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When I Started to Receive Treatment for My Adrenal Fatigue

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Recent hormone tests show nothing left. Cortisol, progesterone, testosterone all measured off the charts below normal. I kind of knew I was low, I lost a lot of body hair and my energy was flagging. After over five years I am depleted from the stress of Lyme disease. Adrenal fatigue/insufficiency is just another potential side effect of chronic Lyme.

I agreed to the testing to try and feel better, but things don’t always work out as planned.

I was first put on several supplements to rebuild and stimulate my natural hormone production. For the first few days I started to feel better, with more energy and focus. Then, suddenly, I was on an emotional roller coaster. Tears, impatience, fury and frustration were on speed dial. The smallest thing would make me respond in sharp anger. I had no reserve to ride the ups and downs of life. My poor husband was walking on egg shells all the time.

This is not typical for me at all, so I was a taken by surprise. After a couple of weeks, I sort of paused to check in on this rush of emotion and symptoms. Things were a little off the rail and getting worse by the day. What could be doing this, I asked. I did some reading and checked in with my healthcare team for some answers.

My liver couldn’t handle all the load of the hormone precursors. As things backed up, my emotions and my physical symptoms took off. I hadn’t really considered the “all natural” hormone precursors as a possible cause. To me they were supposed to help my heart and my energy. But it makes total sense after I thought about it and asked my doctor.

Because of the problems, I was taken off all the hormones.

Crash, the bottom fell out and I hit a low. No motivation or joy. After slinking around for a few weeks I took stock again. What the hell? The abrupt switch left me exhausted and depressed. I just lay around reading and watching TV only doing the minimal to get by. I ended up sleeping 10 to 12 hours a night for about three weeks before getting some help.

I had to shift my focus to see the happiness and beauty in my life, as well as move away from despair towards appreciation while I waited for my body to adjust. I bumped up my meditation practice and added uplifting mantra and sang some Christmas carols to give me joy and make me laugh. Then I added something to each and every day to boost my sense of empowerment. My progress was slow, but steady.

Now I am back to my happy self, but still dealing with extra aches and pains. Another side effect of the attempt to restart my hormones was a big increase in inflammation. In my situation, this causes joint pain and muscle weakness, so I am working with my diet and lifestyle to calm things. I learned some big lessons to help in the future.

1. Pay attention as I move to a new protocol. Plug into to my feelings and state of mind as part of evaluating the effects of supplements and drugs.

2. Question my healthcare team about all potential side effects. Ask about how many people they have worked with and what they experienced, not just what is in the literature.

3. Do some research on my own so I can have an intelligent discussion with my doctor. This might mean a follow-up question and answer session.

4. Be willing to stop a protocol if there are more negative consequences than positive ones. Have faith that the right time will come for hormone rebuilding.

I know not just ride the roller coaster ride so fast it goes off the rails. Listen to the feedback my body gives me with understanding. Help my healthcare team to optimize my healing.

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Gettyimage by: natalie_board

Originally published: January 4, 2018
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