I’ve been umming and aahing about writing this post for a while….sometimes I even bore myself with waffling on about what special diet I’m trying at the moment, gluten free, dairy free, raw.. alkaline….but actually I’ve realised that it’s important I do.
Because the healing process I’m in at the moment, is one that I’d actually like everyone to read about. It’s an issue which goes hand in hand with our fast paced stressed out malnourished life and it’s barely recognised by the medical profession unless it’s in it’s most drastic, fatal form.
I didn’t even know about it until I read an amazing, informative and helpful blog post (link i a moment) and realized that I had ticked yes to almost every box on the list of symptoms.
Then this library book on the same subject literally jumped off the shelf as I was passing, and I started to take action.
Action to heal Adrenal fatigue.
Relief, that’s what I felt. Relief that my crankiness, extreme irritability, inability to cope if something went a tiny bit wrong, absolute overwhelm, sugar cravings, loss of libido, (well I am also breastfeeding my fifth child!!!) was not as I was constantly telling myself, a result of a major character defect. Bad mother, bad partner bad person generally. And pretty moany and miserable as a result.
(When I say extreme irritability, I don’t just mean a bit overreactive when a child spills some milk, I mean a feeling of near desperation like I may need to slap someone if I hear Tansy’s pvc apron crackle as she does some baking, or Hugh trying to cut a packaged cake, without removing the wrapper, so it crunkles and rustles as he slices. The stuff of nightmares, truely. You can imagine how more serious issues affect me. )
Well it turns out I’m actually ok I just have Adrenal fatigue. Some of the causes…major trauma, mother of young children, repeated and severe lung issues, feelings of disempowerment, being trapped and unable to be fulfilled. Well I had them all in spades.
Phew! So now I can do something about it.
I started with diet because that’s something tangible I could get going with right away.
I cut out all grains, yes all…not so tricky as I’d been veering in that direction for a while anyway, and with any major dietary transitions, it’s really really important to take it gently, for your body and mind.
Sugar had already gone, but now I cut out all fruit (except an occasional apple) juices, smoothies, sugar substitutes.
Dairy…that was on it’s way too, now gone.
Instead, shed loads of vitamins, green drinks, seaweed, herbs….meat, fish, nuts beans and lots and lots of veg, not too much starchy veg, so no potatoes, and minimal squash sweet potato etc.
For a nice thorough resume of causes, symptoms and effective remedies for Adrenal Fatigue, look no further than this great post by Lucy Pearce.
Two weeks in and I can calmly stand next to Tansy in her crackly apron and, while it does register that actually I’d rather she took it off, I no longer want to punch the wall. I feel clearer, and more able to think under pressure. Generally happier, calmer and able to spread more love around.
And, as always, because I’m feeling so much better I start to take care of myself in other ways too; taking regular Epsom salt baths..(.another way for the body to absorb Magnesium, an important mineral in the recovery process) journalling more often, starting a daily, well, frequent stretching routine; starting to weasel little non pressured moments to write into my day (involves story cds and making use of toddler naps!!) Meditation…getting there.
It seems as if the healing process always attracts more avenues to heal. I had just got on top of the diet when I spotted another blog post, this time by the inspiring Marybeth Bonfiglio about self care and establishing a regular daily practice as a means of honouring and nurturing yourself. You can read that here. It really spoke to me.
For me, there is another incentive to sort myself out, apart from feeling as if my life is more like a summer stream on Dartmoor now, instead of the volcano it was a few weeks ago.
Diabetes. Adrenal fatigue has been described as ‘the waiting room for type 2 diabetes’ and as both my mother, aunty and Grandmother have it, than I am very predisposed to it. I always get raised sugar levels in pregnancy. By treating myself well now, I plan to avoid it completely. I really don’t want to get diabetes! I want to be healthy, calm energetic with abundant love and serenity..is that realistic? You bet!
I won’t pretend it’s easy, especially not whilst cooking for a large family and being at home with hungry kids pretty much everyday, but it’s been totally worth it, and I’m planning to persevere.
So how about you? Do you have any experience of Adrenal fatigue? If you have had it , how have you treated yourself, or do you think you have it now? It’s good to share experiences and raise awareness of something that can be incredibly debilitating, with symptoms such as extreme fatigue, panic attacks, low immune system, insomnia and dizziness.
It would be great to hear from you,
Much Love Henrietta x