Fall 1998 (just turned 18 years old)-
-Entered my senior year of high school with a 3.9 GPA and brutal course load.
-Consistent sub-2:15 half-miler.
-Every reason to believe that steady improvement would continue.
-NCAA Division II and III schools had shown some interest.
-Always stressed out and felt as if on the edge of a breakdown.
-Endured a sudden loss of energy and a string of bad races.
-Usually :20-:30 per mile slower than my best.
-Diagnosed with hypothyroidism and given a prescription for Synthroid.
-Confirmed as a misdiagnosis 4 years later.
Early 1999-July 2002
-Initially recovered my former energy level but started downhill after freshman year.
-String of injuries and illnesses derailed efforts to make the college team.
-Developed chronic ankle pain associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome
-Basically accepted that my body could no longer handle intense training and former energy level would never return.
-Personal research showed that thyroid medication was responsible for ailments.
- Dosage raised from .150 mgs to .175 mgs briefly and ordered not to cut back despite feeling awful (out of breath from walking up a hill, 6’0” and a sickly 135 lbs.)
- Treatment described as “malpractice” by future doctor
- Maintained a 3.8 GPA during this period.
-Taken off thyroid meds on orders of an endocrinologist instead of being weaned off.
-Felt worse than ever (nearly bed-ridden) but endocrinologist refused to wean gradually.
-Also described as “malpractice” by a future doctor
-Brain fog so severe that I could not remember what professor said before writing it down
-Took remainder of .150 mg Synthroid to get through the semester.
-Accepted into Clemson University’s Master of Business Administration program.
-Diagnosed with clinical depression by another doctor.
-Anti-depressant brought some temporary relief to my symptoms but worsened again
-Fully aware that graduate school would be impossible in this condition
-Diagnosed myself with adrenal disease and ordered Adrenal Boost to treat it.
-Showed improvement after only 3 days (extremely unusual)
-Able to quit the thyroid meds and anti-depressants
-Regained the weight lost while on thyroid meds and believed myself to be cured.
-Faster than ever at longer distances despite being limited to 15 miles per week because of tremendous stress and time demands of getting an MBA.
-Slow start to year because of unyielding stress at school
-Got into a groove when the semester ended and stress level reduced.
-Easier schedule in Fall 2004 semester, forced to reduce dosage over time
-If I took 1/2 pill too many, I felt terrible. If I took ½ pill too few, I felt terrible.
-Felt terrific when the formula was precisely in balance
-Reduced dosage from 3 pills to 1 over time by the end of the year.
-Believed that I would soon by free from any pills for the first time since ’98
-Final semester was extremely difficult
-Forced to adjust the dosage upward every 2-3 weeks, topping out at 5 pills before going back down to 3 before graduation.
-Ill-effects within hours of taking too many or too few pills but it only took hours to feel much better after getting back in balance
-Plagued by chronic fears that the supplements would lose their effectiveness or that I would not be able to find a formula that worked after graduation
-Made an appointment with a nationally recognized “top doc” to solve this mystery
-Grades slipped a bit but still graduated with a solid 3.3 GPA in a tough curriculum.
June 2005-July 2006
-Absolute worst fears realized when energy level crashed shortly after graduation
-Blood test was inconclusive (perhaps affected by supplements)
-Quit adrenal supplements, which resulted in a slight improvement.
-Unemployed and fully aware that I could not handle a stressful job yet everyone that I knew tried to convince me that there was nothing physically wrong. I knew otherwise.
-Anti-depressants provided some temporary relief but eventually left me no better physically than before until I increased the dosage. Anxiety relieved somewhat.
-The cycle repeated itself until I was taking the maximum prescription and still barely functional and sometimes in bed 12-14 hours per day.
-Went back to low doses of adrenal supplements, which put me back into the good day-bad day pattern (the good days were not nearly as good as before).
-16 failed job interviews and 10 meetings with corporate recruiters, dependent on parents for meager income.
-“Top doc” referred me to a holistic doctor who used hair analysis for diagnosis.
-Officially diagnosed with full-blown adrenal exhaustion and thyroid disease
-Hair analysis revealed that I was perilously close to developing several chronic diseases
-Holistic doctor explained that the ingredients in Adrenal Boost were actually stimulants and only intended to be a temporary solution while the label on the bottle stated “for use in recovery from adrenal fatigue”
-Moved to Alabama for a fresh start and landed a decent, low stress job within 3 weeks.
-Able to quit anti-depressants once and for all, free of all prescription drugs
-Condition gradually improved and felt about 80% by the end of the year.
-Successfully completed probationary period at work and earned a raise.
-Finished a half-marathon in less than 2 hours
-Must take precise amount of certain pills early every day or suffered ill-effects in hours.
-Leveled off at about 90% healthy from February-May.
-Neurotransmitter test revealed 8 abnormalities (5 were not even close to normal).
-6 out of 8 neurotransmitter imbalances much improved (1 stayed same, 1 got worse)
-Over-active thyroid worsened, escaped adrenal burnout, adrenal glands now overactive.
-Extremely sensitive to neurotransmitter support (depressed if I don’t take enough, over-stimulated if I take too much). Intolerant to B6; this is a key ingredient in every neurotransmitter supplement recommended by my doctor.
-95-100% healthy on good days, angry and depressed on bad days, months of trial and error to find a formula that provides long-term relief.
-Looking for a more challenging but not overwhelmingly stressful job with better pay.
Continued to show improvement with fewer bad days and less severe symptoms. Neurotransmitters had normalized by the end of the year. No success in the job market. B-6 was able to be taken again.
A great year for me all around. New job and despite a summer slump, I set personal records at every distance from 400 meters- marathon. Unfortunately, I made a critical error. When on neurotransmitter support, I needed Lithium to slow my thyroid and adrenals and avoid a competing product with the stimulatory amino acids. I really thought I had a path to balance but the Lithium lowered the thyroid hormones but my oxidation rate remained fast because of high cell membrane permeability.