Don’t have a lot of time to write today. Started hormones yesterday. Feel better already! (<– not really…. looking forward to it though.) I wonder if there’s a “getting used to it” period that has to be endured?
Over the past week or two I’ve been handling my diet in a sort of sloppy manner – eating some cheese, drinking some wine (at least it was the highly touted Malbec, but I’m not supposed to be drinking any right now. Dr. K. said.), eating snacks. I really wanted to eat pizza on Saturday…the lowest of the low days…but I didn’t. Instead I ate a lot of nuts, which also aren’t great for me.
I feel like I’m getting a fresh start today, having just started the BHRT. It was discouraging doing so much “right” for so long with no results…hence my slipping with the diet protocol. Now that there’s actually hope that something might change I feel motivated to tighten things up again.
BAB this morning: Grassfed beef and pastured eggs cooked in coconut oil.
Dr. K. says to get your seafood in early in the day. Maybe I’ll go eat some canned clams (that’s what we’ve got here in landlocked Illinois).
Have a great Monday.
My poor hormonal balance led to some severe mood swings yesterday. I couldn’t even write, I was so fatigued and so low. My life felt completely sucky for a day. I know it’s the hormones now. There was a time depression really felt like something was wrong outside of me. Now I know when I feel that way there’s something wrong with my biology.
On Friday my Wiley Protocol BHRT hormones arrived in the mail. I felt like this:
Only, you know, substitute the word “hormones” for “phonebook.” Now I just need my TOM to start and we’re all set. The data I’ve been collecting indicates that the last time I had a terrible, no good, very bad, hormonal day I got my period 2 days later. We’ll see if that has any predictive power.
I wanted to mention….Going slow was definitely the right thing to do, as far as weaning our 2-year old off of dairy. After my consult with Dr. K., it became clear to me that we were going to have to get her off dairy (she is already off grains), given the hormonal disruption in my lineage, which I’ve likely passed on to her. It’s been taking time for her to learn to replace the nutrition in milk with other food. Here’s what we’ve been doing:
- Discontinued cheese right away. She liked other snacks just as much, and milk was really the bigger issue because she loves it.
- We reduced from unlimited milk to two 8-oz servings a day. She got one with breakfast and one after her nap with lunch. They were given to her regardless of whether or not she asked, and never outside these two times. What this did is detach the delivery of the milk from her requests for it, and made it time-of-day-dependent rather than request-dependent. The purpose of this was to remove any illusion on her part that she had control over when or how often she got milk, which should result in her requests for milk to stop. Also, it was clear to both parents what the schedule was because it didn’t change day to day.
- Every other day we would reduce her total milk consumption 1 oz. So basically the first two days she got 16 oz each day, divided into the 2 servings. The next two days she got 15 oz each day, divided into the 2 servings. We wrote on our kitchen calendar how many total ounces she was getting each day so there was no question regardless of which parent was there.
- We found a substitute that she also likes. Ice water. She loves playing with ice cubes. Whenever she would ask for milk rather than just saying “no” we offer her ice water instead, which involves a whole ritual of her helping to put the ice cubes in the cup. If regular ice cubes hadn’t been enticing enough we could have made them different colors. Didn’t need to though. Now she asks for ice water instead of milk about 80% of the time. (But she still gets the 2 servings a day regardless of whether or not she asks.)
- Now we’re gradually reducing her daily intake. We started with 16 ounces (8oz 2x a day) and now we’re down to 11oz (6 oz with breakfast and 5 oz with lunch). The reduction schedule will continue until she’s off of it completely.
- We’ve increased seafood, high fat meats, fruits and veggies for her, to make sure the nutrition she was getting in milk (fat, calcium, and vitamin D) are still in her diet.
I know there are some hard-to-find dairy alternatives…A2 vs A1 dairy, goats milk…? I don’t know much about these things. What I do know is that she’s only 2 and her memory processes are still very much in development. As long as she’s getting the nutrition she needs from other foods she isn’t likely to remember how much she liked milk and cheese. The trick then will be to try to control other sources of dairy and grains in her life – like, from well-meaning child care providers. Right now we’re raising her 24 hours a day, but there may come a time she’s in day care. At that point I hope we’re no longer living in corn country. People around here just don’t get it. Anyway, I’ll keep updating as we go with this process.
