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  #16   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 08:42
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy LC
From what I've read, people with severe adrenal fatigue use small doses of hydrocortisone to give their adrenals sort of a vacation.

I slightly over-produce cortisol (had a 24-hour saliva test done) and so I take a couple of astralgus (herb) and relora. The astralgus supposedly evens out your cortisol levels and relora will lower them. Usually I take the relora at night to help with my sleep.

I think it has helped some.

Actually, I meant ashwaganda, not astralgus!
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  #17   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 09:50
PaleoCH PaleoCH is offline
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Posts: 127
 
Plan: Paleo Diet
Stats: 160/149/130 Female 5'5"
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Progress: 37%
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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I got off prednisone too quickly a couple years ago, I had been on a low dose for a few years, and I was unbelievably fatigued. I started taking Adreset, an adrenal suppport supplement, and it helped a lot. Although it's pretty expensive. Here's a link:
http://www.metagenics.com/products/...ts-list/Adreset

Christy
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  #18   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 11:23
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,189
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
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Quote:
Cordyceps, one of the better-known traditional Chinese medicines, consists of the dried fungus Cordyceps sinensis growing on the larva of the caterpillar.

That's the major ingredient in your Adreset. Ew!
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  #19   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 11:51
lisabinil's Avatar
lisabinil lisabinil is offline
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Posts: 1,441
 
Plan: Healthy moderate carb
Stats: 206/177/160 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress: 63%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandawald
Hi there everyone!

I am starting this thread partly out of personal interest and partly on behalf of fellow forum "Kd did" who posted the following request in another thread:



As the thread this was posted in was actually related to a different topic, it seems only sensible to start a new thread especially for this subject.

I would also be interested in hearing other people's experiences.

I do believe that I have also been suffering from "moderate" adrenal fatigue, but am fairly confident that I am on the way to healing my adrenal glands by following most of the advice in Dr Diana Schwarzbein's book, "The Schwarzbein Principle II: The Transition".

Here are some of the tips I have tried out successfully: reducing caffeine the slow and easy way. Dr S recommends that, if you have adrenal fatigue, that you do NOT go cold turkey on caffeine as you will suffer from extreme fatigue if you do so. I can back this up!!! I tried to reduce my caffeine too quickly and had exactly that problem.

She recommends that you reduce your caffeine intake week by week, but that was too quick for me to adapt to (I have been drinking a lot of coffee, daily, for the last 20 years, so I'm pretty much caffeine-dependent). I have done my system month-by-month, and have just reduced gradually.

Month one: I made up a mix of 75% caffeinated coffee, 25% decaf, then after a month of that, I went down to 66% caffeinated coffee, 33% decaf (i.e. I just plonked in two scoops of caffeinated to one scoop of decaf in a special container with my coffee in it). I am now on a 50/50 mix and doing fine! I had actually intended to go down to a mix of 33% caffeinated and 66% decaf at the beginning of December, but after I had that for a couple of days, I could feel the fatigue beginning to drag me down again, so I decided to stay on the 50/50 mix till after Christmas - right now I need all the energy I can find!!!

I absolutely believe that this is an absolutely essential step to healing your adrenals as your caffeine intake influences so many biochemical processes in your body in very negative ways. It is absolutely central!!! If you have too much coffee, you piddle out your magnesium supplies, which your adrenals need (and so do lots of other body parts!!!). It keeps your adrenaline levels boosted longer than they would normally be, so you are in constant fight-or-flight mode, which - naturally - wears your adrenals out even more.

Even though I am by no means caffeine-free and am definitely still caffeine-dependent, this 50% reduction of my caffeine intake, coupled with taking chelated magnesium, has definitely made me less hyper, less frantic and breathless as I go about my daily housewifely chores. My concentration and short-term memory are also much much better. I no longer have this fuzzy head and feel more focused and relaxed. I am definitely going to carry on with the caffeine-reduction programme for these reasons: life is so much more pleasant these days!!! Not getting wound up and stressed out so much about life's little annoyances is definitely worth the effort!!!

