Could Salt Cravings be an Indicator of Stress?

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Remember all the talk about how salt is so bad for our health? And the low-sodium, flavor-less diets that ensued?  For years I ate bland, tasteless meals thinking I was doing the healthy thing.

But get this: For people with Adrenal Fatigue salt is actually good for us! According to EIR, Sodium is an essential nutrient for fluid balance which in turn affects Cortisol and Aldosterone. Low sodium contributes to a range of related Adrenal Fatigue conditions including low-pressure and fatigue (which I totally have).

According to James L. Wilson, Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, some people are able to assess their adrenal function simply by their desire for salt, as in salt cravings. See, our bodies are pretty smart.

Boosting Energy

Wilson suggests to boost energy in the morning and before the mid-afternoon crash, drink salted water (1/8 – 1/4 tsp., more or less to taste).

If the salted water tastes bad, or makes you nauseated its a good indicator you don’t need it or need less salt. But if the salted water tastes good that’s how you know you need the salt.

Salt Quality

The quality and taste of the salt is a really important detail  Table salt is wretched stuff, even Kosher Salt tastes a little yucky to me now.  Instead, I use the brands Real Sea Salt and Celtic Sea Salt which can be purchased online, at Whole Foods, or many health food stores.

These brands cost more than table salt so be prepared for sticker shock. But the best way to understand the difference is doing a taste-test against regular old table salt (the caveat: be forewarned, you will never go back to Morton’s). For the taste and nutritional value, I think good salt is worth the expense.

So next time you have a craving for salt, grab that shaker with confidence! Your body could be telling you something.

Miss LizzyCould Salt Cravings be an Indicator of Stress?

The Skinny Girls at the Gym…

Or, why exercise is hard with Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Fatique

My entire life exercise was nearly impossible. In high school, I joined the track team but realized running was way too exhausting, so I did the shot-put instead (three steps, toss, and you’re done).  I desperately wanted to do sports but I couldn’t keep up with the others girls. No, no, this isn’t a sob story about me.  Like me, I think there are just lots of girls out there who have hypothyroidism & adrenal fatique and want to know how the skinny girls do it?

When I say “any kind of exercise completely wore me out” I really mean that. And not the usual “I’m tired, but I feel good” kind of workout. This was an “I’m tired, I feel like hell” kind of feeling.  For me this meant:

  • My muscles would be sore for 4-5 days (not the normal 1-2).
  • I would feel nausea, even flu-like aches and pains.
  • My face would turn bright red during exercise.
  • Exercising two days in a row was impossible.
  • And oftentimes I would get so hypoglycemicfrom exercise that I would crash for hours afterward.
  • To make matters worse, I would never lose weight from exercise!

Around the time I started treatment for Hypothyroidism, I also started an amazing, really athletic yoga class. But it was so frustrating watching the 50-year-old ladies hold a downward dog longer than me. My arms literally couldn’t support me (from what I hear arm strength and endurance are common Hypothyroid problems).

As the Thyroid medicine started working, I noticed I was able to do more in yoga class.  Everything started to improve; my strength, endurance, recovery time. So that’s how the skinny girls at the gym did it! They didn’t have Thyroid problems.

But there’s more… two years into Hypothyroid treatment, I found out about Adrenal Fatique (a condition linked with Hypothyroidism, which also shares many common symptoms).  When I started treatment for Adrenal Fatique something incredible happened for the first time in my life.  I wanted to run. Literally, I wanted to strap on my sneakers and just run. So I did. And guess what? I ran and I didn’t want to stop. And I didn’t get sick. My muscle recovery was less than a day. Can you say shocking? Omg, yes, it was for me too!

These days in yoga I am one of the strongest in the class.  I know, I know, yoga is not about being competitive (Ohm…) I only share this detail as a point of reference for before and after.  It’s amazing to go from unable to lift a finger, to doing handstands, running 3 miles and feeling great.  Now I can exercise every day, sometimes for hours, with little or no recovery problems.

All those years I thought I was just lazy (insert sigh). But, hey, I am glad I know, which is why I share my story with you. To all the girls out there who are exercising, not losing weight, feeling physically terrible and frustrated like me, now you know my secret (or at least one possible explanation for how the skinny girls do it).

XXOO

~Lizzy

 

Please note: not all overweight people are Hypothyroid. I have to follow a very specific eating plan, the HypoT Girl’s Diet, which I created just for me. But if Hypothryoidism is an issue, like it was for me, losing weight was almost impossible without treatment.

 

Miss LizzyThe Skinny Girls at the Gym…

My Treatment for Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue

Hypothyroidism is closely tied to Adrenal Fatique, and the symptoms overlap, so I found I needed to treat both conditions to reach an optimal health level. My one regret is that it took me 2 years to get there, so I really wish I had been more proactive.

From what I read on Stop the Thyroid Madness, its best to treat Adrenals first to strengthen the body so it can handle the Thyroid medication.  Here is a summary for treating Hypothyroidism and Adrenals, but please research and talk with your doctor about what might work for you.

 

Thyroid Treatment

According to Stop the Thyroid Madness the commonly prescribed “T4-only” Synthetic Thyroid Medicines Don’t Work. And further explain why many patients, like myself, have returned to the medication that successfully used from the late 1800’s onward: natural desiccated thyroid hormones, more commonly known as Naturethroid, Erfa’s Canadian “thyroid”.

I use Naturethroid because of the good feedback from other patients. It took time and experimentation to find the right Thyroid medicine dose for me (I hear this is common) but I started slow.  Here is what I do:

• 2.5 pills of Naturethroid a day

• One pill in the morning, another at mid-day, and a half pill before dinner.

• This part is critical: I let the pill dissolve under my tongue because it gets into blood stream faster. (Swallowing the pill means I have to avoid eating eating for hours, which is just a pain in the neck.)

 

Adrenal Fatigue

My adrenal fatigue symptoms included:

• Difficulty falling asleep at night

• Waking frequently during the night

• Difficulty waking in the morning, not feeling refreshed

• Bright lights bothered me more than others

• Startled easily due to noise

• Dizzy/lightheaded when standing from sitting or from lying down

• Took things things too seriously, stressed, anxious

• Difficulty copying with certain people or events

• Stress related nausea, panic attacks and shaking

• Extreme Fatique

• Taking days to recover from even minor stress

 

This was all due to low cortisol, which I have treated through Hydrocortisone/Cortef (a low dose steroid).  I take 25 mg/day, and stress dose as needed. if you would like more resources please email me, or visit Stop the Thyroid Madness to read about:

Symptoms of Low Cortisol

Testing for Low Cortisol 

Dana’s Story

Finding a Good Doctor

Read my full story about Hypothyroidism

 

Miss LizzyMy Treatment for Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue