In my quest to uncover “WTF is wrong with me?” I undertook a bunch of tests involving bodily fluids (or in some cases not-so-fluids), because it makes so much sense to me to look at what is actually there rather than just looking at the symptoms and trying to figure out what is causing them. So many symptoms can be the result of so many different causes that if you just look at symptoms you can very easily find yourself meowing up the wrong scratching post. Doing a symptom search on the world wide web can convince us in approximately 37 seconds that we are going to be dead by the end of next week because that patch of blotting-paper-dry-skin that suddenly appeared on our left cheek is obviously a symptom of complete thyroid failure.
Although I was pretty darn sure from my symptoms that I had adrenal fatigue – having been there 2 years ago – I wanted to know definitively. So I sat down and had a long conversation with several plastic vials – it takes far more work than you might imagine to produce a vial full of spit – and then shipped them off to an interpreter. Here’s what they had to say: you have adrenal fatigue. Stage 5 adrenal fatigue, to be precise. The are 7 stages – so I am just 2 small steps away from adrenal hypofunction = NO BUENO.
This would be a really short post if I just left it here, so I’ll take this opportunity to preemptively roll my eyes at anyone out there who feels the urge to start yelling, “There’s no such thing as adrenal fatigue! It’s a medically unrecognized diagnosis!” Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that occur when your adrenal glands are not functioning properly – which is measurable via saliva. Just because the term is not recognized by the mainstream medical profession doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Giving it a name simply makes it easier to talk about than saying, “My cortisol levels are depressed between 6 – 8 am, 11 am – 1 pm, and 4 – 5 pm, I cannot get out of bed in the morning for love nor money no matter early I go to bed at night, I am chronically tired, and my brain doesn’t come online until 2 in the afternoon.”
“But those symptoms can be caused by other things!” Yes. That’s why you get a saliva test done to see what your cortisol levels are up to over a 24 hour period. And apart from all that – what do you care if I call my depressed cortisol levels adrenal fatigue? And why do I care if the mainstream medical profession say it hasn’t been proven? Am I going to ignore real live test result data because some people don’t believe in the data? Just because someone doesn’t believe something doesn’t mean it’s not true. If tests show that my cortisol levels are depressed and I take a supplement that corrects the problem and relieves me of my symptoms why do I care what the ‘experts’ think? OH. I don’t.
We added an adrenal support supplement to the treatment plan.
What we still don’t know is why my adrenals decided to stop playing but at least we do know – for sure – that they are not playing, and we can start making them feel better without knowing what got them down in the first place.