As my mid-late twenties approached, the symptoms dissipated and were directly replaced with gallbladder disease and the removal of both my gallbladder and appendix within a 6-week timeframe. Then, layer on top endurance training, a high-stress career and the constant need to ‘push’ myself both professionally and personally. It’s no wonder I have landed myself squarely where I am today.
My last health update I filled you in on my inability to eat for a stretch of 6-8 weeks. The intense pain post-meal drove me straight to a functional medicine practice in Philadelphia to get to the root of my issues. Dr. Moday was tremendous and ran a series of detailed tests including blood draws, fecal samples, urine samples and even saliva samples. She was thorough and meticulous in how she wanted to solve my digestion puzzle.
The bigger concern that was addressed was my ongoing feel of lethargy, constant anxiety and sleeplessness. The saliva test was one way to test my hormones and directly the output of my adrenals. After reading the test results, Dr.M diagnosed me with stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is not widely recognized in conventional medicine (yet) but is becoming a more larger issue among the holistic and functional medicine community. Adrenal fatigue is often caused by a prolonged and constant state of stress on the body. That stress can be emotional, mental and physical (eg. Constant marathon training.)
As I mentioned at the top of the post, its not surprising I have landed myself in this camp due to the choices I’ve made in life. I have always (since high-school) run full throttle to the point of no return with my work, my personal schedule and my training. After my visit last week, I have been making a conscious effort to implement a life overhaul. Gone are the days of squeezing in as much as I can, long to-do lists, meeting everyone else’s expectations and little time for relaxation. My diet is getting a facelift too removing all dairy (90% of the time), grains, sugar and alcohol (80% of the time). I’ll be following a low FODMAP approach for which you’ll be seeing more of throughout the blog in the coming months.
If I could go back in time, and give myself one piece of advice it would be this: put your health and well being before everything and everyone. Running at constant full-speed doesn’t make you a leader and accomplished, it makes you foolish. Listen to your body, because without your health—your success, accomplishments and accolades are just decoration.
I will be posting more information about each of my diagnoses in the coming weeks.
My question of the day: What are you doing to aid your health today?