Email - Subject: Adrenal fatigue

Hello Everyone, I've recently received and email from one of my blog readers regarding her husband's experience with PTSD and the possible link to Adrenal Fatigue. I found her question to be very touching and believe it may be an issue for many people in her position, so much so that I asked if she would mind if I posted her question and response. She agreed and I am delighted to share it with you all. I cannot of course provide medical advice to someone who is not one of my patients, but I hope this aids in providing some direction to those in search of help with any type of trauma induced issue relating to adrenal fatigue.

I wish you all the success in your research Ann and I hope the medical community can provide the same level of service your husband so gallantly offered our country.

All my best,

Dr. G



Dear Dr. Tetlow,

I was very interested in your piece on adrenal fatigue.  My husband has a 100% VA disability for PTSD, and has a hx of abuse and neglect in childhood as well. I believe he has something like this, but it is hard to find a doctor who believes in it.  He also has temperature dysrelegulation.  He walks around in the summer with a jacket on.  I had a client with PTSD who did some research on this, and found that there may be some thyroid involvement.  My husband's T4 is in the normal range, but I believe that the problem may be with T3 or the findings are subclinical.  I have worked as a mental health practitioner with many clients with PTSD, and I absolutely believe this exists.  Any suggestions of what to tell the VA?




Ann, Thanks for writing.

A trauma informed approach to healing means we looks for a way to put trauma behind us, so we are not continuously traumatized in the present. This can be tough, but it is possible, and the goal of a trauma informed approach. To heal is a process that is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Your husband has made the ultimate sacrifice in service to us and our country, and he deserves the best resources for his ongoing and continued healing and recovery. And you deserve similar support!

If you are concerned about your husband's thyroid function, one option is to have his physician order him a full thyroid panel, which includes measures for T4 and T3.

If you think he has adrenal exhaustion, the first steps have to do with addressing ongoing sources of stress, and any lifestyle choices that are contributing to fatigue or depletion. PTSD is exhausting, so his treatment is key. Addressing  the lifestyle areas mentioned in the blog post can significantly help--including diet, exercise, sleep, relationships, etc.

Rebuilding ourselves after any chronic illness can center around our daily and moment to moment choices, not simply what our doctor recommends. This is one of the most important principles of integrative medicine, in addition to how it intends to combine the best of evidence-based conventional and alternative medicine.

Warm regards,

Dr. Georgia