Do You Suffer From Adrenal Exhaustion? My Story of Recovery

by lydia on January 11, 2012

Some of you might be saying, ‘what on earth is adrenal exhaustion?‘….. I’ll start with my story.

Without going into too many personal details, I will trace my failing health back to when I became pregnant with my first child. It was the most stressful year of my life, at the time, for many reasons that I won’t go into. I nearly went into a breakdown – no, actually, I did break down, again and again. This was also the time of my life I decided to become a vegetarian. My reasoning,  I honestly didn’t see the need to eat meat, chew it, digest it,  not to mention it seemed like something ‘trendy’ to do at the time. Plus I thought it was healthier and honestly knew that most meat available was garbage. So, in the midst of my very stressful pregnancy I became a vegetarian. Not the smartest move in the book based on what I know now, but more on that another time.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I started to have complications. My Dr. noticed, at 33-34 weeks gestation I was 3 cm dilated and somewhat effaced. Enough so to worry them. Plus when they hooked me up to a monitor they saw contractions (which I never felt), so needless to say I ended up on bed rest and drugs. I ended up in the hospital for 8 days, with a catheter and on a high dosage of procardia (which was given to me to slow down my uterine contractions and help me from going into early labor). Of course at the time I felt I did not really have a say in my own health care and was scared to death myself, but deep down I wasn’t cool with what was going on. The entire time I was in the hospital I was constipated, perhaps you can attest to how awful that can be. That is stressful enough even without all the other problems I was dealing with. Anyway, my Dr. sent me home on bedrest with this awful drug to take. My baby was in a breech position feet first as well and this was very concerning seeing as how I was dilating already.  So for 3 weeks I had to lay low and I did not enjoy that.

One day I found I was having a really bad asthma attack and no way to deal with it,  so I took myself into the hospital and ended up spending the night for observation. A few weeks later the Dr.’s wanted to try this procedure to turn my baby out of breech position by manipulating externally on my belly with their hands. They gave me some type of muscle relaxant and proceed to dig in and try and turn him. Think of it,  two grown men’s hands on your fully preganant belly digging deep in around the baby’s head and butt to try and rotate him. It was likely the most painful experience of my life. Needless to say the procedure didn’t work. I was less than thrilled, rather distraught actually. I went home and that night woke in the middle of the night to a pop in my lower belly.  My water  had burst. And boy did it ever burst! Off to the hospital I went with the contractions coming on like a fast moving train. I got to the hospital and I was 8 cm dilated and almost fully thinned out. The nurses panicked and rushed to prep me for a c-section. I was heartbroken. I really had hoped to try and deliver naturally, and had not embraced the idea of a c-section. Since my baby was still breech there was no other option but for them to do a c-section. The surgery was quick, but my reaction was rather awful. I felt the most out of control that I had ever felt in my whole life just when I didn’t want to be. I couldn’t even hold my child until I came out of recovery. To me it was traumatic, namely because I did not want to go through it.  I have now come to terms with it all, but at the time it rocked my world.

Fast forward to being a single mom and not knowing what my future held.  That short period of my life was internally stressful and I never truly dealt with my own emotions and fears in regards to it all. By the time my son was close to 2, I was married. Not long into my marriage, I realized I was under some intense stress due to issues that came up. I was involved in a church that I now know sucked the very life out of me. Ultimately I allowed it to, but I won’t go into all of that here. My second child was born 4 1/2 years after my first, giving my body adequate time to recover had I not been under undo stress. Not to mention, I still, for the most part was a vegetarian. Though I did eat fish from time to time, I had spent several years consuming soy products, a very poor uneducated choice on my part. I can’t imagine the damage it did to my whole body’s ecosystem. I did return to eating meat fully while pregnant with my second child and had a normal vaginal birth. So seemingly things in my life were going better. Though deep down I knew I wasn’t truly happy and my true self was buried underneath a lot of heavy weights that were overtaking my life. The following year I had a miscarriage. I was devastated and never really embraced the why of it all. I now understand it and accept it, but it took me a long time. That same year we decided to move to another state. My husband was laid off from his job to take on a job with a start up company with no prospects. But something in me thought we needed to go. I now realize I was scrambling for something other than the hell I was living in, though I didn’t realize it was hell. Things got way worse when we moved, and I won’t go into details, but suffice it say, it was ugly.  And now I was far away from home and everything I knew. Not to mention the new church we became a part of had a very oppressive atmosphere and only managed to make our life much worse. The very week we moved into our house I found out I was pregnant again. I suffered the worst sinus migraines and infections of my life during that pregnancy (with no health insurance).  I spent most of my days depressed and in bed in excruciating pain from the sinus issues with chronic aching pain all down one side of my body.

