Bad Sleep

Well, the T3 definitely seems to be affecting my sleep.

Today I woke up at 2:00AM (went to bed at 11:00), and couldn’t get back to sleep.  It’s now 5:00AM, and I’m alert like it’s noon.

I took all 25mcg of the T3 early enough (or so I thought) – a 6mcg dose every 2 hours between 8AM and 2PM yesterday…and yet, here we are.  I did have one glass of wine last night…but I don’t think that would make a huge difference.  I know it takes time for your body to get used to a new medication.

I’ve been charting my body temperatures and heart rates to gauge the effectiveness of the T3.  Early AM temps are averaging around 97.4 F (but right now my temp is 98.0), and rise throughout the day to an average of 98.6.  A couple days ago it got up to 99 for a little while, but I had taken 2 doses a little closer together than usual.  Heart rate starts in the high 60s and is in the low 80s by mid day (and currently it’s 68).  So the T3 seems to be at an appropriate dose – it’s getting me where I want it to be most of the day.  I’m not sure why there’s insomnia.  Stress hormones putting up a fight?

Will just continue on for now and hope it passes.

The depression has lifted a bit.  I’m still a little irritable, but it’s not as bad.

I decided not to take all of those supplements I talked about in my last post.  Further research indicates the depression is probably not detox related.  For now I’m taking my usual regimen: A multivitamin, Vitamin D3, magnesium, and a B-complex.

Anyway, It’s been just over a week on the T3…I’ll just continue on.

Spot-CT

I tried doing spot-CT yesterday.  Did it twice actually – the first time in the morning for 45 minutes, and the second time in the evening for an hour.  I basically created an ice sandwich with a spandex-y shirt on first:

…then two of these ice-mat things that I got at Walmart wrapped around my waist:

…and over that, a weird waist-wrap thing I happened to have lying around that looks a little like this:

It stayed in place nicely.  In both cases my skin got pretty pink and skin temps measured in the low-to-mid 50s.  It certainly was easy and felt good.  I imagine I’ll be doing it again.

I’ve been sleeping like a crazy tired person lately.  Over the weekend I slept 10 hours Friday night and then 10 hours again Saturday night.  I would have kept sleeping in both cases, but I was awakened by babykins.  I’m not sure what CT is doing to me.  I like to think it’s doing some serious repair and I need to be in a near-comatose state for the repair to occur…because otherwise all that sleeping is just a waste of time!  I got things to do!

Mood has been very good lately.  I stopped taking the DIM temporarily because I kept having minor headaches since I started it.  We’ll see if my mood stays good.

Back to the bath later today.

Colder, Longer, Better

Second cold bath last night.  This time down to 63 and able to submerge more of my upper body too.  It wasn’t as hard to be in the water as the first time.  I tried a different method.  I used my daughter’s bathwater (90 degrees F) and just got in, added some cold water, and let some of the warm water out.  Every 5 minutes or so I’d do it again, until it was down to about 63 degrees F.  I was in the coldest water for about 15-20 minutes.  That’s the coldest my tap gets.  I’ll have to add ice at some point, and probably also get one of those tub-drain cover things, to make it deeper.  (OMG, it’s only $5.  I’m ordering one right now.  Yes, right in the middle of this post.)  Before the ice though, I’ll work on extending the length of the bath.  I suppose I should also get a compression T shirt, as recommended by Dr. K.

Anyway, the bath.  The water is not cold enough that I go completely numb, and maybe it makes sense for that reason to go even colder.  I do find it to be challenging to get positioned correctly so that my hands and feet are out of the water, while still maintaining as much skin in the water as possible.   How the heck do people wear hats and gloves and socks without getting them soaking wet?  These CT folks are certainly much more graceful and physically adept than me.  I’ll try – don’t get me wrong – but I’m expecting to make some messes.  After my bath last night my hands and feet were cold till I went to bed 2 hours later, but I was determined not to bundle up – to let my body figure out how to warm itself.   I warmed up at some point while sleeping.  I actually remember waking up to a heat surge at one point – it felt really good.

