Adrenal update

About 2 weeks ago I asked what you all knew about adrenal fatigue, and you came to my rescue with more info than I could absorb in an adrenally fatigued lifetime!

I couldn’t help believing adrenal fatigue was the latest fad and I hated to jump on every bandwagon that passes my way, but I really do think we’re onto something here.  Even though we often live a lifestyle that appears healthy on the surface, I think moms of many are habitually sleep deprived and pulled in too many directions to think much about ourselves.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I think much sanctification comes by children, and most of us would do well to think a little less about ourselves – but maybe it is hard on our health.

I’m a pretty easy-going person.  I’ve never felt like a stressful person, but I know that when I’m surrounded by circumstances that would be stressful to a higher strung person, I get heart palpitations and tachycardia that can last for days on end.  I also know that if I step back and look objectively, I had multiple sources of stress in my life over the past 2 years, often piled one on top of the other.  I thought I was handling things well, but maybe my body disagreed.

I had that conversation with my mom last week and learned that she feels exactly the same way.  We don’t feel stressed emotionally or psychologically, but our bodies feel it and react nonetheless.

My conclusion: I was suffering from a combination of mild adrenal fatigue and some early signs of what a dear friend calls, “Mad Cow Disease.”  I’ll let you guess what that means, but I’m almost 40.

I say was because I’m feeling better already.  For better or worse, I took a shotgun approach and made about a dozen changes all at once, so it’s hard to say which ones or how many are actually making a difference.

  • I cut back on sugar and caffeine.  Except dark chocolate.  We all know that’s good for you, and I don’t want to do anything detrimental to my health.
  • I am making a serious effort to get more sleep.  It’s not entirely in my hands, but I can certainly do my part.
  • On my midwife’s advice, I started taking an adrenal supplement.  I don’t want to be hooked on an expensive supplement and I wouldn’t be too quick to credit this except that my blood pressure, which normally runs in the comatose range, is suddenly very normal.  That has never happened to me – not during stressful times, not during pregnancy, not during labor, not in rain or shine, sleet, hail or snow…you get the idea.  I just woke up one morning about 5 days after I started taking the supplement and I was normal.
  • Progesterone should be helping with any signs of Mad Cow Disease.
  • I’m faithfully taking my Supermom vitamins plus a B complex and D3.
  • I plan to start walking regularly again.  I have a tendency to exercise hard or not at all, and I don’t go outdoors nearly as much as I should.  This winter has been warm and beautiful, and I’m a fool not to be outside at every chance.

As I mentioned, I’m feeling better already.  I didn’t feel terrible to begin with – I just didn’t have the energy that I think I should.  With an unprecedented gap after our last baby, I should feel like Wonder Woman.  Instead, I felt like I was trapped in the first trimester of a pregnancy – you, know, that part where you always feel like you need another nap?  Now I feel like it’s closer to where it should be.  Thanks for all your help and advice, and I hope some other tired mama can learn from this like I did.


  1. Hello
    Could you please recommend the adrenal supplement that your widwife recommended?

    • It’s Adrenal Health by Gaia. The name is fresh in my mind because I just studied the label of my empty bottle this morning, so I could remember the name when I go for more. 🙂

  2. I’m wondering (and I haven’t done the research yet) if it is harmful to a body to take high levels of the B vitamins long term. I took NOW Foods “Special Two” at half the dose for three to four years. (These are the Vit’s that are relabeled as SuperMom.) Yes, lots of B gives us lots of energy, but is it good for our organs to constantly be processing? I switched to a half dose of NOW’s Prenatal until I find out more.

  3. I missed you original post, but I’ve been dealing with adrenal fatigue too. I’m seeing a Dr who gave me a recipe for a drink to make to combat the adrenal fatigue. I was told to double the potassium, ascorbic acid and No salt and drink 1/4 cup in the morning, because my adrenals were a mess. Keep drinking 1/4 cup in the am and sipping on it during the day until it tastes horrible, then you know to stop.
    Adrenal fatigue is a very common hormone imbalance often treated medically with prednisone or cortisone. We have found a simpler and less expensive method to address this situation and it works very well.
    Mix ¼ tsp of Sea Salt plus ¼ tsp of potassium chloride* with ½ tsp of ascorbic acid crystals and mix in one quart of cold water.
    Sip on this throughout the day and see if it helps relieve lower back pain and raises your energy levels.
    *Potassium chloride is usually available in grocery stores under the name “No Salt”.

