This Monday's rant is brought to you by Sarah. This past Friday I had an appointment with Dr. Lauren Noel to review my test results for SpectraCell (cellular level deficiencies measured through blood work), Diagnos-Techs (hormone tests measured through saliva samples) and regular old blood panels ranging from Triglycerides and Glucose to Cholesterol.I already knew that I had been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) years ago and had decided with my GYN that I would go off my meds (Metformin) and attempt to correct the situation with clean eating. That was about six months ago, and while I still have a few cysts remaining on my ovaries, the situation appears to be slightly improving. But back to Friday. Honestly, I walked into the office with confidence knowing how well I eat (Pete's Paleo, of course) and exercise (CrossFit), so I must be in tip top health, right? Wrong. As we quoted Dr. Noel back from one of the Paleo FX seminars, "you're not what you eat, you're what you absorb". And apparently I'm having an absorption issue. Specifically with Oleic Acid, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A. We're addressing these and other deficiencies with supplements and vitamin shots but almost as importantly, I've started taking Orthodigestzyme for my gut to help that absorption. Taking a step back and looking deeper into the fact that I clearly have some low stomach acid going on which is negatively impacting my body's ability to absorb all those amazing nutrients I'm getting from my clean food - so, what is causing my low stomach acid? STRESS! According to Balanced Bites, chronic stress is one of the largest non-food causes of low stomach acid and apparently has been disrupting my "rest and digest" mode - the opposite of "fight or flight" mode. Some of you might have read my recent blog post about how I quit my corporate job, not only to help continue growing Pete's Paleo and real., but to also correct my own well-being, as I could tell that the stress from working both jobs did not bode well for my future and health. So we've all heard how drastically chronic stress can affect our bodies physically. I don't think that has ever hit home as hard as it did for me this past Friday when Dr. Noel reviewed my hormone test with me. As you can see from the image above, my cortisol levels are essentially showing full blown adrenal fatigue. And as you can also see by Dr. Noel's notes on the side, 3 out of the 4 main causes of this all apply to yours truly. STRESS leads to LOW STOMACH ACID which leads to NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY (throw in too much CROSSFIT) and voila - LOW CORTISOL LOADS! Despite conversations with good friends this weekend about how adrenal fatigue is common (not normal, but common) and that I can fix my situation, I'm still left feeling a bit defeated and almost upset with myself. This has been self inflicted by how I've chosen to react to situations and life in general. I've allowed my body to get to such a point because of stress and taking on too much, that I'm now paying the price. So for some of us, eating clean and staying active is the path to good health. For others, there are detours along the road and my way forward will be to reduce stress, take appropriate supplements, stick to strength training and yoga and cut out METCONs for the time being, dedicate time to ME, and clean up my diet even more to avoid any possible physical internal inflammation. I retest all my levels again in three months, so stay tuned for an update towards the end of the summer.