So Ive read the information on the blog, tried to get through a good chunk of te MdA pages and gone through here but hasn't quite food the answers to my questions. As a quick background I started the RX 1.5 weeks ago- I used the fact that I have horrible body comp despite rigorous weight training and exercise for years, inability to lose weight unless doing PSMF but even then I gained fat back despite strict adherence to paleo/primal and VLC, and my free t's were both in the bottom/out of range although my blood level of leptin measured fasting did not seem to be elevated and my reverse T3 was 185 with a range of 90-350. Just started compounded natural T3/T4 2 weeks ago and started seeing a naturapth who said I have adrenal fatigue (I also have a lupus DX from 2 years ago), she put me on several herbal and vitamin supplements, high dose prescription probiotic, and 5-htp so far for 2 weeks now. I am 5'6.5 and weigh around 155-160 right now (I don't weigh due to extreme anxiety re: cortisol issues related to the number) and I have a mesomorph frame so this is not crazy overweight for me nor do I look it- but ideally I think 145 or really around 20% BF would be ideal.
My questions are:
1) with adrenal fatigue I'm told you should not skip meals (ie IF) as it raises cortisol, but what often happens (and what is said to be a positive aspect of the RX) is that I forget about lunch or just am not remotely hungry until say 4 but I'm told to eat every 4-5 hours for adrenals. So, if leptin is truly the master, can I disregard the eating frequently for adrenals or should I force myself to eat something unless I'm completely LS at which point I'm assuming my adrenals should be healed?
2) As a follow-up, does the adrenal issues resole with regain of LS or will I need to avoid HIIT or any cardio until they are even after 8 weeks? Right now I have no desire to workout as I hit a wall a month ago physically and mentally (my job is also very labor intensive- I'm a chef). I do do yoga as I firmly believe in it as a regular form of moving meditation and body awareness. I will of course first start with weight training again, I've always done low rep high weight, but from what I understand right now I need to avoid exercise until I feel like it as opposed to making myself do it and then feeling like crap afterwards. Of course I'm paranoid I'll just lose more of what little lean mass I have left.
3) How are people upping carbs after the 8 weeks or are they? I read on Dr. Kruse's blog that VLC leads to serotonin issues and as someone with a history of hospitalization for depression and chronic low mood since I'd really like to rejoin the human race and feel more like myself- this could also be tied into my chronic excessive exercise, eating issues, and resulting horrendous energy.
I appreciate any and all insight!
I am not sure how I can help you other than to say that I think this leptin-adrenal issue still needs to be worked out. There are so many people over at MDA who still have adrenal issues, so it is taking longer than 6-8 weeks. Testing to find out status isn't really much of a solution because you are still faced with how to fix it and that is not always easy. What I would do is keep your BAB at the 50 gram minimum and don't skip any meals. Taking 5-HTP in the evening works for many, so I would go with your docs recommendations unless you have problems with it. There is lots of advice about reducing adrenal problems by reducing external stress that I do not agree with. When people have high cholesterol, we recommend eating less cholesterol to fix it. When people can't sleep, we recommend that they get more sleep. But it is really important to look more at why people have had high cholesterol or why people have poor sleep. If you go into the doc with a broken leg and all he does is say, "You need to stop walking on it," and sends you on your way, well, that is not going to help as much as setting your leg and getting a cast. Same with cortisol. For people with leptin-insulin-cortisol resistance, they will have problems even though many outside factors have been resolved. At your height and weight, you don't need to be on VLC, so the problems others have had with it may not apply to you. You might also enjoy reading what Dr. Schwarzbein has to say about adrenals and diet, and also what Dr. Rosedale has to say about leptin and diet. Schwarzbein insists on mini-meals with carb minimums, and Rosedale says its ok to eat when you are hungry, but not in the evening.
You sound much like myself.
