My Recovery From Adrenal Fatigue, Part 2

 

In My Recovery From Adrenal Fatigue, Part One, I detailed the “physical” things I did to help my recovery from adrenal fatigue. I would say that I had moderate adrenal fatigue teetering on the edge of severe at times, over a period of several years. I haven’t had further saliva testing to confirm my current state, I just go by how I feel.

I am now able to stay up late, get up early and have a busy day without a crash, but I do monitor myself for “adrenal feelings.” For me, when I feel adrenal-y, I feel a weakness inside my bones—that’s the only way I can describe it. I also feel very tired and emotionally “down.” At that point I know it’s time to add a second Plexus Slim in the afternoon, increase the Vitamin C dosage and get more rest for a few days.

However, I believe that for me personally, learning to deal with stress and my thoughts were the biggest key in healing from adrenal fatigue.

Working through this piece not only helped adrenal fatigue, it also greatly improved an autoimmune issue of a very low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). A normal platelet count is 150,000 to 400,000. Mine ran about 36,000 and dropped into the 20’s or lower on several occasions, resulting in petechia (red spots which are literally bleeding in the skin), easy bruising (such as from a purse on my arm), fatigue and feeling blue. Worst-case scenario is severe bleeding but I never got there.

I’ll remind you that I’m no scientist or doctor but I believe my body was destroying itself, literally eating its own platelets, because of self-hatred resulting from rejection issues. I didn’t like who I was and I didn’t think it was good to be me.

I won’t go into the reasons for this, other than to say that I survived a difficult childhood and some traumatic experiences as an adult. My deep issues of rejection and abandonment expressed themselves as feelings that I didn’t deserve anything good and that I was not good enough.

That translated into a tendency to avoid vulnerability or needing anything from anyone, which is common for someone who was wounded as a child. I am extremely grateful for my husband, who has patiently loved me across the years and coaxed me into a trusting, intimate relationship.

The non-scientific explanation of how our brain works is that it seeks to categorize experiences and exposure to new things. It searches through the “file cabinets” of previous experiences to see if it can organize the new experience and place it in the right drawer along with other similar files.

So when a new experience comes along, such as someone else’s words or actions, we pretty much associate it with a previous experience. Husband didn’t notice our new haircut? That feels an awful lot like when Mom didn’t notice our carefully gathered wildflowers. So we assume a motive and/or immediately jump to the rejection feeling.

Multiply that by twenty-five years. Adrenal fatigue often shows up in middle-aged women who have borne stress and ways of thinking for many years. Finally their adrenal glands (stress glands) just get exhausted. Throw in an especially demanding or stressful season and they go downhill in a hurry.

My journey of dealing with mindset issues began with T-Tapp, the exercise program I did to lose 100 pounds. Read more about that here. Eventually I became a T-Tapp Trainer, which led to an online business. Having a business forced me to deal with emotional issues stemming from fear of vulnerability and putting myself out there. This very article is a testament to how far I’ve come in getting past my stuff!

Please note that I’ve been a Christian for many years and definitely found help from God all along—I just didn’t really believe that God loved me or that I deserved His love. The antidote for rejection is the love of God but I didn’t accept it until the last few years.

I worked with mentors to identify where I was struggling and find new ways of thinking. I realized that I often created anxiety even when everything was handled because that was what felt normal to me all of my life. The Bible says “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Turn that around: You shall know lies and the lies shall enslave you. I finally began to believe and think the truth.

Of course this is just the short version, but I wanted to make sure that this part of my recovery from adrenal fatigue was included because in the end, it was (and still is) even more important than the physical things. I am very grateful for the healing I’ve experienced. The training, study and experience I’ve had with mindset issues not only improved my health, it is changing my work (more on that soon).

EDITED TO ADD: I realized I forgot something important. Another thing that helps is laughter! Yes, make sure you have fun and relax and LAUGH often! Watch a funny movie, watch a humorous video on YouTube, read something funny–you know what strikes you as funny, so see more of it. There is a certain humor author who makes me laugh until I cry, so I read a chapter or two from his books here and there. Listen to your children’s funny comments, spend time with fun friends. Laughter is healing. Many of us get overly serious about life and forget to intentionally smile and laugh.

Related to that is the need to relax. You need restoration time, without guilt. That will mean different things for different people. Some things that are relaxing and refreshing for me are window shopping, going to the library alone, going to a coffee shop, dates with my husband, private time in the bedroom with my husband (if you think of it that way rather than just another way someone needs you), regular lunches with girlfriends, bubble baths, reading, internet browsing not related to work, bookstores and time in my bedroom alone. Adapt your list to your life situation and preferences, but DO some of them. Being a Martyr Mom is not good for your health!

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

10 Daily Tips for Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenalfatiguecolor

Practical tips at-a-glance,
with surprising but simple ways to help your stressed adrenals
get through the day

Powered by ConvertKit

83 thoughts on “My Recovery From Adrenal Fatigue, Part 2”

  1. Charlotte, Thank you for sharing your stories. I always look forward to reading your posts. I’m battling adrenal fatigue again. You are such a gift in my life!

  2. Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles. We have to be careful about who we divulge our weaknesses with, and be careful not to have an ” always whining” mindset. But I’m sure there are many people who will benefit from this pair of articles, and begin to heal as a result. Personally, this is a great reminder to me that taking care of myself is not selfish, but a necessary part of being able to care for others.

