My Health Story Part 1: I Knew I Was Not Healthy!

wasnt healthy

* I am republishing this post from its original date of May 4, 2011.

Don’t miss the other 3 posts of My Health Story, you can catch up by clicking below:

Let me share with you my health story!  I’m hoping that by sharing it, I can help someone along the way that is suffering in some way that I was.  It has different aspects to it, so I’m splitting it into different parts.  I’m not sure how many yet?  I don’t know how long-winded I’m going to be :~)

I haven’t always been into home remedies. In fact, I was really turned away from them growing up.  I knew someone once that would very loudly talk non-stop about “home remedies” every time I came into contact with them.  It just really turned me away from that kind of thing. (But now I could listen non-stop and find it very interesting.  I just try to get past the loud part ;)).

Anyways…I didn’t grow up on vitamins or any kind of nutritional supplements.  I followed the advice of any doctor that told me anything, thinking it was the best option since a doctor said it, instead of researching what was best for me.  Now, I am not against doctors, but I believe there should be balance!  

I began taking antibiotics every day for acne as a teenager.  That’s right!  My dermatologist prescribed for me to take antibiotics every day for acne.  I ended up taking them for 6 years every day.  Anyone I tell this to, including most doctors, cannot believe I would be put on antibiotics every day for so long.  Are you getting this every day thing? No one should be taking antibiotics on a daily basis year after year.

Maybe you think I’m a real dummy for not knowing better, and I would have to now agree, but I had no idea what it was doing to my body!  All I knew was that it kept my face clear (and we know how important this is to teenagers!), and that my doctor told me it was what would help me do that. And remember that up to this point I did whatever a doctor said I should do.  I’ll share later how taking too many antibiotics affects the body. Do you know how very damaging taking a lot of antibiotics is to a body? It’s not something to take lightly.

I Knew I Was Not Healthy

For a few years as a teenager, I was more fatigued than a teenager should be.  But as I began college, I was extremely fatigued!  I had a hard time walking up a hill – it plain ol’ wore me OUT!  I knew this was not normal because I was considered to be a healthy girl. I had lots of headaches and would have to spend days resting from my fatigue.  I hated missing my college classes during this time!  I had tests run, just knowing that I had some horrible disease, but test after test showed I was healthy.  

Now, I’m very thankful I don’t have a disease, but I knew something was wrong!  I decided to let it drop and just live with it.  Then I married my wonderful husband (I sure do love him!:)) and had a home to take care of.  I got to the point that I would wash the dishes and have to lay down, brush my hair and have to lay down, sweep the floor and have to lay down – etc.  It was very frustrating!  

I found out I was expecting our first child and the doctor recommended I go off my antibiotic, so I did.  Well, my body didn’t know what to do because it was used to the medicine on a daily basis, so I began to have strange things happen to me that made me feel like I was crazy.  I did not realize until later that my symptoms were from withdrawals, and also from what the medicine had done to me all those years.  I wanted answers!  

Read part 2 here.

Have you ever been at a point in your life that you just knew you were not healthy? Have you ever pinpointed part of it to medication?

How To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue

How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies | If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, here's how to heal it naturally!

Before reading this post, be sure to read How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue if you have not.

It all started for me when I was in college. I had been going full speed ahead working and going to my local high school, which meant going to bed late each night and getting up early for school each morning.

I continued full speed ahead in college, but my schedule became so much busier. I was working 2 part-time jobs, going to school full time (which included taking classes from teachers that said I should study 6 hours if I wanted to pass their tests…very stressful), being very involved in the ministries of the local church there, making new friends, falling in love with the sweetest, best-looking southern gentleman I’d ever met… All of these things meant that life was wonderful but very busy and stressful too. 

I also got very little sleep in high school and college. Stress + little sleep= adrenal fatigue.

I suffered for years without even knowing it. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I was used to going to a doctor anytime I didn’t feel well and doing whatever they said I should do. However, this time, the doctor said I just needed antidepressants and sent me on my way with prescription in hand (which I did not take). This was the first time I didn’t take whatever my doctor told me was best for me. The doctor literally made me feel crazy for the things I told him I was going through and I felt so discouraged and hopeless of feeling normal again.

