Wren's Primal Journal - Recovering Adrenal Function
First of all, thanks very much to Mark for putting this site together and to all the contributors of useful information, tips, and funny stuff. I am 54, female, and have struggled most of my life to find a diet where I actually felt nourished. Raised by a mostly vegetarian mom with a lot of food issues so my early nutrition was not so good. Have been a sugar addict most of my life, not that we were allowed any sweets at home (but we drank juice all day because "it's so good for you!").
Weight struggles - up and down since puberty, my ideal weight is probably around 135 but I've been as high as 190. I lost 50 pounds in 2007 on a semi-starvation diet with heavy exercise and heavier work stress. Gradually re-gained most of it during my husband's two-year battle with liver cancer. He died at home last year after 3 months of 24/7 care-giving and after the initial shock stage passed I thought, "OK, I can focus on me now."
I quit smoking (watching someone die from cancer helps with that process) and went on a "healthy" diet. Gradually lost 10 pounds but then hit a plateau that didn't budge. A few months ago I started having alarming symptoms - BP spikes to stroke range, tremendous fatigue, heart palpitations, tachycardia, TIAs, high triglycerides. Doctors could not agree on how to address all this since most of the time my BP was normal except when it was wildly NOT. I was advised to cut salt, take potassium, lose weight through fat and calorie restriction, and exercise.
I did all these things. Result - worsening symptoms, no weight loss. A friend recommended a naturopathic MD who diagnosed adrenal fatigue, Stage V on the Selye ASI (Adrenal Stress Index), with immune dysfunction based on multiple blood and salivary tests. He put me on a batch of supplements and hormones, and said he thought I'd do well on a "paleo-type" diet. I started researching and found MDA.
The picture below (hope it works!) outlines my progress since.
Seems like lower carbs and higher fats work really well for me. And I no longer feel hungry and like I just want something indefinable all the time. I am very happy to be here!