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Adrenal Fatigue & Hypoglycemia

adrenal fatigue hypoglycemia


Recently I did a post on a chat board for hypoglycemia caused by adrenal fatigue. I felt the post was so good, that I decided to put in on this blog.

Hi Everyone,
I’ve been on this board following the conversations for quite a while but haven’t posted. Colleen encouraged me to write a post about adrenals and blood sugar. Looking back, my blood sugars have probably been ‘whacked’ since the onset of puberty.

A few years ago I became extremely intimate with adrenal fatigue. I was very very ill to the point of incapacitation. Through much trail and error as well as research I was able to get myself well. Oh, I also had an amazing doctor who was my partner back to wellness. For me, one of the biggest symptom of the adrenal fatigue was severe hypoglycemia. Some of the other biggies were food allergies, chronic pain, hormone imbalance, and anxiety/panic attacks.

Why are hypoglycemia and adrenals tied together? The adrenals monitor blood sugar levels via adrenaline, cortisol, HGH. When levels plummet, the adrenals want to save the brain from glucose starvation and blast out the hormones just mentioned. Blood sugar instability via diet is THE WORST thing for the adrenals – lots of highs & lows. The weaker the adrenals – the worse the hypo. It is a vicious cycle. To stabilize sugar levels for adrenal recovery we need lots of healthy fats (coconut oil, butter, avocados, nuts, dairy if not allergic) and high quality protein (meats, fish, nuts, dairy, low glycemic protein drinks, eggs).

Now the carb debate. To carb or not to carb? We need carbs. They are critical for the absorption of certain amino acids. They also give us immediate fuel until protein can fat get further in the digestive process and converted into energy source. EVERYBODY will be different in the types of carbs they can do. Some people will be able to do whole grains, some not. I am one of those people who has food allergies to almost all carbs (corn, wheat/gluten, potato) and for whatever reason I cannot do the rest (rice, millet, quinoa).

However, I do eat carbs from low glycemic fruits like apples, berries, cherries, and cranberries w/o a problem. I get most of my carbs via squash: pumpkin, spaghetti, zucchini, acorn, butternut, etc. But I never eat carbs alone, they are always tied in w/ a protein/fat. Example – apples with almond butter, pumpkin soup (http://naturalanxie tytherapy. com/521/yum- o-anti-insulin- resistance- soup-recipe/). Finding balance on how to eat carbs so they burn long and slow is a hypoglycemics greatest challenge!

My little rule that works for my students is when you look at your dinner plate, the carb portion should NEVER be larger than the non-starchy vegetable or meat. Plus, that carb should be low glycemic like quinoa, wild rice (even brown is high glycemic), amaranth, wheat berry salad, beans or whatever! I hope that makes sense, it’s tough w/o a pictorial to get this concept across. So, if you have 1/2 cup of quinoa – you need at least 1/2 cup of non starchy veg and 1/2 cup of protein.

To clarify, starchy carb foods are: corn, potato, grains, parsnips, beets, pumpkin, hard skinned squash, etc. Non-starchy: anything of bold color (peppers, onions, spinach, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, celery, asparagus, etc) Borderline: carrots, peas.

One thing that can throw a wrench into this idea of eating is food allergies, it complicates the whole darn thing. Not going into that in this post – it’s already long enough. But what sucks worse than being a hypoglycemic is being one who can’t eat dairy, corn, soy, wheat/gluten, pinto beans, and peanuts. GRRRRR

Now for adrenal recovery.

Everyone’s deficiencies are going to be different. I did an intro audio on adrenals that is posted on my blog and everyone can listen w/o a charge. http://naturalanxie tytherapy. com/181/181/
There are some critical nutrients for the adrenals to recover. Over 95% of people have this to some degree. It is the #1 contributor to hypoglycemia! !!!!! Also, issues w/ the liver but I won’t go there right now.

Here’s a list of nutrients important for recovery, this is a place to begin and some of these require testing to determine severity of deficiency. I had EXTREME adrenal fatigue and have been digging myself out of it for over 2 years. Doing very well I might add 🙂 This may seem like a lot of stuff, but when the body becomes so deficient it takes so much to get things back into balance. Then we can start eliminating these nutrients as reserves become full again.

