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Adrenal Fatigue FAQs: Adrenal Fatigue and Vision, Can I Recover From Adrenal Fatigue


May 24, 2012 | Published by

Question: What impact can adrenal fatigue have on vision? Is there a connection between adrenal fatigue and cataracts?

The adrenal hormone cortisol is the body’s best anti-inflammatory. Because cortisol is low in adrenal fatigue, inflammatory eye conditions such as iritis, uveitis, and dry eyes can worsen with adrenal fatigue. Cataracts aren’t directly related to adrenal fatigue, but some people with lowered adrenal function or inflammatory conditions are prescribed glucocorticoids—synthetic drugs such as prednisone that mimic cortisol. These drugs can cause a particular type of cataract, a steroid cataract. In addition, these synthetic steroids have the possibility of increasing pressure in the eye which could predispose someone towards glaucoma.

Question: I’ve been off and on the protocol for a couple of years. When I stop it, I notice that the fatigue comes back, although not nearly as severe as it was years ago. Will I need to be on this for the rest of my life? Can I recover fully? Does the amount of time it takes to recover depend on the severity of the adrenal fatigue and how long it went untreated?

Good question: One of the biggest problems I encountered in my practice while working with patients with adrenal fatigue is that as they started to feel better, they would think that the supplements were no longer necessary. They would try and discontinue them too soon and then would be back in my office with the same problems as before. People vary in the time it takes their bodies to recover. Often, someone begins to feel better within a few weeks or months, but typically, it takes someone about 6-9 months to fully recover from mild adrenal fatigue, 12-18 months for moderate adrenal fatigue, and sometimes it can take 2 years or more to fully recover from severe adrenal fatigue. If you continue to be under extreme stress, you may need to support your body for a longer period of time. However, barring an extreme circumstance, you should not need to be on supplements that support your adrenals for the rest of your life.

Recovering from adrenal fatigue takes time, but it is possible. Good luck!

Dr. Lise NaugleAbout the Author: Dr. Lise Naugle is an associate of Dr. James L. Wilson. She assists healthcare professionals with clinical assessment and treatment protocols related to adrenal dysfunction and stress, and questions regarding the use of Doctor Wilson’s Original Formulations supplements. With eleven years in private practice and a focus on stress, adrenals, hormonal balance and mind-body connection, she offers both clinical astuteness and a wealth of practical knowledge. Dr. Naugle also maintains updated information about the latest scientific research on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, endocrine balance and nutritional support for stress and develops educational materials about stress and health for clinicians and their patients.

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  • Chuck White says:

    Great article, Dr. Naugle. As a former adrenal fatigue sufferer, it’s so important to know that there’s hope for this chronic and life-altering disease. It was interesting to know that adrenal fatigue can have such an impact on the eyes. Do you know if macular degeneration is also linked to adrenal fatigue?

    For my part, I believe that it’s key to include in your diet foods that provide your body with cholesterol. Coconut oil is something that has worked for me in that respect. Taking 2,000-5,000 mg of vitamin C was one of the things that helped me get better, as well.

    Here’s another site with good info that has helped me:

  • Ron McMillan says:

    Chuck, am strugging with AF and would love to pic your brains on how you got well! Love to hear from you! All the best, Ron McMillan

  • Trish says:

    Just wanted to know if my low cortisol level can effect my vision. Had cataract surgery on left eye Dec 2105, they left the stitch in to avoid astigmatim bot now I have one. Right eye done April 2016 and have stigmatim in that one as well. Have lupus , level has been down to 51. Rheumatologist put me on florinef and increased my pregnisone from 8 to 12. Now he wants it back down to 8 due my high fracture risk. What impact does does cortisol have on vision. Vision is declining each day. Dr. Does not want me to think about cortisol level as he says pregnisone bumps it down and I know it must be related. No body wants to talk about adrenal exhaustion. Please advise

    • Adrenal Fatigue Team says:

      Hi Trish,

      Below is some information from our blog on the relationship between adrenal fatigue and vision. We hope this helps!

      The adrenal hormone cortisol is the body’s best anti-inflammatory. Because cortisol is low in adrenal fatigue, inflammatory eye conditions such as iritis, uveitis, and dry eyes can worsen with adrenal fatigue. Cataracts aren’t directly related to adrenal fatigue, but some people with lowered adrenal function or inflammatory conditions are prescribed glucocorticoids—synthetic drugs such as prednisone that mimic cortisol. These drugs can cause a particular type of cataract, a steroid cataract. In addition, these synthetic steroids have the possibility of increasing pressure in the eye which could predispose someone towards glaucoma.

  • Susan McIntyre says:


    This unsuspected airborne pathogen gave me many symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” during an outbreak, particularly visual problems like eye floaters, flashes of light, blurred vision, and photophobia.

