Adrenal fatigue has become a topic very close to my heart because it is impacting so many women (including yours truly) and they DON’T even know it!
In previous posts I have talked about my busy life, my zest for over achievers status and how I have worn being busy as a badge of honour. Up until two years ago, busy was all I knew and was totally clueless to the impact it was having on my emotional and physical well being. I never skipped a beat and lived my life at full speed and with high intensity 24/ 7. Rest was for the weak and the thought of having a nap wasn’t even on my radar. Nap?? Who the f*ck has time to nap and WHY? I ALWAYS had things to do, work to finish, stuff for the kids, chores, training etc. My to do list was endless and for every one thing I ticked off I would add on 2 more things.
I was exhausted, stressed out, strung out and DONE but didn’t even realize it. I am still amazed at what my body was capable of AND the level of denial that I lived with. I ignored the subtle warning shots my body was trying to give me to slow down.
Slowing down was just not an option and every fitness slogan out there re-enforced this “getter done” mentality I had been rock’n for years.
Two years ago everything changed in my life (you can read more about my this perspective shift here) and it was the beginning of my journey into self reflection AND self responsibility. It was time to step into my life and STOP being so busy.
So what does this have to do with Adrenal Fatigue?
Well all this busy living, high stress and lack of attention to how important rest was to my body came back to bite me on the ass.
I am grateful everyday that I live a healthy life and know how to feed my body for optimum health, however this does not make me or anyone immune to all the other things we do in our lives that wear us down. Just like you can’t out train a lousy diet, you also can’t eat healthy enough to make you immune from the impact lack of lack of rest and high levels of stress. YES it is a solid foundation but in the end ALL of your needs for self care need to be respected.
Healthy eating, regular exercise, REST, PLAY and some attention to filling your emotional and spiritual cup (and this can look however you want it to!) is imperative to maintaining physical and emotional well being!
I was forced to slow down by my body.
I started experiencing dizzy spells that stopped me from being able to roll over, let alone get out of bed. I had NO energy and struggled with doing any kind of workout. My gremlins were having a field day because I was feeling weak and tired all the time and I trying to push though it was just making it worse.
So all of this landed me in the office of my ND Nari Pidutti for a full urine analysis of my hormones.
The results were humbling and validating all at the same time. My regular doctor had given me pills for vertigo but kept telling me that all my tests were showing I was totally fine even though I knew I wasn’t.
When I started to work with Dr. Pidutti I finally felt like I was being heard and understood. I knew I wasn’t fine and I am glad I never stopped being tenacious about finding out what was going on with my health. I wasn’t suffering from vertigo and my dizzy spells were being caused by my blood pressure being down in the 70 / 50 range (normal bp is 120/ 80)!!
We hear so much about elevated levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) but do you know that your body can actually get to the point of no longer being able to produce enough?
I had pushed myself and my body so much that my cortisol levels had bottomed out and I this was why I was lacking energy. Cortisol gives us our “get up and go” and is the hormone that gets us moving in the morning. My early mornings, go, go, go pace during the day and then late evening work sessions had completely tapped out my poor adrenals and my cortisol well had dried up trying to keep up with my unreasonable schedule. We all need cortisol but when it reaches levels that stay elevated throughout the day then we can run into problems. It needs to decline in the evening as our bodies start to relax and prepare for rest. To address my specific issues around cortisol Dr. Pidutti put me on a supplement to bring my levels up along with a host of other naturopathic remedies.
*** Please note that these are specific to my condition and this post is not intended to replace treatment that needs to be discussed with your Dr. or Naturopathic Dr. If you are experiencing similar symptoms please seek out professional advise specific to your conditions ***
As a general rule of thumb most people experience the symptoms of high cortisol first before ever reaching the burn out stage I landed in and in the video you will hear Dr. Nari speaking about these. The most classic symptom is weight gain around the mid section. This didn’t happened to me and is most likely due to the fact that my healthy diet doesn’t have me eating foods that create weight gain. I don’t eat junk food so there was nothing my body could use to pack on the lbs. For most women this is NOT the case and stubborn mid section weight gain or inability to lose weight here, is a HUGE warning flag that your hormones are out of wack.
If you are running a busy life please take the time to watch this video and listen to what Dr. Pidutti has to say.
It may change your life and point your health in the direction it needs to go in.
Here are some KEY warning signs:
Abdominal weight gain or
Lack of energy (afternoon crash)
Evening feeling of a second wind (wired but tired)
Low Blood Pressure (this is what was causing my dizzy spells!)
Inability to Cope Emotionally
Getting Sick all the time (lowered immunity)
If you are experiencing these symptoms and just a feeling of being tired all the time, talk to your Dr. or see a qualified Naturopathic Dr. You don’t have to settle for feeling less than amazing!
So today I am on the road to recovery with the help of Dr. Pidutti and her regime of supplements and with my continued attention to supportive nutrition (yes the E.A.T! program is a KEY ingredient in recovery) AND slowing down.
You can connect with Dr Nari Pidutti on her website by clicking HERE
I override my second wind in the evening because I KNOW that it means I need rest and is not true energy. I plan my workouts so that they don’t take away from my rest, schedule them earlier in the day so I can work with my bodies natural cortisol rhythm and have learned the value in taking a nap.
Rest and time spent slowing down is now an important part of my life. Napping is not lazy, it is life giving and energy building.
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Love your life AND the body you are living it in. You only get one so take good care of it!