I was once told that once you reach adulthood you will be incredibly fatigued from all the “responsibility” involved with growing into this stage of life.
The people who always preached about an endless amount of exhaustion were all adults, so of course, their living testaments were the highest form of credibility to a young and energetic seven year old at the time.
Once I hit college, I remember the dreaded waves of “adult” fatigue. At the time, I chalked it up to being overweight, partying too hard and not sleeping enough.
What I did not realize was that it was a part of a bigger problem…adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands do not produce enough/too much of certain hormones which regulate other systems like our reproductive organs, thyroid and digestion. This can lead to a complete overcompensation from other body systems which puts a tremendous amount of stress on you.
It may sound like a quick fix, but because adrenal fatigue’s symptoms mimic MANY other kinds of diseases and disorders, it’s often difficult to diagnose.
For me, it took almost 5 years to figure out I had this.
After college, I entered the working world and my symptoms of fatigue worsened. I had always been a fitness fanatic, but was now sidelined due to severe muscle aches and exhaustion after my workouts.
While everyone else around me would often feel euphoric after working out, I would feel sluggish and literally need a nap.
I ignored these symptoms and kept working out harder and harder especially when I was training for my professional photo shoot last year.
I began to develop tons of injuries which would frustrate me to tears. I would take weeks off and let everything heal and get right back into the gym full force with my high intensity workouts.
What I didn’t realize was that my body was about to wage a complete war on itself.
I became so fatigued last winter I oftentimes could NOT get out of bed. Yup, not even coffee could be my knight in shining armor.
On top of the fatigue, my appetite began to skyrocket and my periods became so unbearable it literally guaranteed a panic attack every month. My mood swings were also affected…my parents even asked if I was on steroids because I was so rageful.
I finally knew I had a severe problem to take care of, but at the time had ZERO health insurance.
I stopped working out completely and shockingly my moods became a little bit more tolerable. My muscles were not sore so I was able to have more energy throughout my day.
It was until about two months ago that I saw a holistic naturopath who listened in awe as I described my horrific symptoms.
She was almost positive I had adrenal fatigue and that it was all most likely from overexercising.
I ended up taking a salivary test and they found out none of my hormones were up to the levels they should’ve been! My estrogen levels were literally below zero…
She gave me a few things to regulate my hormones: organic milled flax seed, chaste tree extract pills and a higher than normal dosage of a b complex
In addition to that, she told me to request a complete blood test from my doctor and wrote down some additional things to test for, including my thyroid levels. (Thyroid problems are another common diagnosis for adrenal fatigue!)
The results have actually been pretty great so far. I am not 100% completely cured. It takes many, many months to fully recover (some people honestly don’t ever make a full recovery) so I’m not rushing it.
As for my workouts…right after my 10K in September, I stopped with the intense stuff. I have been doing barre workouts and hot yoga along with some abs and random youtube videos. I do NOT make working out my first priority at this point in time. I know it’s harming me more than helping me.
I feel like adrenal fatigue is something that is often overlooked by many mainstream physicians. Most will just blame the individual for the ways they are: “get more sleep”, “drink coffee or tea”, “take this antidepressant”, etc. etc.
If you feel like you have adrenal fatigue, I highly recommend scouting out a local naturopath who can help you decipher between that and another illness.
Most do NOT accept insurance but I can honestly say mine has been worth every penny so far!
Have you ever experienced adrenal fatigue?
Peace, love and go to the doc!