    I’d like to share information I learned during my workplace’s outbreak of an airborne infectious disease that can cause malignancies, precancerous conditions, rheumatic diseases, connective tissue diseases, autoimmune symptoms, inflammation in any organ/tissue, seizures, migraines, hallucinations, etc. and is often undiagnosed/misdiagnosed in immunocompetent people.

    My coworkers and I, all immunocompetent, got Disseminated Histoplasmosis in Dallas-Fort Worth from roosting bats, the most numerous non-human mammal in the U.S., that shed the fungus in their feces. The doctors said we couldn’t possibly have it, since we all had intact immune systems. The doctors were wrong.

    More than 100 outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. since 1938, and those are just the ones that were figured out, since people go to different doctors. One outbreak was over 100,000 victims in Indianapolis. 80-90+% of people in some areas have been infected. It can lay dormant for up to 40 years in the lungs and/or adrenals.

    This pathogen parasitizes the reticuloendothelial system/invades macrophages, infects and affects the lymphatic system and all tissues/organs, causes inflammation and granulomas, etc. It causes idiopathic (unknown cause) diseases and conditions, including hematological malignancies, autoimmune symptoms, myelitis, myositis, vasculitis. etc. It causes hypervascularization, calcifications, sclerosis, fibrosis, necrosis, eosinophilia, leukopenia, anemia, neutrophilia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, hypoglycemia, cysts, abscesses, polyps, stenosis, and perforations, GI problems, hepatitis, focal neurologic deficits, etc. Many diseases it might cause are comorbid with other diseases it might cause, for example depression/anxiety/MS linked to Crohn’s disease.

    It at least “mimics” autoimmune diseases, cancer, mental illness, migraines, seizures, etc. It’s known to cause rheumatological conditions. It causes hematological malignancies, and some doctors claim their leukemia patients go into remission when given antifungal. My friend in another state who died from lupus lived across the street from a bat colony. An acquaintance with alopecia universalis and whose mother had degenerative brain disorder has bat houses on their property.

    Apparently, even the CDC didn’t know bats CARRY it and shed it in their feces, although they knew it could grow in bird and bat feces. Researchers claim the subacute type is more common than believed. It is known to at least mimic autoimmune diseases and cancer, and known to give false-positives in PET scans. But no one diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or cancer is screened for it. In fact, at least one NIH paper states explicitly that all patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis be tested for it, but most, if not all, are not. Other doctors are claiming sarcoidosis IS disseminated histoplasmosis.

    The fungus is an Oxygenale and therefore consumes collagen. It’s known to cause connective tissue diseases. Fungal hyphae carry an electrical charge and align under a current. It causes RNA/DNA damage. It’s known to cause delusions, wild mood swings, and hallucinations. It’s most potent in female lactating bats, because the fungus likes sugar (lactose) and nitrogen (amino acids, protein). What about female lactating humans…postpartum psychosis (and don’t some of these poor women also have trouble swallowing)? The bats give birth late spring/summer, and I noticed suicide rates spike in late spring/early summer. It’s known to cause retinal detachment, and retinal detachments are known to peak around June-July/in hot weather. A map of mental distress and some diseases appear to almost perfectly overlay a map of Histoplasmosis. Johns Hopkins linked autism to an immune response in the womb. Alzheimer’s was linked to hypoglycemia, which can be caused by chronic CNS histoplasmosis. The bats eat moths, which are attracted to blue and white city lights that simulate the moon the moths use to navigate. Bats feed up to 500 feet in the air and six miles in any direction from their roost to feed, but not when it’s raining or when the temperature is less than approximately 56° F.

    I believe the “side effects” of Haldol (leukopenia and MS symptoms) might not always be side effects but just more symptoms of Disseminated Histoplasmosis, since it causes leukopenia and MS symptoms. What about the unknown reason why beta receptor blockers cause tardive dyskinesia? The tinnitus, photophobia, psychosis “caused” by Cipro? Hypersexuality and leukemia “caused” by Abilify? Humira linked to lymphoma, leukemia and melanoma in children? Disseminated Histoplasmosis is known to cause enteropathy. Could some people thought to have nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug enteropathy have it and taking NSAIDs for the pain/inflammation it causes?

    From my experience, I learned that NO doctor, at least in DFW, will suspect subacute and/or progressive disseminated histoplasmosis in immunocompetent people. Some doctors, at least the ones I went to, will even REFUSE to test for it, even when told someone and their coworkers have all the symptoms and spend a lot of time in a building with bats in the ceiling. Victims will be accused of hypochondriasis. In fact, the first doctor to diagnose me was a pulmonologist, and the only reason he examined me was to try to prove that I didn’t have it, when I really did. No doctor I went to realized bats carry the fungus. And NO doctor, at least none in DFW, even infectious disease “experts,” understand the DISSEMINATED form, just the pulmonary form, and the only test that will be done by many doctors before they diagnose people as NOT having it is an X-ray, even though at least 40-70% of victims will have NO sign of it on a lung X-ray. It OFTEN gives false-negatives in lab tests (some people are correctly diagnosed only during an autopsy after obtaining negative test results) and cultures may not show growth until after 12 weeks of incubation (but some labs report results after 2 weeks).

