by lisa | 13 August 2015 11:25
Earlier this year (in April) I went to see the doctor because I had been having terrible hot flashes for several months that were really impacting my quality of sleep. I went to this particular doctor because she specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement and I figured I should get my hormones tested. I’ve had all sorts of hormone issues for as long as I can remember and have been on and off many different medications for endometriosis since I was 20. She was wonderful and ended up testing more than my female hormones. She also ran an adrenal panel.
Turns out that my hormones weren’t as unbalanced as we both thought they would be, but she did start me on bioidentical progesterone to help with some estrogen dominance. The real shocker was that I was in the end stage of severe adrenal fatigue and was producing hardly any cortisol. She said she didn’t even know how I was getting out of bed in the morning, let alone making it through the day! I had just always thought of myself as a low energy person (a nice way to say lazy!) 😉 , but had never even considered the possibility of adrenal fatigue. I always thought that was just an issue for people who were super stressed or way over-trained.
Ok, so now what? I was already eating a very clean paleo diet and I quit my job (which was a major stressor) over a year ago and I was doing lots of things right for my health. What more could I do? Well, this is what I’m doing so far:
One of my big questions is ‘How did I end up here?’ I don’t feel like my life is stressful at all so I don’t think the adrenal fatigue is a result of that. The doctor said I’ve likely been in this state for a long time, so I suppose some of it could have started when my life was more stressful. Could the way I eat have something to do with it? I do tend to eat fairly low carb and I eat Whole30 style paleo most of the time. I did start tracking my calories and macros recently to see if I’m under eating and it turns out I am most of the time. I actually struggle to get above 1200 calories. That could certainly be a contributing factor. At the moment, I’m trying to eat more and to add more carbs in to see if that makes a difference. I have to be careful with the kind of carbs I eat because I tend to have blood sugar fluctuations and cravings if I eat fruit other than grapefruit and berries. You can read a bit more about diet and adrenal fatigue here and Diane Sanfilip of Balanced Bites has a good podcast which talks about the link between undereating and adrenal fatigue (link here).
It’s a journey and my doctor told me recovery could take as long as two years. All of the efforts I’ve listed above have not really impacted how I feel (yet) and I’ll need to do some follow up testing every few months to see if I’m making any progress.
I’d love to hear any advice or to hear about your experience with adrenal fatigue, so be sure to share in the comments 🙂
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