Adrenal Exhaustion questions (and an update on Kate's room)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank you for all the comments of support and prayers. I did get some private e-mails and questions and comments that were not published (by request). So to answer a few of the questions I have received...

How did I know who to go to/ how to find a specialist? Well, I had adrenal problems years ago right before we adopted Kate. So, I really suspected this was the issue. I looked for an MD that specialized in adrenal fatigue and hormones. They are very hard to find. I live a mile from one of the best medical centers in the world but I have to drive an hour and 20 minutes to see this doctor. I spoke with her about why a regular internal medicine doctor would not test for adrenal function etc. She told me that in medical school they barely teach about the adrenals and it is very difficult to treat. Also, only a few labs do the specific and sensitive testing she did. Most doctors do not have contracts with those labs. I want to add that she tested me for many, many things but my instincts were 100% right. I told her that I suspected it was adrenals and B-12. So, always trust yourself. You know your body.

Are you depressed too? No. I am not depressed but many people who have adrenal exhaustion are. I am definitely moody and irritable. I am sure my husband and kids could attest to that. And I am frustrated that I cannot make my body accomplish more in a day. But through the grace of God, I still find a lot of joy in my life and do not feel depressed.

The brain fog I have is scary though. I cannot recall simple things. I could not for the life of me remember one of Kate's best friends names the other day. I had to ask Kate what her name was and this is our neighbor and VERY good friend. I have been very embarrassed in conversations where I cannot recall a simple word.

Were you juicing? I have not been juicing as much as I was and I asked my doctor if I should continue to juice. She thinks I definitely should juice once a day or so but she wants me to eat a small piece of protein with my juice (or before) because I am hypoglycemic and juicing can quickly raise your blood sugar. I had fallen off the juicing wagon a bit (due to lack of energy and time---it is a lot of work to have the organic produce available and to clean the juicer). But I KNOW I feel better when I juice. I will be juicing again now but probably 2-3 a week instead of daily.

Have you tried a naturopath or NAET? It was actually a NAET doctor in Virginia who diagnosed my adrenal problems many years ago. I do believe NAET can work. I did it with the boys and myself for a few years in VA. The problem is she took a very, very slow approach and between the adoption and our move, I never finished treatment and never recovered. Then the stress of our move here, finding a house and schools and Kate's surgery and Harry's illness and other things exacerbated the issue and my cortisol levels plummeted even more. My current doctor is an MD but she is taking a natural yet aggressive approach. I will be taking natural supplements and thyroid medicine and bio-identical hormones and cortisol. My cortisol and other levels are so low, I need a more aggressive and immediate intervention than NAET.

Do you have a good source of information? You can find a list of what tests will help diagnose adrenal exhaustion and learn more about the symptoms here. Most of my information has come from the two doctors I have seen (here and in VA). I will say that the kind of exhaustion you feel is not the normal "Mom tired." It is a "looking at the sink and wanting to cry because I am too exhausted to wash a pot kind of tired." Most people who are in the stage of adrenal exhaustion I am in can only function a few hours a day. They spend most of the day in bed. I have pushed myself to function throughout the day but it has been at a great cost. Having said that, I still think it is worth a look at your cortisol and thyroid functions if you are feeling pretty tired and run down. It is far better to catch this in the early stages. I am just saying that you might have to really push your doctor for those tests. Or work to find a doctor that will run them for you.

This site , this site and this site have good information.

I know I promised photos of Kate's room but her bedskirt is backordered. It is a beautiful silk organza bedskirt from Pine Cone Hill that is fit for a princess.


I think it is such a pretty piece that I don't want to photograph the room without it. As soon as it is in, I will post photos. But here are a few little snapshots of the princess herself.....


I love that little heart shaped face and that dimple!!!!

She LOVES this Disney little Mermaid nightgown!!!! My Mom (thank you) sent it and even though it is very big (I have it pinned on the back so it stays on)...she wants to wear it around the house all day long. I actually hide it sometimes because she trips on it and refuses to take it off when we need to go out in public.


  1. Wow, hope you are feeling yourself again soon! Can't wait to see her room. Sounds so pretty. And such a pretty princess. :)

  2. Wow Kate...I have a lot of reading to do! I can completely relate to your post. The extreme exhaustion some days, completely not being able to function, and not being able to get my brain to function. I finally got one diagnosis back positive for Epstein-Barr(the mono-causing virus). All others OK, but I am going to read up on your links to see if there's anything else I should be looking for. You explained the way I've felt exactly, fatigue that is hard to explain. I hope you feel better soon...I'm so glad you decided to share this info, because feeling that way and not having answers is not a good feeling. I'ts easy for others to mark it off to depression, or laziness or all sorts of other excuses. Fortunately I have a good NP I work with that kept at it and kept running bloodwork.
    Feel better soon,

  3. Thanks, Kim! I always appreciate your openness about health issues, although I don't suffer from these issues it is good knowledge to have. Can't wait to see Kate's room! She's adorable!!!

  4. kim, i can't believe how big kate has gotten!! i love it;) i can't wait to see her room!!

  5. Kim,

    Thanks so much for sharing about your diagnosis. I have to say, I have never heard of it. It must be such a relief to now know your instincts were right on, and you can start your recovery. Here's praying it's fast and that you feel like your old self in no time!

    Your daughter is truly beautiful, and that bedskirt IS fit for a princess. Can't wait to see what the room looks like;-).

    All the best!

