Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Regime(n)

This is what I've been doing to heal my adrenal glands. I know I'm not the only mama around here with symptoms, so I thought I'd share what's working for me...

1. Most importantly -- beginning and ending the day with prayer and reading my Bible, NT letters lately. Some days I get tripped up, but waking up and looking immediately to the Lord has made the biggest difference in reducing anxiety. No surprise, right?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  -- Phillipians 4:6
2. Reducing stress, increasing rest. Lowering social expectations of myself. Not being afraid to cancel plans if I simply cannot do it. It's not fun, but it's necessary.

3. Diet.  The adrenal fatigue symptom I struggle with the most -- the one that affects everything else (energy, mood, headaches) -- is the hypoglycemia. The protein/carb ratio and TIMING of meals is critical. Fifteen minutes late and a few bites too few or too many can get me off course for the next 24 hours. This is what's been working lately...

No caffeine or sugar. I gave up my weekly soy lattes first, and eventually even my morning Earl Grey tea. Now I'm drinking Yogi herbals, which have all sorts of good things to support the immune system.

Two eggs and one piece of Ezekial cinnamon raisin bread toast for breakfast.

Snack at 10 a.m., earlier if I woke and ate breakfast early. Berries, milk, yogurt and protein powder smoothie and a handful of cashews.

Lunch. Yeah. Still working on that one. I'm supposed to be eating salad with a good dose of protein. Sandwiches don't work, even with Ezekial bread, but I'm not sure why. Leftovers are easiest.
Snack at 3 p.m. Don't forget!  Nuts or string cheese and a piece of fruit. I should do veggies and dip.

Dinner -- no pasta, no potatoes, no cornbread, nothing made with white flour. Beans, meat, veggies, brown rice. And not too much of it. I need some new recipe ideas, but my belly is shrinking!

I was having a bedtime snack (usually string cheese) for a while, but I don't seem to need it anymore, which is AWESOME!

4.  Supplements:
Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F (oh, wait, there's no F vitamin...). Calcium, magnesium, chromium. Ashwagandha, licorice root, Raw Adrenal.

5.  Exercise... I sneak next door to ride my mom's exercise bike every once in a while. I should be doing more, but it requires more calories, too. Right now I'm just enjoying the fact that I've dropped a size and had to buy new jeans last week!

6. I also had my copper IUD removed, on the chance that my symptoms are related to copper toxicity. I started feeling different during the first two weeks after having it removed -- more weepy, less angry, as though my estrogen level was changing. Also, I started having headaches after eating meat. Meat contains zinc, which helps counteract excessive copper in the liver, and headaches are a symptom of copper detoxification.

I am still learning about how all of this works, and I need to see my doctor again in a few weeks to discuss how things are going, and if I should change anything. I'll start my period this weekend, and the last time was pretty rough, so we'll see if things have improved.


mandi said...

you are doing so well with all of these changes. i know the routine of doing something is often the hardest to change (ie: weekly latte)- but you are doing it! way to go!

as someone who has all sorts of weird hormone things (if i let it!), when people ask how i can eat so healthy all of the time, i tell them simply- "trust me- it's worth it." wouldn't you agree?

Jocelyn said...

Good job! You seem to be getting the hang of it very well. I need to get off caffeine too...I think I may just have to go cold turkey!

sarah in the woods said...

I was watching a guy at the store yesterday buying a cart full of pop, icecream, honeybuns, and chips. How come some people can get away with eating like that? I started GAPS and being on intro was awful - too much detox. But all that fatty beef broth really helped with my appetite and hypoglycemia. For a change, I was not ravenous or crying when I went a little long without food. I'm on full GAPS now and feel so much better. No grains at all, no potatoes, no sugar. But also not feeling like I'm starving, not cranky all the time, no stomach cramps, not tired all the time. Amazing how much difference the right food can make. I really need to work on making exercise a priority though.
Hope you continue to feel better. Glad to hear your regimen.

Lynette said...

Great job Amanda, I am realizing that I need to make some extreme changes to my diet because I am sooooo tired all the time and I am sure that my diet has something to do with it!

Amanda said...

Mandi -- Thanks! Yes, it's definitely worth it, even though it's a lot of work getting started.

Joce -- If I can do it, so can you! Didn't you get off caffeine for a while last year?

Sarah -- Good for you! One of the best surprises is that effect on my appetite, too -- when the cravings stopped, it was so much easier!

Lynette -- Don't wait until you're desperate like I did! Just start small and slowly. Make one better choice at a time. Stock the house with fruit you like, and cut out sugar first. Then reduce caffeine.

I put off making the big changes for so long because I hated feeling like a freak. I had to stop thinking of it that way -- the way most Americans eat isn't good for anybody, it just shows up differently. I actually have to think of myself as blessed, because my symptoms are so external -- most people don't know something's wrong until they have cancer. :(

Erin said...

Hi! Long time reader, but I've never commented (that I remember!) Thank you so much for posting this! I've been suffering from extreme fatigue for years and no doctor can figure it out. I've been reading up about Adrenal Fatigue and trying to fix my lifestyle. Your post is a huge help!! Thank you! :)

SarahS said...

Good job! It can be hard to make changes, but so worth it. I have been slipping on by eating habits lately and suffering for it:( I find when I am super fatigued and can't exercise the way I want to (which for me is mountain biking) I get super discouraged and start eating poorly--which only makes the problem worse, DUH!!

I find I need a lot of salt, and I really have to make sure I get those snacks in(unless of course I've been overeating at meals-which is just bad news all around I get so out of whack), especially protein. I found a protein powder to be the easiest way for me to do it.

Renate Hoornstra said...

be careful taking vitamin A, dr Fuhrman (drfuhrman.com) says it can cause cancer

Anonymous said...

thanks for this post. I have been feeling lousy lately (granted I am pregnant!), but very tired, even sad, and I need to remember to eat well. I have hypoglecemia (I think I spelled that wrong).

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