During my pregnancy my husband’s father was emitted to the ICU and kept there for a month. All of his organs began to fail one by one and he eventually passed away. After his death and funeral, we began to question whether we should move back home. We began to look for houses,  the whole time doing so I was very uneasy. We eventually decided to stay in NY, and a few months later bought a house there, and moved in one month before I was due with my 3rd child.

My son was born, the labor and delivery went smoothly. Going home from the hospital was not so great. Again, I won’t go into to details, but I was not in a healthy situation whatsoever. It was a very stressful next few years. I became pregnant again with my fourth child when my 3rd son was only a little over a year old. I eventually decided to pack up my kids and go back to Pa and stay with my parents for awhile. That next year was PURE hell. But, it also brought me to a place of getting free from a lot of the bondage in my mind and I began to stand up and fight for the first time. Something I should have done long before.  I was so adrenally exhausted at that point, I literally stopped trying to do anything more than just survive. Spent lots of time reading and sleeping. It was really all I could do. Had I had my adrenals tested at that point I am sure the tests would have shown severe fatigue.

Less than two years later I filed for divorce. And the journey to my healing truly began. Adrenal fatigue plagues more and more people in these modern times. I mentioned all the things in my life that were deeply stressful on an emotional level, but didn’t even go very much into my dietary habits. For the most part I was a ‘health’ conscious person. I got into eating grass fed meats, sprouting my grains, soaking my nuts, growing my own sprouts, trying to lower my sugar, so on and so forth. But I still lived in a spiral of being addicted to sugar. Add that to the intense stress from my life and my body could not support itself. I lived with chronic pain, migraines, sinus issues, asthmatic bronchitis (a form of asthma), horrific debilitating PMS and ovulation pain that could have hospitalized me. My health was failing greatly, right alongside my overall failing life.

Thankfully, I decided to change all that and began to fight for myself in more ways than one. I knew enough to ditch processed foods altogether. I began to take magnesium supplements, purchase grass fed meats again, started eating good fats, started fermenting my vegetables and making kombucha, made sure I got good quality sleep, taught myself to only breath through my nose while I slept, began exercising and overall just embraced my health. I knew I needed to make drastic forward motion. I didn’t want to live in that hellish state of being anymore. And do you know what? Slowly but surely I began to regain my health. It wasn’t until the fall of 2009 that I ever read the book; ‘Adrenal Fatigue’. And boy, was it a slam dunk! I finally realized what my body was under and I began to implement more of the overall foundational dietary truths into my life that I had been learning through the Weston A. Price Foundation.

My next health malady to really kick in was a bout of hypoglycemia that caused me to almost pass out many times. I would get blurry vision, edgy and shakey. I finally realized I needed to get rid of sugars and carbs and that it was contributing to my issue with adrenal fatigue. I slowly but surely got out the sugars, though not ever completely, and kept eating good fats increasingly. The following spring I learned I had to go gluten free and even avoid grains because of the effect they had on my digestion. All this played into my adrenal fatigue as well. It’s all correlated. And from what I know now, it makes complete sense. Much of our overall health depends on our blood sugar being well regulated and our adrenal glands being in good function. Our adrenals will not get healthy or stay healthy if we don’t deal with blood sugar imbalances. And our endocrine system problems will not ever be addressed or balanced without first addressing our blood sugar imbalances. It can be an ongoing downward spiral, and as I talk to more and more people I see this occurring across the board.

