Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that is more common than most people think. It’s isn’t  diagnosed often because it is not Addison’s Disease which is adrenal failure. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about adrenal fatigue because I was diagnosed with it by my functional MD after suffering for years with symptoms.

Prior to diagnosis I had begun learning about it because it is such a common facet of having mercury poisoning that both my children also have it. It was rampant on the forums and it was being missed by many practitioners. That’s easy to understand when it’s not something most people, even doctors know a lot about. It seems to be a modern ailment attributed to our toxic environments and stressful modern lives.

Certainly I didn’t know anything about it either until I began researching it. When I did was surprised how many symptoms it causes and how many health conditions are linked to having poor adrenal function.

I also learned how to naturally treat it which alleviates symptoms while you work on other health issues like getting that mercury out safely. (Andy Cutler chelation)

Most children and many adults with mercury toxicity have low cortisol and suffer from adrenaline related symptoms like high histamine/allergies, anxiety attacks, shortness of breath, asthma like symptoms, and panic attacks. They may also suffer from insomnia, or wake up at night sweating with their heart pounding.

Adrenal function is almost always taxed in anyone with a low thyroid, and this becomes more evident when they start thyroid medications. The symptoms they experience make them think they can’t tolerate thyroid medication but really, it’s their adrenals that need help.

Basically, life is just miserable for all involved. Having a child that melts down over nothing, is sensitive to everything just isn’t fun for anyone including the child.

My son was sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, smell. He was prone to anxiety that would cause him to hide in a stressful situation. We called this “turtle mode” because he would just crawl under a blanket and hide. Other times we would see him completely freaked out before bed and he would not know what was wrong. He would not eat in the morning. He was either “queasy” as he said it, or simply said he didn’t feel hungry. This would go on until lunchtime and I would have to give him a bit of something sweet to alleviate the nausea enough so he could eat. I later learned what was really going on was that he was sick to his stomach in the morning.

Like all those mornings when I was in my 20’s driving to college or work with my head sticking out of the car window while driving to ward off the overwhelming urge to vomit. That was every morning. I woke up sick, every morning…. for years simply because my adrenals had tanked and no doctor I had seen recognized that.

I figured out a few months into starting chelation that both of my kids had bad adrenals, just like I did by symptoms and charting body temperatures.

We began adrenal cortex extract glandular, or “ACE” as it’s called on the forums.

Wow! Tantrums gone, no bedtime panic and he was hungry in the mornings!

I also used Bach’s Rescue Remedy for acute symptoms like that bedtime panic attack. I learned to keep this in my purse because it also soothed sensory meltdowns that would happen in noisy public places. Our primary intervention for this problem is adrenal cortex extract glandular. What adrenal cortex glandular does is provide nutrients for your own adrenal glands so they can rebuild. This improves their functioning.

My son has had several lengthy periods in our chelation journey where he was off of ACE for months and did not have any symptoms return. But unfortunately we have not been able to stay off ACE yet. He was doing well on one 350mg capsule in the morning until he entered puberty and his low thyroid status became glaring prominent.

He really seemed to be regressing slightly, his sleep was a wreck, he was tired during the day but all in all what had happened was chaos in the endocrine system with puberty. He began to need thyroid medication and more adrenal support. It took some time to get things balanced out but once you get enough thyroid medication, the need for adrenal cortex glandular is reduced but usually still needed.

Many are often afraid to use this glandular thinking it will somehow affect hormones or that it contains hormones but it is not the same as taking hydrocortisone or prednisone. I’ve often seen articles on doctors websites warning about the use of ACE and talking about it like it’s hydrocortisone. I think the key to understand is that glandular is freeze-dried animal gland, similar to eating meat. Cultures have eaten organ and gland meats for many centuries knowing they nourished the body and helped provide nutrients to rebuild and strengthened our own bodies. This is what ACE does.

I’ve found it rare to be able to skip using ACE and still effectively support adrenal fatigue in most people/children. It’s been my experience that adaptogenic herbs simply don’t work the same in everyone. They help some, but they don’t target the adrenals specifically and sometimes they cause side effects instead of alleviating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. There are a few other support options but if they don’t cut it, ACE really should be considered. (B5, B6, vitamin C, cordyceps, rhodiola)



Tribute to Andy Cutler…..

Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE, 1956-July 29, 2017

This is going to be the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. My heart is heavy, I am in shock. I am deeply profoundly… sad. It feels like the air has been sucked out of the world.  We have lost a very dear man, a hero, a true warrior in the autism and mercury poisoning community.

We lost the man who saved my son from autism! The man who led the charge in safe chelation. The man who save ME from mercury poisoning.

I feel as part of Andy’s legacy I need to talk about the man I knew.

Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, or as we fondly call him, Andy, the well-educated Princeton man who knew so much about so many things. He was the man behind the frequent dose chelation movement. Heck, he invented it!! That’s why it’s called ACC or Andy Cutler chelation. He was mercury poisoned himself by amalgam fillings and found that mainstream chelation was getting it all wrong. It was making people worse.  Rather than accept that, he led the charge to develop a safe protocol. He chelated himself safely and went on to teach the rest of the world.

Without Andy, I would still be very sick and I would not be sitting here writing this post today. Let me tell you about the man I knew.

I began my journey on the Autism-Mercury Yahoo group in 2006. This is where I met him years ago.  Andy interpreted my kid’s hair tests for me….for free. He did that for tons of people all the time. Andy answered thousands of questions through email, online groups, by phone…….every day, all week, all year. He never stopped helping random nameless strangers all over the world asking for his help. I used to try to imagine what his inbox looked like when he logged in…because I know mine was full. His must have been massive. Somehow he still replied.