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Totally agree on not having a whining mindset! You can probably tell that I only share these stories to help others, not to have a “poor me” fest. 🙂

  3. Charlotte, thank you so much for these 2 articles on Adrenal Fatigue. I have recently been diagnosed with it and when I read your articles, I actually felt validated for the first time. I am a mom of ten who I also homeschool. And because of this, I have felt many times that I just need to be a big girl and get over it. (Of-course, that worked well:) This last year, I have been seeking the Lord on the spiritual side of this illness and have come to the same conclusion you did- that I need to learn to handle the stress differently because it is not going away. My husband is also a pastor. I guess my question to you was how you were able to get to the point of knowing that you were worthy and loved by our Lord? A definite struggle for me! Thank you again for sharing this testimony- it was an encouragement to this tired momma!!

    1. Charlotte Siems

      It helped me to listen to encouraging music about the love of God and to choose truth. We have to believe the truth even when our emotions don’t agree. If we do that enough the emotions eventually come around. By choosing truth I mean focusing on truth from Scriptures rather than what I feel or thoughts that pop into my head. Lots of good input helps power-wash your brain rather than trying “not” to think of negative things.

  4. Another wonderful article. Thank you for sharing personal things to help others! I have had a similar mindset problem with a different cause; my family wasn’t the problem, but inside my mind was. I became severely, dangerously depressed in the fourth grade and it never stopped. I was no longer able to appear normal in school, so I was cruelly made fun of until high school. Now I know that my MTHFR DNA mutation damaged my brain chemistry but until my recent diagnosis I never got help. Now with treatment I am starting to feel the good feelings, and it makes good thoughts easier to hang onto, but I still need to be careful of my thoughts. I say this for the sake of someone who might be reading and thinking (with those thoughts of worthlessness as a backdrop in their mind), “But I never had anything really bad happen to me, so what the heck is my problem?” Or the opposite, “It is just too bad and I will never feel better.” Lots of things can cause adrenal fatigue, depression, and anxiety. You may have one or all three or other conditions (like OCD or some illness) but don’t beat yourself up for your symptoms like I did for so many years. Keep trying to get help- we think you are worth it and you should too!

    These articles have been a big encouragement to me too. It is so nice to feel you are standing together with others who know what it is like.

    Charlotte, would you please share your adrenal tea?

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Bless your heart! I agree that there is no single cause for many issues. We are complex human beings and so many factors come into play. (The adrenal tea recipe is in the first article)

  5. It sure isn’t easy to share the depths of your heart and past, but thank you so much for giving so many of us tired exhausted, weary Moms hope…expecially the hope that lies in the power of the Cross!! And, thank Him for the medical profession who can be of great help too 🙂

  6. Charlotte – thanks for sharing your intimate life lessons. You are truly a blessing from God to so many people. FYI … our dog had your same platelet disease along with some other issues (autoimmune hemolytic anemia for one!). We had to watch for bleeding, lethargy, etc. and we did it effectively (along with an awesome vet) for 8 years. We were able to nurse him back to good health through 3 separate recurrences and he lived to be 12. Ok, enough about us ……….. thanks again!

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Interesting about your dog….I’ve had the platelet thing for many years but it is doing fine now!

  7. You might want to look into the book- Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman- the book deals with exactly what you were saying about your body- diseases manifest from buried feelings and what to do to overcome all of that. I hope that you continue on your healing path-

  8. Hi, Charlotte,

    Your vulnerability is breathtakingly beautiful! Yes, we are wounded in relationships, and we are healed in relationships. I’m thankful you found some mentors to help you work through the damage and choose to believe what’s TRUE. The lies of our value and “how life is” that we internalize as young children don’t change unless we learn HOW to change those lies! One way the Lord intended His body (the church) to bless each member is by loving each other! I’ve been blessed by a ministry called “The Journey,” an offshoot of Open Heart Ministries, where we share our stories in a safe place, and give and receive words of compassion, truth, grace, and healing. I continue to be surprised (after years of being in this ministry) by how much the Enemy has stolen from God’s people through the lies that the Enemy plants in vulnerable children…..

  9. Denise Baligad

    Charlotte, thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are such an encouragement to me. I, too, have a similar background and struggled with the same self-rejection. I am becoming more victorious in those thought patterns daily. Our LORD has given me a handful of ladies, including you, that are mentoring me in HIS ways of truth. I PRAISE HIM for your heart of love and obedience to HIS WORD! Have a beautiful, blessed day sweet sis…btw, HAWAII needs you to come! LOL!!

  10. Dear Charlotte,

    I am always blessed by you. This is very personal information, I almost think one of the ladies alluded to it in her comment above, but want to ask you. Last year, I went into menopause heavy and was thrown into an anxiety disorder also. I had believed I was a Christian until then (had doubts from time to time), but after that and even now, I believe that I never was truly born again. I think my growing up planted worthlessness in me and my flesh is causing me to believe Christ did not die for me. It is devastating to my body, family, marriage and mind. Maybe it is just a time I am going through like Holly has said above. And somehow I will be able to “hold on” to good thoughts longer. I don’t know what kind of treatment she is going through, but I have been to many doctors and no one so far will check my adrenals, my cortisol or do a saliva test. I am even on antidepressant and an anti anxiety med to function daily. But if I could push through these thoughts of worthlessness and truly be saved, it would make the whole eternal difference. I know the Way is that Christ’s blood and work on the Cross paid my sin debt in full, if I believe He died for me and I think I used to believe that, but am struggling beyond belief now. I want to be saved, why can’t I push these negative thoughts aside. I want my sins forgiven. The people I have talked to say that I am saved and to get over it. I was a depressed young girl with long periods and 20 of them a year, plus a dad that tended toward depression and thought he might be bipolar. I know this is a lot for you. But you sounded like you had a similar situation and that your pastor husband was of great help. And I need many prayers and great help. Would you and anyone who reads this pray for me and my family? And would you, Charlotte, respond to me. Thank you for your terrific website and blog. Blessings on your life, MAE

    1. Charlotte Siems

      {{{Hugs}}} to you Mae. I am in no way minimizing what you are going through, or telling you “there’s nothing wrong with you.” But fear is having faith in the wrong kingdom. To repent is to change the way you think. I’m guessing that you don’t live in secret sin or have unrighteous habits. We so easily get into shame over being human and discouragement about who we’re not. At some point we have to actually believe that what Jesus did was ENOUGH. When you think about it, our shame denies what He has done and our discouragement dishonors His sufficiency and promises. For me, life is better when I just do my best and stay away from too much introspection.

    2. I realize your message to Charlotte was from almost 3 years ago, and hopefully things are much better now. But I felt compelled to respond. I prayed the “sinners prayer” three different times as a young adult. I believed everything about the gospel, from a logical standpoint. At one point after those three different prayers, I remember praying “God I know I’m a sinner, but I can’t see any sin in my life. Please show me my sin so I can repent and grow and go on from there.” It took a few months, but God answered that prayer. He showed me that sin was not a once in a while thing in my life. It was everything. My life live apart from God, consumed with thoughts of self and my way of doing things and getting my own needs met. For the first time, I truly believed I deserve hell. After three days of utter helplessness and conviction over my sin, the lightbulb went on. “THIS is why Jesus had to die on the cross. I can never be good enough! I have nothing to offer God! ” at that point, I finally put my complete trust in Christ. Note, I thought I was already saved, because I prayed all those times. But salvation is not in prayer, it is found in turning from my way to depending completely on Christ alone. The moment I did that, Heaven became gloriously real, and the Holy Spirit began making real changes in me. It has been 33 years, and I have never doubted my salvation for one moment, despite ups and downs in my Christian walk.
      I hope this is a help to you or someone else who is struggling.
      “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you need more help, I strongly encourage you to find a good, Bible believing and preaching and practicing Baptist church. ( disclaimer: not all Baptist churches are good, and not all non-Baptist churches are bad, but it is the best way I know to quickly narrow down the field.) If there is not one in your city, watch the online services at Bible Baptist Church in Fairbanks Alaska. They also have online scripture songs which are a great help in changing your thinking.

  11. Charlotte Siems

    Aww thanks, Dorcha. Actually, I think trying to be too strong is what got me in trouble! Glad that T-Tapp is helping you. 🙂

    1. I had terrible auto immune issues and while trying to reverse it…ended up with severe adrenal fatigue. Praise God I reversed a bad case of polyneuropathy! What is T-Tapp?

      My goal is to heal and help others..one thing this illness has done is given me a lot of empathy for sick people…I know I have to place all that in God’s hands because it can overwhelm me.

      What is T-Tapp?

    1. Charlotte Siems

      You know, I don’t know much about humor writers! It’s pretty individual what strikes you as funny. Dave Barry can be inappropriate or crude, but most of his stuff is hilarious to me. Yet my husband doesn’t find him funny at all. But then my husband thinks that some YouTube videos are funny and I don’t get it. So there you are–it’s individual taste to a great extent. Ask around, check out the humor section at the library to get a feel before you invest money in books. The internet abounds with free funnies, but you’ll probably stumble upon some not-so-great stuff on the way.

      1. Brian Regan us not a writer but an extremely clean comedian who us hilarious You cN find his videos on YouTube.

  12. Rhonda Thorson

    Charlotte,

    Thank you so much for talking about laughter as a healing therapy! I speak to groups on the spiritual and physical benefits of laughter. Research confirms what you are saying. I am very passionate about the subject, and I am so thankful for the many ways God uses you to help others find help and healing.

    Blessings,
    Rhonda

  13. Very Helpful not just for me but I need to share this, wow Charlotte Isnt God amazing how he is using you to help others.

    I am a child of God DESTINED to make a DIFFERENCE
    I will not doubt or fear in the face of adversity.
    I am COMMITTED to God’s will for my life
    no matter what opposition may come.
    I will PRAISE God for every blessing and through every trial
    For He will never fail me.
    I will put God FIRST every day of my life that I may hear Him say,
    “WELL DONE.”

