Geraldine

by Geraldine
(Australia)

Hi Wray

I am a 60 year old woman who has been menopausal for 10 years.
I have been suffering debilitating insomnia for all of that time! Generally I have followed a high quality limited meat diet (lots of veggies and pulses) However for the past 9 months I have been adhering to the paleo credence- no sugar or grains and grass fed meats etc.- hoping this would alleviate my sleeplessness. As you could imagine I have explored every avenue from supplements to hypnotherapy. My Dr won't prescribe sleeping tablets and I guess I'm reluctant to demand them. I feel there is something missing in my makeup. I used to be low in vitD but have brought this up. Have just started using magnesium oil after reading about good results
I am not overweight and reasonably active.
I literally drag myself through the day. I am desperate for a few hours sleep.
Wondering whether you' be able to help me please?
Regards Geraldine

Comments for Geraldine

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Jul 14, 2012
Geraldine
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine I'm delighted you've opted for the Paleo diet, it's one I follow too. You might like to see a video of Dr Cordain, it can be found on our Nutrition page. Grains and legumes are very high in phytoestrogens, see here, and here here. Although they are mildly oestrogenic, they still have an effect on the cell. It could be this causing the insomnia, as oestrogen opposes progesterone, of which you will have little now you're in Menopause. Progesterone is helpful for sleep, see here, here and here. A lack of adenosine, dopamine, glutathione and nitric oxide all contribute to insomnia. Progesterone does stimulate all four of these substances. Although tiredness is caused by lack of sleep, Insulin Resistance also causes tiredness, excess oestrogen and a lack of vitamin D causes IR. You say you've brought your vitamin D levels up, but how high? They should be between 175-250nmol/L, please check your results. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Magnesium is an essential co-factor to vitamin D, so I'm pleased you've added that, vitamin K is another. But if you eat plenty of green leafy veggies you should have enough. Our probiotics make it too. Continued below.

Jul 14, 2012
Geraldine Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Vitamin D can help sleep too, see here and here. I suspect your level was very low, and still is. Unfortunately Australia has a dangerous policy of covering up when in the sun. Many people have levels far too low, see here and here. Please consider using progesterone, there's info on it's use on the menopause page. And please check your vitamin D results. Take care Wray

Jul 15, 2012
Insomnia
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray

I am truly touched and delighted for your considered response. I have located my vitamin D results over the last four years
2008. 72 nmol/L
2010. 158 nmol/L
2012. 129nmolL
The last result came with the notation from my Dr:
"Very good level of Vitamin D Geraldine. If you are on a supplement you can cease now"

I dont't have a copy of my first Vit D test but I do remember 45 being mentioned.

I have a family history of osteoporosis and bowel cancer. I
have had several adenomatous polyps removed.
I have kefir everyday and take K2 and will up my Vitamin d intake.

Do you think progesterone therapy is right for me.

Thank you once again Wray.

Regards Geraldine


Jul 17, 2012
Insomnia
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Thanks for the kind words! And how brilliant of you to have kept your results, and that you actually had so many done too. 45nmol/L is very low. Your level now is in the range that the specialists use, i.e. 125 to 250nmol/L, although I always feel it should be within the 175 to 250nmol/L. I don't agree about stopping it though. If you notice your level was higher in 2010 than 2012, and presumably you've been taking it ever since? Because of the way we all live now, inside most of the time, we do have to supplement, unless using a tanning bed. If you have a family history indicative of a lack of vitamin D, I would urge you to continue. And in fact try to get it higher, I would hope by doing so your insomnia and tiredness will eventually go. Delighted you're taking vitamin K too, it's a badly neglected vitamin. Vitamin K2 is found in organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy products. It's been found to reduce osteoporosis, calcification of arteries and cancer. Drugs which prevent coagulation block the action of vitamin K, conversely vitamin K2 can be given as an antidote for excess anti-coagulants. This is an excellent article here. Vitamin K is one of the cofactors for vitamin D ensuring deposition of calcium in bones, and preventing it's deposition in arterial plaque. Excess free calcium in the blood results in calcified arteries and heart disease, see here, here, here, here and here. I always think progesterone therapy is good for everyone! So you've asked me a difficult question. I for one will never stop using it. But you could try getting your vitamin D level up high first, if that doesn't work, try the progesterone. I never had insomnia, but I did have chronic fatigue which the progesterone put right. If you opt for the vitamin D first I suggest you take 10,000iu's per day and have another test a month or two later to see how high it is. You can adjust the dose down if it's high enough, but no less than 5000iu's per day. Let me know how you get on whichever route you take. You might to see our page on Progesterone and Vitamin D, I did it as I was fascinated by the synergism of the two. Take care Wray

