Do you see yourself in this story? (adrenals)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by klutzo, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Here is an example of what the resistance phase of Adrenal Fatigue looks like, taken from my own life. This is for those of you who don't realize what a big part this can play in your symptoms. It is not always a case of "it's just fibro and you'll have to live with it". This has become by far the worst part of having Fibro for me, and it is treatable.

    I got up at 5:30 am, after only 4 hrs. sleep, to stand in line at the lab to have blood drawn. I waited 1 1/2 hrs. in an overly hot room before it was my turn. By then, I was angry about the wait and shaking, since adrenalin causes low blood sugar and I'd been required to fast, so I gulped down a protein bar in my car on the way to my doctor's appt., where I sat and waited again for 40 minutes. The doctor upped the dosage of my blood pressure medicine because my pressure was much too high, which was not a surprise, with the adrenalin pouring out and all that waiting around. I was informed that my doctor is closing her lab due to HMO problems, and all lab tests will now be done at the same overcrowded lab I had waited at that morning. When I left there I was gulping back tears since I was still shaking and had a headache from the rise in blood pressure and the bad news about lab work, but knew I had to do grocery shopping. While buying $150 worth of groceries,which takes quite awhile, I ran into a neighbor whom I really like and she told me she'd just been dx'd with Fibro. By the time I got to the check out, I felt a panic attack coming on and stopped to put 1/4 Xanax under my tongue. Just then, a raging Florida thunder storm descended, and by the time I got my groceries into the trunk, I was soaked to the skin and so were my groceries. Driving home the streets were flooded and I had to drive down the middle, weaving in and around other cars doing the same but going the other way. At home, I got even more drenched hauling all that stuff inside. I was shaking even worse by now, and just then the Jehovah's Witnesses started pounding on the door. I kept putting groceries away. They pounded again. I ignored them ,but my dogs were barking so loud my body started jumping. They pounded on the door a third time. Finally they gave up. I then realized I had forgotten to buy celery,and my perfectionsit husband would not be happy to have no celery sticks in the lunches I pack him. I lost it. I swore, I yelled. I slammed cupboard doors. I pounded the counter with my fist. The dogs ran and hid. I ranted for 15 minutes and took some more xanax. I then spent 25 mins. at a slow speed on a treadmill, to burn off some of the adrenalin. An hour later, I was showered and dry, but my pressure was still up and I was still mad. When my husband asked why I had not put his salad dressing on the table at dinner, I chewed his head off and spat it out. Now it's the next afternoon, and guess what...I still can't turn it off. I have a high blood pressure headache, even though I am taking more meds. I am shaky. I am testy. Sound familiar?

    I have exposed my dark underbelly like this to show some of you what happens when your body does not make enough cortisol to handle every day stressors. Then your body must use adrenalin to handle the stress, and using adrenalin to handle normal life stress is like using a jackhammer instead of a regular hammer to pound a nail into the wall; it is overkill in the extreme.
    Over time, the adrenals become exhausted from having to do this, and the person descends into the next stage of adrenal fatigue...the one we call CFS. (The resistance phase is Fibro). Stages can overlap, and you can go back and forth between them, depending upon the amt. of rest you give yourself.
    Some of you may be thinking that this is not adrenal fatigue; this is obviously a nervous breakdown. As A Psychiatric Social Worker, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a "nervous breakdown" is not a legit diagnosis. It may very well be that what laypersons have been calling a nervous breakdown, has been adrenal fatigue all along.
    I urge any of you who recognize yourself in my experiences of yesterday to go to Dr. Poesnecker's website for chronicfatigue, and read as much as you have time to there. Also go to Dr. Bruce Rind's website and read up on the way our glands are interconnected, and adrenals and thyroid often fail together. Then go to Dr. Russel Roby's site and see how sex hormones are also affected when our endocrine systems are failing. All 3 sites offer treatment ideas.
    I am finally starting to get some help for this, from a holistically oriented doctor like the ones whose websites I mention above. In fact, before I got put on Armour Thyroid, I'd never have had nearly enough energy to do all of the things I did yesterday all in the same day. I don't want others to suffer like I do. I am very lucky I did not have a stroke yesterday. I've had my pressure go way up into stroke territory many times since this started.
    You may be risking your self-respect, your relationships, and even your life by ignoring this if you have these symptoms.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Hugs to you all,
    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 06/22/2003]
  2. LeLeHpr

