Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cow Brain & Pregnancy

My teenage daughter had been experiencing unusual fatigue, along with some dizziness and nausea, so like any good mother would, I took her to the doctor.  Although my daughter assured her she wasn’t pregnant, the doctor had her pee in a cup and tested her for pregnancy without her knowledge.  I found out about it later when I saw the itemized bill.  I called the doctor’s office expressing my displeasure and politely refused to pay that portion of the bill.  A blood test was also done and revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

After doing some research online, trying a few things at home and not really being able to pinpoint the problem, we visited the doctor again a couple of months later.  The nurse asked a series of questions suggested by her laptop, and the findings were still inconclusive.  The doctor came in and asked more questions, and because my daughter mentioned some ‘burning’ in her stomach, the doctor prescribed an antacid and recommended a few therapists.  Have you ever been told, “It’s all in your head”?

Not satisfied with the diagnosis of teenage girl angst, I called a naturopathic doctor upon the recommendation of my sister-in-law.  He asked several questions and seemed a bit puzzled but undaunted.  He gave her a vitamin B shot and a few general suggestions, and we made an appointment to see him again in a week.

When we went back to see him, it was obvious he had done some research.  He wanted to test a theory, so he had her lie on the exam table, checked her blood pressure and pulse, had her stand up, and did the same.  Hmmm... it appeared she was experiencing some form of orthostatic hypotension... or in layman’s terms, ‘standing low blood pressure’.  You know when you stand up really quickly from a reclined position and you feel momentarily dizzy?  Well, it’s like that, except her blood pressure and pulse did not recover as quickly as it should have.  He suggested she increase her salt intake.  Now, how many doctors do you know would suggest you eat more salt?  He also suggested we have her blood tested for food allergies and then follow a month long prescribed diet according to the findings of the test.

She followed the diet, and while she did feel a little better, she still didn’t feel quite right, so we went back to the doctor again.  This time he suggested we do an adrenal test that is more accurate than the blood test.  She had to fill four small vials with saliva at different times throughout the day.  The results revealed lower than normal cortisol levels, so he prescribed an adrenal support supplement.  On the way home, my daughter looked at the ingredients, because she checks ingredients more now after having done the food allergy diet.  Anyway, she slowly read, “Adrenal whole bovine”.

“Bovine?” I queried.  “That’s cow!”

“What?  Cow?  Are you sure?”  she skeptically asked.  She sounded out the next ingredient, “Adrenal cortex bovine."

“Cortex?” I laughed.  “That’s brain!  Cow brain!”

“You’re joking with me, right?” she asked.

“No, I’m serious,” I replied as I continued to laugh.

There were other ingredients as well, but she didn’t hesitate to do a Google search when we returned home and found, indeed, that I was right... well, sort of.

A couple of mornings later, I read an article in the magazine Above Rubies, and I proceeded to tell my daughter about it.  The article contained scientific evidences that support the physical side of the Bible verse in 1 Timothy 2:15 which says, “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”  The part that caught my eye was for the section subtitled “Adrenal Fatigue”.

“Yeah,” I continued, “The article went on to say that a woman, who had experienced panic attacks due to adrenal burn out, was afraid to get pregnant until she read that pregnancy actually helps heal adrenals.”

When my 18-year-old daughter reacted with a look of puzzled disbelief, I laughed and continued, “Not that I’m suggesting you get pregnant.  I just found it interesting.”

Anyway, she's been feeling even better since taking the adrenal support supplement.  So, if you’ve been feeling unusually tired, weak, dizzy, nauseous, or having random feelings of anxiety for no apparent reason, don’t believe the doctor who suggests it’s all in your head.


  1. Cow brain? LOL. Better than Mad Cow brain I am sure!

  2. LOL... thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  3. A reader sent me an email with this link: about dysautonomia, which also deals with symptoms such as dizziness and fatigue. Thanks, Deb!