I. Am. So. Tired. All the time. Chronic exhaustion is my new BFF, except it’s a toxic relationship. Do any of you feel that way too?
I’ve been having so much of this feeling in the past few months. At first, I thought that it was just having a newborn and a toddler, who wouldn’t be exhausted, right? But it was more than that. After lots of testing and doctor visits, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and severe adrenal fatigue. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease where the immune system has started acting wacky and instead of just attacking foreign invaders, it attacks the thyroid. So you get the fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, weight gain, brain fog and all kinds of super fun side effects. And more brain fog. I seriously forget things almost instantly sometimes.
The adrenal fatigue is just basically my adrenal glands not working much anymore. They produce cortisol (among other things), only mine aren’t producing very much at all. I’m left with zero energy, the inability to lose weight, I’m so tired all the time, but sleep is poor because my body is out of whack. So then the chronic exhaustion comes into play.
So with the help of a couple of great functional medicine doctors, I’m now on several supplements and herbs that have been helping a great deal. The biggest change that I have noticed is from the Ashwaghanda and Holy Basil. These two act as adaptogens can help to reduce stress and improve thyroid and adrenal function. They also help to stabilize your blood sugar and boost your brain.
So these are my personal tips for helping to beat exhaustion when you have thyroid and adrenal issues:
- Research- Research is honestly the best thing you can do. You can’t expect your doctors to be experts on everything… it’s just not possible. You have to seek out specialists related directly to whatever issues you have, and it’s a bonus if they are functional medicine specialists. You do need to trust your doctor to a certain extent, but if you feel that they are not putting your best interests first then find a new doctor. If your doctor won’t listen, find one who will! But also, educate yourself so you know if what they are doing is helping, why it is/is not, and other things to suggest. You know your body better than anybody else can, so take care to know what it wants. Advocating for yourself is something that you have to make a priority, because nobody else will see you as important as you see yourself.
- Essential Oils- I can’t even tell you how much essential oils have helped our family since I started using them. We all sleep better, we are hardly ever sick, and if we do get sick, we aren’t sick for long. My doctor, and my kids pediatrician both use and advocate the educated use of essential oils, which is awesome. I mostly use essential oils to help with energy and perking up my thyroid and adrenals. I personally use Lemongrass and Endoflex (mixed with fractionated coconut oil) on my neck for my thyroid every morning, and I use Nutmeg (also diluted with coconut oil) on my adrenal glands and on the flex points on my feet for my adrenals.
- Clean Eating– If you have any autoimmune disease, you really should give up gluten and dairy. They are both highly inflammatory, and any chronic illness produces inflammation as well. Being in a state of constant inflammation can lead to immense health issues. You may not feel “that different” after giving up gluten, but that doesn’t mean that your body isn’t benefitting from it. The Standard American Diet (sugar, carbs, gluten, dairy) causes leaky gut, which allows food and toxins to enter your bloodstream, which causes immune system dysfunction. We need to heal the leaky gut, and to do this, it’s a MUST to stay away from gluten.
Take Care of Your Body – This one is hard for mamas, because we are always on the go. But it’s so important if you want to fight off chronic exhaustion. Getting rest, not stressing, and exercising. This is the one I have the hardest time implementing because we have so much to balance. But it needs to become a priority. Also, make sure you drink lots of water, organic fruits and veggies, grass fed meat, & good, healthy fats.
Some great books I recommend: The Adrenal Reset Diet, The Root Cause, The Virgin Diet, and Wheat Belly. They are great for you to start figuring out how things are working (or not) and what you can do to help it. And Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has a couple great cookbooks for gluten free cooking!
It’s not as hard as it seems, but it does take a change in your mindset and slightly more planning. Just thaw some meat in the morning, then sauté it with some avocado oil and veggies. It doesn’t all have to be complicated just to be healthy!
Have you tried anything to overcome chronic exhaustion and been successful?
I am not a doctor and this information should not be considered medical advice. You should seek the advice of your own medical professional for your own situation.