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Adrenal Fatigue

My family and I recently returned home from our trip to Sunnyvale, California where we became the official patients of someone I have the utmost respect for, Dr. Vikki Petersen D.C., C.C.N., and her amazing team at HealthNOW Medical Center, including Dr. Vikki’s husband, Dr. Rick Petersen D.C., C.C.N., Dr. Carrie Mousseau, M.D. and Dr. Preeti Kulkarni, N.D..

The moment I walked into the clinic, an overwhelming sense of peace overcame me.  I was about to meet Dr. Vikki Petersen, my “Wizard of OZ,” someone who I wholeheartedly believe can help me find my way ‘home,’ a place I’ve never truly been before, and to a person I’ve never actually met…the healthy me.

Prior to embarking on our trip, we were sent several lab test kits that would help give us an understanding of what’s really going on inside.  I will share each of our tests (and the results) over the course of several different blog posts (also see: Healing a Leaky Gut Part 2: Parasites, Pathogenic Bacteria and Fungi/Yeast and Hello Flora, How You Doin’?) because I’d like to go in-depth for each test (so bare with me on the length of these posts).

One of the tests that I took was called the Adrenal Stress Profile.

In case you are unfamiliar (as I was) about the role of the adrenal glands and how gluten sensitivity can affect their performance, Dr. Vikki writes about this extensively in her book The Gluten Effect, and she also goes into great detail during her lecture on the 2010 Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Forum DVD.  For the purposes of explaining this test and my results, I will share a couple of quotes from The Gluten Effect:

“The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit just above your kidneys. They are immediately adjacent to some of your major blood vessels so that they can release hormones into the bloodstream and, likewise, respond to feedback information from other hormones and chemicals.”

“In addition to the immune effects triggered by gluten in sensitive people, gluten also causes many symptoms through direct stress exerted on the adrenal gland.  Gluten imparts an inflammatory reaction and an immune response at the intestinal level in individuals who are gluten sensitive. The body’s reaction to this is stress, a response from our hormonal system.

Celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can be one sneaky chameleon of a condition…it can be as elusive as the Holy Grail!

Now knowing how long I was unwittingly consuming poison (decades), it’s no wonder to me why my body is rebelling against itself.  Decades of stress and inflammation will eventually catch up with you, it’s kind of like finding yourself digging a hole.  If you want to get out of the hole, the first thing you must do is put the shovel down and STOP digging.  But in order to do that, you need to know that you’re still digging that darned hole!

This is where the 2010 Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Forum DVD had a major impact on me.  To quote Dr. Tom O’Bryan (re: what he teaches in his lectures to physicians), “You cannot put a celiac patient on a gluten-free diet and walk away…because many of them will die.”

You have to heal the gut, and in order to do that, you need to know about any obstacles that are in the way so you can remove them (we have several) and begin the road to complete recovery.  If you don’t, you may continue a downward progression until you find yourself with a host of other health issues, like additional autoimmune diseases (I have 4), or even worse, cancer.  It’s the c-word that scares me most, after watching my beloved uncle pass away from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2007…only 9 days after he was diagnosed with it.

From Wikipedia:

Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process.  Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. Similarly, progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is for that reason that inflammation is normally closely regulated by the body.

As Dr. Vikki said, “Gluten imparts an inflammatory reaction and an immune response at the intestinal level in individuals who are gluten sensitive. The body’s reaction to this is stress, a response from our hormonal system” (a.k.a. our adrenal glands).

