Yoga for Adrenal Fatigue

I have been trying to find a way to work in activity without overdoing it and taxing my adrenals even more than they already are. I know that exercising on a regular basis is essential to my health but I have felt an increase in fatigue over the last several days, especially in the morning, which is when my adrenal levels are tanked so I know I need
to be patient with myself.

I am paying a lot of attention to what I eat and how different foods make me feel. I have definitely noticed I am sensitive to carbs! It’s amazing, I can feel it within a matter of minutes.

Even though I really want to start a fitness routine, I keep reminding myself what others have told me which is to take my time and go slow.

I found this website and I have printed the yoga cards for this gentle yoga routine. I wanted to share in case you are interested.


Outsmart Disease: How Estrogen Dominance Can Ruin Your Thyroid Health

I am going to start posting articles and other information related to my treatment. Here is an article on Estrogen Dominance and Thyroid Health.
Continue reading

2012: Reflections on my journey so far


I’m really tired to day. My head is fuzzy, but I’m going to try to put a couple of sentences together. I think that taking time to reflect on what has happened helps a person move forward in life.  I thought I might take some time to reflect on my health journey and how I discovered I was dealing with thyroid and other reproductive hormone issues.

A few days ago I said goodbye to a pretty wild year.  2012 was exhausting and painful but looking back I also see a great amount of progress and renewed hope.  Last year at this time I was grasping the reality that I was pregnant again and looking forward with joy and expectation. It was a very welcomed surprise and my husband and I were beyond excited to be parents. It didn’t take me long to start planning a nursery. I even started crocheting a little blanket. I knew that it was still so early but I couldn’t help but be caught up in the excitement of a new life joining our family. Fast forward to 4 weeks later and I found myself lying on an exam table while an ultra sound technician searched in quiet desperation for any signs of life in my womb. When she left the room without any explanation my husband and I sat in silence looking at each other. There just wasn’t anything to say out loud. I remember he held my hand and wiped my tears. About 15 minutes later, she put us on the phone with my Doctor who first told us we were expecting twins but that there was no sign of life.  It was a cold and dark January day and I found myself reliving the same nightmare for the third time.

The weeks following my miscarriage I remember praying and pleading that I might find some answers to my most consuming question, “why?”  The next few months I poured myself into researching the terms I’d heard my doctor use: “recurrent miscarriages” and “unexplained miscarriages.” It was all I had to go on and at some point in one of my searches I stumbled on the word “hypothyroidism.”

I read everything I could find about hypothyroidism over the next few months.  I remember pouring over the list of symptoms and feeling like I had discovered a missing piece to the last few years. It was eye opening to me think how far back I could remember experiencing several of the symptoms and yet I would doubt myself that I was making too much of it. 

I was too nervous to talk to a doctor about it.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be believed and honestly, I expected they would just tell me I was depressed and put me on depression and anxiety meds.

In March I made an appointment to see a new chiropractor as I had been experiencing some flare ups of pain in my lower back, and my left ankle I had injured a year earlier while I was trying (key word: TRYING) to get in shape so I could run a half marathon and hopefully lose some weight. About a month into my “training plan” I hurt my ankle after a run and was told I had Achilles Tendonitis. It was really painful but after a lot of physical therapy I did get the green light to start running again. I worked up to 10 miles a week (which wasn’t a lot but it was something). I was always confused by the fact that I never saw a change in the scale even though I was exercising and watching my diet. I started juicing fruits and vegetables that summer too. It was really frustrating because I really found that I enjoyed this sport and it helped ease stress and anxiety and for a little while I would feel an increase in my energy. I gave up trying to run around September of 2011.

Anyway, back to the Chiropractor appointment. I went for my first appointment and filled out a “new patient questionnaire” which asked for health history and current symptoms. I was surprised to find that the questionnaire asked about a lot of other things besides my back.  I decided to check all that applied including feeling depressed and anxious, trouble sleeping and fatigue. I also included in the notes section that I’d had 3 miscarriages. I sat down with my new doctor and he asked me a couple of questions about my back and ankle and had me stand and do a couple of exercises to measure my level of discomfort. 

