The Adrenal Fatigue Diary: A Personal Story of Chronic Illness, Diagnosis, and Recovery

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By Daisy Luther

If there was ever something that has been difficult for me to accept, it’s weakness. This is a piece that I’ve put off writing for a very long time, because I loathe the condition I’ve been dealing with for the past three years.

I mean, what kind of prepper is so exhausted after emptying the dishwasher that she has to lay down for an hour? How the heck am I going to survive the Zombie Apocalypse when every joint in my body hurts with every motion? How would I ever bug out on foot if walking to the end of the road makes me feel like I have concrete blocks on my feet?

I guess, a prepper with Adrenal Fatigue.

133 million Americans are dealing with a chronic illness right now. That is a full 40% of the population of our country. By 2020, that number is expected to skyrocket to 157 million. (source)

With numbers like that, some of these people are bound to be preppers. Having a serious health issue doesn’t mean that you should forsake your goals of being prepared.

So, despite the fact that I hate thinking about it, I’m going to tell you about a debilitating health issue I have faced for the past three years. Maybe my story will help someone out who is dealing with Adrenal Fatigue or another chronic illness. Even when you have reached the point at which you feel like no one can help, sometimes if you search long enough, finally you will find the person with the answers.

I wrote a factual article with information about Adrenal Fatigue here since I figured not everyone would be interested in the personal aspect of the condition. But those facts can’t even come close to illustrating what it’s really like to live with it.

The mindset that causes Adrenal Fatigue

I have always been a person who demands a lot from herself. During my career in the automotive industry when I worked long hours, I still hauled my kids around to their various activities, cooked dinner from scratch, and got up early to exercise.

Later, when I left the rat race, I worked long and hard to begin a writing career. I worked on other websites and projects but still made time for my own. Our finances were stretched very thin, with one kid in college, so money was a constant source of worry.

There was always pressure and an effort to be “perfect.” Type A overachievers are very much at risk for stress-related illnesses, even when we do all the right things like eating healthfully, exercising, and taking vitamins.

Fast forward: after a couple more years of perfectionism, it all caught up with me. We can only deal with high pressure and stress for so long before it begins to take a physical toll on us. This is because of the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Many of the people who pride themselves on working well under pressure do so because they handle spikes of cortisol and adrenaline well initially. In fact, these things are almost like drugs – we only feel productive when we are working hard and accomplishing things that seem kind of outrageous to other people.

The onset of chronic illness

In the early stages, Adrenal Fatigue crept in quietly.

There were off days when I was really tired but I could still get my stuff done. I could clean, cook, raise a garden, work, and educate my daughter, but by 6:30, I would begin to fade. I wasn’t yet at the point when I thought of days in terms of “good” or “bad.” That would come later.

My desire to go to bed increasingly earlier was probably the first sign. At the time, I didn’t realize it of course. I just thought I needed extra sleep to do the things that needed doing.

The next sign came after I began to not bounce back from overexertion like I had before. I realized that I said, “I’m so tired” a lot more frequently. I still didn’t realize anything was seriously wrong and just figured I had been pushing myself too hard. I tried to let up a little, but with a business to run, book deadlines looming, a young teen to raise, and client work on top of this, I had stuff to do.

I began to dread my daily walk with the dog. This had always been one of the highlights of my day – getting outside in the fresh air, away from the computer, looking at the beautiful scenery of Northern California. But soon, I was just too exhausted to do it. I began to put on a few pounds, but I chalked it up to my “laziness” and lack of exercise. This sporadic ability to exercise went on for about a year and I felt more and more tired.

I began to think that something was going on, so I went in for some routine bloodwork which showed that I had some pretty significant hypothyroid numbers. I grudgingly began taking the medication that the doctor prescribed and expected to feel like my old self within a few weeks. There was little doubt in my mind that I would have energy, lose the weight I’d gained, and bounce right back.

Except, I didn’t.

I felt worse.

I began to crash and crash hard.

