly by endotoxins.

      Chromium GTF is a great way how to make insulin work better so the body won’t produce too much of it. Then there will be less hypoglycemic episodes = less adrenaline production. Adrenaline is released in state of hypoglycemia in order to raise the blood sugar immediately. However, its another effects are anxiety and trouble with falling asleep and sleeping.

      Another effect of adrenaline is sweating during the sleep.

      B-complex, artichoke, milk thistle (for liver), magnesium, lecithin, fish oil, vitamin D3 (depends on your current blood levels) maybe some adaptogen like Rhodiola rosea, ….

      It is possible to fully recover.

  2. Joy says:

    i feel im suffering from adrenal fatigue, have a lot of the symptoms, eat a fairly healthy diet, what else can i do to help myself heal from this? Im 55

    • John says:

      Fatigue means problems with energy production in cells.

      One thing is glucose; another is oxygen we need to burn – to make energy.

      Endotoxins make inflammation… and inflammation causes thick blood… and thick blood causes low oxygen… and low oxygen = low energy production.

      Check for the dental infections, bile flow, fungal infections.

      Enzymes like bromelain, serrapeptase and nattokinase help dissolve the excess fibrin so allow the blood flow better = more oxygen = more energy.

      Creatine, manganese, B-complex, omega 3,… helps with energy production.

      I need more information if you want more specific answer –

  3. Big Daddy says:

    Hi John, you write “”The data show us the cause of adrenal dysfunction – it is the inflammation. The endotoxins can cause massive systemic inflammation which directly affects the adrenal glands as well””.

    I suffer from excessive fatigue. How can I tell if it is inflammation / endotoxins that is causing HPA axis dis-regulation, that is in turn perhaps causing fatigue?

    • John says:

      There is no easy way to find the cause of some health problem.

      That is why “modern medicine” focus on blocking just the symptoms – because it is easier than repairing the underlying mechanisms.

      Fatigue is affected by hormonal system (adrenals) as well as the ability of the cells to generate ATP. So it is impossible to find out the real cause without the tests.

      If you have psoriasis I would say it is 99% sure that the endotoxins play a huge part. Dental infections and root canals are one of the biggest problems!

      Endotoxins, thick blood, deficiencies, … make the immune system weak so (usually inactive) viral infections may appear and bring on the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

      • Big Daddy says:

        Do you know what kinds of tests can help narrow the source of my fatigue down? I have already had 4x/day saliva cortisol test. That showed me to be below normal on all four measures.

        I have taken food allergy testing and those came up negative for everything except soy. I already avoid all grains and alcohol so i am not ingesting gluten.

        On blood tests my C reactive protein levels are always low, indicating low inflammation.

        Are there any other diagnostics that you are familiar with that might help?

        I just read Tom Malterre’s The Elimination Diet book. I am considering doing it. I think I could tolerate everything in the diet except giving up my coffee. I don’t know how people live w/out caffeine.

        • John says:

          Most similar tests are useless.

          Hormonal imbalances are usually caused by small intestine inflammation (leaky gut) and thus systemic inflammation.

          C-reactive protein is also not a conclusive sign of inflammation. ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) is also not the definite indicator of inflammation.

          Every chronic disease is accompanied with inflammation so there is not real need to test for its presence.

          Dental infections like root canal teeth are toxic so it is very important to remove them from the body. Some root canal teeth are more infected some less but EVERY root canal tooth is toxic.

          Nutrition is always the first step after dental infections.

          Omega 3,6,9; lecithin, B-complex, vitamin A,E,K and D (if needed); magnesium, zinc, selenium,…

          Omega fatty acids and lecithin are VERY IMPORTANT for rebuilding the CELLS and MITOCHONDRIA. Without healthy mitochondria the cells can not produce ENERGY so every process in the body STRUGGLES.

          Artichoke tea helps with bile flow tremendously.

          Cortisol levels may be raised by Licorice tea.

          • Big Daddy says:

            I do have 2 teeth that have been root canalled. So fallout from that is very possible. I also have digestive disturbances so leaky gut and SIBO are possible.

            I have tried licorice root extract with no noticeable difference in how I felt.

            Thanks for the nutrition suggestions. I am likely magnesium deficient to some extent. I will have to look into lecithin.

            Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

          • John says:

            Root canals and other dental infections are very dangerous. If root canal tooth caused psoriasis then the only way how to get rid of it is remove that tooth.

            But there is no chance to know if root canal teeth are causing psoriasis in your particular case.

            In case of taking the Licorice root for cortisol one needs to take enough to get the effects of increased cortisol. How much to take? It is very individual.

        • Gabriel says:

          There are actually very good tests that I have done and finally found out where my inflammation is: Organic Acids Test, Comprehensive Stool Test, GI map test. I have klebsiella oxytoca disbiosis, some clostridium infection and a fungal overgrowth. I would never find out why my adrenals crashed and now I know!!! Functional medicine doctors do tbis tests normally.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m confused. In your first paragraph, you discount supplements claiming to help adrenals. You say they’re useful to a point, but not if you want to resolve the problem. However, you recommend them later in your article and in the comments section.

    Ok, so I agree with you about the root cause of the problem. How do I come up with a protocol to improve my health? I can’t take either licorice or progesterone because of uterine fibroids. What plan of action do you suggest, and in what amounts?

