Morning!  I dragged my booty out of bed and drove to the Charlotte Aquatic Center in quite the sleepy state.  I thought I would wake up when I hit the cold water, but no dice.


I was dragging through the first 200 meters.  I really wanted to quit at that point, but I convinced myself to carry on, hoping my arms would eventually come to life.  But I felt SO TIRED!  This seems to be a theme lately – I’m tired all the time! 


Normally, putting energy out gives me more energy, but exercise just isn’t lighting my fire like it normally does.  Even short workouts leave me feeling drained!  What gives?


So, after 600 meters of freestylin’, I switched to the kick board and did kick drills for another 200 meters.


Kick drills are so much harder than they seem!


Came home and wolfed down some breakfast, as well as a bunch of COFFEE!  In the mix:  Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup raw oats, chia seeds, and a banana.


Since I’ve been feeling so burnt out lately, I’ve decided to take an ASI (Adrenal Stress Index) test to determine if my adrenal glands are functioning properly.  The Husband has long suspected that I have adrenal issues, and although I take some supplements to help their functioning, we both think it’s time that I get properly evaluated to see how severe the problem really is.  Having a holistic doc for a Husband comes in handy!


The adrenals are two small glands that are located right above the kidneys.   These tiny, but very important, glands secret steroids (cortisol, DHEA-S and aldosterone) and catecholamines (adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Cortisol, DHEA, and adrenaline are the three main adrenal stress hormones.  Because abnormal adrenal function can impact your body’s ability to produce energy throughout the day, people with adrenal issues have trouble getting getting up in the morning or staying awake throughout the afternoon.


Interestingly enough, “abnormal adrenal rhythms are known to compromise tissue healing. Reduced tissue repair and increased tissue breakdown can lead to muscle and joint wasting with chronic pain.”  (Source)  Hmmmm.  Sounds like my chronic running injuries COULD be the result of wonky adrenals. 


The ASI Test is basically a saliva test that you can do at home, and then you mail off to a diagnostics center that sends results to your practitioner (in my case, the Husband).  You can’t drink coffee or eat certain foods on the day of your ASI Test, so I’m saving it until Sunday. 


I’m interested to see the results of my ASI Test!  I consider myself to be pretty healthy, but my recent fatigue is a sign that something is not right.  Here’s to hoping there’s an easy (and natural) solution.



  • Melanie @ Trial By Trail May 24, 2011, 10:58 am

    That’s so awesome that you have a doctor hubby who can tell you what he thinks may be wrong. I hope you can get your energy back soon! I know how much having low energy sucks.

  • Sara May 24, 2011, 11:00 am

    That is really interesting, it must be nice to have a doctor in house! I have had abnormally low energy for awhile but have chalked it up to my lack of exercise/ sucky eating. I think I might need to make an appointment with my doc.

    I hope you get your energy back soon!

  • Amy May 24, 2011, 11:03 am

    You know you are a Veterinary Technician when…you read “anal glands” instead of “adrenal glands”. Ugh.

    Awesome job getting to the pool this morning! 🙂

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) May 24, 2011, 11:09 am

    You’ve had a lot of change in your life too- that can be exhausting!

    Hopefully you get your answers quickly so you can get back to your high-energy self 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 24, 2011, 11:13 am

    Sorry you have been feeling so tired lately — I’m there with you, although I know why: staying up too late and trying to do much during the day.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 24, 2011, 11:13 am

    It really does come in handy having a holistic doc for a hubs! I’ll be very curious to hear the results of your testing!

  • Samantha Angela May 24, 2011, 11:15 am

    If you do have abnormal adrenal function then what can be done to fix it?

  • lindsay May 24, 2011, 11:18 am

    Errrrr, saliva test, not salvia test 😀

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 11:19 am

      bawhahah, typo of the day!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 24, 2011, 11:19 am

    Ooh I’m interested to hear about your test too! It’s so handy that you have the holistic doc to provide insight on these things. On the swimming front, I always like doing kick drills when I’m not feelin’ the whole stroke thing! 🙂

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 24, 2011, 11:20 am

    Adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, how it all fits together is the stuff that thousands of hours of research can be devoted to…seriously, such tricky stuff!

    Adrenals fatigue is SO rampant given our go-go lifestyles and the fact that most of us dont do much to replenish our bodies and yes, coffee (I love it) but it also depletes us too (doesnt mean I stop drinking it..haha!) but I think most ppl probably are not 100% perfect in the adrenal department.

    I can’t wait to hear about the results and the treatment…or what you may consider, i.e. Armour, Synthyroid, they are more for thyroid issues but I know it all works together…or if you’d treat 100% holistically, no meds at all.