Got lab results from my blood draw Tuesday. My liver panel is all “within normal limits” whatever that means. My lipid panel is all wrong and basically unchanged from 6 weeks ago. I attributed the poor numbers then to detoxing from CT. Can’t say that right now.
So…still. Low HDL, high LDL, trigs over 100. The last 6 weeks of eating coconut oil every day and taking L-Glutathione did nothing for my HDL. Maybe the problem is the nuts I’m eating. I know that Dr. K says no nuts on his Leaky Gut prescription. Ok, ok…no nuts. And the every-now-and-then cheese will stop too. I know I’ve said that before.
I was reading Gretchen’s blog where she says this:
After reading Dr Kruse’s response on the Perfect Health blog, in Sep 2011, regarding increased LDL in some people on a paleo/primal diet, I realized the crazy cortisol I had, in combination with the high LDL I was dealing with pregnenolone steal syndrome, and my brain had turned off my hypothalamus-pituary axis, essentially shutting down my thyroid to a maintenance level, which was making it difficult to lose weight. It also explained why my Thyroid panels (TSH and T4- were normal!) This became a vicious cycle. So, I continued to make LDL, but the cortisol was shunting the pregnenolone so I wasn’t turning the LDL into the appropriate sex-steroid hormones. This was my biggest AHHAAA moment in my quest for health. I then focused on fixing the cortisol through the use of adaptogens, I gave up my beloved coffee for decaf, and I stopped working out.
This is me. My cortisol problem IS my lipid panel problem.
I’m such a damn mess.
Leaky gut, cortisol, hormones tanked…
Ok, off to a good start again today.
I went to my PCP because of my never-ending coughing and wheezing last week. I have asthma (diagnosed 11 years ago), and I wasn’t sure if I had a bug or if I was having an allergic reaction to something. The doc’s approach? She gave me a steroid inhaler and some antibiotics and a cup to spit some phlegm into the next morning for the lab to analyze. I used the inhaler and things started getting better right away. Threw away the antibiotics and the lab cup. If I had just been someone who didn’t know anything about intestinal flora I would have just taken the antibiotic (which it turned out I didn’t need at all) and not questioned anything, and then had to deal with a gut imbalance for however long going forward, and all the implications that go with that. Stupid medical establishment. Thanks for the inhaler though.
I’m definitely in the throes of PMS. I hate it. I keep telling myself to just not think – keep distracting myself – because none of it is real. The hatred I feel toward some people right now…not real. The despair I feel about my job right now…well, that might be real, but it becomes overwhelming when I’m “hormonal”. Just get through the day. Just get through the day. Actually watched TV last night. For like 3 hours. An effort to distract myself. It worked.
Here’s a thought I had yesterday. Maybe the stress associated with having “horrible” hormonal balance actually increases cortisol. I mean, when my Pg and E2 are off I feel angry, sad, and anxious. Maybe by getting my hormones in order I’ll also be able to get my adrenals in order. I know it’s not as simple as all that. I still need to learn to manage psychological stress better. But man…that would be a good start.
Speaking of anger and toxic emotions, I’m a little annoyed at Dr. K. today. In the comments of his latest blog post he’s now saying that coconut oil is NOT for everyone and that saturated fats should not be eaten all the time – not because of heart-clogging properties, but because it competes in your body with DHA, and you want DHA to be the winner. I understand that his theory is probably evolving as he does all of these blog posts and consults. And I wish he could just say that…that his theory is evolving as he learns more. But instead he says he’s known this for the last 7 years…” And when people ask him to resolve the discrepancies between his statements now and those made months ago he says something passive like, “Well it depends on your labs.”
I feel sometimes like he’s my crazy genius uncle who shows up drunk to Thanksgiving every now and then. Gotta love the man, and I respect his intellect and his efforts very much. But, like everyone, he’s not perfect.
Only have a few minutes to write today…
…so here’s what’s going on.
