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-   -   Adrenal exhaustion? (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6407)

Greg Battaglia 11-10-2011 06:19 PM

Adrenal exhaustion?
 
Hey, it's been a while since I've posted on here but I have a serious question for anyone who may be able to help. I personally know a few people who regularly visit this forum so I'm a bit embarrassed to put all of this perosnal information on here, but I need help badly and need to admit to my faults.

So let's see, for the past 4 years I think I could safely say that I've suffered some degree of adrenal fatigue due to the stress of college (just graduated in May but was in college for 6 years due to changing majors so many times), relationship problems with my ex-girlfreind that were extremely draining, poor social support (virtually all of my friends are drug addicts or alcoholics and I don't have much in common with any of them anymore leading to feelings of deep alienation), low calorie intake due to time constraints from school and working long hours that prevented me from having time to prepare and consume meals.

Until this past May when i graduated college I definitely felt the mental and physical effects of all these stressors coming down on me for so long but I still felt that I could make a comeback and recover. However, after graduation I simply could not find a good job with health benefits and good pay and had to resort to working at a local restaurant, which has led to working very long hours in a very stressful, fast-paced environment, often working 12 hours straight with no food (there usually is no time to eat and if there is i must shove it down my throat as fast as possible). I also work every single weekend all weekend long and have no time to socialize with friends, leading to further alienation and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. I have a few days off during the week but they are often spent alone as everyone else is working on these days.

Well, this past weekend I decided to go out on saturday night for my friends birthday and had a few drinks. I woke up the next day with a severe headache but just assumed it was a bad hangover. However, after about an hour of being awake i suddenly began to feel extremely dizzy and faint and my friend even said that I looked horrible and should have a seat. I sat down on the floor and suddenly everything went wrong. My heart rate jacked up through the roof, my head pounded with pain, my arms and legs went completely numb, I curled up in a ball on the floor and started shaking back and forth, crying (embarrassed to admit that, but it's what happened :/ ). I felt like I was going to die, literally. I had an extreme sense of impending doom, literally as if i were losing my mind. I genuinely felt as though I were having a nervous breakdown. My friends were shocked and rushed me to the hospital once I could actually stand up without falling over. The doctors ran an EKG, chest x-ray, and blood tests including cardiac enzymes. Everything came back normal except for my resting heart rate was 115 bpm. The doc had no idea what it was, other than possibly an anxiety attack, although he wasn't sure.

This happened on Sunday and now, 4 days later, i still don't feel right. I have a very spacey detached feeling all the time as if my life is a movie I'm watching everyday. I also feel very dizzy and lethargic at all time, although the symtpoms are by far the worst in the morning and tend to reduce at night time. I literally wake up everyday feeling as though I've been beaten with a baseball bat in my sleep. My joints hurt, headache, random body pains, muscle weakness. I went to my GP on Tuesday and he was very confused by what happened. He's running a test for testosterone and thyroid function along with sed rate to help determine what is going on. I'd like to get more tests but I have no health insurance and am now in debt because of my ER visit. I forgot to mention that my body is always cold, my memory and cognitive function is HORRIBLE, and my sex drive is very low. These symptoms have been going on for at least the last two months with increasing severity, eventually culminating into what happened this past Sunday, although I genuinely haven't felt right in over a year to be honest. I've been bed ridden all week and had to call out of work tonight and probably tomorrow night as well.

This has me very scared as i fear I'm in the final stages of adrenal fatigue (AKA adrenal exhaustion), which can lead to serious health problems. If there is anyone at all that can help me to figure this out I'd be more than appreciative. Thank you.

Blair Lowe 11-10-2011 08:50 PM

Go PM Steve as I think he dealt with adrenal exhaustion last year, I think.

I imagine any time you can take off would be unpaid. I'm doing that right now at home though I doubt I was going through adrenal exhaustion just exhaustion.

I think ya need to start getting back on the wagon. Hydrate and eat. Train a bit, lightly. Go for a walk, do something light. Do yoga. Etc.

Donald Lee 11-11-2011 03:43 PM

Have you been eating red meat? Have you been masturbating? If those are an issue, it could be a vitamin deficiency.

Steven Low 11-11-2011 09:08 PM

Still dealing with mine actually, but I've been slowly coming out of the hole.