Hope this contribution will get this thread going!!!

amanda



I think you are making a huge mistake diagnosing yourself with adrenal fatigue without proper testing. You simply don't know what the particular medical issue is until you get properly tested. I am with Pam on this one-your symptoms might not necessarily be adrenal fatigue. I thought my adrenals were my problem but were normal on testing-it was my thyroid and perimenopause.
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  #20   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 14:55
amandawald amandawald is offline
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Plan: GF mod carb/Schwarzbein
Stats: 160/160/160 Female 164cm
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Location: Brit in Germany
Default My "huge mistake"

Hi Lisabinil,

Thanks for your contribution!

Quote:
I think you are making a huge mistake diagnosing yourself with adrenal fatigue without proper testing.


I don't know if you noticed, but the date at the beginning of this thread, i.e. that of my first post, is December 21st 2009, which is quite some time ago.

I wrote this earlier today (i.e. 29th July 2011):

Quote:
I really don't want to find out that I have a malfunctioning thyroid, though, but I am going to have to force myself to get some tests done again, I can accept that - just very very unwillingly...


And I also wrote this on Monday July 25th 2011:

Quote:
When I come back from vacation in September and when the kids and my DH are back at school, I am going to check out a doctor I found who does "hormone analysis".


I feel a little bit insulted because it seems that you only read the very first post in this thread - from December 2009, which is over 18 months old - and ignored the more recent posts, where it is clear that I have now accepted that I need to get some "proper testing" done.

In future, I would be grateful if you could do the following: before you go round telling people about the "huge mistake" they're making, could you please make sure you have read all the information available first???

Looking back, I do indeed realize I was quite naive to think that I could do this diagnosis myself but in the meantime, thanks to people on this forum, and thanks to having had at least some thyroid-related tests done, I am now slowly but surely - and very unwillingly, I have to admit - accepting that the health issues I have been having most likely stem from low thyroid function and hormonal imbalances due to perimenopause - just like you have also discovered in fact!!!

As you can see from the quoted posts above, I am going to get some testing done.

You also wrote this:

Quote:
You simply don't know what the particular medical issue is until you get properly tested.


However, this issue of getting "properly tested" is one I have a little trouble with.

Firstly, there are so many tests around whose value is at the very least questionable (cholesterol, many sexual hormone tests, blood pressure readings) because the levels of these things can change from one minute to the next, so the meaning of whatever happens to be recorded at that second when your blood is drawn, or the BP reading is taken, is nigh on insignificant.

All these tests give us the impression we have these static "levels" of things, which stay exactly as they are from one doctor's visit to the next, but this is very far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that the medical profession has become obsessed with numbers and the old adage, "Treat the patient, not the numbers" is no longer adhered to.

Here's one little story which neatly illustrates why I personally am so sceptical of "proper testing" and the medical profession:

I went to my GP in October 2010 and told him about a number of symptoms I had which all sounded like anaemia. Besides having the classic symptoms, I could tell for myself from my blood work that I had B12 anaemia: I had a low RBC, but large red blood cells, borderline abnormally large in fact, and "too much" haemoglobin in each cell, all of which are classic signs of B12 anaemia. Both of these numbers had been highlighted by the lab on the chart as being borderline abnormal.

However, when my GP looked at my blood work, the only thing he paid attention to was the number referring to my B12 level, which was within the "normal" range. The number I had was 477 (don't ask me what the units were). In some countries, the lower limit for B12 has been set at 500 or 550; which would classify my level back then as too low. By others a "good" B12 level is said to be around 800-1100. So, armed with that information, and some other things I had learnt (that B12 levels can be artificially high due to gut bacteria and use of B-complex tablets containing B6, which I had been taking), I was convinced that I had B12 anaemia.

However, in Germany, they still use the "lab ranges", which differ from lab to lab because the various labs take the average levels of the people passing through their labs to denote what is normal!!! This also happens in America and it is scandalous. The vast majority of people who get their blood tested are not healthy vibrant individuals (most of these people don't bother going to the doctors; they're too busy being healthy and vibrant!), so using the levels of the sick people who do go to the doctor's to tell us what a "good" level of any particular substance should be is a joke.