My symptoms were things like…feeling like I was flying when my feet were firmly on the ground, or feeling like my car was going to fall off the end of the earth when I topped the next hill, or feeling panicky when I was in a crowd of people or was talking to someone that I felt like I couldn’t get away from (that can make us all panicky, huh?:)), or unable to handle heights when normally I could, or being afraid to go anywhere for fear of anxiety or panic attacks hitting me. When I think about all the symptoms I shared with my doctor, I can understand how maybe he thought I was a little crazy. Doctors are wonderful for emergencies, but they simply are not educated in the field of nutrition and do not know how to help someone in my situation.

If you relate to any of this, let me tell you that there is hope and there is an answer for you! You can feel normal and wonderful again. 

How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies | If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, here's how to heal it naturally!

How To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue

One thing you have to understand when you are healing is that it takes time. When you are truly getting to the root of a health problem it takes longer to feel better than using medication that only covers up symptoms. Medication does not bring true healing, correct the real problem, and can have unwanted side effects. Plus with the root problem still not being fixed, your health will only get worse. You have to understand that you need to give time for healing to take place.

How long will it take to heal?

The length of time for healing depends on how severe your adrenal problem is.

  • Minor adrenal fatigue – 6 months
  • Moderate adrenal fatigue – 12 months
  • Major adrenal fatigue – 2 years

Don’t panic (we don’t need any more of that) – it won’t take you this long to feel better, it can just take this long to completely heal. I had major adrenal fatigue but started feeling better within just a few weeks and felt like a new person in a few months. It can just take this long to heal your adrenals completely, but you will feel better much sooner than that. The vital thing is that you are intentional about healing yourself. 

Don’t just choose one thing to do from the list below. Let me tell you from experience to do them all at the same time.

Sleep

The word sleep probably makes you want to curl up under the covers, doesn’t it? That’s how I was. Sleep sounded nice all the time. To heal your adrenals, you need 8-10 hours of sleep each night, plus you need to rest during the day if needed, even if it’s just 15 minutes. The amount of sleep you need depends on how bad your adrenals are.

Do not have parent guilt about the need to sleep. It’s easy to feel guilty resting when there is so much to do. I can get crabby if the dishes aren’t done and the house isn’t in order (just ask the kids), but sometimes we have to go to bed with the dishes stacked instead of washed and dried and the house in need of cleaning because we have to take care of ourselves when our body reaches a point that it’s crying out for help and healing.

Do you realize that is what your body is doing? It is trying to get your attention so that you will do what is needed to heal. That’s why I’m here – to help you do it!

How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies | If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, here's how to heal it naturally!

Adrenal Tincture

Another important must-have in healing is to take adaptogenic herbs (these are herbs that help to heal and support the adrenals). I happen to have several adaptogenic herbs on hand so I made my own tincture recently (recipe coming in the next few weeks), but you can also buy the tincture. I recommend taking these herbs in liquid form under the tongue so that they will go immediately into your body and do its work. You certainly can make your own herbal medicine for this, but if the chiropractor had told me to make my own tincture 20 years ago when I could barely brush my hair without fatigue, I would have cried. If you are at a point of being too overwhelmed to make your medicine, or it just does not interest you to do so, I recommend Adren-L-Aid here and Adren-L-Aid II here (for pregnant and nursing mommies).

B-Vitamin Complex

B-vitamins are essential for the nervous system. So if you are having anxiety, panic attacks, depression, etc., you are likely deficient in the b-vitamins. I was experiencing heart palpitations about a year ago and started a b-vitamin complex and the palpitations literally stopped overnight. I had been dealing with them for weeks. My body was deficient in these vitamins and that’s how it was letting me know. It’s important to take the whole complex and not just a few select b-vitamins. I highly recommend this complex from Garden of Life. I have found that cheaper brands don’t work as well. And this bottle lasts for 2 months!

Also, it’s always a good idea to take a whole food vitamin as well. I love SuperMom from Beeyoutiful! They also carry SuperDad, SuperLady, and SuperKid vitamins.

