Wray - What comes first the chicken or the egg?

by Beansprout

Dear Wray,

As you know I have faithfully and diligently followed your advice and have, thus far, seen dramatic improvement. But I'm still struggling both physically, as well as emotionally, just trying to take in the plethora of information in trying to understand the sudden and sometimes frightening symptoms that surface from time to time through this transitional phase of my life.

My biggest concern is how my imbalanced hormones have affected my blood glucose levels. Or is it my blood glucose levels that are affecting my imbalanced hormones?

Sometimes I just want to give up all the trying and go to a medical doctor to give me whatever, anything, just fix it and make it all go away. But then I pull myself back to the side of reason knowing that it would only set me back from where I want to be. It's important that I do this naturally.

I have routinely started checking my blood sugars. My fasting blood sugars, first thing upon rising and on an empty stomach, are good and usually around 85-90. My post-meal numbers sometimes spike to 135-142 then drop dramatically as is commonly seen in reactive types of hypoglycemia. The other day I had a reading of 66 following a mid-afternoon snack where I included a 1/2 slice of multi-grain bread spread with a thin layer of organic peanut butter, a few thin slices of banana and sprinkled with fresh ground cinnamon. I quickly learned that bananas are not my friend. They quickly broke down into sugars, i spiked, then found myself feeling symptoms of profuse sweat, rapid heart beat, panic, restlessness.

Looking back, I was first diagnosed with hypoglycemia when I was 16-years-old as doctors tried to regulate my periods via BCP. Following the birth of each one of my children, the same thing, my blood sugars would become imbalanced during the weeks of postpartum throwing off my female hormones where I would experience the weight gain, hair loss,excessive cramping, heavy flow, complexion problems. Then I was given oral progesterone in the form of a pill. Once my heavy bleeding stopped I was told to stop taking it and that I didn't need it anymore.

Then as you already know I had a tubal ligation following the birth of my last child which once again thew me into a world of hell.

Now that I'm going through menopause my blood sugars are once again rearing their ugly head and I hate it. I'm convinced all those mornings I would startle awake punctually at 4 o'clock in the morning feeling hot, sweaty, panicky were in fact related to my falling blood sugars. Because now when that happens I immediately check my numbers with a finger poke and have found blood sugar readings to be around 66-70.

My hope, my prayer, is that as I continue using progesterone (currently between 160mg -180mg per day) that eventually one will balance out the other. I question if I'm still not getting enough progesterone and feel I need to increase my daily dosage a little more. Recently, after only 28 days (that's NEVER happened) I had another period. It was more "normal" being very light the first day, quite heavy on the second, some clotting but nothing like in previous months, then a pretty good headache on the last day. During these 4 days my blood sugars were all over the place and I felt like it, too.

I also experienced a stuffy nose in the days leading up to my period and during the days I was bleeding. It was very frustrating to nearly intolerable and interfered with my ability to lay down and sleep. It literally felt like I couldn't breathe and would sit up in a panic. So I slept upright in our recliner using a saline solution several times as needed.

Now that my period is behind me I feel more like my old self again with more stable blood sugars despite my being shipwrecked for a few days. Just when I was starting to think I had a handle on all of this the floor fell out from under me and I landed on my ass.

Please tell me how blood sugars and female hormones work together or how one imbalance creates another. Mostly, I just want to know that I'm not the first one to write to you about this and that I'm not alone in what I'm going through. I need to know that I haven't lost my mind and that there is light and peace waiting for me at the end of the long tunnel in which I'm traveling.

Thanks for listening!

Beansprout

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Jul 24, 2013
Wray - What comes first the chicken or the egg?
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout You have a very graphic way of describing how you feel! But I can explain it all and tell you what to do too. Oestrogen destabilises blood glucose, see here. Whereas progesterone by suppressing oestrogen, prevents this. Your '1/2 slice of multi-grain bread spread with a thin layer of organic peanut butter, a few thin slices of banana' couldn't be worse. They all contain carbs, and the wheat and peanut butter phytoestrogens. Although these are weak oestrogens, they still have the same affect. Those symptoms you experienced after birth were all due to oestrogen too. Although both that and progesterone drop after birth, the drop in progesterone is greatest. This will cause those symptoms of yours, plus PND. I had PND, my first symptom was hunger and thirst, so I drank milk. This caused me to gain all the weight I'd lost. Peri-menopause is a difficult time, with dropping progesterone levels due to anovulatory cycles, but normal oestrogen. Hence your unstable blood glucose. You say your blood glucose is falling overnight, what do you have for supper? If a meal with any carbs in it they will crash. If blood glucose drops too low, an alarm signal goes out and the adrenals pump out adrenaline. This is a signal to the liver to convert glycogen into glucose to bring the level up. But of course adrenaline also causes a racing heart and feelings of panic, plus breaking out in a sweat. There's more info on our Anxiety page. Of course the few days before a period and often during it, symptoms can become worse. Oestrogen has peaked ±7 days prior to bleeding, and although you're using progesterone, it's enough to send you into a spiral. I suggest you increase the amount during those days, if not daily through the month. Interesting about the stuffy nose. Oestrogen causes water retention, there are many receptors in the nose, ears too, which can cause us to become dizzy. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, see our page on Traumatic Brain Injury. Try rubbing some all over your nose, face too. This is excellent on oestrogen and oedema, see here. No you haven't lost your mind! Talking of which you might like to read this comment here.
Continued below