The doctor just said, "Your B12 level is fine; I have no explanation for why you are not feeling as energetic as usual." He then suggested that I take an iron supplement. I pointed out that my blood work didn't point to iron-deficiency anaemia (in that case you have little red blood cells, not enlarged ones) and he was rather surprised and said, "Well, yes, but you do have low ferritin." And then he prescribed me a 15ml sample of an iron supplement!!! One single dose worth!!! I don't know whether that was a mistake, but that's what he prescribed me.

Was I supposed to be happy with his analysis of my "numbers"??? To accept that "proper testing" had been done??? Was I supposed to just take the doc's word as gospel? And walk away and accept that he was right and I was wrong, that my symptoms (or my moaning about having such symptoms)were probably due to my being mentally unstable or something???

Well, I didn't take his word for it!!! I had several pieces of evidence to back up my diagnosis: the blood work provided me with three separate pieces of evidence, plus - although these pieces of evidence were dismissed as irrelevant - my own symptoms.

In the case of this particular deficiency, I was lucky: B12 can be obtained legally without a prescription. I had done my homework and went home - annoyed with the doctor and upset that he hadn't taken me seriously and that he had only paid attention to ONE number - and immediately ordered some sublingual methylcobalamin. I started taking it and within a very short time, the symptoms I had complained of that day had GONE!!! I felt like a new woman!!!

However, after an initial burst of energy and a few months of feeling quite alright again, a while back I noticed that I was feeling tired a lot again. I bought three books on hypothyroidism (recommended to me by someone on this forum) and started reading up on the issue. One forum member also analyzed my blood work and told me I seemed to have a T4 to T3 conversion problem so, since writing the very post on this thread in December 2009, I have come quite a long way.

I have also been reading quite a few of the articles on Ray Peat's website, (plus others on other thyroid-related websites and forums) and through this reading, have had the suspicion confirmed that a thyroid issue - plus high oestrogen due to perimenopause - could be at the bottom of my problems.

In fact, I had actually long come to the conclusion that "adrenal fatigue" is in fact just another name for chronic magnesium deficiency. I have been having issues with low magnesium again lately and wondered why this was because I have been supplementing and doing all I can to get my magnesium levels up.

Ray Peat may have given me the answer: it could well be thyroid-related!!! (something to do with aldosterone and salt loss causing magnesium losses).

And this would indeed explain why the thyroid issue comes first and then the adrenal fatigue. However, it is simply not possible to learn all these things concurrently: we are all on our own little journeys and we all keep learning, stumbling and falling, as we plod along.

So, you may well be right to draw the same conclusion as Pam, as you do below. I definitely have perimenopausal symptoms, too.

Quote:
I am with Pam on this one-your symptoms might not necessarily be adrenal fatigue. I thought my adrenals were my problem but were normal on testing-it was my thyroid and perimenopause.


But I am very much hoping to find a doctor who will listen to me, not just pay attention to one number on a sheet of paper and ignore other information that contradicts this one number.

And the jury is still most definitely out as to what constitutes "proper testing". I shall be buying this book very soon:

http://www.amazon.de/Overdiagnosed-...11972005&sr=1-1

In fact, I think I'll place an order right now!!!

Anyway, I've calmed down now, but I did feel unfairly criticized.

Sorry about the rant, but I needed to get that out of my system.

Have a good weekend,

amanda
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  #21   ^
Old Fri, Jul-29-11, 20:09
lisabinil's Avatar
lisabinil lisabinil is offline
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Posts: 1,441
 
Plan: Healthy moderate carb
Stats: 206/177/160 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress: 63%
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Not meaning to be critical at all but just speaking as someone who has been there done that. Until you get to the root of an endocinological problem you really don't know what meds you need or what supplements. My endo explained it like this-your endocrinological system's hormones are interconnected in the body, when one hormone is off it sometimes creates a cascade effect on the other hormones and until I get to the root of the problem I don't like throwing supplements and medications at a patient until I discover the root cause of the problem or else I really won't know what worked for the patient and what I exactly treated. No offense was meant at all-my forum speak is not really the touchy feely kind-I'm more direct without meaning to give offense.
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  #22   ^
Old Sat, Jul-30-11, 03:45
amandawald amandawald is offline
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Posts: 4,735
 