Aug 06, 2012
Anguishing about running out Natpro
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray
Have received three tubes of Natpro and am eager to be one of your many success stories. My problem is that I'm using about 350mg a day for 4 days and it's clearly not enough. The nights have been torrid and during the day I feel I'm having an outer body experience! I have already ordered more Natpro. My problem is whether to increase the dosage and risk running out or continue weathering the side effects of not enough.( I thought ordering 3 months worth would be a good start but I'm afraid I' m going to use it all in a few weeks)! I was wondering why you don't produce a higher strength product for those who need to use it everyday?Have taken your advice and upped my Vitamin D intake to 10,000 per day.
Your advice would be much appreciated.
Kind regards, Geraldine

Aug 10, 2012
Great Customer Service
by: Geraldine

Hello Wray
Just received my order - one week after placing it! Thanks so much.
Regards Geraldine

Aug 16, 2012
Anguishing about running out Natpro
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Sorry about the late reply, but I was travelling in a remote area and could find no internet access anywhere. So you did opt for the progesterone, well I am pleased about that. I never like to push it on someone, although I do know it has so many benefits. I'm too late to help with upping the amount, and do hope you've sorted yourself out. I'm so sorry you're getting those Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. I do hope you managed to get more before running out. We have thought of many different strengths of cream, up to 10%. But opted for the 3.3% as an average. A higher strength wouldn't reduce the cost by much either, only the packaging would be slightly reduced. We do have a 20 tube option which many women get if using high amounts. You get a 30% discount when doing this. One woman I know has her entire family on it, including her husband, so she gets this amount. Although I do know Australia has funny laws about progesterone so you might find it gets stopped at customs. Unless you can get a friendly doctor to write a script for it! Pleased you've upped your vitamin D, don't forget to have a test done in about 2-3 months. Let me know how you've got on. Take care Wray

Aug 19, 2012
Estrogen dominance
by: Geraldine

Hi Wray,
Hope you had a good break. You definitely deserve it. I think you should be knighted for your service to womens health! I have been taking Energy Boost for about a week. I read on another page that you suggest to increase NAC and glycine to help with insomnia. Do you think it's too early to add more of these or wait until Energy Boost and Natpro have a chance to kick in? I have increased daily application of Natpro and have had one night's sleep.(Great) Alas last night awake all night again. Without exaggeration I can feel the estrogen in my body putting on a fight to stay in the top spot. I have ordered 20 tubes of Natpro and will definitely order your sunscreen as summer is on the way in Oz.
(Thirteen years ago I asked my doctor for progesterone but my request was refused).No use crying over spilled milk - frustrating though. Kind regards Geraldine

Aug 21, 2012
Estrogen dominance
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine I did thank you, and all because I couldn't log on! Bless you for the kind words too, luckily I love doing this. Ah so you're trying the EB, I can't do without it now, just keeps me going. I suggest persevering for a while before adding anything more. It's difficult to know what's causing the insomnia, NAC is an amino acid used by the body to make glutathione, which can be low. Glycine and glutamine are needed too, glutathione is a tripeptide. All three of these are in the EB. Inositol can also help, a high dose is in the EB. I'm delighted you've had at least one night's sleep, I can't imagine what I'd be like without it. I missed one the other day because of an allergic reaction to something I'd eaten which kept me up, and felt spun out the next day. Ah yes your description of oestrogen is good, putting up a fight! How different your life would have been if you had been granted the progesterone thirteen years ago. I do so object to the control the medical profession have over us, or the government regulators who think they know best. Take care Wray

Sep 18, 2012
Insomnia
by: Geraldine

Hello Wray
I have delayed writing to you until I was able to tell you that my insomnia had ceased. That is not the case and I could use your advise. I am committed to Natpro and have bought 50 tubes just in case I have supply issues. I'm using about a tube every three days as I gather it's best to be aggressive to get on top of ED. I realize that it will take time as I've had this problem forever. From your experience do you think I'm on track? Should I use more Natpro?
Kind regards
Geraldine

