Adrenal Fatigue: My own personal story part 2

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*If you missed the first part of this series you can read it here.

 

I learned that your adrenal glands keep your body working properly to handle the stress in your life. That when you are overtaxed whether it be by working lots of hours, eating really bad food, not getting proper rest, or emotional stress, it can finally wear your adrenal glands out where you can’t handle stress of any sort anymore. Even just normal stress that you don’t think of as stress, such as shopping, driving, etc. becomes too much for your body to handle and it views it as stress. This diagnose made perfect sense as I grew up in a household where I was at times under a tremendous amount of family stress. When I finally got married and was away from the stress, my body totally crashed.

 

Things didn’t get better overnight. The Dr I went to put me on very mild herbs as I was breastfeeding at the time, and so I still struggled a lot. It was helpful to know what was wrong, and to know over time it would get better. My second pregnancy was difficult as my body was under a lot of strain still. I almost miscarriage at 14 weeks, and went into preterm labour at 32 weeks. They were able to stop the labour with medicine, and I made it until 37 weeks and had a home birth. Later I was told I had such problems because my adrenal glands were worn out still.

 

I finally found a different Dr. who put me on Cortef (hydrocortisone), a prescription medicine. Our adrenal glands make cortisol, and Cortef mimics the cortisol our body makes. It is a strong medicine, and so most Drs. would not consider putting me on it knowing I was in a cycle of nursing and getting pregnant. When I saw this Dr. for the first time, she told me I was not in a state to get pregnant again for at least another year. I left in tears at the thought, and my husband and I had made the decision for the sake of my health to wait on having another baby to let my body have time to heal. God knows better than us though, as I was already pregnant and didn’t even know it when I had went to the Dr!

 

I called the Dr back, and as she was a former OBGYN for years before switching to dealing with natural hormones, she felt it was safe for me to stay on the Cortef during my pregnancy. If your adrenal glands get to low during pregnancy, your body will actually start to use your baby’s adrenal gland, which obviously isn’t healthy for your baby! I was also put on Prometrium, to help me stay pregnant this time around. The only issue I had during that pregnancy was my heart would race really fast. I slowly became much healthier, and when I delivered our third child, and first daughter, my midwife said it was one of the best births she had ever been to. I felt so blessed.

 

For the past two years now, my life has pretty much been back to normal. I haven’t had to take any supplements, and I have been able to handle everyday stresses much better. Before having our fourth child, I had enough energy to start my own business from home, making and selling custom made maternity and women’s skirts. In July of 2010 my mother passed away after a long struggle with Lupus, and dealing with all of that has been a strain on my health. I am blessed to know why I am tired though, and have started on some supplements again to boost my adrenal glands. I have also just gone through another 24 hour adrenal test to get a better idea of what state my adrenals are in.

 

yle=”letter-spacing: 0.0px”>If you feel like this might be an issue that you struggle with, here are some important things to know:

 

*Most Drs. only believe in Cushings disease, the complete and total death of your adrenal gland. You have no option at that point but to take medicine the rest of your life. If you feel like you might have low adrenal glands, you really need to find a natural MD, or a naturopath

 

*A simple blood test will not be enough to tell if your adrenal glands are really low. You need a 24 hour saliva test. My tests have always come back with my adrenals up at certain points, and really low at other times. A blood test would not be able to test your adrenals all throughout the day, just the one time you go into the Drs. office.

 

*Your adrenals and Thyroid are very closely related. Many times if one is down the other will be weak also. So make sure that you have both tested, and you need a complete Thyroid test done, not just a basic T3 test.

 

*If you want to study further about this, or read more about symptoms of weak adrenals, you can go to www.stopthethyroidmadness.com

 

*If for various reasons you can not, or do not want to go on Cortef, a good alternative would be Isocort. You can take up to 8 a day if your adrenals are really low.

