Constipation: The Health Wrecker

leaky bucketI know.
It’s not that sexy to talk about a person’s lack of digestive ability. Don’t worry.

I’m not going to talk about the mechanics of constipation. Instead, I wanted to talk about where it fits in with adrenal fatigue.

I figure I’ve been creating AF for about 30 years. Between all the pot I smoked, the junk food I was addicted to, and my total inability to handle stress, it’s incredible to me that my body lasted as long as it did.

My body started showing signs of distress in my 30’s. I had chronic yeast infections and allergies. Horribly underweight, a scant 95 pounds, I thought I was lucky because I could eat anything.

That “anything” was mostly sugar and processed foods. It took many years to wean myself off of sugar, but still fatigue, cravings, and constipation ruled my life.

Then I learned about leaky gut. This is what my nutritionist is working on to help me heal now. I truly believe that once I get my gut healed, the rest of my health will dramatically improve.

So what is leaky gut?

If you’re really healthy, think of your digestive system like a late model limo at Monmouth County New Jersey Limo Service.  Those people know how to care for a luxury vehicle! All of them purr like a kitten. (You can see what I mean by visiting their site at

Your digestive system is much the same way–when it’s healthy. You don’t even think about it, do you?

Your small intestine is where your vitamins and minerals from food are broken down and absorbed. Microscopic pores in your small intestine perform the job of transferring those nutrients throughout the body.

Normally, those pores are very picky about what gets into the small intestine. They only let in the good stuff like vitamins and minerals. But with leaky gut, those same pores widen considerably.

When you eat any food, those particles are no longer fenced in by the small intestine. They work their way through the enlarged pores into your bloodstream.

Your immune system doesn’t understand why these particles are there, so they attack them. And that, my friend, is how you get food allergies.

What causes leaky gut?

There are several causes of leaky gut. Tops on the list is chronic constipation. The toxins in your stool will irritate the lining of your small intestine. That’s when those microscopic pores expand, allowing food particles to pass into your bloodstream.

If left untreated, the inflammation can become so severe it causes irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or Crohn’s disease. (You really don’t want that! Crohn’s Disease is nasty!)

Another cause is poor gut bacteria. We all have good and bad bacteria in the gut. That’s normal. But when the bad outweighs the good?

That’s when you get big problems. An overgrowth of bad bacteria will cause inflammation and irritation in the small intestine, which causes the pores to widen.

So what would cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria? A big one is the over use of antibiotics. That was a huge contributing factor for me. I was started on antibiotics at the age of six weeks!

If you combine high stress, a diet heavy in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, fold in a poorly working immune system that is given frequent antibiotics, you’ve got the perfect storm for adrenal fatigue.

Check out this video by Dr. Michael Klaper on the causes of leaky gut. Really good info!

Dr. Klaper does recommend three supplements to heal leaky gut in addition to avoidance of certain foods like wheat and dairy.

However, my nutritionist is not recommending any supplements for me right now. “Your body has been propped up for so long with supplements and drugs, we need to get you off of the supplements and let it rest,” is what she told me.

You may not feel that way. I chose to listen to her because the supplements I took only worked for a short time. She says that’s a symptom of AF.

My Update

Right now, I am still very constipated but my gut is trying to work. I am having some success and feel encouraged. So I’m sticking with the plan!

I find that writing and researching about AF helps me to stay the course for long term recovery. I do hope this information helps you to do the same.

Healing Adrenal Fatigue With Food

Healing Adrenal Fatigue With Food


Armload-of-VeggiesI had always heard that you could heal the body with food. Did I believe it? Maybe for somebody else, but not for me. (Stinking thinking again.)

When I had tackled adrenal fatigue 5 years earlier, I did rest, which helped. And I took the very expensive supplements to help me recover.

And I did for awhile. But then the symptoms returned. When I got off of hormones, I felt so much better. I was sure I had slayed the adrenal beast. But as I outlined in my earlier post, my nutritionist told me that was far from the case.

My biggest problem was my digestive system. It just didn’t function. In fact, it was the chronic constipation that forced to seek out–yet again–someone to help me. After 10 years of trying, I really didn’t have much hope.

Holly’s goal was to get me off of supplements and to heal my body with food. I was in. Nothing else worked, why not?

Her first recommendation was to quit drinking white tea. “But it doesn’t have much caffeine,” I protested. “That’s why I chose it.”

But Holly was firm. No caffeine.