Soon, the thought of walking the dog for a few miles seemed as outrageous as climbing Mount Everest in flip flops.

And this was the beginning of the second year of Adrenal Fatigue.

The symptoms worsened over the second year.

The following year was a bit of a blur. I kept things going. I wrote often, but doing other stuff was harder and harder. I had all of these awesome things going for me: we finally had rented a farm and had livestock, we had a cool vehicle, I had a best seller on Amazon, and we were financially a bit more comfortable.

But it was hard to enjoy it when walking up the stairs to my room seemed nearly insurmountable because of the crushing exhaustion. If I had not been fortunate enough to be self-employed and work from home, I would not have been able to hold down a job.

That wasn’t the only symptom though. Oh, how my joints hurt. They were so stiff and sore that when I would drive for half an hour and get out of the vehicle, I walked with the stiffness of a 90-year-old woman for at least half an hour after that. I actually considered getting a cane. The idea of going to both the grocery store and Target in one day was completely overwhelming. If I tried to do something like that, I would be in bed for the next 3 days recovering.

I took shortcuts so that I could continue to eat well. Gone were the days of complicated meals from scratch. We ate a lot of crockpot meals and sheet pan meals because they took so little effort. I tried every healthful way of eating under the sun, including paleo, primal, keto, gluten-free, and vegetarianism. Each one helped temporarily, but then I was back in my haze of walking through life in gravity boots. Despite strictly counting calories to make up for the lack of exercise, I continued to gain weight in a manner that could not be attributed to what I was eating.

If it hadn’t been for my daughter’s help, I could never have kept any of the livestock. We pared down to just a few laying hens and only planted part of the garden. I put down cardboard and hoped that the vegetables outgrew the weeds.

I said no to any social obligation that would require more effort than walking into a restaurant and sitting down because I knew there was no way I could spend a day shopping with friends or doing something outdoorsy.

It took longer to think things through, as though my mind had slowed down with my body. I wondered if I was just aging rapidly like someone in a sci-fi movie. I read and researched constantly to try and figure out what on earth was causing this horrific pain and exhaustion.

I began to wake up in the wee hours with what felt like panic attacks. Imagine waking up every single night with your heart racing as though you just heard someone try to kick down your door. Every. Single. Night. It was such an intense rush of adrenaline that I couldn’t usually get back to sleep, so my new pattern was dozing for a couple of hours two or three times a day.

I finally found a doctor who took me seriously and didn’t just tell me to “push through it and get some exercise.” I spent thousands of dollars, out of pocket, on medical tests.

Here are a few of the things that I learned.

  • Somehow, despite my strict organic diet loaded with produce, I was malnourished. My body wasn’t absorbing nutrients.
  • My thyroid condition had worsened.
  • I was having massive food intolerance issues. Intolerances, as you know, are different than allergies. Instead of causing a histamine reaction, about 40 different foods were causing a terrible inflammatory reaction.
  • A saliva test (you can get one here if your doctor won’t order it) showed that I was having massive cortisol spikes in the middle of the night, and producing so little during the day that I could barely function.

Finally, I had a diagnosis.

Adrenal Fatigue. All the stress and all the pressure of being a single mom struggling with money had resulted in a condition that felt all-encompassing. I had simply worn my body out by running it on coffee and adrenaline for the past 12 years.

I cut out all the foods that were causing inflammation in one fell swoop, which limited my diet a great deal. This helped rid me of the crushing joint pain, but did little to alleviate any of the other symptoms. The test I took to learn about the food intolerances was the ALCAT, which can be found here. You can have this test performed without a doctor’s requisition.

Some of the foods I learned that I could not tolerate were the last things you’d expect. These were the more severe intolerances:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale (yuck – I was thrilled to see that on the list)
  • Beef
  • Rice (seriously – that one stunned me)
  • Baker’s yeast (this explained why I felt better when I cut out bread, but why “gluten-free” breads still bothered me)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Mustard

There were also about 30 other foods that I avoided, but the ones above caused instant excruciating joint pain. Food intolerances will be unique for everyone – what bothers me may not bother you at all. The list above is an example, not something to use as a guide for your own dietary changes.

