This post is about my experience with adrenal fatigue and some thoughts on how to combat the tiredness.
My energy level is terribly low. My entire life I’ve never been very energetic and in the past year to my dismay I’ve been slowing down even more. I had to see my primary care physician last Friday and she agreed to do a full panel thyroid test (the typical test comes back normal more often than not but the full panel shows more information). I have suspected my thyroid is functioning low due to my low basal temperatures. Two of my sisters have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my mother has symptoms as well.
Running out of energy can cost you money. You don’t feel like cooking so you opt to stop at a fast food joint. Maybe you run out of energy running errands and decide to go back another day. Thankfully we don’t experience these problems too often since there are two other cooks in our family, and it takes more energy to drive (not to mention gas!) 16 miles to the nearest junk food place, and running out of energy while doing the errands is not an option due to gas prices.
I do experience days when I have a higher energy level, when I’m actually able to get something done. But those days are very far and few between of late. Maybe one or two days every 3-4 months I’ll feel energetic. Sometimes it is a chore just to enter receipts into Quicken.
Going to the conference last month was a big hit to my energy reserve. I am slowly regaining my energy but have been exhausted.
I’ve also been checking into fatigued adrenals. One of the authors of this article is Dr. James Wilson and I own his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. I have not had a chance to read it through yet. I’ve been too tired. :-}
Dr. Wilson says there is not much to be done for fatigued adrenals allopathically. It is more lifestyle change, diet and outlook on life. I exhibit symptoms of hypoglycemia so I am making more of a concerted effort to eat foods that are nutritious and healthy, and to keep my body fueled instead of letting myself get so ravenously hungry that I overeat.
I was fascinated by this little snippet from the Adrenal Glands article. I already know if I get too hungry I am prone to overeating, but I didn’t know my body was actually setting things up to make me fatter in an effort to help me survive the next “famine”!!
Hypoglycemia, without proper snack and meal placement, also encourages overeating when food is available. The overeating causes rapid weight gain because the increased insulin is circulating in your blood, ready to usher that excess energy (glucose) from the extra food into your fat cells where it can be stored as fat. Even though you may not like its effects, this is an elegant compensatory mechanism that has helped us survive. …If you do not want to gain weight you should avoid those low blood sugar dips that not only make you so hungry you overeat, but, also create a tendency in your body to store energy as fat. This means regular exercise and eating the kinds of meals and foods that control hypoglycemia. It also means not eating those sugary foods and caffeine that send your blood glucose levels on a roller coaster ride and worsen your adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia.
So dear reader, if you are getting too tired too easily (especially if you are over forty), you might want to have your thyroid and adrenals checked. You can take a “burnout” adrenal fatigue test on Dr. Wilson’s site. You can also check out this site which has a comparison chart for deciding whether it’s your thyroid or your adrenals, or both.
The nice thing about the adrenals site of Dr. Wilson’s is there is a lot you can do to help your adrenals recover.
I can already feel that I am gaining more energy, just by making a few changes. Here is what I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks:
- I have been making a point to get into bed earlier (this has already been a priority but is even more important for me now) and napping on my off days when I’m tired instead of forcing myself to stay up and then I don’t get anything done anyway because I’m exhausted.
- I hardly drink coffee and soda as it is but I’m making a greater attempt to avoid caffeine altogether.
- I’m trying to eat foods which won’t cause my body to crash (trying to avoid simple carbs which I already do but I’m making a greater attempt)
- Taking my vitamins which include: a multi-vitamin, Cod Liver Oil, Dessicated Liver Tablets, Vitamin C, Vitamin B50 Complex, sublingual B12.
- Taking a probiotic daily (I make my own kefir using our goat’s milk).
- Exercising daily (this I’m not so good at, it’s hard when you are exhausted but my son and I have started doing video workouts, we also have a Total Gym which I really enjoy working on if I can just get motivated).
It’s not like I’m sick or anything, I’m just TIRED! And I’m sick and tired of being so doggone TIRED! On those special days when I have energy, I get so much done, but I’m overwhelmed because I have let so much go for so long – there is no way to get it all done within the 2-3 days I have energy. I don’t want to feel like I’m eighty. I’m only forty-five years old! I want to feel like doing something more than sitting at my computer or sleeping. I don’t want to have to push myself twice as hard just to barely get anything done.
Please don’t worry that there’s something worse wrong with me. My doctor (she is new, my old doctor left town) – who unfortunately was very rude and arrogant – has me scheduled for every test known to humankind so if it’s something worse I’m sure she’ll let me know as soon as possible. So far I’ve heard nothing back and it’s been more than a week.