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Wren's Primal Journal - Recovering Adrenal Function

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  • #16
    Can I ask what you are doing to recover from the adrenal fatigue and how you went about being diagnosed? I am 29yo, but am scoring very high on the online tests I've found and have 12 of 18 symptoms from one site. Trying to get things in order but don't have a ton of money to bounce around between doctors and take a lot of expensive medications. And specific diet changes that have helped beyond giving up grains? Thanks!

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    • #17
      No, quite honestly I hadn't even heard of adrenal fatigue until recently. The symptoms of CFS so perfectly match mine, it never occurred to me to ask more questions, other than what can I do to alleviate them? I suppose I should look into it.

      And congratulations on your progress! Fun, isn't it?
      5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
      Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
      Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

      More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
      - Lewis Mumford

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by teach2183 View Post
        Can I ask what you are doing to recover from the adrenal fatigue and how you went about being diagnosed? ...And specific diet changes that have helped beyond giving up grains? Thanks!
        Hi teach2183, I was very lucky in finding a naturopathic MD who has a lot of experience in this area. The diagnosis was through a 24-hour salivary test of cortisol and other hormones and a bunch of blood tests. If you search online for Selye Adrenal Stress Index, you'll find a set of graphs that show the variations in the normal curve of cortisol production as a person's adrenals get more stressed over time. I was at Stage V where the adrenals are basically not producing much cortisol at all, with a consequent severe loss of energy plus other symptoms. (Wish I knew what that curve had looked like 10-15 years ago!) My original concern was the BP spikes and cardiac symptoms - apparently failing adrenals will pump out tons of adrenaline in response to minor stress like being stuck in traffic, sort of a last gasp effort to function. This then shoots BP and heart rate up. In my case because I was having mini-strokes (no lasting disability) I was pretty worried.

        The treatment is all nutrition and hormones, no meds per se. The single biggest diet change that has helped me is I EAT A LOT OF FAT. LOTS. (My daily calorie intake is only about 1000 as my activity level is so low.) Coconut oil, nut butter, some whole fat dairy but not a lot, oily fish, and of course meats. I don't know that I'll keep that up forever, but at this point it feels subjectively like it is helping. It definitely made it possible for me to cut out the carbs, as I have always loved anything sweet. I never thought I would just cold turkey stop eating them except for very small amounts of berries. But if I ate this much fat with carbs, I would definitely have gained 10 lbs instead of losing them. Interestingly, I am not hungry all the time; I am supposed to eat something every three hours so my meals are small. The biggest other change is that I stopped trying push my body to exercise. It needs to recover the ability to produce energy first (which is what cortisol does). I get 8 hours of sleep. I lie down and rest if I need to during the day for 15-30 minutes (I work from home). Lying flat is rest, sitting in a chair is not. My diet is almost entirely organic and the animal products are all organic/grassfed/pastured. I have one cup of coffee in the morning and drink water the rest of the day, with a pinch of celtic salt and a few drops of stevia.

        Hope that's helpful and not too much information. I have had symptoms of adrenal stress since my teens, and I really wish I'd found out decades ago what I've learned over the past month. Your younger age is on your side (I'm 54) and I hope you can find someone in your area who can help, although I think the salivary cortisol test can be ordered online. Good luck and let me know if I can help.
        Wren
        My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

        "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

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        • #19
          Thanks Judg! Yes it is fun - I do weigh myself every day and I look forward to it. That's an amazing feeling. You've had some substantial results yourself. Are you able to do any kind of exercise or is it all the WoE that's working for you?
          Wren
          My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

          "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

          Comment


          • #20
            I do try to do some walking. But hubby works from home all summer and keeping up with him (he is an Energizer bunny and wants to see family frequently) means I don't always have the energy.

            I lost 3/4 of the weight I wanted to lose before going primal, but it had slowed to a crawl. It has sped up a little since going primal. I went primal for health reasons, not weight loss reasons, because I was doing pretty well there on my own.
            5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
            Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
            Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

            More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
            - Lewis Mumford

            Comment


            • #21
              Judg, yes you did very well pre-primal on weight loss. Sounds like keeping up with hubby is exercise all by itself.

              Seems like posting every other day works for me. Yesterday was fun, I stopped at a resale shop and scored two wooden kitchen chairs which are exactly what I need, though they need repainting. Also a marvelous red leather purse. All for $30. Ate primally all day. Had real whipped cream and strawberries for dessert. Yum!

              Today I worked like crazy and am taking the evening to relax, other than cleaning up the kitchen. I have to go to bed early as Cat must be at the vet at 9am and I have to allow time to get him into the carrier and administer morning meds, neither of which he cooperates with.

              B - 1 egg, 2T hummus, 3T blueberries, coffee with cream
              L - 3 oz ground beef, 1 large sliced cucumber with a little nonprimal salad dressing - tasted nasty but it used to be my favorite!
              S - 2T cashew butter, 1t allfruit cherry preserves
              D - 2 small chicken thighs and salad that I haven't eaten yet
              8+C water with sea salt & stevia
              Limeade made with a squirt of key lime juice and stevia mixed into ice water - very refreshing

              I think I need to back off on the berries, today was the first time I even noticed those preserves in the fridge. Very sweet and concentrated, I don't need to start down that road.
              My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

              "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

              Comment


              • #22
                OK day. Vet appointment was a) very expensive and b) included no good news.

                B - 2 fried eggs, coffee with cream
                L - chicken thigh, falafel chips with cream cheese, blueberries with a little cream
                S - 1T coconut manna with 1T coconut oil and a drop of vanilla extract
                D - 4oz grassfed ground beef with 1T each ketchup and mexican cheese shreds

                I need to decide on some veggies I want to eat. Plus I just need to go to the store!

