If your stress level remains excessive for a prolonged length of time, the adrenal glands respond by producing the adrenal hormone, cortisol, continually. This over-exertion taxes the adrenal glands to the point where the glands are unable to produce the necessary levels of cortisol to keep up with the demand; and subsequently these drastically diminished levels of cortisol eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. This hormone imbalance induced fatigue affects all the other hormones in the body, producing a chain-like reaction. While attempting to maintain high cortisol production to manage the chronic stress levels, the adrenal glands are unable to maintain the production of other necessary hormones. One such hormone is DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is vital to maintaining the balance of hormones in your body and low amounts of this important hormone contribute to adrenal fatigue symptoms.