    LeLeHpr New Member

    And, yes I am in that article about everyday..LOL My dogs run like he!! when they hear me coming..JK Thanks for the post!!!
  3. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    LL - yes, you are on exactly the right track, and please keep us posted on how you are doing. If the glandulars don't help, you may consider Cortef. I am afraid glandulars would increase my adrenalin as well as my cortisol. Aren't they doing that to you??? If not, I may try them, since my doc doesn't like Cortef. I am also looking for another doc who is closer and more willing to try Cortef, since I think it is key in my case. I have a list of 7 docs that I will be calling this afternoon and a list of 6 questions I will ask when I call so I don't waste time on more dead ends.

    Jelly - Oops! I hope you are not offended. I do not mean to pick on the Jehovah's Witnesses in particular. My reaction at that point would have been the same to ANYONE pounding on my door. It just happened to be them. It is esp. irking, since I have a sign on my door that says "No solicitations of ANY kind, please".
    Yes, I read your post on magnesium and agree it may be part of this as well. I take 400 mgs. daily. I used to take 750 mgs. but it didn't make any difference and I was worried about kidney damage. Have you tried Mg by IV? :)

    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2003]
  4. LeLeHpr

    LeLeHpr New Member

    And, yes I am in that article about everyday..LOL My dogs run like he!! when they hear me coming..JK Thanks for the post!!!
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I agree. Without my faith and my close friendship with my minister, I would never have gotten this far. I am glad you have that in your life.

    You are correct that my opinion has changed, but I am still open to proof one way or the other. The Selye Chart of the phases of Low Metabolic Energy conivinced me. While looking at it, I had a "light bulb moment", and I saw how the symptoms could be so different between CFS amd FMS, yet they could be the same illness, just different stages of it. The chart is available at both Dr. Poesncker's and Dr. Rind's websites.
    Selye posits 7 phases of adrenal failure. At "zero" are healthy people. Phase one would be what our society calls "burn-out", which is basically a person who could use a good vacation or sabattical. When ignored, you enter phases 2, 3,4 and 5, which mark increasing efforts of your body to resist what is happening by using adrenalin to make up for the exhaustion of cortisol. People in stages 4 and 5 could be dx'd with CFS or both CFS and Fibro. Stage 6 is exhaustion (CFS) and stage 7 is Addison's disease. The problem with conventional medicine is that it only recognizes stage Zero and stage seven. Like one day you just wake up and your adrenals don't work anymore! How unlikely.
    Interestingly, medicine used to teach adrenal even had a well known medical name...."neurasthenia", and other names as well. It had treatments, one of which, called ACE, was just taken off market by the FDA, unfortunately for all of us.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2003]
  6. zggygirl

    zggygirl New Member

    I have the temper tantrums. But I usually just chalk it up to my anger about the situation and the DD. A lot of times I cry and am sad, but then there is the anger that I have bottled up for so long. Also my BP is usually very low. Though I do remember one time when it went sky high over a minor problem.
    Anyway I will find the energy :)P) to research your sites.
    Thanks for posting them. I've got them on my list now.

  7. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I would be honored to have you cut and paste my miserable day, and use it as a way to help your patients.
    I am encouraged that the Cortef has released you from that hell. I hate the person I have become, and I used to really like myself. I hope to be back to that place again soon.
  8. 2girls

    2girls New Member

    Thanks for pouring out your heart. This really does sound way too familiar, especially lately. Every sound or minor stressor sends my body & mood into a tailspin. I will absolutely check out these sites.

