Extreme Adrenal Fatigue: The Brutal Reality, Including Symptoms
So often I see “motivational” posts like these on social media;
“Rise and Grind”
“Sleep When You’re Dead”
I admit, I’m guilty of making posts like this too, doing two-a-days, and never taking a rest day. If I didn’t feel completely wrecked after I got done lifting I wanted to do more,
I was obsessed.
I took something that was supposed to be good for me and made it unhealthy, I made an obsession out of it, like I’ve done with food in the past. Now I’m paying the price. After months of not feeling myself, going to multiple doctors having multiple blood test done I was finally diagnosed with extreme adrenal fatigue.
Enter, Adrenal Fatigue
I had been doing so much of my own research over the past several months, I ran across the term adrenal fatigue several times. Adrenal fatigue can and has also been misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even lupus. Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue is not a very popular subject among most doctors or specialists.
I have never been so miserable as I have been these past few months, I thought my body was shutting down and there was no relief in sight. I started to realize that something wasn’t quite right when I wasn’t losing weight or gaining any muscle despite following the Westside powerlifting program, doing Crossfit wods, and living a healthy lifestyle.
I stayed stagnant and pushed through even though I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere with my body composition. Somehow I continued to hit PR’s.
I worked a stressful job and was in the middle of starting my own food prep business on top of training 6 days a week. Between work, my business, and training I was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night. I became completely anxious on top of being exhausted. I decided to schedule an appointment based off of my symptoms and the things I’ve read on the internet that related to how I was feeling.
At first the doctor thought I had PCOS. He treated me with pills for pre-diabetes and insulin resistance along with some thyroid medication popular among overweight individuals. I began to have additional symptoms such as extreme bloating and inflammation.
From here, I went to a Gastroenterologist just to be told that my tests came back “normal.” I eventually had to quit the job I was at in order to reduce some stress, but the symptoms only continued to get worse.
At this point I didn’t want to wake up anymore. It hurt so bad to roll out of bed. Getting a cup of coffee was almost unbearable; my fingers cramped so bad.
Tested for Arthritis, Celiac Disease, and Lupus
So I called a rheumatologist I had on my lists of doctors to get tested for arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus. The thought of having arthritis as an athlete at the age of 24 was devastating, but I was ready to have answers.
So one night I was lying in bed still in pain, still without answers, and I happened to stumble upon a video on my news feed that a friend had posted. The video was referring to inflammation from food, inability to lose weight or gain muscle despite eating a bro diet and lifting daily.
I thought, “Holy sh*t! That’s exactly what’s wrong with me! I have to contact him about this video!” This friend of mine happens to be the owner and operator of Nutrition Dynamic which uses a FirstLine Therapy medically researched and clinically tested approach to treating disease. It is used around the world to help patients solve their problems, not just treating the symptoms.
Within the first 10 minutes of talking to him about my symptoms he already knew I was suffering from adrenal fatigue and possibly PCOS as well. After running a couple other tests (that my other doctors did as well, but confirmed were “normal”) we came to the conclusion that I did indeed have extreme adrenal fatigue.
The answer was bitter sweet. I finally had an answer and I can now start my road to recovery which isn’t going to be a walk in the park, more like a hike up Mt. Everest in a pair of flip flops.
I’ve had to temporarily back off of my lifting. This was only thing that kept me sane.
I’ve had to learn to become more comfortable with relaxing and taking rest days, which I should’ve learned to balance in the first place. I found a pretty chill job.
I now do yoga daily, lift what I am aloud and take time to do things I put off in the past. I still have quite a ways to go, but I’m trusting the process and falling back in love with life again.
So if you find yourself with the same symptoms as I did don’t put it off. Don’t push through your workouts or long days at work. Listen to your body.
I’m writing this so that people are aware that it’s not normal to feel tired and live off of caffeine among all of the other crap I’ve gone through. To hell with all of these doctors and specialists that want to shove a pill down your throat as a Band-Aid to the solution.
10 symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Extreme fatigue despite good sleep
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle pain
- Food allergies
- Low libido
- Low energy
- Irregular periods
- Salt cravings and hyperglycemia