January 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm #4957
About 6 weeks ago I started getting what feels like blood sugar crashes after eating sugar or other carbs like bread or pasta. About 10 mins after eating I get shakey, dizzy, high heartrate, and extreme fatigue. I was also getting blurred vision, constant headaches, fog brain through the day. I couldn’t work, even driving was difficult.
For months leading up to this starting I had been getting extremely tired in the afternoon and evening, and I would crave sugar immediately after a meal. I also had tremors in my hands, particularly in the afternoon and evening, along with constant waking at 3am, every night. My legs would feel constantly aching, like I’d just run up 10 flights of stairs, and I would get occasional anxiety attacks with heavy heart beating or palpitations. Looking at the list of symptoms now it seems to be an obvious case of adrenal fatigue……
My first visit to the doctor wasn’t great, I was told only diabetics on insulin get hypoglycemia, and to have some rest. I did get some blood tests and they showed my blood sugar was fine at the time of the test, but obviously that doesn’t mean much. It also showed my cholesterol was a bit high, but everything else was fine. I started researching causes of hypoglycemia and came up with candida overgrowth. It fit well because I was eating a lot of sugar and had also recently been on strong antibiotics and drinking quite a lot of beer. I was also under a huge amount of stress at work, and working all night regularly.
I went to the naturopath and she agreed it was candida but also maybe some adrenal fatigue as well. But I focused on the candida and cut out all sugars and carbs, including fruit. After a couple of weeks on the diet, antifungals and probiotics I began feeling better, my energy levels increased and I was sleeping straight through the night and feeling rested in the morning. But shortly after that I crashed, my energy levels went to zero, I was shaking, my vision problems returned and I couldn’t think straight. At night I was waking up at 1am with tingling in my arms and feeling jittery.
In hind sight cutting the fruits out and not replacing them with vitamins may have been a mistake. So in the past 3 days I have started taking vit B, C, magnesium and fish oil, and all of a sudden my energy levels have returned. I’ve also gone back to a liquid herb mix of Licorice, withania and siberian ginseng.
But still, the slightest amount of carbs is bringing on hypoglycemia responses. So I’m wondering, should I be trying to slowly reintroduce fruit, or just keep relying on supplements for a longer period? I’ll be seeing the naturopath next week, and I’ll see if I can get a cortisol 24 hour test to confirm what is going on.
This has been a very confusing and scary episode, so frustrating not to know what is going on, doctors refuse to help and the set back really threw me off, but I’m feeling this might be the right track now…..January 23, 2016 at 11:08 am #4975
Have you tried starting with low glycemic fruits? Make sure you avoid any fruit juices and dried fruits, as they can spike your blood sugar quickly.
Be careful with the licorice too, as that has the potential to reduce your blood sugar further. You should ask your naturopath if licorice is appropriate for your situation.
Also make sure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need from your food. Make sure to incorporate highly nutritious foods like chicken liver, seaweed, sweet potatoes, bone broth, and lots of vegetables. Don’t rely on supplements as a substitute for real nutrition. The nutrients in real food will always be higher quality and more bioavailable. Use supplements as an addition to your nutritive intake, not a substitute for it.
Try to manage your reactions to stress better. Have you tried meditation, deep breathing or other mind-body techniques? These can help to minimize your cortisol response to stressful situations, and take some of the pressure off your HPA axis. They might also help to stabilize your blood sugar.
Lastly, getting a 24 hour cortisol test is definitely a good idea.
I suffered from Adrenal Fatigue, and I'm here to help as many people as I can! (Note that I'm not a doctor!)January 23, 2016 at 11:54 am #4976
Thanks for the feedback, I have been off all fruit (and sweet potato) since december because I’ve been treating my problem as candida overgrowth, it feeds off carbs. But after a bit of reading, I’m starting to think the problem has primarily been adrenal fatigue. When I initially saw the naturopath in december, she agreed that my problem was candida, but with also some adrenal fatigue, so she gave me a herbal mix that contained licorice root for that. On my next visit she changed me over to a tablet called adrenoplex, but I seemed to go downhill after that, so I’ve gone back to what she had originally given me.
But I’ll check with her again about that and reintroducing fruits when I have my next visit.February 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm #5165
Well I think I’m still on the right track. I have begun adding some fruit and wholemeal bread, seeds, etc. and feeling my energy levels are staying higher. Had a few bad nights sleep recently and slipped backwards a bit. I had some more blood tests done, and also waiting on the results of a cortisol 24hr profile.
My naturopath picked up that my ferritin levels were on the low side in my december test, 69. But they have moved up a bit to 89.