Imagine my surprise, when 24 hours later, I was exhausted. Talk about shock! I stayed tired for about 3 days. Now, I feel “normal.” Like maybe I have a half a tank of gas.

That’s a step up for me.

I have to have a very soft diet. However, Holly wanted me to eat salads. “Consume 50% of your vegetables raw.” Well, that didn’t work out so well.

Prior to eating a salad, my colon began to wake up. I was thrilled! Then I ordered a salmon salad at a restaurant and had a salad at home the next day. My colon shut down.

“Your system is very decompensated,” Holly told me. “No more salads. From now on, juice your vegetables, but start slowly. Only 1/2 cup a day.”

Can You Imagine That?

Salads stop me up. Can you believe it? It seems unreal to me, but that’s the way my life has been life. At least now, I have someone who understands what’s going on with my body. I don’t feel like a weirdo any more.

But here’s what else is interesting. My view of myself is changing. All this time, my body has been trying to tell me what to eat but I ignored it. Why? Because it meant I was weird. And I didn’t want to be weird.

I wanted to eat pizza, chug colas, and eat ice cream at midnight.

Just because the whole world has declared that colas and pizza are normal, doesn’t make it so. And that’s what I’m learning.

Eating very clean and very healthy is also about staking a claim. It says very clearly, “This is who I am and I’m proud of it.”

It takes a lot of courage to stand in your own truth. And I think the first step to healing adrenal fatigue is for me to declare that this is who I am. And right now I am a person who cannot eat salads.

Adrenal fatigue has left me vulnerable, open to the hurts of others because I am so different. And that is also a gift.

In the video below, Brene Brown talks about this from the perspective of courage and vulnerability on Oprah’s show, SuperSoulSunday.

The Source Of Adrenal Fatigue

picture of businesswoman in chair over white

I’m a hard charging woman. I grew up insecure, in a household with a father who was verbally abusive and physically abusive to animals.

We never have a luxury limo life.

My mother suffered from migraines because my dad was so cruel. Hers was a life of quiet, debilitating desperation until she left him some 20 years later.

My heart is all kinds of soft and lumpy with hard knots that beat as criticism of others and myself. I get overwhelmed a lot, and I’m pretty sure no one really has my back. I work a lot and I’m resentful a lot.

I live in a place called, “I don’t know what to do.” It’s a rickety house that shelters cases of fear because my own intellect can’t fathom that I really do know what to do.

For way too many years, I let my life lead me around by the nose, shackled in the weight of my inferiority. It wasn’t safe to be me; it wasn’t safe to not be me.

I was trapped.

My whole family was caught up in doing “the right thing,” living the right way, and not coloring outside of the lines. They were a tight, judgmental bunch, and it was very confusing. I got the idea of love all mixed up.

Fast forward to adulthood…

Everything I did was never good enough. I walked around with a knot in my stomach all the time. The only time I felt any peace was when I was high.

I tried various jobs but never lasted more than three years at any of them. Then I bought a spa. After almost 10 years of non-stop activity and stress, adrenal fatigue finally caught up with me.

The hard charging woman fell…and well, I never recovered. Finally, when the spa was on the verge of bankruptcy, I got a buyer. I was never so glad to leave a place in all my life.

But how did it happen? How could I have gotten myself into such a mess?

I believe the source of my adrenal fatigue started in childhood.

  • No real foundation in self-worth
  • No belief that I am worthy
  • No unconditional love from parents

Put those 3 ingredients in a pot and stir for 25-30 years. Guess what you get?

  • An adult who thinks overwhelm is the way life is supposed to be.
  • An adult who looks to others to fill them up, to validate them.
  • An adult with 5 alarm fear and no understanding of how to deal with it.

When I owned the spa, I lived in fear and overwhelm. Of course, money was always an issue, so my fear rode me hard. I can remember waking up at night in a panic, wondering how I was going to make payroll.

I remember feeling panicky about managing staff. I felt panicky about everything. So much so, I tried to give the control of the spa away to others with disastrous results.

The point is trying to achieve superstardom while roller skating on ice is an excellent way for the body to break down. And mine did.

Thankfully, I was already eating gluten-free and sugar-free. I didn’t drink sodas or fast food. But my thoughts were dirty; so dirty it made me sick.

To begin to recover from adrenal fatigue, I finally got that I had to heal my body and my mind. And that was a tough one for me. Yes, I could do the dietary restrictions, but my thoughts? Woof.