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Bedridden with Adrenal Exhaustion - will Paleo help?

by (15)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created January 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I'm on my partners account atm. I think I currently have adrenal exhaustion. It became apparent when I started getting bouts of full body weakness, tingling and a coursing feeling through my veins/nerves with sensitivity to the cold. I did think i was dying. Before it happened, for months I would ruminate in bed all day about all my fears (I was unemployed) and have panic attack after panic attack. I was suicidal and constantly shaking with adrenaline. I was eating bad food, at inconsistent times, not sleeping well, at inconsistent times, and all in all it was pretty much a recipe for disaster, I'm not surprised I got this way.

I tried Paleo for a month once and it made me feel fantastic. I was just wondering if doing it again will help my recovery? Other than that I don't know what I can do to recover. There is not much I can physically do. My husband had to cut my food up for me earlier. It's frustrating but I guess if I get frustrated I am just making my condition worse. And of course I've been googling way too much, convinced I could die from this.

The doctor is putting me on a corticosteroid and I worry what this will do. Ideally I want to heal naturally!! And I've read about how steroid treatment can go wrong with adrenal fatigue.

Will Paleo help me? Should I try to walk even if I'm weak? Should I avoid the steroids? Worried :/

I also have a Urine infection at the moment.

Medium avatar
389 · January 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM

It is a two-way street: Fixing yourself up physically can improve anxiety / depression, and fixing emotional problems can improve your health. It is smart to focus on both like you are doing.

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15400 · January 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Amy, I have leaky gut (unfortunately) but it is caused by SIBO. Maybe adrenal fatigue is a real thing, but according to Weston Price website, it is all about the gut flora. So even if they are exhausted, it is the gut that needs to be healed. So we are in congruence on it. My leaky gut is so bad... I react to EVERYTHING!!!

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Dr. Lo has a a pretty good podcast. She's interviewed a lot of the Paleo/WAPF/natural health rock stars most of us are familiar with.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

VB, you not believing in adrenal fatigue is like the other post about someone not believing in leaky gut. You're right that there is something else causing the adrenals to poop out (an underlying cause as to *why* the adrenals can no longer produce adequate hormones), but that's the same as there being underlying causes as to why the gut is leaky. That doesn't negate the fact that the adrenals *are* exhausted, or the that the gut is leaky. It just means that no relief will come unless those underlying causes are identified and corrected.

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32518 · January 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I've found that addressing gut health & nutritional deficiencies significantly improves the mental health of my clients and the Emotional work I do with them is even more effective when the system is resilient. I address nutritional issues first, with positive results.

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15400 · January 17, 2013 at 2:22 AM

Wow, antibiotics have such a profound effect on gut flora. I cannot tell you how to treat your GI problems because I don't know what you have, but if I were you, I would try to go in that direction and see what you might have one month after you are done with antibiotics.

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1925 · January 17, 2013 at 12:14 AM

and where did you get the idea of the 'uncooked vegetable' part? There are a lot of benefits of having a mixture of raw and cooked foods in your diet.

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15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Thanks for the tips! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this

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15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I also follow Claire Weekes' approach to anxiety which I try to do, although anxiety still prevails for the most part at the moment even with acceptance

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15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

I have a urine infection and I'm on antibiotics for that at the moment. I had two last year too i think, or it may have been ongoing. I have had mixed stool consistencies for months, and I had food poisoning with diarrhoea mid-late last year.

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15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Yes I take a benzo and I see a counsellor occasionally, I'm going on a stress course when I am well enough, which is the route to CBT.

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15593 · January 16, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Naturally eating a (paleo) good nutritious diet can help immensely. The http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.co.uk/ blog is basically ALL about related issues.

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11048 · January 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Paleo isn't automatically low carb.

Medium avatar
389 · January 16, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Besides obvious hormesis components (Cold showers, fasting, etc), how is paleo stressful to the body?

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9 Answers

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140 · January 16, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I also came back from the grave. Better than a zombie, but it's slow going. I first went to a natureopath, Dr. Lo in Encinitas, CA. She helped with getting some huge issues ID'd through labs and then liver detox, support, adrenal support, parasite, virus's, etc. I had been Paleo (vlc for 2 years). Part of my problem was I was pushing my body too hard through physical and chronic plus emotional stressors (working out an hour+ 6 days+ a week, divorce, death, full time single mom, AND VLC PALEO). The VLC downregulated my thyroid most likely along with all the other demands.

