Hi, I’m JoAnn Newton and this is the story of my journey through adrenal burnout.
My story begins with a genetic predisposition to weak adrenals, a lifelong compulsion to over-achieve, and both interest and talent in MANY areas. Add to that an extremely strong will, MANY years of working on my feet in physically demanding jobs, some pretty dysfunctional relationships, and being a full time, single “super” mom, and you begin to get the picture.
Still, I was aware of all of that and even wrote my final research paper in Nutrition School on Adrenal Health. I ate well, took good quality supplements, got massages, exercised regularly, and managed to stay physically healthy, even though I was stressed most of the time. Then, in 2003, my son became critically ill for 6 months. During that time I was terrified and constantly functioning on over-drive seeing to his needs while continuing to work to pay the bills. When he finally stabilized, I was beyond exhausted.
On top of all that, I entered menopause!!! I limped along doing the best I could to eat healthy but often reached for sugar and caffeine for energy and comfort. Over the years, in addition to tremendous fatigue, I developed digestion problems, and gained 30 pounds. I would go through periods of being committed and obsessively strict with my diet — only to get frustrated in not seeing any results and fall “off the wagon” AGAIN!
In 2008, upon completion of a 4 year education program and passing my board panels to become a Licensed Spiritual Counselor (in addition to working full time and helping to care for my elderly mother), I was in bad shape! I spent most of my time laying down - getting up only to work and fulfill my other commitments - and then laying down again. And, probably the most tell-tale sign of all, there was very little joy in my life.
FINALLY, my dear friend and nutrition mentor insisted that I get my adrenals tested. When I saw my lab test results in black and white — with a “total cortisol burden” of 11 (when the reference range is 23-42) and a diagnosis of “severe adrenal deterioration” or ADRENAL FATIGUE — I sobbed and sobbed! THAT'S what I had been DEALING with for years! Somehow, it was oddly comforting to see that what I was experiencing was really REAL!
So that’s what it took for me to get REALLY serious about turning my health around. It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn't easy! But through reconnecting with my nutrition training, additional extensive research, eating an excellent diet, a therapeutic supplement program, and BIG lifestyle changes, I have lost those 30 pounds — not because of “dieting”, but by balancing and healing my body.
Currently, 10 years later, I continue to do well. Most days I wake up energized, and feel happy and enthusiastic about life. I've become an avid hiker the past few years and last year I completed a 5 day hiking trip in the Sierras to celebrate my 65th birthday. I still have to be mindful of “living in balance — body, mind & spirit”, but I am committed to it one day at a time!
As a result of this journey, I now facilitate the Nutritional E-Cleanse Program's 23 DAYS TO A HEALTHIER YOU! to help others find their way to optimal health. It's my passion, the most fulfilling “work” I have ever done, and I consider it to be the "gift in the dragon’s mouth" regarding this whole experience!
Big blessings to you!