Jul 24, 2013
Wray - What comes first the chicken or the egg? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout And these from women who had to use high amounts to overcome their symptoms, see here, here, here and here. Finally I suggest you go on a ketogenic diet, it's very high fat, moderate to low protein and very low carb. I think you'll find it of great benefit. These are a few papers here, here, her, here, here, here, here. here here, here, here and here. This site here explains it well and gives ideas on foods to eat. But if you really want to understand why carbs in any form, beyond leaves and a few others, are so harmful, then please read Gary Taubes's book "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It", see here. Whether a person is overweight or not, his explanation on carbs is brilliant. The only thing I disagree about is his take on oestrogen. Take care Wray

Jul 25, 2013
Wray - One or Two Things More
by: Beansprout

Wray - Thanks for your response. The worst of all of this, for me, is trying to sort through and process all of the information. I've heard that complex carbs help, then low carb and now no carb. Now even wheat and peanuts contain phytoestrogens. There really so few things right now that encourage my loss of appetite. Now I feel like I don't want to eat at all for fear of upsetting my imbalanced system again. I'm so overwhelmed and confused trying to find what works best for me. Extremely frightened by the idea of experimenting once more. I just want it all to stop. I feel like I've been on hypervigilance mode for nearly two months straight now and I just want peace to fill my soul. I'm currently using NOW solutions natural progesterone and practically bathing in it and although it is aloe based and the delivery is light and absorbed quickly we've also been going through a rather persistent heatwave of triple digits of 110 and above which DOES NOT help, nor does this being covered in lotion 24/7. If I sound frustrated, well, I am. Does Natpro deliver more progesterone per application. Also, what are your thoughts about Black Cohosh? Everyone swears by it. That it's a miracle. The one thing guaranteed to end hot flushes and restore peace of mind. But isn't that, too, a phytoestrogen. See why I am so easily confused?

The Ketogenic Diet could be very difficult for someone like me who is already vegetarian and who is being told to avoid other protein choices and meat substitutes that contain soy.

Yesterday, I had a excellent morning, got out and got a lot accomplished. I tried taking GABA for the first time. The lowest dosage bottle I could find was 500 mg capsules. I took one and felt great. Almost too good. I cleaned, washed dishes, swept out the garage. Then at some point in the afternoon it wore off and I realized I was overdue for both food and progesterone and had not taken my afternoon dose of Taurine/Theanine/Vitamin D3, etc. I immediately became sweaty, anxious and despite my best efforts I quickly spiraled into full blown panic for the next several hours. Did I take too much GABA, not enough, should I avoid it altogether, is it not for me? I just don't know anymore. I remembered at some point that I had recently purchased Lemon Balm Extract and that quickly brought me to my senses by using 20 drops in a small glass of water. Once I was calm and could be reasoned with again I was able to eat a little food and end the craziness.

If you were to prescribe a supplement for someone like me what all would it contain, the amounts and how often and when best to take them. Not that I will hold you to anything. I just want some guidance. I want someone else to tell me what to do. Because I just don't know anymore.

Beansprout


Jul 25, 2013
Wray - What do I have for supper?
by: Beansprout

Wray - I forgot to answer your question. Dinner is usually around 6 pm. We're big fish, seafood, salmon people because we don't eat beef, pork, chicken, etc. So a typical dinner for me, last night for example, would include grilled salmon, sauteed bok choy using garlic and Bragg's Liquid Aminos for flavor along with a very small 1/4 cup portion of couscous. That was it. Then I drink a nightly cup of hot roasted dandelion root tea a few hours later. Then I go out for my nightly walk (2-4 miles) depending on my energy and how hot it is and then return back home for my nightly shower, progesterone application, then a bedtime snack of two whole wheat crackers topped with a slice of almond cheese around 11 pm. Yet everyone morning, punctually at 4 o'clock, I wake up suddenly, sweaty, feeling panicked with an incredibly stuffy nose.