The next part totally surprised me.  He pulled up a chair and sat directly in front of me.  He asked me to explain my anxiety, fatigue and depression and the miscarriages. So I told him. I told him that for as long as I can remember, I always feel tired.  Not just “I need to get to bed earlier tonight” tired but after at least 8 hours of sleep I wake up to feel knuckle dragging exhaustion by 1:00 in the afternoon.  EVERYDAY.  I told him how I find it really hard to concentrate at work or any task for that matter and that sometimes, more often than I would like to admit, I don’t want to leave my house.  I explained that I wasn’t afraid or paranoid to leave my house; I just couldn’t muster the energy to walk out my door. I told him about the babies and that I had lost them all before 9 weeks and no one could tell me why.

I remember saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” to which he quickly replied “I do.” He said, “Robin, I think you have a thyroid condition. I can tell just by looking at your neck.”

I really don’t want to make this sound all dramatic, but when he told me this I literally burst into tears.  I couldn’t believe what he had just told me. I had been reading everything I could find and yet I struggled to believe it could be happening to me.  He let me sit there and cry and offered me a Kleenex. I said “You must think I’m crazy!  I just met you, but I have been wondering for some time if this was happening to me.  It means a lot that you just said that.”  He encouraged me to find a doctor that would prescribe desiccated thyroid, like Armour.

A month later, I met Joanie.  It’s been quite a journey that continues to bring surprises but today I increased my dose to 90 mg of Armour Thryoid.  I am hopeful that I will continue to feel better and that my other hormone and digestions issues will improve also.

On another note, I had my annual eye appointment a few weeks ago (just before Christmas) and would you believe that my vision has actually improved in my left eye from my appointment last year?  It’s a slight change, but I was very surprised to hear this considering how much work I do on the computer.  She adjusted my prescription and I just received my new contacts.  I don’t know if this could be related to being treated for hypo, but who knows!

It is amazing how everything is connected.

Looking back, I feel like I am very far away from a year ago.  I feel that my prayers were answered, which is a great blessing.  I still have no idea what may or may not happen in the future, but I know that I am making good strides in my health.

That is all I can ask for now.

Good Things

I have waited to write any updates until I believed that the changes I felt were real and a sign that I am making progress.  I think I’m ready to fill you in and will have a post up very soon. 

Until then I have updated my treatment page from my appointment this morning with Joanie. 

It’s good, my friends.

Focus On The Good.

An update:

I am in the midst of some big changes since my appointment with Joanie almost 3 weeks ago but before I begin I have to say this continues to be such an unpredictable journey. I really have no idea where I am going! As confusing it has been for me to understand what is going on with my health, I imagine it is as confusing to anyone who reads this.  

After 6 months of hearing that “thyroid issues are not presenting in you,” despite ongoing symptoms and after supporting my adrenals with hydrocortisone, Joanie decided at my last appointment that it was time to start me on Armour Thyroid. In fact, the conversation went something like this:

Joanie: Robin, how would you feel about us trying Armour? You haven’t responded the way I thought you would on hydrocortisone alone.  I think it’s time we try dessicated thyroid.

Me: (Forcing myself to not jump out of my chair and start hugging her) Well…yes, (very calmly) I would be very open to that. 

I am stunned, frustrated that it has taken this long, but very happy that she is willing to explore thyroid treatment for me. 

