Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

Adrenal Fatigue. It’s just another chapter.

I’ve been staring at the curser blinking on this blank screen for 10 minutes…maybe if I just start typing, my fingers will just continue…  SO, adrenal fatigue, my body is totally in it! What is it? Adrenal Fatigue in short is when the adrenal glands become exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol….Whoa! Wait a minute. I thought cortisol was bad for you? Well, too much is, just as too little can also wreak havoc on ones body. What causes it? STRESS. Emotional and physical. From school, jobs, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, to lack of sleep, overtraining and under eating (competing did NOT do this to me)…BUT hold on, heres the kicker,…it may not be adrenal fatigue at all. “your adrenals may be fine, they just may not be getting the signal from your pituitary that screams “WORK ADRENALS! Make progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, cortisol, etc. make the thyroid work!” Are you confused yet? Yeah? ME TOO!!!! I’ve been researching, I’ve been resting, I tried gluten free, I take thyroid meds, I’m supplementing with hormones (progesterone and DHEA), supplement with all kinds of vitamins, minerals and oils…ohhhhh, and take an anti-anxiety pill every night, not because I’m anxious but because my body isn’t producing adequate levels of seratonin and whatever else it needs to fall asleep, so to rest I take something that my body doesn’t even need to trick my brain into sleeping…sighx100!

Lets back track…so back at this time a year ago I was a few months deep into contest prep. I was getting lower on calories and heavier on the cardio (my decision. Not a trainers). Body wasn’t budging. A few months later my trainer asked me to stop and go see a doctor…after a saliva test and many tubes of blood later, the doc tells me that I’m in extreme adrenal fatigue, my thyroid was low, my progesterone and testosterone levels were way way below normal, cortisol was also way low, and I may be a case that she can’t solve, that an mri of my brain and an endocrinologist may be my answer, bc a mass may be blocking signals from my brain…but until I get insurance we will just have to treat it as Adrenal Fatigue…on a side note, my cholesterol, blood pressure and gut were “beautiful” and she also complemented me by saying that for what she sees on paper I am functioning in everyday life much better than expected (that’s right because I’m not average ;). After the above vitamins and medications prescribed to me, she also recommended, rest rest rest, more calories and a lot less working out (grrrrr)…. Fast forward to today. After about 10 months of this what has happened? I have had a few periods that I hadn’t had in 4 years and never have been regular even with meds, I do sleep longer and better on most occasions, I still laugh everyday, I love others maybe more than I ever have in my life,…but I avoid looking in the mirror as much as possible bc I don’t love the body I see. And I haven’t liked the person inside as much the last 2 weeks bc I have fallen victim to giving up my healthy diet because, a) screw it. I gain on healthy calories and b.) I had a few bad situations arise this month and I didn’t have “time” to be healthy…(I gave myself a good talkin today. It went like this) whatever, Erin, you just became that person you don’t like, the one who makes excuses for themselves, and blames the world on their bad decisions. THAT. ISNT. YOU. I don’t care if you gain weight eating healthy or unhealthy, healthy is the right decision. Just because the diet isn’t doing things for your outside appearance, your inside still matters, and matters more! You’ve secretly been beating yourself up for months, because you don’t “look” fit anymore. You think that people who used to look to you as an inspiration now whisper behind your back “what happened to her? Looks like she’s fallen off the wagon.” Well, you don’t know if people are talking or not and you really need to get over that. WAKE. UP. ERIN. Be that person your really are. The fighter, the optimist, the motivator. That’s the real you. I want her back…

WHEW! Breathe. A friend told me today, “it’s okay to be pissed”, and another told me earlier this week, “it’s okay to cry, you don’t have to be strong ALL the time.” They’re right. But what isn’t an option is giving up. I had myself talked into cardio again next week, despite doctors orders, then I ran across some articles of women going through the same thing. Some took 12 months, some are still in the midst of it going on 20 months. I’ve read stories of women who had a mass that was blocking the signal from their pituitary and once it was fixed they got off all medicines. I don’t know how long this will take…is it adrenal fatigue that my body has caused itself due to mental and physical stress, or is it an easy fix in my brain that I couldn’t control? Who knows! All I know is I’m blessed. There could be a lot worse issues than what I have going on. My 36 year old brother in law had a stroke 3 weeks ago and we almost lost him. He has a 32 year old wife and a 4 year old boy who need him. I’d trade spots with him and not think twice about it if I could, and I’m sure he’d take my issues any day over what he’s going through right now. I have the best family and friends in the world, and I have a loving God in my heart. Another friend contacted me this week and told me she needed to relay this message from above “I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU.” NOPE. He has never left me. A couple of years ago I started praying for wisdom and I asked Him to make me the strongest woman I could possibly be, spiritually, mentally and physically. How do I expect to become that person if I don’t go through hard times and learn lessons? So for now, goals have changed…get that insurance I need, seek knowledge from anyone who is willing to share, rest as much as possible, eat a clean healthy diet (its not always about your appearance), become stronger in my faith, lift heavy to keep that muscle I’ve earned, treat everyday as a gift, laugh and love more than ever before, listen and learn what God is trying to teach me, be there for others, and keep motivating them to reach their goals. This is just another chapter in my story…trust me this isn’t the end.


One Response to “Adrenal Fatigue. It’s just another chapter.”

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