May 30, 2015

How to survive the battle of "What is going on with me??"

That is what I feel like saying and find myself thinking 24/7 these days. It's almost paralyzing to KNOW there is something going on that isn't 'right' in your body, but not having any 'proof' or labs to prove it.

Background, I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2011 but I never thought it was really something I should have been diagnosed with. My thought process strictly came from the fact that I had no evidence of cysts or infertility whatsoever. But what I do deal with is excess weight, hormone imbalances, acne and those were enough to land me with that diagnosis when I was pregnant with our first.

I've become much more aware of my body and what it's trying to tell me in the past couple of years since our youngest was born. Being pregnant both times threw my body for a loop. I struggled through both pregnancies, I had severe gestational hypertension and preeclampsia with both. It was so severe that we decided that our family would be complete after two children strictly based on the fact that being pregnant was terrible for me and for the baby.

After my children were born I struggled with intense exhaustion. At first I wrote it off to the insane sleep deprivation of having a newborn, but when the time finally came to put that phase behind us, I never felt like my body really recovered. I've struggled with the intense exhaustion, weight gain no matter what I did, PMS x1000, mental fog.. and a long list of other things.

At first I thought that I must have an issue with my thyroid. I did a lot of research and I was on a mission to get to the bottom of this. I went to my general doctor and presented him with this list of issues that I'd been struggling with for awhile. He didn't seem impressed and basically said, "that's pretty much everyone!" I fought back and made sure I left with the tests that I wanted run that would show if there were any issues with my thyroid. {{ note -- I wasn't on a mission so much because I want to be medicated.. that's actually totally against what I want! I truly just wanted some answers. }}

My lab results came back and everything was 100% normal according to my doctor. The most frustrating part is seeing normal results on labs and KNOWING there's still something going on. Something that's bigger than PCOS but isn't thyroid because your tests show otherwise.

So with the help of a good friend and more extensive research I stumbled upon Adrenal Fatigue. I immediately was like, what in the world is that!? But when I dug deeper I had some major ah-ha moments! If any of you follow me on Facebook you'll remember this past winter was really terrible for our family with sickness. Especially me. I had bronchitis three times and then had pneumonia, which was brutal. I was literally sick for MONTHS. Back to back to back. Funny that chronic respiratory issues are a huge factor of Adrenal Fatigue... along with all the other symptoms on my list as well.

I'm more along the lines of Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3-B because it's effecting much more than just me being tired sometimes. It's severely messed with my cortisol levels and hormones. So, now what?!

Adrenal Fatigue isn't typically something that's treated with medicines {which is GREAT because I hate medicine!} and it's something that you have to take into your own hands and treat. Making sure you're getting enough sleep and at the correct times, making sure you're getting all the vitamins you need {hello! SO glad I have my Shakeology since it's PERFECT for adrenal fatigue} and eliminating caffeine, sugar and grains from your diet.

I am SO grateful that my husband and I are currently on day 18 of completing the Whole30. That means we've completely cut out all dairy, soy, grains, gluten, sugar, alcohol, legumes and absolutely NO processed foods or anything with MSG. That has also meant cutting out all caffeine from our diets as well. We have 12 more days until we've completed it, but it will help SO much as I decide how to proceed after our Whole30 journey is finished.

Educating yourself is your weapon to survive this battle my friends. Knowledge is power! I'm constantly learning, reading and absorbing as much information as I possibly can and I will ALWAYS share what I know works for me and what I know doesn't. You can always count on this blog to be here as a source of information!

First steps game plan --
1. Finish our last 12 days of Whole30
2. Continue with very limited/no caffeine, sugars or grains after Whole30
3. Continue drinking Shakeology religiously
4. Be better about my sleep habits, 7-8 hours per night with a goal of being in bed by 10pm
5. Be cautious of my workouts and keeping them at a pace that will not push my body into exhaustion
6. Continue pouring into personal development to keep myself encouraged

Following that plan will continue to help my body handle stress well, mend my cortisol levels, keep my hormones in check, keep me vitalized and upbeat :) Stay tuned for more updates as weeks go on!

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