The beginning of the month brought some definite changes for me—not only was I diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, but the dreaded insulin resistance/pre-diabetes health sentence. It has been something I knew in the back of my mind was coming, but it stunk all the same. The positive-side (if there can be a positive) is that diagnosis explained why I have not been able to lose weight. After a month of low-glycemic eating and losing a good 8-10 lbs., I finally felt “home” in my body. It had been a while.
That said, it has not been easy. People who have insulin-resistance want their sugar/carbs. Like REALLY BAD. It did help to eliminate them almost completely because after a couple of weeks my cravings were less, but I still would have killed for a Pepsi or two at times. I’ve had to balance that with how wonderful I have felt—no trouble getting up early in the morning to take my son to school, energy to exercise daily, less cranky in the afternoons, no nap and (of course) the thrill of losing a few pounds.
This long, Labor Day weekend we traveled to Montana (from Idaho) for one of my son’s competitive soccer tournaments and I received first-hand reinforcement that sticking to the “plan” pays off. That is because I strayed from the “plan.” I gave in to some “carby” foods and caffeine—thankfully not Pepsi or M&M’s—but, I went for some high-glycemic pasta, some mash potatoes, a few granola bars and a ton of caffeinated ice tea. Not only did I spend a lot of time running back and forth to the nasty, orange soccer field potties, but I woke up every 45 minutes and my stomach was killing me all night. Yuck! Back on the program today. That’s different than in the past. A day like yesterday would have sent me into carb addiction Hell—even last month. I’m staying strong for me. I’m staying strong for you, my readers. We are learning something for goodness sakes.
So, you may be asking what does insulin resistance have to do with menopause and this blog? We are supposed to be focusing on menopause health after all. Through both my health care professional and hours of online research, I’ve learned that women approaching menopause are particularly prone to becoming insulin resistant due to metabolic changes related to fluctuations in adrenal and thyroid secretions. In fact, the decrease of certain hormones, like estradiol, may trigger a resistance to insulin in patients who never experienced it before. Certain blood pressure medications can mask symptoms without treating the problem. Frequently, women unwittingly make their symptoms worse by trying to lose weight with low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets. Hmmm. Sounds familiar.
The good news is that I can “heal” insulin resistance. We can heal insulin resistance. I’m not destined to become a diabetic. In fact, that is one of my new mantras: I am not a diabetic because I eat the right things and exercise five days a week for at least an hour.
Over the course of the probably many years of growing and expanding this blog, I’ll be documenting my adrenal fatigue/insulin-resistance journey for readers. If you are in my same place health-wise, I hope you will follow along and offer comments. Sharing the successes or struggles with your own journey will make us both healthier. And, just as an update, the DHEA supplements and cortisol management program this month has also made a big difference. So, let’s get healthy. Listen and learn. . .