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sandrany

Adrenal Depletion

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I was wondering if anyone has had success with this program restoring adrenal function. My adrenal system is completely shot and I am on some very expensive supplements that I cannot function without. I would love to be off them someday. If you have had success, how long did it take to see improvements?

 

Thanks for your help.

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I am continuing to see success and I've been at this for nearly two years. I am not, however, off my supplements yet. But I have steady energy throughout the day,  go to bed pleasantly tired, and wake up feeling good.

 

Here are my best tips in addition to following the W30 rules: prioritize sleep (give yourself enough--I do best with 9 hours per night--and clean up your sleep hygiene best you can) and don't be afraid of starchy vegetables. Eat some with every meal and eat your biggest portion with meal 3. Also, making sure to eat meal 1 within an hour of waking will do serious heavy lifting for getting all those hormones humming along.

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Hey Lady M, why do you suggest the starchies at Meal 3?

A lot of people say they sleep better with them in the evening and I recently read a book on adrenal health and resetting that suggests increasing starchy veg throughout the day for hormone balance. I've been doing it to good effect.

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Yes I am reading a book on adrenal reset and basically you eat your protein in the morning with a small amount of resistant starch (cold cooked potatoes, you can reheat, green bananas and other things that aren't whole30 approved) then you increase your resistant starch and decrease you protein for the next two meals. If you think about it most of start with our starch / carbs in the morning like doughnuts and coffee and end with protein like a steak. The theory is to reverse this for adrenal issues. Good luck!

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I too have had some major issues with adrenal overload before starting Whole30.  Today is Day 16 for me, and I have not strayed one bite, but I am still dealing with a horrible allergic rash around my eyes.  I think I am still reacting to some of the foods I am eating -- eggs (organic cage-free), beef(grass fed), walnuts and this itchy horrible, ugly red and scaly mess keeps coming back.  I am also allergic to fish (which I have only had once), grapefruits (and I gave away a whole case I had just bought from our High School's FFA), tomatoes, green peppers, black pepper, and more, and I have tried to not eat any of that either.  I think mango might be a culprit and pineapple too.  YIKES -- what is left to eat?  Chicken and salad!  I need some help or some hope.  When I saw my face this morning, I just wanted to grab those gluten-free waffles in my freezer and say never mind (I didn't though).

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Tina and LadyM - would you mind writing a little more about your efforts with "carb reversal" and how its worked for you?

I learned experientially that I did better without starchy carbs in the morning (they set me up for hunger and sugar cravings throughout the day) and I sleep better at night when my dinner includes plenty of starchy veg. I've since read that hormones are likely the reason. Slowly increasing carbs throughout the day helps manage cortisol, especially.

 

Cortisol is highest in the morning. It starts to lower after lunch when insulin begins to rise (some carbs here help start to reduce cortisol, necessary to help wind down toward sleeping, but too much can cause sleepiness too early--afternoon crash, anyone?); and by dinnertime, insulin response is at its peak; without carbs at this point, cortisol raises blood sugar, which interferes with sleep.

 

Hope this helps, littleg!

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I too have had some major issues with adrenal overload before starting Whole30.  Today is Day 16 for me, and I have not strayed one bite, but I am still dealing with a horrible allergic rash around my eyes.  I think I am still reacting to some of the foods I am eating -- eggs (organic cage-free), beef(grass fed), walnuts and this itchy horrible, ugly red and scaly mess keeps coming back.  I am also allergic to fish (which I have only had once), grapefruits (and I gave away a whole case I had just bought from our High School's FFA), tomatoes, green peppers, black pepper, and more, and I have tried to not eat any of that either.  I think mango might be a culprit and pineapple too.  YIKES -- what is left to eat?  Chicken and salad!  I need some help or some hope.  When I saw my face this morning, I just wanted to grab those gluten-free waffles in my freezer and say never mind (I didn't though).

 

I think you should start your own thread for this one, so this doesn't get buried. Do you keep a food log?

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I too have had some major issues with adrenal overload before starting Whole30.  Today is Day 16 for me, and I have not strayed one bite, but I am still dealing with a horrible allergic rash around my eyes.  I think I am still reacting to some of the foods I am eating -- eggs (organic cage-free), beef(grass fed), walnuts and this itchy horrible, ugly red and scaly mess keeps coming back.  I am also allergic to fish (which I have only had once), grapefruits (and I gave away a whole case I had just bought from our High School's FFA), tomatoes, green peppers, black pepper, and more, and I have tried to not eat any of that either.  I think mango might be a culprit and pineapple too.  YIKES -- what is left to eat?  Chicken and salad!  I need some help or some hope.  When I saw my face this morning, I just wanted to grab those gluten-free waffles in my freezer and say never mind (I didn't though).

Many of the problem foods you reference here are deliberately excluded from the auto immune protocol (AIP). You might want to do a little research into that. I'm sorry you're suffering right now.

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I learned experientially that I did better without starchy carbs in the morning (they set me up for hunger and sugar cravings throughout the day) and I sleep better at night when my dinner includes plenty of starchy veg. I've since read that hormones are likely the reason. Slowly increasing carbs throughout the day helps manage cortisol, especially.

 

Cortisol is highest in the morning. It starts to lower after lunch when insulin begins to rise (some carbs here help start to reduce cortisol, necessary to help wind down toward sleeping, but too much can cause sleepiness too early--afternoon crash, anyone?); and by dinnertime, insulin response is at its peak; without carbs at this point, cortisol raises blood sugar, which interferes with sleep.

