I posted a few months ago about an incident of hypoglycemia (http://paleohacks.com/questions/219179/hypoglycemia-after-high-carbsugar-meals.html#axzz2lOjMSnIK) and since then, symptoms have been getting worse.
I feel tired, thirsty, like i need to eat, cold hands and feet, lightheaded (like vertigo), sore throat pretty much all the time. I've been looking around for what might be the cause and i think it's adrenal fatigue with some hypothyroid symptoms. I went through a load of stress a couple of years ago and found paleo to help with digestive problems. Suddenly i felt great but the mentioned symptoms have become more apparent over the last few months.
I check my blood sugar regularly and it's ALWAYS in a healthy range which is why i don't understand why i feel like i have low blood sugar. I eat every 2-3 hours.
My diet: (i was eating GAPS when this started so i upped my starch)
Starchy PHD compliant carbs 15-20%
Usually eat 2,500-3000 calories.
I eat all the right things. Meat, oily fish, veg, some fruit (usually just an apple and with meals), liver, broth, kefir a couple of brazil nuts for selenium. I don't ever cheat now because it makes me feel so bad (which i suppose is the silver lining). A cheat now would be a small bit of cheese or fruit. I was eating 4 times a day but now feel like i need to eat every 2-3 hours if i'm on the go.
Vit C, Betaine HCL(one with meal), magnesium chelate, zinc, Vit D every other day, DGL. I've been adding sea salt to water sometimes and to every meal which helps with the thirst. I'm not sure if it's worth looking into the herbs suggested in the book on adrenal fatigue by James Wilson. I'm still halfway through reading it.
Any sort of stress seems to really knock me back. I'm trying to meditate everyday, only exercising when i feel up to it, even working less hours. My job is active but not too stressful.
I feel like i'm doing everything right but don't know what else i should/could be doing. I know adrenal fatigue isn't recognized in modern medicine and it's not even accepted by a lot of people in the paleo community. I 'm just looking for advice or maybe your experience with it? I don't want this getting any worse. I struggle with anxiety still and don't want to end up with Addisons or something. I'm a 22 year old guy and i don't know anybody else my age having issues like this, i just want to feel good again and enjoy my life.
Any help/advice/experiences is really appreciated, Thank you.
asked byMatt_61 (384)
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on November 27, 2013
at 12:35 PM
My recommendation is that you stop your low-carb Paleo ASAP and increase your carbs slowly. Goal is to fix the insulin resistance that sometimes develops on high-fat low-carb diet, which cause a carbohydrate intolerance due to excessive insulin secretion.
Adrenal fatigue doesn't exist imo. Like raydawg said, it's more related to a poor thyroid function and elevated stress hormones.
on November 27, 2013
at 11:45 AM
"I feel tired, thirsty, like i need to eat, cold hands and feet, lightheaded (like vertigo), sore throat pretty much all the time."
These are more thyroid symptoms than adrenal fatigue. The adrenals sometimes have to take over for an inactive thyroid and vice versa. Might want to get a thyroid panel. In terms of adrenal fatigue, phosphorylate serine works wonders.
The lightheaded feeling might be a salt/potassium imbalance - since you're getting seasalt, perhaps look into raising potassium.
But the cold hands/feet, and sore throat are thyroid symptoms. Thryoids need both iodine and selenium - you're probably getting enough selenium, so maybe check on the iodine. That said, please check first by getting a thyroid panel from your doctor (you'll want a full panel, not just T4/TSH) - if it's Hashimotos, increasing iodine may make things much worse.
on November 26, 2013
at 04:50 PM
I know how you feel! My adrenal glands act at the wrong times so sometimes I have an excessive amount of energy where at other times, Its hard for me to stay standing. My holistic doctor put me on two types of Adrenal Support natural supplements: adapten-all and rhodolia. THis has helped me, my mom and multiple of my IBS friends, so check it out! You can order these same ones online or buy different Adrenal support supplements at Whole Foods (more expensive though, duh)
This, however, is in my opinion a way to alleviate the symptoms rather than nip the problem in the butt. It seems like you need symptoms alleviated before you can move forward, and these are natural at least. I am still on a journey figuring out the root cause of all my problems, but taking these supplements has made a world of a difference!!
on November 26, 2013
at 05:55 AM
That sucks your having such a rough time. When I first tried low carb a couple years back I ended up taking myself to the emergency room after a pretty nasty panic attack. Some of us are wired differently, whenever fat is the dominant macro in my diet my body does all kinds of weird stuff.