 

Finally, be gentle with yourself. There may be things you have to start saying no to, because you are either so fatigued, anxious, or just overwhelmed. I have had to say no at seasons in my life to being on the Music Schedule at church, shopping by myself, planning day long activities for the children, going certain places, etc. It just wasn’t worth the strain it would bring. I am tempted to beat myself up over this, or feel stupid. It doesn’t help at all, and it doesn’t change the fact that you still have this issue of adrenal problems. Give yourself time, and just spend this season staying home, and learning to be content.

 

I have also spent many hours pleading with the Lord, and praying during these seasons of fatigue. Trials do bring you closer to God, if you let them.

 

I do not recommend treating yourself for your adrenals before being tested to make sure that is what is wrong with you. I am not a health professional, I just simply wanted to share what I have learned over researching for the past six years now on adrenal glands. While having a large family and children close together is a blessing, it can also be taxing on your health at times. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves so we can continue to be the wife and mother we all want to be!

Comments

  1. I'm hosting a 20 day "get organized" challenge on my blog and I wanted to invite you to link up. Also, I'm giving away a copy of my signed book, "Renee's Gourmet on $35 a week" complete with meal plan and grocery list. See both at the right of my blog.

    Link: http://renee-joyjourney.blogspot.com

    Blessings, Renee

  2. priest's wife says:

    hmmm…thanks for this…this might be my problem- time to go to a natropath doc

  3. Eowyn's Heir says:

    Thanks for this! Although I would like to also say that it would NOT be wrong or unwise for you to take steps to give yourself a break from becoming pregnant again for a year or so! Just like it isn't wrong or doubting the Lord to take meds to boost a limping adrenal, or to take a friend shopping with you, it isn't wrong to take steps to avoid getting pregnant! Just wanted to say that in case you were feeling bound! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!

  4. I know this is an older post, but will you still notice comments on it? You said, "The Dr I went to put me on very mild herbs as I was breastfeeding at the time, and so I still struggled a lot." Can you share which ones? Thanks! I am breastfeeding, and I think I'm having some mild adrenal problems.

  5. Dr. Schwarzbein's book The Schwarzbein Principle II The "Transition" (the second book) also address adrenal fatigue. Another resource that can be helpful. Have a blessed day!

  6. my chiropractor put me on a natural vitamin supplement when i had issues (i probably still do but havent been to a doctor about it in some time) and it really helped me.

  7. Canadagirl says:

    Oh I didn't know you also suffer from this. I wrote a post earlier this year too about my adrenal gland fatigue. You can read my testimony and what I shared about suggestions ( Did you know that over 80% of people suffer from this at one degree to another?) here….

    http://maryz-lit-ll-corner.blogspot.com/2011/06/journey-to-better-health-adrenal-gland.html

    I will lift you in prayer because I know it can take a few years for your adrenals to get good and healthy again.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))!
    -Mary

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have experienced the so much of the same story! God is good and in His perfect timing He led me to the truth about my health. I would love to share more and hear more about your journey. Here is my email. martin5ofus@yahoo.com

  9. Little Natural Cottage says:

    Thank you for this. I had no idea that adrenal fatigue and anxiety could be related. I have battled anxiety and depression a lot, off and on, the past 2+ yrs, as well as exhaustion and not sleeping well. Your post has given me a lot to study!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your story. So many people struggle with adrenal fatigue. Sadly, many do not even realize it. I do agree, there are natural alternatives that really help.