Sep 19, 2012
Insomnia
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Thank you for persevering, it's not an easy road for many. You are using a very good amount too, about 666mg/day. I hesitate to ask you to increase, not because it's dangerous but cost is a factor. And I can't tell whether increasing it will help, I wish I could. I know you are taking a good dose of vitamin D, and I hope with that increasing it will also aid the progesterone. I can't remember if I gave you this page here to read, it might help. One woman found it wasn't until her D levels were high, that the unresolved symptoms, in spite of high progesterone use, she was using 1000mg/day, did resolve. We discussed other nutrients which help sleep, have you tried any? I remember asking you to see if the vitamin D and progesterone worked, and then adding them to the protocol. Maybe you could try them if you haven't already done so. Please keep in touch, I don't like it when people battle and I can't do much to help. Maybe time is the answer, it took me 6 months to come right, but then I wasn't using anywhere near the amount you are. And I didn't have insomnia. I have just checked and see I didn't give you this info on salt, it can help sleep if it's low, see here. This is an interesting paper here. Although it's about poor sleep in pregnancy, it does conclude that a lack of sleep increases inflammatory cytokines. These are more I've just found on inflammation, see here, here and here. This last is interesting as it says "Insomnia occurs more frequently in women, both in terms of symptoms reported and of daytime consequences. Menopause has been proposed as an explanation for this difference among mid-aged men and women....." To me, this of course can only mean oestrogen has a big role to play. Particularly if inflammation plays a role in it, as it's an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. Assuming you do have inflammation, then adding the NAC to the protocol would be an excellent choice. I know you are taking some in the EB, but it only has 500mg/dose. I feel you could do with 2000mg/day, maybe more. We do have a page on Inflammation, which is caused by oxidative stress. This site has an excellent description of what this means to us. Take care Wray

Oct 31, 2012
Insomnia
by: Geraldine

Hello Wray
Hope this email finds you well. I have read your links carefully.Thank you. I do probably internalize problems but generally my thoughts while I'm awake are more of annoyance about how tired I'm going to be the next day! Unfortunately my sleep problems are worse than ever. I thought maybe that's a good thing ( worse before it can get better while overcoming ED) I have just received latest Vit D results-263mnol/L. (took 10,000IU for about a month including 5000 in EB. ) Dr suggests not having any for a few weeks. Thought mabe 1/2 EB dose for a couple of months? Have included DIM and calcium D glucarate in my regime. It bugs me that I have this problem -I think it's a basic human right to sleep. I'm forever hopeful that tonight is the night for sleep for me. On a positive note- my skin is glowing.I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Geraldine

Nov 01, 2012
Insomnia
by: Wray

Hi Geraldine Oh no! Then I'm going to throw a few more things at you. Oestrogen is an excitatory hormone, it enhances the glutamate response. Glutamate is our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here, here, here and here. This last paper suggests GABA is low in insomnia, you could try taking GABA for a bit, and see if that helps. Although progesterone activates the GABA receptors, without enough GABA it will be ineffective. We have more info about GABA on our page Natural Antidepressants. If you do try it, please let me know if it helps. Although with the amount of progesterone you're using, there shouldn't be any oestrogen showing it's face. But another woman I'm trying to help, has a similar problem. The progesterone has helped in many ways, but not this. Possibly the activity in the brain takes longer to calm down, it's something I have no answer for. Or possibly I shouldn't be blaming oestrogen again, and that it's GABA you need. Another nutrient is tyrosine, info about it is also on the page above. It's essential for any stressful situation, cold, fatigue, emotional trauma, prolonged work, sleep deprivation, it improves memory, cognition and physical performance. If your thoughts are keeping you awake, then this should help calm them. Heaven help me if you say these don't work, as I'm at a loss what else I can suggest. It could be just time is needed. Your vitamin D is fine now, although they say 250nmol/L is the normal limit, it's not until it gets to 500nmol/L that toxicity is reached. You have a long way to go! This paper concludes.... "Universal intake of up to 40,000 IU vitamin D per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity", see here. And another here. So the 5000iu's per dose in the EB would be fine, it will keep it high which is where you need it at the moment. You can always have another test in say 3 months. Delighted your skin is glowing, at least something good is happening! Please keep in touch. Take care Wray

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