    I gave you a shoutout on my latest post. Your post and another one I saw really got my wheels turning. 🙂

  • Kelly May 24, 2011, 11:30 am

    Do you mind if I ask where you get the ASI test from? Is there one place that is better than another?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 11:31 am

      I’m doing the test through our clinic, I’m not sure how else you can get it done. You can email Kristien if you want more info! He does e-consults.

    • Tammy Root May 24, 2011, 12:41 pm

      Hi Kelly, I did the ASI test and Kristien explained the results thoroughly through email! The results were so informative and now I am on a supplement regimen to balance things out. It is well worth the effort and money.

      • Kelly May 24, 2011, 12:55 pm

        Thanks, Caitlin. When I get some time, I will email Kristien with all the details of why this may be an option for me to look into.

        Tammy, where did you do your testing? Through a local clinic? Do you mind if I ask how much it cost (you mention it was worth the $$)? Thanks for the replies. There are so many options out there, and sometimes I feel doctors don’t listen or give you the full gamut on what could be the root issue to your problems.

        • Tammy Root May 24, 2011, 1:05 pm

          Hi Kelly,
          I did everything through Kristien (aka Dr. Boyle). 🙂 He is my holistic doctor now. He’s wonderful. Very knowledgeable and incredibly thorough. I would be happy to share the cost of the ASI test but will see what Kristien and Caitlin say about that – out of respect I prefer to not post the cost. But, Caitlin may be willing to touch base with you. 🙂

          I am happy to provide any other feedback I can regarding my experiences with Dr. Boyle. He’s great.

        • Kelly May 24, 2011, 1:07 pm

          Oh, no worries, Tammy. I thought you had done it through another doctor. Do you live local to Charlotte? Or was this all done via email?

        • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 1:30 pm

          Aww, Tammy. You are so sweet.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 24, 2011, 11:31 am

    Sorry to hear about the tired swim – those can be killer, especially early in the morning. They happen sometimes.

    I often find that for me, burnout is more emotional than physical. But, everybody is different.

  • Becky May 24, 2011, 11:38 am

    I have a question that I hope won’t come across as inappropriate. I wonder if you or your husband ever worry about him treating you. I know that lots of traditional western doctors refuse to treat family and close friends, for obvious reasons like it can be hard to be impartial with someone you love. Have you ever looked into finding a different holistic doctor who could treat you, or are you not worried about it? Not trying to pry too much but was just curious what you thought!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 11:55 am

      That’s not a prying question at all! If I have serious problem, I would probably switch to another acupuncturist just because of this issue. And when I’m pregnant, I plan to seek out holistic care, but won’t be going to the Husband just because it’s too close for comfort 🙂 But with simple stuff like supplementation and injuries, it doesn’t bother me (or him) for him to treat me. Good question!

    • Katherine: Unemployed May 24, 2011, 11:59 am

      I’d love to know too; can you ask for a second opinion or is that awkward?

      (not to be weird but I always wonder about gynecologists’ wives)

      • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 12:05 pm

        hahah i wonder about gyno’s wives, too!

        yea, the husband wouldn’t care if i asked for a second opinion… i have and do all the time!

        • Kelly May 24, 2011, 1:09 pm

          That is awesome and just goes to show what a strong, trusting and supportive relationship you and your husband have with one another.

  • Sarah for Real May 24, 2011, 11:51 am

    Good luck! Hope you figure it out!

    If it does come back that you have some adrenal malfunction, would your treatment change from just the supplements?

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 24, 2011, 11:55 am

    This is good information. I question this stuff all the time. I hope you figure it out soon and feel more energetic!

  • Heather May 24, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Just a thought but have you had your iron levels checked?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 12:04 pm

      yupppp! that was the first thing i had checked. it was all good 😉 yay, spinach.

  • Kristen May 24, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I would have to say im tired all the time too. (I was thinking your iron level, but just say your response to heather)
    Hope everything is ok, I have never heard of that test before

  • Leah May 24, 2011, 12:29 pm

    ok, I will post the REALLY prying question 🙂 ….could you be pregnant? Before I found out I was pregnant I seriously could not get my energy up, no matter WHAT I did!

    • Katie @ cooklaughmove May 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

      That was my first thought too Leah!

      • Liz May 24, 2011, 12:46 pm

        Me too! I would guess Caitlin has already thought of that, but it was definitely my first thought!

        • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 1:31 pm

          hahah I WISH!

          I’m on birth control so unless I am a statistical miracle, I am not preggers.