1. Vitamin C
2. Magnesium
3. Zinc
4. B Complex (especially B12, B6, B5)
5. Adaptogen herbs (ashwaganda, rhemannia, licorice, eleuthero, rhodiola, maca, wolfberries, nutmeg) Depending on the cortisol test will determine which of these are best.
6. DHEA – some people may need this based on testing
7. Amino acid therapy – determined based on testing
8. Enzymes & probiotics – if the adrenals are burned out, guaranteed the gut is off whack. Especially if HYPO!
9. Minerals – especially trace mineral complex
10. Vitamin D3
11. Omega 3’s
12. Glandular support – pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, gonad can either be glandulars or nutrient specific to feed those glands
13. REST!!!!! @ least 8 hours
14. Protein – feeds the adrenals. But need the enzymes to digest it 🙂
15. Salt

Secondary “Issues” that stem from adrenal fatigue: irritable bowel, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hypoglycemia, food allergies, auto-immune diseases (fibromyalgia, lupus, mixed connective tissue disorder), insulin resistance, obesity, thyroid imbalance, sex hormone imbalance, blood pressure issues (esp. low), temperature regulation problems (hot & cold), asthma, obesity, memory problems, impaired immunity, etc. Just about everything!

Couple of fun and easy ways to determine adrenal issues. 1. Stick out your tongue while looking in a mirror. Does it quiver? 2. Shine a flashlight in your eye. Can the pupil hold the contraction or does it slowly open? Some people it abruptly opens and closes and can’t hold either. I’ve seen this in extremely fatigued people. 3. When getting up quickly from laying or sitting – dizziness occurs. 4. Bags under the eyes. 5. Vertical cracking and splitting of the nails.

These home tests are not meant to replace 12 Hour cortisol and DHEA tests that determine adrenal imbalances. Please find a doc that can be your partner in recovery!

I will say that my blood sugars are behaving 😉 If I take my supplements, manage stress, have fun, sleep, eat right I do VERY well. I feel better than I have in my whole life – energy, not crabby, sex drive returned, hormones balanced, 55 pounds of weight loss, skin is flawless, etc. It wasn’t easy, but worth it!

I know this post has a lot of holes in it. I probably missed a few nutrients and maybe my food combining description is unclear. But this gives ya’ll a place to start asking me questions if you’d like 🙂 I cannot even imagine the grammar and spelling error – forgive me for those too. It’s already taken me over an hour to write this post and I have things to do and places to be!!! ha ha

Be well,

11 Responses to “Adrenal Fatigue & Hypoglycemia”

  1. Mary Seaberg says:

    Who is your doctor can you email that info, that helped you on your adrenials?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I use Dr. Ann Stanger in Madison, WI. Her website is http://www.annstangermd.com. She’s fabulous!

  3. […] did a post a while back on Adrenal Fatigue & Hypoglycemia where I explain how they are tied in together and what I did to recover.  As my body got stronger […]

  4. Debby B. says:

    anyone know good adrenal drs in olathe,ks or kansas city johnson county area

    I was on natural corstisol for too long,no one ever connected the hypoglycemai Im sure i have it along with now panic attacks from a tradegy in family

    I need to get adrenal support
    anyhelp would be appreciated

  5. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely Debby. I contacted Neuroscience and had them find a few doctors in my area so I had a couple of options. Their assistance is terrific. Their website is http://www.neurorelief.com.
    Good luck!

  6. maelene says:

    hi please tell me a sample menu plan of what you eat? and can u go 2 hrs without eating? I have to eat every 2 hrs and it sucks big time not to mention i eat at night too because it drops when Im sleeping.How long before you saw an improvement? please help thank you !

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will do a post on this for you! Check out the posts under the Blood Sugar category for sure. It has taken me a few years to totally reverse the blood sugar issues, but very worth it. I used to have to eat every few hours, now it’s not like that. However, even healthy people should eat something (even a small snack) every 3 to 4 hours to keep their blood sugar and adrenals happy.

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  10. Mary says:

    Thank you for info. I have extreme fatigue also
    No doctor around here knows about. Where do you live and who is your doctor thanks. Mary

  11. MO says:

    I have been suffering for a few years now. I had a 60 lb weight gain in 6 months and figured it out myself it was my blood sugar. That was almost 2 years ago. I just realized recently that my adrenals could be contributing to this. A week or 2 before I start my period my blood sugar starts to drop. I get very hypoglycemic and sometimes insulin resistance. I know better than to do any sports. I eat how I am supposed to and don’t think anything crazy besides Milk. I am very frustrated and would like to control this sugar any ideas how to do this? I also have thyroid nodules but my blood work always comes back completely normal on my thyroid. I would love to find a reasonable physician in my area to help monitor this. Thank you for your great article!

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