goop bsGwyneth Paltrow has been on a PR push because she is so “effing tired” and wants everyone to know that she has found the cause of her mysterious ailment, adrenal fatigue, and you too can apparently cure/prevent this by buying her carefully curated supplements for $90 a month.

I know I said I was going on a GOOP cleanse, but this has a major harm factor. Adrenal fatigue is the snake oil jackpot that keeps giving and giving. All kinds of self appointed experts like to do expensive  yet useless tests to make the diagnosis and then prescribe supplements that you will have to take forever to stave off this mystery illness. Because people will never feel better (as adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist) the answer is continual tweaking of the supplements. I have seen people pay tens of thousands of dollars a year for this kind of “therapy,” however, GOOP and Paltrow’s plan to cash in on the adrenal fatigue bonanza will only set you back $90 a month! Why sell a woman one single useless vaginal jade egg for $66 when you can sell her useless supplements for a non-existent diagnosis for $90 a month for ever!  

Here is a recent review article on adrenal fatigue with this summary:

Two concluding remarks emerge from this systematic review: (1) the results of previous studies were contradictory using all the methods for assessing fatigue and the HPA axis, and (2) the most appropriate methods to assess the HPA axis were not used to evaluate fatigue. Therefore, “AF” requires further investigation by those who claim for its existence. 

The National Endocrine Society, meaning board certified endocrinologists, says adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist. This is the information they provide on the subject.  Here’s  a summary of their points:

  • “Adrenal fatigue” is not a real medical condition. There are no scientific facts to support the theory that long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress drains the adrenal glands and causes many common symptoms.
  • Adrenal insufficiency is a real disease diagnosed through blood tests.
  • There is no test that can detect adrenal fatigue.

Doctors see women (and probably men, but just not my demographic) every day tricked by this. It is wrong and potentially dangerous. Every news outlet giving her a boost for pushing her witchcraft should be ashamed of themselves.

Gwyneth Paltrow is nothing but a snake oil sorceress and she should be ashamed of pushing her worried wellness onto the world.

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  1. Speaking as someone who had adrenocortical cancer and fortunate enough to have survived it by 4.5 yrs my intuition based on knowledge gleaned from medics and from a wider understanding of my circumstances my view is you cannot be 100% sure in your assertion . Just because the medical profession hasn’t found out how to test for something, doesn’t mean it – the issue – doesn’t exist.

    1. T Hughes,

      That argument has been made to justify astrology, crystal worship, and all manner of magical thinking.

      There is something called scientific study, and it requires more than intuition. Peer review, for a start. Does it not bother you AT ALL that none of this quackery is ever submitted, let alone passed muster, to any scientific peer review? Theory, hypothesis, experimentation… the REASON none of it ever passes muster is because it is utter bullshit.

      1. And when it is subjected to peer review, often the findings are that the study was (perhaps deliberately) so poorly designed that no firm conclusions can be drawn, which only fuels the problem because the central tactic here is to create doubt in the public’s mind (hey, maybe there’s something to this if they haven’t actually refuted it!). Or–more typically–when the rare study that can be seriously assessed is subjected to peer review and flunks, the cranks and quacks scream “PRO-PHARMA BIAS!!”

  2. I’m certainly not a GOOP lover. My husband bought me one of her cookbooks, and just reading it made me lose my appetite. Your post compelled me to look at the site, and SERIOUSLY??? The jade eggs, the vaginal steaming, the overpriced vitamins? What a load of garbage. I cannot believe women fall for this stuff. Thanks for being a voice of sanity!

    On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Dr. Jen Gunter wrote:

    > Dr. Jen Gunter posted: “Gwyneth Paltrow has been on a PR push because she > is so “effing tired” and wants everyone to know that she has found the > cause of her mysterious ailment, adrenal fatigue, and you too can > apparently cure/prevent this by buying her carefully curated supplem” >

  3. Thank you for your ever insightful blog posts. As someone who struggles with health anxiety and a healthy? dose of hypochondria, I often get swept up by “illness trends” and need sources of information to drag me away from the idea that spending more money will make me feel better.

  4. ” know I said I was going on a GOOP cleanse

    Should we hold an intervention? 😄

    I know too many people online who claim they have ~adrenal fatigue~. They jump from imaginary diagnosis to imaginary diagnosis, like frogs crossing a pond.

  5. Wow, they’ve pulled that old BS off the shelf again. I can remember that one being touted around in the 70s. It’s like a bad penny, it just keeps coming back.

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