        • M May 24, 2011, 9:19 pm

          Birth control is never 100 %….just sayin’! 🙂

          And your baby would be a cutie for sure!!

  • Moni'sMeals May 24, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I am sure all is well. Keep us posted, WE CARE FOR YOU! Adernal glands are wise to investigate, I know many people who have done their research and found out what they needed to know.

    Good energy to you as always. 🙂

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 2:20 pm

      Thanks Moni 🙂

  • Lauren May 24, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I hear ya, somedays there is just no pushing it. When your body is tired there is nothing you can do to exert energy without hurting yourself. Good thing you took it easy today. I’ll be interested to see your results as well. Hope everything turns out okay! 🙂

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) May 24, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I just visited my homeopathic doc for some issues..I hope you find out the cause of your energy suck, soon girl!!

  • Jackie May 24, 2011, 1:00 pm

    As a vegetarian myself, I definitely notice that i start to feel fatigued, especially when i am training hard. Since i do not eat red meat, when i notice im feeling more tired than normal, or start bruising more, i start taking iron supplements. Ive also started drinking more vitamin water zero and those other calorie free sport drinks to replace lost electrolytes. Still a good thing you are getting your adrenal glands checked out.

    Good luck!

  • Kelly May 24, 2011, 1:08 pm

    The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking that you should have your adrenal glands tested. I hope everything is working correctly!

  • Liz May 24, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I am glad I am not the only one – I am going through a similar issue with fatigue. Exercise isn’t making it better like it usually does. I didn’t know about the Adrenal test, so maybe I’ll try it.

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 24, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I hope it’s nothing serious, but I also hope you get some answers. I’ve been in that situation and it’s very frustrating.

  • Aimee May 24, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Wow, I’ve never had that tested and I am always zonked! It will be really interesting to see what you learn from the process and what happens if you have a low functioning gland. Good luck!

  • Michelle May 24, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Would love to hear about your results and if it is the cause, what you do to fix the problem. Have been feeling super fatigued lately as well, with an achilles inflammation post-half marathon a few weeks ago, that won’t seem to quit. After going to see a doctor, all levels came back normal. But something feels off! Perhaps I should e-mail your husband as well…
    How do you fix adrenal problems anyway? I’m under the impression it’s a quite controversial diagnosis in western medicine.

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 2:13 pm

      I will definitely blog results!

      There are some supplements you can take, I’m not sure what they are, though.

  • Molly May 24, 2011, 2:06 pm

    I know for myself, due to an injury, I had to do nothing but yoga for 10 days. During that time, I felt tired all the time too. Is it possible that doing shorter workouts, like 750m swim as opposed to say 5 mile runs is just taking your body a while to adjust to?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 2:11 pm

      I dont know… I hope so 🙂 Sounds like a good theory to me!

  • Liv May 24, 2011, 2:20 pm

    I think we all go through times of tiredness so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Could be the change in seasons (warmer weather perhaps) and even the fact that you just got back from vacation. Getting back into a routine (workout & work/productivity-wise) always leaves me feeling a bit sluggish.

  • amyjogo May 24, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I have always enjoyed your blog but I am especially greatful that you posted about adrenal fatigue. My Dr, who is part of a holistic practice, told me my adrenal glands weren’t functioning properly. I took a supplement for a while, but didn’t notice any changes. I know that stress is a huge contributor to poor adrenal function, but am baffled about how to fix things. My Dr’s office hasn’t been very helpful other than with the initial diagnosis. Maybe your hubby can help me too?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 2:28 pm

      He does do e-consults, especially if you have lab work already! Email him at His real name is Kristien 🙂

  • Cindy May 24, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Have you had your vitamin D level checked? I found mine was very low a few years ago, and I was utterly exhausted all the time.

    I’d be interested in finding something that out for myself; the testing that is. I wonder if there are more natural doctors here in Glasgow or if I would have to go to my GP. I think I also need to find a new and better GP, especially if I am staying longer here (waiting on PhD application results) and the school GP clinic where you get 5 mins, and that is it. My ankle was looked at for about 30 seconds and then I was dismissed and told to ask my physical therapist about it at my next visit.

    You are very lucky to have a devoted and smart husband!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2011, 3:40 pm

      My D levels were low, so I’m on a supplement. Hope it helps!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales May 24, 2011, 4:56 pm

    I hope that the at-home test gives you some answers! In the meantime, don’t feel down about not having the energy for strenuous exercise. Maybe try out something more low-key, like a relaxed yoga session?

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 24, 2011, 4:58 pm

    I hope you get some answers from it all!