 

Hope this helps, littleg!

So, are you saying starchy veggies lower cortisol? I produce almost no cortisol in the morning and it slowly raises until night where it only is back up to normal levels. Yeah, my adrenals are crazy out of whack :P I'm wondering if this is why starchy veggies seem to make me sooooo sleepy? I'm on day 22 and really trying to figure this all out, I'm planning to keep going but would like the next round to go better enrgy wise :/

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I've been able to get my cortisol levels up in the morning and mid morning through diet a little bit, but up even more by taking my first dose of thyroid medicine in the wee hours of the morning when cortisol production is gearing up for full gear. Because my body doesn't have to choose between having enough thyroid hormone to support the cortisol production because it already has it, it can focus it's energy on just cortisol. 'recovering with t3' or something like that is what set me in the right direction and I haven't looked back since! Seeing normal cortisol on test results after years of low results was a shocker!

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Karen, I will definitely look that up! So glad to hear you've found a way to manage your cortisol levels! It gives me hope :) I'm about to have my thyroid tested so I'll be interested to see what that shows. Is it prescription thyroid meds you're talking about taking in the early morning or a supplement? And when you say wee hours what are we talking? :P I do notice sometimes I start to wake up before sunrise but I usually go back to sleep because it's so early and I don't want to be getting tired when my kids are getting up, and then I usually have restless dreams at that point and end up waking tired :/

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I take t3 (cytomel), it is a prescription. Doctors tested my tsh and t4 for years based on my complaints, but when I finally got a doc to dig into it deeper, we found my body doesn't seem to want to convert t4 to t3, so t4 treatment is out for me...

As for the wee hours, I set an alarm for 2.30 am, take my pill, and fall back asleep. T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone. It's fast acting so I have to dose multiple times a day. It peaks for me at about 4 hours, so when I wake up at 6 ish, it's kicking.

I had to play around with dosing. A lot. But finding the sweet spot was worth it! FYI, I have secondary hypothyroidism and likely pituitary issues, not autoimmune. Your situation may be totally different!

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Thank you so much for sharing your experience!! So would this be where the free T3 or reverse T3 tests come in to play? I'm going to schedule an appt with a doc but I want to understand as much as I can so I can make sure they're looking at the right things. I've been very frustrated with my family practice doc, she has done the same either tested my TSH only or tested that and t4. At my last visit she mentioned my weight "has room for improvement" and when I expressed my frustrations of not being able to lose despite a healthy lifestyle her response was "don't drink your calories." Useless ugh.

I've had fatigue issues and struggle with weight since I was a kid (i'm 32) so I've wondered if I've had thyroid issues for a long time and that's why my adrenals are messed up :/ Anyways, I want to get a handle in this not just for me but for my husband and kids too.

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Yup, free t3 and reverse t3 should be tested! Good luck. I found most endocrinologists are pretty useless for this kind of stuff; an integrative doc might be more useful if you hit a dead end.

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and adrenal issues aren't just for those with thyroid problems either :) I have Reverse T3 but no thyroid issues.

 

If you're getting blood tests done, I also recommend getting a test for MTHFR as doctors will rarely include it and many people go undiagnosed.

 

I have to take cortisone for chronic sinusitis and it messes with your adrenals big time! I've been taking it so long, when I'm finally healthy enough to give it up, I will likely have big adrenal issues, where my body won't be able to make enough cortisol to make up the gap left behind.

 

Cortisol should be highest in the morning when you first wake and then lower through the day, so yours sound flipped around.

 

Knowing your cortisol levels is also good for workouts. For years I exercised on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, but I got almost no positive effects at all, no matter how hard the workout.

 

Switched to lifting heavy instead of cardio, that helped, but the best was moving from morning to afternoon/evening workouts, when my cortisol is not at it's highest.

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Switched to lifting heavy instead of cardio, that helped, but the best was moving from morning to afternoon/evening workouts, when my cortisol is not at it's highest.

This is interesting, praxis, because I experience the opposite. I work out first thing in the morning and my trainer has suggested that working out has a similar effect on cortisol as eating does. That's a reason why I usually don't eat before working out first thing in the morning, though I do follow it with a post workout meal and then meal one shortly thereafter. I certainly don't recommend that for anyone else, especially those who know they have hormonal issues, but it works for me.

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Very interesting article LadyM. I'm definitely not at risk of overtraining. I'm a stay at home homeschool mom so typically my exercise is riding bikes with my girls, jumping on the trampoline with them, or hiking. That article did however relieve some of the pressure of feeling like I'm not doing enough :) I guess my mindset is more just staying active vs. exercising.

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I hate to sound so clueless, but how do you know your adrenals are depleted and how do you know your cortisol levels?  I have Hashimotos and was diagnosed with a goiter with I was 16 (I'm 56 now).  I've been on synthroid (thyroxine) my entire life.  I've never found a Dr who would do any of the tests that you are talking about and I've researched doctors in my area, using various searches from thyroid websites, and can't find anyone in my area.  

I LOVE to run but have figured out that maybe I shouldn't so have been walking and doing weights, though they are boring after being a runner.  I just finished my first Whole30 and lost 7 lbs.  I'm totally happy with that, though my clothes feel like I've lost more.  After the first week of an upset stomach every day, I found the autoimmune protocol and LOVE it!!

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