    • John says:

      Progesterone is actually used for uterine fibroids. It has some major anti-estrogenic effects and estrogen is heavily involved in many health problems in women.

      You can read the book Adrenaline Dominance or some other from Dr. Michael Platt, MD who explains the effects of progesterone on various health conditions.

      Iodine deficiency is also linked to many health problems like – cysts, fibroids, lumps,…


      The most important is basic essential nutrition – omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. You can get that from salmon oil, EPA/DHA fish oil concentrate, cod liver oil (this one will get you also vitamin A – retinol). Lecithin is also a great addition and complements the omega fatty acids.

      The cells need to rebuild the membranes and mitochondrial membranes because without them the ATP (energy) production in cells would be low. And low energy = low function and low detoxification of cell = symptoms of disease.

      B-complex (Jarrow B-Right is very good) supplement is essential because those B vitamins are needed for energy production and nervous system (which controls everything in the body). Many of the B-vitamins might (should?) be produced in the large intestine (and possibly small intestine) but bad digestion and bad diet = bad bacteria in the large intestine = inadequate vitamin amounts produced by bacteria.

      Since inflammation is at the root of the problem we need to eliminate it. Root canal teeth or other dental infection and the endotoxins from the small intestine are the most common causes of inflammation.

      Herbal adaptogens might be very effective during the healing process but usually they won’t resolve the underlying cause – inflammation – on their own.

      Inflammation is at the root of most hormonal imbalances so I think that hormonal replacement therapy is usually not necessary.

      Vitamin D3 is very effective for management of excessive inflammation but since it is more like a hormone it may also cause problems when taken in high amounts for long period of time.

      I think that adrenaline hyporesponsiveness is heavily involved in many cases of “Adrenal Fatigue”. I believe that is why in adrenal problems there is often a hypoglycemia, elevated fasting blood sugar levels, … and also chronic fatigue like state – brain fog, low motivation, inability to focus, etc..

      The problem is that hypoglycemia drives more adrenaline release = bring more hyporesponsiveness of neurons to adrenaline, anxiety, low blood flow into the tissues – .

      Hypoglycemic diet, Chromium GTF or picolinate, magnesium, zinc along the other essential supplements I have mentioned above.

      If you need more detailed answer you can send me an e-mail for details.

  5. Tiffany Beard says:

    So im down to two foods i am so ill rice and beef. My homrones are all messed up i ise 400 mg of progesterone a day plus naturethroid for thyroid. I still dont feel well. I cant tolerate foods becauss i have intersitial cystitis but i should be able to eat alkaline with that disease but instead when i got really sick this last year alkaline makes me worse now and eating rice and beef i feel a relief. My urine ph even eating acidic is a 7 which makes me burn worse. Is it becausw of the hpylori i have and do i take the antibiotics to kill it? I found out hpylori puts off ammonia in the body and ammonia is alkaline so that could be why my urine ph is high when it needs to be acidic to keep bacteria away. What can i do about this i have only ate those two foods for a year and its bad i feel i am probably making the bacteria way worse and should of never ate so much rice and just stuck with a veggie but the pain eating a veggie was unbearable. My stomah acid is low because of thr hpylori so then i feel better eaing acidic becausw hpylor hates acid and they burrow and hide.

  6. Maggie Wilson says:

    Just wondering how having my gallbladder removed when I was in my early 20s would affect me today? I have inflammation in my stomach and also my veins. With the stomach inflammation the specialist told me I have the highest stomach acidity he has ever seen. I have gerd and am waiting for surgery for a hiatal hernia, am hoping this will help as I have Barretts esphogus. I am constantly fatigued and am taking 120mg. of natural dissicated throid. Would really appreciate any answers and advice you can give me. Thank you.

    • John says:

      Likely it is not about how gallbladder removal affected you but how did affect you the underlying problems that led to gallbladder removal.

      Gallbladder removal is usually due to thick bile, low bile flow which leads to gallstones.

      Also high cholesterol levels may contribute to gallstones formation. But again what is the purpose of cholesterol?

      It is the repairing material if there is an inflammation.

      Inflammation is usually caused by endotoxins. So endotoxins may lead to high cholesterol = thick bile and liver problems = gallstones = gallbladder removal = more endotoxins = more inflammation.

  7. Josh says:

    All true, but fixing the gut is not easy. It’s often a life sentence.

    • John says:

      If you know how it is pretty easy.

      Nystatin, oregano oil, maybe some probiotics (depends how the body reacts to it), monosaccharide based diet, olive oil, flax seed oil, omega 3, gelatin protein shakes, whey protein isolate shakes,…

  8. Alex says:

    Excellent article John. I take Neprinol AFD and like you mentioned the Nattokinase in it helped break fibrin and give me some inflammation relief. However I still have SIBO and get bloated whenever I eat any carbs. Is there a way to get rid of SIBO directly in the small intestine? Thanks a lot.

  9. Giannis says:

    Totally agree… i have AF and candida… probably SIBO and endotoxins but… i get a major crash back in 2020 that leads me to AF… Probably the toxins, fungi and parasites weakened my body and it got crashed or am I another case?

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