    Thanks again,
  9. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    i am tired and so can't reply in length as long as i would like to.
    first thought when i read what you said was oh well i used to be worse than that ....because i didn't know about the adrenals and cortisol over 10 years ago i was putting myself thru the stress over and over til i broke.

    i hated my temper rages...i didn't know where they had come from....and i couldn't stop the shouting [thats as far as i ever went, i was a shouter]
    eventually i was too exhausted to even shout any more and for years when stressed i ahve just got in a terrible state.....
    since taking the armour thyroid last summer the change back began, now i am taking cortisol as well i am begining to resemble the person i used to be .
    i can handle stress a bit better and i can be angry but not have to scream my head off all the time.

    unfortunately i am having to cope with a lot of stress currently, so my resources are being stretched all the time... but then hey thats life.
    i hope i have learned to protect myself more and i hope the circumstances that are stressing me will improve soon.

    i appreciate your honesty in being open about your stressy day Klutzo

    love, pinkquartz
  10. anetmiller

    anetmiller New Member

    klutzo. What do i need to tell my GP or Rheumy to get them to explore this further? Are there tests for it? I will check out the info you mentioned. Thank you so much for your description of a "typical" day, now i know others have the same kind of days.

    Annette M.
  11. rfg958

    rfg958 New Member

    --yes, in that I have the high blood pressure, did the asi test and I am in stage 5 on that chart, I think, but it is the one just before adrenal failure. I also have hypoglycemia, can't yet get completely off of caffeine, but my tendency when the most tired is to feel tired in every way including brain fog and sometimes depression. I haven't had many temper episodes--too tired. I'm 64, maybe that's why but I haven't had them since grade school. hmm. I tried dhea, pregnenolone and sorophos to help the adrenals but all of those things make me even more tired so I seldom take them. Rita
  12. kerrymygirl

    kerrymygirl New Member

    After 3 times to store forgot onion and celery came home without. I usually do not lose my temper except on occassion. 1 day after shopping came home found ugly sticky juice jar fell in fridge, just alittle, but looked like a gallon, you know. I lost it, just said every word I hate.

    I think mine was holding in my feelings about so many losses and had no where to truly vent,

    Must be that celery thing, my dear

    My blood pressure usually is pretty low and stays that way.

    Still researching what you told me, thanks

    Please take care, thinking of you often. So close but so far for us???? Maybe try that counting to 10 thing & breathing excersice when it happens?

    Hugggss (Do miss ya!!)
  13. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Kerry- thanks, I miss you too. If I ever get well enough to drive that far, I will come visit. Its' rotten how we can live in the same city yet be unable to see people thanks to this DD! MY hubby would not have minded if I forgot onions, since he hates them. I love them, and you'll be glad to know I did not forget them! Low blood pressure is MUCH more common in adrenal fatigue. The book says people who have high BP like me, probably have hardening of the arteries (oh joy).

    Dear Rita - It is because you are in stage 5 that you are not getting such good results from supplements alone. At that late stage you need drugs, like Cortef. You also need your thyroid looked at since that is a big part of this, and make sure they do a test for Free T3, not just a TSH test. If your TSH is over 3.0 that is not normal, no matter what they say. About 50% of people diagnosed with depression really have low thyroid function. Most docs do not keep up with research. If a doctor tells you it is just "old age", get another doctor. I am not going to say what I think of doctors like that, or I might have another temper tantrum! Hypoglycemia is caused by the adrenal problem and by eating unopposed carbohydrates. Almost everyone with this problem should be on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. That alone will make you feel a lot more energetic.

    Annette - the info on testing is at Dr. Poesnecker's site and Dr. Rind's site. The basics are the Adrenal Stress Index and the Thyroid panel, including free T3. You may have to seek out a holistically oriented M.D. to get this done. If you can't find one near you by looking under "holistic" in the Yellow Pages, you can go to the website of Great Smokies Laboratory and send them an e-mail asking for a list of doctors in your area who use their lab. This is the lab that processes most of the alternative medical tests in the eastern half of the country. If you are in the western half of the country, try Diagnos-Techs, Inc. of Tukwila, Washington. I do not know if they have a website. You can do he ASI testing through Dr. Poesnecker's site and he will even treat you by e-mail. This will not work for your thyroid though. If you can convince your regular doc to handle the thyroid and then work with Dr. Poesneceker on the adrenals, that might be the way to go, esp. if you live out in the boonies and can't get to a holistic doc's office easily.