My blood sugar is under 100 again today.  Maybe having an infection (the flu) was the culprit after all.  Maybe my body was still fighting the infection – even for the week since I stopped experiencing clinical symptoms – and now it’s completely resolved.  I’ll keep testing and see what happens next time I get sick.

As far as detox symptoms from the CT, I’m seeing a little here and there – some GI symptoms, some face-color-flushing, some mood symptoms (<–just last weekend, none since supplementing with Progesterone).  Certainly nothing I can’t manage or even forget about, at this point.

My sleep is good …but I’ve been sleeping a lot, and it’s really cutting into my R and R time!  I put the baby to bed at about 8:00, sit with her till 8:30 or so, go to bed around 9:00 and read till 9:30 or 10:00, and then sleep sleep sleep.  Last night I slept 8-9 hours.  I guess this is good for me, but it seems like such a waste of time.  I used to really enjoy those hours from 8:30 till 11:00 or so!  Maybe that’s why I was becoming so unhealthy.

I know I’m on the right track now.

April Blood Sugar Update

So this is weird, I think.  Take a look:

My fasting blood sugar was happily rolling along, averaging under 100 for the first time in years.  Then I started CT and got the flu (at least I think it was the flu) in mid April, and now my numbers are high again.  WTF?  I’ve recovered 100% from whatever it was I did have, so I can’t really blame being sick for my continued high fasting blood sugar readings.  So it must be the face dunking?  Weird.

In other news, I have had no mood swings since starting the progesterone a few days ago.  If I can make it through the next 2 weeks without telling my husband he sucks at something I’ll be home free!  I wish I was kidding.  I’m no fun when my hormones are out of whack.  Thankfully he has a very strong sense of self-esteem, and he insists he still loves me.  Still haven’t got my hormone re-test results back from ZRT labs.  Maybe today.

Last night I did some face dunking.  I forgot to mention that the last 2 times I’ve done this I’ve used a snorkel.  We just happened to have one lying around!  I guess I should stop complaining about all the clutter in the basement.  Anyway, our tap water is relatively warm compared to other people reporting on this stuff, but with ice packs added to the water it typically starts out around 52 degrees F, and I’ve been doing 4 or 5 1-minute face dunks.  With a nose clip and snorkel this seriously barely feels like I’m even under water.  It’s more like being outside on a cool day.  Very tolerable.  I get bored after about a minute and come up to check temps – skin temp gets down to low-mid 60s.  One thing I’m noticing is that it’s harder for me to get to sleep after I’ve done CT in the evening.  I think it must raise cortisol.  I feel very alert and productive.  Once I finally go to sleep I do sleep well, but I wasn’t having much trouble sleeping to begin with. I’m not sure what to do about this – seems that for me CT in the morning would be better…but I can’t picture myself drawing a cold bath at 5AM before work.  It may come to that, I suppose.

Must go to work now.  Maybe this week I’ll use my cool Cryo Cuff to spot-ice on the way to work.

Leptin Rx: Week 10, Day 1

Ok…a few updates.

The Good:

  • Sleep is excellent lately.  I’ve been falling asleep easily and sleeping 8 hours a night.  Usually I wake up around 2 or 3 but I go right back to sleep.  I wake up feeling rested.
  • I’ve lost a couple pounds over the last week or so.  We’ll see if it continues.
  • I was near a World Market store over the weekend and bought a bunch of 99% chocolate bars.  Dr. K. says he eats these.  I have a hard time believing they’re really 99% cocoa because they’re so good, and taste sweeter than that.  The label says the ingredients are “chocolate liquor” and sugar, with a total carbohydrate count of 14 per serving (half a bar), 7 of which is fiber and 1 of which is sugar.  I wonder what the other 6 is?  Anyway, they’re pretty yummy.
  • Fasting blood sugar continues to hover in the high 90s.
  • I’ve ordered another test kit from ZRT to test progesterone and estrogen again, this time paying closer attention to the day of the month.  I’m reasonably sure I’m estrogen dominant, but I’d like real numbers to compare over time, not guesses.  It should arrive this week, and perhaps I’ll have results in a week or so.
  • I’m developing a plan of action, once the test results are in.  If I’m low progesterone I’ll be supplementing with progesterone cream.  If I’m not low progesterone but I am high estrogen I’ll probably take DIM and/or Calcium D-Glucarate.  DIM is a phytonutrient found in broccoli and other calciferous vegetables that promotes healthy estrogen metabolism.  Calcium D-Glucarate keeps estrogen from being reabsorbed and aids the liver in detoxification to get rid of excess estrogens.  In any case, I’ll wait and see what the labs say.