Plan: GF mod carb/Schwarzbein
Stats: 160/160/160 Female 164cm
BF:
Progress: 51%
Location: Brit in Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisabinil
Not meaning to be critical at all but just speaking as someone who has been there done that. Until you get to the root of an endocinological problem you really don't know what meds you need or what supplements. My endo explained it like this-your endocrinological system's hormones are interconnected in the body, when one hormone is off it sometimes creates a cascade effect on the other hormones and until I get to the root of the problem I don't like throwing supplements and medications at a patient until I discover the root cause of the problem or else I really won't know what worked for the patient and what I exactly treated. No offense was meant at all-my forum speak is not really the touchy feely kind-I'm more direct without meaning to give offense.


Hi lisabinil,

I think my hormones were going crazy yesterday!!! Today I feel a lot more serene and wonder why I got so touchy...

I really do take your point and am hoping - you hear so many horror stories - that I will eventually find a decent doc. As you can see from the above story, my GP has not been very useful so far...

amanda
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  #23   ^
Old Tue, Aug-02-11, 20:17
lisabinil's Avatar
lisabinil lisabinil is offline
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Posts: 1,441
 
Plan: Healthy moderate carb
Stats: 206/177/160 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress: 63%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandawald
Hi lisabinil,

I think my hormones were going crazy yesterday!!! Today I feel a lot more serene and wonder why I got so touchy...

I really do take your point and am hoping - you hear so many horror stories - that I will eventually find a decent doc. As you can see from the above story, my GP has not been very useful so far...

amanda



I wish you all the luck-it's crazy how we have to fight for good care in the endo area. I lucked out and found a really great endo-now I'm afraid he will retire.
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  #24   ^
Old Mon, Aug-29-11, 04:36
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 9,877
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/162/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 83%
Location: USA
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The other night my husband and I were discussing what dramatic changes have taken place over the course of our marriage; he saw some of my struggles up close, and of course he's been somewhat participating in all the low carbing I've been doing.

Without my consistent efforts to understand how low carb works for me, my imagination painted a picture of how I'd look and feel now: over 200 pounds, probably at my highest weight ever due to aging and further metabolic damage. Blood pressure high; I'd be on pills. Probably getting lectured about my creeping blood sugar. LOTS of arthritis pain in my hands; more pills. And, I'm sure, feeling like freeze-dried crap all the time.

I know I would sit there and stare at 90% of doctors who would be telling me it's all because I'm overweight, and I should cut my fat and exercise more.

Because the tests they'd run would look "normal."
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  #25   ^
Old Sat, Oct-29-11, 00:36
Thursdays Thursdays is offline
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Plan: My own combination
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It is so difficult to figure out the intertwining and ever mystifying symptoms that we dislike. Almost as, if not more difficult to find a good doctor. I went through doctor after doctor and seen several that clearly didn't have a passion for their work, that is what we are lacking. Most doctors only possess a passion for their paycheck and not for their patients and their practice.

Though there are many, many wonderful doctors out there, they are just difficult to find. Especially when coupled with complications like locality, insurance and other constraints. I rarely self diagnosed but always had "suspicions." - That being the case, imagine my shock when I went to more doctors than I can count and none of them could find anything.

They look at me and see a young, 24 year old woman, how could she possibly have problems at such a young age? Basically they just don't take me seriously even though my health has been on the decline since I was 22. Needless to say I have just stopped going to doctors and rather than try anything else... I have just decided to read as much about nutrition as possible.

I believe nutrition is the most important role in health and I am taking what I learn and implementing the things that resonate most with me. Though I wouldn't be surprised if Adrenal Fatigue was part of the problem... my attempt is to treat myself as a whole instead of dissecting myself and treating bits of me.