Best thing I have ever found, and it was recent - FUNCTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC NUTRITION

www.bloodandhormones.com

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Dr. Lo has a a pretty good podcast. She's interviewed a lot of the Paleo/WAPF/natural health rock stars most of us are familiar with.

Medium avatar
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389 · January 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Yes! I went through severe adrenal fatigue twice over the last 2 years. The major things that helped me to recover were:

Paleo diet (really emphasize low sugar, low carb, high fat) Consistent sleep schedule Control stress Cut way back on exercise Little to no caffeine General + adrenal - specific supplementation

Stay positive... recovery is possible if you are smart about it. Just ask if you need any more info. I have several books on recovering from adrenal fatigue as well.

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15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Thanks for the tips! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this

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125 · January 17, 2013 at 4:53 AM

Assuming you have a UTI, try D-Mannose to help flush the bad bacteria out of your system. You probably need to supplement with some probiotics or fermented veggies to help restore your gut flora. The antibiotics usually kill off everything good and bad.

The adrenal problems are fixable, but the process is slow. You need to explore the cause of the adrenal fatigue. It is usually a sympton, not a cause. You need to look into your hormone levels, thyroid levels, Vit D3, and possible mineral/vitamin deficiencies or toxicities.

Keeping your stress level low is really important, as is working on the CBT. Take lots of naps and don't feel guilty about it. You need to be in healing mode. Several years ago, my adrenals were in really bad shape. My Alternative MD recommended low-dose hydrocortisone. Dosing varies depending on the person. You should probably have saliva testing to determine your cortisol levels over the course of 24 hours. Levels should be highest in the morning and taper throughout the day. You have to be careful to take just enough to feel better, but not revved up.

Eating a paleo diet could really help your system get back on track. Staying away from artificial sweeteners, caffeine, MSG, and preservatives is really important. Eat plenty of meat, fat, fruit and vegetables. Don't worry about eating low carb. You are in healing mode. Hang in there!

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15400 · January 16, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I don't believe in adrenal fatigue. There is always an underlying issue. When you are exhausted and bedridden - something causes it. What is it?

It could be some kind of vitamin deficiency or malabsorption. Yes, vitamin deficiency can cause enormous fatigue. Your body gets depleted of nutrients and here you go - you cannot function normally.

However, instead of buying vitamins, I have a question - what could cause your vitamin/other things deficiency? The only answer to it is - malabsorption due to GI problems. It could be: gut dysbiosis, SIBO, all kinds of things. So you need to figure out what is wrong with your gut.

You can take a Metametrix DNA stool analysis with GI effects and take a SIBO test and go to a good (and I mean really good) gastroenterologist but I would start with a gut for sure.

Good luck! I was bedridden in July 2011 and no doctor was able to diagnose me correctly. So I am taking this matter into my own hands now. You are going to be okay, remember!!!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790
15400 · January 17, 2013 at 2:22 AM

Wow, antibiotics have such a profound effect on gut flora. I cannot tell you how to treat your GI problems because I don't know what you have, but if I were you, I would try to go in that direction and see what you might have one month after you are done with antibiotics.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f
8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

VB, you not believing in adrenal fatigue is like the other post about someone not believing in leaky gut. You're right that there is something else causing the adrenals to poop out (an underlying cause as to *why* the adrenals can no longer produce adequate hormones), but that's the same as there being underlying causes as to why the gut is leaky. That doesn't negate the fact that the adrenals *are* exhausted, or the that the gut is leaky. It just means that no relief will come unless those underlying causes are identified and corrected.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790
15400 · January 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Amy, I have leaky gut (unfortunately) but it is caused by SIBO. Maybe adrenal fatigue is a real thing, but according to Weston Price website, it is all about the gut flora. So even if they are exhausted, it is the gut that needs to be healed. So we are in congruence on it. My leaky gut is so bad... I react to EVERYTHING!!!

1866ea4add65035b8bbf334f91eeadd4
15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

I have a urine infection and I'm on antibiotics for that at the moment. I had two last year too i think, or it may have been ongoing. I have had mixed stool consistencies for months, and I had food poisoning with diarrhoea mid-late last year.