The Bad:

  • The DHEA was really a bad idea for me.  I learned a valuable lesson in all this.  Just because someone on the internet says something is a good idea, doesn’t mean you should just blindly go out and try it without doing your own research.  Dr. Kruse actually says within his recommendation of DHEA, “DHEA decreases IL-6 in a dose dependent fashion but its use must be done with consultation with a physician,” so this is completely on me.  What I’ve learned is that DHEA is actually a pretty powerful hormone and probably shouldn’t be taken without testing to see if you actually need it.  Many people report great effects, similar to those you would expect when first taking anabolic steroids – improved performance and energy, increased sex drive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…that kind of thing.  For me, however, I think it may have been responsible for my exceptionally erratic moods and weird/irregular cycle last month.  DHEA increases testosterone and estrogen (which I don’t need).  It made my breasts sore too.  And it made my bras tight.  Yuck.  Anyway, I think Dr. Kruse’s recommendations are generally good…but as he says himself…question everything.  The half life of DHEA is 10-12 hours according to various sources.  I’m hoping most of it is out of my system when I do my progesterone/estrogen testing this Friday.
  • I was unusually hungry yesterday.  Could it be the 99% chocolate that I ate in the morning?  I did it again this morning to see if I have the same experience today.  Also just cuz it’s yummy chocolate.
  • I had a conversation with my mom and dad over Easter about nutrition.  I don’t expect them to go all Paleo or all Leptin Rx or anything, but I was hoping to introduce them to some ideas that might improve the quality of their life.  I brought the abstracts from 12-15 scientific articles about coconut oil, many of which focused on the cognitive benefits of consuming medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).  I also gave them Wheat Belly and The Trans Fat Solution.  I showed them my own lab work and told them my life and health was getting better, not worse, by eating lots of fat.  My dad was very much interested in all of this.  That made me feel great.  He also loved the Nutiva Coconut Manna.  My mom was still eating margarine when I left on Sunday.  It took all of my self restraint to not throw that damn trans-fat in the trash before I left.  But this isn’t about me.  As I told them, my interest lies in just getting the right information into their hands.  They can make their own decisions.  Still, it would be nice if my mom gave my opinion and research a wee bit more credit.  Maybe she’ll come around.

I guess that’s it for my current updates.  Continuing on with the Leptin Reset…indefinitely.

Leptin Rx: Week 6, Day 2

I’m still following the Leptin Rx protocol, but I have to admit, I’m feeling a tad bit discouraged lately.  Maybe poor mood is a symptom of my hypothalamus remapping itself and becoming a highly sensitive and well-functioning organ, just like the day I was born!

Yeah, maybe.

And now for today’s good/bad segment…

The Good:

  • No hunger/cravings.  Don’t care much about eating.
  • Relief from being thirsty – I went over to Dr. K’s site to look for answers.  Here’s what he says in the comments of the “My Leptin Rx” post:

When you reset the hypothalamus it can effect our serum and urine osmolarity too for period. Most people usually complain of higher thirst.

And later, in response to a guy who felt he was drinking too much water:

…you need to drink water at 40 degrees…….all the time.

Over on the Leptin Rx FAQs post, in the comments, someone asks, “I have been having a problem with extreme thirst. No matter how much I drink, I feel thirsty and my tongue feels thick and sour.”  His response:

big thirst not satisfied by drinking is tied to Mg and or Zn issues……I’d suggest you add those in. The biggest issue is your water is not cold enough…….see to it your drinks are at 40 degrees and I bet when you start drinking cold water your thirst will go away. Why? Cold induces ADH a hormone in the posterior pituitary that controls water balance.

