Adrenal Dysregulation: A Behavioural Approach

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This CPD course...

  • is delivered: As an online on-demand-video from a live course 
  • is for: Nutritional therapy practitioners, nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths,  other health care providers and final year nutrition students interested in applying functional medicine approaches to health and well-being (i.e. exploring how nutrients, other foods and lifestyle factors influence the function of the body and how to apply findings in a person–centred manner that recognises individuals’ unique differences)
  • is with: Claire Doherty
  • spans: 5 hours recording time 
  • provides: BANT CPD 5 hours, NNA CPD 5 hours

The focus of this course is to explore how and why Adrenal Dysregulation develops and how we can support clients who present with this. It examines the physiology, endocrinology & psychoneuroimmunology associated with adrenal dysregulation in relation to individual differences including diet, behavioural patterns, circadian rhythms and adverse childhood events. There is a specific focus upon lifestyle factors and behaviour.

There are a multitude of protocols and supplements directed at supporting adrenal dysregulation, which can mean that we often forget to focus on the foundations of health first and foremost. Additionally, many of our clients are not in a position financially to purchase exploratory tests, which can leave us confused and unsure about the safest and most effective approach to take. This course will take you through safe, simple and effective steps that can be followed to help optimize your clients energy and restore balance. Whilst acknowledging and discussing testing and supplements the focus will be on fundamentals including diet, lifestyle and behavioural change.

This course will cover adrenal dysregulation  in relation to pathophysiology, endocrinology and neurology. It will then explore circadian rhythms and the behavioural components that can contribute to adrenal dysregulation.

It will cover the ways in which symptoms can be supported from a holistic perspective, adopting an individualized, whole person approach.

Examples of the questions it will answer include: What is adrenal dysregulation and how can it present? Which tests, if any, are valuable in detecting imbalances that may reflect adrenal dysfunction? 

What kind of behaviours and personality types are more likely to present with adrenal dysfunction and why? How can I support clients who present with symptoms of adrenal dysfunction in a personalized way that reflects their accessibility to resources such as tests?

Finally, it will provide practical problem solving scenarios to facilitate the application and development of skills in this area.



What will I learn?

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Create personalized, impactful programs that make a difference to your practice.
  • Apply new research findings in your approach to supporting clients with adrenal dysregulation.
  • Choose tests and supplements with greater confidence where appropriate and have the confidence to offer safe and effective support where testing is not possible.
  • Avoid potential pitfalls such as a one size fits all approach.
  • Be more confident in supporting your clients through changing their behaviour.
  • Keep your client motivated.

What will be covered?

Session 1: Overview of Adrenal Dysregulation

  • ION introductions and  housekeeping 
  • Definition anatomy ,Physiology, endocrinology 
  • Symptoms, presentation, dietary factors
  • Individual exercise and short Q and A, what might make you suspect someone has AD in the absence of testing? Consider nutrition, lifestyle and behaviour
  • Poly vagal nerve theory
  • Testing - salivary cortisol, Dutch - how these differ, pros and cons. When to test, when not to test
  • Session key points and a few questions to check participants’ understanding of the session
  • Q and A

Session 2:  Understanding Circadian Rhythms in relation to the HPA Axis

  • Circadian Rhythms - what are they, how are they maintained, why are they important 
  • Consequences of disrupted CR
  • Individual exercise and short Q and A, consider what might be the biggest disruptor of CR in clients presenting with AD, how might you support this?
  • Melatonin - what is it, why we need it - how to encourage it. Who is at risk of lower levels? Dietary considerations
  • Tools, techniques and advice to support CR : Light - waves, blue light, red light therapy - how to use in a supportive way
  • Nature/grounding, Cold water therapy - when to use, when to avoid, benefits and possible harms. Eating seasonal, meal timing
  • Session key points and a few questions to check participants’ understanding of the session
  • Q and A

Session 3:  Understanding behaviour and how it impacts the HPA Axis

  • Patterns of behaviour- beliefs and value systems  - an overview. How some patterns and beliefs impact the HPA axis and AD
  • How our behaviour impacts our health in relation to AD, circadian rhythms, lifestyle and choice around foods
  • locus of control- setting boundaries and supporting the client to take responsibility
  • Individual exercise and short Q and A
  • Behavioural patterns that we see in clients with AD
  • How to begin to support behavioural change

Session 4 A:  Consolidating information learned/experiential learning

  • Present case study 1
  • Individual exercise and short Q and A, what’s going on - how to support?
  • Present case study 2
  • Individual exercise and short Q and A, what’s going on - how to support?
  • Session key points and a few questions to check participants’ understanding of the session
  • Q and A

Who is leading the course?

Claire Doherty MSc, BSc, DipION

Claire is a Nutritional therapist, Chartered Physiotherapist, Consultant Ergonomist and Transpersonal Coach.

She has over 29 years experience supporting clients in the health and wellness sector. After becoming unwell 11 years ago and experiencing adrenal dysregulation herself, Claire trained as a nutritional therapist with ION, which helped transform her health. Since then, Claire has supported a variety of people with symptoms of adrenal dysregulation. She began to notice that certain personality types and  patterns correlated more with this condition, and draws upon her psychology background to help clients become aware of, and make changes to the behaviours that impact their health. 

She runs a certified practitioner course, Archetypal Alchemy, which combines behavioural change and transpersonal coaching to help uncover the unconscious patterns and behaviours that contribute to life and health challenges, along with the tools and techniques to support impactful change.

How will I be taught?

ION’s CPD courses reflect best practice for online teaching and learning practice.  This is an edited recording of a live course. It contains presentations interspersed with anonymised case study data, individual exercises and recorded Q&A sessions. 

How much does it cost and what’s included?

  • The course price is £95.00
  • PDF of presentation  
  • Approx. 5 hours of edited recording 
  • You can access the course up to 12 times
  • BANT or NNA CPD 5 hours

Important information

About this on-demand recording

  • The speaker is not present on this recording and you will not be able to ask them questions but you will be able to see the recorded Q and A sessions.
  • This course was recorded in April 2024. All recordings are removed approximately one year after they are recorded so that we can ensure our courses contain up to date information. You will be able to access the course up to 12 times before the materials are taken down.

How do I book?

  • Please check you have read ION’s FAQs including our cancellation and refund policy before booking
  • Click the "BOOK" button at the top or bottom of this page - you will be taken to our webinar platform 'Big Marker' to purchase your ticket.
  • Please ensure you use the same name and email to register, login and purchase tickets on our website and any partner platforms.

Registration links and materials

  • You will be automatically sent a link to the course when you register. Please do not share this with anyone. This is set up to only allow entry to the first user that clicks it. Further links cannot be generated. 
  • Your booking confirmation email contains the password needed to access course materials (where applicable). Please type (rather than copying and pasting) this password when prompted and please ensure there are no spaces at the beginning or end. 
  • To download the course materials, click the HANDOUTS button in the video player (situated between the VOLUME and QUESTIONS buttons).  


  • Participation in an ION CPD course forms part of a practitioner's or individual's ongoing learning. It does not qualify a non-clinically trained practitioner or individual to work in a clinical setting. Individual’s boundaries of safe work, advice or practice are primarily determined by their formal qualifications and related personal insurance. 
  • This on-demand recording is recognised by BANT and the NNA for 5 hrs CPD  
  • Non BANT or NNA registered practitioners may use this course for their CPD depending on the requirements and guidance of their professional body.
  • ION cannot provide certificates for online courses

If you have a queries, please email [email protected]