Before I explain the details I want to review my experience with Hydrocortisone. When I got the saliva test results back and learned I was in Maladapted Phase II of Adrenal Fatigue I started on hydrocortisone in early August. At first, I really started to feel some relief of some of my most troubling symptoms: anxiety and fatigue/lethargy. I finally realized how vital my diet is to my health when I learned I am actually gluten intolerant and adopted a strict gluten and dairy free diet as well as no sugar, no coffee and no simple carbs to help heal my leaky gut issues which I believe are improving. At the end of August, she increased my hydrocortisone from 7.5 mg daily to 12.5 mg. I was hopeful that this would help me feel even better as she said it was pretty clear I was dealing with adrenal issues. Instead, it had the opposite effect. I started to feel a real increase in anxiety and depression. I gained 5 pounds in a month (NOT awesome). I was weepy, avoidant and overwhelmed constantly. For a few weeks I doubted my ability to continue to work. I was a mess and my fatigue only made matters worse. My posts during the month of September are very telling of this. I was withdrawn, which is my “normal” way of coping when I feel overwhelmed.

I shared all of this at my last appointment, and Joanie immediately backed me off the hydrocortisone to only 5 mg a day (2.5 am, 2.5 noon). Once I reached 5 mg I started on 30 mg Armour Thyroid for 2 weeks, then to 60 mg daily. I just started 60 mg yesterday. As I was stepping down the dose of hydrocortisone my anxiety and especially depression started to ease off and become more manageable.

About a week after I started on the 30 mg of Armour, I noticed a change in the way I felt during some of the most unexpected times. Like at 4:30 am when I wake up for no reason and can’t fall back to sleep because I am anxious about the fact that I’m not asleep or my mind is racing thinking about all of the things I need to do that day and to not forget this or that.  Instead, on most occasions, I’ve been able to relax my mind and drift back to sleep until it is time for me to wake up. This morning, I didn’t wake up at all before my alarm. Or when I get home from work and I am tired and hungry, but the first thing I need to do is start dinner and take care of my 3 dogs that are also very hungry and have missed me all day. For the last week, I’ve been able to do this most days without breaking down into tears because all I really wanted to do was crawl into bed and pull the covers over me and sleep until morning. Instead, I have realized that I have had energy to spend time playing fetch with my dogs, make dinner and still have a little energy to take a relaxing bath, or to spend time reading, or sewing. On Saturday, I went to the grocery store to shop for this week. Usually, this trip exhausts me and puts me in a very foul mood for the rest of the day. I dread it. I loathe it. I have grocery aisle rage—no one is safe. It wasn’t until I was unloading the bags from my car to take into the house that I realized I was thinking about what I wanted to do after I had unloaded the groceries. Usually I’m lucky if I get everything unpacked before I am lying on the couch.

TMI Warning:

One thing I am concerned about is my menstrual cycle. I seem to be going in the opposite direction. Most recently I went from a 23 day cycle to 21 days.  I’ve been taking progesterone since April, only 2 months have I lengthened my cycle to 24 days.  21 days seems really short to me.  I see Joanie again next week, I will definitely talk to her about this.

That’s my update for now. I will be curious to see how I feel over the next week. I am cautiously optimistic.

I also wanted to share a blog I found recently, Hypothyroid Mom. Dana brings a well informed voice to the tragedy of miscarriage and hypothyroidism as she lost a child after being diagnosed as hypothyroid. I am SO GLAD that she has started this blog and I am reading her posts with a fine tooth comb. It’s really nice to know there is someone out there who can relate to my nightmare. I would encourage you to read her blog, too.

Quiet times

“Silence requires the discipline to recognize the urge to get up and go again as a temptation to look elsewhere for what is close at hand. It offers the freedom to stroll in your own inner yard, and to rake up the leaves there and clear the paths so you can easily find the way to your heart. Perhaps there will be much fear and uncertainty when you first come upon the “unfamiliar terrain”, but slowly and surely you will discover an order and familiarity which deepens your longing to stay home…whenever you come upon this silence, it seems as though you have received a gift, one which is “promising” in the true sense of the word. It promises new life. It is the silence of peace and prayer, because it brings you back to the One who is leading you.”   – Henri Nouwen

“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.” -Eurpides

I haven’t had much to say the last several weeks.

I think that this is a good thing.

I have been trying to put into practice simplifying and quieting my life. My inner life is noisy and as I focus on my physical health I am more and more aware how much that relies on my emotional well-being.