Another question, further down the comments: “What would caused increase thirst on the reset?”   Answer:

…rewiring of the posterior hypothalamus.

Anyway, drinking colder water did the trick for me – after 3 or 4 days of guzzling excessive room-temperature water and not feeling satisfied.   Hm…if I didn’t know better, I would think this guy knew what he was talking about.

The Bad:

  • Sleep is still irregular.  Last night I felt hyped up and couldn’t sleep until 11:30.  I did manage to sleep through the night (well, until I had to get up at 5, anyway).
  • Bad Cooking – I pretty much ruined an expensive grass-fed roast yesterday.  I just don’t for the life of me know how to cook meat well…and I really need to learn if I’m going to be spending this much money on food.  I tried to cook it in the crock pot – actually I’ve tried to cook the last 3 in the crock pot, with different settings/heats/durations – each time it comes out overdone and dry.  Clearly I don’t know the strength of my own crock pot, nor do I understand the concept of time.
  • Not losing weight, and aside from an initial improvement, my clothes aren’t getting loser.
  • My mood is…well, meh.  I have the longest-ever PMS going on right now.  I even took a pregnancy test – it was negative.  So, waiting…oh so patiently…for this to pass.
  • Fasting blood sugar is all over the place – in the last 3 days it’s ranged from 99 to 128.  Whatever, blood sugar.

I really just need to be patient.

I don’t wanna.

But really…what are my options?

Leptin Rx: Week 5, Day 5

I’ve had trouble sleeping the last 2 nights.  Not sure why, the first night anyway.  Last night probably had something to do with drinking wine at dinner.  I don’t drink much these days and alcohol has a history of screwing with my sleep.  But the night before…don’t know.  I was awake at 2:00AM, all thinking and worrying about stuff.  I had to distract myself with the iPad for a little while in order to quiet my mind and go back to sleep.  It just seems like I’ve been sleeping very lightly…not as soundly as I was a couple weeks ago.

I am a little confused by Dr. Kruse’s recommendations.  When I started the Leptin Rx he had not yet unveiled his Cold Thermogenesis (CT) ideas, and it seems his recommendations have changed since then regarding diet and supplementation.  For example, I don’t remember him saying anything about chocolate being great for you, but now he says that over and over in the comments (99% chocolate, to be exact.  Why even bother with the 1% sugar…really.  How about just eating unsweetened chocolate?).  Same with seafood – he didn’t talk too much about seafood being so great before…it was all about the grass-fed beef and coconut oil…and now we’re talking a LOT about a high seafood diet. I guess this could be as simple as “Do X if you’re doing CT, and do Y if you’re not.”

Some people who are trying the CT are not having the desired results after 3-4 weeks of cold baths and showers.  A few people say they’re cold all the time and haven’t lost any weight.  Apparently this is because of unresolved hormone issues or an O6:O3 imbalance.  I don’t know where I am with that stuff because I haven’t had labs done.  I guess I’m hesitant also, as I said previously, to do the cold adaptation going into summer in the Midwest.  I don’t want to feel like going outside on an 85 degree day is unbearable, running all summer to the air conditioning.  I guess I want to see what others report first.  Thank goodness for the bold among us.

My husband is very science-oriented, and is not yet on board with the theory behind CT.  He says, “Couldn’t it just be that when exposed to cold our bodies use up a lot of calories generating heat to keep us alive?”  Not quite buying the “Ancient Pathway” theory.  I don’t know either…I’m certainly no expert in biology or evolution, but I’m not sure why we would still have this pathway when man evolved in Africa.  Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to have evolved a way to tolerate/thrive in the heat rather than cold?  And are there studies that say people who live in the cold live longer?  I don’t know the answers to these things, and I don’t have the time to do the research right now.  I’m solidly in wait and see mode.

I  just ate some 86% chocolate.  Not 99%…so probably not as good…

I’m going to check Amazon for 99% chocolate.  Yup…they sure do have it…for $3.33 an ounce.  That seems high.  Or I guess I could just go over to my local Walmart and buy 100% cocoa for $0.62 an ounce.  Hm…How much is that 1% sugar worth to you…?

