Monday, April 18, 2011

My Adrenal Problem - Exhausted by Caffeine

I'm beginning to wonder if chronic fatigue syndrome is a fancy name for adrenal fatigue.  Because basically, I've been suffering from adrenal fatigue symptoms for years.

Now, normally I would say that health information easily accessible on the internet only serves to enable hypochondria. However, few people pay attention to their bodies these days.  They also don't get checked out for many ailments because health care requires you give up your firstborn child.  So it makes sense that stress related ailments might not make the top of the list to get diagnosed.  It also makes sense that one of the only ways you'd find out how to fix your problem would be through the internet.

For the last month or so, I've been experiencing the worst spaciness and fatigue I've ever felt.  At first I thought maybe it was allergies.  So I decided to take a look and see what hay fever symptoms really are.  Well, I might have a mild irritation when Spring shows up, but for the most part, I'm really not allergic to anything outdoors in the Bay Area.  So then why was I feeling so off? It was like I was dreaming while awake, or sleep walking, but I didn't feel like I was living my life.

Somehow I was able to get up and workout, but the energy I got from working out would quickly disappear and I would crash about an hour later.  What was happening to me? I couldn't figure it out.  So I looked up spaciness.  Well spaciness can be a result of all kinds of things - from anxiety (which could have been a potential cause), to medications (none of which I'm taking).

But what about fatigue? This sudden change in how I was feeling made no sense. The more I read the more I became convinced that I just needed to take a step back and examine how I was feeling and what exactly was going on with my body.  That, I was convinced, could never be a bad thing. 

I'm really not depressed.  I'm stressed - it's different.  I am however, an anxious person, and the last few years have been ridiculously stressful for me.  When you're stressed, your body releases hormones - cortisol primarily - which happen to also make you fat.  Women, it seems, are more prone to this vicious cycle of stressful fattiness.  Now, as I read this something inside me clicked.  I've been working out and eating better and I have lost inches.  I haven't really been able to lose weight despite the significant lifestyle changes I have been making.  As I researched more, I realized that my stressful life was actually making me fat.  The main organ in need of love and care to remedy the situation - the adrenal gland

What an eye-opener!  And the solution is so simple.  Change the way you eat, sleep, and give up caffeine.  Wait, what?!  Did they say I have to give up caffeine?!  Apparently that lovely stimulant on which I have become so incredibly addicted, is actually causing me to gain weight and become more exhausted. Sigh.

Well, it's not going to be easy, but I have to do it.  Already I've started eating smaller meals, incorporating small healthy snacks every few hours, and am weaning myself from my drug of choice.  Hopefully the withdrawal isn't as bad as I'm expecting.  But seriously, I would love my energy back.  So I guess a little snappiness is the price I'll have to pay.

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