You know how we always hear about hormones? Especially as women, it’s all about the thyroid, and mood swings, PMS, estrogen, yada yada yada. But I don’t recall anyone ever talking about the adrenals. There is a word that sounds similar, adrenaline. It conjures up the right connotations, because your adrenal glands are the hormone that dictates your body’s stress level. They keep you balanced, monitor the other hormones in your body, and provoke the fight or flight response when under duress.
A few years ago, I fell into something I think a lot of my peers are burdened from, but they don’t know about it yet: adrenal fatigue. After but so much stress, your adrenals get tired of producing cortisol to regulate that stress; and when your adrenals start to fizzle out, they cause a whole host of problems and symptoms – all different types of things that you may be attributing to other causes. Most general physicians only recognize adrenal burnout as a medical condition if your adrenals stop working completely. Well, that’s not very helpful if your adrenals are weary and on their way down that path, but aren’t quite there yet – docs don’t do so much for the prevention of this condition, called Addison’s Disease.
Praise to God, I was cared for by a Christian D.C. who realized that my hormones were out of balance. Here’s what I had going on: asthma, anxiety, panic attacks, estrogen dominance, low progesterone, irregular periods, headaches, fatigue, chronic lightheadedness, the list goes on. It sounds like there could be a number of conditions causing these problems, (and there were), but the main overriding cause was adrenal fatigue. I was in the second stage of Phase II of it. To give you a picture, when the doctor gave me my diagnosis following the hormone testing, he told me that just looking at the printout, without knowing me, he would feel bad for the person with those hormone levels. He said that I have probably been feeling tired for so long, it just feels normal. He was right – I didn’t even know what it was like to have energy anymore. And I hadn’t for, well, years.
Even with all of these awful symptoms and finally a diagnosis, the only cure for adrenal fatigue is a homeopathic one. Meaning, you have to re-vamp your life. That is, take it down
a notch many notches. I started talking with a health coach, going to counseling for my anxiety, using Progesterone cream, and taking Arbonne energy fizz sticks for the fatigue. But the only thing my chiropractor gave me were adjustments and a bottle of licorice pills. My mom and I searched high and low on the web to find all the information we could about adrenal fatigue, what adjustments I should make, and what my diet should look like. I found many different lists, but no one was comprehensive enough to save and refer to again and again.
In 2013 my New Year’s Resolution and mantra for the year was “Stop the glorification of busy.” I really pared down my life and only allowed myself to say yes to important things, and didn’t let myself feel pressured to do all of the other things that I was interested in or wanted to do. It was so freeing! Slowly I started getting better, as my mom told me to tell myself, “I’m getting better and better every day.” Praise God! Now that I’m out of the trenches, but still have a lot of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue (though fortunately, lesser symptoms than I was having a couple years ago), I have finally found a book that addresses all of these things!! What your adrenals are, why they’re important, how cortisol functions, the three levels of adrenal fatigue, and how to make healthy adjustments to your life to improve your health.
This book is a fantastic resource for anyone persevering through any of the issues I mentioned above, and many more that I didn’t list. My only qualm with it is that the focus of the book is on weight loss. Come on. I absolutely believe that it’s important to maintain a proper body weight for good health, but there are so many more reasons that people need to read this book than to just lose weight! I guess the publisher’s goal was to sell more copies, and thus reach a broader audience, by appealing to those wanting to lose weight, but I wish that there was a bigger advertising focus for people who don’t really care about losing weight, but would really like to stop feeling so tired, not be stressed out all the time, etc. But other than that, I think it was very well written and an excellent read for anyone in their twenties+ who have a lot going on in their life and can’t seem to feel great, no matter what they try.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own!