He was there with his knowledge when we encountered some tremendous struggles with my son’s health that didn’t even have anything to do with mercury or autism.  I have years of emails from him and ya know what? He never once asked me for anything in return. That was Andy.

He knew there were millions of us lurking out here in the online world suffering…terribly, from mercury poisoning and his mission was to get them the information they needed to get their health back

I had the unique gift to be more than just a mercury poisoned mom or parent of an autistic kid. Andy and I were forum gurus, and business colleagues. We were in the trenches fighting the same war.  Without him, neither of my books would exist and all those children that are healing today because of Fight Autism and Win, would not be.

That is an epic rippled effect. A huge legacy. The number of lives he’s touched is innumerable.

When I was writing my chelation books, Andy was there. Encouraging me, giving his suggestions and his approval. In fact one of our last Facebook messages was him encouraging to me to write another book. He felt that Tressie and I worked well together, we wrote well together, and he wanted us to write another book. It was his words that encouraged me. Here he is this published PhD scholar and he’s telling me “Hey, you’re good at this, write more!”.

Andy was truly one of a kind. He was something special. He had a way of handling people to motivate them into doing something. He moved millions into doing something about their mercury poisoning. How many people have that kind of oomph!

Andy was in essence…a force beyond comprehension.  Andy was brilliant.  He never stopped amazing me with the plethora of things he knew.

He was even there as a mentor and advisor in all things business and authorship.

He and I had this ongoing thing of back and forth emails about copyright infringements. He’d find one for my books and tell me. I’d find one on his books and tell him. He always thanked me.  I didn’t have to do it and he knew that….he appreciated it.  Andy took me under his wing as an author and helped me navigate life as an author. There were so many new things to deal with when you go from forum parent or moderator to a published author. Andy showed me those ropes. Again, never asking me for anything in return.

Beyond our business relationship as fellow authors and entrepreneurs….

I can’t begin to say how I feel about him in terms of my children. Without Andy, I can’t imagine where my son would have ended up. Not just my son but looking at my healthy successful adult daughter today…..that’s all because of Andy.

I truly owed him my life. I could never repay him for these gifts he gave me and the entire mercury community. I hope his family knows how much we all appreciated him.

Exchanging holiday cards, book orders, late night email discussions about all sorts of things…I’m going to miss those things. So many nights over the last 10 years of firing off a late night email, “Hey Andy, I got a questions about….?”  I always sent it under the assumption that he didn’t have to answer it and if he did, it might be a few days or a week.  Five minutes later I had an answer in my inbox. That was Andy

We’d go back and forth discussing this or that. Many times talking about things that had no relation to mercury at all.

For life of me I don’t know how he juggled it all but he didn’t know I juggled it all either. He told me he had the greatest respect for a mom like me that juggled not only a special needs child, but homeschooling and still managing my book sales, and the forums. I was still helping others…when I was so tired and had so little left to give. He recognized that when few people did.

I loved his perspective and I could always count on him to analyze something fairly. If I were upset about a situation, he helped me take the emotional response out of it and look at it more objectively. He was perspective for many of us. He was our leader, our guide, our light at the end of the tunnel. He was more than just some guy online with a chelation protocol. He was a pillar and founder of this movement.

He was very good at resisting the rumor mills, the conspiracy theories, or other modalities that crop up in the mercury online community. He was grounded in reality. He grounded many of us in it as well by pulling us back when mercury was pushing one into that mad hatter’s world.

It’s hard to write this because this is a loss that can’t be computed. You can’t replace Andy and you wouldn’t want to try. He was one of a kind.  I think it’s important to remember that he may be gone but a little bit of him is with each of us. The way he mentored so many of us, taught us what he knew, left us with his writings/books. He has left us a wonderful gift of his work and his knowledge.

His work and his contributions will continue through all of us. This torch will be carried by those of us who knew him and worked alongside Andy doing what he did. We are his Army. We will not stop his mission, but we will carry it forth.

We will continue to teach others how to do safe chelation. We will help them get their health back like he helped so many of us. We will continue to honor him and share his legacy.

From my family to Andy’s family, you have our deepest condolences and our gratitude for sharing this beloved man with us. He spent a lot of time online with all of us and that must have been a sacrifice for you. We are truly indebted and grateful.

I’m going to miss Andy….

Good things do happen…..

Since this road is so long and often seems to be never-ending I thought I’d post some of the good things that have been happening recently in hopes it will inspire those feeling discouraged.  We recently returned from a trip to visit some immediate family that see’s my son a few times a year.  It has been a year since we have traveled to see them and in the past travel was often filled with frustration, sensory overload and meltdowns over situations which required flexibility. I am sure most of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

If we got lost or had trouble finding a place to use the restroom, or if plans changed as they often do from moment to moment on a trip, we could always expect him to be upset.

Not this year.

This time there was no evidence of an ASD child on a trip. He did not complain about the length of the car ride but was happy to amused himself looking out the window or listening to music. He was not bothered by the sleeping arrangements, the disruption in schedule or the change in food.  Everything was totally out of the normal schedule for him and he didn’t mind at all.

The proof in the pudding was the comment “Wow, he isn’t getting upset by that stuff anymore. He’s so different from last time you came to visit.”.

When we got home, he had a doctor’s appointment with a doctor that has not seen him in a little over two years.  Halfway through this visit she turns to me mid conversation with my son and says “Wow, I don’t see any of the autism symptoms anymore, he’s so much better than last time I saw him”.   And I responded with “yes, I agree. I don’t see it either” She smiled and said “this is wonderful he’s doing so well”.

I hope she puts that in the report from our visit!

Nothing more confirmatory than a doctor reporting that they don’t see the autism symptoms you’re son had 2 years ago.