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Adrenal Fatigue - It's not in my head

For the last year, I've been tired. But who isn't tired? I've been steadily gaining weight, but everyone over 30 does that. I read the many articles linked from facebook that told me what delightful diseases I might have. I read the myriad symptoms lists and scoffed at the sincerity of the lists. Of course I have brain fog and thinning hair; I'm a homeschool mom to 4 kids. I have teenagers!

Just in case the articles weren't bunk, I visited my doctor. She patted my knee and told me to watch what I was eating. Stress was her diagnosis. I was stressed. I insisted I felt perfectly relaxed and wasn't stressed. She insisted I was a homeschool mom to 4 kids and I was stressed whether I knew it or not.

So I continued to sludge around, hoping for the best. I gained 35 lbs in a year.

A few months ago, a friend recommended an OBGYN that is known for taking her time and for digging a little deeper than the standard medical practitioner. She requested a saliva test to check my hormones, which was new to me. It turns out that my hormone levels are extremely low and my adrenals are shot. Ironically, the tests all say I'm stressed. This doctor explained that I'm not necessarily feeling stress, but chemically, my body is stressed.

On one hand, I was relieved to find out that I'm not crazy and I'm not lazy. On the other hand, Adrenal Fatigue doesn't sound like a real thing. It sounds like a prescription for a nap and I feel goofy telling anyone. Who takes that seriously?

Basically, it is a prescription for a nap. To heal the adrenals, you need good rest. Mine wasn't great. I went to bed around 11 and got up at 5:45 every morning. Now I'm in bed by 10 and I get up at 6. Sometimes even 7! I've even napped in the hammock without guilt. The not-feeling-guilty part is nice.

It is also a prescription for healthy eating. I've researched healthy eating out the wazoo, so it's sad that I overlooked it. For the most part, I eat healthy, but I didn't realize how lax I had become. Most of that was from being busy. Always running means often grabbing something easy, and it's been BUSY. Our diet wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what it could be. Now, I'm saying no to the unnecessary activities. And planning meals.

I'm now on a natural progesterone prescription and an adrenal supplement. Blood-work showed I was low in a few things and I'm adding those in as well. It's been a few weeks of implementing the supplements, the sleep, and the healthy eating. So far, I've lost 8 lbs. I don't feel any significant change in energy levels, but maybe a little bit. I've heard from others that it takes several months before much change is felt. I'm hopeful.

All of that to say, if you're tired and gaining weight, do something about it. Don't be like me and wait for a year to go by before you finally do something about it. Find a doctor willing to check your hormone levels. Find a doctor who offers advice beyond, "Relax and eat better." 

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"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo