A LITTLE OFF TOPIC: Why am I soooo tired?

by | Feb 28, 2017 | writing

I love these little off-topic posts. I am sorry if you are missing the writing posts…I promise you one on Friday…maybe a cover reveal! But today I wanted to talk about something serious and real. But something that traditional medicine is struggling to catch up with: Adrenal fatigue.

There are a few pieces to this medical puzzle for me. I have a thyroid condition. I have for many years. And have been on medication for it. But I still had symptoms of an underactive thyroid (tired, always cold, hair loss, etc), though my blood work consistently showed I was in “treatment range”.

About a year and a half ago, I was also undergoing treatments for vericose veins. I ended up with a superficial clot in one of my legs. This led to blood thinners, which led to iron deficient anemia, which I still struggle with today, though I’ve been off the blood thinners for more than a year. This does not help with the fatigue situation.

I noticed that whenever I worked out, I would feel bad (NOT sore) for several days. Just fatigued, yucky…low mood. I talked to my doctor…”you’re working too hard”. Well, I’m not huffing and puffing, I’m not even sweating, I’m not sore after, but okay. I’ll lighten up. Even then, I’m feeling terrible after for days. I work through it though.

Fast forward, I mention this to my chiropractor (when I start going to one about two months ago…I’m just waking up to holistic medicine…still got one foot in the holistic world, one foot in the traditional world), she mentions adrenal fatigue. She says especially if I’ve had a thyroid condition for a while, it’s a real possibility. Who knew the two were connected? They are.

So, she gives the names of two supplements I can find several places, including our favorite online retailer. I order them, thinking “I’ll give it a try”. I kid you not, SIX days into taking these supplements, I felt like a new person. SIX days. I will never go back.

I contacted my Primary Care Physician…after all, I do want to make sure these supplements don’t interact with my other medications. “Is it possible I’m suffering from adrenal fatigue?” I write in my e-mail communication. “I’m not familiar with ‘adrenal fatigue’,” he writes back. “I am more familiar with ‘adrenal hypofunction’ and ‘Adison’s Disease’.” Because, of course, if it can’t be seen on a blood test, traditional medicine has a difficult time wrapping their minds around it, right? This is not a criticism, but a recognition of the facts.

They need to be able to quantify. To measure. In order to medicate. And I get that. There is a place for that. But there is a place for the realization that something is not working the way it’s supposed to and it needs help. And you may not be able to quantify that.

I will tell you that my doctor is amazing and is very open to non-traditional approaches to health in general. So, I did schedule an appointment with him to bring in these supplements and talk with him about my symptoms and how these supplements have helped me.

Bottom line: you have to be advocate for your own health. You know your body and you know when something is not right. Don’t give up on yourself. But please have someone that is on your team who, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye with you, can be your medical expertise and at least give you a professional opinion. Someone you trust and respect. If you don’t trust and respect your doctor, you need to look elsewhere.

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Sara R. Turnquist