Adrenal Fatigue – One year later

It has been about a year since test results showed that my cortisol and aldosterone levels were really low.  Click for first post on symptoms and causes.

I did not wish to wait until my next doctor’s visit to test again so I found the lab they used and requested a cortisol test.  If I retest aldosterone levels, it will have to wait for a regular MD visit and traditional lab work.

Drum rolllll:

Before

Before

After

After

Something seems to be working!!

I also did an AM blood sample that showed a level within the normal range.

For a few weeks prior to the test, I was not taking any adrenal support supplements.  I was still using an increased amount of salt in the form of Himalayan salt.

Yonanas!

 

I have a new toy!  It took me a month to get it out of the box and play with it but I think its a winner for occasional useFrozen bananas and strawberries.

Whenever I had spotted bananas that I would not get to in time, I peeled and threw them in the freezer.  I also cleaned, prepped, and stored some strawberries when there was a BOGO free deal at the store.

 

I let them defrost for 15 minutes…well closer to 30 after  talking with a Fruit mashneighbor.

You put the fruit in the chute and out comes some soft serve ice-cream type food.

 

Where's the hot fudge??

Where’s the hot fudge??

The Most Common Mistake in Self-Treating Achilles Tendonitis

I encountered three people in the past two weeks that were all self-treating Achilles tendinitis.

They all were getting worse.  

They all were making the same mistake.

This is my public service announcement for the week.  Many of us employ the treat by consensus plan.  We consult Dr. Google.  We ask friends.  We call family.  We listen to trainers that a friend of a friend’s aunt knows.  I know I do it.  Apparently, some of my friends do as well.  Adding to that, we have the voice of our fourth grade gym teacher in our head; “no pain, no gain”.

The consensus/group think treatment for Achilles tendinitis seems to be:  stretch till it bleeds.  

The calf muscle group is often tight and needs to be stretched.  However, overstretching can irritate an injured muscle or tendon.  If the pain is where the tendon inserts onto the heel, you can start to weaken the insertion point.  My little art project:

Relaxed Muscle Fibers

Relaxed muscle fibers

Stretched muscle fibers

Stretched muscle fibers

Torn Muscle Fibers

Torn muscle fibers

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Using the Health Insurance Marketplace

Healthcare.gov

One of the pleasures of being self-employed is that I have to purchase my own health insurance.  Sorry, this post may be bit boring for my international friends.

In order for the insurance to be active by the first of next month, I had to apply by the 15th of this month.

It was easy!

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What Bugs Me About Lyme Disease

Lyme disease: n.  An inflammatory disease caused by a spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is transmitted by ticks, usually characterized initially by a rash followed by flulike symptoms including fever, joint pain, and headache. (from the freedictonary)

After hours of online and book reading, I will attempt to summarize what has stuck in my brain.  Please comment with any additional information or possible corrections.  I will add links at the bottom of this post for those of you who wish to begin your own fact finding mission.  Caution:  “facts” about Lyme seem to be fuzzy.  Answers seem to hinge on who you ask.

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Adrenal Fatigue

My New Workout. (Linked to Amazon)

The test results reported on the last post could lead to a label of adrenal fatigue.  Adrenal fatigue is an unrecognized medical diagnosis.  From the reading I have done so far, it seems the only acceptable adrenal diagnosis is adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s Disease.  Two of the hallmark symptoms of Addison’s are weight loss and hyper-pigmentation.  I have weight gain and hypo-pigmentation.  What I do have is fatigue and low blood pressure.

(UPDATE – ONE YEAR LATER)

My Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Not feeling refreshed after ample sleep

Feeling tired most of the day with more energy after 6pm

Salt and sugar cravings

Varicose veins

Feeling dizzy when standing up

Difficulty recovering after stress or heavy workouts (may take days)

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

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My Energy Solution? Kidney Hats

Click for photo source site and adrenal information

One of the reasons that I started my “get healthy” journey and, in fact, one of the reasons I began this blog is that I have a very small bucket of energy to get me through the day.  I have been searching for the right mix of healthy solutions to apply to my life.  The journey has taught me a great deal but I have not felt much, if at all, better.

I decided to step outside the box again and drive over to visit an integrative and natural medicine  center.   My first appointment involved the nurse taking some basic vitals and few more tests.  Then, the doctor and myself sat in his office and discussed everything for over 90 minutes.  He suggested some tests and let me know which ones he thought were more urgent and important, and why.  Together, we decided the tests that I would take.  It felt a little odd to be out of the more paternalistic and time crunched model.

I returned to the doctor about 5 weeks later and discussed the results (another 80 minutes of discussion).  There are still some investigations to be done to get to the bottom of what, if anything may causing some of the results.

* This office does not accept insurance.  Using a cash based system offers them more freedom in how to conduct their practice.

There is a huge learning curve going on here, so I am sure to be sharing more related information as time goes on.  I am sharing this just as general information on my journey.  If you have any specific questions just ask away, or email.  The “traditional” medical doctors I have gone to over the years did not run or offer these tests.  There is controversy over some of these tests’ accuracy and over the treatments offered.  If you have experience or information on any of these topics please feel free to share!  But like Planet Fitness, this is a no judgement zone.

Test 1:  Cortisol

This test was done at home through a saliva collection at certain times throughout the day.  The result was that my level was low throughout the day…well late at night it was near the average range.  So, when I am sleeping, I am close to normal.  8)

Test 2:  Aldosterone

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Popping Pills 4: Turmeric

turmeric

I take Turmeric a few times a week.  I began using it when I heard that I should add turmeric to my juicing regime to fight inflammation.  I still use it in my juices but I only juice 1-3 times a week.  Here is information from another blogger that uses curcumin for pain. (Thanks for the lead Carrie!)

There has been a good amount of research on turmeric.  However, there are not a lot conclusive findings and the search for answers lumbers on.  The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin.  This substance is what is used in many studies.  There have been studies that demonstrate different results when using the whole plant verses just one of its extracts.  So, when looking up research studies, please keep in mind that the actual chemical used, may not be the exact supplement you are taking.  For another opinion, this site does discuss the difference between the extract and the whole plant.

What Turmeric May Help

Inflammation, Arthritis, Stomach and GI issues,

Bloating, Water Retention, Skin Problems, Infections, Headache,

Cancer, Ulcerative colitis, Viruses, Transplant Rejection

Warnings and Precautions:  

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Popping Pills 2: Iron

My vitamins

Iron

I decided to start taking iron a few days a week.  I have tested low enough to be turned away from donating blood a few times.  Since I have been tracking my food intake with the My Fitness Pal app on the phone, I have discovered that my iron intake is low.  In my search for energy and balance, I felt that taking some iron may be helpful.

Like vitamin D, from the previous post, you can take too much iron.  Please use with caution and discuss iron supplementation with your doctor.

The body uses iron to help build red blood cells.  These cells are what carry oxygen through the body.

Signs and symptoms of low Iron Continue reading