Girls Write Out
Monday, February 21, 2011

After battling extreme fatigue for 2 years, I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. The cure? Reduce stress and change my diet. No flour, no sugar, no caffeine, and absolutely no fun permitted at all.

Just kidding about the last part. Rest and fun are encouraged, in fact, as apparently, my adrenals decided they'd had enough and were going on strike until they were treated with more dignity.

I went on the diet 4 weeks ago and frankly I thought it would kill me. I mean, my idea of a great meal is a plate o'carbs, dessert, and a side of caffeine. But when I started feeling dramatically better, when I had the energy to, oh, say, wash my hair, I decided I could give up the chocolate chip cookies, and the white bread, and even my beloved Sugar Free Rock Star.

Four weeks later I'm tons better and can even have a treat occasionally without feeling the effects. The point is, sometimes you have to give up something you want to get something you need.

So, how about you. What have you given up that was beneficial in the long run? TV, food, activities, a relationship, a bad habit, a long standing belief about yourself . . . ? Is there anything you know you need to give up now?

PS If you're suffering from extreme fatigue, here's a helpful website with more info on adrenal fatigue.

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:26 AM  
  Comments (18)
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At 7:55 AM, Blogger Tonya Kappes said...

Great and informative post! I think a lot of women suffer from these symptoms and chalk it up to the SAD syndrome. Did your symptoms happen daily or did they come and go? I'm praying for continued success for you!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

You're right, Tonya. I think people with Adrenal Fatigue are also diagnosed sometimes with Chronic Fatigue--I nearly was.

The symptoms came and went. Levels of fatigue anywhere from 10%-80%, and I even had months in a row where I felt normal. Stress would bring on a crash that lasted for days or months.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

The adrenal fatigue symptoms are similar to those of hypothyroidism. I have Hosimoto's Thyroiditis, so I have been treated for my thyroid condition. Thanks for this information because my sister has many of these symptoms, but her thyroid is fine. I'll pass the link to her.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

And when you have pain with it, they call it fibromyalgia. I have a hormone specialist who is working with me now. I get tired of taking all the supplements, but I know they help. I agree with you, Denise. If I stick to that diet, I'm so much better. Lately, I've tried to eat carbs, and I'm not doing so well. So it's back to the diet. I think that works better than all other things combined.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I had to give up gluten for my health. No fun but I feel way better so it's worth it!

Fibro is just undertreated hypothyroidism for those who don't know. It's very easy to fix if you get a doctor to listen to you. Read up at

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Yes, Lisa, definitely give the link to your sis. The best test is the saliva test, but she could go on the diet for a week or two and see if her symptoms improve.

I have problems with my thyroid too, but adrenal fatigue symptoms feel different than hypothyroidism--at least mine does. The fatigue is worse with AF and I also had a sore throat. Felt a lot like mono, actually.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Mine wasn't thyroid, but it was another hormone. My specialist won't call my condition fibromyalgia, so maybe mine feels different from others. Each person has to have her own balance.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

I'm glad your doing better Denise! Fatigue is such a hard thing to deal with. Few people can realize what it's like to not have the energy to do things like washing  your hair unless they have felt it themselves.
 I am in the process of going dairy free. 
I have a disease that *can* go hand in hand with CFS & fibro. It's called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) & Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) my autonomic nervous system doesn't control my blood production, circulation, & heart rate properly. It cause CFS& fibro like symptoms as well as a host of others. 
I'm going dairy free bc that can affect the autonomic system if you have any type of milk protein sensitivity, which they think I have, but you don't really know until you eliminate if.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with that, Tonya. You don't appreciate your health until it's gone, that's for sure. I hope you have success with altering your diet!

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Oh, Denise, I'm glad you got tested and found the source of the problem!! I was laid low from fall of 2009 until a couple of months ago---much of that time in bed. The stress of caring for The Moms (a ten-year-long project so far....) finally did me in. Saliva testing revealed adrenal fatigue. My sex hormones were non-existent, and even though I'm 57, I needed SOME of those goodies. Plus my longstanding Hashimoto's disease (17 years on Levothyroxine) took an ugly turn. My body decided not to convert the Levo (T4) into the usable T3, leaving me with NOTHING. Now I'm on an adrenal glandular formula, plenty of Vit C, B complex, etc for adrenals, hormones, and natural desiccated thyroid. I am getting SO much better!!! A little bit of stress still goes a long way, though. I have to be very careful to have FUN, do things that are relaxing and enjoyable for me, etc. Or I may end up back where I started---eeek!!! Prayers for you as you continue to heal and regain your strength!

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I should add the rest of the story, too. I have eaten NO sugar for 11 years, and now have eliminated all grains and legumes. I'm down to meat, eggs, non-starchy veggies, low-glycemic fruits, some dairy, nuts, seeds, and high-quality oils. That's it. This is the eating plan I feel best on and I'm sticking with it!

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Katy, does it get any easier? I'm on that diet now, except no nuts, either. I'm using xylitol or stevia to sweeten, and made some yucky cookies tonight with coconut flour, coconut oil, eggs and xylitol. I miss my food. I keep reminding myself the children of Israel lived on manna for 40 years with an occasional break with birds. But they did complain.

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, yeah, the meat all has to be grass-fed.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Hannah!!! You are a better woman than I am! I'm sure I shouldn't, but I still use some Splenda. I don't drink diet pop, so it's just in my (limited) coffee and whatever awful baked goods I may try to make. I do use Stevia, but have not yet tried Xylitol. I also have in the house the coconut flour to which you refer, but haven't used it yet. I have used almond flour with some success, though. I make kind of a shortbread with it that tastes good when you need something yummy. I also use it to make a pie crust to substitute for graham crust. Sugar-free cheesecakes are delicious in an almond crust. Sometimes I sweeten (Stevia) a bit of ricotta cheese and eat it with a spoon--delish. Here is a link to a bunch of GREAT looking recipes using coconut flour:

Does it get easier? YES. I am very used to this way of eating now. I can always find something to eat in any setting, but usually carry a few items in the car or suitcase just in case. I still have a sign hanging in my kitchen that says, "Life Is Uncertain. Eat Dessert First." I did that for 46 years, LITERALLY. Sugar was my only food group. And my life was VERY uncertain, haha!!! It really does get better. Much love!

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Cheryl, I can't believe I called you "Hannah." I know that's your pen name. Sorry!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Katy, thank you for those recipes! I can't do nut flours right now, but as soon as I can NAET treat I can try them.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL. I like being called Hannah! It's been my pen name for so long I answer to it. ;-)

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Katy, so sorry for your struggle with adrenal fatigue! It took me 2 years to figure out what it was, so I was just relieved there was something I could do to help. Praying for you, friend!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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