Adrenal fatigue, though, takes a little while to develop and takes at most several years to fully treat. What is your TSH level? I'm not big on lab results, but it may be more indicative. If you are experiencing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, then I suggest trying to get that under control before attacking adrenal fatigue full-force. Both feel very similar individually, but with both you'll feel like hell (just like myself right now, I can sympathize.) Hypothyroidism can spark symptoms which mess with cortisol levels quite a bit (e.g. insomnia, fatigue.)
Go online and research hypothyroidism. I prefer http://stopthethyroidmadness.com in case you haven't been there already, as it covered both this condition and adrenal fatigue. The most indicative test I have found you can do right at home is to take your waking temperature while still in bed (it is concrete evidence.) It is much easier and faster to treat hypothyroidism than it is to treat adrenal fatigue for a long time. Trust me, you would want to either know it is definitely not your thyroid quickly than to know it is definitely not adrenal fatigue two years later.
Tomorrow I am taking a neurotransmitter urine and saliva test for cortisol, epinephrine, melatonin, etc. It is quite expensive.
As for exercise, it's difficult with a shot thyroid OR adrenal fatigue. Just relax, don't worry about it. High stress causes higher cortisol, which will inhibit your thyroid hormones from functioning as well as inhibit weight loss. I did HIIT 4 or so days a week, and same with weight lifting. One of those days I didn't do HIIT I would do some endurance stuff.
The depression though is probably the worst. I am TOTALLY sympathizing with you there. Right now I don't even feel like getting better. I don't even really remember what feeling better was like. I've gained 14lbs in the past couple weeks and my energy is completely gone (with added insomnia.)
I remember my pharmacist telling me last night that he has seen 5-HTP right before bed screw with people. If you are taking it before bed, try switching it to morning unless you're going to be doing some evaluations like my neurotransmitter test (in which case, keep everything the same.)
i am nearly right where you are...eerily similar.
i eliminated grains, dairy, legumes, starchy vegetables and most fruit last May and felt totally drained of energy immediately and started tweaking bi-weekly. two months ago i settled into VLC IF with no fruit, nuts, starchy vegetables, but i was using butter and cream for one coffee a day. i was finally feeling energetic. i suspect the reason it took so long was that all the tweaks prolonged my adaption to burning fats.
three weeks ago i saw an ND who diagnosed me with adenal fatigue and she suggested i eat every 3-4 hours, eat carbs after i exercise and eat one serving of fruit each day and vegetables of equal weight to the meat i consume at every meal to alkalize my body (she never checked my pH). i was really hesitant to make these changes, but agreed to try it for four weeks.
two weeks in i feel like crap. i am not sleeping well, i have no energy, i've gained 5 lbs, my bowel movements are back to irregular and my menstral cycle is out of whack. needless to say, i plan on reverting back to what was working. i will continue taking the herbal suppliment she recommended, but if things don't improve before my next appointment those are history too.
background; i'm female 49 5'5" 135lbs and do low rep lifts twice a week and a couple of 1 hour cardio classes.
hope that helps a bit.....
I also suffer from adrenal fatigue/Hashimotos. From everything I've read on Dr k's site, it seems like the leptin reset program will help heal adrenal fatigue and also will help reverse thyroid disease. Im in my 3rd week of the reset, and Im still trying to figure out if I can exercise yet. I have taken the last year off of working out to help heal my adrenals. All I know is that lifting weights with NO cardio will be good for the adrenals, and only in the PM. I think the WORST thing for our adrenals is the stress of.. Not loosing weight, taking pretty much everything out of our diets, (I just took out all casein and that was the last thing I wanted to take out) constantly trying to find our "cure". Its nice to see Im not the only one out there with adrenal problems. At this point the only way I lost weight was HCG.. and I dont want to do it again because it sucks. I honestly believe it all starts in the gut. Leaky gut seems to lead to leptin resistance, along with too many years of the SAD, which leads to insulin resistance, thyroid imbalances, adrenal imbalances. So it seems that it all starts with leptin and the gut. When we can heal these we can heal our bodies. From what I can understand. So I think sticking with the leptin RX would be perfect for us sufferers. And please if anyone has any info send it my way! And check out my blog about thyroid/adrenal health.. healthfaithlove.com ... Much love :)