My Struggle with Adrenal Fatigue + Low Cortisol {Part 1}

January 1, 2017

Pasco Post

I am writing this post from my parent’s dining room table surrounded by my family. It’s Christmas and I am in a happy place as I haven’t been home for the holidays for 18 years!

I’m calm. I’m sleeping well despite the time change. My energy is good.

But I am worried about getting back to the pace of life back in Vancouver and how my body is going to handle it. I know, a bit of a odd comment and concern!

Let’s step back a bit.

About a month and a half ago, I finally went to see a naturopath after very little help from my regular Doctor. I was noticing a change in my cycle and I asked her for a hormone panel to be done. She responded, “unless your period stops completely, you don’t need your hormones checked.” In the same conversation she asked me if she needed to write me a prescription for anything, where I replied “read my chart. I’ve never taken a prescription for anything in the past 10 years, why would I need to now?”

I’ve never stopped investing in my health. I started this website to chronicle my path to wellness. But, really, my Doctor wouldn’t even help me despite my need for help? (I’d go on a rant but I know that we have flaws in our medical system so I’ll save you here!)

So, a month ago, I peed in a cup four times and sent off the samples to my N.D. and two week’s later, I had the results.

When I sat down with my Naturopathic Doctor, I assumed something different would be diagnosed than what actually happened.

(Now, from a sex hormone perspective (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, etc), I had some imbalances and I will be sharing those details soon since this was part of my main complaint. I’m also in the start of my treatment so I normally like to wait at least 2-3 months. Stay tuned)

My doctor went through my whole panel and advised me that my cortisol levels had completely tanked. She was surprised that I was even functioning considering the person that she saw (me) when I walked through the door – high energy, positive, optimistic. It seems that I was literally pushing myself through the day.

If you’re wondering, cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress. It is the primary stress hormone and it is needed in order to maintain normal physiological processes during times of stress. Without cortisol, the body would be unable to respond to stress. We are meant to have some stress in our lives. The problem is that we often go through sustained periods of stress, which tax our adrenal glands and produce many layers of illness as a result. Ultimately, adrenal glands coincide with cortisol since that is where they are produced.  And, likely, it you have issues with cortisol, you’ll have issues with your adrenal glands.

It’s interesting because as soon as I received the results, I started to tune into my body and notice that I was pretty damn exhausted. I actually thought that the recent gloomy weather in Vancouver was the culprit so I upped my Vitamin D.

I was dragging myself out of bed. I was having difficulties working out, as I didn’t have the strength. One weekend, I woke up 7:30am (waking up early was something that, 8 months ago, I had no problem doing) and within an hour, I had to go back to bed where I slept until 12:30pm. This had NEVER happened to me before.

I was experiencing bouts of anxiety that I hadn’t experienced in years. If you recall, I shared that several years ago I was hospitalized where I realized later was an anxiety.  In August of this, I had a repeat incident that I will share with you shortly.

Additionally, heart palpitations were a regular occurrence for me. And, I was one heck of a restless sleeper which of course resulted in me being tired and hitting the snooze button 2-3 times every morning.

While I was awaiting the results of my panel, I got the most coincidental partnership that occurred which has now led me to this post and a series to follow to chronicle my path to wellness.

The team at Pascoe Natural Medicine reached out to me to try their Pascoflair herbal medicine. It is a traditionally used herbal medicine that works as a sleep aid in cases of restlessness or insomnia due to mental stress. Pascoflair contains Passionflower, which I had used previously for my anxiety. The extract is known to have a calming effect, relieves anxiety, and is helpful in sleep disorders and nervous tension. The timing of things can be so perfect, right?

I will be chronicling my experience with Pascoflair in a 3-part serious to show you the effects that nature has to support your health.  In my next post, I’ll share with you the following with you:

What are normal cortisol levels?
What are some of the symptoms of both high and low cortisol? (most people have high cortisol while I have low)
My recent episode of anxiety that sent me to the hospital (again)
My treatment plan with managing low cortisol
How does Pascoflair work and how my path with Pascoflair has been for the past 2-3 months?

Now your turn: how are your energy levels right now and what are you doing to amp them up? Share in the comments below!


Please note that this is a sponsored post.  I am being financially compensated for this post and I received a sample for review purposes. As I only promote products that I know, have personally tried, tested, reviewed, and loved, the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I do not promote products that haven’t provided value to me personally.