Adrenal Fatigue: behind my PND mask

It feels like my life has just begun and ended all at the same time. Of course, it hasn’t actually ended but life as I’ve always known it has…

I’ve recently had investigative work done and found out I have a hormone imbalance and my adrenals are not working properly. In fact, they are pretty knackered right now. The idea of ‘adrenal fatigue’ has become my best friend and worst enemy all at once.

It kind of beats the PND diagnosis, though. The full truth is always better than part of the truth. It turns out my old friend, PND, was masking a much bigger issue. PND was only one symptom in the picture…

The Sickness of Adrenal Fatigue

I’m not an expert on adrenal fatigue and I can really only tell you my experiences. I’ve learnt the adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and they are the centre for hormone production. They are absolutely vital for our wellbeing, particularly stress management.

My symptoms are pretty yucky and very debilitating:

*Being absolutely exhausted during the day and then insomnia/broken sleep at night makes for a living hell.

*The irritability, anxiety and depression take so much pleasure out of life.

*The brain fog and complete inability to think straight is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

*And then there’s an inability to deal with stress. My body goes haywire at the slightest thing. It simply can’t produce enough of the hormone, cortisol (the one that helps the body to respond to stress). It’s been overworked for far too long.

My current treatment involves hormone tablet to try and swing things back into balance. But it seems to be the lifestyle changes that are important (which alongside a baby and a toddler is not easy).

*I need to become a yoga master (if only I had the energy).

*I’ve spent 6 weeks detoxing, with an organic diet fit for a king (pretty much meat and veggies).

*I’m shaking – no not with nerves but – because I’ve tried every supplement going (as our bank balance knows).

*I’ve meditated like a demon when I can.

*I’ve rested as much as I can (we even flew Mum out to help) though with young children it’s a bit of an impossibility.

I’d like to say I feel better but that would really be a lie right now!

Because I’m just not there…..YET!

I have to hold on to that tiny word because it brings me some hope. Surely there’s an answer somewhere. Surely there’s a magical formula I just haven’t quite yet mastered. I bloody hope so because living like this is so damn tough! Apparently the answer lies in time, patience and perseverance; three things that I’m not that great at really!!

Searching for wellness

The path to wellness for those with adrenal fatigue seems a long and laborious journey. I read somewhere recovering is ‘exhausting,’ which I found quite ironic giving the nature and intensity of the fatigue.

For some, it’s been there to varying degrees for a long time (often masked as a mental illness – a symptom of the problem) . I suspect mine goes back to adolescence. It’s the breast feeding issues that made me suspect that and the ‘symptoms’ I’ve had along the way. The long lead up to the big crash.

The journey is hard but the knowledge is powerful. It’s only knowing what is actually going on that we can find the solution and the healing; the magic’ can really happen (I bloody hope so).

And at this point in life it’s vital. It’s not just about me anymore. It’s about my little people too. These issues are really robbing so many experiences currently. I could easily give up. But now I can’t, I HAVE to keep going.

Glimmer of hope

In saying all this…it is actually fabulous to finally understand what is actually happening behind the mask of ‘post-natal depression,’ which is a label doctors are comfortable with. They aren’t so keen to investigate what else is going on, though. Prescribing anti-depressants (with or without therapy) is an ‘easy’ solution (and undoubtedly work well for some – I’ve seen it happen). They have never solved anything for me, though.

I feel like I’m finally getting to the root of the problem, after years of searching for an answer. It’s only this way that I can stand a chance of actually fixing it! For that I am very grateful. Fingers crossed I am really getting there now!

If you suspect your adrenals are playing up, get yourself to an integrative doctor and work it out now. Most standard GPs all over the world won’t recognise or test for this issue (I’m guessing because in reality most people have it to varying degrees, given the crazy world in which we live). If you haven’t got it, make a plan to keep it that way!

The further it goes on, the more exhausted your adrenals will be and the harder it is to get back. Normal may never look the same again. And that’s ok. I fully believe this journey will propel me into a much better way of being for me and for everyone.

Love, Cat x

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