Monday, June 4, 2018

Exercising with Adrenal Fatigue

Over-exercising is one of the major challenges in Adrenal Fatigue. It is where I went wrong. What I am learning is not to exercise beyond my body's ability to recover (my level of adrenal function).

I've learned a few basic guidelines for exercising with adrenal fatigue.

  • What you can and can not do depends on your stage of adrenal exhaustion and on your level of adrenal function. 
  • Stop when you START to feel tired. Make sure you are in situations where you can stop when you begin to feel tired.
  • Stress, such as over exercise, causes the body to produce adrenaline (epinephrine) which increases your blood flow, and gives you more energy and oxygen. You feel so much better! The down side is that it is only temporary. In the end, adrenaline depletes your body's reserves and increases adrenal fatigue. If you are keyed up and jittery after exercise and have trouble sleeping, you exercised too much. You are not "building up", and you are not "getting stronger". You are just running on adrenaline. You need to rest. (I thought I was doing so well!)

Exercising after an Adrenal "Crash"

So here you are again, sick and unable to move much at all. You have had an Adrenal "Crash". Now what? How can you exercise at this point?
This is where I am, and what I am asking myself.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Over-exercising will not help. It can easily trigger another "crash", so if you don't want to end up in the hospital and on adrenal medication - Take it very slowly!
  • The moment you feel even a little tired -- Stop and rest!
  • Don't move again until you feel rested
  • Don't Push Yourself! Accept that you will not be moving much at all for a while. Get someone to help you if needed. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Causes of Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency

Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency can be caused when your pituitary is not producing enough ATCH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). The adrenal glands need to be stimulated by ATCH to produce cortisol which we need to give us the energy necessary to deal with stress of life. 

Things that can cause ATCH not to be produced include problems with the pituitary gland, and occasionally, problems with the hypothalamic area of the brain. ATCH production can also be suppressed by the long-term use of corticosteroids.

Monday, May 28, 2018

What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Addison's Disease?

A woman wrote to me saying that she had just received a, "diagnosis of 'secondary Addison’s Disease", possibly brought on from several years of steroid injections in my back. At the end of the day, I don’t see a difference in symptoms between primary and secondary. If I’m understanding this correctly, I only need steroid replacement and not one or two other medications that primary Addison’s requires. But I am still steroid dependent and at risk for an Addisonian Crisis."

Yes, when the adrenal glands have been severely damaged to a point that they can't produce enough cortisone, it is called Primary Adrenal Insufficiency, or Addison's disease or hypoglucocorticosteroidism (low levels of glucocorticosteroids particularly cortisol and aldosterone). This damage can be caused by an injury, TB (tuberculous), infections especially fungal, disease, cancer, and surgical removal of the adrenal glands. A tendency to have endocrine problems seems to run in families. 

Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency is a lot more common. In both conditions, the adrenal glands are not producing the amount of cortisone your body needs, so the symptoms are nearly identical such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and they both have the risk of going into an Addison's Crisis which can be trigger by stress. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Triggers of Adrenal Crashes

You can "crash" when your adrenal glands have become worn down to a point where they are no longer able to cope with the stresses you are experiencing. It may be a sudden traumatic event such as a car accident, or it may take years of different stresses, then one day, one more stress is just too much, and your adrenal glands are no longer able to cope. This is a list of some stressors which can trigger an adrenal "crash". A "crash" can be triggered either by severe sudden stress or by chronic stress.  The list is in alphabetical order.

Aggressive Detoxification - such as fasting for several days or enema
Allergies - most common in adults: eggs, fish, milk, peanut, soy, wheat
Change - ex. moving to new location, medical restrictions, lose job 
Chemical Sensitivities - perfumes, cleaning products, paints, etc.
Chronic Fatigue - often relates to Chronic Infections
Chronic Infections - such as Epstein-Barr Virus; often subclinical (not                                        notice many symptoms yet)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Why Do I Keep Having Adrenal "Crashes"?

Several people have asked me why I can keep having adrenal "crashes" when I obviously know quite a lot about adrenal fatigue. (Probably many more have thought it, but didn't have the courage to ask me.) It isn't that I'm an idiot who can't learn, a masochist who likes to suffer, an unbalanced person who craves attention for being ill, or an incompetent boob who doesn't know when to stop.

Others chide me with, "You've over done it -- again!" How can I deny it when I'm unable to walk, or even think. But it is not what people think. It is more like the frog that stays, unaware of it danger, in the slowly warming pot until it is too late.

People with adrenal fatigue become so used to being tired that it becomes a way of life. They don't even remember what it is like to feel enthusiasm or feel energetic. They don't notice the subtle signs that their adrenal glands are becoming more and more tired. Neither do they notice the slowly increasing intensity of their symptoms.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Can I Have Adrenal Fatigue If My Tests are Close to Normal Range?

A man wrote to me why has had many adrenal fatigue symptoms for years. He has just had several tests done to try and discover what is causing his health problems. Though his tests show some abnormalities, nothing is definitive.

Does this sound familiar to you? It sure does to me! I've since learned that exhausting your adrenal glands usually takes a long time and a lot of stress. You will have many symptoms of Addison's Disease, but not be diagnosed with the disease (like being in a Pre-Diabetes state, but with the adrenal glands). This is because Addison's Disease simply means that your adrenal glands are not producing an adequate level of cortisone. Generally, you slowly exhaust your adrenal glands until they finally reach the point where they can no longer cope, and it is then called Addison's Disease.