The following list of symptoms for adrenal fatigue is taken directly from information provided to me by HealthNOW Medical Center:

  • Fatigue: One of the most common symptoms due to the lack of adrenaline.
  • Immune System Weakness: bacterial, viral and fungal infections can easily occur, as well as poor wound healing.
  • Low Blood Sugar: A person can experience symptoms of low blood sugar (light-headedness, fatigue, confusion, weakness, easily upset, headache and visual changes).  This usually occurs one to two hours after a meal or it may occur after eating refined sugar products (candy, soda, etc.), or it may occur if a meal is delayed and a person is hungry.
  • Sugar Cravings: A desire for sugar can occur throughout the day whenever the blood sugar drops.  This is an attempt to balance the blood sugar artificially with the use of refined sugar.
  • Weight Gain: Adrenal exhaustion can create excessive weight gain throughout the body and often increases fat deposits around the midsection.
  • Thyroid Problems: Normal thyroid function is inhibited when the body is experiencing a chronic stress response associated with adrenal exhaustion.
  • Depression, Mood Swings: Neurotransmittors such as serotonin are altered by the abnormal stress response that occurs with adrenal exhaustion, this can result in depression or altered moods.
  • Hormone Imbalance: The adrenal gland produces the precursor hormones necessary to make testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.  Weak adrenal function can result in severe PMS and menopause symptoms, as well as other hormone related difficulties (such as lack of sex drive).
  • Sensitivity to Bright Light: The pupils remain dilated, which makes the eyes very sensitive to sunlight/bright lights.
  • Ligament Weakness: Joints of the body become irritated easily because ligaments become weak.  A person will complain of various pains throughout the body, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and pain in the spine.  Chronic vertebral subluxation (misalignment) is common.
  • Difficulty Going to Sleep or Staying Asleep: The adrenaline imbalance can cause excess adrenaline production at night, resulting in difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep.
  • Difficulty Waking Up: Waking up in the morning can become very difficult and many times a person feels they “need” to have a stimulant such as coffee in order to really be alert.
  • Low Blood Pressure/Faint Feeling when Rapidly Standing Up: Low blood pressure can result from functional hypoadrenia (adrenal exhaustion).  A faint feeling occurs when standing up rapidly after sitting or laying down.  This occurs because blood rushes rapidly from the head when standing due to poor adrenal function.
  • Increased Inflammation due to Lack of Natural Cortisone: Inflammatory reactions can easily occur in the body that can result in such things as rheumatoid arthritis (swollen joints), “sensitive” skin, allergic rhinitis (swollen nasal passages), colitis, gastric ulcers and other inflammatory disorders.
  • Poor Dilation of Bronchioles: Bronchioles do not dilate effeciently and asthma-like symptoms may result.
  • Allergies: Respiratory allergic reactions occur easily and hayfever or sinus symptoms result.  Food allergies very commonly occur with adrenal weakness and can result in not only digestive symptoms but also many other often-unexplained symptoms.

I was checking so many boxes, my pen ran out of ink! :-D

**Since I am simply a patient and not a doctor (nor do I have any other credentials that qualify me to explain this), the following was taken directly from the BioHealth Diagnostics website (the lab that ran the test for us).  I linked to definitions of some of the bigger words for folks like me who don’t inherently understand all the medical jargon.

Cortisol, which is best known for stimulating gluconeogenesis, is essential for normal glycogenolysis.  Cortisol affects the heart, vasculature, blood pressure, water excretion, and electrolyte balance.  It mobilizes protein stores in all tissues except the liver; it mobilizes fatty acids from adipose; it is the precursor of cortisone and acts as an anti-inflammatory; and it is the primary hormone directing immune function.   Cortisol can stimulate or inhibit gene transcription, promote apoptosis, and affect bone metabolism and calcium dynamics.

It affects behavior, mood, neural activity, and a variety of central nervous system biochemical processes.  Cortisol affects the eyes, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive function, and the production and clearance of other classes of hormones.  It is a major marker of the complex control loops regulating the sex hormones.  The general effect of excess cortisol is usually stimulatory and catabolic; a deficiency of cortisol usually results in a slowing of physiology.

In the presence of stressors, the body almost immediately attempts to increase cortisol levels.  This increase is associated with both endocrine and autonomic responses in preparing the body to defend itself normally.  However, elevated cortisol levels for extended periods negatively affect virtually every aspect of physiology.  For example, it becomes more difficult to maintain proper blood sugar levels; to slow down for rest, recovery, and repair; to get good quality sleep; to balance other hormones; to maintain mucosal immune integrity; to maintain bone mass, to produce effective general immune function; to effectively regulate inflammatory processes; or to detoxify the body.  Without proper intervention, continued high adrenal stimulation can lead to adrenal exhaustion and lowered cortisol levels.  Eventually adrenal or cardiac failure can occur.