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11204 · January 17, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Paleo- assuming you go for nutrient dense foods and not silly stuff like lettuce- certainly will help.

So will a ridiculously stubborn attitude.

Finish the course of antibiotics, get one of those probiotics that says it has more bacteria in it than the human population of the planet (and probably costs too much), start paleo, and stop taking drugs.

The last part is scary I know, but if I let doctors keep giving me crap, I'd be dead- and I am especially talking about the stuff that is supposed to actually help you not be suicidal. Bull. It makes everything worse. And then nobody yet has explained why a high carbohydrate diet would make me depressed, but I suppose I have Stephan Guyenet & the potato diet guy to thank for helping me figure out that was a big cause of my problems. Your mileage may vary there- it helps to have a glucometer, so you can actually see what your blood sugar is doing and adjust accordingly, rather than merely guess or develop ideology.

If you must lay around, go lay around in the sun- well don't do it too long, but do it.
You probably ought to eat a lot of liver too, since you need all those fat soluble vitamins. You are also probably very susceptible to artificial light at night. Get those turned off, and block anything coming from the street. Some red light at 5 lux probably won't do any damage, but anything brighter won't allow melatonin release. This is a big step to hormone profile normalization.

Well, I can't put everything in here, so go over to http://robbwolf.com/ and stubbornly read and/or listen to everything.

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-14 · January 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I had Bedridden with Adrenal Exhaustion as well. Used recipes from book http://getnow.org/paleo/ now Adrenal Exhaustion is almost gone.

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0 · January 17, 2013 at 5:11 AM

Just remember Paleo doesn't always mean Very Low Carb(VLC). Going too low in carbs for extended periods of time can put a stress on your adreanals as adrenaline is needed for to make glycogen from fat....And for making glucose from protein when there is no source of carbohydrates available. I would eat more carbs from fruits, veggies and sweet potatoes if adrenal exhaustion is suspected.

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7380 · January 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

In all honestly, and I mean this kindly, but have you sought treament for your underlying anxiety and depression issues? Because you really need to address those. Whether it's meds or cognitive therapy (ideally a mix of the two), you should concentrate first on your mental health. Just fixing up the outside of your mental house will not save the foundation.

1866ea4add65035b8bbf334f91eeadd4
15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I also follow Claire Weekes' approach to anxiety which I try to do, although anxiety still prevails for the most part at the moment even with acceptance

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
32518 · January 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I've found that addressing gut health & nutritional deficiencies significantly improves the mental health of my clients and the Emotional work I do with them is even more effective when the system is resilient. I address nutritional issues first, with positive results.

Medium avatar
389 · January 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM

It is a two-way street: Fixing yourself up physically can improve anxiety / depression, and fixing emotional problems can improve your health. It is smart to focus on both like you are doing.

1866ea4add65035b8bbf334f91eeadd4
15 · January 16, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Yes I take a benzo and I see a counsellor occasionally, I'm going on a stress course when I am well enough, which is the route to CBT.

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96 · January 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Much of Paleo can be stressful to the body (Low carb, uncooked vegetables, high fiber, intermittent fasting, etc..). For those in good health, the stressors can be therapeutic and healthy. However, if you're already having issues, I would not suggest Paleo or Primal.

WAPF with plenty of carbs would be a good choice. You want to cook your vegetables, and avoid excessive fiber. Don???t be afraid of natural animal fats, but don???t go wild adding extra fat for calories. Fruit sugars and cooked starches are good. Eat at fairly regular periods (don???t skip breakfast, eat it within an hour of waking if possible). Look into supplements like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea, as these adaptogens can help with cortisol balance. Finally avoid stimulants: Caffeine, nicotine, excessive exercise, and too much sugar in a single bolus (don???t be afraid of sugar, but too much too fast can be a negative as the body fights to keep blood sugar spikes in check)

Find a good endo and get your salivary cortisol and full thyroid panel tests done. Adrenal and thyroid issues often go hand in hand.

Medium avatar
389 · January 16, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Besides obvious hormesis components (Cold showers, fasting, etc), how is paleo stressful to the body?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · January 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Paleo isn't automatically low carb.

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a
1925 · January 17, 2013 at 12:14 AM

and where did you get the idea of the 'uncooked vegetable' part? There are a lot of benefits of having a mixture of raw and cooked foods in your diet.

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