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Thread: Wren's Primal Journal - Recovering Adrenal Function

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Wren's Primal Journal - Recovering Adrenal Function

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    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.

    Weight Chart with Notes.jpg

    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    So this has been a good day even though I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep.

    Early snack: 2/3 c whole fat yogurt
    Breakfast: 1 egg, 2oz wild salmon, coffee with cream
    Lunch: 3oz grassfed ground beef, 1 Dr. Praegers broccoli pancake (not exactly primal)
    Snack: cheese stick, 5 falafel chips
    Dinner: chicken thigh, 1/2 large cuke
    Planned dessert later: strawberries w/whipped heavy cream

    Did the housework, visited with a friend, bought some useful stuff for the house, napped for an hour due to my unfortunate early start to the day, read a bunch online. Tonight I have a work project to finish but it's work I enjoy. And those berries are waiting to be eaten!

    Goals for tomorrow: Get better sleep. Find the tai chi DVD so I can see if it works for me. Continue learning PB and having fun with it. Buy more coconut oil!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Hi Wren. I'm glad you joined us. I hope primal continues to go well for you.
    Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

    My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanks for the welcome, Hedonist!

    Another pretty good day. But I need to expand my food choices and experiment with recipes not to mention getting more coconut oil!

    B - 1 egg, 1/2 Applegate spinach & feta sausage, usual coffee and cream
    L - chicken thigh, felafel chips, 1/2c mandarin oranges
    S - 1c whole fat yogurt
    D - 4oz ground beef with homemade tomato sauce and onions, dried seaweed snacks
    Evening snack to be determined, probably will include cashew butter as I'm low on fat for the day.
    I drink water all day, +8c, with sea salt and a little stevia in it.

    No exercise and I didn't find the tai chi DVD. Had a surprise visit from a friend and she stayed for two hours which was wonderful. Plus I spent a lot of time on the big work project. Now I am relaxing and winding down, trying to get to the point where I fall asleep by 10:30pm and stay asleep all night.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Forgot to post yesterday I was so busy! But it was a good primal day. Here's today:

    1st breakfast - 1c whole fat yogurt with almond meal, coffee with half & half
    2nd breakfast - 2 (absolutely delicious) pastured fried eggs
    Lunch - grassfed burger, Dr. Praeger broccoli pancake
    Snack - 2T cashew butter
    Dinner - chicken leg, 2T hummus, falafel chips
    Beverages - 8+c water with sea salt and stevia

    I need to decide on more veggies to eat now that I am completely over green smoothies. Mine were all vegetable, but I got tired of them and also decided to avoid oxalates for awhile. But I'm not checking everything I eat, so for all I know hummus is full of the stuff! I was on a huge hummus kick before I started PB and this is the first I've had in a month. It tasted good but not insanely good.

    Heart rate gradually coming down to more normal levels. I hope to start taking walks again soon. NO angina or palpitations for the past week which is GREAT. Sleep is much better too. Not sure what's due to what - PB and the supplements for the adrenal exhaustion started at the same time - but no matter which, I am very appreciative and encouraged.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Another strange food day. The lower carb I go, the less I feel like eating.

    B - 1c whole fat yogurt, 2T almond meal
    L - 2oz wild salmon, 1 large pastured egg
    D - 1 Applegate spinach & feta sausage, falafel chips, cream cheese
    S - More yogurt with almond meal
    +8c water with sea salt & stevia

    I'm nursing a sick pet so not much free time. Good work day though, I love my job (this may be unusual but I really enjoy what I do). Went to the grocery tonight. Gawd, I have such an exciting life!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    South Central USA
    Wow! My sympathies. Your symptoms also sound like hyperparathyroidism. If you are over 30 and can look back any labs you had drawn that show a serum calcium make sure it is below 10.
    If it is above 10.2, you need your doc to run a PTH.

    Was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, yada yada... But it turned out to be a parathyroid adenoma. 12 minute surgery and back to normal. Thought I was going nuts for about a year.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanks Renegade! I like your tagline.

    I just looked at my original labs and didn't see calcium. Something called Ionized Ca was 4.6, I'm guessing that is calcium. I am very glad to hear your concern resolved but sorry it took a year. Conventional medicine seems to not get this area well, unless you clearly have Addison's or Cushings. It's like everything in between the two is invisible.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Had an OK day. Just found out my beloved cat has lymphoma and may not live more than a few weeks. Bummer. He came to me as a stray a few months after my husband died and really helped fill up the void in my life. Damned cancer.

    B - 1 pastured egg, 2 oz wild salmon, coconut oil, coffee with cream
    L - 1 can sardines, falafel chips, cream cheese, mandarin orange
    D - chicken thighs cooked in coconut oil with onion and paprika, baby asparagus with butter

    I want a snack but can't decide what. I really want something sweet and comforting. Oh wait, I have heavy cream in the fridge!!! Leaving now to make some whipped cream with stevia and real vanilla flavor. Maybe I'll make it into a parfait with blueberries and a little almond meal.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Hey, Wrenwood. Just checking in to say hi and to wish you all the best success.
    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

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