  11. Hi Caroline, thank you for sharing your story. I am currently pregnant with my second and looking for insight on how to try to prevent the adrenal fatigue I experienced after the birth of my first. Your advice is wonderful, but I am a little concerned after reading your entire story and am wondering if you would be open to perhaps adding a disclaimer to your post…
    While I too struggled with severe postpartum anxiety (which included panic attacks), adrenal fatigue was only part of the issue and it was not until I took a more holistic approach to my recovery that I was able to fully heal. The anxiety/fatigue/insomnia I was struggling with needed to be addressed with nutrition AND the help of a therapist. A pregnant or postpartum woman may be further adding to her distress by only assuming that her anxiety or depression or feelings of being overwhelmed are solely due to adrenal fatigue; the hormonal imbalance of reproductive hormones greatly affects brain chemistry and therefore for many women it is necessary to address the fatigue/anxiety/overwhelmedness through psychological help and nutrition and perhaps even medication. Most moms initially struggling with postpartum anxiety/depression/OCD/bipolar disorder do not even understand what it fully happening and are desperately searching the internet for answers to their symptoms AND most of the time looking for anything that will tell them that they do not have a postpartum mental/mood disorder and if they adjust what they are eating and take some natural supplements that everything will be fine. That too was me. I thank God for my husband who had the insight to see that I needed more help than just addressing the adrenal fatigue. Once I started getting the complete help that I needed, it was actually a speedy recovery to feeling like myself. And while I still need to manage the adrenal fatigue, I also have other coping techniques that I have learned through my therapist that further add to my ability to deal with stress.
    As I read your story, it was alarming to me that none of your healthcare providers considered you may have been struggling with postpartum anxiety and/or depression …maybe they did and you just chose not to share that information. I beg you to please add a disclaimer that postpartum women struggling with any kind of anxiety (especially if it is severe enough to cause panic attacks) should seek professional help from someone other than a naturopath and preferably from someone who is trained to handle these issues. You may save a life.
    Here is a website that has been of immense help to me. It had good solid information on everything related to mood during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is unbiased and just presents the facts.
    http://www.postpartumprogress.com

    • Caroline says:

      Actually postpartum anxiety/depression was mentioned. The Dr. that was over my midwife wanted to give me depression medicine. I wasn’t exactly sure what the medicine was even for, and when I went to fill it there was a problem and the pharmacy could not fill it. They acted shocked that the Dr. had left part of the prescription off the form. I then had a whole weekend to research the medicine, and about adrenal fatigue and decided to not go on the medicine. My Midwife was so happy that I did not, as she did not feel I was having postpartum anxiety/depression but a condition that was triggering those symptoms. I don’t feel like I ever had true postpartum depression/anxiety, because when my adrenals were finally supported those issues went away. Everyone is so different, so I understand your story might be different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Xanax is not for depression. Xanax is an anti-anxiety med, and basically sedates you. It does NOTHING for depression, post-partum or otherwise.

    • another mom says:

      Dear Sans,

      I felt the need to comment as my own experience might clarify some things for those who might have been in my situation. I am like the canary in the mine so to speak, with medicines. I am very sensitive to them and tend to react to them before anyone else which has made me an avid reader of info on the medicines I am prescribed and cautious of all side possible effects of medicines.

      I certainly do not want to imply that we all are different and have to do what we feel works for us, but what most people don’t realize, is that the brain and the rest of the body, particularly the digestive system are very closely related, and symptoms of many mental illness- even mental illness itself, can result from other health issues that many americans commonly have. (Read on the Brain/Gut connection- GAPS diet, etc) so that changing your diet and taking herbal or other supplements, depending on the issues, can actually treat or heal mental health issues. Not something I necessarily recommend doing on your own, but with the help of a wholistic physician or homeopath etc.

      Another important issue is that ofvigilance and prudence when deciding between treatment options as many if not most drus – especially for depression, have serious side effects including depression itself, as well as suicidal ideation and behavior. Not to mention violent behavior. Even statins can CAUSE suicide in people with NO tendency towards depression or suicide. I know of three people personnally who have committed suicide who were not depressed unti they took these medicines- one was my cousins husband who had NO reason or even the capacity to consider suicide- it was medically induced because of the medicines. So…I’m not trying to scare anyone, but investigating the medicines thourally and trying everything else first can be much safer. My own many experiences with prescription meds would shed a lot of light on why and how so many medicines can be more damaging in the long run than helpful. Nutrition can help as the main therapy or an adjunctive therapy to any mental health issues and homeopathy can cure it. Therapeutic intervention is also great for long term coping mechanisms and changing of thought patterns and behaviors. Praying for you all and thanks for the blog….

      another mom

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