Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adrenal Gland Fatigue & Food Intolerance Results

So the results are in.

I have Phase 1 (almost two) of Adrenal Gland Fatigue. I have a sensitivity to gluten, whey, pork, soy, corn, to name a few.

So what does that all mean?

My poor tired adrenals
What is your adrenal gland and why is it fatigued?
My adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit at the top of my kidneys.  They are responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress, such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline).  While it is not a medically supported diagnosis, some health proponents claim that the adrenal gland can become overworked (due to chronic stress) and thus is not able to keep up with producing the hormones that my body needs.  Hence, adrenal gland fatigue. With the combination of almost 4 years of dieting and exercise, multiple hardcore training sessions for half-marathons and triathlons, and a helluva stressful year last year - it's not out of the realm of possibility.

How was it tested and how will you treat it?  
A spit test. I had to suck on some cotton swabs everyday at specified times and put them into little tubes.  Then that got sent off.  When it came back it was discovered that my adrenals are slightly under performing and so I'm taking some drops for treatment. Pregnenolone and Licorice Extract at specified times during the day. In addition my result concluded that I have SiGA issues which means there's definitely an issue with my GI tract (hence the food intolerance test).  So I'm also taking GastroMend twice a day to heal my gut.  Top that off with some Vitamin C (buffered) and Minerals to make sure I'm getting the nutrients. (Click here to see my supplement plan.)

What is a food intolerance and how was it tested?  
"Food intolerance is a non-allergic food sensitivity.  Food intolerance is a reaction, often delayed, to a food, beverage, food additive, or compound found in foods that produces symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but it is not a true food allergy. A true food allergy requires the presence of Immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies against the food, and a food intolerance does not." (from Wiki).  I took the ALCAT test which is a blood test that gets sent off.  A few weeks later it comes back listing foods that have my sensitivities.  They range from severe (red) to moderate (orange) to mild (yellow).  See "the list" here.

How will you treat it?

My testing revealed not much on the severe spectrum (mussels, sage, and venision - wtf?) but on moderate I discovered that I have a gluten sensitivity as well as corn, soy, and pork (among many others - click here for "the list").  On the mild side I have whey, avocados, honey, coconut, crab, and many more (again reference "the list").  In addition I tested food additives and food dyes to see if there was something there that could be the culprit. BHA/BHT, Polysorbate and Blue #1 are all on that list. The program I'm on recommends avoiding the "mild" intolerances, eliminating the "moderate" ones for at least 3-6 months, and deleting the severe intolerances for a minimum of the next 6 months.   Combine that with a Eight session plan of "Restoring Your Digestive Health" from the specialist I'm seeing at FITT ... it's a bunch of food elimination, food tracking and planning.  The first 5 sessions will go into December of this year.  I'm essentially back on the Whole30/paleo diet longer and with even more restrictions.  Excuse me while I sob for a moment. :-|

So what does all this mean?
Back on Whole 30/Paleo Wagon (somewhat)
Due to the restrictions of the sensitivities and the "Phase 1" of my treatment I'm essentially back on a Whole30/paleo diet.  It's called "Blood Sugar Normalization" and so that means: no sugar, no dairy, no breads, grains, legumes. Back to protein, veggies, and limited amount of fruit. So essentially I had a 6 day break from Whole30. Again, Whole30/paleo and eliminating the foods on the yellow, orange or red.  That's some serious strict eating. Pretty much guarantees I'm cooking all the time and not going out to eat. At least I can have SWYPO.

Food Journaling
Something that I'm required to do is journal about my food.  After I eat I need to indicate my energy level, whether I'm full or not, if I crave sugar, etc. This has actually been pretty helpful and insightful for me.  Gives me a chance to reflect and also helps to keep track of my tendencies of when I eat and such.  Can't really complain about this.

Weight loss might be stalled
I went into this place after having seen a dietitian and my primary doctor.  I went in asking for help with weight loss (specifically my plateau issues) and some fatigue/dizzy spells.  And now it seems I'm focusing on solving my digestion health.  I get the reasoning and I understand how that plays into the grand scheme of "get the fat off DW" but (sigh)... it just means more delay.  I'm staring down into year four of and that means it's been four years of weight loss and I'm only half way there (with the bulk of the loss occurring in year one).  Perhaps I'm being selfish, perhaps I'm not seeing the big picture, perhaps I need to focus on total health. I feel lost.  I'm trusting in the hands of others who claim they have the answers when I don't.  And that is a very scary situation for me.  I'm always a skeptic when it comes to alternative medicine, so this is hard for me. As one of my good friends Robin stated, "You get frustrated when you don't know how to fix things."  And that's where I'm at.

Regardless, as always, onward.

Wink Dog Meme
Note that all this info was provided by FITT and is a personalized plan based on my specific dietary and health needs.  If you're interested in doing any of the above, contact FITT. 


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