  14. Thank you so much for writing these articles. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and have been scouring the Internet for articles. Yours is the first one that has given me validation. I also am a Christian and a missionary and leader in my church. One of the resources that I have read is James Wilson’s book on Adrenal Fatigue as well as working with a naturopath for proper supplements. In Wilson’s book he has a story about a man who knew that laughter was his only healer. He was bed-bound in a hospital, but began watching funny shows, movies, reading funny articles and books. You get the idea. He became such a nuisance that the hospital moved him to a private room where he could laugh all he wanted and not bother anyone. He healed and is not immobilized like the doctors predicted. The reason for sharing that is because laughter is very important to healing, not just from adrenal fatigue, but from most illnesses and diseases. As Wilson states, “when you laugh, stress decreases and all the mechanisms in your body relax.”

    Thank you SO much for sharing. You are a blessing.

  15. I have just been diagnosed with AFS and am so glad I finally understand all those strange symptoms : the fatigue, sleeplessness , belly fat I couldn’t get rid of and back aches . I went from 129 pounds as a 29 year old to 199 pounds as a 61 year old ,being a workaholic nd worrier the whole time. and being the owner of a successful business I love added the final amount of stress that made the whole thing break down . So I’m starting recovery this week and I’ll be checking back with you ! Thanks so much !

  16. 31/2 years ago I gave birth to three months premature twins and my life went hay wire since then. I’ve recently been diagnosed with auto immune of thyroid adrenal fatigue and no hormones. I’ve been struggling severely and felt death knocking on my door. My husband has resented me since then and I have tried all sorts of supplements and now hormones. I’m still struggling and need help. I live in Houston Texas area and would like to know if I’m ever going to get better? I feel so lost and not sure how to get a hold on this issue as all drs seem to have different ideas of what works and now feel I may be on too many supplements and can’t tell what to do. Any ideas?

    1. Dear Confused, I apologize that I just now saw this comment. My heart goes out to you. I hope you are doing better by now. My adrenal fatigue continues to improve, so I do believe it is possible to get better. I hope that you have found some answers…

  17. Hey, thanks for this! The muscle weakness, low blood pressure, exhaustion you describe is so familiar!! I just bought the adrenal extracts (Dr WIlson’s although I know there are others out there) and started taking them today (diagnosed with very low cortisol last April but somehow thought I’d just reduce my stress and be fine, haha), along with having a good multi, more C, and trying to cut back on caffeine and sugar (I eat extremely healthy and organic except for the giant daily piece of cake or pie ;-)). Quick question, were you able to continue with any caffeine at all or did you only drink decaf? Also I love your tea idea and I’ve found I enjoy one with the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Also, where did you purchase your essential oils?

  18. You are inspiring! I have difficulty enough with two children! As a single mother with no family near by and few friends (I moved from my hometown to escape an abusive ex-husband), I don’t know how I am going to recover from adrenal exhaustion when I need to work full-time, which barely covers my expenses, and I have two children to care for when I’m not working.

    I’ve seen a naturopathic doctor and an MD to treat this, and both treatments seem to work for a few months and then I start to go downhill.

    I also am curious about caffeine; did you consume any coffee or black or green tea during your recovery? Dr. Wilson’s book says to have no caffeine at all, but some days it’s what I need to get through the day. I will try your adrenal tea tomorrow morning, and now I must get to sleep as it’s just after 11 p.m.!

    Thank you again for sharing your story. I look forward to when I can afford the essential oils to try and when I have enough energy to try T-Tapp.

    1. Bless you, Maria! I try to stay away from caffeine, but when I have some it’s only in the morning. I seem to tolerate it better now than I did during the worst of the adrenal fatigue.

      At the risk of sounding flippant, your thoughts can really help or hinder your recovery! Thinking that you CANNOT recover is a sure recipe to NOT recover. Seriously, there are proven, scientific, physical reasons why your thoughts affect your body. I recommend finding some uplifting, free podcasts to listen to, especially as you get ready for the day. Start the day in faith, thinking “I’m going to have a GOOD day!”

  19. Hi Charlotte,
    thank you for your testimony it makes me feel some what better.
    I have had adrenal exhaustion since march 2013 and recently its affecting my nervous system. im constantly nervous, anxious, agitated and having tremors. Did you suffer from these symptoms? Do they ever go away? I spend days crying on end because of this.
    im a christian too and im constantly in prayer but struggling with thoughts of never going to recover.
    How did you get through these symptoms?
    thanks
    Marian

    1. Dear Marian, I have been dealing with the same symptoms as you, and wondered if anyone else had the tremors along with the other symptoms. Mine manifest when I exert myself. (house cleaning, pushing a cart at the grocery store etc.) I agree with Charlotte, that where the mind goes the body follows. This is what the Lord has been showing me. Psalms 107:20 He sent forth His word and they were healed, and He rescued them from the grave. God spoke our world into existence. His word is powerful. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
      2 Timothy 3:17 (NIV) so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
      Since His word is useful and beneficial for everything, it is definitely useful for our healing as the scripture in Psalms 107 so nicely points out.
      I have experienced the discouragement along the way. But one thing I know, and I use it to remind myself regularly, God can do ANYTHING, because all things are possible with Him. The bigger He is in my eyes, the less I see my situation. He is the God of all hope, and the Hebrew meaning of the word for hope (Tikveh) means that it will happen. It does not mean wishful thinking. That is why the writer of Hebrews said ” Faith is the *assurance* of things *hoped* for. And faith works by love. The more you focus on the fact that God loved you before you gave Him a second thought, the more you will be able to receive this love. I fully understand having grown up in a loveless home, filled with rejection and abuse. It isn’t easy to wrap your head around a God Who is love. But He gently shows us His love in countless ways. One thing I always remind myself is that since He tells me to love others unconditionally, then He must be like that Himself, because He wouldn’t ask me to do something He doesn’t already do. Blessings to you my sweet sister. We are going to get through this and come out stronger and able to comfort the masses of people who are dealing with the very things with which we now deal. One book that helped me is written by Joseph Prince called Destined to Reign. It helped me put my focus on Jesus and what He did for me and helped me to understand God’s incredible grace. Hope this helps. <3

