Adrenal Fatigue Hmmn…Interesting.

Ok here’s the scoop on Adrenal Fatigue. (something my former Urologist doesn’t think exists…I know this because he told me)

Apparently ANYONE can suffer from adrenal fatigue. It’s also considered Chronic Fatigue syndrome and often misdiagnosed as Addison’s disease, Fibromyalgia, Cushing’s Syndrome and an over-active or under-active thyroid problem among others. Basically this is because so many hormones are secreted by the adrenal glands that with enough stress it can often over produce or under produce the necessary chemicals we need to manage stress, among other things.

I have checked a lot of websites about this since learning about the possibility that some of my recurring pain might be attributed to inflammation and triggered by my one kidney being stressed to a point where it is no longer producing the right amounts of hormones to regulate normal response to stress and this has resulted in pain, fatigue and a short temper (described as Low Tolerance/Quick to Anger)…

There are a lot of facets to how adrenal fatigue happens and what can be done about it and it still may or may not be my problem. I did however take a self test…

For all intents and purposes failed this test:

Another way to test for adrenal dysfunction is the pupil dilation exam. To perform this on yourself, you’ll need a flashlight and a mirror. Face the mirror, and shine the light in one eye. If after 30 seconds the pupil (black center) starts to dilate (enlarge), adrenal deficiency should be suspected.
Why does this happen? During adrenal insufficiency, there is a deficiency of sodium and an abundance of potassium, and this imbalance causes an inhibition of the sphincter muscles of the eye. These muscles normally initiate pupil constriction in the presence of bright light. However, in adrenal fatigue, the pupils actually dilate when exposed to light.

Just watching my pupils dilate this way freaked me out.

I have to find ways to manage stress better. Yoga? Meditation? Tai-Chi? Martial Arts? Walking? Jogging/Running? …Sleep is important, Food is very important (we are adapting an Anti-inflammatory and Low Glycemic diet to help make changes)…water, activity etc.

I need to find balance. Aside from the most recently discovered and obvious symptom here being my pupils, I have had a few short bursts of berserker like rage in the last year…namely for those of you reading this blog might recall my few posts about BATS!

Losing control of my emotions and lashing out in such a way as being ill-tempered and wildly out of control can only be me not producing enough cortisol/adrenaline in the right amounts anymore…my inability to stay calm under normal stress HAS BECOME a problem.

So I am (we are) working on stress management and relaxation techniques. I am taking breaks from daily stressors and hopefully will find a way to better manage the everyday crap that I can’t deal with, forget the actual BIG events that sometimes come our way I am probably not prepared for those at all.

Since 2006 there has been: Cancer, Surgery, 6 months of Chemo, Recovery, A new job, Legal issues (bankruptcy), Parents health, Family issues surrounding parents and those health issues, Kids, Bills, House, Marriage, Work etc. The list goes on and on… My surviving kidney was probably over worked for a very long time before we even knew I had cancer on the other one…how long exactly is anyone’s guess.  Adrenal Fatigue has probably been an issue for me for some time and just like having Kidney cancer we have been unaware of it…until now.

The unknown sucks. The what ifs…suck even more.

I jotted down how much of my life has been LOOOOONG out of balance, since I can remember.  Too much church growing up. Too much work (Hotel career spanning 1991-2002), Too much cartooning BIG PLANS from 8th grade on up trying to hit a self-imposed deadline at age 30 and missing that deadline in HUGE ways…(See hotel career and eventually marriage).

A lot of my life has been spent chasing something and not actually living. Even today my mind leans to the art I want to make in the event that I can make a living at it…I’m trying to hard to live a life I think I should and missing the life I already have.

So I am backing down. I am slowing down. I am adjusting my focus and need to take life in smaller chunks. Like playing checkers with my son more often. (He’s getting pretty good too) …planning Daddy and ME days with each kid individually and spending more time with my Wife of almost 14 years.

I see the need for me to have some time alone as well. Time to recharge my batteries separate from everyone else. And in the midst of all this: life, work, art, church and family will find a way in…like the saying goes:

“A place for everything and everything in its place”

I can’t let Adrenal Fatigue slow me down now too. It’s just another swing life is taking at me and I need to continue to roll with it.

Check out:

For some info on Adrenal Fatigue and the symptoms to look for.

Be well.


Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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