The tell-tale sign of this phase is that you cannot function normally throughout your day, no matter how hard you try. The smallest stress may precipitate a crash where you are bed-ridden and miserable.
In this phase, the adrenal glands simply cannot produce the cortisol necessary to handle the constant and chronic stress that you are under. Cortisol output was declining gradually in Phase 2, and now the adrenal glands can barely join in the fight.
You are in survival mode. Your metabolism will slow down to try to conserve energy. Your body is in a catabolic state, breaking down muscle for energy. You find that when you exercise you feel terrible, and it takes days to recover.
You seem to be sick all the time, getting every cold and illness that goes around, with symptoms lingering longer than they should. You may be getting rashes and other signs of immune intolerance as well. It’s common for autoimmune diseases to manifest in this phase of adrenal fatigue.
You may find that you are not be able to tolerate foods that were fine for you before. Stomach discomfort, constipation, or diarrhea are now plaguing you as well.
Your fatigue is now severe and chronic, and it’s difficult to even make it out of bed. You have maybe a couple hours a day where you can accomplish some of the things you need to do, and then you need to go back to bed.
Insomnia, brain fog, depression, and chronic pain become severe in this stage. Multiple organ systems may now be dysfunctioning, affecting every aspect of your health. It’s vital that you get help now so that you don’t find yourself in Phase 4: Adrenal Failure.