I’ve always had a flair for the melodramatic, but since I’ve developed anxiety, possibly connected to or heightened by the adrenal fatigue, it’s been very easy for me to have cascading fears or to simply feel sorry for myself.
Friday, I went to bed at six. When I woke up at seven on Saturday, I didn’t feel rested at all. I ate breakfast, watched a show, and went back to sleep. Of course, when I woke up a second time, I didn’t feel any better. I broke down and had half a cup of caffeinated tea. Poof. Mostly awake and somewhat energetic. I cleaned the house because I’m tired of it smelling like dog.
Sunday, I woke up feeling pretty good. Ate a Cliff Bar and maybe that was my mistake. I think it had enough calories, but I would have been better off with an egg and some Ezekiel bread. Went for a walk. Felt great. Was a little hungry and fantasized about an omelette when I got back. Was planning on doing five miles instead of my usual three.
But a mile in, I realized I wasn’t just a little hungry; I had really low blood sugar. When this had happened before, I’ve been at home or in the checkout line at the grocery store and able to deal with it, however poorly. This time I was a mile from home with two dogs who were expecting a longer walk. I was sweaty and clammy, desperately anxious. Irritable didn’t come close to what I felt. It’s like I could feel my brain was on a countdown to not working.
I took a shortcut back home, but it still felt like thirty forevers. At one point I contemplated asking a young couple with a baby if they had any snacks they could spare but was too embarrassed and desperate. When I got home I tried to be healthy and not wolf down too much. I’d decided on the way back that peanut butter was a good option. Sugary, yes, but also fill of protein and fat, so I wouldn’t be going for a pure sugar rush. With a little jelly and some Ezekiel bread it seemed a good idea. Try as I might I ate too much, and think I could feel the extra blood sugar burning me. That’s the best I can do to describe it. I was whooped. I went back to bed and searched for more info.
I already knew there was a link between adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia and that cortisol plays some role in regulating blood sugar. What I learned is that when presented with stress the body releases extra insulin to help blood sugar get into the cells, which causes your blood sugar to drop. Normally the body also releases cortisol which somehow assists with converting stored energy — hello, fat! — into blood sugar. Except, without enough cortisol that process can become nearly impossible.
Low blood sugar itself is a stress on the system and causes cellular damage and requires a recovery period.
As much as the idea of all of this eventually leading to diabetes terrifies me, what is heartbreaking is how it also makes it hard to lose weight. It’s easier to put on, but harder, maybe impossible to take off if you can’t convert fat to energy.
And here’s where I become a melodrama mama and want to cry it’s not fair. It’s not fair that it takes all my energy to work, that often I can barely manage getting groceries, much less working on my article or losing weight. I am trying so hard. I’m not perfect, but I am trying so hard. I’m changing my diet, taking a fuckton of expensive supplements, quitting caffeine, trying to manage stress and to walk or do other exercise. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of just trading water. I want things to change.