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Hack My Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Discussion in 'Adrenal Rx and Leaky Gut Rx' started by TheKid, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    I am hoping someone can help me sift through some symptoms.

    Basically, I am trying to determine whether what I am experiencing is due to adrenal fatigue, mitochondrial disease, or both.

    My problems starting back in 2009 when I began to get what I believe were panic attacks. I would have a pounding heartbeat, chest discomfort and sometimes my heart would race suddenly. I would go to the ER only to have docs tell me everything was OK.

    These seemed to resolve, but my health has never really improved. I am afraid that instead of actually resolving, I simply moved on to the next stage of adrenal fatigue.

    In late summer I did a 4x salivary cortisol that came up 12, 0, 0, 0. Jack was extremely concerned about the goose eggs I put up. But I don't know what stage of adrenal fatigue that puts me at.

    These days, I am all over the map. When I try to exercise, I get knocked on my backside for sometimes 2 weeks. THe fatigue is crushing.

    But what worries me more than anything, is chest pain and shortness of breath. Two weeks ago, after doing some high intensity interval training, got really serious chest pain. It honestly felt like I had a rock in my chest instead of a heart. Of course I rushed to the cardiologist, and after a EKG and echo, I was once again told I was NOT having a heart attack.

    That rock hard feeling is gone, but my days are up and down and literally all over the place. Chest pain is frequent, as is mood. Sleep is erratic. And I have these terrible adrenaline rushes. The rushes used to come once a night, but then increased to twice a night and even crept up during the day. I also am nearly always short of breath with any kind of physical activity, even walking. Since the cardio told me I surely don't have congestive heart failure, I am at a loss.

    One thing Jack has me looking into is mitochondrial dysfunction and disease. But with all this overlapping symptomology, I don't know which it would be.

    My endo wants to start me on hydrocortisone and DHEA. I am also planning to start some D-Ribose as well.

    Last 5 days, I have basically been unable to leave the house. So I'd appreciate any words of wisdom from folks who've already navigated this territory.

    My main concern is that hydrocortisone is a damn powerful hormone, and notoriously hard to come wean off; and that's IF your adrenals kick back in. I am thinking to hit the D-Ribose first to see what it's effect would be. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Birdy

    Birdy New Member

    Sorry I can't help you more.  I'd say if anyone even thinks that they have adrenal fatigue, they shouldn't be exercising.  Lucky for me I was always borderline AF, but the best thing I did for myself is to quit any kind of cardio (I still kept active with my day-to-day activities) until things got better.

    Check out Dr. B G on the blog Animal Pharm, for her experience with AF and the leptin reset.  She disagrees with Dr. K on the order of things, but I guess it really matters if you have all the testing and expertise at your disposal at the outset.

    Other experts, such as Schwarzbein, recommend no exercise and no ketogenic diet.

    Your endo suggested cortisol, which I guess is a crutch, then again, crutches are handy when you break your leg.  When a doc recommends crutches, they don't intend for you do use them for life, do they?
  3. vkiernan

    vkiernan Silver



    I would say read the link if you haven't already and follow the protocol.  Do not exercise.  You already know it wipes you out.  I have had af for years but didn't really know it or understand it.  I cannot help you with the other stuff. 

    I would think your last ASI would have told you the severity of it.  If you are tanked at all 4 times and your DHEA is tanked that is the last stage.  Jack says that it is not the adrenals unless Addison or Cushings(?) but the PVN according to the blog link I posted above.  So if that's the case then you need really need to follow the light rules morning and evening.  You can look up af and find charts.  Some have 7 stages and some have 4.  My particular lab had 7 it showed my results and charted them so I had a clear visual.  I would say I still have it but I am slowly getting better.  Still really hard to stay awake in the evenings past 8 if I can even make it that long.  

    How is your thyroid?  There is a protocol that calls for taking some form of t3 or t3/t4 (NDT) except for slow release in the early hours when your body is making cortisol and this seems to help a lot of people right out of the gate.  The book is Recovering with T3 by Paul Robinson.  I can tell you it is helping me.  Slowly but surely.  There is some info on the STTM website

    I took bio-HC for a few months and at one point it did help but then that went away quickly.  I was taking between 27 and 32 a day.  I gained weight with it too.  Wasn't too happy about that.  I went off it to have some tests done and I was exhausted for weeks afterwards so I knew it was stopping my own adrenals from working.  I would think twice about starting it. 

    I wish you the best in fixing yourself.  I understand where you are coming from and it is no picnic for sure. 
  4. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Thanks for the replies.

