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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue: Double Whammy?

By HERWriter
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome related image Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

I was interested to discover that as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was gradually receding from my life, the symptoms that remained could be from adrenal fatigue. Many unpleasant CFS symptoms had shrunk or disappeared but a cluster of Chronic Fatigue dysfunction clung stubbornly to me.

Vertigo had diminished considerably. I was no longer seasick, thanks to this decrease in vertigo. I no longer felt like I was going to bump into walls -- or that they were going to bump into me. These symptoms overwhelmed me when vertigo flooded in five years ago, and now they were ebbing with its outgoing tide.

My muscles and joints were no longer crippled, thanks to omega-3 oil and acupuncture. Digestive issues were a thing of the past.

My grasp of language had returned. Visual disturbances and over-stimulation from even low levels of noise no longer forced me into isolation.

Though I still needed rest periods, my sleep was normal. I rarely felt like I might fall down. My half hour walks were a joy.

And yet.

And yet I lacked stamina. I could still become sapped at the drop of a hat, needing to go horizontal and silent after relatively mild stimulus. I was still subject to sensory overload when too much was going on. My CFS brain could still become too crowded too quickly and clench on me. I still could not live a normal life.

The adrenals produce more than adrenaline. And there are more things that can go wrong with the adrenals than Addison's disease (adrenals don't produce enough cortisol) and Cushing's syndrome (adrenals produce too much cortisol).

Many symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome run parallel to symptoms of adrenal fatigue. I fit the profile. My naturopath Dr. Upcott suggested that a nice adaptogen like ashwaghanda might be just the ticket. Adaptogens help the body take the rigors of life in stride.

I started taking one 750 mg. capsule of ashwaghanda daily, expecting to work up to two a day. In less than a week though, one a day was making me wired, and I felt like I couldn't keep up. I quit taking ashwaghanda till I felt more balanced again.

Will ashwaghanda prove to be the missing piece to the CFS puzzle? Is there more than one piece still missing? I wish I knew the answers to these questions but I don't. But I know this much. I feel better now than I have during most of the last decade.

I spent 15 years losing the battle against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Three years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.



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EmpowHER Guest

It is interesting that you noticed a paradoxical response when taking ashwaganda - this article (http://www.adrenalfatiguefocus.org/adaptogenic-herbs-in-adrenal-fatigue.html) says that these reactions are quite common in severe adrenal fatigue, but not so common in the earlier stages.

June 23, 2010 - 2:15pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Yes, I had heard that too. I didn't hear it until AFTER I'd had this experience the first time with an adaptogen. :)

I hope this means I have less severe adrenal fatigue now as at this point, I can take one capsule a day instead of every couple of days without a problem.

I will say, I'm glad I was dealing my naturopath on this because I might otherwise have never used ashwaghanda again after the bad experience. And I think it is proving to be helpful to me this time around.

Thanks for writing.

June 23, 2010 - 2:47pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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