You are all far braver than I though, I have haven't the guts to try herbs so I am doing more the "whole foods" thing, I have an aversion to pills so I hesitate to even "supplement" - basically I upped my intake of what I believe to be some of the healthiest things for people and I removed what I believe to be some of the unhealthiest things for people out of my diet.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention, I do have a handful of symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. The most outstanding one is my impossibly low blood pressure upon standing. So severe that I was actually tested for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, though I didn't pass out on the Tilt-Table Test so apparently I don't have that, lol. It was funny, during the second half of my Tilt-Table Test where I was actually upright, they couldn't even find a blood pressure. They hooked up two machines and had a nurse checking manually, all three going continuously and unable to find a blood pressure. Finally the one nurse yelled at the other nurse... "Come on, did you find anything yet!?" and the nurse taking my BP replied "Not yet, I'm looking, I'm looking."

After nearly 20 minutes of man nor machine being able to locate my blood pressure, (One machine hooked to left arm, one on right leg and nurse on my right arm) the nurse finally located my Systolic number, at the time I remembered what it was, very low. The other nurse began yelling at her "What do you mean you can only find the Systolic? That is backwards! You should find the Diastolic long before you find the Systolic" ( Or vise versa, she found the low number, not the high one and given that it was a year ago and that I don't know which is the high or low, it may have been Diastolic instead of Systolic.)


I wish you all the best of luck.
Thursdays.

Last edited by Thursdays : Sat, Oct-29-11 at 00:47. Reason: Forgot to mention something
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  #26   ^
Old Wed, Feb-22-12, 22:12
HappynThin HappynThin is offline
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Plan: Heller CAD
Stats: 175/155/140 Female 5'5"
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Location: Oregon
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I had adrenal fatigue about 10 years ago and the symptoms were just horrible. I was desperate. I had the good fortune of finding an M.D. who practices medicine from a holistic viewpoint and when OHSU said they could find nothing wrong with me after a battery of tests, this man saved my life!!! He put me on a medicine called cortef, as well as dietary and mental changes, and after about 5 years he weaned me off the medication and I have been cured every since! It was a miserable experience but he was a beacon in the night. The medical establishment isn't even interested in knowing this information. Astounding! But at least I'm cured TG!
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  #27   ^
Old Thu, Feb-23-12, 04:09
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 9,877
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/162/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 83%
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandawald
I have also ordered ... some rhodiola, just to try out.



I've taken it at lunch about three times so far... over a week. I definitely feel a "lift" on my rhodiola days! Shifting it to every day at lunch...
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  #28   ^
Old Thu, Feb-23-12, 04:17
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 9,877
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/162/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 83%
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursdays
You are all far braver than I though, I have haven't the guts to try herbs so I am doing more the "whole foods" thing, I have an aversion to pills so I hesitate to even "supplement" - basically I upped my intake of what I believe to be some of the healthiest things for people and I removed what I believe to be some of the unhealthiest things for people out of my diet.


While this is an excellent move, I hope you do explore supplementation as I believe it has amazing potential. I can take an MSM tablet to help heal my arthritic hands... or I can eat several bulbs of garlic a day. I like garlic, but a) not that much and b) I have to work with the public for a living!
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  #29   ^
Old Thu, Feb-23-12, 04:34
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RubySpider RubySpider is offline
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Posts: 494
 
Plan: My Own
Stats: 293/293/180 Female 165 cm
BF:
Progress: 0%
Location: Washington, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
I can take an MSM tablet to help heal my arthritic hands... or I can eat several bulbs of garlic a day. I like garlic, but a) not that much and b) I have to work with the public for a living!


This made me giggle. I had just read a "Cracked" article on the eating oily fish for attention deficit. Side effects: "The complete absence of human companionship. Probably because they make your breath and skin smell like an old Russian's wet underwear."

Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-atten.../#ixzz1nCfam1C0

The article is more comedic than anything else, but as I am taking cod liver oil as we speak, I really hope I don't get a weird odor from it. We are just starting to get into warmer weather here, so I guess I'll find out soon enough!
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