    I know I'm up the creek on this one. I've got Hashis and another autoimmune disease on top of all this as well. Thanks to modern medicine I am, however, not without a paddle. I am just trying to examine which paddle(s) to use and when. And what I am even more unsure of is how a possible mitochondrial problem would complicate all this.

    With regard to the hydrocortisone, I would be interested in knowing if anyone has successfully weaned off it. If so, how did you wean and how long did it take?
  5. caroline

    caroline New Member

    I wonder the same as the others - about exercise?
    My ASI is tanked as well. LIght is turning out to be one of the most important things for me as well as progesterone. Good luck - hope you find answers really soon. One other thing - Dr. K. told me NOT to let a Doc put me on HC - at least not yet. But we are all so different.
  6. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    This is probably over simplistic, but isn't all disease the result of poor cellular signalling on some level?  And all autoimmunity and other disease therefore pointing to impaired mitochondrial function?  I think the d-Ribose (along with making sure you've got sufficient Mg, and maybe some l-carnitine and/or CoEnzyme Q10) can't be a bad idea... no matter how you slice it, supporting your mitochondria should support healing and health.  I don't think this is an either-or; it's a whole picture in which you see specific symptoms.  It also has helped me to remind myself that healing takes time (no matter how much we wish it didn't).
  7. Jude

    Jude Gold

    TheKid said

    But what worries me more than anything, is chest pain and shortness of breath. Two weeks ago, after doing some high intensity interval training, got really serious chest pain. It honestly felt like I had a rock in my chest instead of a heart. Of course I rushed to the cardiologist, and after a EKG and echo, I was once again told I was NOT having a heart attack.

    That rock hard feeling is gone, but my days are up and down and literally all over the place. Chest pain is frequent, as is mood. Sleep is erratic. And I have these terrible adrenaline rushes. The rushes used to come once a night, but then increased to twice a night and even crept up during the day. I also am nearly always short of breath with any kind of physical activity, even walking. Since the cardio told me I surely don't have congestive heart failure, I am at a loss.



    The description of your symptoms that I've highlighted remind me somewhat of those I experienced over the last 5 yrs.

    The following post of Dr K explaining the brain/heart/kidney relationship really explained the why/how they occur. Hope it's of some help-I found I had a great improvement with 2 weeks of a fish only diet.


    For those who dont understand how brain function can cause heart rhythm issues here is the playbook again for you to review:

    The brain allows us to sense the epigenetics alterations in our environment well. I want you to now channel what I said about the heart and brain in Brain Gut 13 with respect to how the Na/K ATPase is affected in metabolic terms in all tissues. Then, I want you to think about the number one killer of all humans today: Heart disease. How does heart disease tie into this theory of whole body physiology?

    If you begin to alter your blood glucose because of dietary or any other epigenetics signal (light or temp) and cause inflammation at a cellular level by eating badly or not being mindful of circadian cycles, you start secreting large amounts of insulin from beta cells to deal with it. This alters your Magnesium levels which activate the metabolically efficient Na/K ratio because of DHA as laid out in BG 13. When we have an altered Na/K (low) ratio, this in turn, simultaneously cause brain metabolism to ratched down because its function is directly coupled to the efficiency of the Na/K ATPase for our species. As the brain’s metabolism falters, it begins to shunt energy to itself at the determent of other organs. It robs Peter to pay Paul. This physiologic bio energetic “stealingâ€￾ of energy alters functions everywhere in the body to satisfy the brains needs. As other organs fail slowly under this physiologic directive this further alters brain function from the excessive 60% energy boon created by the DHA/ Na/K ATPase, which results in your feeling less well with less energy and you have a chronic cognitive haze. Is this sounding familiar to anyone?
    It is the modern human condition that most of us exist in. As this goes on chronically, brain function is eroded (the real source of adrenal fatigue in the PVN) because there is an excess of Na ions, which alter our homeostatic brain controls of the renin angiotensin system and this alters our Blood Pressure. The renin angiotensin system target organ is the kidneys. The kidneys control the electrolyte balance of the serum and ultimate of the CSF (ultrafiltrate of the serum) to further alter the function of our brain.

    This slow erosion of our kidney function goes on undetected and slowly undermines our electrical systems balance. This implies that our declining kidney function, directly efffects our electrical system of our heart (conduction system AV node and sinus pacemaker) to become less optimal or “foggyâ€￾ in its function too. The relays in the hearts electrical system is sticky and this cause all kinds of unusual heart rhythms. This shows you why declining brain function always correlates with declining heart function. Modern medicine has never made this link but they know it exists. These organs are chemically and electrically tied together by the action of the Na/K ATPase, DHA and iodine at a foundational level physiologically in humans in our cell membranes. This all results in the many types of cardiac dysrythmias we see clinically. This is an early sign of major bio-energenic shifts in cells all tied to oxidation.
    When this goes on further brain function erodes and we can not sense it well. We, in essence, lose our primal sense of well being and eventually we develop an inability to sense vascular trouble before it happens clinically. This leads to a heart attack/palpatations/or heart failure.


