I started out HCRV in April. Everything was going great. I lost a few pounds and could really pack in the calories with the scale not budging. I remember very early on literally just jumping up and down in my kitchen bursting with energy. I went to a company softball team practice and remember jumping up and down in the outfield just waiting for a ball to come my way. A few months passed I and I grew more and more tired. I took this as being "undercarbed" and seriously upped the bananas and dates. I was eating more than I ever had before, cramming greens in at every second, drinking water all day even when I wasn't thirsty (truth be told I'm rarely thirsty at all). I started to gain weight as well. I do have a history (a LONG time ago) of being anorexic, and so I just figured that I haven't eaten this calories in a while, probably ever, so it was one of those I'll-adapt situations. Then, the overwhelming fatigue started to set in. It started out with just skipping a bike ride here and there and just occasionally going to the gym. Eventually, if I tried to exert myself, I'd feel like I wanted to throw up and the periphery of my vision would start to go black if I didn't lie down. Some days I would have plans and just have to bail because I would be incapacitated, lying in my bed all day, no motivation or energy to move. (But I just had a 10-banana green smoothie!) My morning anxiety returned, reminiscent of my panic attack days in college (also when I was anorexic and essentially just drinking coffee). Just about a week or two ago, I realized enough is enough. I'm near my highest weight ever. I'm struggling to get through my days as a physical therapist when some days I would be performing an evaluation and it would seem like an out of body experience. The lights were really bright, I didn't know what words were coming out of my mouth, I'd be nervous, and I just wanted to lie down.
It finally hit me in the head. This is what I had before, this is adrenal fatigue, this is what brought me to the hospital in my past. What the heck was doing it to me this time? I googled the topic to death. I read books, articles, testimonials. Apparently my exorbitantly high potassium, low sodium, and high water intake was killing my already weak adrenals. Honestly I thought that even though I continued to drink coffee prior to HCRV, that it wasn't as much as in the past and I was significantly less stressed by my everyday life that they were healing alright. It turns out that cramming bananas and dates in large quantities into your system for weeks and months can revert those tiny adrenals into a state of stress.
Since then, I've pretty much given up fruit. GASP. I've started sea-salting my food consisting of oatmeal, rice, beans, and corn (and greens/veggies) and I haven't had that horrible wave of fatigue since. I still feel low energy and have poor motivation, but I have a clarity that I didn't have when I was bogged down by potassium. I feel like an idiot, but I also feel like this community doesn't adequately warn against things like the possibility of adrenal fatigue. All I know is, it's a real thing that unfortunately is not well-recognized by our medical (or banana-eating) community.
My plan is to continue with grains, stop the nightshades which were giving me pain, continue with sea salt, drink water as I'm thirsty, and try to figure out the calorie situation. Part of my reasoning with posting this was to bring attention to this problem so other people might be able to recognize the symptoms in themselves. I tried very hard to find a story like mine to get some answers, but couldn't. I also want to just ask about calories. If someone is eating essentially McDougall-style, or HCCV, are calorie requirements the same? I'd imagine that I'm getting roughly 2000 calories this way (sometimes more, sometimes less) and though I don't have crippling fatigue and weird light sensitivity and stuff, I do feel like I could have more energy. I just want to know if the same rules apply.
Anyway, thank you for reading. I have to anticipate some 30bad doubters (I need to see cronometer! You were undercarbing! Start running! 1# of greens?!?) but please believe me that I was and still am seriously struggling even just making it through the day doing HCRV "right." Feedback is appreciated especially if you have made it through adrenal issues!
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"I always ended up undercarbed because in a busy day when I have to type paperwork through lunch there was no way I could spend all the time required to eat as much as I needed. "
One of the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) things about our species-specific diet is that there is no longer a such thing as a 10-minute meal. Some people find it very challenging to change certain things about their life, such as their job (they may love it even though they are overworked), and it becomes practically impossible to follow HCRV. The way I see things, and the way you've explained it, I can only assume your chronic fatigue would begin to heal if you completely avoided dense fruits and dark greens, and reasted - worked less, etc. I know this because other people have healed from chronic fatigue and many related illnesses using all facets of HCRV. I can also assume that with a busy job you may not have been able to exercise very much or get sunlight each day. (Forgive me if my assumptions are wrong, they are assumptions after all.)