    Klutzo - geez! I keep mis-spelling stuff and having to edit. better take a break.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2003]
  14. Ellie5748

    Ellie5748 New Member

    I can relate to everything you said. Wish it was different, but I guess we all have a cross to bare. Just wish it wasn't so painful. My two yorkies run for the bedroom when I'm on a rant! I'm in Sarasota county, and I can also relate to the wet groceries. We've been under a deluge lately, and it's kind of hard to make it to the door dry. Hope you have better days ahead. Take care.


  15. JHG

    JHG New Member

    I am also new to this board. I think your description is right on target. I am alo a psychiatric social worker and am trying to continue to run my own practice, but have had to slow down a lot. I was dxed within the last 6 months, had severe symptoms for at least a year before that and know i Have had this fibro a long time. It's not onlh the fatigue and pain (which is better) but the fuzzy was my brain works sometimes(although I know I continue to be a good therapist. Researching this crazy disease and reading the posts here has really taught me a lot. I certainly symptosise with clients who have chronic pain and are choosing to still try to make their life worthwhile.

    To everyone:

    Has anyton make a comparison of how fibrofog reseumbles
    Attention Deficit Disorder. I had begun to think that I had it. But now i'm not sure. My psychiatrist gave me Adarall but it onlyl made me nervous. However, some of the tricks on organization that work with ADD do also work for me now. I found a good book "Organizing Your Life with ADD. It has some good suggestions to help one focus more.
    Best wishes,
  16. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    You have my admiration. As you can see from my post, I could not possibly be a social worker anymore, not even if I got totally better tomorrow. My hormones have changed who I am, and I am not exactly the picture of empathy and tolerance anymore!
    Yes, ADD has been discussed here. Go to the top of the page where it says "search previous posts " and type in ADD or ADHD or spell it out and see what you get. I believe there are some similarities, but some differences also, and IMO, we do not have aquired ADD.
    The two memory problems that affect Fibro people were identified a long time ago and they are: 1) short-term memory loss, and 2) inability to come back from a distraction and remember what you were doing before. That's it, but that's enough to put a monkey wrench in your day! We do not have the impulsiveness or lack of follow through problems that ADD people have. No reason a person could not have both, of course.
    Welcome to the Board!
  17. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Bumping for weekenders. Klutzo
  18. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    for several in other post with questions about adrenal failure.
  19. MCT

    MCT New Member

    Did you know that if you have Adrenal 'burn-out' and are on Thyroid medication, the Thyroid medication can actually exaserbate the Adrenal problems.

    Years ago I had Adrenal fatigue, and started taking bovine adrenal medication and extra Pantothenic Acid, and my energy went back up.

    However, adrenal fatigue is not the same thing as CFS/CFIDS.
    CFIDS is linked to a dysfunctioning immune system.

    Many people have been helped by taking 'immune-modulators', such as 'Olive Leaf extract'. In fact, many CFS specialists suggest Olive Leaf extract for their CFS patients.

    Other 'alternative' remedies people have reported help contain Aloe Vera gel and Green Tea extract.
  20. BabsFl

    BabsFl New Member

    OMG This is me!!! My family thinks I just become a phyco every now and My hands will shake also.
    Everything runs and hides when I get like that.

    I do not have high blood pressure though mines is actually sometimes like 99/68, 104/60 pretty low ##

    I am embarrased to admit it but I really do get like that sometimes maybe I will ask the doc about getting checked out. We are doing thyroid test next week. I guess it wouldn't hurt to check. I have been thinking all along it was my nerves maybe not.......Thanks for posting