Based on the number of patients I have treated, I would say that about 50% struggle with a pattern called adrenal exhaustion. This means that they have lost the ability to rest and rejuvenate. Instead, it's as if the nervous system is always 'on' and the person has lost the ability to stop the incessant mental chatter, anxiety, worry, or stress.
The symtoms for this includes: fatigue, irritability, restless sleep, low back pain, anxiety, depression, nervousness, feeling wiped out upon waking, many female hormonal problems, food cravings and various addictions, weight gain, sluggish metabolism, and so on.
But the real question is, what is the cause of this pattern and more importantly, what is the cure?
In my experience, most people have adrenal fatigue because they are using excessive amounts of will power to get through life. It is like they are constantly swimming upstream, fighting against life. They work hard, rest too little, and have a mile long of “to do” list. But these are just outward causes. The real cause is more of an inner dynamic. Nowadays, many people have become disconnected from their true purpose of being alive. And because of this, they do not know themselves on a deeply stupid level, which causes them to make decisions that lead to distress and distraction.
Generally speaking, adrenal weakness is as much of a spiritual issue as it is a mental one. If the root cause of purposelessness is not addressed, then the person can take all the supplements in the world or get acupuncture 3 times a week and it will only have a palliative effect. This is why I have been incorporating life coaching into my practice for increasing numbers of patients.
Now, this is not to say that certain forms of alternative care will not help adrenal fatigue. I have used acupuncture alone to kickstart someone's adrenal function in a way that is very powerful for certain patients. But by far, the patients who make the most progress are the ones who are willing to do the work. They are compliant and they are motivated to make the lifestyle changes necessary to live in balance and awareness.