                On the plus side, I went to bed at 9:30 last night, fell asleep by 10, and slept til 6:20. I started using the flux light ap on the laptop yesterday, seemed to help.
                My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                Comment


                • #23
                  Good primal weekend despite the torrential rains (7 inches in 6 hours today). Glad I live on high ground, some folks are flooded out and apparently a tornado went over us. The sky got really dark, it rained even harder, but no damage. I haven't made it too the store as a result so scrounged dinner which came out really well - I made salmon patties with egg, added some butternut squash and almond meal as a binder, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, and fried in butter til crispy. I did eat a pierogi, that's my 20%.

                  B - 1 egg in a nest of leftover chinese vegetables, coffee with cream
                  L - grass fed burger, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup beets
                  S - 1 T coconut manna with 1T coconut oil
                  D - 3 oz salmon patty with squash, 1 pierogi
                  Snack to be determined, probably a few strawberries with cream.

                  This going to bed earlier thing is really working out well. I never thought I'd like it but I sleep much more soundly and have a bit more energy during the day.
                  My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                  "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Hi Wren, glad I checked out your journal. Sorry about the loss of your husband and the illness of your cat. Send the rains to Ohio, we need it badly!!!. You've given me some ideas on food, thanks.
                    Georgette

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                    • #25
                      Salmon patties, haven't had those in ages? You used canned salmon, I suppose?
                      5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                      Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                      Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                      More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                      - Lewis Mumford

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Georgette, glad to help! I've learned a lot from other good folks here too.

                        Yes Judg, I used Kirkland's wild salmon from Costco. I have some salmon in the freezer too that I keep forgetting about. I love salmon, I could eat it every day. The best is smoked.... yum! I'm out of eggs so had the rest of the salmon patties for breakfast, was delicious but not as crispy.

                        I just finished reading Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat and realized I do NOT have to count calories. Also realized I have been hungry the last couple of days and I probably need to eat a little more at mealtime.

                        B - 3 oz salmon patty with butternut squash, coffee with cream
                        L - grass fed burger, 1/2 avocado, a few falafel chips
                        S - decaf cappucino with friends, coconut oil + manna later
                        D - 2 chicken thighs, 1/2 cup beets
                        8+c water with a little sea salt and stevia

                        I still use the Livestrong food calculator thingy to monitor my food intake, mostly to keep carbs below 60, and I love how it gets all hyperventilaty about my fat intake. But it's kinda not good because it puts the numbers in red for too much fat. If anyone's seen a primal or more adjustable free calculator, that would be great. Because my healthy fat consumption is worth several gold stars!
                        My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                        "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Paleo Tracker. Paleotrack.com. It will get huffy about dairy, though. And it keeps telling me almond meal is flour, or something, because I get warning signs about that too, but I just ignore it. And it will congratulate you for the things you've done right.

                          It also uses the USDA data for foods, so if you put in fried onions, for example, it will assume you've done them in canola oil and up your omega-3s. Better to enter raw onion and whatever fat you use, if accurate readings are important to you.
                          5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                          Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                          Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                          More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                          - Lewis Mumford

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Thanks for the recommendation Judg, I will check it out.

                            Had a good day with one really tough spot - Cat went to kitty heaven this morning. I knew it was coming, found out last week he had a terrible aggressive cancer and at 15 yrs old I wasn't going to put him through a bunch of treatment and then have him die anyway. So he had a week of kitty hospice and died peacefully at home (mobile vet came to euthanize him). I will miss his creaky old self with his gigantic paws on my face waking me up in the morning. But this is the price we pay for loving creatures with such shorter life spans than ours.

                            B - 3 oz. salmon, 1/2 avocado, coffee with cream
                            S - 1T coconut oil mixed with 1t almond meal
                            L - 5 oz grass fed beef burger, mixed chinese vegetables
                            S - 1T almond butter, 5 falafel chips with cream cheese
                            D - 2 chicken thighs, 1/2 c beets
                            8+ c water with sea salt & stevia

                            The extra protein today made me feel really well fed. I have zero desire for an evening snack. Oh yeah, I lost another pound too. It's time to look through my clothes that were put away for being too small, I have a feeling some of them might just fit now, having lost 20 lbs since last summer.
                            My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                            "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Congratulations! I'm quite sure that 20 pounds off will make some of those clothes fit!

                              I had been fat for so long that I didn't have any skinny clothes to shrink into. So I have had to get new duds. Aw rats.

                              Sorry about your kitty. It is amazing how attached we get to our animals, isn't it?
                              5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                              Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                              Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                              More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                              - Lewis Mumford

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Yes, Cat was my buddy and I miss him. So I went right out and got Cat2, who is only 2 so has a long life ahead of him, beautiful tuxedo boy with facial markings that make it look like he has a big handlebar mustache. Extremely affectionate too.

                                Too bad about having to buy all new stuff Judg.... I am looking forward to some of that same pain!

                                B - 3oz wild salmon, 1/2 avocado
                                L - Chicken thigh, the last of the chinese veg stirfry
                                S - seaweed snacks, 1T almond butter mixed with 1T coconut oil because it was a little dry
                                D - 3oz delicious smoked whitefish, beets
                                Snack to be determined, probably a few strawberries with cream
                                8+c water with sea salt & stevia

                                I go see the doc tomorrow to see if he can tweak my protocol to relieve the fatigue. He will be very happy with my weight loss! Also a guy friend of mind went primal and lost 7 lbs in a week - he probably needs to lose about 75 lbs and is ecstatic with the results.
                                My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                                "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

                                Comment

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