I recently found an article talking about the link between adrenal fatigue and pelvic instability. I have had ongoing glute weakness causing mid back issues for the past few years. Particularly when the kids were small and needed lots of lifting, and we weren’t getting much sleep.February 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm #5325
Ok, I’m doing a lot better, but still having trouble with sleep and the afternoon energy crash. My cortisol profile came back and it shows the drop in the afternoon and evening:
Also shows DHEAS morning profile at 5.1nmol/L
I’m guessing I will need to keep at the diet and supplements for a couple more months and see where I’m at then.February 17, 2016 at 8:33 am #5334
Remember that a drop in cortisol is perfectly natural in the afternoon and evening!
I suffered from Adrenal Fatigue, and I'm here to help as many people as I can! (Note that I'm not a doctor!)February 17, 2016 at 10:52 pm #5337
Yep, but my levels are in the lower end of the range for the given times of day, 3.3 and 2.3 only just sneak above the normal threshold of 2 and 1. This is after a month on the herbs and supplements, so I would hate to think what the results would have been like 2 months ago.
The other thing I have started trying is tyrosine, it seems to be helping, but I’m a bit confused about how it works…..February 25, 2016 at 1:33 am #5453
I know alcohol is a no-no when recovering from adrenal fatigue, but I’m starting to improve and I have a mates 40th birthday camping trip coming up. If I was to have just a moderate amount of alcohol (2 drinks), is there a better one to have? I thought maybe vodka with soda and lime, or white wine?February 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm #5479
Its best to avoid alcohol where possible, but the occasional drink is not going to hurt. Especially if it helps to reduce your stress levels! Vodka soda and lime would definitely be a good option (squeezed lime, not the cordial/syrup). Just don’t drink too much, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep 🙂
I suffered from Adrenal Fatigue, and I'm here to help as many people as I can! (Note that I'm not a doctor!)April 7, 2016 at 9:36 pm #6101
Thanks, I found vodka and soda was ok, but low carb beer seemed to work better. I’ve been on the treatment for just over 2 months now, and my sleep has really improved, still getting tired when I over do it, but generally energy levels are increasing, slowly.May 29, 2016 at 2:19 am #6892
A follow up question, I had been improving very well up until a week ago. My energy levels were way up and I could eat small amounts of white bread and fried chips without getting a reaction. But then I had a crash a few days ago and have been struggling with very low energy and low blood sugar shakes, particularly at night. Is this normal, to have periodic crashes as you are recovering, or am I doing something wrong?
Another problem I have had is as my energy levels were returning I was having more and more anxiety attacks, since the crash the anxiety attacks have disappeared.May 30, 2016 at 10:59 am #6913
Everyone has ups and downs during their recovery, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. Stay on the right track with your diet etc. If you’re worried about the low blood sugar shakes, definitely go see a doctor about that. Are you eating enough? When you switch to a cleaner, healthier diet, it’s often necessary to eat a higher volume of food to get the same caloric intake.July 4, 2016 at 11:42 pm #7407
Thanks, yes, I’m eating heaps, breakfast and dinner is twice the size, and I’ve added in a big protein shake in the afternoon.
But there was something else going on, it felt like I was eating all this nutrients and getting no gain. And the anxiety attacks were getting out of control, so I really felt something else was underlying this issue. I found a good naturopath who did some more tests, he came up with pyroluria and undermethylation. This seems to have been contributing to digestive problems causing candida overgrowth, and then the load was being shifted to my adrenals. So he has given me some treatment for the pyroluria and some support for the adrenals, once the candida and pyroluria are under control we are going to work on a program for building up my adrenals.
Pyroluria explains the anxiety and shakes, along with other issues I’ve been having like dry eye lids and my general state on nervousness/edginess.August 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm #7893
So I am one month into my pyroluria treatment and feeling a lot better so far. Anxiety and nervousness went in the first week, feeling a lot more positive and thinking more about the future than dwelling on past problems. Physical energy levels are up, I can get 4-5 very productive days a week in now, but still need 1-2 days downtime to recover. Hopefully that continues to improve.
It makes a lot of sense that the zinc and B6 deficiencies were putting strain on my adrenals.August 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm #8086
Another update – feeling really good now. Had lots of energy the last week or so, and I feel generally happier. Little things that would get to me in the past, just wash away now, arguments with people that would in the past become something that I would dwell on for days get forgotten about in minutes. I don’t get frustrated with people like I used to, even my driving has calmed down from quite aggressive ‘must get past everyone else’ to just cruising along.
My 3pm energy crashes have gone from needing to lie down, to needing some protein to keep me going to being able to power on. Seems my batteries are holding more storage now. I’m hoping this keeps going.
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