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Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Kick Adrenal Fatigue to the Curb

I don't get stressed on family vacations anymore!
It's been nearly a year since my diagnosis of adrenal fatigue. I blogged about it here and have been plugging along through the last ten months trying to get over it.

If you get dizzy when you finish a workout, or when you stand up. If you're tired all the time. If you get really cranky in the evenings. If you can't get up in the morning after eight hours of sleep. If you feel like you're going to have a melt down if one more person asks you for something ("Mom! I neeeed...") If you have no motivation to do anything. If you feel old and beat up. Well, sweetheart, you might have adrenal fatigue. My doctor calls it "Mom Syndrome." Hmm...I wonder why?

Here's what worked for me:

  • Patience, and lots of it. Exercising patience with my body and the healing process were difficult when the months dragged on and I could see myself getting more and more out of physical shape... That was hard. I knew, though, that if I pushed myself hard again, I'd relapse and take even longer to get well again.
  • High-quality vitamins. The kinds I took were: pharmaceutical grade fish oil, with a balance of EPA and DHA that is 2-to-1; food-based multivitamin; 1000mg of vitamin C; and an adrenal support supplement. These are all available at your local health/natural food store. I buy mine at Whole Foods on Tuesdays for the 10% off. 
  • Alternating adrenal support vitamins: The adrenal support supplements I found best were Holy Basil and Licorice Root. My doctor originally recommended Ashwaghanda, but I didn't notice a significant improvement until I started taking the Holy Basil. He also told me that these supplements are adaptogens, which means your body gets used to them and they aren't as effective if you don't alternate. What I did was take Holy Basil for 35 days and Licorice Root for five days. That was what worked the best. I also took PharmaGABA, a natural supplement that produce alpha brain waves (the same ones your brain produces when it's relaxes, yet alert). The PharmaGABA was something I'd take when I knew I was going to be under stress, or when I was starting to feel stressed.
  • Rest. Getting to bed as early as possible and sleeping in as late as possible was, and still is, my quest. That has been really difficult, since I live with four lively girls (two of which are teenagers and don't really honor the whole "bedtime" rule very often).
  • Meditation and prayer. This helped me stay calm and patient, but most of all it helped me stay the course. I'm always happier when I talk to God and clear my head on a regular basis.
  • Extra help. Asking people to help out a bit more was also tough, but it took the stress off. That's what I needed — less stress.
  • Saying "no" more. When there are activities, parties, meet-ups, conferences and all sorts of volunteer opportunities, I was always the first to say I'd participate. That had to end. It felt like I was missing out at first, but I soon realized my life was a lot more manageable and simple when I eliminated all the extras. I have been able to focus more on my family, too. 
I can finally say that I've kicked adrenal fatigue and I'm feeling better than ever. I'm even signed up to do a short women's triathlon next month. Getting back in the game is making me crazy excited. This time, I'm listening to my body, though. I'll be focusing more eating right, sleeping more and enjoying my good health. 

5 comments:

  1. Yay! SO excited you're feeling better!

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  2. I've been experiencing very similar symptoms for the last 18 months. Thanks for sharing and putting this info and your life out here to help.

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    1. I'm sorry you're feeling the symptoms...a lot of moms have it, I'm told. The great thing is that it can be fixed. You can do it! Keep me posted if something I wrote about helps you get back to your zippy self.

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  3. how long it took for you to heal ?

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