I have “unplugged” from unnecessary distractions indefinitely and so far it has been surprisingly refreshing. I plan to do more “unplugging” soon. I’ve had a pretty productive month, too, if I do say so. I have had energy to revisit some parts of my life that I have neglected for a long time. It has been a good experience so far.

At some point, I will want to engage with people I am not instantly connected to anymore thru the handy-dandy interwebs, and I will. Maybe the old-fashioned pen and paper way, or *gasp* call them up and meet for a cup of tea. Just not yet. I am enjoying my self-proclaimed solitude and I don’t feel like I need to explain myself to anyone.  

Oh, there’s one more thing. I quit coffee.

For realsies.

This was a big deal, but I knew that I had to do it.  Caffeine is a major adrenal drainer and, well, I have basically survived on it for years now. I took a few days to withdraw, switched to green tea for a couple of days, but I have been “off the juice” for about 3 weeks now. 

Is it awesome? NO.

Do I crave it every day?  YES! SI! OUI! JA! HAI! DA!

Are we clear?

Next week I have my first appointment with Joanie since August.  I have several things I want to discuss with her and I will cover them here after my appointment.

In “real life” I work as an Advocate for severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who were medically retired as a result of their service connected injuries and conditions. I wear a lot of hats in this job, but one of my primary duties is to make sure that the medical needs of the Veterans I work for are being addressed and they are receiving the care they need. I will do what it takes to make sure the voice of the Veteran, their spouse or caregiver, is heard by medical professionals responsible for their care. Even if this means sitting in a medical appointment to ensure the Veteran has a chance to give feedback and ask the questions they want answers for.

I am often amazed at how annoyed and short the Doctors are with their patients when they try to share how medications they are on have increased symptoms, not helped, etc. For those who struggle with memory loss related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) they often take a little longer to formulate their questions and this seems to frustrate some Doctors which increases the anxiety of the patient. If I am in the appointment I can help the Veteran remember the questions they have so they are not rushed out the door. I am professional and respectful in my work, but there are a few Doctors who avoid eye contact with me in the halls following these encounters. I choose to take this as a sign I’m doing my job for the Veteran. 🙂 This isn’t my experience with all the Doctors I work with, there are many who are very dedicated to their profession and to the population they serve. 

All this to say, it is no surprise to me that many thyroid patients report struggling to find Doctors who will listen to their health history and symptoms and are willing to examine the link between many common symptoms (like depression, anxiety, unexplained weight gain, fatigue) and thyroid and autoimmune disorders. 

Recently, I was invited by to join a community of bloggers who are sharing their health journey. I made contact with the founders to make sure they understood that at this time, thyroid issues had been ruled out in my case, but they still wished to include this blog on their “Member” page. 

You can read more about the mission of ThyoidChange and different thyroid patients experience here:

I am also including information from the ThyroidChange website:

ThyroidChange, a web-based initiative, unifies the international thyroid community (patients, organizations, groups, blogs, websites and physicians) and mainstreams the voice of thyroid patients who are left symptomatic and not being assessed or treated with current options.  Our global network will empower the individual patient with access to credible, current knowledge. Our success will increase thyroid disease awareness and future research.

ThyroidChange supports existing and future thyroid advocacy efforts with the strength of a united global thyroid community. By informing members of current initiatives within our community, it stimulates mutual collaboration for our shared common goal for change. Individual patients will find support and opportunities to self-advocate.

ThyroidChange facilitates the achievement of our goal: increased thyroid patient access to current assessment and treatment options and therefore, optimal thyroid health. Thyroid dysfunction affects 1 in 4 individuals, and can begin at any time. Our advocacy will encompass hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroid conditions, thyroid cancer and other thyroid issues of concern to our community.

I am honored to be included among the list of other Members. My motivation for changing the focus of this blog was to put my experience out there in case someone found similarities to their own health issues and it helped them find the treatment they need. I hope that this platform will get my story out to more people who can benefit from it.

You can find my blog, bluebirdthriving, on the Members page at While you are there, please read and consider signing the petition.