Worried about adrenal fatigue - tips?


jenna

Recommended Posts

Hi there, I just started my 3rd Whole30 challenge, though I have only successfully completed one . And my last one left me with a case of adrenal fatigue that I am still battling. The last challenge I did was great for the first 2 weeks - I lost a few pounds, got super super lean, and then the weight started coming back on. I finished it out with another 2 months (after the 30 days) of paleo eating that wasn't 100% strict (cream in coffee....other than that, strict). And that was just in time for my competition season. I had the worst season ever, and I ended up having to take a month completely off of high intensity exercise, and have been working with a doctor ever since to get my adrenals firing appropriately. Ever since then, I have been skeptical of the Whole30 and paleo in general (as in, strict paleo). I still always eat 80% paleo but did add in post workout protein shakes and other dairy, but eating no gluten. I also never eat any of those "paleo treats" or whatever - you know, making sweet treats out of technically paleo ingredients. Not for me.

Anyway, i recently cut out coffee (12 days now!) and I think that will help with my adrenals. However, the sugar demons came back big-time. So, I thought I would give another Whole30 a try. Needless to say though, I am very concerned that I will end up in the same place I did last time.

Today is day 2 for me. I woke up feeling OK but have been feeling really carb depleted all day. I had 1 cup of sweet potatoes after my workout, and plenty of veggies as well as cashews for a fat source which I know have carbs in them too. But I would LOVE a banana or apple right now.

I'm wondering how to differentiate between "normal" cravings for sugar/carbs due to this being the beginning of a Whole30 and my body's true need for more carbs.

And, seriously, I don't like sweet potatoes all that much. I need some other carb sources.

So I guess I'm looking for advice on how to avoid adrenal fatigue on the Whole30.

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

To be clear, doing a Whole30 does not increase the risk of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue may develop when a person experiences an overload of stress whether it is physical, emotional, or psychological. Some people get stressed about doing a Whole30 perfectly, but the protocol itself is nurturing and healing, not stressful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps your former high intensity exercise and the fact that you seem quite stressed regarding weight loss/healthy eating are the things that are causing your adrenal fatigue. I say this because my sister experienced adrenal fatigue over these things. It is awesome to make fitness and healthy eating a huge focus of your life, but it is possible to beat yourself into the ground when you are trying to do things perfectly. You seem very skeptical of the Whole30 way...which will just add more stress. I personally find that knowledge helps me feel confident in my decisions. Take some time to look into various studies and read "It Starts With Food." Maybe this will help you to feel good about your choices. Best of luck to you and I hope you feel better soon! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious if blood work was done on you.... Even if it was, the signs of adrenal hypo/hyperfunction ( BP,K, NA) can be caused by a lot of factors...... I do not doubt for a second that you are suffering, but a lot of doctors love to label things and put them into net little boxes to treat.

I only say this because I have had VERY similar situation to you, and it resulted in several injuries, and even though I'm incredibly lean and fit, High blood pressure!!!!

For me the end result after all was said and done was my body was just plain worn out..... Label adrenal fatigue if you wish, but I was burnt out!!!

I took a few months off hard training and just did very lite workouts ( my knee was almost gone) but kinda went overboard and ate next to nothing but veg and lean protein ..... That increased the stress on my body as shown by my BP that shot up to 160/100!!!!

I'm officially 1 week in to W30, but I started the protocol three weeks ago.....I waited to start the official count until I cleaned out of a medication I was on...

I've been getting my rest.... Doing " normal" workouts and eating as much as I can with out overheating....

I feel better than I have in years and my BP has stabilized at 110/70..... W30 is much more than your diet, it's reducing stress and relaxing and healing..... Don't worry about your performance for a few months( 45,60,90 days may be required) , it will come back better than ever after your body/mind heals

I didn't mean to be blunt but your story connected with me and my frustration.... Hope this can inspire

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks for all the replies. I do like onions (a lot!) but am not too fond of squash or parsnip or really any root vegetable besides carrots (and only raw. Not cooked. Yuck). I suppose I will try to like it. I am very picky, I know, but it's a texture thing.....

I wasn't trying to say that a Whole30 caused adrenal fatigue. But the two coincided. So I'm trying to prevent it from happening again. I was curious if more carbs would help or if it was altogether unrelated. I know it comes from too much stress, and I have taken many steps to reduce my stress, BUT I can't get rid of it altogether. Believe me, if I could do nothing but sleep and get massages all day, I totally would!

Also my "adrenal fatigue" wasn't diagnosed via blood work, though I did do a saliva hormone panel. I do know my body produces next to no cortisol and I am exhausted all the time - just feel burnt out in general.

I will (continue to) incorporate the remaining 8 principles into my life. I just need to hear reassurance that I am on the right path :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I forget if it was paleo view are paleo bites but I have listened to several podcast that recommend women not going Low Carb when also in adrenal fatigue. Whole 30 isn't inherently low carb so I would try keeping carbs between 50-100 a day and see if that supports you better as you fight this. Imo very low carb without enough fat can cause body stress but probably more for women than men.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, maybe I should consider using Fitday or something like that for a couple of weeks just to make sure I am in that carb range. I made a big salad last night with TONS of onions and carrots on it, and had a banana too actually. I love this way of eating so I hope I can continue!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Disclaimer: I know nothing about Adrenal Fatigue, but coincidentally, this was in my email along with Daily Apple. Chris Kresser is too sciencey to hold my attention, but I figured this may be interesting to some of you. You have to scroll down quite a ways to get to the Adrenal subject.

http://chriskresser.com/adrenal-fatigue-glutathione-status-and-rheumatoid-arthritis?inf_contact_key=0db3c64e6523505e7f6fddaa6a0b46fa317d7a8e9588b0224477259250e3f413

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Okay, maybe I should consider using Fitday or something like that for a couple of weeks just to make sure I am in that carb range...

Don't go to Fitday, Measuring your carb intake falls in the same category as counting calories and getting on a scale every day. It diverts you from your primary purpose and is totally unnecessary. Just be sure to eat some carbs on a daily basis - a sweet potato, some butternut squash, turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering how to differentiate between "normal" cravings for sugar/carbs due to this being the beginning of a Whole30 and my body's true need for more carbs.

This is what works for me, YMMV:

I eat some healthy W30-approved carbs. If it saps the craving, I figure my body was telling me to fill a need. If it doesn't make a difference and I still want to rip open a bag of M&Ms, it's a craving and I try to fight it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Best book: http://www.amazon.com/Adrenal-Fatigue-Century-Stress-Syndrome/dp/1890572152

From book:

Drop caffeine

adequate mineral salts (like Celtic/Himalyan)

vitamin C-buffered 3-4g/day

magnesium (like Natural Calm-unlfavored)-also transdermal mg like Ancient Minerals is great!

same bedtime and rising

15-30min siesta flat on back in afternoon

reframing emotional stuff/meditation

Wilson sells supplements, but they are pricey. I like Gaia adrenal health.

Lastly, adrenals suffer when the thyroid is less than optimal. Example: thyroid is not puttting out enough T3 so in order to acheive your daily tasks, you whip your adrenals to compensate with adrenaline/cortisol which stresses the adrenals. Free T3 levels above 3.6 indicate good function (range 2.4-4.4).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.