I shared all that to show a real life story of how adrenal fatigue sets in. Stress causes our bodies to create cortisol, excess stress causes more cortisol, too much cortisol causes our bodies to go into overdrive and we get out of balance – REALLY out of balance!  Chronic stress creates a chronic overproduction of cortisol. When this occurs our liver takes a hit as it is responsible to deal with these excess hormones, but in such a mass overload dose it’s effectiveness decreases. The pancreas also gets hammered. When cortisol levels are elevated, insulin receptors on cells do not respond adequately to insulin. This puts a strain on the pancreas to secrete more insulin in order to transport glucose into the cells. This leads to high insulin levels and all the adverse impacts that come along with it (think hypoglycemia and/or diabetes). Also the reproductive system may take a major hit as well since adrenal function is favored over reproduction, metabolic rate and other endocrine function. The adrenal glands are therefore allowed to “steal” nutrients and hormonal precursors from the rest of the endocrine system. A whole host of myriad ways could be further drawn out to show just how adrenal fatigue can effect the overall homeostasis of the human body. By now I am assuming I got your attention and helped you to consider this as a very real possibility in your own life.

The beautiful thing is, you can recover. You can even thrive again. The best thing you can do for yourself is acknowledge what is going on in your body,  and then dive in to healing your own body. Take it one day at a time and before you know it you will be looking back at the ‘old suffering you’ through new rose colored glasses. I promise it’s possible!

I now no longer suffer to the extreme degree from the  health maladies I described above in my testimony and am continuing to further my health day by day. My health is still not perfect (remember I am a single mother with a lot of stress in my life) but thankfully my adrenals have regained some strength since that time.

Do you suffer from fatigue, chronic fatigue, depression, lack of vitality, blood sugar issues, insomnia, sleep disorders, overall exhaustion or eat a highly refined diet? These could all be symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Don’t wait until your health gets worse -take action today – a simple hair analysis can tell you the current state of your adrenal glands.

 

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{ 50 comments }

Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures January 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

GREAT post. Looking forward to the giveaway!

lydia January 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

Thanks Lea! The giveaway is up now!

Laurie January 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I was just diagnosed YESTERDAY with adrenal fatigue. Fortunately for me, I stopped going to a regular doctor and started seeing a homeopathic doctor a year ago. He has been doing wonderful things for me but I had one more test that revealed that my adrenal glands are HIGHLY STRESSED, my blood sugar is all over the place, I am tired, my back aches, headaches, etc. My body can’t absorb minerals either. I already eat a grass fed beef, free range chicken, organic food (we grow most of our own food), coconut oil, butter, raw dairy from our jersey cow…. but still I am a mess. I need that book to see what else I can do. I lacto-ferment food, drink Kombucha, etc. Any advice would be much appreciated. Bless you for this article. How timely!

lydia January 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

Laurie – so glad you are able to know what is going on and get help from a homeopath. My best advice to you is to really focus on self nuturing. Rest as much as you can, take up something like yoga to soothe your body and strengthen it, and I’d say tackle your blood sugar issues. Get the sugars and starches out for awhile and give your body a break – you can’t tackle adrenal issues fully unless you really deal with your blood sugar disregulation. Also, make sure to enter the giveaway – the book is a great resource! Peace to you!

FarmgirlCyn (Cindy) January 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Amazing testimony, Lydia. Amazing. Thank you for putting this out there for all to see. I am sure this will be a blessing to others who might be suffering from the same things.

lydia January 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

Aw, you are welcome Cindy and thanks to you too!

Suzanne January 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Great story that gives so much hope to me and others. I’m looking forward to the book giveaway.

lydia January 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

I sure hope so!

Giveaway is up now!

Melanie Christner January 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Great post, Lydia. You are inspiring:-)

lydia January 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thanks Mel!

Sally January 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

Really inspiring Lydia. Many thanks for sharing. I suspect I am also suffering from adrenal fatigue after 5 years of excessive stress (starting from being pregnant with my daughter and through the ensuing battles of being a single mother etc). It’s encouraging to hear that there can be an end to it. xx

lydia January 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

You are welcome Sally – thanks for your comment – I wish you all the best in your recovery!

Megs January 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

I have loved following along the latter part of your journey, Lydia. Excited for what’s happening in your life and what’s to come!

There’s only a glorious horizon ahead~

Love,
Megs

lydia January 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

Yes there is Megs -thanks for your kind words! Much love!