DHEA is the major precursor of testosterone and the estrogens.  It becomes active at puberty.  In this profile, the more stable, sulfated form of DHEA, DHEA-S is measured, providing a more reliable measure of DHEA levels than measuring DHEA directly.  DHEA is an important modulator of many physiological processes.  It promotes the growth and repair of protein tissue (especially muscle), and acts as a counter-regulatory agent to cortisol, negating many of the harmful effects of continued excess cortisol.  When increased demand for cortisol is prolonged, DHEA levels decline.  DHEA then is no longer able to balance the negative effects of excess cortisol.  Depressed DHEA levels serve as an early warning of potential adrenal exhaustion.  In fact, adrenal exhaustion is evidenced by an elevated ratio of the sum of the four cortisol measurements to the DHEA-S average. (The ideal level of the aforementioned ratio is 5 or 6:1)

A chronic imbalance between adrenal stimulation and cortisol and/or DHEA output is associated with a multitude of both clinical and subclinical systemic disorders.  Chronically depressed DHEA output results in an imbalance in sex hormones.  Abnormal cortisol and/or DHEA values (either elevated or depressed) result in a decrease in the activity of the immunocytes that produce secretory IgA (sIgA).  SIgA provides a mucosal first-line immune defense against virtually every pathogen, including parasites, protozoa, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.  SIgA also provides a normal immune response to regularly encountered food proteins.  Dysfunctional mucosal immunity is associated with an increased risk of infections and of adverse food reactions.

My results:


Essentially, adrenal fatigue is the disregulation of cortisol levels (either too high or too low).

My Total Cortisol/DHEA-S ratio was a little low at a 4.6 (the normal reference range is 5 – 6).

More importantly, my DHEA-S average is on the lower end of the normal reference range, at a 4.53 (normal reference range 2 – 10, but the ‘ideal’ range is 7 – 8), so I need to work on increasing that number, especially after reading this article on DHEA by Timothy J. Smith, M.D.

Research has pinpointed low DHEA levels as a marker for many degenerative diseases and accelerated aging. The hormone has been implicated as a contributing factor in a host of health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, memory problems, obesity, osteoporosis, and stress disorders.

My cortisol sum was below normal at 20.8 (the normal reference range of 23 – 42, but the ‘ideal’ range is 36 – 38), so my cortisol levels are pretty low.  Check out the following article for a better understanding of what that means: What are the Effects of Low Cortisol Levels?

 

The following is a video I found on how the adrenal glands work:

So, DHEA is necessary to make our sex hormones, and my DHEA is fairly low…I now have a pretty good understanding of why, in 2009, my gynecologist told me that my hormone levels were low enough that I was technically in the beginning stages of menopause.  At age 35.

After my upcoming surgery on Friday, I will start taking some supplements to increase my pregnenolone and DHEA levels.  Dr. Rick is also rechecking my hormone levels and if they are even lower, he might add some bioidentical hormones to my treatment plan down the road (but only after I have a complete gynecological checkup and a baseline mammogram due to the fact that my mother is a breast cancer survivor).

As for my low cortisol, I will reiterate a quote (from above):

Abnormal cortisol and/or DHEA values (either elevated or depressed) result in a decrease in the activity of the immunocytes that produce secretory IgA (sIgA).  SIgA provides a mucosal first-line immune defense against virtually every pathogen, including parasites, protozoa, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.  SIgA also provides a normal immune response to regularly encountered food proteins.  Dysfunctional mucosal immunity is associated with an increased risk of infections and of adverse food reactions.

Articles on Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Vikki Petersen:

How Gluten Sensitivity Affects the “Stress Gland”

Are you Tired, Is that Normal?

Gluten and PMS

Is Gluten Sensitivity the Cause of PMS?