I went back to a high carb diet and I feel a lot better. It took some time for my body to get back to normal though, probably about three months.
I would add to eat lots of cooked green veg, that seemed to help me.
on November 23, 2013
at 10:08 PM
Adrenal fatigue is BS. If your blood glucose is within range you are not hypoglycemic, simple as that. By the way, its very rare to "feel" hypoglycemic, my blood glucose has gone as far down as the 50s and 60s multiple times and it feels identical to when my glucose jumps to 110. The exception would be blood glucose in the 20s which would cause you to pass out, but thats a whole different story. If you are truly concerned go to a real doctor and get your bloodwork done just to be safe. You might even want to get a full metabolic panel and a complete blood count done to make sure you are not anemic. Anemia can be caused by many things not just nutrient deficiencies so you might want to get that checked out.
Everyone gets anxious and stressed so you're not alone, and being stressed doesn't mean you have a disease, it means just that you're stressed and nothing more. Health anxiety is one of those things that can easily take over your life for no good reason, don't let it. Enjoy your youth, youxe going to be fine.
on November 23, 2013
at 06:57 PM
If you can afford it you should get a 24-hour cortisol saliva test done (you can order this online for around $120) to determine if you have high or low cortisol since they require different treatment. You may also try some of the suggestions by Dr. Kruse in his Adrenal Fatigue Rx which is based around rewiring the hypothalamus through optimal diet and living. Adrenal fatigue is not actually a problem with the adrenal glands, but a problem where the hypothalamus is not sending the right signals. It is better called a Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA Axis) dysfunction. http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-16-adrenal-fatigue-rx/.
I recommend increasing your dose of Betaine HCl since you said you have a chronic sore throat. In my experience this is caused by acid reflux and it was fixed with more stomach acid. You could also try adding some digestive enzymes with ox bile such as the NOW Super Enzymes.
To help with the thirst you should get some unrefined salt such as celtic sea salt or himalayan rock salt. Take half a teaspoon in 4-8oz water every morning, and use it liberally in your cooking. Refined salt can dehydrate the body because of the lack of trace minerals. Almost all "sea salt" sold in stores is refined and may be making the thirst/dehydration worse.
The DGL is good for acid reflux and such, but it lacks glyccyrhizin which is the adaptogen component that can help with adrenal fatigue (it increases the half-life of cortisol so you don't need to produce as much). You should try making licorice root tea instead, but be mindful of the dosage since it can increase blood pressure (this will help with the dizziness when standing up) and water retention when used too often or too much.
Your diet looks good to me. Too many carbs can be taxing on the adrenals since they are highly involved in regulating blood sugar. I would cut out the snacking and try to stick to 3 or 4 meals per day that are evenly spread out and at regular times. Try to eat at the same time every day and go to sleep at the same time every day to help regulate your circadian rhythm which is closely tied to your cortisol levels (should be high in the morning to wake you up, and low at night so you feel relaxed for bed). Minimize artificial light after sunset and use Flux software on your computer to reduce the amount of blue light to stimulate melatonin production.
Meditation and mindfulness to manage your reactions to stress are important, so keep doing those.
on November 23, 2013
at 04:21 PM
Things I would do (not in any particular order):
1) Really prioritize sleep
2) Experiment with eating more carbs
3) Get some morning sun/more sun in general
4) Walk a lot, morning best probably.
5) Get bloodwork for thyroid and if bad consider supplementing.