Adrenal Fatigue: Sneaky Little B*#ch

Adrenal fatigue isn’t new, nor is it rare in this era of super dads, martyr mommies, the glorification of ‘busy’, and the continuous social pressure to be perfect, perfect, PERFECT.

This is a great example of when ‘going good’ ends up being very bad.  You know… “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?  I mean the whole point of my life after the army was supposed to be about being healthy and free.

How did I end up here and are you doing the same?!?

On the road of trying to carve out a new way of life I made some pretty epic mistakes like ooohhh, I dunno maybe spending thousands on training courses in a field I no longer wish to pursue, oh and selling my beautiful 100 acres up north, also forcing a great friendship into an very ill-suited relationship, and passing on a stable job with benefits for a yet another unstable consulting contract.  I’m kicking myself.

So in pursuit of finally getting a degree that will feed my soul, open doors, and allow me to travel…I have not so gracefully landed myself in the land of Adrenal Fatigue.

Not like I dipped in to Adrenal Fatigue, oh no, I dove straight for it like a mad woman obsessed and grabbed all the cookies along the way.

I was juggling a separation, house sale, financial loss, house purchase, no work, my junker car falling apart, full time work, and full time university.  I was barely staying above water.  It was a no brainer that there were going to be some consequences after two years of this.

What were those consequences? Fabulous symptoms in the form of nightmares, night sweats, insomnia, severe joint pain, acne, rapid weight gain, exhaustion/fatigue, brain fog, hypoglycemia, blurry vision, muscle exhaustion, frequent infections, frequent colds, anxiety attacks, dizziness, trouble concentrating, abdominal pain, loss of motivation, the big bad blues, frequent/infrequent menstruation, ‘pins and needles’ in extremities/poor circulation, always cold, dry skin, lower back pain, salt cravings, dark circles around the eyes, and extreme mood fluctuations. It’s a full laundry list! Some of you are reading this going check, check, and check. Ick!

(Caveat: Yes, yes, I’m definitely naturally moody being the Cancer crab that I am 😉 but laughing one minute and crying the next is a bit much even for me)

The medical doctors thought I was crazy for taking it all on, some questioned if I had PTSD (ah ya, that’s a no my friends), and others were quick to give me sleeping pills and send me on my way. Almost all tested me for thyroid issues.  Pretty sure I cried in during every visit.  I was told there was nothing physiologically wrong with me.  I was ‘burnt out’ and that was causing physical symptoms.

I finally went back to my naturopathic doctor and she wanted to test my adrenals. More specifically test for cortisol and DHEA levels through a saliva test.

What I expected, after doing a little of my own reading, was that I would have high cortisol levels due to prolonged stress.  High cortisol is indicative for the first stages of Adrenal Fatigue.

Boy was I wrong.

Adrenal Fatigue results

Where’s my cortisol?!? Oh, it’s down there, that wee little yellow line.  My kidneys are barely pushing out any cortisol, a sign of being at the end stages of Adrenal Fatigue…apparently it is right before you run into real trouble with Adrenal Exhaustion? Right. Lovely.

Okey dokey universe, message received.

So what now? An intensive 6 – 9 month treatment plan from my ND that involves a strict diet, adrenal and immune system supplements, B12, prebiotics, probiotics, meditation exercises, acupuncture, and light exercising only.

Did I mention I love sugar and crossfit? Sigh. Ha ha. Oh and wine…I love wine.

Adrenal Fatigue

Before you fall into the Adrenal Fatigue trap try re-evaluating your goals, living below your means, and supporting your physical/mental/spiritual health. I am not a health professional, so if you are personally having issues please go see your family doctor.  Ask questions. Seek out online or community support.  Put down that super hero crown. 

Bottom line is that we don’t have to strive for perfection to the point of risking our health and/or finances.

It is going to be a long year ahead of digging myself out of this mess and that’s ok. Apparently I like learning the hard way. Just ask my family and friends – they’ll agree.

Adrenal Fatigue…she’s a sneaky little b*#ch alright.

Now to get back to being me…

Victoria xo

 

 

 

 

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