Adrenal hormones are involved in cognitive function, mood and mental states in complex ways, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function is typically affected during depression. Stress with high cortisol and DHEAS have been associated with anxiety and depression, but people going through adrenal fatigue and concomitant low cortisol/low DHEAS have been observed clinically to often also experience mild depression, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and less acute memory recall. They generally feel less tolerant than they normally would and are more easily frustrated. This may be exacerbated by the tendency for high and low nighttime cortisol to disrupt restful sleep.
Decreased stamina and pronounced morning fatigue may be a clue that there could be a low adrenal function component contributing to depression. A saliva cortisol/DHEAS test that measures these adrenal hormones at four different times in the day can help determine whether adrenal function is a contributing factor in depression. If adrenal function is low during depression, providing adequate support for healthy adrenal function can help promote vitality and a positive outlook.