  20. Charlotte Siems

    Hi Marian,
    {{{Hugs!}}} I would encourage you to stop focusing on thoughts of struggle. Rather than thinking about what you don’t want (your symptoms, how hard this is, will it ever stop), pour into yourself. Listen to lovely, uplifting music, encouraging podcasts, books that are positive and happy. Power wash your brain with good things. You get more of what you focus on. Honestly, my thoughts and ways of dealing with stress have been the most crucial part of my recovery!

  21. thank you for your great advice. I need to stop panicking when I get these adrenaline rushes. lately I have been getting them days on end and can’t sleep because of them. They cause me to crash because of them and that’s why I’m finding it difficult.
    I’ve been reading the Bible, listening to sermons and praying and this has helped me a great deal.
    I will speak to my doctor and ask her for advice on supplements for the adrenaline. thank you.

  22. Dear Charlotte,
    I was very blessed to read your story of Adrenal Fatigue Recovery!I could go into a long story but will try to stay brief :). In the fall of 2009 at the age of 42, I crashed hard with a bad case of Adrenal Exhaustion.I could barely function to take care of my husband and our three children as well as work in the family business.Sleeping was very difficult and the attacks on my mind severe!It felt like I was loosing my mind!The Lord led us to contact a lady we met thru our business,Whitefeather Meats,who has a business called Balanced Living.I knew she would know about nutrition etc.After talking with her she knew almost right away what my problem was and scheduled me to do hair and saliva testing,which came back showing quite severe exhaustion.She put me on whole food supplements from Standard Process Supplements.It was interesting to me to read of your Adrenal Tea! My caregiver had me drink 1/4 tsp.sea salt in a cup of warm water( I would add Herb Ox msg free chicken boulion to flavor) in the morning when I got up and then again in the afternoon before 3pm. I have read the Adrenals need salt to function properly and still drink my salt water during times when I feel myself falling back abit.It has been a long recovery for me,but God has been so faithful and so good and I can’t thank Him enough for bringing thru that very dark valley! I still have down times where again I need to back off of doing so much and just take time to recuperate.Being in peri menopause during this time has added an extra set of challenges,and The Lord is patiently teaching me to stand on His Word no matter what kind of negative emotions I may be feeling.I thank and praise Him for my husband who has been such a help and for the Lords help as we faced some tough hurdles in our marriage thru all this!He is our Shepherd and I know He will see us thru!God bless you and your family on this journey and continue to bring healing to you!Whoops I didn’t stay very brief 🙂 Blessings!

    1. It is wonderful that you’ve been on a healing journey in many areas of life, Laura! Love the idea about the salt water with boullion. I use Celtic Sea Salt in my oatmeal every morning because salt IS important for those with adrenal fatigue. Blessings to you and yours!

    1. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar contains “the Mother” (the stuff floating in the liquid). It consists of enzymes, bacteria and nutrients, and that’s what helps with energy. Do a Google search about benefits of apple cider vinegar and you’ll find more info. 🙂

  23. Hi Charlotte,
    You blog has given me some hope. I too am realizing that I need to learn to “take every thought captive” and adjust my thought life and am working on some reorganizing and de cluttering of my brain. It has been a 10 month road trying to get to the crux of my health problems with the symptoms I have had. I was wondering if you had any pressure/ pain in your chest area and dealt with muscle tension? I am almost going into a panic attack every night when I wake up, as I am realizing that I am seriously clenching all of my muscles while I sleep. It is leaving me very tired and sore in the morning.

    It sounds like I did all the wrong things as I was going through the horrible, emotional problem that led me to where I am. I turned to coffee for energy in the morning and alcohol in the evening to give me some sort of relief from the muscle tension. I also craved carbs and consumed far more of those out of comfort eating than I ever could have needed. I am a tense, sore, tired mess now with a huge medical bill from trying to get answers. All the docs want to do is drug me for anxiety.

    I would love to have definitive answer for all of the symptoms I have, but I suppose will have to be satisfied with whatever I figure out from my online research. I am done with doctors. It would help me to hear from any of you reading this if the muscle clenching was part of your adrenal fatigue symptoms and if you have experienced some relief with proper care and time? I read on one site that a feeling in the lungs like you have been swimming all day was a symptom. This describes to a T how I feel. Has anyone else experienced the same? It really helps me to not feel like I am going crazy to hear others confirm exactly what I have been experiencing. Thanks for any feedback you can give.

    Lisa

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Lisa, it makes sense that you would have that sensation, as your body and mind have been trying to deal with stress. It’s almost like a turning in on yourself. The resulting muscle tension could create that sensation.