Chronic Fatigue and Gluten Sensitivity

Fibromyalgia and it’s Connection to Gluten Sensitivity

Answers from a Gluten Doctor - Part 10 Gluten Intolerance and Exhaustion (a guest post Dr. Vikki did on my friend Carol Kicinski’s website, Simply Gluten Free).

Before I announce the five EIGHT winners (thank you Dr. Vikki for adding 3 additional copies for this giveaway!!) for the 2010 Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Forum DVD, I would like to say thank you to everyone for sharing your heartfelt stories.  I read each and everyone of them even though I didn’t respond individually (it was kind of busy for us last week), and all I can say is that we all have to continue to take control of our own health.  Changes are hard to make sometimes and we often lack the support we need (sometimes even from our own doctors), but I can assure you that if you arm yourself with the information contained in this DVD (and find some of the corresponding research), you will not regret the $20 expense.  I will be doing this giveaway again in the future, so if you want to wait and try again you’ll have another chance, but I encourage everyone who doesn’t win to dig the spare change out of their sofa and order one.

As usual, I used the random number generator to pick the winners and they are:

#1 Laurel

#12 Bridget

#13 Darlene

#23 Samantha

#37 Amy W.

#58 Nikki J.

#79 Pam Hernandez

#93 Nicole

Congratulations ladies!  I will be emailing each of you for your shipping information. :-D

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  • is low cortisol to dhea ratio ok? (11)

Comments

  1. Heidi,

    So awesome that you are on the road to optimal health!

    I am also working on getting my hormones sorted. Very similarly to you, I am perimenopausal with virtually no progesterone at age 37, and have been for over a year. Perhaps I'm not quite as healthy as I thought…

    Anyhow, here's to getting things sorted!

    • Thanks Erin!

      Have you had an adrenal test done before? Dr. Rick told me that there is a great chance we can turn my hormone situation around…so hold on sister! :-D

      xoxo,
      Heidi

      • Heidi,

        Many moons ago there was one random blood test that was abnormal, and quite frankly I ignored it because I didn't feel horrible. I will be getting some more test run soon so it should be interesting to see what's going on.

        Looking forward to watching it turn around-for both of us! :)

        • I hear ya sister on ignoring test results when you don't feel bad…that was my downfall after my celiac diagnosis. I didn't feel "sick," so how in the heck could I have a disease? Ignorance is not always bliss, LOL!

          I hope you find some clear answers my friend!

          Hugs,
          Heidi

  2. Tara says:

    So this test to check your adrenals was from a blood test? I originally came here to this blog for my son but as I read on and hear your story I have been living this way for a while. I always knew I had issues with my adrenals and hormones in general but when life happens and children happen you tend to forget about yourself. I use to teach anatomy and physiology so I understand everything you just blogged. Now I am thinking I need to revisit my own issues so that I can be around to continue to be here for my kids. :) I am eager to follow the rest of your tests now. I'm so happy to hear things are finally going to be looking up for you and your family. I wish I knew about the giveaway. I don't know where i have been!??!

    • Hey Tara!

      The adrenal test I took was a timed saliva test (it was really hard too because I hadn't given up my coffee yet and you can't drink it the day you take the test, LOL!!)

      As for everything else you said…I know exactly what you mean because I thought the very same thing. I thought I was just exhausted from seemingly cooking 24/7 for a family (with small kids) that can't have gluten, dairy, eggs or corn. Not to mention the all the laundry, caring for our pets, etc., etc.

      We women really do have a tendency to forget about ourselves, we're caregivers, not care-receivers…the most important realization I ever had was, If I'm not here anymore, who will take care of my babies (I include my hubby in that statement, LOL!) the way they deserve to be cared for? For that reason alone, my internal "mama bear" has decided to rise to the occasion…and start "mothering" myself for once. ;-)

      xo,

      Heidi

      • Tara says:

        Thanks Heidi, I was also wondering. Would you happen to know how much adrenal issues can effect a nursing baby? Like through my milk? I feel like my son has got so much going on and would an imbalance in me, tend to create an imbalance in him? He already has so many severe food allergies which I'm sure is already taxing his adrenal glands. I just want so bad for my little boy to have the best (happiest) chance at life. He seems so crabby all of the time. We are on a gluten free diet too just by choice. We were only told to strictly avoid wheat because he's highly allergic but since he had so many allergies I wanted to just be safe while he was little and eliminate gluten as well. I'm just at a loss for what to do anymore. I feel like with all the eliminations he's still not right. We are strictly eliminating trust me (except for his accidental milk ingestion last week :/ what a nightmare that was) he doesn't sleep at night, he is moody for the past month or two (wasn't always like that and he's not teething) his bowels are just all messed up all the time and he smells like death (in his diaper) he honestly smells like rotting garbage… no lie. You have so much going on but I've already learned so much. I'm sorry to bombard you with questions. thanks so much for all your help!

        • Oh wow Tara, I don't know the answer to that (but it's a great question!). Do you happen to have a doctor who practices functional medicine? If you don't, I recommend checking out The Institute for Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/ (they have a practitioner locator for each state). HealthNOW Medical Center practices functional medicine (you can read more about FM here: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/about/whatis.as….

          I found a PubMed article that says the gliadin protein does pass through in mother's milk: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3300148?itool=

          My friend Alison over at Sure Foods Living wrote a great article talking about this subject (and much more), I definitely encourage you to read it: http://surefoodsliving.com/celiac-disease/gluten-

          I have a very strict diet too but my anti-gliadin antibodies are still elevated, which may be due to cross-reactive foods (I'm still waiting for the test results from Cyrex Labs…the test is called Array 4, if you want to read about it: http://www.cyrexlabs.com/CyrexTestsArrays/tabid/1…. I will be doing a post on this topic soon, it's mind boggling.

          My heart goes out to you Tara. I remember crying for hours on end watching my now 3 year old suffer from very similar symptoms as your son, but not getting any answers from his physicians. Things didn't begin to get better until I used Dr. Rodney Ford's e-clinic over the summer, the results of which led to me finally getting Luke diagnosed with an egg allergy, a casein intolerance and gluten sensitivity (non-celiac). Things improved significantly but they weren't 100%…then we found out last week that he has a hookworm and a major yeast overgrowth…I can already see a HUGE difference in just the few days we've been treating him with antibiotics and probiotics (as well as a strict diet). I will be blogging about this too.

          Stay strong mama bear!

          Hugs,
          Heidi

  3. Laurel says:

    Have I told you lately I love you? Yes! Yes! Yes! I won, I won, I won. I've been trying to figure out how to pay for one of these for weeks. I kept telling myself I should wait and see especially after Dr. Vikki gave you more as it increased my odds. Let me tell you patience is not a virtue I possess so maybe now I can just stop obsessing and start learning. Wait a minute – stop obsessing? Me? If Atlas holds the world in the heavens then obsession makes it spin. I wouldn't want to be responsible for a cessation of the diurnal cycle, that'd just be mean.

  4. Linda says:

    Heidi, I've been looking forward to reading about your trip. I had a hormone saliva test done about 18 months ago (I actually found a dr. in the area who ordered it.) My results were on the very low end of normal, but my cortisol was highest at night (which might explain why I am such a night person.) Anyway, great information here and I look forward to reading about the rest of the visit.

  5. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue right after being diagnosed gluten intolerant. I did improve for a while, but then regressed for a number of reasons. I know that one of the most critical factors for healing–getting enough sleep and during the right hours so your body can produce cortisol–is one of the things I have the most difficult time with. Son has adrenal fatigue, too, at his young age. We have both found a new doctor who "gets it," and are on the road to recovery once again. Heidi, you are such a treasure to us all by sharing your journey in such detail. We, and first and foremost you, will all find answers and get well because of your quest for great health and your caring and giving spirit! Thank you so much for that!

    xoxo,

    Shirley

    • I'm working hard on the sleep issue, it is definitely a MAJOR problem for me! I often can't fall asleep before 2am and get up by 6 or 6:30 each morning to get the boys off to school…then (before the elimination diet), I would drink 1 – 2 pots of coffee just to get my brain alert enough to be semi-productive…then by 3pm, I would start going down hill fast (brain fog, low energy, headaches).