My thyroid medication was increased. This didn’t help at all.

I began taking handfuls of supplements to try and correct the malnutrition. But, just like the healthy food I was eating, these were also not absorbed.

I felt like giving up. It really seemed like nothing would help and this was just my life now.

I plodded through the next year, even taking my daughter on a major cross country road trip so that we could finish off her last year of homeschool with a bang. It would have been nicer if I’d been healthier but we still managed to do a tour of almost 10,000 miles. When we got home, I was so exhausted that I was in bed for a month.

Despite the doctor who actually believed something was wrong and gave me a name for it, I wasn’t getting better. I wondered if I was just going to fade away from this.

The third year

During our road trip, we had decided that we were getting out of California. The laws were repressive, I wasn’t able to get my 16-year-old homeschool graduate into a vocational program until she was 18, and it was outrageously expensive.

Getting ready for the move was absolutely brutal. Our landlords were showing our house to potential buyers while we were trying to pack, so it always had to look nice, despite the fact that we were trying to sell off bigger items and had boxes everywhere. Before that move, I hadn’t thought that I could actually get more tired or unwell, but there were several days that, despite looming deadlines, I simply couldn’t do a thing.

The stuff of life that occurred seemed so much more devastating due to my health. During the last weeks in California, my beloved 18-year-old cat began to decline, then died. I was utterly heartbroken since she had been with us from the age of 2. We also had a large amount of money stolen, we can only assume from someone that was touring our house while it was for sale. Both of these things added a seemingly-insurmountable level of stress to an already debilitating situation.

We said goodbye to our chickens, our furniture, and our friends. We sold so much stuff that we pared down to a 9×6 storage container.

We powered through. We loaded our moving pod and took off, driving 5 days with 3 pets and we made it to our new home in Virginia.

Recovery from this took a couple of months, but I immediately began pursuing better health.

And finally, there was light at the end of the Adrenal Fatigue tunnel.

I found a wonderful doctor in our new area who, like my previous doctor, understood hormonal issues like adrenal fatigue. She changed my medication to a natural thyroid supplement that immediately seemed to perk me up a little.

But the best, most life-changing thing I did was begin working with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. It was a huge financial investment for me, and it felt like a last ditch effort. If this didn’t work, I figured that nothing would.

The nutritionist had the following protocol:

  • First, she took away my beloved coffee. Caffeine had been my crutch that had helped me function through the past few years, but it turns out, that it was actually causing part of the problem. Caffeine stresses your adrenal glands, and this is the last thing you need when dealing with an adrenal issue. I was instructed to avoid anything that could be a stimulant, like caffeine or sugar.
  • I also began a strict elimination plan. My nutritionist explained that the reason I wasn’t absorbing nutrients was because of the massive inflammation in my body. Instead of being absorbed, the nutrients were being excreted.
  • Finally, I began juicing raw, organic fruits and vegetables twice a day. Immediately after juicing, nutrients are for more easily bioavailable.

Some things were behavioral.

  • I had to rest. Instead of “pushing through it” she pointed out that resting through it was the better solution. I slowed down my editorial calendar for the website to a couple of times per week in order to focus on my health.
  • I had to learn to deal better with stress. When I felt the adrenaline rising, I had to focus on consciously relaxing and thinking through the situation calmly. I began to write myself lists of steps to take in order to conquer a task or problem. I began to practice meditation, just focusing on the music from the birds, so that I could clear my mind of the stressful clutter.

This is a link to the juicing and detox plan from my nutritionist.

After the brutal caffeine withdrawal, I continued with the elimination/detox plan for two months, no cheat days. Not easy at all, but I managed to hang in there. I continued juicing twice a day, actually burning out my first cheapo juicer from all the use it got.

