QUESTION: I have adrenal exhaustion and Hashimotos and low blood sugar.  I take ashwaganda and Gotu kola to help with sleep, but I often wake up around 4 am and can't go back to sleep. I think it's the low blood sugar causing a rise in cortisol. Any suggestions?

ANSWER: You're asking me the same question I have been struggling with myself lately.  It's the low blood sugar and if you're low cortisol your body isn't filling the demand for glucose.  That's why we wake up.
Are you working with a practitioner for the adrenals? Using glandulars and herbs? Come herbs actually lower blood sugar and cortisol which isn't helpful for people like us.
I have found it's really important to eat a protein snack right before bed and have a snack right next to your bed for when you wake up.  You will probably wake during the night until your adrenals heal.
Have you read Dr. Wilson's Adrenal Fatigue book?

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QUESTION: Yes I have read his book. I've also found help with sleep issues from Dr John Douillard's web site, who recommends ashwaganda and gotu kola, the herbs I mentioned above. I am doing better, but seeing that you have similar issues, I wanted to learn any insights you've gained. I follow your website and subscribe to your emails. It helps just to know that other people are going through what I am. Do you use any other or different herbs? Thank you.

What I'm finding is the more I work on the adrenals, the better my blood sugar and sleep are. Well, really it's the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis, but it seems the adrenals are the one to primarily focus on. Plus with the adrenals out of what you get thyroid issues as well as a secondary (most of the time).  
I am doing the standard adrenal protocols (B5, Vit C, adaptogen herbs, minerals, B vits, EFA's etc). There are a few things that have helped me the most recently. One is adding a little bit of carbohydrates back to my diet, a few tablespoons of rice during my big meals.  Especially at night.
I also do not eat any allergy foods per my allergy food tests. They add inflammation and more problems.
The other is the addition of adrenal cortex at 8 am and 12 pm. If you think your adrenals are really stressed this may help. I encourage a 12 hour cortisol + DHEA test. I was really low cortisol which is a major factor in hypoglycemia. cortisol is needed for glucose to get into the cell!  Nobody really talks about that. Cortisol is also needed for thyroid hormones to get into the cell.  
I have also been doing EFT - emotional freedom technique on a lot of my issues which seems to be lifting stress off of my system.  You can do this free summit that I'm doing and learn if you aren't familiar yet! http://tappingworldsummit.com/2015/VS1-01G3-Nick-Ortner.php

Hope this helps!


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Jen Crippen


I cannot answer questions that would give medical advice, diagnose, or treat people's hypoglycemia.


I have been a natural health practitioner in Illinois since 2001 and have educated thousands of people on nutrition and healthy living. Although, this did not prepare me for what happened in 2007 when I became very ill with adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia. I have been able to correct my health issues working along with my doctors as partners on my team. I encourage people to go back to their doctors, get educated, and become empowered patients. I've gone to the school of hard knocks the my own health and feel obligated to share with others how I got better. Plus, my experience as and educator and author helps :)


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I have a few thousand clients that I have worked with since 2001 regarding natural health education - either via seminars, tele-trainings, newsletters, etc. In my private practice, I maintain a select group of clients averaging about 10 a week. I see them in my office or consult via telephone.

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