Beansprout

Jul 27, 2013
Wray - One or Two Things More
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout All I can add is persistence and follow through. For instance you took the GABA, it is excellent, but obviously it began dropping before you added more, or added the progesterone as this activates GABA. I suggest you have an hourly schedule or two hourly if that's too much, of applying the progesterone, taking the GABA, the taurine etc, but instead of 500mg GABA, empty the capsule and take about 1/4 or 1/5 each time. Do the same for the taurine etc. Your body is obviously very sensitive, and levels of the nutrients drop too quickly. Progesterone reaches a peak after about 4 hours. It begins dropping after about 13 hours. But it seems in your case it drops far quicker. If you find the lemon balm helps, take that too, but again break that up into hourly/two hourly intervals. Black cohosh is oestrogenic, and can help hot flushes, because it initially stimulates progesterone. But it's not more oestrogen you or anyone else needs. You appear to have reactive hypoglycaemia, so any small amount of carbs will crash your blood glucose and send you into a heap. Years ago I was trying to help one such woman, eating anything 'healthy' even quinoa, and she would phone me in tears. I eventually got her to avoid all starchy sweet carbs, and eat more protein and leaves. I would not call you vegetarian at all as you eat fish and seafood, so the keto diet would be perfect for you. In amongst those papers I gave you, there was one which outlines all the foods to eat, see here. Have that as your source of protein, plus plenty of green leaves. That dinner you described sounds delicious and a good choice, but for the couscous. It's processed wheat, wheat contains amylopectin, a starch which is absorbed very fast. Faster that glucose, so it would crash your blood glucose. You then followed it with more wheat, a perfect recipe for disaster. So I'm not surprised you woke up panicking! Avoid all sweet, starchy carbs, as they convert to glucose, i.e. all grains, legumes, sweet starchy fruit and veggies, all drinks, including fresh fruit juice, which contain the sugars fructose, sucrose and glucose. I think it's an unstable blood glucose which is behind all your problems. Exacerbated by excess oestrogen of course. We do have a complex which helps blood glucose, it can be found on our page about Insulin Resistance. There's a link to the complex on the page. Please try to get hold of that book by Taubes, it explains things so clearly. Take care Wray

Jul 29, 2013
Quick Update
by: Beansprout

Wray - At least I haven't called you crying yet. There's something to proud of.

Yes, you are right once again. I've been eating pretty bare bones these last few days and have found it does help dramatically. Luckily for me I love greens including spinach, kale, mustard greens, etc. And fish. I also eat organic, free-range eggs. But no other dairy. Supplementing with almond milk and almond cheese. No, I'm not a vegetarian. My politically correct title is a pescatarian. It's just easier to say vegetarian otherwise people look startled and confused asking what a pescatarian.

You're also right that my problems are triggered and made worse by imbalanced blood sugars. The diet is helping immensely. And I must have been reading your mind from afar because I've put myself on a every two hour schedule just like a baby. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, bedtime snack. But it's working.

And bless lemon balm extract. It's amazing.

Adding more doses of progesterone each day and especially as I'm approaching the last 14 days of my cycle. I'm bathing in it like it's money.

Also, I've incorporated maca into my daily regime. As well as 4 tablespoons of coconut oil per day. Care to share your thoughts on either of these supplements? Both of them have done amazing things in a relatively short time for my sense of well-being and for creating balance.

You should know. Persistence is my middle name. I don't give up all that easily. Especially, when it comes to someone I love and respect so much. I'm committed to giving myself the greatest of care.

Rubbing progesterone cream all over my nose and surrounding area has helped somewhat But not entirely. I still suffer from a stuffy nose. It's so annoying. Isn't it a sure sign that I'm still estrogen dominate? No worries. Bathing in progesterone cream as I type. If there is anything else, supplements, other tricks to relieve this annoying problem please share them. I swear I feel just like I'm pregnant. Oh, shut my mouth! = )