I take a few different supplements now that the inflammation is reduced. The supplements you should take for your adrenal fatigue will vary based on whether your cortisol is too low or too high. There are some (like this one) that help to balance the cortisol response, which means that it can be taken throughout your illness and recovery.

It’s important to note that if your body is in a state of extreme inflammation, you’ll be wasting your money with supplements. Focus on the steps above instead until you know you are absorbing nutrients properly.

The recovery

And…lo and behold…

I started losing weight.

I started sleeping, completely unaided.

I started to have the energy to unpack my boxes, clean my house, and cook again.

I planted a big garden.

I walked the dogs a mile or two per day.

I am living again.

I still have “bad” days, but I listen to my body and don’t try to just push through them. I rest. I work from the comfort of my bed on those days and cut my workload down to just a couple of hours. Most days, I walk 1-2 miles and I still have the energy to do other things after that.

I juice at least once a day, usually twice. My food intolerances have lessened in severity but I still avoid the things that caused the most severe responses. The cup of coffee I enjoy in the morning is decaf and I avoid sugar most of the time.

I am starting to get in shape and feel like the person I was before all of this started. Someone lively and full of energy who loves to hike and raise food.

This isn’t the end of the story. Full recovery from adrenal fatigue can take years, depending on how severe your adrenal burnout was. Adrenal fatigue experts say that a complete recovery can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years of consistent care.

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that we bring upon ourselves to some degree. We have to understand that living in a state of chronic stress can be deadly. Not only can it cause adrenal fatigue, but high cortisol levels have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, digestive issues, cognitive impairment, suppressed immune systems, and hypertension. (source)

You have to learn how to deal with your stress before you are forced to by your own body.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea you were dealing with such pain and exhaustion.

    I am very happy treatment is working and you are recovering.

    Take care!

  • Daisy –

    So sorry to hear you have problems, but you have persisted, as I knew you would because I feel I know you through your posts.
    So glad you are feeling better.

    I can share your frustration. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease and also affects the adrenal gland. Mostly my joint pain is controlled but there is about an hour of stiffness in the a.m. and I have an occasional flare as I did this past Monday after a long day of shopping. My right foot became inflamed before I got home and I couldn’t unload the car.

    Some days I am overwhelmed with fatigue, too. I’m in my mid 60’s and was diagnosed with RA in 2009. I’m thankful that it didn’t rear its ugly head much earlier in my life.

    I have come to the conclusion that for myself it is now an “either or” situation. I can either go grocery shopping or do the laundry on a certain day, but not both. So, I do understand your situation.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I will check out your suggestions about nutrition to see if that may help me and I also now am armed with some additional questions for my rheumatologist.

    Take care. Hang in there.

    • TC ~

      RA can wreak havoc. Initially, one of the doctors I saw thought that was my issue, but then when my tests were negative, basically had no idea what to do.

      I understand completely about the either/or. I also have to ration my energy, even though I’m recovering.

      Very best wishes to you,

  • So sorry to hear that you have had such a tough time for the last few years. You are amazingly resilient! Glad to hear that you are recovering and will pray for your continued healing. May God bless you and your daughter and may you continue to enjoy your new endeavor in Virginia!

  • Hi Daisy~

    Oh man did you nail it when you said walking through life in gravity boots! I too have Adrenal Fatigue. The long and short of it – my sister had her first child, and had complications after delivery. Prior to her becoming pregnant, her husband was in a work-related accident where his abdominal wall was shattered. And, on top of this, he had a son from a previous relationship who was very young and already diagnosed as severely bi-polar. I quit my full time job, moved back home (meaning my Mom’s house where they were all living) and became a full time care taker for 4 people for several years. There’s more to the whole saga than just this, but I hit the point where I was not sleeping for 24 hour straight, several times a week. I kept that up for months. I’ve got a history of sleep trouble, but I had absolutely nothing to that degree before (nor since now that I know what’s up.)

