Adrenal Fatigue: Something was very wrong.

When we started AC chelation our dose was a bit too high.  Remnants of our old DAN!s protocol still lingered in my mind. I mean 1/2 mg per pound for three days is pretty close to 10 mg per pound every third day.  So we started at just under 25 mg per dose of ALA and DMSA together.

The changes we were seeing were amazing.  In only three rounds he had increased conversational language, he was more social, more tuned in.  He was listening.

This child who wouldn’t respond until you had called his name 15 times…. this child who was content just to stimm all day on the computer (unless he was running off or tantrumming of course)…. this child who scripted all day and all night without meaning to his words… this child was in the living room minding his own business and his mother and father were talking among themselves at the kitchen table.

We were having a normal conversation in average tones, and we were talking about him.  I do not recall which of us used his name, but he heard it and from the other room he yelled, “Coming!”  Only to appear in the doorway a moment later and say, “you called me?”

It was incredible.  We were doing something soooo right.  Amazing.

On the other hand, something we were doing was sooo wrong….

He was whiny, clingy (this from a child who never wanted to be held), sad…..  He cried so easily, and the mood swings were drastic.  On minute he was fine and the next was a complete meltdown over some tiny thing like dropping his toy.

We also had a return of a very old behavior.  When he was younger he used to crawl along the floor with his head on the carpet sliding it along the ground.  It was a very odd behavior that we were happy to see go away and very unhappy to see return.  He was also turning upside down a lot.  He did hand stands on the wall, on the couch, in the chair.  This wasn’t completely abnormal for him as it was part of his trouble with vestibular sensory processing issues, but it had increased substantially.

I was on a mission to figure out how to keep our wonderful gains, but get rid of these awful side effects.

It was suggested that some of the behaviors we were seeing were headaches do to dosing to high.  We lowered the dose down to 1/4 mg per pound and the crawling along on his head and increased headstands stopped.  Yeah!  one piece solved.

A parent in one of the groups I was part of mentioned Adrenal fatigue, so it was back to the books.

That is when we discovered ACE.

Adrenal cortex was our happy pill.

I began by giving ACE in the morning, starting slowly and increasing by 1/2 cap at a time.  We decided to follow Andy’s timing recommendations for Hydrocortisone.  (between 7-8 in the am, around noon, and between 5-6 in the pm).  This worked like a dream.

All his increased whiny, fearful meltdown behavior stopped (we still had meltdowns, but they were back to the regular kind we had grown accustomed to).

The something very wrong was solved.  Of course he had adrenal fatigue even before we were chelating we just didn’t know it.  So we got bonus result from this wonderful little supplement.

My son never slept.  We struggled with it for years.  It didn’t matter what time I laid him down, he was up until at least midnight, sometimes 1 am.  Then he would wake up again at 3am or 4am.  He would be wide awake, ready for the day, full of vim and vinegar.  uggg.

Of course he was down for a nap around 8am but by then it was too late for me.  I was chronically sleep deprived.  All we ever heard about was melatonin.  I would dose it before bed, and then often again in the night.  It would work for a week or two, then it would start to make sleep worse and we would stop using it.  A couple of weeks later we could bring it back again.  It was a never-ending cycle we had gone through for years.

But when we started the ACE the most marvelous thing happened.  He slept through the night.  It was still a struggle to get him to fall asleep, but there were no more night wakings.  This was one of the biggest gifts I could get.  Better than winning the lottery any day.

Does My Child Have Adrenal Fatigue?

How can you know if your child has adrenal fatigue?

The following is a list of  symptoms:

  • Irritability, meltdowns, whining
    anxiety, fear, attachment
    early morning wakings especially between 2am-4am (tendency to be wide awake even with little sleep)
    allergies
    asthma
    inability to fall asleep at night (night owls)
    morning fatigue
    frequent illness or inability to recovery in a reasonable time from illness
    sensitivity to light/sound/touch
    hypersensitive to pain
    hypoglycemia
    dizziness upon standing quickly
    morning nausea or no appetite
    craving salt
    low endurance compared to peers
    constant thirst
    explosive outbursts or overreaction to situations.

There are a few methods of determining adrenal function that can be performed quite easily. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating body temperature, so recording average daily temperatures provides an indication of how well the adrenals are functioning.

How to chart temperatures:
Temperatures should be taken orally or underarm using a glass thermometer for 7-10 minutes. Avoid using digital thermometers as they are inaccurate.

Do this for 5-7 consecutive days.

Take the temperatures three times a day. For example: 9am, 12pm, 3pm. Keep the times consistent from day to day.

Avoid taking it three hours after waking,
30 minutes after a meal or exercise.
Find the average daily temperatures by adding the three of them together and dividing by three.

Normal average body temperatures should not fluctuate by more than 0.2 degrees up or down from day to day.  If you see a fluctuating pattern this indicates poor adrenal function.