Beansprout

Jul 30, 2013
Quick Update
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Yes, pescatarian does give startled looks! Well I couldn't be more delighted with all this news! Diet plays such a huge role to our wellbeing, and although you eat exceptionally well, your downfall was adding the occasional 'healthy' food to the rest. Very pleased you decided to follow my thoughts from afar and do the two hour schedule. I'm sure, given time of course!, that you'll be able to increase that to three hourly, until you no longer need to. I must remember that about lemon balm, it's such an old remedy too, forgotten in our drug orientated world. I'm ambivalent towards maca, apparently it has no affect on oestrogen or testosterone levels according to one study. And yet another said it increased oestradiol levels. It does appear to increase diastolic blood pressure slightly too. These are some papers here, here, here, here, here and here. Coconut oil is the best. Although it's a saturated fat, it does no harm, in fact no saturated fat does, it's the polyunsaturated which can. It comprises 11 different fractions, two of which are the caprylic acid/capric acid we use in the Natpro, the caprylic is anti-bacterial/anti-fungal. It also forms ketones which other fats don't do, or to a far lesser extent. It's the only oil which bypasses the usual lymph journey, but goes straight to the liver, from there to the cells which can burn it as they would a carb, but without adverse side effects. The major fraction of coconut oil is lauric acid, often used for soap manufacture. This is even more powerful as an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal agent. Tell me, is your nose stuffy, or is it congested sinuses? If the latter then according to reflexology it means you're irritated! I learnt this from a reflexologist I go to regularly, I also have sinus problems. Presumably because I'm always irritated! I spend my life re-designing things in my mind, as I find things so badly designed! Look forward to further updates. Take care Wray

Jul 30, 2013
Stuffy Nose Update
by: Beansprout

Wray - This is insane, so unbelievable, so unexpected, so brilliantly beautiful just how forgiving the human body really is.

The night before last, I was out on my nightly walk when I tripped stepping up on curb and completely wiped out. Skinned knees, hair everywhere, scrapes, a bruised ankle, injured pride. It's definitely different than when we fall as kids and bounce right back up again.

The very next morning I visited my chiropractor who put me back into proper alignment, went home, put myself on cold packs to ease the muscle soreness and when my husband arrived home, he first hugged me long and hard, then offered to give me a relaxing massage that I gladly and willingly accepted. He was using his thumbs at the base of my skull where the head attaches to the spine. A thumb on each side of the spine, rubbing gently, yet firmly in circular motion and then his thumbs trailed down the sides of my neck to the base of my shoulders and then slowly back up again to the indents at the base of my skull. Suddenly, I sat forward. I literally had to cup my hand. I felt like I was drowning on a flood of my own snot. It was a little frightening, slightly disgusting, but also very relieving. So I went looking on Youtube and discovered several acupressure point to ease nasal congestion and this one for nasal drain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxP4whJ153o which works amazingly. Immediately I was breathing freely and nearly 12 hours later I still have no signs of congestion. Slept soundly for a full 7 hours straight. I also feel a lot less anxious overall. The difference breathing a oxygen can make. I'm not a mouth breather. Actually, breathing through my mouth makes me feel breathless almost like I'm hyperventilating. But here is a perfectly natural method that costs absolutely nothing and involves no OTC or prescribed drugs with zero side-effects or contradictions that can be used wherever and how often as needed. It just doesn't get any better than that. Please share with anyone else you think might benefit. =)

Jul 31, 2013
Stuffy Nose Update
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout This is wonderful news! I did think it was your sinus, that where we store mucus etc. But I think you must have given me the wrong link. It was for nasal drain, but it was all about taking hold of the septum in the nose, pinching it and then pulling it down! Maybe you can find the one you saw about accupressure at the base of the skull and give it, as I'd like to be able to share with others. Or was it the septum pinch you meant to send? Take care Wray

Aug 01, 2013
Stuffy Nose Update
by: Beansprout

Hi Wray - Yes, I did intend to send that particular link to demonstrate another drainage technique that most people can perform on themselves.

As for the back of the head this is the article I found at LIVESTRONG during an internet search inspired by the massage my husband had just given me.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/167033-pressure-points-to-relieve-congestion/

"At the back of the head on either side of the place where the spinal column meets the skull lie two pressure points. Apply hard pressure to both of these sites and you should soon start to feel drainage from clogged sinuses. You can also stroke downward on the tendons on either side of the spinal column to encourage further drainage."

Sorry for not providing this link before.

I also bought a Neti pot. It immediately clears, soothes, shrinks swollen nasal membranes. I would highly recommend this to anyone suffering rhinitis due to estrogen dominance.

Beansprout

Aug 02, 2013
Stuffy Nose Update
by: Wray

Hi Beansprout Ok, I did wonder, thanks. And thanks for the other link too, very interesting. I've heard of the Neti pot but not used one, thanks for letting me know it works. Take care Wray

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