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.