The PA finally responded…said the delay was someone else’s fault. Hm…a pattern emerging? Anyway…her reaction to my labs: “Everything is really low.” So she’s ordering me up some hormones from a mail-order pharmacy in Indiana today. All signs point to my cycle not starting anytime real soon. Lately I’m a moody crazed mess right before, so chances are I’ll get the hormones in the next couple days and be able to start this month! Very exciting.
In unrelated medical news I had a blood draw this morning – a liver profile and a lipid panel – ordered by my PCP. I have a pap this week. Normally I like to put those off, being as icky as they are, but after Kruse told me I was at risk for ovarian cancer I went ahead and made an appointment. It’s been a year since my last one. The labs were ordered because she doubts the wisdom of my choice to abandon my Lipitor. I guess I’ll withstand the tongue lashing on Friday in order to get some insurance-paid labs done.
I’ve been reading Sex, Lies, and Menopause in my (little) free time. Actually had a half hour to read today while waiting for the lab draw. The book is written by T.S. Wiley, the creator of the Wiley Protocol – the BHRT system upon which I’m about to embark. She says the same things Kruse does, about artificial light and fake food causing hormonal disruption. She focuses much more on the evolutionary benefits of women’s natural biological tendencies, which we (or course) screw up by getting jobs and waiting till we’re 40 to procreate. It’s hard to read this without feeling guilty…I’ve obviously done everything wrong. I felt that way after my consult with Kruse too. Then I remind myself I am a product of my environment and my society. Now that I know better, I’m going to do better.
Yesterday I ate my BAB at 6:30AM and then got hungry for lunch around 2:30PM – 8 hours later. I’m going to do the same thing again today…no eating lunch till I’m hungry. Hopefully that’ll be around 4, and then I’ll be done eating for the day after 2 meals. Definitely an improvement. I remember a couple months ago thinking it was great that I could go 6 hours without eating. In my pre-Paleo life I was hungry every couple hours or so. 8 hours is awesome.
BAB today: grass fed beef, 2 eggs fried in coconut oil, hot water with a dollop of coconut oil in it.
How about a quick rundown of what’s new and exciting:
Something interesting seems to be happening to my appetite. I’m rarely hungry when lunchtime rolls around now. Just for fun I waited to eat lunch till I got hungry on Saturday. Well, didn’t get hungry till 4PM – 8 hours after eating my BAB (which, by the way, wasn’t as B as it sometimes is. It was actually quite medium-sized). Anyway, this could be very cool – maybe I can be one of those 2-meal-a-day people. I’m going to try it again today, with the not eating another meal till I’m actually feeling hungry. I seem to be less hungry now that I’m not CT-ing. Or maybe something else is happening. I have been on the leptin reset since February – about 5 1/2 months. Maybe it’s just taking this long for my body to change from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner. I was rereading some of my earlier blog entries, and I have really struggled with hunger between/just before meals. This would be a great relief if it continues.
My weight is unchanged for now, stuck at 182. That’s about 10 pounds less than where I started back in February. A very SLOW loss, one might say, but at least the boat is now headed in the right direction. Always with the non-patience.
PA needs to be calling me today, or I’ll be calling her. Does she really want women with hormone problems pissed off at her? Is she crazy?
Made some Fat Bread yesterday. It’s pretty yummy! Thanks, Newtopaleo for the lead! It’s kind of expensive to make – I think the ingredients in this loaf cost about $12. Good to have options though. We’re gradually weaning babykins off milk. She’s down to two 14-oz servings a day, compared to unlimited a couple weeks ago. She was eating peanut butter on fat bread yesterday, which made me so happy. I’m trying to keep her fat intake up while she makes the transition off milk. Last time I was not attentive to that and she crashed, big time. Milk is, after all, her greatest source of dietary fat.
Ok, must go to work. Cheers.
The apathy has been creeping in. It may be a hormonal flux…if I didn’t ovulate this cycle I would have no progesterone in my system (because ovulation actually releases the progesterone into the body). No ovulation = no progesterone. No progesterone = estrogen goes unchecked. Estrogen goes unchecked = weeping, moodiness, bloating. When estrogen also gets low (toward the end of the cycle…like now…), that’s when I get things like hot flashes, poor sleep, and the mood goes from weepy to angry.