      For me, the blood sugar issues of adrenal fatigue caused me to want to eat all the time because when my blood sugar dropped I felt better if I ate. Crazy cycle. I just found something to help with blood sugar and it has been a whole new world to not have my life run by my blood sugar issues.

      The mental part is so, so important. Learn to love yourself. It is really a spiritual journey. Blessings to you.

  24. Thank you for writing this. My situation is a mirror of this. I am struggling so badly right now. I’m 30 years old and a mother of three boys 5and under. I had a traumatic childhood etc. I feel like nothing good will happen for me. I don’t get much or any help with my kids. My husbands works far away and gets home late. My circumstances are stressful, not enough money for bills, tons of food allergies, hashimotos, nursing, kids with food allergies, old parents who don’t have energy to help etc etc. I have been praying for years for God’s help and waiting expectantly. Reading His word. I’m exhausted. I know I have adrenal fatigue. I eat almost perfectly clean, no caffein, sugar, junk food etc. I weight train with very little cardio. I’ve been researching tons and trying to put out immune system fires just to have another health issue to flare up. Can’t afford all the medical testing from skeptical doctors. I want joy. I want to enjoy life. I haven’t had a real vacation in years lol. I don’t know what to do and I feel hopeless and helpless. All the things I enjoy are off limits to me, relaxing, quiet, clean, dates with my husband, baths (tub doesn’t work). I don’t mean to off load. Your blog was an encouragement but too overwhelming to do with three kids etc.

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Audra: *Breathe* Please don’t get overwhelmed by thinking you have to do everything all at once! That is a big factor is getting to adrenal fatigue in the first place. 🙂 Dear Mommy, at the risk of sounding flippant, please start with your thoughts. I don’t know your spiritual practice, but stress and overwhelm and anxiety and discouragement are, at their roots, fear. Fear is faith in the wrong kingdom.

      It may seem like one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but take those thoughts captive. It gets easier with practice. No matter how busy and financially strapped you are, you can listen to beautiful music and good, positive teaching from podcasts or YouTube on your computer. Pour good into yourself. Let it wash over you. Set a timer and clean up one section of one room. Little things make a difference.

      It’s true that the usual things that refresh you may not be possible right now. Okay, adapt. I’ve had 12 babies and homeschooled for 26 years. Trust me, I *get* feeling stretched thin. But there comes a point when we have to stop hoping someone else will notice and fix it for us. Thank God for a husband who goes to work to provide. Figure out what will help you refill a bit. It’s cheap to shop at thrift stores. It’s cheap to take the kids to the park.

      There are no easy answers but, from experience, I can tell you that we do much of this to ourselves. There are plenty of women, somewhere in this wide world, in much worse circumstances than yours, who are choosing to smile. It really is a choice. And I’d be wrong to tell you otherwise or offer only pity and commiseration.

      This sounds hard, but I hope you hear the love and compassion between the lines.

      1. Thank you for your encouragement. I will start working on my inner dialogue and try and make better thought habits. 12 kids! Homeschool! SHEESH!!! You’re right. It is a choice. My hardest problem is remembering to make it. I believe in the Bible. Every word of it. It’s hard when people say let go and let God when you don’t know how to. It’s literally second by second. Thank you for your reply.

  25. Robin Williams

    I have AFS and am seeing a Naturopath. I own a new restaurant and overwork and over stress got me here. I’m worried about whether I can ever run the restaurant again. Last night I had a intense discussion about an event coming up. It caused so many extreme reactions. My heart started beating fast, had problems brea thing, starting shaking inside, chest tightened, and crying. It all happened in minutes. How am I ever going to run my restaurant if I can’t even handle a stressful conversation.

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Robin, can you work with a mentor or coach to help you work through the thought processes that bring on so much stress and emotions? Learning to deal with stress is just as important as the supplements and rest!

    2. Robin,
      I have learned that as your adrenals heal, your ability to handle stress will return; so don’t despair! Charlotte’s recommendations for healing your adrenals go almost hand in hand with everything my N.P. suggested. Following these steps, along with a few extra adrenal supplements prescribed to me, I have moved from being where you were in June to a very healthy ability to manage stress, IE: no racing heart or tightness of chest, etc.
      You will heal!
      Charlotte,
      Thank you for writing this blog! I have recovered very well from AFS, but am struggling to lose the 10 pounds I gained, so came to your site trying to find diet and exercise tips. I am going to buy the T-Tapp for Healthy Hormones. Thank you for sharing your experience and for your encouragement!
      “With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

  26. Please please pray for me! I am desperate! What you describe I absolutely have! I am so discouraged…. I can hardly get out of bed some days and I have 5 kids and a husband…. I have been doing way too much for years and it’s finally catching up with me…. I am usually an energetic person and I feel so weak, shaky, and the anxiety is horrible! I have just started seeing a naturopath and am praying so hard for answers! I used to be fun and full of energy and I feel like a zombie…. Please pray for me…. This has just developed over the last couple of months… I am 44, and wondering if part of this is perimenopause too…. 🙁

    1. Debby, I’m glad that you are seeking answers! Please consider Plexus–it’s helped me so much with adrenal fatigue, the blood sugar issues that were awful, hormones and thyroid. It might be part of the puzzle for you. I pray that you feel better soon!