Christine January 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi Lydia,

Thank you for sharing your story! I have been suffering with adrenal fatigue for several years now with a couple episodes of ‘hell’ thrown in there to fuel the fire. I have also been suffering from ovulation pain for years (since after my first child was born 10 years ago). It seems lately like the pain each month is getting more and more debilitating. Can you share some of the specifics you did to eradicate your adrenal fatigue and your ovulation pain? I did GAPS last year for 3 months and it did nothing for my adrenal fatigue or my ov. pain.

Thanks!

Melanie Christner January 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hi Christine,

Just a quick observation from doing GAPS for 10 months. It may take more than 3 months and it also may take some extra supplemental help for serious adrenal fatigue. My cycles/pain improved incrementally every month on GAPS but it was slow and not instant.

lydia January 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hey Christine!

I can certainly share more, though I just have to say we are all different and since I don’t know specifically what you are dealing with what I may share may or may not be exactly what you need. That said, I agree with Melanie’s comment about how it can take time – but I never did GAPS – so it is possible to heal outside of it as well. (but I am a big supporter of the GAPS protocol!)
Okay, this is how I started out – just remember this is what worked for me and I hereby disclaim I a not a doctor (blah blah blah) The very first thing I did and I really think was what helped my ovulation/PMS issues the most, was to take magnesium. I started out by taking 1200 mg. a day and continued to do so for about 3 months before I lowered my dose. I read Magnesium Miracle and learned a lot from Anne Louise Gittleman about mag. I knew I needed it I was so depleted (long story) but I also learned it takes several years get magnesium cellular levels up. I still take magnesium daily but at a much lower dose – I find a couple times a month during the two parts of my cycle I need to up it again for a few days. The second thing I did was up my fats, starting with coconut oil – I really think the coconut oil did a lot for those issues as well. Then from there, I continued to up my fats and proteins, went very low carb for awhile (am only just now able to handle a bit more starches in my diet), I do a sugar detox 3-4 times per year to reign my sugar consumption in, but for the most part I eat very little sugars. ( I am sure I could still improve in this area). I also was going to a therapist (counseling if you will) to deal with all the issues in my life, or really to just have a safe place to work through stuff. I can’t recommend that enough -it’s a great way to focus on yourself in such a helpful way and process through all the muck in your life!
One last thought for you, are you still lifting heavy? I got into lifting heavy and had to stop because I realized my adrenals weren’t ready for it last summer, since I was in the middle of selling my house and not knowing where I was gonna move it was too much – I felt myself slipping back into adrenal fatigue and had to take a break (not to mention I threw my back out – another sign my adrenals weren’t ready). So, I am just throwing that out there. Obviously I don’t know all the aspects of your personal adrenal issues, but I can say that it takes time – took me 1 1/2 years to get grounded and then even 2 1/2 years to still treat myself as though I am adrenally challenged so as to not fall back into it. My adrenals are very low priority any more, so long as I can stay out of intense stress and keep my sugars very low.
Also I did not consume caffeine for several years and I think that is very important too. (not even tea – I only just started drinking tea again this past summer) – So out of all of that, I hope something helps you – email me if you want to trouble shoot some more!

lydia January 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I forgot to mention how important consuming high fat and cholesterol is to the health of the adrenal glands. (sometimes I just think it’s a given since I am so immersed in consuming copious amounts of fat daily!) Think cod liver oil, butter, lard, oily fish & other animal fats.

Christine January 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thank you Lydia for sharing those details. I honestly feel so terrible and drained doing low carb, and I felt so l

Christine January 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Sorry, I felt such low energy doing GAPS. But, my menstrual and ovulation cramps are getting so bad I can’t take it any more. And, yes, I am heavy lifting once per week at a private gym, even doing some power lifting now. Even though I love it, at this moment in time, I am feeling compelled to stop and start doing yoga instead. I need more sleep, that’s for sure but I have a hard time falling asleep at night. I am thinking of going back to GAPS again, but doing the diet for longer this time.

lydia January 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Christine – People with adrenal fatigue tend to have low blood sugar. (remember my bout with hypoglycemia I mentioned). How frequently were you eating meals and snacks. It is recommended for anyone with blood sugar handling issues to eat frequently to avoid letting the blood sugar drop too low. So maybe 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks a day. Obviously GAPS foods are all great! You may need to do this for awhile to get your blood sugar regulated. Lots of good fats, lots of good proteins not too many starchy carbs. What happens is if you once used to energize yourself with sweets, carbs or caffeine you did so at the expense of your adrenals – so now the blood sugar issues are way out of whack and need to be reeled in big time! Anyway, not sure that’s all true for you – but it is common in many people and in the case of the adrenal glands being severely depleted so I though I’d share!