  • Stephanie May 24, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Hah, that coffee probably didn’t help your adrenal issues. Also I know you said you were taking supplements but I was going to recommend trying the Adrenal Gland blend from Nature’s Botanical Pharmacy. I haven’t tried their stuff but of the people who I’ve heard have tried it, it’s supposed to be life changing. They also have a thyroid blend, among TONS of other herbs.

  • McKella May 24, 2011, 7:10 pm

    It’s crazy how common adrenal fatigue seems to be these days. I’m trying to recover from adrenal insufficiency, and I haven’t felt right in years. It’s no fun.

  • brandy May 24, 2011, 7:57 pm

    That is interesting, i have never heard of the saliva test before. I actually had my checked before through blood work, which is how I found out that I had polycistic ovarian syndrom. My testosterone level was twice as high as it was supposed to be.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner May 24, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the info. My husband suffers from chronic injuries/pain that, from what I can tell, come from nowhere. He could sleep all day long, and frequently takes naps on our couch after dinner. I’ve been worried that it is something besides just inflammation in his system, and this seems like it could be a possibility. Do you know if it can be genetic? His father suffers from the same chronic pain and tiredness (my FIL was diagnosed with narcolepsy years ago, but they have recently discovered that is not the case but have no idea what his issue is – he is now dealing with insane insomnia though, so I don’t know). Thanks again – we will definitely be looking into that.

    • CaitlinHTP May 25, 2011, 8:24 am

      Your poor husband! He should def look into holistic options if he isn’t getting the answers he needs from western doctors… you can email kristien if you want! he does econsults –

  • Alexandra May 24, 2011, 8:11 pm

    I did a similar saliva test that also included hormone testing. I do struggle with an adrenal disfunction and something my holistic practitioner told me was to stop drinking coffee (I used to drink 1-2 cups a day) and stop drinking high-sugar and high carbohydrate foods. Giving up coffee has been fine, I feel a lot rested over all and with my new diet I do not get the sluggish feeling I did before.

    • Alexandra May 24, 2011, 8:12 pm

      oops, I meant stop eating high-sugar/carb*

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) May 24, 2011, 8:21 pm

    Othera probably suggested this but you might want to get your iron and B12 levels checked out. My levels got low for a bit and I felt like a ZOMBIE and didnt know why. Hair was falling out, no energy, depressed, etc. After supplementation, I felt like myself in a couple months. Its really easy as a veg to get low without realizing it.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 24, 2011, 9:06 pm

    Feeling tired all the time is no fun! That’s interesting about the adrenal glands. I had no idea they could cause that. I hope you get some answers soon! 🙂

  • endo doc May 24, 2011, 9:38 pm

    Check your thyroid function. Adrenal dysfunction is extremely rare, whereas thyroid function is actually way more common than you’d think. Adrenal dysfunction more commonly presents as dysregulation in salt/water balance, in addition to fatigue, skin changes, and weight changes.

  • Carolyn May 24, 2011, 9:38 pm

    not to be ANOTHER suggestion, but check your iron levels. I was training for a half marathon, got injured, was too tired to keep dating my boyfriend and couldn’t focus at work, but when my workouts weren’t even giving me energy and I found walking tiring, I went to the doctor and found out I had anemia and my iron is dangerously low. i had no idea what was wrong, and I should have realized earlier. It’s almost a relief that I am not always going to feel this overwhelmed!

  • Melissa @ TryingToHeal May 24, 2011, 11:19 pm

    huh, that’s interesting. didnt’ think of adrenal problems…because i’m always having healing problems with muscles, staying awake and getting up when it used to not be a problem…:(

  • Amber K May 25, 2011, 9:34 am

    Feeling tired all the time is definitely frustrating! Although I just had some bloodwork come back and apparently the reason behind my fatigue is hypothyroidism. Not fun!

  • Julia May 25, 2011, 11:53 am

    Great post, Caitlin! I’ve been having a somewhat similiar problem. I don’t feel tired during they day, but I feel totally burnt out and I have trouble staying asleep at night because I keep waking up thinking about work. I am hoping yoga will help me calm down at night.

  • Christy May 29, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I had adrenal fatigue. I did a saliva test 3x a day for 30 days and sent it to the lab. I had to take some DHEA along with other hormones to get myself in balance. It was a long process but so worth it. I was able to get my period back and finally have a baby! Good luck.

    • CaitlinHTP May 29, 2011, 8:19 pm

      Yea! Good for you 🙂 I am so happy for you!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit May 29, 2011, 8:04 pm

    I’ll be interested to see how your test goes. I have some suspicions that I have a similar problem…

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