  27. Charlotte, When I saw on your side about Adrenal Fatigue, I just had to click on it. I was having issues with my cortisol many years ago and was having it supported with medicine; then they discovered a goiter. It was a ‘simple’ surgery to have it removed, but I had to stop the adrenal support before the surgery. My body went into an autoimmune attack during and after the surgery and I went into adrenal failure. I can relate to so much of what you are saying. I had systems within my body that just started to fail. I also went from 123 before my surgery, I got up to 153 after the surgery as my body went crazy, I am 100 lbs now, but went as low as 93 lbs.

    Our endocrine system and that little gland pretty much runs our entire body along with the Hypothalamus. It turned on the Sjogren’s that was already living inside me, but not active, along with other autoimmune issues. It took years to balance my thyroid and cortisol levels (they didn’t remove thyroid completely, but the attack destroyed it for just under five years).

    There are very good doctors out there who understand how all of this works with your body, but you do have to search for them. Especially ones who will work with natural products. One thing I learned from my doctor…just because your test comes back within normal limits, it does not mean it is normal for YOUR body.

    1. Yep, finding that doctor who looks at you instead of reading lab results can be tricky! I’m so glad that you’re doing better, Kim!

  28. Hi Charlotte,
    What a blessing it was to find your website! I was just “officially” diagnosed with adrenal fatigue a couple of weeks ago and was scouring the Internet the other day for articles on the topic. After spending hours and hours researching articles, I was just about to quit for the day when I felt a nudging from the Lord to click on one more website. Well, it was no mere coincidence that I found your website! I felt an instant connection with your Christian witness as well as your struggle with adrenal fatigue and experiencing a difficult childhood and traumatic events as an adult.
    In addition to adrenal fatigue, I have several chronic illnesses which exacerbate it. I am working with a naturopath, and she has started me on several supplements to calm down some problematic neurotransmitters as well as address my low morning cortisol and high evening cortisol output (opposite of what it should be). She is also helping me address the areas of healthy eating, sleeping, stress and exercise.
    I will be implementing your tips on healing the adrenals. When I read about the T-Tapp exercise program on your website, I realized that this type of exercise program will be so beneficial to me while I heal from adrenal fatigue.
    Your website has given me so much inspiration and hope! Thank you for your wonderful Christian testimony!
    P.S. I must share this last little tidbit. In mid-2006, my husband and I moved from Montana to Oklahoma and found work at a small private Christian university in Oklahoma from 2006-2009. We met one of your sons who worked for the Facilities Management department of this university where I was Office Manager. (We recognized him in your family photo on your website.) Our Okie son-in-law also knows him, too, since he attended this same university. Although, my husband and I moved back to our home state of Montana in 2013, we have some fond memories of our time in Oklahoma. We do get down to Oklahoma from time to time as our daughter and son-in-law live there, so Lord willing our paths may cross in the future. ?

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Wow, Susan–so cool to connect here!! I am SO glad to encourage you! And who knows–maybe we’ll meet in person someday! 🙂

  29. hi
    im shery,28 years old ,It was bigin during the middle of september when i wake up in the morning with back pain and all over fatigue in my body,I never mind that,but when the next day come my husband told me to visit a doctor,when i came to a clinic for check up my BP is 90/60mmhg its alarm me. after few days during my period my skin turn into pale,i felt dizzy and fatigue all over my body.

    I came back to a doctor and he give me BCOMPLEX injection,for 6 consecutive days. i feel well after that days .But after few days ,it was defficult for me to go to sleep and i came back to a doctor for blood test and the result is normal,and my doctor say it was anxiety and he give me anxiolytic for this case,but it has no effect on me,although i can sleep well but the fatigue is always there ..

    After few days i turn pale again,whith fatigue all over my body,cold hands and feet,fast heartbit,and tingling in my extremities.

    when i came back to a doctor for cbc test my platelete was fall into 131,i was extremely panic during that day,after 2days i came to a hematology fo pereperal smear,but i was confused the hematogy didnt say anything and told me to go to a psychiatris,according to him everything is find.

    I was really confuse why my platelete fall?what is the fatigue in my body,is this an andrenal fatigue syntoms even if im so thin not fatty. pls.,help me this things was going worst every day until now..

  30. So much in common Charlotte! Check out the book Presence Process. It’s a 10 week healing book is what I call it that will help you integrate past emotional experiences. I did it last year and continue to work on this part of my life. I’ve has panic disorder since my 20s and well found out so many reasons other than its just a physical problem. I’ve suffered from adrenal fatigue off and on since my mid 30s. I’ve had I would say after reading the book Tired of being Tired 2 major adrenal burnouts. The first I was gaining weight and couldn’t figure out why and pushed thru my days feeling awful! I also had a relapse of depression. Came out of that back in 2005. T-tapp was a big party of my recovery. Then again in 2010. With the dizziness upon standing the second time. Yes I do get the best sleep between. 7 and 9 am. I always try and be as aware if I’m heading towards burn out. And recently I had a lot of stress with my son going thru a hard time. Thanks for sharing your experience so honestly. Your a great insperation!

