A is for Adrenal Fatigue


The results are in from my lab test and as no surprise my suspicions have been confirmed. I am in stage two of adrenal fatigue. What does that mean exactly? It means that due to stresses I have experienced over time, my body has a hormonal imbalance, and the main adrenal hormone is not functioning the way it should.

You see, during the day our body releases cortisol to help regulate our blood sugar levels. When we experience stress, cortisol, aka the “fight or flight” hormone, is released. Over time, if stress consumes our life, the pump doesn’t know to shut off, and cortisol levels become depleted. That creates an imbalance and starts reeking havoc on our other hormones.

So in my case, after getting 8 hours of sleep, I awoke sluggish and unrested, when my cortisol levels should be the highest. By afternoon, I would crash and could barely keep my eyes open. Then at night the opposite would happen. Even though I was tired, I was unable to get to sleep (tired and wired) and often had bouts of insomnia. The next morning the cycle would begin all over again.

This effected me in other ways too. Because my hormones were imbalance and depleted, the bodies reaction would be to slow down the metabolism. So even if I ate a healthy diet and exercised, my body would store fat as a protective measure, often in the form of belly fat. It would also make me crave sweets and carbs in an attempt to regulate my sugar levels.

So what do I do to fix this? Well, the good news is there is a solution and you can reverse this for good. First, my doctor put me on natural hormone supplements to basically teach my brain to stop putting out cortisol so it can get back into balance again. I will be taking this for a few months or so give my body a chance to heal and balance it self again. I can honestly say that after two weeks of supplement taking I have gotten more energy and I am sleeping better. I go the whole day without feeling exhausted and I don’t crave or desire stimulant or sugar for a standby “pick me up.”

Hormonal imbalance affect more moms out there than is diagnosed. If you or someone you know is or has suffered from stress and has these main symptoms, it is worth it for you look into getting an adrenal stress test.

got braces? Tips & Tools

Just returned from my last orthodontic appointment and big news to report—I got my finishing wires on! What that means is my teeth have moved in proper alignment (and in record time) that I am almost ready for jaw surgery. I was very fortunate I didn’t have major adjustments that would mean more time in pre-surgery orthodontia and that the care I taken with my teeth paid off in saving me months of brace life.

Here are some of the best tools I use for my orthodontia care:


Oral B Vitality Pro Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

This was the toothbrush given to me by my orthodontist—braces are expensive for adults when insurance doesn’t cover anything, so I’ll take a free toothbrush. Even if I needed to buy one, Oral B is the to go brand of choice. This one has a round rotating brush head which is best at getting to the back teeth and focusing on one tooth at a time for maximum cleaning. The replacement heads I change once a month and there are generic versions that will work just fine and at a fraction of cost.


Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser

I don’t know what I did before my Waterpik! This thing is amazing. Before it would take me 45 minutes or more to floss in between each tooth and bracket, and I still felt like I had food stuck between my teeth. I use this at least twice a day. It comes with multiple attachments and is compact enough to take on trips.


Gumm Soft Piks

Another favorite new product I wish I knew about sooner. These soft flexible tips glide between teeth to help remove particles and debris and the stimulation massages the gums which helps in teeth movement. I stash them everywhere, in my purse—my car to use after a meal and I use them to check my teeth after water flossing.


Colgate Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse

I use this as needed, mostly to protect from infection after new brackets are placed on or if wires poke in back cause irritation.


Orajel Mouth Sore Pain Gel

Another as needed product, I use this for painful canker sores and cuts, especially inside my lips. Use a cotton swab to help control where you apply it. I made the mistake of touching my tongue and the taste and numbing sensation took a while to wear off.

These are products that made adjusting to brace life easier and you may find ones that work for you. The important thing to remember is to keep your mouth, gums and teeth as clean as possible, not only for good oral health, but it really can shave weeks to months off the amount of time you have your braces on.

In a future post I will share some food stories and tips for eating with braces.

I’d love to hear your experience with braces or questions you may have if you are anticipating getting them.

Drop me a line or two in the comments or email taraocity@gmail.com.



The Function of Medicine

source image: Alice in Wonderland, Disney, 1951

This week I took a big step forward in taking back my body and my health. For years I have felt like Alice in Wonderland, wandering aimlessly through the medical system, being pushed into the “Eat this, Drink this,” world of prescription drugs and unnecessary lab test—never getting to the reason why I, like many women feel:

Tired, Depressed and Overweight for no good reason!

Just because I am a mother and I suffered a major loss in my life recently, doesn’t mean I should disregard what my body is trying to tell me. Even when I am very mindful of my nutrition, I still feel bloated. My stomach talks to me all the time, letting me know it is NOT HAPPY! Even when I consistently get 8 hours of sleep, I often need to rest after doing light housework. And just doing exercise and cutting from my diet may superficially fix the problem, but if there is a serious issue at its source is ignored, what will be the ultimate cost? All these symptoms have the likelihood of building into life threatening ones.

So what did I do?

I started working with a Functional Medicine practitioner, Dr. Chambers, to get to the source of my issues. First, I took an Adrenal Stress Test, testing my saliva, for any abnormalities. From that test, we can determine any depletion in hormones, namely cortisol, that are vital to my overall balance. When there is a depletion in cortisol levels in your body, it is unable to work with insulin to keep your blood sugar level stable. If cortisol is out of balance your body will store body fat rather than burn it. This can cause damage your metabolism. So even it you are making healthy lifestyle choices, you could be fighting an uphill battle.

Adrenal stress can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Depression, i.e. mood swings
  • Female Hormonal Imbalance, i.e. low libido, night sweats, insomia
  • Gastrointestinal problems, i.e. bloating, heartburn, ulcers

I await my test results which should be any day now. If the results come back that I am not in adrenal burnout, then we next take a closer look at my stomach to determine if my problem lies there. Either way, I am thankful to be on the path to truth.