    My saving grace was a magazine article I came across in Women’s Day magazine. I felt like someone had walked behind me and catalogued my life! Words cannot convey the walking death and pain I felt. And I remember thinking , “Boy, if this is what celebrities go through when they are diagnosed with “exhaustion” no wonder they are exhausted for years! ” Especially if they have doctors who (by and large) still will not acknowledge this exists.

    I’m so happy you are doing better than you were :0) Adrenal Fatigue sucks!

    I don’t know if you want to check into it at all, but there is a adrenal fatigue pill (Adaptamax) that also offers thyroid

    Continue getting well and take care!
    :0) ad

    • Annie ~

      I’m sorry to hear that you are going through the same issues. What were the recommendations in the article that you read?

      Very best of luck in your recovery.

  • I can appreciate your candidness with the illness. I’ll be honest, I have not heard of it until reading your post.
    I understand the daily struggles, hardships and disruptions that a chronic illness can have on one’s body; let alone a homesteader and prepper.
    I also suffer from a disorder/disease called Meniere’s Disease. It is not medically considered an auto-immune disease but it causes great hardships for me; and others inflicted with it. When an episode happens, I lose anywhere from 1-3 days of my life trying to recover from a combination of the symptoms and the medications prescribed.
    Yes, most homesteaders and preppers are looked upon as strong, rugged and able to conquer any and all dilemmas he or she faces, but when dealing with an illness that persists daily, it is difficult. Having a full time of the homestead career or job is practically impossible because you never know day to day what your body will do and how it will effect your life.
    I commend you for enlightening your followers with your illness and wish you the best of health and in your endeavors.

    • Thank you, Dawn. I am so sorry that you are also dealing with a chronic illness.

      I wish you answers and solutions!

  • I, too, have severe adrenal fatigue brought on by major stress due to a grueling career (12 years in pharmaceutical sales & management) and an abusive marriage, which I ended.

    Unfortunately, at the time I was seeking help I was fully entrenched in traditional, Western medicine which lead me down a long path that included handfuls of pharmaceuticals – multiple antidepressants and stimulants (10 + years!!)

    Little did I know that these medications would only dig the hole I was in deeper, all-the-while no-one in conventional medicine mentioned anything remotely about changing my diet. I continued to eat the SAD (standard American diet) and push myself for years (with the help of prescribed stimulants) until I completely collapsed.

    You’re fortunate that you were already in tune with alternative medicine and healthy eating so that you could take the right steps early on in your illness. I spent years not knowing what was wrong with me and not knowing where to turn.

    Even though I’ve been seeing a Functional Medicine MD for several years now I’m still struggling to re-gain any energy and lose weight. I’ve spent thousands out of pocket for doctor visits, tests, an organic, whole-food diet, and countless supplements. While I’m better than I was, I still have a long way to go.

    Sometimes it feels hopeless because it’s taking so long to recover, and it’s hard not to compare my current life (I’ve lost almost everything) to my former successful, wealthy life. However, when it all comes down to it, we have nothing if we don’t have our health.

    • Dear DB –

      I’m so sorry for your difficulties. I completely understand.

      Probably the one thing that provided me with the most improvement the most quickly was the juicing and the anti-inflammatory diet. If you aren’t absorbing the nutrients, the healthy food and supplements are doing you no good at all.

      Best wishes for your recovery ~


  • Dear sweet Daisy,

    I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer and so glad to know that you’re getting better.
    I can’t thank you enough for all of your great advice and wisdom.
    You deserve nothing but the best.
    Take care,

  • This parallels my story! I would fall asleep on the couch in the doctor’s waiting room at the beginning. It is a long journey, but there is life at the end of the tunnel! It feels good to feel good, and you will never take your health for granted again. The big lesson is to listen to your body, and rest when necessary.

  • I’ve been following you for a couple of years now and also live in California. I was quite intrigued when you moved out and watched for those stories. We would love to move too but have so much keeping us here.

    When I began to read your story, I felt the same familiar feeling I get when reading this kind of story, this is me. I’ve had the same problems, it crept up on me too. I have been battling this for about 6 years now. Have no thyroid gland anymore which I think is what is making it harder for me to recover.

    I thank you for sharing. What a tough situation this is to deal with. I wish you good luck in Virginia and continued good health. If they tell you to just get rid of your thyroid, all you need is one little pill a day, it’ll be fine. RUN! It’s a big fat lie!

  • I understand some of what you going through just a little bit. For a while I was having trouble walking. My spine hurt so badly that sitting was just so much better. But the lbs gained over the yrs has caused more problems. 1 day I got sick. Real sick, not the flu but a lot like it. I stayed down for a week. When I got well I noticed my bones dident hurt any more. I dident understand why. I went neck to my normal diet & started hurting again. After cutting out things to find out what it was I found out it s milk. Milk was causing inflammation in my bones causing such pain that stopped walking. Now I’m so much better but left with a ton of weight to loose. I have changed my diet & exercise 3 x a week. Water aerobics is the best work out for any one who has problem walking or many health issues. You can work out & not hurt your self & not get sore from it. I need many pieces of equipment to take the place of water aerobics. The military uses this for our guys to recover & most come back to full strength.
    Wished we could have helped you move. We would have been there all the way.
    We do pray for you & your family. God bless & thanks for all you do.

  • Daisy – my goodness, I feel so sad that you have gone through this. I have been following your blog for several years, and have two of your books. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

    Although this has been a hard article for you to write sharing your personal journey, it gives hope to so many people that are suffering as well.

    I pray that you continue to heal!


  • I wonder if you have heard of the book The Medical Medium by Anthony William. He has 3 books on the NYT’s bestseller list and writes about health, Epstein barre and healing unusual illnesses with nutrition. You might want to check out his blog.

    Glad Daisy is doing better.

  • Daisy, I’m in awe of all you accomplished over the past few years while coping with this. You accomplished more while suffering from adrenal fatigue than most healthy people accomplish. I am glad you are on the mend. Best wishes for a continuing recovery.

  • I had no idea that you were going through all of this-and you still managed to provide guidance for the rest of us! Stress is a killer, no doubt about it. I know that when stressful situations pile on, as they did to me this week, I AM debilitated!! Have you noticed that changing to another state, with new and different stressors, has helped?
    My mom had arthritis, with extreme inflammation; something that no one else in her family every experienced. She was a nurse, so that was a very demanding job. My dad died of nuclear poisoning which took years to kill him. So, there was untold constant and harsh stress factors in her life. It really did shorten her life and robbed her of her health.
    Take care of yourself, and keep rebuilding your body. You are certainly a survivor!

  • Thank you for sharing this, it has rung so many bells with me that I realise I may be on the way to suffering this! I am in the UK so I am not sure the doctors over here will recognise this either!! I will try and follow your ideas and diet changes to see if this helps stop or reduce my symptoms. I have already cut out 99% of my caffeine , Im British so that means tea!! I have one cup of caffeinated tea in the morning to get me going, but I could cut that out if needed. Thankyou for sharing ! xx

  • Daisy, have appreciated you for years. This makes me respect you more than ever! I live in Sacramento/hail from Virginia. And have an umph issue. ..single mom years do tax any woman who gives her all. I grow lots of my food /eat organic. I study politics for fun and have an awesome dog. Am SO happy you found the nutritionist. Blessings on your recovery. I will appreciate you more than ever. Thanks for sharing.

  • Daisy
    Just wanted to let you know about vitamins. All the vitiamins you buy and most that you get are not absorbed by anyone’s body , they just make intesting pea. They are made from non soluable material. And the sad part is that most people that are making the money off these know it.
    Their are only two or three prescription grade vitamins and USANNA makes one of them.
    Also If you are not intolerant of any of these foods add them to your diet. Fresh pineapple, cucumbers , Honey , garlic, onion and flax seeds all of these do things to aid digestion and absorb nutrients and add enzyme s we need in our body to aid good nutrition. Stay away from yeast in all forms . It is not wheat that people are allergic to it is the chemicals they are harvested with. Organic wheat and bread of any kind made with a sour dough starter may help you.