Things that help:

1. light aerobic exercise (which I absolutely hate...) but it helps. Instead of running I try to get out and play some bball with classmates

2a. sleep. A LOT. I have to get 9 hours or more to see myself recover a bit more. I try to aim for 10.5-12 hours.
2b. You MUST go to sleep before 10 PM.... even 11 hurts.... (which I'm doing right now). Preferably before 9 PM if you can get in the habit. :(
2c. Make sure room is pitch black, no sounds, etc. No computer before sleep (which I'm also doing right now... lol).

3. phosphatidylserine (anti-cortisol)

4. eat a lot. Preferably stuff with lots of cholesterol in it like eggs -- choleterol is precursor for testosterone and cortisol and lots of the other steroid hormones. Lots of fruits and veges for the nutrients as well.

5. Deep breathing is good... especially before bed.

Anything else you can do to destress is good too.

Sleep aids didn't really help me, but magnesium and zinc are definitely good to improve sleep if you've been having trouble there as well. Natural calm is pretty good, and then I just bought a zinc supplement which has been helping too.


I got to the point where if I would do something light like handstand work or wrist curls it would seriously jack up my sleep. HR was up around 80s or 90s.. not as bad as you. But I got random sympathetic flashes sometimes.

Now I can somewhat play basketball (not intensely) for about an hour without messing up my sleep, but any type of strength work more than one or two sets still jacks up my sleep. So I'm getting there slowly.... once I finish this freakin book I will have much more free time especially away from the computer.

Greg Battaglia 11-21-2011 06:10 PM

Thank you for your replies.

Steven, If you're suffering from adrenal exhaustion wouldn't phosphatidylserine be bad since adrenal exhaustion is the hypocortical phase (corisol is now too low after a long period of excessive cortisol secretion due to weakened adrenals)? My fatigue is literally crushing, to the point where doing daily activities is a major effort. Even cooking a meal is extremely draining to me and i feel like just laying down after because I'm so spent. It really has me worried. Interestingly, my CBC showed that my lymphocyte count was low, indicating that my immune function is suppressed, so I'm thinking there may be soem underlying infection going on possibly as well, although my doc doesn't seem to think so.

My parents forced me to go to a psychologist because they think I'm suffering from depression. I gave in and went and the guy did nothing but ask me a few simple question for 5 mins ("Is your energy low? Do you have body aches? blah blah") and concluded that i have both anxiety and depression. I mentioned adrenal issues to him and he quickly dismissed it and prescribed me to Prozac and Xanax, which I wont be taking. Overall, it was a complete waste of my time and money. The guy didn't even run any blood tests to check hormone levels, etc.

I've tried some adaptogenic herbs like Stress Advantage by New Chapter, tulsi tea, and turmeric. I've found that none of them have helped and the tulsi tea even makes my heart palpitations worse (tulsi lowers cortisol so this hints to me that I'm in the hypocortical phase of adrenal fatigue and the tulsi is simply lowering the cortisol, even lower, causes strange symptoms). I do feel slightly better after the turmeric but the other two have done nothing positive.

I may just tough it out and save up some money for a month and get an ASI saliva test for all the male hormones and see if anything is out of wack. I'm predicting that my testosterone and DHEA will be low along with low cortisol, since my sex drive is pretty much non-existent and i always feel "wired but tired".

Thanks again for your response. Any further comments/details would be greatly appreciated.

Jarod Kastning 11-22-2011 10:53 AM

I've been going through a similar situation, but not as severe. I would suggest having a consultation with a naturopath and getting an ASI test (4 point) done. I wasted lots of money on random blood tests from my primary physician(who had no clue, just said it was anxiety) just guessing what the problem was prior to the test. I know the consultation is not cheap for the naturopath, but this will save you some money in the long run by not purchasing wrong supplements, etc. Once you get the cortisol issue worked out the testosterone issue should get better as a result.

Greg Battaglia 11-22-2011 02:58 PM

Jarod, What did your diagnosis end up being? Not trying to self-diagnose here, just hoping to get an idea of what's going on. Thanks.

Jarod Kastning 11-22-2011 10:00 PM

Have high cortisol during the day, so I've made some diet changes and taking a few supplements to lower it. I had also done some of the things Steven mentioned above.

Patrick Haskell 12-14-2011 04:53 AM

I know Garrett has helped a few folks with adrenal issues. He's busy and not around here much these days, but it would probably be worth consulting him.


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