" I have to believe that you'd start trying something different."
You can bet your britches I'd try something different! But I wouldn't eat lower quality food and compromise my nutrition. I'd get longer lunch breaks and reduce my hours, even if it meant I had to find a new job. My health > any transient happiness I get from a job that I love, no matter how hard that comparison is. You can't work a job you love if you're dead or in a hospital hooked up to an IV drip. Healing from serious illness takes sacrifice. If you are not willing to make those sacrifices now, you will have to make harder ones in the future. Cooked food make grant you temporary reprieve but it will not last.
Please not that I am not telling you that you should quit your job. I am not telling you to do anything, actually. But I am trying to show you a different way of looking at a situation. Without your health, you would be dead. Of course, you need a job to afford food and shelter and other things. The problem is, you have this problem, and you say "You'd try something different in my situation too!" But you're not changing the right things. You're only looking at changing one thing: Diet. And you're changing it for the worse, although it may grant you some relief in the short-term. Nobody wants to hear that they have to change other things, especially things that they love. That is why I am not telling you to change them. I am pointing out that if you're only willing to change one thing, you are just postponing the other things you need to do to allow the healing process to start.
My health > any transient happiness
Have you had a recent diagnosis of adrenal fatigue or are you just speculating?
There are many conditions which manifest with similar symptoms.
What kind of greens were you eating? Here we focus on lettuce greens, and discourage people from eating the cruciferous veggies like kale and spinach. The reason is that these veggies are high in oxalate of which kidney problems are a first manifestation of disease.
Side Effects of Consumption
Eating foods high in oxalate may cause the following symptoms: breathing difficulty, burning in the mouth, burning in the throat, coma, diarrhea, eye pain, kidney stones, nausea, red-colored urine, seizures, stomach pain, vomiting, and weakness, esophagitis, slurred or unintelligible speech, laryngeal edema, pain and edema in the tongue.
Oxalic acid poisoning may involve the following symptoms: abdominal pain, burns and blisters if acid contact is made, collapse, convulsions, kidney problems, low blood pressure, mouth pain, shock, throat pain, tremors, vomiting, and weak pulse.
If extremely high doses of oxalate are consumed, death can result.
Read more here: Oxalate Impact on Health
Edit here, this is a list of good and bad fruits and greens
I'm sorry that you're feeling so ill Lori. I have almost completely cured my Adrenal Fatigue on this diet. I was taking an herbal supplement to help my adrenals for a while, and I no longer use it because the fruit alone was enough to cure my adrenal fatigue within a 4 month time span. The bulk of my diet consists of bananas and dates as well. So I am living proof that it's possible to fix your adrenals on this lifestyle! :) Now I am as healthy as can be! I obviously don't know your body, or your experiences, however you might want to take the suggestions of these fruity veterans. Maybe there is another cause that's the source of your symptoms? Have you actually been diagnosed again with adrenal fatigue? We all only want to see you succeed and thrive on this lifestyle! :)
Are you eating enough greens such as 1/2-2 pounds a day?
Read more about greens and keeping the diet alkalized by keeping calcium to phosphorus ratios balanced here:
And, avoid high oxalate containing foods such as kale, spinach, tubers such as potatoes, most nuts and seeds, most beans, and grains and bread.
Hi PK! Yes, I am eating about 1/2 lb-1lb of tender greens per day. I'm sorry, I should've included that in my original post. I meant the majority of my fruit calories come from bananas and dates. :) Thank you for the links! They are incredibly helpful! :)
Live In Joy,
Kiwi Lynn, I would love to hear a general picture of how you have almost cured your adrenal fatigue! I am looking to do the same.
Thanks For your post Lori.