Lori February 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thank you for sharing the often unrecognized undercurrent of stress that will put a person right into adrenal fatigue. My life didn’t feel like a mess at the time, no one really thought I was a mess – but I’ll tell you, looking back, the years leading up to my sons pregnancies were a mess. The severe hyperemesis of each pregnancy kicked off my terrible health imbalances and now I am deep in chronic fatigue. I am so similar to you with eating a health conscious diet in years past, but now realizing the lack of fat, nutrients, addition of soy, all contributed greatly to the breakdown of my body. Thank you for sharing such vital information about any chaos in a person’s life and how it can directly contribute to adrenal/chronic/thyroid issues. This is a very difficult message to convey to people that haven’t gone through it. Kudos to you.

Mike January 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

Lydia,

Thank you for sharing your story. I have recovered from this one time….then over a short period my father passed away very unexpectedly at a young age, few months later my mother had heart problems, I had a son, the company i worked for got shut down, I started my own business then bam my adrenal fatigue was back.

I am struggling right now with deciding to try and keep the new business going or pack it in before i get too stressed and it brings me down. I have been recovering over the last 3 months even while having a bad chest infection. I am stressing as I am not sure what to do in my life.

How long did your recovery take?

lydia February 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

Mike,

I’m sorry to hear about your father. I really believe once we ‘trash’ our adrenals, it’s all too easy to do it again. Stress (cortisol output) is the biggest adrenal zapper.

My own recovery out of deep fatigue did not take terribly long, maybe 6 months. However, I still have to live as though I have adrenal fatigue (because I still have some degree of it) and I work very hard to keep stress low, maintain adequate sleep, supplements and clean diet low in sugar/starch.

I recommend finding a way to reduce the stress burden in your life and supporting yourself through that season with some adaptogens, supplements and a clean diet! Get sleep too! The adrenals restore themselves during the hours of 11 pm – 1 am. Make sure you are sound asleep before 11 pm as often as possible!

Hope that helps!

Lydia

kristen February 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I am working on recovering from stage II adrenal fatigue. I’ve been very active since a young age and overstressed throughout college brought me to a breaking point. It’s amazing when I look back and wonder how I didn’t realize I was so bad! Liquid ionic minerals and fermented foods have been a lifesaver for me. My cycle is all off from being on birth control for 10 years from the rec from my dr. to help regulate my period. Worst mistake ever, not too mention the candida and parasite infection from hell. My digestion was so bad. I’ve done 2 master cleanses so far and it really helped to clean me out. Still working up to an advanced cleanse. Now I’m going at least 2-3x per day regularly. Also working on including all the good saturated fats/cholesterol and bioidentical hormones to get my period going again.

Tammy February 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm

A Friend of mine told me about a year ago that she thought My adrenals were all out of whack and that I had Adrenal fatigue. My entire life , from childhood till now has been extremely stressful > ( Beatings till I bled from dad all of my childhood, marriage to an alcoholic and bipolar husband , still married to him, miscarriage, death of our only son which they said was suicide-he was 30 years old, and May 23rd will be 4 years he’s been gone. We do have two daughters , one older one younger than our son. But I just can’t seem to get out from under all the stress. I suffer with anxiety and panic disorder, OCD, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think I really do need help and need to try to heal my adrenal glands, etc. have never heard of this book but please enter me into the give away for the free book. Thanks

Natalie February 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm

About 3 years ago, I gave birth to my daughter and a month after giving birth, I stopped sleeping. I have lost the vitality of life and have absolutely no energy. I believe my adrenals are completely exhausted and I have no idea how to recuperate. Please enter me in the giveaway so that I might get a chance at getting my life back again. Thank you.

Melissa February 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

Great post!

I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue a month ago. I am looking forward to feeling better again!