    One disease of unknown cause that could be caused by Disseminated Histoplasmosis: I suspect, based on my and my coworker’s symptoms (during our “rare” infectious disease outbreak) and my research, that interstitial cystitis and its comorbid conditions can be caused by disseminated histoplasmosis, which causes inflammation throughout the body, causes “autoimmune” symptoms, and is not as rare as believed. I read that “interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the submucosal and muscular layers of the bladder, and the cause is currently unknown. Some people with IC have been diagnosed with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, and Sjogren’s syndrome, which raises the possibility that interstitial cystitis may be caused by mechanisms that cause these other conditions. In addition, men with IC are frequently diagnosed as having chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, and there is an extensive overlap of symptoms and treatment between the two conditions, leading researchers to posit that the conditions may share the same etiology and pathology.” Sounds like Disseminated Histoplasmosis, doesn’t it?

    My coworkers and I had GI problems, liver problems, weird rashes (erythema nodosum, erythema multiforme, etc.), plantar fasciitis, etc., and I had swollen lymph nodes, hives, lesions, abdominal aura, and started getting migraines and plantar fasciitis in the building, and haven’t had them since I left. It gave me temporary fecal incontinence, seizures, dark blood from my intestines, nystagmus, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, various aches and pains (some felt like pin pricks and pinches), tingling, tremors, and chronic spontaneous “orgasms”/convulsions. Suddenly I was allergic to pears (latex fruit allergy?). I had insomnia (presumably from the fungus acidifying the blood, releasing adrenaline) and parasomnias. I suddenly had symptoms of several inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, including Fibromyalgia, Sarcoidosis, ALS, MS, Sjogren’s syndrome, etc. that have disappeared since leaving the area and taking nothing but Itraconazole antifungal.

    No one, including doctors, could figure out what was wrong with us, and I was being killed by my doctor, who mistakenly refused to believe I had it and gave me progressively higher and higher doses of Prednisone (at least 2 years after I already had Disseminated Histoplasmosis) after a positive ANA titer, until I miraculously remembered that a visiting man once told my elementary school class that bats CARRY histoplasmosis….so much of it that they evolved to deal with the photophobia and tinnitus it causes by hunting at night by echolocation. There’s a lot more. I wrote a book about my experience with Disseminated Histoplasmosis called “Batsh#t Crazy,” because bats shed the fungus in their feces and it causes delusions and hallucinations, I suspect by the sclerotia it can form emitting hallucinogens (like psilocybin and dimethyltryptamine) along with inflammation in the CNS. (Schizophrenics have 2X of a chemical associated with yeast, part of the fungal life cycle.)

    Thank you for your time,

    Susan McIntyre

  • Harry Guff says:

    Holy crap. Susan Mcintyre, THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING THIS. Thank you to the website host as well for allowing. You may have just saved many lives.

  • Michael Giddy says:

    Hey there.

    My question is related to my body temperature, skin around my eyes, and fatigue feelings.

    I have worked full time and studied full time for the past two years now and it’s been a busy time, lots of long days back to back. My childhood and teen years have never really been problem or stress free either. I am now 25 years old.

    The main problem I have is with the skin around my eyes. It’s constantly puffy on my right eye, almost like a big bag underneath it constantly. This is regardless of whether I have caught up on sleep or not. The right eye is effected the most and the left eye flares and then settles. It’s something that is starting to bother me a lot now and I think about it all the time. My eyes often are red/pink, well the skin around them is. It can instantly flare up whenever my body temperature increases which happens at random times multiple times a day. I’m either really hot or really cold. The redness looks quite angry when it’s bad. The body temperature rises from me doing something as simple as urinating almost from the strain of urinating.
    That is the main symptom that I have.

    I have had six different appointments with two different doctors and even a dermatologist. They are stumped and just tell me it must be some allergy and it will die down on its own.

    But I am growing desperate to try and get normal eyes back. It’s even started to effect how much I socialize because I can see people staring at it.

    Could this be adrenal fatigue and please please what can I do about it to decrease the inflammation and eye redness.?

    • Adrenal Fatigue Team says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for writing. The eye issue you’re experiencing is not typically a sign or symptom of adrenal fatigue. Have you seen an eye specialist? I wish we could help more, but this is out of our scope. All the best to you!

    • Gareth says:

      Body temp issues, with adrenal fatigue type symptoms. Have you looked at adrenergic pots?

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