Are you tired of being tired? You might have adrenal fatigue!
I’ve always been driven.
Even as a child, I worked to achieve the top grades in school and be a leader in my church youth group. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class and proudly donned the medal for the Most Outstanding Female Graduate (the highest honor bestowed on any student) in college.
I was the president of more clubs and organizations than I can even remember, and I was on the editorial team of my college literary magazine and editor-in-chief of the newspaper.
Things didn’t slow down that much once I entered adulthood. While mothering two (and then through my third pregnancy), I worked many nights freelancing for several local newspapers before I started this blog. Over the past four years, I’ve built up this website and also co-found Ultimate-Bundles.
People have often asked me: “How do you do it all?”
The answer? I don’t.
Yes, being a work-at-home mom has been a necessity for our family, but all of these accomplishments have ultimately come with a price–a price I am just now seeing in my mid-30s.
In January, I crashed.
I had been headed there for quite some time. Nearly two years ago, an integrative MD and a chiropractor both told me I had signs of adrenal fatigue. I spent many days tired. I craved salt (so much so that during really stressful seasons I would pour it into my hand and lick it out!). At night I was too wired to fall asleep, so I kept on working after the girls would go to bed.
In addition, I had undergone some major family trauma about five years ago–a life trial that put me under prolonged stress.
But I never got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t even make it out of bed. That was the sign of ultimate adrenal burnout, and I applauded myself that I had never gotten that bad.
But then Nanny died. I spent two weeks crying every single day. Yes, I know where Nanny is. I know that I will see her again one day, but I was mourning my earthly loss of my grandmother.
My first sign that something was a little off was that I didn’t shed a tear at her funeral. After two weeks of crying day and night, it seemed I had cried myself out. I could cry no more.
Then, in late January, I came down with the flu. I had not been sick in years. I had barely suffered a cold, and now this? Although I do feel it was a mild case by most standards, the fatigue itself was debilitating. I could not drag myself out of bed. All I wanted to do was sleep.
And even when my fever and other symptoms subsided, the fatigue continued. My energy levels were completely depleted.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenal glands are two glands that sit on top of each kidney. They are about the size of two or three pinto beans. But these tiny glands are powerhouses to our bodily systems.
The adrenals secrete adrenaline and stress hormones which influence nearly every system in our bodies, from our hearts to our sex hormones.
When the adrenals are overstimulated because of two much stress and lack of sleep (whether through work, life events, etc.), they get fatigued and stop functioning at optimal levels.
According to the website adrenalfatigue.org:
“Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia.
“As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger.
“You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or ‘gray’ feelings.
“People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.”
Adrenal Fatigue symptoms include:
- slowed metabolism and weight gain
- salt cravings
- insomnia (wired but tired!)
- mood swings
- frequent colds and flu
- irregular menstrual cycles
- muscle spasms
- and more serious issues as well!
Uncontrolled adrenal fatigue can lead to:
- autoimmune diseases
- chronic fatigue
- hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes
- premature heart disease
- and more!
In the two weeks since I had the flu, I’ve decided that something had to finally change. I’m tired of being tired, and I need to heal my adrenals.
I’ve been reading up on adrenal fatigue and making a real plan for healing. Part of my plan includes working less. So, over the next few months, you will see fewer posts from me (only once or twice per week) and more guest posts. I am hoping you will enjoy “meeting” some new bloggers while I work to rest and recovery from pushing myself too hard for far too long.
Honestly, writing here as often as I want to is very hard for me to let go of. I have more blog posts ideas than I could ever hope to publish. I have over 400 drafts plus more ideas scratched down elsewhere!
But I am learning that I can spread them out and not have to write everything at once.
Next week, I’ll be sharing with you my plan for adrenal fatigue recovery.
I know far too many moms who are suffering from adrenal fatigue. Because so many of my friends are bloggers, I used to think this was a blogging problem (especially since so many of us work at night, after our kids have gone to bed!), but this subject has come up so many times in real-life conversations, with friends who are in the trenches of motherhood, that I now know that adrenal fatigue it not isolated to one group.
It’s an epidemic and nearly everyone in our fast-paced society is prone to it today–especially high achievers and driven personality types.
If you think you are dealing with adrenal fatigue, here is a list of books to help you begin the path to healing. These are the books I have been reading to help me through adrenal fatigue!
My friend Beth is also working through adrenal fatigue right now. You can read her story here.
Had you ever heard of adrenal fatigue? Do you think you’ve ever dealt with it? What are your tips for healing from adrenal fatigue?
Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. I am just a mom who loves to research about health and wellness. The sources for this post are the books listed above, as well as adrenalfatigue.org. Please consult your trusted healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health!