  8. Inger

    Inger Silver

    Ok the reply button do not always work so I have to do "quote" and the clean the text and add mine..
    And the "quote" function is a bit weird too but it heps to make a manual [ quote ]... [/ quote ] (without the space in between) just a suggestion because I see many posts with this problem..;)
    I might need to clean my cache again..lol
    - - - -

    The Kid,
    I suggest you go really strict with your diet and add lots of aged heart and raw.. raw.. raw. Only raw seafoods. I bet they are the most healing. That is what I would do if I was in your situation. I would add in any whole superfood I could think of. seaweeds too for sure. And do the other AF stuff, like no exersice, no stress, much sleep, darkness, cold.. you know it..
    At least you can do nothing wrong with these and it will slowly get better that I am sure of! Do these and give it lots and lots of time!
    I do not know what else to suggest...
    Maybe to write down here everything in how one usual day looks for you, food, sleep and exersice wise in your life so we could help point out / suggest if there is anything you could do better?
    Maybe we could be able to see something you are not? [​IMG]
  9. TheKid

    TheKid Gold

    Thanks for the continued advice.  Jude, that piece from Dr. K is excellent.  I did read it before, but it was a while ago. So the re-read was helpful.  And indeed, when I was having the worst chest pains, I rushed to the caridologist.  He told me I was OK, despite the fact that there is a definite abnormality in the EKG.  The technician suspected it was a slight arryhthmia (non-conducted PAC, SA block, AV block or sinus pause).  But what I am getting from Dr. K's explanation is that there is no such thing as a normal arrhythmia. They may be commonly seen, but they ain't normal.


    KiwiLauren, I am wondering what your experinece with D-Ribose has been.  I've seen you post in Ask Jack on it.  Jack is concerned about my mitochondria and D-Ribose can really help with that.  I have a shipment on the way.  I just don't know if it, along with the CoQ10, L-Carnitine and Magnesium I am chewing like candy, will resolve an adrenal issue.  So your experiences would be insightful.


    Inger, I like your style.  It takes a classy lady to knock back mackrel head smoothies and fermented heart.  In fact, Jack has shared with me that lamb heart (and other organs and meat) are filled with CoQ10.  So I'm off to the butcher tonight.  In terms of giving some more detail, I can tell you all this:


    I have always struggled with recovery from exercise.  I was a seriously competitive swimmer for years; and despite my work ethic, I would never perform well when it counted.  In fact, when everyone would rest and do well at the end of a season, I would crash and fail to live up to my potential. Strangely enough, I would consistently perform quite well at the early competitions of the NEXT season, which would be like a month and a half later. 


    Additionally, I have had one strange nagging problem all my life.  I get winded climbing stairs.  In high school, depsite being an athlete, I would climb 2-3 flights of stairs and be breathing quite heavily.  A classmate once actually asked in astonishment how I could be winded when I was a swimmer.  This problem has persisted into adult life and worsened.  High intensity exercise is hard for me.  I do better with long, low-level warm up exercise.  And as I know, this is a sign of mitochondrial dysfunction.  I also get overly fatigued by exercise in general.  It can take as long as 2 weeks to recover, depending on intensity.


    What happened 3 weeks ago was that I did a week of exercise, which damn near killed me.  I had chest pain that felt like I a rock inside my chest instead of a heart.  My ability to think was gone; it was like I was living on another planet. And I would get shortness of breath simply walking short distances.  It was truly scary.  But with no indication of a heart attack after seeing the cardiologist, the only thing the doc could tell me was to take a pain killer.


    I have done a 24-hour urine, and all the adrenal values came back in normal range and my T3 was normal.  The only thing that was off was my 17-Hyroxy.  It was elevated.


    What I can't figure out is whether what I have been experiencing is an acute adrenal crisis that then slowly resolves, or a mitchondrial crash that slowly resolves.  And when you layer on all of this the GERD I have, the Hashis and antiphospholipid syndrome, well you're looking at co-morbidities that could all cause the same symptoms.  Heck, I could be just having a cytokine storm of sorts. 