This is a subject that needs to be addressed and looked into and yes potential warnings posted for people with server adrenal fatigue. I can relate to many of the issues you have mentioned and more. I have been eating HCLF for coming on 2 years now and I am still suffering debilitating adrenal fatigue issues. And as with you, the higher the potassium content, IE dates and bananas the more sever the symptoms.In fact over the last 2 years my health has declined not improved by eating fruit.I am now at the point where even one bite of fruit every hour sends me off the deep end, and before anyone chimes in with the usual "your doing it wrong" response please read my previous posts. Now there may not be many of them,but the reason why is most days im struggling just to make it through the day, let alone taking on the seemly massive task of typing a post.
I find the only thing I can come close to tolerating is rice mixed with cooked veg, and even this is now causing me probs.
For the people who will ask, yes I have been diagnosed with adrenal dysfunction, both my cortisol and adolsterone ( controls potassium/sodium ratios) are low, and have got progressively worse over the years,with my aldoterone now very low. If I eat fruit my blood pressure drops dramatically to the point of "lie down or fall down" and liker Lori, the fatigue is very intense. Along with all the resulting hyperglycemia symptoms. Once again I agree with Lori, the medical community has very little understanding on this issue and how to address it.
Now Im not complaing, I just want people to be aware that this way of eating is not a cure all, as much as I would like it to be.And I also dont want anyone else to go through what I have been. I am now considering going to a herbalist/naturopath and taking herbs/glandular. And before one critiques me, try walking in my shoes for even just one day, let alone years. I am deeply opposed to the glandular and somewhat to herbs, but I have put in a massive effort to make this work, and plain and simply its not working and is becoming to much to bear.
So unfortunately Lori I have not made it through adrenal fatigue on this diet, although I know some/many have, I can only assume in comparison they had mild adrenal fatigue. How ever I would love to hear otherwise.
Thanks for your post Lori. It is needed. And I hope you find your healing path and get back you health back.
For the benefit of this thread and to help us envision your situation can you give a brief summary of your lifestyle (all major aspects: daily food and h20 intake, sleep patterns, stress levels, sun, exercise, rest, etc.)?
I feel the exact same way.
ive been 80 10 10 for 3 years
Welcome to 30BaD BB. This reply is an interesting (seeming) contradiction with your first profile answer. Over there you say "I am raw vegan with my mom :) I absolutely love it!!" And now you say you're suffering with symptoms akin to adrenal fatigue. Seems odd that one would absolutely love a diet in which they feel so continuously fatigued.
Can you clarify for us your situation, complete with daily intake (detailed list of what you eat each day)? How much do you sleep each night and do you sleep soundly? How much water do you drink (is your pee always clear)? How much sun, etc., etc.?
Remember, 80/10/10 has many aspects, so to be living 80/10/10 for 3 years would mean you've been covering all these bases:
Everyone else on this discussion who's experiencing similar symptoms should have a very close look at this list and check off how many you are doing adequately.
Same thing happened to me; however, since I stubbornly continued for 9 months there was a lot more damage: weight loss (145lbs at 6'3"), hair loss, chills, 120 bpm heart rate at rest, inflammation of many organs (colon, stomach, appendix), hyperthyroidism, fatigue like crazy, digestive issues and many other ones. Like you I stopped and turned to a McDougall diet and I was running miles again in about a month. Since the digestive issues and chronic acid reflux were still there ( the two reasons that I was looking into changing my diet in the first place) I decided to do a water-only fast for 30 days. Although I should have went longer, most of the major issues were resolved. Do you feel hunger? If you don't I would suggest that you look into fasting. Prior to fasting, it had been nearly a year since I experienced hunger. I still do not experience it fully but I am doing much better now. "Fasting Can Save Your Life" by Herbert Shelton is a good book to read about the experience.
Edit: By the way, I did not have adrenal fatigue as my cortisol levels were fine. Other than my TCH (or whatever the thyroid panel is), iodine and testosterone levels, all my blood tests were in the "normal" ranges.