  6. Look at those curls on Kate... she is a Princess indeed :)

  7. Great Info. FYI I ordered that same bedskirt for Caroline but had to return it. It was beautiful but more browny peach rather than pink. I only tell you this in case you are trying to match it to other pinks in the room. Hope it works!!

  8. Kim, so glad you have a Dr that listens to know your body best. You are so right (post below was called hope...and I HOPE you'll start to feel better the meantime...enjoy the rest you can get...your body really does need it!
    Can't wait to see the Princess' room! Love her gown! Ruby had one too at the same age...and she wore it everywhere....we had to hid it from her too! Your right...that dimple is just about the cutest thing!

  9. LOVE the bedskirt. I can't wait to see it all together!!

  10. Kim - Kate's hair is absolutely adorable right now! Sure turned ashes into beauty there :)

    hugs -

  11. Kate looks absolutely beautiful in her side swept curls. Can't wait to see the photos of her room.

    Gin =)

  12. Kate is growing up sooo fast.. .soooo BEAUTIFUL.. Love it...
    Have a great weekend..

  13. Thanks for all the information. I really hope you are feeling better very soon. It's so hard when your body won't do what you want/need it to do.

    Kate looks so grown up. I can't believe it. Her hair is beautiful...and that dimple is amazing!!!

  14. I am so sad that you have been so sick... Seriously, I don't know how you have done so much feeling like crap. Nothing is good when you are exhausted... Sleep deprivation makes me so cranky, I can't imagine having it along with your other symptoms. Bless your heart for pushing through!!!! Praying you can go to bed for the entire weekend, and start catching up!!

    On another note, Kate looks so beautiful!! I love that precious face and dimple too! And, of course the curls!

    Love ya,

  15. Oh my goodness your little princess is so beautiful!
    I can't wait to see photos of her finished room - it sounds absolutely amazing!!! I was wondering if you would mind sharing where you found the duvet cover? My older daughter fell in love with the pink one when you originally blogged about it, and I remember you said you had found it for a great price ;) I'd love it if you could share.
    So sorry to hear about your adrenal exhaustion, but so glad you are on the track to getting well - hope is a powerful thing!!!
    Sara :)

  16. Two of my close friends were diagnosed with the same thing and it sounds like you are on the same path of treatment as them. It did take time but they feel wonderful now! They are different ladies today because of the dr they found. They had gone to multiple others that just thought they were depressed. Hope you start to gain some energy and feel better soon!

  17. kate is beautiful- you are such a wonderful mom- most would have given up trying if they felt like you do and you AMAZE me with all you do even before i knew you were so sick. don;t sell yourself short sister!

  18. Goodness, what a week this has been for you. I have been swamped with both boys' baseball schedules this week and am just now getting back to reading and posting.

    Continue to take care of yourself, not only for your precious children and husband, but for YOU!

  19. Great information Kim...I hope you are feeling better soon..: ( Love Kate's curls and her hair is really growing : ) she looks adorable!!! I can't wait to see her room. It will be beautiful!!!

  20. ha! Landree loves gowns too! She will come home from us running errands or preschool and she will ask to put a gown on!

  21. I'm so grateful that you listened to your body and your "gut"...I hope you are on the path to wellness and I am here if you need a friend. xo, T

  22. I am just reading about your adrenal exhaustion Kim!~ So sorry you are going through this!! Kate is just so adorable....truly a little princess! Hope this weeks finds you feeling much better!

  23. Kim,
    I am so sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well for such a long time. I, too, have not been blogging much lately so I am just now reading your posts. I am so glad to hear you found a good doctor with a good diagnosis, though!! And your pretty princess is as pretty as ever! I love her curly "do"!

    I hope you are feeling yourself again really soon!

  24. Dear KIM!
    So Glad you are the road to maybe feeling LOTS better!
    This is NO fun
    I have something very similiar to this ( I have NO Thyroid at all!)
    Long drawn out detailes story
    So glad you listened to you and NOT to others
    This can be over come but I think you will need to get rest take the vitamins and the supplements and do just, what the docotrs say DO!
    Sure hope with in weeks you are feeling like a new person;)
    Ona lighter note Miss KATE E lokks so cure love the curls and the gown and she is so adorable!

    Wishing you the best the adrenal
    exhaustion can be very hard on any person much less all you have been thru in just a few years!
    Take care sweet friend!
    You will be better I KNOW! Hugs!
    and more HUGS!

  25. Dear Kim
    I am so sorry for the fatigue you have felt the last few months, ugh I know it must have been so tough. I am praying you have a full speedy recovery and that He gives you and your MD direction.

  26. Oh my goodness... what an ordeal you have been through. Take care of yourself and I hope that you are back to feeling better in no time!

  27. Kate is ADORABLE!!
    And I'm so glad you are on the path to perfect health! Good for you for sticking it out to find a doctor who would listen to you. Wishing you well! Take good care!

  28. Thanks for posting openly about Adrenal Exhaution. I am in the midst of finding the right balance with AE. It's tricky, because after doing all the right things on the outside (diet, exercise, hormones), you haev to do the work on the inside next. And that's where I am at right now. I'm thankful you are on the right path. You'll begin feeling better soon if you are anything like I was. That initial jump in felling better has made working on the inside a lot easier. Praying for you and hope to visit your blog again soon!

  29. Hi friend! It's GSG. When you can, send me your email address. Mine is GrannySmithGreen at gmail dot com. I'd love to talk more about what you are going through. I can't seem to find your email anywhere.

    Oh, yes--and I've got Richmond White dishes too. I'm a dish fanatic and that pattern is a summer favorite!

    Hoping and praying that you are feeling better!


Thank you for your kindness.