I am running out of time before the little one wakes up from her nap.  Must power-recreate.  Ciao.

Leptin Rx: Week 4, Day 6

Woke up this morning at 5:50AM, despite going to sleep late – around 11:30.  Seems my body wants to get up with the sun even if I haven’t had enough sleep.  I did wake up feeling refreshed…we’ll see how the day goes.

I also woke up feeling a little hypoglycemic.  Last night we made some biscuits that contained almond meal and coconut flour.  Hm…wonder if that coconut flour did it.  I’ll have to test my post-prandial blood sugar after eating one of those to see if it has a measurable effect.  I made them for my husband.  He’s all about eliminating wheat and sugar from his diet if we can find acceptable substitutes, so I’ve been experimenting with baking different kinds of things, when time allows.  The cookies went over well, substituting almond meal for flour and erythritol/stevia for sugar, and I’ve made him pizza with an almond meal crust. Yesterday we tried the biscuits and also apple cinnamon muffins (made with almond meal).  I know some hard-core Paleo folks say it’s not “real Paleo” if you’re still trying to make this kind of stuff.  David doesn’t care if he’s “real Paleo” or not.  In fact, he argues, those hard cord folks should be out there eating bugs and give up this romantic notion that our ancestors were all sitting around campfires with bison steaks on the grill.  He just wants to be healthier.  And I know if he finds healthier substitutions for wheat and sugar his odds of living longer will be greatly improved.

I ate one biscuit with dinner, but I don’t eat many of our experiments.  I’m just keeping it simple for the most part.  Meat, veggies, fat.  Done.

Leptin Rx: Week 4, Day 5

I feel like I have a lot to say today.  Maybe I just have a lot of energy so I’m feeling chatty.  I think it’s interesting that when I was just eating low-carb I felt tired all the time and had all kinds of cravings.  Here are the difference as I see them between my low-carb lifestyle (a la Atkins) and now:

  • Low Carb:  I ate something early in the morning but was usually hungry again by 9:30AM or so.  I don’t think I was eating enough.
  • Now: I’m eating as soon as I wake up, between 50 and 75g of protein.  I start getting hungry about 6 hours after eating breakfast. If I can’t eat right away though, it’s no big deal.  I can put off hunger for 1-2 hours by drinking water.
  • Low Carb: I was also kind of eating low fat.  I still believed animal fat was evil, so I was eating a lot of low-fat boneless skinless chicken breast.  I was worried that saturated fat caused heart disease, so I went easy on the butter too.
  • Now: I’m actually adding fat to my green tea.  It’s insanity!
  • Low Carb: No tropical oils.  Saturated fat was evil.
  • Now: I’m downing coconut oil and Nutiva’s Coconut Manna at an amazing clip.  I calculated I consume about 3 oz per day of the manna, and 2-3 Tbs a day of coconut oil.  Yay for healthy and nutritious saturated fat!
  • Low Carb: I was snacking all the time.
  • Now: No snacks. 3 meals. Period.
  • Low Carb: I was tired all the time.  I came home from work and wanted to sleep.
  • Now: I have a ton of energy.  I wish I had more waking hours to do all the things that are interesting to me right now.  I have to prioritize.
  • Low Carb: I drank cans of diet soda or coffee with sugar-free sweetener throughout the day.  I didn’t like drinking water.  I needed a lot of caffeine to stay awake and alert.
  • Now: I have 1/2 of a caffeine pill in the morning (100mg), and maybe some green tea in the afternoon.  I sometimes forget the caffeine pill and I’m fine.  I do still like caffeine though, and feel a little better if I take it.
  • Low Carb: With all the caffeine in me from the diet pop, I usually didn’t feel like going to bed until 11 or 12…and I was losing sleep all week because of it.  My mood was foul a lot of the time.
  • Now: I go to bed when I’m tired, usually around 9:30 or 10:00.  I miss the time I had to myself when I stayed up late, but I do feel better throughout the day, not being so sleep-deprived.
  • Low Carb: Lots of cheese
  • Now: About 1oz of cheese 3-4 times of week.  Otherwise no dairy.
  • Low Carb: Lots of nightshades
  • Now: Very few nightshades…maybe 1-2 oz of chopped tomatoes that show up on a salad at a restaurant 1x a week.  Dr. K. says nightshades cause a leaky gut.  I have a personal problem with the term “leaky gut.”  Why don’t they call it “leaky intestine” or “leaky colon.”  Then maybe it wouldn’t sound so “woo” like.