Erin February 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

Lydia, I have this post bookmarked and have gone back to read it multiple times. You are so brave to put all this information out there!

I was very recently diagnosed with stage 3 adrenal fatigue by a saliva test given to me by my integrative doctor here in PA. I’m working with both this integrative physician and a naturopathic nutritionist in the area. The diagnosis was scary and I’m still assimilating the information now. I keep reminding myself that this could progress to Addison’s and I need to take it seriously. I’m taking a month of sick leave from my full time job in the city. I’ve been a full time worker from a very young age so this is both a wake up call and a frightening experience to have to ask for help and time off. My family has been very supportive and I’ve been building a support community around me (my husband, mom, a coworker and close friend). It’s so important to have this community because with fatigue you cannot do it alone.

I also went vegetarian one and a half years ago and vegan a few months ago in order to help heal my back pain. I’ve now decided to start eating fish and eggs again. I like the idea of controlling everything you eat (and that’s why veganism really appealed to me) but now I realize that there really is no one diet that works for everyone. Ending my vegetarian diet was a really hard decision for me. I don’t love eating meat and I haven’t missed it. Stopping eating sugar has been even more difficult, but it is a complete necessity if I want to heal myself.

I thank God for the food that I eat, for the money I have to buy it, for my ability to learn to prepare it for myself and for the people who are on my wellness team.

Thanks for the post – you are an inspiration!

lydia February 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Erin,

I have to say I think it’s really great that you can take a leave from work and just let yourself rest and heal. I know too many people that could stand to do that for a time. Thankfully, I was able to have some level of rest time awhile ago and I think that went a long way for me. So, as hard as it may, try to enjoy this ‘down time’ if you can. It really is critical for your health, as you well know. There indeed is no ‘one diet’ that works for everyone, however there are critical nutrients essential to life and that is the question we need to ask when we are deciding on our dietary intake. I’m glad to hear you are eating fish and eggs again! I wish you all the best on your healing journey!

Kim March 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I am so happy to hear that I am not alone in this fight. I only recently heard about adrenal fatigue. I have Hashimoto’s Disease and ocd. I have pretty much given up on doctors helping me and rely on sites like this one. I just found out that I have adrenal fatigue as well. I have to watch the supplements that I take. My body is very sensitive. For some reason certain supplements set off my ocd symptoms to the point where I feel like I am loosing my mind. So I pretty much have to rely on food as my healing power along with prayer of course. I have cut out dairy and gluten from my diet. I know I have to cut out all carbs and sugar from my diet as well, but I am doing it in baby steps. I was getting severe migraines as well, but they seem to be getting better. I have tried magnesium, but unfortunately this sets my ocd symptoms and gives me a headache. I you would have any other suggestions I would love to hear it.

Thanks for starting this website. Again, it has helped me realize that I am not alone in this fight.

Beth June 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue a month ago. My family doctor/chiropractor/kinesiologist recommended I take the supplement Drenimin. Four pills in the morning and four at lunch. It is pricey – you can buy the Standard Process Drenimin on amazon -but worth it. The energy I got immediately made me forget I have adrenal problems and I have to work hard to remember to keep taking them because of it. I applaud everyone for taking such measures in their diet. That certainly is key to healing internally and preventing illness.

lydia June 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

Beth, I’m glad you are having some success with supplementation! I’ve heard of that product but have not used it. Hopefully, you won’t have to take if for too long and you’ll get your natural energy back soon! Peace!

Elizabeth July 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

I also suffer from adrenal fatigue. A homeopath figured it out. I was also on a vegan diet. I had bipolar which was caused by poor digestion and the homeopath cured it with remedies and digestive enzymes from enzymedica. I no longer get treated for bipolar and am completely stable without anything but digestive enzymes. My adrenal fatigue has caused my hormone production to shut down , so I am infertile and don’t ovulate. I don’t know if I will ever get pregnant or if I will ever start ovulating again. I am prediabetic and now controlling my blood sugars buying organic food and eating organic grass fed meat and vegetables and dairy. I exercise by walking twice a day 3o minutes and trying to do a bit of weight lifting too, but if you have adrenal fatigue you can’t do too much exercise, or it will make it worse.