    My plan of action is to start the D-Ribose and see what happens.  If no resolution, my doc is preparing to put me on Hydrocortisone, and I'll take that. If still no resolution, then I'll have to hire Inger as a real estate broker so that I can find a quiet fishing village up north where I can be an acquatic ape the rest of my life.
  10. shah78

    shah78 Gold

    In May of 2008 I started taking HCL(in additon to armour thyroid). I was up to 22.5 grms a day by June 2008.  I  tried to get off it by substituting powdered licorice . Over a three month period I foung that three teaspoons (one tablespoon) equalled  22.5 grms of HCL. I felt the best on one tablespoon for about a year . Since February of 2012 I have tried a slow(very slow) wean. After two hundred and eighty cold baths, I'm down to one teaspoon of licorice powder. I could push the wean, but I have no problem with taking licorice daily. I'd like to be done with licorice by June of 2013. I expect pollen season (Mid Jauaary-mid April in Florida) will prevent me from finishing up "the wean" much sooner. Licorice was a lot  better choice  than the HCL. Its good for digestion, anti-viral and you don't have to go into the gross pharmacies to get it and you don't have to deal with the equally gross MDs to get it. And it tastes great. YMMV
  11. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Hi The Kid.  I've only been taking d-Ribose for about 3 weeks now, but I'm happy to share my experiences.  (I also take Mg and I eat raw lamb's heart weekly... my supplement budget is necessarily tiny so this is currently the best I can do.)  The d-Ribose has changed my digestion (made it much faster) and I don't like that but I have an intuitive feeling that it is okay, if not good for the moment.  The only AI symptom I constantly have is swollen hands and they have become significantly less so since starting the d-Ribose (they are only swollen upon waking).  It has also improved my energy.  I am only on a very low dose of compounded thyroid and only once a day (currently the best I can get my doc to prescribe) and I think the d-Ribose helps with the energy fall-off that was happening come 3pm.  Because cell signalling is under everything, I've decided to stick with this supplement for a long while and see what happens.  It's not magic, but the literature seems pretty clear of its efficacy.


    This is not what you asked about, but I'll add it because it's free and I also find it very helpful for energy, stress and (theoretically) lymphatic stimulation and pain.  And that is diaphragmatic breathing.  It is sometimes called 'belly breathing.'  It is more than just your tummy rising, but actually fills your entire spinal area and it is create for enervating the entire body.  I try to practice when I'm driving, when I'm working, whenever I can remember.  I believe proper breathing is akin to proper cell signalling, it underpins health.


    Good luck to you.  It can be overwhelming to have so much on your plate health-wise. (At least I find it so.)  I hope you find a way to breathe deep and enjoy your life every day, even as you climb the big hill of returning to health.
  12. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Shah, is your powdered licorice deglycyrrhizinated or just 'normal'?  Thanks!
  13. shah78

    shah78 Gold

  14. shah78

    shah78 Gold

  15. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Brilliant, thanks, Shah. One more question if you don't mind: what do you make of the data that shows licorice upregulates estrogen? Any cause for concern?
  16. TheKid

    TheKid Gold



    Just saw your post in Ask Jack.  I'm interested to see the answer, and I wonder if any increase in estrogen would be the same in men as in women.  Did you see anything about that in the research you'vew looked at?


    With regard to my symptoms, I think I am zeroing in on some things.  It is a real maze though.  My main concern was that I have experienced some troubling chest pain.  I believe now that this is coming as a result of reactive hypoglycemia, and caffeine allergy, which I have dealt with for some time now.  I've tested a couple of times now and I think the reaction I have is pointing to that. 


    My main problems started months ago when I could not maintain tight restrictions on diet.  Whenever I get really restrictive on carbs and caffeine, cravings eventually become overwhelming.  That's when I fail.  Over the summer I was able to stay away from carbs, but I drank a great deal of coffee.  At the time, I did not have an ASI.  But later I found that I was not producing hardly any cortisol from 10:00 am onwards.  So the caffeine was doing me no favors, for sure.


    But recently I did an N=1 to see my reactions to things.  On two occasions, separated by about 5 days, I ate some larger amounts of unsafe carbs at dinner.  Within 30-45 minutes, I was having awful reactive hypoglycemia that complete with adrenaline rushes and chest pain.  This persisted through the entire night with GERD mixed in with it.  Same thing happened with a caffeine test in the morning.


    When I stay away from these things, within a few days, my symptomology subsides to more common adrenal fatigue symptoms such as brain fog, lack of energy, etc. 


    I am having trouble getting ahold of hydrocortisone where I am.  But that has allowed me to start a trial with D-Ribose.  I just got a truckload of the stuff from Life Extension along with some Acetyl L-Carnatine.  So I am interested in seeing what happens after taking it for a while.  And of course, I'm back to restricting carbs tightly and avoiding caffeine.

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