Teenage adrenal fatigue

My 13 year old son had his appendix out Xmas 2016. Seemed to recover well. Started having the odd day off feeling fatigued and just generally unwell. Got worse in March 2017 with the stress of exams. Very irritable, crying and just not coping. In the last 3 months he has been completely exhausted and slept for the best part of 2-3 weeks in April. Now has a couple of hours of being awake in the evening but still sleeping in till the early afternoon.

Seen the GP 3 times and know he is iron defiant but no other tests done. Seen a counsellor, naturopath, nutritionist and talked to a kinesiologist not really getting far but starting to shed some light. Very stressful as missed lots of school due to overwhelming fatigue and now school are have reported us to the local authority who are pursuing legal proceedings as I can't get my son to school. Which adds to the stress! Waiting (still) for paediatrician consult. Have changed diet, using supplements and trying to gradually change sleep patterns but I am at my wits end. Adrenal fatigue looks like most of his symptoms so have ordered a home test saliva test. Any one know where I can turn to to get to the bottom of this? Or had a similar problem? In desperation......

21 Replies

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  • Hi Scottie04 & welcome the forum

    My heart goes out to you & your son. I do hope you get some helpful advice from some of the great people on here. I'm afraid its not something I know enough about to advise on. But I do so hope you find a solution soon.

    It is also unbelievable that your local authority are taking legal proceedings against while you are already trying to cope with such a difficult situation.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to post...fingers crossed.

  • You should get his Vit levels checked and post results on here as Gps mostly a little useless with these and also often don't prescribe a high enough dose - Vit B12, Vit D, Folate and iron. Have they prescribed anything for iron?

    Did he have any Nitrous oxide anesthesia during the surgery? This will deplete B12 reserves.

    IF you don't have any luck and you want to look into the food issues more, you could try a gluten free diet for three months but has to be 100% GF to know for sure. I only mention this as I had a slight problem since younger with my stomach but it was around that age when the fatigue kicked in and I also suddenly couldn't get out of bed and was massively sleepy. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune sleep disorder which didn't go away until I gave up gluten twenty years later.

    If that doesn't work, you could try a six week elimination diet to check for any other food intolerances.

    Has he had thyroid tests done?

  • Thanks for posting! GP started him on ferrous fumarate but not much difference to be fair. Talked to naturopath and kinesiologist and now taking probiotics, vita, omega3, fish oil and Vit C. Trying to find a multi Vit that doesn't taste disgusting as already tried a few! Cut out bread and trying to use gluten free pasta etc. Have a list of questions for paediatrician...why hasn't GP done thyroid tests and what else could we be looking at? Thank you for taking the time to write down your thoughts and completely makes sense to me as I am now thinking along those lines. Nice to know I'm not going bananas!!

  • What dose of ferrous fumarate was your son prescribed?

    For someone who is iron deficient a dose of 2 or 3 x ferrous fumarate 210mg is required. The problem is that many doctors don't prescribe enough, and they stop the prescription almost as soon as the ferritin level rises to be within the reference range.

    Another issue is that doctors rarely do a full set of tests for iron deficiency, so ferritin could be within the range while serum iron and/or haemoglobin are low (for example).

    I'd agree with SaggyUk above about the need for vitamin B12 testing if your son's problems began after anaesthesia.

  • Thanks for you post. He's on 140mg twice a day for a 3 month prescription. We're 6 weeks in so far. I'm making a list of all these questions for the paediatrician....but frustrating waiting for the referral. Surgery was under GA so will defo ask for a vitamin panel of tests. Thanks so much.

  • I suppose that might be a dose for children as not sure what they would dose for them. Although most the 13 yr old teenage boys I know are bigger than me so doubt they need a lower dose lol :-D

  • Multi vits are useless for the most part as only contain things in very small amounts, can interact with other and wont correct any deficiencies.You really need to get the ones mentioned actually tested and treated accordingly depending on where he is :-)

  • Also remember, when looking at food intolerances/allergies, it has to be 100% removed. If have a problem with gluten for example, one tiny crumb is enough to keep someone ill as it can take a while for immune system reaction to dampen down.

    start with the obvious vits and then start ruling out things one by one and you'll get there :-)

  • I'm on it....thanks!

  • Hi Scottie04

    Sorry to hear the problems your son is having.

    Before trying a gluten free diet you need to go back to your GP and ask for blood test to rule out coeliac disease. (www.coeliac.org.uk). This could explain his low iron and other symptoms.

    If the doctors are unable to find out a cause of your son's problems they may advise that he has chronic fatigue syndrome. If this is the case then actionforme.org.uk has got some very good resources and also information on dealing with local education authority on missed schooling.

  • Thanks for the info...will have a look.

  • Hello Scottie04,

    Do feel deeply for your son & you & hope help & recovery comes soon!!! Besides the great advice posted , you describe thyroid- autoimmune & adrenal type issues. Look into omega3 fish or krill oil as it quells inflammation throughout the body. Also I highly suggest chicken bone broth( over cooked chicken soup) for healing the lining iof the gut which is often the underlying starting point of illness. Hugs!!🌈

  • PS ALSO here is a good link w / info

    articles.mercola.com/omega-...

  • Thanks for the hugs! On omega 3 and just started probiotics to see if it helps. He devours roast chicken so will defo do soup..great idea. Thanks!

  • Oh wonderful to hear!

    Soup/broth is amazing

    draxe.com/the-healing-power...

  • Guess what I'm going to be making this sterno on then?...thanks for the link. I'm defo going to be having it too!!

  • Yippee!! Very glad to hear 😃 WARM BIG HUG TO BOTH OF YOU!!!

  • If you're having problems with the authorities over missed schooling, tell them officially that you are going to home school him until he is well enough to go attend a school. You have the legal right to do this and the authorities cannot take action against you. There are lots of home schooling resources online.

  • Thank you for that info...will look into that for sure.

  • There are private tests that you can order from companies like Blue Horizon or Medichecks.

    There are large tests called "health screens" which vary a lot so do compare them carefully. You might want to check things like TSH (thyroid) and HbA1c (diabetes). A lot of these health screens will check nutrients like iron, folate, zinc, B12, Vit d.

    Best of luck :)

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