  31. Update. I hit adrenal fatigue unfortunately. I was getting the rest I needed and started drinking your adenal fatigue drink you posted here Charlotte. My body was more fatigued than I realized. Was waking up in the morning feeling off and weird. My blood sugar was dropping! So I’m now taking adrenal tissue and other supplements for adrenals. I will heal this again. It can be done. Please everyone who’s posted don’t give up. You can heal this. It may be something that has to be watched for regularly but you can feel better and get better. It was a huge wake up call that my body needs more help than a realized. Better food also. Frequent meals. More fun and better mind set! Take care everyone!

  32. Hi Charlotte, I’m hoping you can share how you make your “homemade lyponano C” supplement? I have been suffering with adrenal exhaustion for years and have purchased lyponano C in the past but its very expensive so I haven’t been able to keep taking it as I need to. A homemade version sounds like it might be the answer.
    Thanks, Jen

    1. Charlotte Siems

      Hi Jenny, I no longer take liposomal C. Someone mentioned something that made me stop–something about forcing something into cells, I don’t remember–but I haven’t needed it since I started Plexus anyway. Sorry! If you’re still interested in trying it, you can Google it, there are YouTube videos. I just no longer take it.

  33. Hi Charlotte, Thank you for this article. I have adrenal fatigue also and I suspect that your take on the cause is very true for me. There is stress and then there is our perception of that stress. Our perceptions are much more powerful than any reality that we might be facing.

    My perceptions and thoughts (often very subliminal), I believe, have taken a dramatic toll on me. I think that I’m emotionally/mentally/spiritually and physically blocked as a result. I want so badly to get rid of the blocks! I want to forgive, and let go of whatever demons are holding me back and eating up my life force. (not trying to sound like a Star Wars character or anything but don’t know how else to describe it.) I want to be able to embrace life!

    In any case, reading your article is a good reminder that the key to my adrenal fatigue actually lies with the mind and spirit, not the body.

    If you have any other specific suggestions for addressing mental/spiritual health (books, movies, yoga dvds or whatever else) please let us know! Thank you! Katherine

  34. Kristie Curry

    Charlotte thank you for this! Its so encouraging! I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue about a month ago by a naturopathic doctor. I have 4 children married and Im 35 years old. This has been very hard for me…I worked everyday, now I’m unable to work due to off balance dizzy feelings. I can get up and do some things but give out of breath quick…its very frustrating. I’m taking adrenal medicine now and trying my best to eat a healthy diet, but money I very tight as now my husband is the only income. What is the average recovery time for adrenal fatigue…also my naturopathic told me my left was weaker than my right adrenal.

    1. Hi Kristie. I suffer same syptoms of dizziness some days. Not always and shortness of breath. Have yu tried magnesium? Magnesium chloride or ionic forms are best absorbed by the body. I can so relate that it’s very frustrating! I’m doing much better now that I’m on magnesium. I have to increase dosage very slowly. Due to fatigue. Please hang in there. 🙂 The shortness of breath is much better. The dizziness can be very debilitating. Try taking deep breaths thru the nose out thru the mouth. Very helpful. Idk how long it can have to heal. I had this 10,11 yrs ago. And it took about a year. Take care

  35. Hi everyone. Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve had a very hard time with this ADF this time. And found out I needed magnesium. And suffering from sleep apnea. Ughhh! My thinking was just awful. And I wasn’t really in a lot of control with very low magnesium. It’s so helpful to the body. And our minds. I needed magnesium chloride. And ionic magnesium. Doing a lot better. Still having some days where I’m so weak and tired. Just tell myself I’ve come so far in helping myself to heal this. Went back to meditation. Very helpful. Hubby not too happy with all this fatigue and good days and bad days. Not sure what to tell him. It’s just the way it is with this fatigue. Not too happy with weight gain. Thanks Charlotte for having this place to come and share and support

  36. I enjoyed your posts about adrenal fatigue. I would love to read an update on how you’re doing now and what all you’re doing.
    Thanks!

  37. Charlotte,
    Thank you so very much for sharing this article. I don’t want to be long-winded, so I will just say that it was exactly what I needed to read today, and you have given me hope.
    By the way, I am rereading Anne Baroch’s book, “healing multiple sclerosis,” and I know from a previous reading of it that many of the things you have listed for help in these two articles are things that she talks about as well. It is amazing how many health issues boil down to supporting our selves with right-thinking, stress relief, and living our lives according to the Word of God!

  38. Charlotte, thank you for sharing your journey. As a fellow go-getter, I think that the bone-deep fatigue is one of the most discouraging parts of this disorder. When trying to explain to others about why I feel bad I often find myself stumbling around because, fatigue? Really? Why don’t you just get in bed earlier? Etc etc. The embarrassment and shame aspect is huge. I can’t do the things I want or need to do.

    I, too, am a Christian. This ailment has challenged me to really assess whether or not I believe God to be good, faithful to His promises, loving, reliable. I feel inadequate because I have had to back away from my areas of service at church; I feel guilty, embarrassed, frustrated that I should be feeling better but am not.

    But God.

    No more beautiful words are written in The Book. He is rich in mercy, He has given us every spiritual blessing, He has given us Rest. And that sounds pretty good to this weary soul.

    Thank you again for your posts. I am grateful to God that we aren’t lonely wanderers in this life until He calls us home. You have been an encouragement to my heart!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.