Adrenal fatigue is an extremely difficult condition for many people to understand and therefore it can be very frustrating to not only live with it but also search for help.
My experience with adrenal fatigue.
Growing up I lived in the sun. Every weekend we had soccer games and any weekends we didn’t, we were sun bathing on top of the roof covered in baby oil.
In 2016, Prior to moving to Oklahoma I developed melasma on my face(Upper lip and cheek bones). I was a live-in nanny and we were at the pool just about every weekend. Although I would religiously apply zinc sunscreen, wore hates and sunglasses, the sun still found its way to my face and the melasma grew darker. It bothered me enough that I saw a doctor who ran lots of blood work to try and figure out the cause. Complete blood count, Comprehensive metabolic profile, pregnant test, urine analysis, FSH, Luteinizing hormone, Estradiol, Prolactin, Testosterone, Total testosterone Female, Cortisol, and Progesterone PT W/O IVF DHEA. Everything came back “normal” and he told me there wasn’t anything to be concerned about, that my face could just be experiencing the negative effects of 22 years in the sun with very minimal applications of sunscreen. He offered me prescription lightening creams and a script to see a dermatologist. However, I knew the issue was deeper than that. I knew the malesma covering my face was the result of some kind of hormone imbalance in my body, So I opted out and continued looking for answers.
In October of 2016 I moved to Oklahoma for graduate school. It was a familiar place as I completed my undergrad at the same school and where I played college soccer. I felt that at that point in my life it was the best thing for me to pursue my Masters and obtain my MBA while I was young, no kids and single at the time. I began working an $8 an hour job at a car dealership full time and taking classes at night. Although I knew this was not the job I would have forever, it still took a toll on me that I was working a 9am-6pm job, taking full time classes at night, trying to get to the gym on a regular basis and have a social life. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this is where the stress began.
Fast forward 8 months, I quit my job, and applied for a part-time internship position on campus at my school. This is when the symptoms started to show up. I had a new boyfriend at the time, so while I was trying to enjoy my time with him, I was struggling with all of these terrible symptoms that I could not find answers to. These symptoms included extreme fatigue, fast heart beat, lethargic, no energy after full nights of sleep and coffee, unfocused, etc. Before scheduling more doctors appointments, I tried to link my Melasma to how I was feeling. I spent countless hours researching what I was experiencing.
After tons of my own personal research I decided that maybe I had some kind of deficiency. I had tried to convince myself that an iron or vitamin deficiency was the cause of my melasma and therefore maybe that’s what was making me feel these fatigue like symptoms. I went in for more blood work. I had a lot of the same blood tests done as before in 2016 prior to moving to Oklahoma. Complete blood count, Comprehensive metabolic profile, pregnant test, urine analysis, FSH, Luteinizing hormone, Estradiol, Prolactin, Testosterone, Total testosterone Female and Progesterone PT W/O IVF DHEA. After the blood work came back “normal” I had further tests done looking at my AM cortisol. (Keep in mind from the research I had done it was important for me to have further thyroid testing done as well as cortisol tests throughout the entire day not just the morning but my healthcare provider assured me that was not necessary and that if something was wrong it would show up in a single test). All tests came back in the “normal” ranges.
Around this time I started on Lutera Birth Control. After a few months it worsened my melasma on my upper lip and cheek bones AND I developed it on my forehead.
At this point I was devastated and felt extremely lost.
No one could give me any answers… I didn’t feel like my healthcare professional cared much because it was out of the normal issues that he treats. It didn’t seem like anyone was trying their hardest to find answers for me. And this was the most stressful/aggravating part.