This all used to be a lot more predictable. Now I have mood swings all through the month. It’s great.
The PA didn’t call or write. I sent her another email yesterday. She’s not awesome. If she doesn’t get in touch with me on Monday I’ll call her on Tuesday. I’m being a pest, I know…but I don’t really care. I’m her customer and she needs to do what she said she would do.
Got our Paleo Bread yesterday. It took the company 3 weeks to get it to us, despite charging us for 2nd day air shipping. I get that they’re a new company and and probably working the bugs out of their production and shipping line. But still…3 weeks? Anyway, it’s not bad. It tastes like bread. Like the kind of thin, slightly too firm kind of bread they serve appetizers on at a fancy restaurant. But still like bread! No preservatives – only like 8 ingredients, all of which are real food. My daughter thinks it’s great with peanut butter and jelly. So despite the expense and the wait, it’s a good product. I recommend it.
My husband received his email consult results from Dr. K. Basically he recommended every lab that he would have gotten anyway, and some reading material from his blog. It was fine…basically told me that nothing really stood out to him as obviously wrong. So at some point in the near future he’ll follow up with labs and the follow-up consult.
I’ve been sneaking cheese back into my diet again. A couple ounces yesterday and an ounce or so the day before. I think that’s the part of this plan that I have the most trouble with – the no cheese.
Oh well… guess I’ll go play with baby for now before she starts doing back flips off the couch to get my attention.
Looking forward to caring about things again.
I thought first off I’d share my most recent hormone labs, ordered by the PA in the interest of getting baseline data before BHRT.
Here they are:
||< or = 31
|Lutenizing Hormone (LH)
|Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
So clearly I’m a lay person and don’t know what all this means, but here’s what I’ve learned so far via Google:
- I’m probably not far from menopause (as Dr. K. said). Check out that FSH – that’s almost menopausal! Apparently the higher your FSH is, the fewer number and lower quality eggs you have left. When I got pregnant with my daughter my FSH was 3.5. And I was struggling with infertility back then.
- My Progesterone is non-existent this month and these were drawn on Day 17 of my cycle. Typically women ovulate around day 14. The non-progesterone indicates either I didn’t ovulate this month (cuz I’m old and peri-menopausal and apparently women shoot blanks for a while before menopause) or I hadn’t yet ovulated. I was wrong yesterday when I said my cycle started (I know, right? Don’t you think I would be able to tell that? It was just spotting.) Soo..long story short, I don’t know if I was pre-ovulatory when this test was done or if I was non-ovulatory this past cycle.
- Estrogen is in the very-low normal range for mid-cycle (which is probably where I was).
- Testosterone is about normal (not high, which would be expected if I had PCOS. I don’t seem to meet the diagnostic criteria.)
Well, that’s about it. I’m waiting for the PA to call me. Still. Maybe I’ll call her today. My email prompt yesterday did nothing.
My husband is still waiting for his email consult results from Dr. K. I think they were misplaced or overlooked. The turnaround time was supposed to be 24 hours. Dr. K. needs a better business manager. Or he needs to check his email.
I’m getting tired of everything again. I need some hormones. And some cortisol. I wish my entire endocrine system wasn’t so broken and exhausted.
Plus, I’m still coughing. This has been going on for 2 weeks now. I’m going to the doc today, if she can see me. That primary care physician should be good for something, right?
Still haven’t heard from the doc. Writing to her today to prompt a response. Actually everything I was waiting for yesterday I’m still waiting for. Cept my TOM. That seems to have arrived. Darn. Will probably have to wait to start the BHRT. I suppose that’s ok. I keep wanting to rush things.
I really don’t have much more to say. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, so I’m continuing the Leptin Rx way of eating, seafood heavy since Dr. K. recommends it now. Just ate salmon, eggs, and shrimp for breakfast. Not bad.
I’m boring myself.
I need something to jar loose so I have something of consequence to say.