    There’s some good information on adrenal fatigue here.
    attn. *Karyn….scroll down to the bottom right hand of this page and you’ll get your answer.

  5. Hmmm… I’m definitely suspicious 🙂 Kim, you are very cleverly avoiding saying “No, I’m not pregnant!” Very exciting!! Wonderful that you are feeling better too. love, Karyn

  6. Well, congratulations on your good health! It’s good to get to the “bottom” of things… can provide great insights when Life is tricksy 😉

  7. that is an interesting post. I haven’t read your initial one but I was having the MAd cow disease since I haven’t got pregnant yet and my youngest is already 2 y.o. I am also 40 years old. I was having very weird symptoms, some of them weariness. I began taking VITEX about 4 weeks ago… I have noticed that the mad cow disease is not as bad this month. i also noticed a boost in my energy level. I think part of it is because I have quit the coffee too and I am doing a more vegetarian diet. I don’t know… but I am trying to sleep at a decent hour and doing the supplements I know to do. Check out my blog for more info and let me know what you think. 🙂

  8. Extreme fatigue? And pregnant? And over 35?

    Could it be twins?

  9. Congratulations :). I was so excited to read the news in your newsletter. 🙂

  10. This may not be an issue for you, but I found I used to be quite tired, and I was also often dehydrated. When I did drink it was juice or soda because our tap water was awful. I started buying bottled water and carrying a water bottle around with me during the day, and within a week I found I no longer NEEDED my afternoon nap, wanted maybe, but it was no longer a matter of getting the baby down before I crashed on the couch. It’s also easier to wake up in the morning now.

    Maybe not an issue for you, but something to consider? I never thought dehydration would cause such an issue.

    • Abba, I forgot to put that on the list, but drinking more water is another change I’ve made. I was obviously dehydrated when I had my blood test, so staying hydrated is probably helping too.

  11. What are your supermom vits? Where did you find your adrenal supplements? I have been so very worn out for 2 years and there is nothing medically wrong. Doc just started me on B12 shots but it really isnt doing what everyone says it does, so i am willing to give this a try.

  12. When did your mom go through menopause?

  13. are you pregnant?

  14. It’s creepy that if I were to write something about myself and how my health is these days it would be this exact same post ; ) Thanks for all the info but I was wondering (I’m a new reader) what and where do you get the supplements and what are SuperMom vitamins? I am very interested to find these little wonders and begin taking them myself : ) Also, I have hypothyroidism and take a prescription medicine for it. Have you heard of or know anything about alternative natural remedies for that?

  15. Somehow I missed you comment on FB (but I’ve had two INTENSELY crazy weeks back-to-back!)

    Extreme adrenal fatigue is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to fully recover from my auto accident 3.5 years ago. Life has just pounded me in the last 5 years. I’m finally to a place where I’m not being hit so hard (well, unless you count the ups and downs of Alz caregiving) and I’ve been able to breathe. I’m nowhere who I once was, but I’m better.

    “Are You Tired and Wired?” by Marcelle Pick is a good summary of natural treatment. Unfortunately, my adrenal fatigue has progressed so far that I can’t eat her 30 day adrenal building diet because of my food allergies.

    Anyhow, I hope you feel better soon. : )

  16. Mind me asking what kind of adrenal support supplements you can take while pregnant? I haven’t found any that are safe yet…

    • My midwife said that Gaia Adrenal Health is fine to take while nursing and/or pregnant. There’s a warning on the label to consult your caregiver first if pregnant or nursing, and that’s what I did. 🙂

  17. I’m really glad you’re feeling better, because you rock.

  18. You probably should not be dropping and rolling and then firing that new gun of yours. Just relax for a spell… : )

  19. This is good news and I hope you continue to feel better.

  20. Glad to hear you are doing better and feeling well.

    I have hypothryroid and take medication. I am going to do some study on it on my own and see if there are some more natural things I could be doing….

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