In 2013, a client came to me sharing that she had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I had worked with clients that had various health challenges but this was a new one. She was already eating clean and working with an Integrative MD so this was going to be a challenge. The only unique factor was her stress level was extremely high as she was experiencing extreme burnout in her career.
To be honest, her symptoms were puzzling. I kept trying to figure out exactly what it was she was feeling but I just couldn't connect to her symptoms. Usually my clean eating, resting and supporting the digestive process was the answer but in this case, it wasn't enough. I left it to "I can't help everyone".
Then approximately a year later I started to experience signs of extreme fatigue and emotional sensitivity. I remember the thought of performing simple household chores like changing the linens on our bed was equivalent to running a 5K. Some days I couldn't even perform these simple tasks. When and if I did, I had to lie down and rest.
Ironically, about that same time I decided to add saliva hormone and neurotransmitter testing to my menu of services. So the first thing I do with a new service is to put myself through the test and this was no exception. I received the results that I was in Phase 3 Adrenal Fatigue and was devastated. It was at that point I started reading and researching everything I could find on Adrenal Fatigue. I also connected to a private Facebook group of fellow Adrenal Fatiguers. I did learn quite a bit from the group but the negativity was so overwhelming that I decided to stop following. The majority of the group seem to be strong Type A, overachievers and/or controllers which makes sense why many end up here!
So what is Adrenal Fatigue? It is not a proven medical condition but a "syndrome" where fatigue and other symptoms are caused by a poorly working adrenal gland in people who are under chronic mental, emotional, or physical stress. The medical community does recognize "adrenal insufficiency" which states that only drugs can be used to treat it and that supplements could be harmful. So I asked myself, are my adrenals in need of more toxins to "treat" it or should I use whole food and clean sources of supplementation to balance my body? For those who know me, you can guess the answer.
The research scared me. Stats like it takes up to five years to recover or some cases lead to adrenal cancer as well as Addison's disease. JFK had Addison's which one symptom is a golden bronze skin pigment. Now I understood why people were asking me if I had been to Florida recently or why my skin was so bronze in the middle of winter! Again, all the piece's were coming together along with test results which was a wake up call for me.
So how did I end up here? Two reasons, one was opening a brick and mortar (physical location) business which we were renovating as well. The second was that my son was struggling with serious health and financial issues. In my quest to take care of him and my business/clients, I failed to take care of myself and ended up in severe adrenal fatigue (Phase 3).
I remember sitting at the table crying and saying, "I don't think I can do this anymore." "This" meaning taking care of everyone else and everything. My dream of opening a wellness center and serving others started to feel like a nightmare. My temper was short and breakdowns were not uncommon but all behind the scenes. Instead of taking a "why did this happen to me" approach, I saw as a way to serve others with the same challenges. God again blessed me with another health challenge so I can share and serve others.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that it isn't going to take me 5 years to recover because I had access to the best holistic health experts in the world and access to the best supplements and herbs.
So what was my life changing adrenal fatigue protocol? Only products that were clean, nonGMO and gluten-free sources of plant-based herbs, enzymes and food.
- My mornings started with Sole water which is a solution of Himalayan salt and water.
- Juice Plus whole food concentrates, triple the recommended serving of six by taking two or three times daily.
- Green smoothie with Juice Plus Complete plant-based protein powder each morning with various greens such as kale, spinach, dandelion, etc. plus two tablespoons of either flax, hemp or chia seeds.
The following supplements are from Pure Encapsulations. I use this brand because they are truly pure, using nonGMO, no additives or preservatives and gluten-free ingredients:
- B Complex Plus - 2 times/day with food,
- ADR Formula- 2 in am 1 hour before food,
- Dopa Plus - 1 in a.m. 1 hour before food,
- Ashwaganda - 3 times/day with food and
- Liquid Vitamin D *4-5000 (4-5 drops) based on my test results
From Enzyme Formulations/Loomis Institute I used:
EFI Digestive Enzymes, 2 before each meal (Formula 2 was specific to my needs, please utilize 24 Hour Urinalysis testing to determine yours)
EFI Organic Iron blend and Female Herbal blend after each meal
Plus, Organic Excellence Progesterone Cream - 1 pump or 20 mg 30 minutes before bedtime.
Again, these are products that worked for me based on the current condition of my body and health. There is not a one size fits all approach for any health challenge. It is recommended that you utilize nutritional testing to determine the state of your health and a Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Wellness Coach. Contact me if I can help as we can ship test kits anywhere and help you across the miles.
And if you have experienced Adrenal Fatigue, I'd love to hear from you.