Good luck to all of you on the healing journey. I hope we learn to slow down and not take on too much.

lydia February 21, 2014 at 10:09 am

Good luck to you as well Elizabeth -here’s to live life one day at a time!

barbara rae September 4, 2013 at 2:50 am

I just wondered why most don’t post how to check your adrenal gland fatigue by first laying down for 5 minutes then that your blood pressure laying down. Then stand up immediately and take your blood pressure again. If the top number is higher while laying down and lower when standing, the difference is around how much your adrenal gland is not functioning. I have a Dr. that has helped me a lot with natural supplements. I wish everyone knew about this simple test.

lydia February 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

It is a very good test and it’s one I can do on myself at home, but most people don’t have a cooperative doctor or the ability to take their own blood pressure. It’s definitely a useful tool to know about but not the only way to determine AF – a simple quiz or questionnaire can be helpful, an ASI is a much better more concise assessment along with HTMA. At least that’s what I use with my clients it helps to know how to support each individual person right where they are at!

marian September 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

this story has given me hope of recovery. thank you for sharing. I was diagnosed with stage 3 adrenal exhaustion 8 months ago after a collapse at work. since then I suffer from anxiety attacks, hypoglycemia, estrogen demoniance, vertigo and the list goes on. im seeing a great doctor who is helping me to heal my adrenals but at times cant help but feel I will never get better. every time I crash I feel helpless!
how long did it take you to recover? and once you recovered did you feel at your best?
I cant find many success stories out there so im glad I came across yours.
ive gone all organic and did a parasite infusion to get rid of a parasitic infection. this is my first step to healing.
I cant wait until im back in my feet to enjoy life again.

Amy February 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Are you feeling any better yet? Has anything helped?

lydia February 21, 2014 at 10:04 am

Yes Amy – but it’s still an ongoing journey. I use adaptogenic herbs and glandulars as needed, I don’t need them daily anymore. Getting rid of major body burdens is helpful and managing overall life stress is a big part. It’s difficult when you can’t avoid stress and as a single mom with a small business, I run into stress whether I like it or not. So I really make a huge effort to care for myself so I don’t relapse!

lydia February 21, 2014 at 10:06 am

From deep fatigue it took about 8-9 months of focused effort on my recovery with mostly just rest and therapy. That got me to stage 2 (almost out of it) and eventually to stage 1. However, during more stressful times I find I slip back into stage 2. Getting rid of parasites is a huge body burden relief, so I’m sure that will greatly impact your recovery! Hang in there!

Angela England December 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I was in college when my adrenal fatigue kicked in – big time! Looking back it’s a wonder I survived as long as I did into my senior year – double major/minor (22+ hours in performing arts classes plus productions and late night rehearsals) plus two or three different jobs = insanity and lots of fast food and very little sleep. By the Christmas break I was dizzy, my hair was falling out, my weight was down to 95 pounds, my nails looked awful, I would pass out…it was…BAD. Drs tried to give me anti-depressants and basically had nothing useful to share at all. It took me passing out after two weeks off (I niavely thought I just needed a “little more sleep”) with school set to start the next day for me to realize that this was serious and I needed to STOP.

lydia February 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

Good thing you figured that out Angela! Sometimes we can fall into AF and not even realize it because pretty much everyone lives life in this way – overstressed, overworked, party hard, go go go go go! It’s far too common and misunderstood!

Leanne May 7, 2014 at 11:14 pm

A great story! Thanks for allowing us to read it. Two years ago, after the birth if our sixth child, my adrenals gave up. I had never heard of adrenal fatigue until recently. Fortunately we eat very well so I think that my recovery will hopefully be fairly soon. We raise our own grass fed meats and dairy. Also have a huge garden, all organic.
I was hoping you could help me with one thing. Someone has already mentioned much pain during ovulation. Going to try mag as you suggested. One thing I haven’t tried. Another thing is constipation. I just can’t seem to kick it no matter what I do! I find something new to try, works for 3 days, then I’m back constipated! Would the mag take care of that?
Also, my weight! Driving me crazy! I’m gluten free. Have been for 14 years. There’s no reason for me to have these extra pounds. I know it’s a progesterone issue and that the adrenals take progesterone to make cortisol so I’ve started on progesterone cream. I have an issue with not enough progesterone anyway. I’m hoping that makes some changes. We’ll see.
Thanks for your time!

lydia May 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi Leane,

I’m glad my story was helpful to you!

