When Adrenal Fatigue isn’t Gut Related

Adrenal Fatigue is a hot topic in the natural healing world and the two most popular doctors, Dr. Axe and Dr. Christianson, are pointing to the diet as a source of healing.  This is helpful for many many people, but in some cases the cause for major stress on the body isn’t gut related.  And no matter how intense we get with healthy eating, we won’t heal without getting to the source of the problem.

A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome. Some of my kids were diagnosed a little earlier after years of struggling with learning disabilities and the doctor recommended I be tested since it’s strongly genetic.  Irlen Syndrome causes overactive brain in response to certain wavelengths of light.  When the brain is agitated like that, it sets off stress responses that can lead to stress related disorders including….Adrenal Fatigue.

I’ve written more details about Irlen Syndrome here and have a more detailed post coming out soon on Kansas City Mom.  I was given prescription glasses to filter out the wavelengths of light causing the stress, and my adrenal symptoms almost disappeared.

I have been exercise intolerant for the last 4 years.  I would do an easy 15 minute yoga workout and be in bed the whole next day.  Instead of getting a nice energy boost from a workout, I would be even more exhausted than before.  The pounds were piling on!  The day I got my new glasses, I did a water aerobics workout. Then went to TRX suspension weight training class, and the the next morning to Jazzercise all in a 2 day period.   Besides feeling a little self-conscious about my dark glasses, I felt fabulous!  Energized!  The exercise intolerance was gone.

Three weeks after my glasses arrived, my sweet Auntie went on hospice and passed away. The day we got word that they were removing her life support, I had a mini-crash with too low blood pressure and low energy.  And it happened again the day of her funeral.  The glasses can only remove the stress related to light.  Other stresses will still make me susceptible to crashes.  I believe these crashes will be shorter and fewer the longer my body  heals. Time will tell.

Circling back to food: I did receive some benefit from doing a 28 day elimination diet.  Even though we found no new food sensitivities (I already knew I was allergic to cherries and had trouble digesting corn.) That period of eating simple, non-stimulating and easy to digest foods, gave my body a chance to rest.  It reduced some of the stress and allowed me to heal a little. It didn’t solve all the issues and I continued to struggle with belly weight gain, low energy, and periods of deep crashes with scary low blood pressure.  Instead of feeling like a failure every time a natural remedy only brought partial healing, I had to keep looking for all the sources of stress.


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