- October 10, 2015 at 10:19 am #4104
Hi from Belgium,
My name is Kenneth, I’m 27 years of age and I’ve been living with adrenal fatigue for the past 6 years. I do not think I have adrenal fatigue, I am absolutely sure that I have it.
For me, it all started in my last year of college. I was studying journalism at the time, back in 2009. I had been doing well, when all of the sudden I started experiencing strange symptoms. For me, it started with nosebleeds. Clearly a sign of my body, telling me it was time to slow down. I had a similar experience in my first year of college, when I got a nosebleed just before my last exam. The day after that, vacation saved me from burning out. Unfortunately, I did not have that kind of luck in my last year. My second year went well. I experienced several nosebleeds, about five of them, then palpitations, which turned into panic attacks. It was over then. I had to drop out.
After that, I started experiencing severe stress and anxiety, the kind that doesn’t go away with a good night’s rest. In fact, I couldn’t sleep at all. So the doctors put me on anti-depressants. I even ended up in the ER with a panic attack once. They couldn’t find anything wrong. To this day, they still can’t (and I keep having panic attacks). But my bloodwork tells a different story. Most of my levels are fine, but I have high cortisol and low testosterone (and high levels of calcium and GH).
As I’m always stressed out when I have blood drawn, I don’t know whether these values depend on the moment or not. But one thing is for sure, my adrenals aren’t working the way they should.
My main symptoms are the following:
– Severe fatigue, particularly in the late morning – early afternoon;
– Anxiety disorder and panic attacks (severe stress and physical fight-or-flight responses);
– High cortisol;
– High blood cell count;
– Inability to handle stress;
– Body aches, bone aches, muscle cramps, twitching muscles;
– Dry skin and cuts that are slow to heal;
– Tendency to sweat faster than usual;
– Bursts of energy late in the evening;
– Low testosterone:
– Lower back pain;
– Sore muscles, especially in the upper back and neck area;
– Weird paradoxical reactions to supplements and foods;
– Blurry vision, floaters, inability to handle bright light;
– Headaches (muscles);
– Burning sensations in feet and elsewhere;
– Jerking muscles and thumbs;
– High calcium, brittle bones;
– Kidney stones;
– High cholesterol;
– Craving sweet and fat foods;
– Burning sensations and pain in both ears;
– Belly aches;
– Drop in blood pressure after standing up;
– Slow digestion;
– High liver function;
– High levels of GH;
– Glucose intolerance, high blood sugar;
Because of the hypercortisolism, my endocrinologist even tested me for Cushing disease. To my surprise, probably because of all the stress they had me go through, I dropped 22 pounds in under three months. Long story short, I do not have the disease. But I do have the nasty symptoms that are associated with it.
I started dieting and exercising, which helps, but I don’t know to what extent. They put me on glucose lowering drugs and a treatment with vitamin D. I really hope this helps in the long run. About the low testosterone, the doctor said I just have to wait and see, whether losing more of my extra pounds will up the testosterone again. Other supplements, such as Ginseng, vitamin C, Ashwagandha, Macca, magnesium, Adrenal support supplements, … They all wear me out even more! What is up with that? Anyone else experience paradoxical reactions to certain supplements and foods? Are they perhaps too stimulating? Going to bed early… Same thing! It’s as if my body just refuses to energize. This is not how a body is supposed to react, that’s for sure. Sleeping less actually makes me feel better and more awake, go figure…
I’ve experienced gentle supplementation such as folic acid every now and then, drinking lots and lots of fluids, works best in terms of getting energy fast.
I would really like to actually start healing and maybe wean off the anti-depressants.
For other readers, here’s a list of foods that I found depleting the adrenals even more: bread (except whole wheat), sugar, banana, grapefruit, pasta (white), rice (white), pastry, chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, fast food, crisps, anything with wheat in it, anything with sugar, french fries. If you are serious about recovering, make sure you avoid these foods at all costs.
Foods that will speed up your recovery: nuts and beans, green, leafy vegetables such as sprouts and salad, vegetables, foods that have whole wheat in them, fish (lots of it, you should prefer fish over meat), anything rich in omega-3, anything rich in zinc, chicken, turkey, eggs (and other foods high in proteins), oatmeal.
So basically, skipping most foods and setting up a strict diet is crucial for recovery. That’s what I’ve learned over the past few years. Although I’ve been stubborn, not knowing what to eat as well, actually resulting in gaining weight instead of losing it, not recovering and eventually keep feeling tired.
Any other tips at all…? Especially for exercise? I started jogging every now and then. Seems to help, especially in combatting fatigue the day after. I also have a hard time shutting off my notebook or tv at night, when I know I should. So any tips for that would be great as well.
Thanks, all the best,
KenOctober 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm #4126
Hi Kenneth. It certainly sounds like you have been experiencing chronic stress, and it has probably contributed or caused many of the health problems you mention.
From what you say, you are already making improvements to your diet. However, you don’t mention any deep breathing, meditation, or other mind-body techniques. Using these once or twice a day may help to get your stress levels (and cortisol) down. They will help you sleep better too.
Here are a couple of links that might help:
Here are some tips that you should follow for sleep hygiene:
Also make sure that the exercise you do is making you feel energized, not exhausted.
Once you have tried some of these ideas, please send us a note through the forum to let us know how you’re doing!December 3, 2015 at 7:26 am #4512
Prolongated stress can have a negative impact on your adrenal glands and can give you a hormonal inbalance. McDaniel & Durrett, PC has test kits of adrenal glands to test your adrenal hormones with a simple saliva test : http://mcdanielanddurrett.com/special_services_products.phpDecember 3, 2015 at 7:33 am #4513
Hi, thank you, the thorough blook work obviously showed that I suffer from adrenal fatigue, I had hair mineral analyses done in the past, they all show the same thing… So thanks for the offers, but I’ve been tested and I know enough. I am now trying with zinc to build more testosterone. I exercise as much as possible but I keep experiencing anxiety and fatigue. I guess it needs time. I’ll keep you updated every now and then. Thanks,
KenApril 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm #6068
I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone bro. Have a look at the post I just put up.
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