Cultured Foods

How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies | If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, here's how to heal it naturally! Cultured Foods are one of the best things you can add to your diet. They are full of billions of probiotics, enzymes, aminos, and lots of other nutrition. I recommend checking out Cultured Food Life for more information. I highly recommend consuming all 3 cultured foods (kombucha, kefir, fermented vegetables), but if you choose just one for your adrenals, choose kombucha. I typically make my own (of course because it saves money), but I do sometimes buy it as well. My local Wal-Mart sells raw organic kombucha and it is great stuff. With anything healthy, it’s easy to get out of the habit of consuming something. I have been making kefir mainly here lately and it does wonders in keeping us healthy, but I just recently started making kombucha again. I am surprised at how happy and energetic I feel almost immediately. I also notice that it calms my nerves and stops panic attacks and anxiety if I happen to be dealing with those. 

I was reading about kombucha again on the Cultured Food Life website, and she mentioned how kombucha helps the adrenals and has b-vitamins. I was not surprised at all to read this because of how much better I feel when drinking it.

Kombucha has a vinegary sour type taste. I love the taste of it, but if you don’t find you can handle it for some reason, blend some frozen fruit with it and/or add juice to it. Your health will never be the same if you regularly add cultured foods to it!

I would start out drinking 4 oz. of kombucha a day for a week, then 8 oz. a day for a week, then 16 oz. a day. I now drink 16-24 oz. a day. I just cannot seem to get enough because it makes me feel so much better and refreshed!

Exercise

There’s that dirty word again. People are always telling you to exercise, aren’t they? You may be thinking, “I can barely walk because I am so fatigued, how in the world could I exercise?” I totally get that. But even if you could talk a slow walk through the woods or around the house a few times, it would do you a world of good. One of my favorite exercises is jumping on the rebounder. Starting out with a few minutes a day and working up to 10-20 minutes a day does so much for your health. This all depends on how sick you are. Do what you can, even if it’s just a little exercise. 

How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies | If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, here's how to heal it naturally!

Diet

Diet is another word that people don’t like to talk about. We have our favorite comfort foods that we just do not wish to give up. However, it is a good idea to eat in a way that promotes vitality of life. I didn’t change my diet 20 years ago when I was dealing with adrenal fatigue for the first time and I still felt better, but you will heal faster and be overall healthier if you eat differently. 

Avoid sugar as much as possible. I understand that sugar is a pick me up and we eat it to give us bursts of energy throughout the day. Sugar is quite addicting too! But be careful with it. We may cut back on the cake and candy bars, but sugar is also in bread, fast food, and almost all packaged food. We get a steady stream of sugar in our diets. Sugar is so bad for the nervous system. If you consume cultured foods, you will not crave sugar as much. I notice that especially when I drink kombucha I do not have sugar cravings like normal.

I know it’s hard to change our diets of habit, but never give up on trying to eat healthier one step at a time.

Be Consistent

I was honestly so sick and fatigued 20 years ago that it was hard for me to actually take something that someone said would make me better over time. I had anxiety that it might not work and could have so easily stayed in my mental state of overwhelmedness. I am so glad that I forced myself to try it because I have been able to enjoy a normal life over the past 20 years.

Yes, I have been working on my adrenals here lately because I can tell they need help, but I have been able to keep them from getting too bad this time. I fell under the major adrenal fatigue back then for sure. Force yourself to do these healthy things I’ve listed. I’d love to hear from you on your journey! Be sure to comment here or email me at jill@jillshomeremedies.com. Many blessings to you! Let me know if I can help and encourage you in any way.

Are you living with adrenal fatigue? Have you tried anything natural to heal them? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Resources

 3 Steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally – Dr. Axe. (2014). Retrieved July 21, 2016, from https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-heal-adrenal-fatigue/ 

How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue

How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies |Are you tired all the time? You may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Here's how to know if you are.

I don’t know if any of you have read my health story (which I plan on republishing soon), but five years ago I wrote a small series about my health journey that I went through when I was a young adult. In this particular post, I discussed the answer to my health problems which I found in the natural world (after exhausting all my options in the conventional world). A natural chiropractor that I eventually went to gave me tinctures and vitamins that made me feel a whole lot better and like a new person. I was completely new to natural medicine at the time so I wasn’t familiar with what I was taking.

If you’ve read my health series you know that the only thing I could remember about my healing experience was that my body was really depleted in nutrients, which the chiropractor helped me to replenish. I could not remember any specific diagnosis he gave me.

