In January I went to a naturopath after four months of unsuccessfully trying to drop 20 pounds I had gained despite eating mostly Paleo and doing mild exercise and get my body temperature above 97, and going to regular doctors did nothing. One at an urgent care clinic said my TSH was normal, and my general practitioner dismissed my problems as depression, though she also suggested seeing an endocrinologist. But by then my trust in mainstream medicine had fallen sharply.

The ND diagnosed me with AF in late January from a cortisol test, which showed my cortisol on the low side of normal for most of the day, even below normal at lunchtime, and on the high side of normal in the evening. My thyroid numbers were good except reverse T3 was on the high side of normal.

We first tried an herbal tincture, followed by multivitamins including Phytisone and prescription Cortef, though after three bottles of Phytisone and two of Cortef, I felt no different, except needing coffee to get going again after not needing it for 6 months prior.

I got tested for MTHFR mutations and nutritional deficiencies. The MTHFR test showed I was homozygous positive for C677T and negative for A1298C. Also, despite eating 3-5 servings of meat a day, I am deficient in vitamin B12 and despite eating a lot of organic fruits and veggies, my vitamin C levels are borderline. I am also borderline in copper and choline. As a result of these tests, I now take 19 pills a day, including a stronger adrenal support supplement Cortivive. Fortunately we will change my multivitamins so that number should drop to around 12, after 3 bottles of Cortivive still had no effect. I also have to have 2 cups of coffee to get by at work, because working sleepy at my job is extremely dangerous. (I work for a drug company as a lab tech.)

Over the course of this treatment, I found that I feel much better when I am not surrounded by people. I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2008, and found that people cause sensory overload for me, especially when they make noises such as coughing, sniffing, throat clearing, "throaty" giggling, and crying in the case of babies.

My sensitivity to the aforementioned sounds started in college 13 years ago. I went to a counselor for help and got referred to a psychiatrist who tried anti-anxiety drugs for me. The first, Paxil, did absolutely nothing. The second, Ritalin (possible ADD association) made me throw up, and the third (whose name I do not remember) put me to sleep, so I quit those meds and just thought I would have to suffer for life. I still think that, because I am forced to be in crowds every work day, on the train, on the road, and at work. (Even when driving, all those cars cause me sensory overload.) And my paycheck is necessary to help pay the bills, so quitting is not an option.

I suspect I may have had AF for much longer than 1 year, and regular doses of prescription drugs for asthma (diagnosed at age 2, taking the meds since 8) might have something to do with it. Also, when I was 11, my sleep patterns changed after our first big move, from Southern California to Tucson, Arizona. After school started after the move, I stopped feeling sleepy by 10 PM, wide awake by 6 AM to get to school by 7:30, and energetic throughout the day. We moved 3 more times in the next 2 years. So I may have had AF for 20-23 years, if not 29 if my asthma is in any way associated with AF. (I read that that is highly possible.)

Unfortunately, neither family nor friends take my complaints seriously, with most of them agreeing with my GP that my problems are psychological, in the face of the evidence I have shown, so my only support now is my ND and this site.
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1 Response Aug 20, 2014

Wow you've had a rough time. I hope your ND is able to help. I'm very familiar with the frustration with traditional medicine. In addition to AF, I have chronic EBV and pretty significant hormone imbalance. My naturopath has helped get everything in pretty good shape. I needed tryptophan to sleep at night and DH EA to trigger my wake cycle in the morning. That plus supplements to keep the Epstein-Barr virus at day and getting my hormones back in balance has enabled me to sleep at night and stay awake all day for the first time in years. I still struggle with fatigue but it's not debilitating like it was.

Good luck!!