According to Dr Lam's website I am stage 3 - either B or C.
At my worst I was in stage 4 and I have made a recovery back to stage 3.
I have occasionally recovered all the way to stage one and sometimes make it in stage 2 for a few hours.
The problem seems to be a lack of adrenal reserves, so literally any stress sends me spiralling backwards.
This has been going on for 4 years. I initially had no clue what was wrong and then my doctor blamed my thyroid - TSH was 6 and put me on Levothyroxine for a few months.
I finally realised that the adrenals were to blame as the TSH dropped but none of symptoms improved.
The TSH seemed to lower everytime I slept well and using Dr Lam's site I managed to make all the connections to adrenal fatigue and everything came together like a thousand piece puzzle.
At one point I had thought it was fibromyalgia and read a book by David Dryland which mentioned that fibromyalgia was caused by chronic fight or flight response burning out dopamine production whilst adrenaline was chronically high.
Sounds a bit like adrenal fatigue right?
My doctor has done blood tests and nothing abnormal other than a slightly elevated TSH showed up.
I mentioned the adrenal fatigue to her and she said she believed in it but refused to test me for it and wanted to put me on anti depressants which I rejected after looking at patient reviews.
The symptoms are highly correlated to sleep and good or bad adrenal habits.
This is why I am almost certain it is adrenal fatigue.
Any stress makes symptoms worse, relaxation makes them better.
Caffeine helps a bit but ultimately makes me feel worse and without it I have zero energy and am badly depressed.
I know 100% that sleep is the cure.
Good sleep for 1 week has healed me to the point of being symptomless but at the time I didn't realise that if got one bad nights sleep at that point, that the symptoms would return and good sleep would become difficult to get again.
I would recommend to everyone struggling with this to make their main focus good sleep and things that improve sleep as just one week of good sleep has helped me immensely in the past.
But now trying to get good sleep is an ongoing battle and rarely happens.
Here are a few of my symptoms - so that you can see if you agree I have adrenal fatigue:
- Tired all the time, worse in the morning
- Need caffeine or other stimulants to function
- Horrible anxiety - both general and social anxiety as well as OCD
- No libido, no real enjoyment of sex, no arousal etc.. yet I can get an erection
- Prostatitis symptoms have got worse
- Difficult to relax, constant tension, feelings of adrenaline rushes under stress, random itching
- Muscle and joint pain and tension
- Difficulty getting to sleep, racing mind, difficult to relax, sleep quality is poor
- Can't handle stress; typing this out is hard, even brushing my teeth feels like a chore
- TMJ pains, headaches etc..
- Low pain threshold and can't handle the cold or heat
- Poor cognition; loss of intelligence, can't think clearly, think slowly ( worse without caffeine)
- Can't focus, ADHD and ADD symptoms
- Depression- mild with caffeine, worse without
- Addictions - feel like I need them to escape
- Poor decision making, impulsive behaviour
- Overly empathetic yet at the same time apathetic, it's hard to describe
- Too passive, low self esteem
- Worse on a low calorie diet or with infrequent eating
- IBS symptoms
That's just a few of the main ones.
I've started my adrenal fatigue recovery plan. I'm hoping to make a lot of improvements in the next few weeks and months.
Here it is:
1. Good sleep: I want to get 10 hours sleep a night from about 9pm -7am as I have made a recovery to the point of being symptomless within a week by doing this before.
2. No p 0 r n, self-gratification/sex or ogasm.
This helps me quite a lot, noticing changes usually within 2-3 weeks.
This is probably due to it helping take the body out of fight or flight mode and helping to build back up neurotransmitters and normalise hormones.