I wish you well in your recovery, but give yourself time to heal. Six kids is a lot and with that will come stress regardless. Stress can lead to weight gain and also make it hard to lose. Also if your hormones are out of balance that can cause weight issues. Please please work with someone with the progesterone cream -it’s imperative that you are tested BEFORE using them and checked regularly to see the results of it’s use. I don’t recommend using them on your own it can end up making things worse believe it or not.

Sleep and stress management will go a long way to supporting you -if you are not getting good sleep to begin with all the hormone replacement in the world won’t fix the issues. Hope that helps!

Leanne May 9, 2014 at 12:46 am

Thank you. I am taking progesterone on the advice of my midwife. The reason being is that during pregnancy and up until 6 weeks after I’m very thin. As soon as I hit 8 weeks post partum I suddenly gain 30 pounds. The only difference is progesterone.
While I didn’t have my cycle we didn’t really want to do progesterone. However now that I am we are trying this. It’s one of the few things that actually make sense.
Anyhow, going to try magnesium and see if this helps. I did notice that my ovulation pain only lasted half the amount of time it normally does this month so that is an encouraging improvement!

lydia May 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

Glad to hear you are working with someone on this and you are feeling better. I realize now I missed replying to you about the magnesium – and yes, certain forms of magnesium are helpful in flushing/purging the bowels. Magnesium stimulates good muscle contraction and peristalsis throughout the intestines and works to hydrate the stool. Typically, magnesium carbonate and magnesium sulfate are the forms used to relieve constipation. Start with about 600 mg or so and work up by adding 100 mg more per day until you get a loose but formed stool. I always recommend getting a 100 mg dosage -take the bulk of your dose in the evening since bigger doses can be quite relaxing.

Julie April 20, 2015 at 10:30 pm

I just wanted to say that what is helping me is very low dose bio-identical hormones, and very small amounts of the tincture eluthero (siberian ginseng) for 4 days and then small amounts (like 2 drops a day) of ashwaganda tinture. There are so many helpful herbs. Licorice root is the best, but right now I only can take one drop every few days. Herbs can really support adrenal health, but you have to start at a very low dose and build up like 1 drop every few days or a week. Also I use sea salt in my water, and powdered vitamin C.

Amanda January 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Man this hit home. Thanks for posting this. I was diagnosed with Hashis beginning of last year which went into remission thankfully but than became hypo. Still I knew something was wrong. Seeing a new naturopath and she thinks it’s my adrenals so waiting on my 24 hour coristol test but I already know it’s gonna be out of whack. My question to you is about the low carb thing- I’ve heard more professionals and people with adrenal fatigue talk about how low carb is bad for the adrenals! They recommend paleo type carbs or “safe starches” like white rice and somewhere around 150 grams per day. Also I am lifting heavy I’m definitely guilty of over exercising but literally can’t stop. I’ve scaled back but I had eating disorders for years and I can’t stand my body When I’m not lifting. I feel like a hopeless case. But I’m a single mom of a 4 and 2 year old and I’m doing horribly without any family and their dad being military overseas so I need to pull it together. Definitely going to look into the therapy thing because I’m dealing with so much anger towards their father..

Laura June 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

White Rice is not the best carb for adrenal fatigue. Why, because all the goodness has been striped away. This is not the case with brown rice. Carbs are ok in moderation – brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread – that have the whole grain retained and not removed. There is very little nutritional in the white counterparts. If you have AF, your adrenals needs a huge amount of nourishment as they are stressed. You are probably depleted of a lot of nutrients as a result and need to constantly supply your body with the best of nutrition. Please read Dr James Wilson’s book ‘Adrenal Fatigue in the 21st Century’. I have AF for 17 months now, it’s severe, I’m following his recovery plan and after 3 months I’m doing quite well. A way to go yet, but I’m like a different person. He also has supplements available including live adrenal gland extracts from pigs which is the best food you can feed fatigued adrenals. See Adrenalfatigue.org – they also have a customer service email address on the site for any questions you may have. The book above has saved my life ! No joke! I wish you well and positive blessings of health.

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