      Removing the coffee/caffeine was rough in the beginning, but after a week things really began to improve. I'm now fully alert when I wake up and my endurance is lasting much longer. I'm also forcing myself to turn the computer and TV off much earlier (check out this article titled "Computer Screens and Insomnia")! Mike has adrenal fatigue too, in fact his numbers were a little worse than mine.

      So happy that you and your son have found a new doctor who truly "get's it," it just makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!!! I can't tell you how much fun I had at HealthNOW…being able to just be the patient and not play the doctor too. ;-)

      It's my pleasure to share our journey…I only wish I had stumbled across information like this when I was first diagnosed so I would know what the heck I was supposed to do to get myself better! I had absolutely no clue 6 years ago and I just did exactly what my Dr. told me (well, not exactly…I was a gluten-free flunky for a few years).

      I'm really surprised that there isn't more information about healing the gut, potential cross-reactive foods, etc. on the major celiac organization websites, seems to be a rather crucial component to healing, and medical doctors certainly aren't aware of it. Did you read the article last fall that suggested refactory sprue is on the rise? Certainly makes sense if patients aren't aware that in addition to healing their villi, they must heal their leaky gut too.

      What really kills me is that I never knew (before Dr. Ron Hoggan told me last summer) that casein, NSAIDS, aspirin, alcohol, steroids, antibiotics, etc. are extremely damaging to the gut. During the first few years after my diagnosis, I drank entirely too much red wine (depression) so of course I would need Advil for the "morning after" headaches, I've popped high doses of Advil over the years for severe menstrual pain and I've taken multiple rounds (annually) of antibiotics and steroids (for a good 30 years now) to treat the symptoms of my chronic sinusitis. Holy moley, talk about adding fuel to the fire!

      So here's to us all becoming more aware so we can take charge of our health and get better, we deserve nothing less! :-D

      xoxo,
      Heidi

  6. Tai says:

    Yeah!! I am SO SO happy that you are now a patient too! It is the best feeling knowing that you are being cared for by a team that GETS IT, isn't it? I had stage 4 adrenal fatigue. And now 12 weeks later (I finish my supplements this week!) I am feeling so much better! I was taking adrenal supports, dhea, progenolone, and licorice root for the adreneals. (Taking a lot of other stuff for all the other stuff going on). Giving up caffeine was hard at first, but now (drinking only de-caf) I actually feel more rested and more alert during the day. No one ever mentioned the adreneals to me before Dr. Rick. I am so happy with HealthNOW.

    On a side note, it is Olive's GF birthday this week. One year since diagnosis! She is healthy, healing, and finally growing. She looks and acts like a totally different child. As a mother, my heart is bursting with joy at that!

  7. Kate says:

    Heidi, thanks so much for sharing all of this. We truly are on the journey together. May I suggest that you look into thermography instead of mammography? Dr Sherri Tenpenny, drtenpenny.com does thermography and has IRBI for the girls fb group. check it out. Thermography does a baseline and then 3 months later you go back for an additional picture. But its not harmful like mammograms nor are there false positives like mammograms.And best of all, thermography often detects cancer up to 2 years before mammography.

    • Hi Kate!!!

      Sorry for the delayed response, life was a bit hectic last week.

      Thanks for the info on the thermography, I had not heard of it before but it sounds exciting (and MUCH less painful!) :-D

      xo,
      Heidi

    • Amy Maus says:

      I too believe in thermography. It can detect unhealthy tissue long before a mammogram will detect cancer. It's a great tool to reverse breast cancer before it ever occurs.

  8. Debbie says:

    I am very happy to read you are getting the care you need. My son & I were diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion by our naturopath. All the years of consuming gluten!

    This article is excellent and I am glad you are sharing it all here for everyone to learn.

