Adrenal fatigue is a very curious condition with many causes and symptoms. For me, my health seriously declined in the summer of 2004 with migraine headaches which caused zigzag patterns with my vision, nausea, extreme fatigue that was not resolved with sleep, trouble sleeping, problems with blood sugar, depression, anxiety, allergies increased severely especially food allergies; I developed asthma and multiple chemical sensitivities.
The recovery program for adrenal fatigue is to avoid stressors, do things you enjoy, eat healthy nutritious foods, exercise, use relaxing techniques and take supplements. Recovery time for adrenal fatigue can take up to three years but it also depends on how severe your adrenal fatigue is, how well you follow the recovery program and how well your body can heal itself. For me, I needed to make many changes:
- Avoid foods I am allergic to.
- Control environmental allergies with removing carpet from the apartment, using an air purifier, removing upholstered furniture, use a mask while cleaning and use natural cleaners, and stay inside when pollen counts are high. I also take medication like Claritin, and albuterol in a nebulizer to control allergies and asthma. I refrain from taking an albuterol inhaler as they now contain ethanol (alcohol) which is can be asthma trigger for those with chemical sensitivities. Also, ethanol is made from corn which I am moderately allergic to and causes asthma. Taking the inhaler would increase the danger to my life.
- I had to switch to eating organic food in order to consume as little pesticides as possible and gain as many nutrients as possible.
- I was put on DHEA supplements, vitamins, adrenal fatigue support supplements, digestive enzymes and I had to limit my carbohydrates and eliminate sugar to help control blood sugar. However, the down side to this was that I noticed the supplements I was were giving me problems. My peak flow reading with asthma would fluctuate so much I had a hard time controlling my asthma. When I took myself off the supplements to see what would happen, my peak flow readings normalized. It was then I realized there was an ingredient called magnesium stearate in many of the supplements which comes from beef, which I am allergic to. Also, the capsules where made from either a bovine (beef) or procine (pork) source. I am slightly to moderately allergic to beef and severely allergic to pork. I had to look for supplements made with vegetable capsules and the vegetable comes from seaweed. Still, the struggle was to find supplements of high quality but without the magnesium stearate. I didn’t have much luck. Now I am only on DHEA supplements but I have to open the capsule and dump out the powder into my food in order to take it. I found a digestive enzyme called Digest Gold by Enzymedica that is without fillers and has a vegetable capsule. The only other vitamins I am on is a liquid Vitamin D3 drop, and a liquid combination Vitamin B12 and folic acid drop. The later I am on because I’m pregnant. Other than that I must retain nutrients from food even though there aren’t very many foods I can eat safely.
- My daily patterns are relatively the same. I wake up in the morning around 5 and eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up around 10 or 10:30 and have a second breakfast, take a nap if I need one, eat lunch, do something I enjoy that keeps me calm (read, write, watch TV, exercise, work on crafts), eat a snack about 3 or 3:30. About 6 or 7 at night I make dinner. Then I try to be in bed by 10 if I’m not hungry. If I am, then I have another snack. Boy I sound like a hobbit with as much as I eat! My meals are high protein, low carb in order to keep my blood sugar level. Too many carbs make me feel sick and make me very hungry an hour or two later after I have already eaten.
- I drink an 8 ounce glass of regular (non-iodized) salt in the morning and twice later in the day. I use non-iodized salt as the iodized salt contains dextrose, or corn which I am allergic to. The amount of salt I use depends on my taste. If I can’t taste the salt in the water then I know I need more.
- I use a lot of self-talk for when I am feeling down or anxious. I try to keep myself positive but if I am in a rough patch and need help, I pray, talk to my husband, family and friends. I also am a member of an adrenal fatigue support group on Yahoo Groups, which has helped tremendously. The support group can be found at: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/adrenalfatigue/
- I remove myself from situations, or from relationships that make me feel anxious, scared, vulnerable, and exhausted. Any situation, or relationship that leaves you feeling less than yourself is really a drain on your system. Change what you need to to make yourself feel good again.
I think that about covers it for what I have to do to recover. Rest and eating about every four hours is key for me to get through each day. Not dwelling on events that feel stressful such as a simple doctor’s appointment, or doing chores, is hard, but I try to put distance between me and what bothers me in order to handle it. A big key to help me through each day is for me to remember God is with me and is helping me through anything that comes. I find great comfort in knowing He is with me and guiding my every step in getting well.
Best of luck to you if you have adrenal fatigue. Please feel free to send comments or ask questions.
Have a great weekend!