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Day 7 - First Weigh In / Adrenal Fatigue and Supplement Rant

Saturday, July 27, 2013

7/21/13 - 353
7/22/13 - 352.8
7/23/13 - 352
7/24/13 - 351.2
7/25/13 - 351.4
7/26/13 - 350.8
7/27/13 - 349.2!!! yay!!! Back in the 340's :) So happy about this.

Cardio for the week: 5/5
Yoga/Strength Training: 3/3
lbs lost this week: ............. 3.8 lb
lbs lost total: .................. 69.8 lb

My goal was to lose 1.5 lb per week, so I've more than doubled that this week.

I've been battling adrenal fatigue due to physical and emotional stress/anxiety. I have a genetic pre-disposition towards anxiety and I also have fibromyalgia. I believe I might have BPD, which also may be contributing to excess cortisol and adrenal fatigue.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
-Fatigue and weakness, especially in the morning and afternoon
-A suppressed immune system
-Increased allergies
-Muscle and bone loss and muscular weakness
-Muscle pain/back pain
-Cravings for foods high in salt, sugar or fat
-Hormonal imbalance
-Skin problems
-Autoimmune disorders
-Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
-Low sex drive
-Lightheadedness when getting up from sitting or lying down
-Decreased ability to handle stress
-Trouble waking up in the morning, despite a full night’s sleep
-Poor memory

The good news is that there is something I can do to help all of my symptoms, and for me it's been supplementation. I have started taking Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola in the morning, Ashwaghanda in the afternoon, and Phosphotidylserine in the evening. The first 3 are adaptogens which help control cortisol during the day by giving my adrenal glands a break from having to produce so much by inhibiting its breakdown. They also have anti-anxiety and energizing effects. Ashwaghanda in particular reduces inflammation all over the body and can help control blood sugar (Holy Basil does the same thing). The Phosphotidylserine lowers cortisol at night and allows melatonin production (a cortisol antagonist) to take over, increasing deep sleep. (I also take magnesium and L-theanine at night to relax me, and GABA if I am feeling particularly anxious).

Since beginning this pattern of supplementation last week I have been sleeping MUCH better, and my muscles don't hurt nearly as much. I am feeling more energy during the day, far less anxiety, and it's much easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. My sleep is also much more resting and deep than it usually is (I actually had a sleep study done before that showed that I don't get enough REM or deep sleep.. this, I've found out, is a symptom of fibromyalgia, because the body spends so much time in alpha-wave sleep to repair muscles). I believe I am getting more deep and REM sleep now, but I'd have to have another sleep study to confirm these suspicions. All I know is that I feel a million times better.

Also, I've been eating a diet higher in sodium and saturated fats while I recover from this adrenal fatigue... these nutrients help my body produce hormones. In about a week or so, when everything is evened out, I will cut back down on the sodium to a normal level, but it has really helped me this week.

So, yeah. I think I've figured out the right supplementation to counter my body's tendency towards adrenal fatigue and chronic stress. Obviously, there are other lifestyle choices like nutrition, meditation/yoga, and regular, mild exercise that will help me stay on track, and counseling will also help me once I am able to do that, but the supplements seem to be a key part of my journey to better emotional and physical health.

My health is an experiment, and I am an ever-evolving researcher. I hope this information might be useful to someone else with similar issues, but remember that we are all different and your mileage may vary.

If what you are doing isn't working, I encourage you to consider hormonal imbalances and do some research or see a doctor who can help you figure out if your hormones are out of whack.

Estrogen, Cortisol, and Thyroid... so many ways they can become imbalanced and prevent weight loss in unsuspecting people who may even feel like a failure because they are unable to lose weight -- but it's not your fault, and you are not a failure... we need to fix our hormonal issues before calorie restriction and exercise will work for us.

My path to success:
Mental Health & Avoiding Food Intolerances Hormonal Health Sleep Believing in Myself Realistic Goal Setting and Preparation Proper Nutrition Exercise

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