Well, not too long ago I was cleaning out some old containers and found that paper from so long ago from the chiropractor’s office with my main diagnosis. It was adrenal fatigue! I was so intrigued to find this paper and know for sure what I was dealing with back then.

Twenty years ago the words “adrenal fatigue” were equivalent to a foreign language to me, but now the words are all too familiar. You see, I am currently dealing with adrenal fatigue (again), but since I am so much more familiar with it (because I research and read about natural health all the time), I now know what to do to help myself and not suffer as much as before.

 

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What Are the Adrenals?

The adrenals are two glands that sit on top of our kidneys. The adrenals produce hormones that regulate metabolism and help our body respond properly to stress. These hormones include cortisol and adrenaline, which many are familiar with. If the adrenals are not working properly, our health suffers greatly and can result in adrenal fatigue.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is the body’s inability to properly handle and recuperate from physical, mental and emotional stress. It affects 80% of people worldwide. Due to living in a day of high stress and poor lifestyle habits, the adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the load of stress that we put on them. Our adrenals then cry out for help by causing many crazy health symptoms to occur to get our attention.

Most people struggle with adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives. Others (like me) can find that they deal with the fatigue more than once in their lifetime.  

How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies |Are you tired all the time? You may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Here's how to know if you are.

How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue

Let me just give you a brief overview of how I feel when my adrenals are suffering, and then I will make a list of possible symptoms. Twenty years ago my symptoms were much worse than they have been this time around – most likely because I am overall a healthier person than I was back then and I take herbs on a regular basis. I just have to kick it into high gear with specific herbs when my adrenals are suffering.

My symptoms 20 years ago included: dizziness, panic attacks, being overwhelmed with daily life, heart palpitations, anxiety, nervousness. I also had severe feelings of being out of control. For instance, while driving my car I would feel like I was flying or was going to fall off the edge of the earth when I rounded the corner. When I sang in the church choir, I would feel like I was swinging from the chandeliers above. (I also know someone that would feel like they were walking down a hill when in reality they were walking on flat surfaces.) It was such a horrible way to live each day. It would have been easy for me to stay curled up in a ball in a corner of my room because it was scary to go anywhere. However, I knew God had the answer for me so I just kept praying and asking for His help. That’s when I was led to a chiropractor that helped me heal myself with nature.

How To Know If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue | Jill's Home Remedies |Are you tired all the time? You may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Here's how to know if you are.

Here’s a list of possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • Fatigue
  • Being overwhelmed with life in general
  • Feelings of being out of control
  • Dizziness
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Unable to function in hot weather/humidity
  • The need for caffeine or other stimulants to function in the mornings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sugar cravings
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Unable to get out of bed (the sign of ultimate adrenal burnout)

You don’t have to experience all of these symptoms in order to have adrenal fatigue. Each person can react to a health crisis differently. 

So how can you heal from adrenal fatigue?

Healing from most things takes time and determination. If I had not faithfully taken the tinctures the chiropractor prescribed me those many years ago, my health would have continued to take a major downward spiral and I would likely be on several medications today. Healing naturally can take longer because you are correcting the root of the problem. But when you do this, you are really healed and not merely covering up symptoms with medication, so the longer time period of waiting to feel better is worth it! My doctor tried to put me on antidepressants when I went to him for help, but that was not what my body needed! My adrenals were crying out for help!

Stay tuned because within the next few days, I plan to write about several ways you can help yourself heal from adrenal fatigue. In the meantime, check out this herbal tincture similar to what I took 20 years ago. There are several adaptogenic herbs that can help balance the adrenals. These herbs made all the difference for me. Find Adren-L-Aid here and read about Adren-L-Aid II for pregnant and nursing mommies here

Do you think you suffer from adrenal fatigue? Let me hear about it in the comments below!

Update: Here’s my post How To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue!

Resources

 My Journey to Adrenal Fatigue | The Humbled Homemaker. (2015). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2015/02/adrenal-fatigue 
 An Overview of the Adrenal Glands. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-adrenal-glands 
 3 Steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally – Dr. Axe. (2014). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-heal-adrenal-fatigue/