Friday, September 12, 2014

My Accidental Experiment - Weaning off Adrenal Support? Good Idea?

EPIC Fail.


I have been on herbal adrenal support non-stop (save 11 days this August) since December 20, 2012. I can recall the date very vividly as I was having SEVERE anxiety about the "end" of the Mayan calendar. Two months of severe anxiety that vanished with the passing of December 21, 2012 and co-incidentally my starting a high does of adrenal support. At that point I was on 4 pills a day.

Over the next two'ish years my goal has been to get off those adrenal pills for good. I have done everything they tell you to heal your adrenals.................

I eat clean and have fully eliminated my trigger foods - for me that's banana's, yeast, grains and dairy. I eat protein regularly and I watch my sugar and carbs (especially early in the day).

I don't drink. At all. I even gave up decaf coffee. Painful but I'm committed..........although sometimes I feel like I need to be committed:)

I take my supplements faithfully - Probiotics (Align), B6, B12 (injections), Calcium/Magnesium, C, D and Iron. And of course my  beloved Adrenal Balance.

I exercise regularly. Four times a week. I gave up the high intensity interval training that I love (for now) and have been opting for yoga and weight-training to give my adrenals a break. I even go to gentle yoga classes. And restorative yoga classes. This is big for me as there was a day (not that long ago) that I could not sit through a yoga class without feeling like I was going to lose my marbles - I could not sit still. Now I love it although I do still crave the burn and endorphin high of pushing my body to the brink. But I'm behaving. And breathing instead.

I go to bed by 10 or 10:30 EVERY day.

I even quit my job for something less stressful (but stress seems to follow me in that regard so although relatively less stressful I still manage to get myself worked up fairly regularly). Not so easy to retrain my brain to just go with the flow at work - type A to the Nth degree.

Anyway, all of this got me down to one pill a day. Although I have had some bumps in the road (anxiety flare in May that seemed to have been "grain" related) I thought that I had finally nailed it.

I was feeling great over the summer. FINALLY. Yay. Way to go Mama Chanty!!!! I even got a big gold star from my doctor on my blood work - things were finally looking almost normal.

Until, Drum Roll...................I made a huge mistake. Kind of accidental. Kind of on-purpose.

We went away for a few days and I forgot my adrenal pills. And then I got the stomach flu and I didn't feel like ingesting anything at all.

So I was "accidentally" off all my supplements for 6 days. And I actually felt okay. Woo hoo. I saw my chance to finally break free and I took it. I felt kind of smug.

Co-incidentally on day 9 of being off adrenal supplement I happened to have a Naturopath appointment. She said that if I made it past 10 - 14 days and was feeling fine that I was probably good to go. I had been feeling a big fatigued but I have three kids I didn't put too much stock into that.

And then day 10 hit me. And I mean HIT. ME. HARD.

It happened to correspond with the second half of my "cycle". Great. Two weeks of hell. I barely slept for the whole two weeks. I had moodiness that ranged from weep-iness to rage and everything in between. Brain fog. Exhaustion. Leg cramps. Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Not. Not. Not. Not. Not.

No. Thank. You.

So I think its fair to say there IS a connection between hormones and the adrenals. A strong connection. I had been working on my hormone issues (hence the addition of B6 and Cal/Mag to my arsenal of supplements) and they were getting much better. Until BAM.

So the morale of the story is that I am not ready to be off my adrenal support. I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit disappointed in my body. But grateful that I have the means to afford those little herbal miracle pills.

And I have a new determination to actually CURE my adrenals. I know I can manage them. But I want to heal them for good.  So I'm going to try some new stuff.....reflexology might be next. And more work on my mind-body connection because I can't blame all this on my digestive issues any more.

Stay tuned!