Knowing what I know now about Adrenal Fatigue, when I look back to my late teens and twenties, I can see how utterly destructive I was to my own health and how little I knew about my need for rest and recuperation.
What Led Me To Adrenal Fatigue
I lived life in hyper-overdrive. I was an adrenaline junkie.
Being with friends was fun and exciting, but it also drained me. I didn’t pay attention to how drained I was, I just wanted to have fun and excitement.
I’d go out with friends and laugh and fellowship until well past exhaustion and then have to be up early the next morning for work.
I was a coffee addict, often ordering 4-shot drinks or downing 10-12 cups of coffee a day.
My relationship with food was horrendous. I would binge all day one day – sometimes eating as much as one pound of chocolate covered pretzels in one sitting – while the next day forcing myself to fast as penance until I was almost dizzy with hunger.
By my late twenties, I began to pay a little better attention to myself, but by that time my weight was already becoming an issue and early signs of adrenal fatigue were cropping up. But back then, no one was talking about it.
By the time I hit 30, I’d had mononucleosis and had ended an abusive relationship with a man I was supposed to marry in 4 months.
The stress of that relationship was so enormous, by the time he walked out the door for the final time, my health hit ground zero. Massive hives, the size of the palm of my hand, broke out all over my arms and legs, I felt at times I was having panic attacks, and I was forced to take a leave of absence from work.
Over the next several years the hives would continue to be an issue at random times – sometimes several times a week – only smaller and appearing on my face, neck, and upper chest; and by the time my husband and I were ready to start a family, my body simply couldn’t handle a pregnancy.
After my second miscarriage, we traveled back to the States to visit my family, and a doctor who specialized in female hormone research.
This is when I heard about Adrenal Fatigue for the first time, and that my cortisol level output was very low.
While I knew a little about the endocrine system, I wasn’t at all familiar with cortisol function and how related to stress. But I love to learn. So I committed myself to learning as much as I could about cortisol, adrenal glands, adrenal fatigue and how to heal my adrenals.
My journey can be defined by the saying, “Two steps forward, one step back”.
Most people on this journey will tell you the same thing; because healing the adrenals is extremely tricky and one small piece out of place, a virus, or a slightly stressful situation that wouldn’t bother most people will send an adrenal sufferer in a downward spiral to an adrenal crash.
This has been my journey for the past eight years. But eight months ago I landed on something that has given me the greatest success thus far.
How The Ketogenic Diet Is Helping to Heal My Adrenal Fatigue
I was at a point of desperation.
- My energy was at basement levels
- I was having migraine headaches every two weeks that lasted as long as 5-6 days, and at random times after meals
- I’d experience stomach pain so bad that I’d sometimes be curled up on the bed for hours unable to move.
That was when I landed on information about LCHF (low carb, high fat), which then led me to The Ketogenic Diet.
I didn’t think twice about it. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening researching all I could, taking notes about which foods to eat and which foods not to eat, and by the next morning I was ready to go.
That was the day everything changed for me.
That was the last time I had a migraine headache. That was the last time I had stomach pain that left me helpless for hours.
The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet. What I like most about it is that it is meant to be tailored to your body’s hormone function and needs.
It is an anti-inflammatory diet that eliminates all grains, starchy foods (including starchy vegetables), and sugar (including fruit).
Your carbohydrate intake is limited to the vegetables on your plate.
This diet works so well for adrenal sufferers because poor adrenal function is directly connected with other hormone imbalances, such as thyroid dysfunction and insulin resistance, and diabetes.
The endocrine system is so intertwined that when one hormone fails to function as it should, it can cause other hormones to get knocked out of balance as well.
When the body stops using glucose for energy (an easy, fast-burning, but inefficient source of energy) and begins using fat (a slow-burning energy that doesn’t need to be refueled often), your body uses up its own fat stores in which estrogen is stored.
Not only that, when you switch to fat as an energy source, your insulin levels remain low.
On The Ketogenic diet:
- Your entire endocrine system begins to heal and normalize.
- It is very common for diabetics to no longer need to take insulin, women suffering with PCOS often discover they have conceived naturally.
- Those suffering with autoimmune disorder find that they feel much better.
Since beginning The Ketogenic Diet and becoming fat adapted, I have lost over 20 pounds, my migraines have ceased, my stomach pain has ceased, my energy levels have increased dramatically, and most symptoms related to my Adrenal Fatigue have disappeared.
While some claim that the Ketogenic Diet is unsustainable, I find it very sustainable even though I am the only one in my household on this diet. I make my family meals and then make any necessary substitutions for my own plate.
I use a breath ketone meter to daily make sure that I am in ketosis, because when my body is in ketosis I enjoy all of the wonderful benefits of this diet.
I am never looking back.
There is no muffin, no slice of pie, or bowl of ice cream that is enticing enough for me to go back to time when I would sit and cry out in desperation for God to heal me.
He did. And He chose to heal me by teaching me the discipline of giving my body the proper nutrients and healthy fat it needs to function healthily.
If you would like to learn more about Adrenal Fatigue, you can read my series here.
If you would like to learn more about The Ketogenic Diet, you can visit this page where I provide information and links to articles I’ve written.
Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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