  9. Maggie says:

    You're such a blessing to so many people Heidi. Sharing your 'adventures' and misadventures :) helps so many people. I am honored to have you as a friend. I'm so glad you're feeling better. Thank you for sharing this – such an interesting read. I worry a little bit about Pete who was diagnosed with celiac at 28 years old. He is so much better and generally quite healthy, but I wonder if his gut needs more healing. His list of intolerances is pretty high. Gotta push that boy to the doctor! We have a naturopath and he is a godsend! Okay, back to you :) xo

  10. Heidi … so glad you are back and have a plan. This is another BIG week for you!

    Two years ago I would have needed to borrow another pen as the first would have run out of ink, too! I was given the same diagnosis 2 years ago. I feel so much better now.

    xo Lexie

  11. Ahh..Heidi, what an awesomely informative post. I cannot wait to see this series of posts to come! I have been working on my Adrenals for a while now, but I am so so anxious to hear what Dr Vikki thinks is the best course of action. I am so excited for you and I can even see your new sense of excitement for this new road of health that you all are on! Way to go, girlfriend!!! xoxoxo

  12. Rebecca S says:

    I saw the title of this post and thought "Eh, I know my son and I don't have any adrenal issues, but it'll probably be interesting (as your posts always are!!) so I'll read it anyway"….and part of the way through reading this I realized I DO have adrenal fatigue issues. I can check off way too many on that list, and I had NO idea they were interrelated. THANK YOU for taking the time to write all this down, I am off to learn more now!

    • Rebecca,

      I thought the same as you when I would hear people talking about adrenal fatigue…then I saw the list of symptoms and they were all eerily familiar. The good thing is, once you find out…you can take the proper steps and make significant improvements, not only for your overall long term health…but to feel great and better enjoy life. :-)

      xo,
      Heidi

  13. jen says:

    Ditto Rebecca S! All too familiar. I'm not aware of a gluten intolerance in myself (my daughter has one) but those symptoms are familiar to both of us. I have suffered with chronic sinus problems since I gave birth to her over 7 years ago. Thanks so much for sharing the info, it's like a full-time job just trying to educate myself on how to feed and care for myself and my family. THANK YOU so much for the help.

  14. Dawn says:

    Heidi,

    How exciting to read about your journey! After 5 yrs of poor health (and medical Drs saying that "nothing" was wrong), I came across this bk, "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal". Through this bk I was able to locate a Dr in St Loius, to help me. It's been 3 month now, and I'm learning how gluten, thyroid, the gut, hormones, blood sugar, adrenals, ect… they're all connected. It's something that medical Dr's don't consider too much.

    I'm so happy that you discovered a Dr to help you too. Cheers to better health in the future!!! :)

  15. Christy says:

    Dr. Vikki IS awesome. I've been wondering though how many trips are required out to the office. The expense would really add up. I could swing one trip but not two. Is there any way they can wrap it all up in one trip?

    I am SO happy you found healing through her site!!! Such awesome news!!

  16. Amy Maus says:

    I just found your blog while searching for gluten free cookie recipes. I love it!!!! Thanks for taking the time to post all of this!!!

  17. Holly says:

    Was poking around your site because I’m a fan and found this page just now. I’m wondering what supplements you take for adrenal exhaustion? I had some tests done for hormone levels and am waiting for the results, but they were all blood tests and not saliva. And I’m not sure about the doc because it’s the first time I’ve seen her. I know enough to take Iodine for thyroid and B-complex to help increase progesterone, but I am wondering about the adrenal glands (which looks like it could be the cause of both anyway!.

  18. Susal123 says:

    I’m so happy to have found your site!  I have a 17 year old daughter who is gluten-sensitive and I’m really looking forward to trying out lots of your recipes.  I found lots of great information on adrenal fatigue at http://www.womentowomen.com and in Marcelle Pick’s books, “Are You Tired and Wired?” and “The Core Balance Diet”.  Good luck healing those adrenals!

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  2. [...] fauna (the good bugs), parasites (Sam had a pinworm and Luke had a hookworm infection), and adrenal fatigue.  I will also add that it’s important to discover if you are taking any medications that are [...]

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