Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm Still Here!

Though my adrenal glands are working now, I know I will always have to be very careful in my life or I can over stress my adrenals again and be back where I was before. Will I ever forget the lessons I learned while I had Addison's Disease? No! I am still here to answer the questions you might have and to offer encouragement to you who have stressed adrenal glands. If you have had a tumor, or some other damage to your adrenal glands, cutting down your stress and carefully managing your medications will help you feel better, but your adrenal glands will probably not function again. Most of us suffer damage to our adrenals by the incredible amount of stress we experience in our lives. My doctor told me that if my adrenal glands were not destroyed but only suppressed by some stress, they could heal if I could find the source of the stress and eliminate it. I confess that I was very skeptical. I had been so ill for so long. I was afraid to hope. It took me years, and a lot of help from the Lord, but I finally learned that I had many allergies, chemical sensitivities, extensive mold in my basement, and many negative relationships. When I eliminated this huge weight of stress, my adrenal glands did heal! If you have any questions about living with Addison's Disease, low adrenal function, or about healing, remember, "I am still here!"

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Adrenal Glands Have Healed!

Yes! It is true! I have been completely off all adrenal medicine (Hydrocortisone and Fludrucort) since June 28, 2015, nearly 6 weeks!. I wanted to make sure I could function well without the medicine, before I told you. I know you might be thinking that it is impossible to heal from Addison's Disease, but I am living proof that you can heal your adrenal glands. I was tested many years ago and the blood test showed that I had "no detectable level of cortisone".  My adrenal glands were not functioning much at all. I was told that I had Addison's Disease, and I was put on a complete replacement dose of hydrocortisone. For twelve years I took hydrocortisone and fludrocort to keep me alive, and now my adrenal glands are managing on their own. How did this happen?

A friend asked me today, "So stress has made you so sick, not lack of adrenal function, sensitivity to plastics, perfumes and dyes. Wow and how did you figure it out then?"

This is my answer.

How I Cut Stress in my Life

I have been working at cutting stress for years. Enabling your adrenal glands to heal (if they are just stressed and not damaged) is a matter of figuring out what stresses you and cutting them out.  

First, I tried to avoid everything I was allergic to.

I didn't eat foods I was allergic to.
I rotated my foods carefully.
I ate a balanced Diabetic diet.
I only ate organic foods and drank filtered water.
I diligently took my allergy medicine and avoided things I was allergic to. 
I avoided perfumes and chemicals.

Friday, July 31, 2015

How Can You Test to See If You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

You level of adrenal fatigue can be tested by checking the level of the adrenal hormone, cortisone, in your blood stream (hormone outside your cell), and saliva test which measures the adrenal hormones within your cells. The saliva test can be done several times a day. If the level is below the normal level, you may have adrenal fatigue. It it is severely low (70% lower than normal), then you may have Addison's Disease.

You can also check your pupils. If your pupils do not dilate (become smaller) or stay dilated in bright light, you may have low adrenal function. Low blood pressure, especially why you stand quickly can also be an other indicator of low adrenal function.

Besides checking the internet, a good book is

Friday, July 17, 2015

Adrenal Fatigue and Pregnancy

I have been asked if I had Addison's Disease when I was pregnant. Since Addison's Disease is a common term for primary adrenal insufficiency, it is a matter of degree. I had not gotten to the point where I had an adrenal crisis, but my adrenal glands were not functioning well and my cortisone production was probably low. Each pregnancy I became more ill and recovered less. I was extremely fatigued, weak, and very nauseous the entire time I was pregnant. This woman wanted to know how to tell the difference between being pregnant and approaching adrenal crisis.

That is a very serious question. I think with me it was both- I had more symptoms from pregnancy because my adrenal glands were not able to give me the support my body needed with the increased demands of pregnancy, and I was having symptoms from low adrenal. .

Both pregnancy and Addison's Disease (or low adrenal function) can make you very tired. Usually, in pregnancy you start to feel better after a few months. I felt more and more tired as the stress of pregnancy continued. With pregnancy I felt more sleepy and just tired, while I felt more a sense of terrible deep fatigue with low adrenal. I had trouble lifting my arms or even blinking. It was a tiredness that went all through me.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Adrenal Medication and Menopause

I was asked if I needed more cortisone to deal with the stress and changes of menopause. I did need more sometimes.

A woman asked me if the small amount of extra cortisone she was now taking because of menopause could cause her to put on weight and have trouble losing it. Yes! Even a small amount of cortisone can increase your weight, especially during menopause. Cortisone causes insulin resistance (it counters insulin to maintain stable blood sugar). Menopause causes your metabolism to slow. When you combine more cortisone with the lower metabolism of menopause, it is hard not to gain weight.

She also asked whether a little extra cortisone, taken along with her normal florineff, could increase her blood pressure. Cortisone and florineff are replacement hormones for the two major adrenal hormones. They do affect each other. I have experienced this interaction many times.

I suggested that it is particularly helpful during menopause to keep records of your blood pressure and your blood sugar. These records will allow your doctor to better monitor your adrenal medications, so you can feel your best. During menopause you may need to adjust your medications several times.

I felt a lot better when menopause was over! It will eventually end.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Perception of Tiredness

Obviously, something has gone wrong for I am down again. About three weeks ago, I woke up and could barely move. The day before my husband and I had gone on a little outing, and I felt ok afterwards. It was just an hour from our home and only involved a little walking around an historical park. Why was I so tired?

Two days before, I had had the energy to go to up to our attic six times in a row. I was doing fine, so why didn't I have any energy now?

The answer -- I have little perception of how tired I really am becoming. I get so used to being tired that I don't notice how I am really feeling. I don't expect to feel rested. I don't even remember what "rested" is, so I just keep going and do what I think I must, should, or want to do. I don't stop until my body finally quits. I think I am "better now" and "can do it". I tell myself that everyone gets tired. That is true. Everyone does get tired, but I start at tired and take it to lower levels. I am having to remind myself that dragging myself from room to room, feeling nauseous, having blurry vision ("so tired they couldn't see straight"), coldness, shakiness, and staring blankly are far beyond normal "tireness".  It is exhaustion.