  • OH my gosh. My husband found your post and sent it to me. We could be twinsies in a not-so-fun way in how the AF has hit.
    I am doing SO much better than I was a year ago, though I am in a crash right now after a serious bout of the flu rolling through here about 3 weeks ago.
    I am so glad you are recovering so well. I Need to make a couple more changes to speed up my recovery. :/ Meh. lol
    Thank you for the great article and for sharing. <3

  • You have shown much strength and determination through all these pitfalls. It sounds like you are on the right road to recovery now. I have one suggestion that wasn’t mentioned in possible solutions.
    The lymphatic system works hard trying to keep up with removal of toxins from your system.
    Try locating a Certifeid Lymphatic Massage Therapist in your area. This gentle massage will be a tremendous aid in removal of those built up toxins.

  • This story has some red flags, which indicate to me that all is not as it seems. The first would be your diagnosis. While your fatigue is certainly real, “adrenal fatigue” is not considered to be a medical condition, because currently scientists haven’t found much of a connection between the function of the adrenal glands and these symptoms:

    Unfortunately, the other red flags indicate the possibility that you are suffering from a much more dangerous illness. I don’t want to explore this in a public comment section, especially without your consent. If you would like to discus this, please email me privately.

    I am writing this comment because I was “diagnosed” with adrenal fatigue by an alternative medical practitioner when I suffered from symptoms similar to yours. I was also placed on several elimination and antiinflammatory diets over the eight years of my illness. Though some of these interventions seemed to help at first, they ultimately worsened my health and prevented me from getting an accurate diagnosis, and being able to recover.

    • You are absolutely welcome to comment further here if you are comfortable sharing your information. I think it could benefit many people. 🙂

  • This is so close to my story it is alarming. I am in my 18th year with fibromyalgia and in my 5th yr of adrenal fatigue. I also loved being an overachiever until the bottom dropped out. I have had my bladder removed and also my right kidney. One from IC and one from a unknown interstitial failure in my kidney. The adrenal fattigue has been the worst. I could push through those other problems and still do my job very well but not anymore. I can barely take care of myself as it is now. My husband works 2 jobs to make ends meet but i am hopeful that things will get better.

  • Daisy.
    Congratulations on being willing to get up every morning and give it a go – or at least think about it.
    You will need to change your bio though, as you are no longer a coffee-swigging woman. 😉
    Those little glands (thyroid and adrenal) can cause such huge impacts in our lives.
    Hang in there. We appreciate you.

  • I could have written this story almost word for word. I loved this story as well! It was almost scary how much this was my story except I live in Texas.

  • I saw the article headline while scrolling and I guess I can now add Adrenal Fatigue to the list of Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s. I was being bitten by a tick when hiking while living in the PNW and didn’t think a thing afterwards about coming down with the flu in the middle of July. I have the symptoms for all five listed. I have a family history for Parkinson’s. BUT I’m too stubborn, and too leery of docs (far too many bad experiences) to get diagnosed. I too am too stubborn to think myself as weak. I’ve never relied on no one unless I absolutely needed the help. Now I do what I can when I can and rest in between. I tell my children NOT to be like me.

    For our sakes, I’m glad you you did, and are managing your health.

  • “Many of the people who pride themselves on working well under pressure do so because they handle spikes of cortisol and adrenaline well initially. In fact, these things are almost like drugs – we only feel productive when we are working hard and accomplishing things that seem kind of outrageous to other people.”

    A Can-Do-All attitude and using cortisol as the number one drug of choice has give this old woman a first hand perspective in what not to do, and unfortunately, one which younger folks don’t want to listen to to prevent their possible poor health come 30 or 40 years down the road. Hindsight is 20/20 though, isn’t it.

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