1/5/15 Health Update

I had my first Dr. visit of the year this past Monday! I wish I'd thought to do it a bit earlier so we weren't dealing with getting back-to-school, but oh well.

Dr. K is focusing more on my thyroid and adrenals right now. I told him about how the GTA (glandular) helped when I was at the initial dose, but that bumping it up caused me problems. He agreed with me that two gladulars at breakfast and lunch were good and that I could keep it there. He gave me some licorice root extract to add to my after-breakfast supplements. He really wants to get my cortisol levels up in the morning. They sent me home with a cortisol test that he'd like me to take in about 4 weeks.

Before I left, I had a blood draw to see how my blood sugars are doing and should get a call with the results in the next day or two. Here's hoping the holidays didn't make me lose too much ground in that area.

Of course, I'm always doing my own research, too, and stumbled upon the book The Adrenal Reset Diet by Dr. Alan Christianson.

This book caught my eye because I've been very suspicious about the effects of a paleo/GAPS diet on thyroid and adrenal health. I personally have no problem with Paleo and could eat that way forever, but am just not sure it's the best diet for me, long-term. Dr. Christianson's book specifically mentions carb cycling on the front cover, so of course that piqued my interest. The amount of grain/starch carbs he recommends is very small. 1/4 c with a high protein breakfast, 1/2 c with lunch, 3/4 with dinner. Still, that's a lot for someone who's on a diet that doesn't permit grains or starches at all!

(Interesting side note: a GAPS blogger I follow just wrote about how she was shocked to discover that eating carbs at night actually helps her sleep better. Mmm-hmmm.)

I was able to read the book in two days and found that the diet would be an easy transition for me since I'm already eating a Paleo/real food diet. I actually like the ARD better because he doesn't recommend any dairy or wheat so I don't need to do anything to tweak his recipes which is really refreshing! He also has a lot of easy recipes. Many of which you can make in large batches and freeze/eat on throughout the week.

What the cover of the book doesn't tell you is that Dr. C also recommends light box therapy (which I've found to be very, very helpful when I stick with it) as well as normalizing your sleep cycles. It's not easy, but he points out how important it is to get to bed at a good time and be sure to get 8 hours of sleep.

I also love how he breaks down the different stages of adrenal fatigue and gives specific supplement recommendations for each one. I've felt overwhelmed the different times I've searched for natural remedies for adrenal fatigue. There's so much out there! I read a few cautionary tales about how some supplements will actually cause more problems than they solve . :/ Dr. C points out how, licorice, for example, is great to take in the morning to help bump cortisol up, but would be awful in the afternoon/evening when you want cortisol to decrease.

I'm going to follow his protocol for a few weeks and see what happens. I'm not expecting miracles, but what he says makes sense and nothing in the book contradicts my Dr's advice. Certainly doesn't hurt to try!



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