Long time no see, Squirrel Friends!!!!!!!!
I haven’t written in a long time. Because frankly, I haven’t felt like it.
I’ve been tired… like crazy tired. And stressed, and sad, and worried, and overwhelmed by EVERYTHING. And I’ve gained weight and felt so unhealthy no matter how hard I’ve tried to fix it. But there’s a reason why.
If you want the short story, that’s it. You’d better stop reading here. Thanks for coming. Buh-bye.
But if you want the long story, then here we go!
Again, I haven’t felt like it, but there’s a reason why. I have been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue (… and a major hormonal imbalance… and a mutated MTHFR gene… and some other stuff.)
I’m guessing right about now you are saying “Hey Squirrel, WTH is adrenal fatigue?” Most people haven’t heard of it, including many typical heath care providers. Let me try to explain… When the body gets stressed, it goes into the “fight or flight” mode and your adrenal glands secrete cortisol (and a whole bunch of other crazy science-y stuff happens too – but cortisol is the biggie). When you calm back down, your cortisol levels try to level out. However, if you don’t calm back down and you stay in that “fight or flight” mode for too long, you wear those poor little glands out and they give up. They start malfunctioning.
(SQUIRREL – I’ve been trying to prove my Adrenal Fatigue for over a year. I knew there was something “not normal” going on. It made people call me a hypochondriac, but dammit, I knew I was right!)
I thought my move to Atlanta had caused some of these bad and unhealthy feelings. I mean, that’s pretty stressful, right? Moving your whole family halfway across the country and starting a new job (for those of you who know where I work and what happened there recently, you know this is also a MAJOR cause of stress) where there’s horrendous traffic and we know almost NO ONE. (Not to mention while still paying for 2 sets of mortgages and utilities.) Nah, that’s not stressful at all. <sarcasm font> OK, sure. I accepted that this would be hard and might have really thrown me off my game. But I still knew something wasn’t right. And, as always, I was TOTALLY RIGHT. (LOL – Oh I crack myself up!) Adrenal fatigue can jack up your metabolism, sleep, immunity, hormones, and the body’s ability to handle stressors. Many people with adrenal fatigue suffer from depression, nervousness, and anxiety in addition to all of that other crappy stuff. Yep, I have all of those. Severe all of those.
Luckily, I now live in an area where there are PLENTY of doctors who know what this is and how to diagnose and treat it. Also luckily, I live near The Paleo Mom who has some very similar issues and wrote about her doctor that is helping her fix her issues and get healthier. (SQUIRREL – some of you know that I am her quasi-stalker… and have even met her in person, TWICE… so it just makes sense that I should also see her doctor, right?!?!)
SQUIRREL – Dude. This is cool. I read the post above by The Paleo Mom on a Sunday morning. I immediately went to the doctor’s website and filled out an information request (his office is only 10 minutes from where I work). I got an email from their office around 12:30pm asking if I’d be available for a phone consultation with the doctor the next morning. Again, this is all on a Sunday. So I had my first phone call on Monday, my first blood draw that Wednesday, and my first 3-hour appointment with the doctor and then his nutrition/supplement/exercise consultant as soon as my test results were back which was 2 weeks after that. I freakin’ love that office.
He figured out the Adrenal Fatigue and how it is affecting me on a cellular level. I’m basically a 70-year-old woman as far as my cells are concerned. Stupid judgmental cells. I also have this hormonal imbalance – partially because of my age and partially because of these other issues. I have somewhat of a testosterone deficiency and a HUGE progesterone deficiency. I’m one big ol’ ball of estrogen! And I have this MTHFR gene thingy. I really don’t know much about it except that it affects the way my body detoxes. (SQUIRREL – Rest assured that as soon as I finish my research, you’ll hear all about it. ;) )
I’ve often said that my body is really good at telling me that I’ve pushed too far. I tend to get sick and end up laid up for like a week then I feel better and get back to the same hectic routine. These “knock downs” had been coming more and more frequently over the past few years. I had no idea that this is actually a REALLY BAD THING and that my body was trying to send me a VERY IMPORTANT message. Things have to change. Like straight up lifestyle and mindset changes.
So I’ve started taking tons of supplements and super vitamins to regulate my hormones and cortisol. I’m also following a pretty strict Paleo Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) diet. I have a specific number of carbs, protein, and fat I need to hit every day. I have to exercise. I have to sleep. And I have to RELAX. Not just rest, but find ways to actually relaaaaaax. The relaxing is the hardest part for me.
Sooooo, I’m about to go on a journey. A really scary one that I have no idea how to do. But also one that I’m excited about because there is hope that I will feel better.
Wish me luck! And I’ll keep you posted!