Sunday, 11 November 2012

I'm Tired (Adrenal Fatigue)

This day and age, it seems that every itch has a name and a slew of medication to go with it. So when I read up on things like adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues I did not take it seriously. To me, adrenal fatigue was a fancy way of saying "hey, I'm tired. Diagnose me, so I can get some sleep." So I was talking to my friend about how tired I always seem to feel and she asked me if I have ever had my thyroid checked. No, I haven't. Though it seems that thyroid issues are also becoming more and more common.

I knew one thing, I needed answers right away. If I was snippy with my children for being what they are (kids) one more time, fall asleep in the afternoon one more day, or have any more hair fall out I was going to just maybe lose it. So I went to google (which is a very good friend of mine when I am looking for answers). I started to read up on the thyroid and various issues that some people might have. I checked out the symptoms list for thyroid problems:

  • cold intolerance
  • confusion or forgetfulness (often mistaken for dementia in seniors)
  • constipation
  • depression
  • dry, scaly skin
  • fatigue, or feeling sluggish
  • hair loss
  • increased menstrual flow (women)
  • irritability
  • muscle cramps
  • slower heart rate
  • weakness
  • weight gain
  • coarse and dry hair

  • (the above is from this link on hypothyroidism)

    I realized that I have all but two of those symptoms (dry skin and increased menstrual flow). That was interesting, but it wasn't convincing enough. I started to dive into the causes and cures of hypothyroidism. And something stuck out. On only one of the websites out of several, adrenal fatigue was listed as a possible cause of hypothyroidism.

    Because I had only seen it pop up once, adrenal fatigue stuck out. So I searched it, and looked at the symptoms. Every. Single. One. Matched.

    Then I took a survey found here. The most interesting thing about the symptoms is that they were almost the same as hypothyroidism.

  • excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • non-refreshing sleep (you get sufficient hours of sleep, but wake fatigued)
  • overwhelmed by or unable to cope with stressors
  • feeling rundown or overwhelmed
  • craving salty and sweet foods
  • you feel most energetic in the evening
  • a feeling of not being restored after a full night's sleep or having sleep disturbances
  • low stamina, slow to recover from exercise
  • slow to recover from injury, illness or stress
  • difficulty concentrating, brain fog
  • poor digestion
  • low immune function
  • food or environmental allergies
  • premenstrual syndrome or difficulties that develop during menopause
  • consistent low blood pressure
  • extreme sensitivity to cold

  • (

    When I took the survey in the link above (survey here) my scores were not good. They give you four possibilities; no adrenal fatigue, low adrenal fatigue, high adrenal fatigue and severe adrenal fatigue. The numbers scored for a high adrenal fatigue situation was 132 at the highest level. Anything above that was severe. My scores were 173 on the adrenal fatigue "scale."

    The reason I am blogging about adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism is because I feel more and more people suffer from it. I hear from mothers all the time about how exhausted they are, they are becoming depressed and anxious and can not make a decision to save their lives. I really wanted to touch on that connection between adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues. Maybe it can help somebody.

    From various sources, this is what I gathered as a method of helping heal adrenal fatigue (which for a severe case, can take up to 24 months).

    1 - Sleep until 9:00 am when possible.
    2 - Nap during that low energy dive (around 3:00 pm)
    3 - Eat at least 6 kinds of vegetables a day (and juice them)
    4 - Vitamin C, licorice root and kelp can aid in healing the adrenals
    5 - Avoid caffiene, sugar and fats (the main go-to's for coping with adrenal fatigue)
    6 - Avoid stress!

    Adrenal glands are the "stress" glands. They process your stress, emotional and physical. In times of high stress, your adrenal glands are working overtime. If you are under high stress for a prolonged period of time, it is easy for your adrenal glands to burn out. This is why a juice fast is not recommended as a way of healing the adrenal glands. Juice fasts are stressful on both your body and your emotional well being, and putting alrealdy burnt out adrenal glands under that kind of pressure is redundant.

    I need to heal so I can be there for my children. As a devoted Mom of three wonderful beasts, who need me completely (all day, everyday), I can not sit by and let this situation become worse. This is a situation where putting myself first benefits my entire family. I don't want to feel sick anymore, tired, with my hair falling out and my patience short. When a stressful situation comes up no matter how large or small, I want to handle it properly without feeling like my chest is going to explode and crumpling into a ball of overwhelming panic. This is where I am at. I have to make changes. Those will include dietary adjustments and taking care of ME. Taking time for myself without feeling guilty, and letting go.

    So, there you have it. This is just one of the many changes I will be dealing with in the next few weeks.

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