I do have much more energy now.  I now come home from work and have the energy to play with my daughter – for 2 hours sometimes – whereas I used to need a nap or a long break from social interaction.

Mood.  My husband and I were just talking about changes he’s seen in me since I stared eating a Paleo diet and following the Leptin Reset.  He said to me, “You have no idea how crazy you were.”  Apparently my mood swings were fairly extreme.  I don’t remember it that way, but…well, he’s probably right.  And I was taking antidepressants then.  Now I’m off of the meds and feeling positive every day.

Leptin Rx: Week 3, Day 2

I still feel a little “off”.  Until 2 days ago, it really seemed like my body was regulating itself and becoming very predictable.  I would get tired at 9:30 and get up around 6, eat at predictable times, and my moods varied little from baseline.  The last two days, however, not so much.  I haven’t been getting tired at 9:30 or 10:00.  I’ve been forcing myself to go to bed anyway, but I’m not really tired, and I stay awake in bed for a while.  I’ve been hungry at odd times…like an hour and a half after dinner last night.  And I ate at least 50 grams of protein at dinner.  I know I don’t have to, but I did because that’s what it took to satisfy me.  I had a horrible mood swing yesterday…not unlike my normal horrible mood swings that I get now and then, but certainly no better…and it took me a while to snap out of it.  And I had not much energy yesterday either…I’ve been a burning torch of energy lately…and yesterday I felt like…well, my normal tired self.

I don’t know if this is a normal part of the process or if I’ve started doing something wrong.  I’m going to keep going…I seriously have never had so much hope that I could actually look and feel better than I have since I learned about the Leptin Rx.  I’m going to see this through no matter what.

In the interest of figuring out what might have me off track, here’s a list of my “transgressions” over the past week.  Maybe one of them is causing things to be off:

1.  I drank alcohol on Friday – 2 glasses of wine before/with dinner.

2.  I ate an almost-sugar-free cookie yesterday.  I’m avoiding everything that tastes sweet right now and I did eat one of the cookies I made for David.  It had about 6 grams of carbohydrate, and I did have it with a meal so the blood sugar reaction was muted by lots of protein and fat, but still…it’s off my plan.

3.  I’ve been eating some dairy.  I’ve had a piece of cheese every other day or so.  It’s not that I need it or even particularly miss it…it’s just in the way sometimes!  Like, it’s sitting there on my hamburger all innocently…and rather than push it out of the way I just eat it.  I’ll stop this.

4.  I’ve had some tomatoes.  Dr. K. says no nightshades unless you have a spectacular HDL cholesterol.  I don’t.  No more salsa, or tomatoes on salads.  I haven’t purposely put tomatoes on salads, but I haven’t avoided them if they’re sitting on there.  Like the cheese!  I’ll stop this too.  Geez, me…seeing this list growing I’m realizing what a cheater I am!

I think that’s about it.  I’ll try to resolve these dietary dalliances and see where it leaves me.

I’m also not weighing myself any more.  I was reading on Dr. Kruse’ blog last night that the reason you shouldn’t weigh yourself is because it can raise cortisol levels and actually slow your weight loss.  Well that makes sense.  Get on the scale, get disappointed (which is predictable, as weight fluctuates), stress about it just a little all day (why why why??? I’m doing everything right!!!), cortisol goes up and blocks fat burning.  Love it!  So no more weighing.  Well…I suppose I’ll weigh once a week.  Let’s say Tuesday mornings.  I’ll chant and be mindful once a week to manage the stress.