Magpie's Intro

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet' started by magpie, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. magpie

    magpie Member

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    I am a forum lurker and have never posted on a forum before. Ever. So I have no idea how to use emoticons, quoting, etc. PLUS I’m 53, so that’s a handicap right there. The reason I’m finally posting is as follows: About 5 years ago, it seems my healthy life as I knew it disappeared forever. This is my long journey to discover how to be healthy again.

    Some history without being too long-winded – when I first got pregnant, at age 22, I got vitiligo. After the pregnancy, I suffered from constipation. All of this seemed normal to me after awhile and I ignored it. I had two more healthy children and dealt with the constipation for about 25 years. The vitiligo got much worse. In my forties, I had very severe periods and eventually an endometrial ablation. Then over the next few years, severe severe insomnia. I could not fall asleep no matter how hard I tried. Then depression and anxiety followed. I was prescribed estradiol which seemed to make me a bit more anxious, but I trusted everyone who said it made their anxiety and insomnia go away. Mine persisted. I’ve been on so many sleeping pills, supplements, some working for a while, others not at all, sleep has been hit or miss for the last 5 years. I refused SSRIs. I looked around and could not find even one acquaintance who was suffering as I was.

    Some time in the middle of all of this, my doctor announced that I had high cholesterol, and that I needed a statin. After a brief search of the internet, I demanded a thyroid test, which proved me to be hypothyroid (TSH of 5.4, high antibodies) but which the doctor declared was normal. I changed doctors. As soon as I tried to take thyroid medication, the insomnia and anxiety would escalate to awful levels and I would quit the medication. The doctor(s) had never seen anyone who had this reaction to thyroid medication.

    And then after much searching (hours, tens, hundreds of hours) I started reading articles by Dr. Peat. My ills started to make sense. In fact, after all my research – and I am not a scientist – this is the only path that seems to be steering me in the right direction.

    I never zero-carbed. I never Paleo-ed (is that a verb?) I was never an extreme athlete. I ate healthy balanced meals (also including PUFAs) all my life. I was under-weight. Possibly I didn’t get enough protein. I have no idea why I have ended up hypothyroid – but there were signs even from as early as age 6 when I had anemia, so perhaps I was born with it. There is a strong hypothyroid family history as well.

    I started eating Peat-like in January / February. I don’t seem to have a lot of food allergies so that makes it much easier. I don’t get acne or heartburn or other intolerance symptoms either. But here is the big change. I started a program of taking dessicated thyroid and increasing the dose as slowly as I can. My heart rate started out about 58 (remember I am NOT an athlete – so how dare doctors congratulate me on my fitness level). My blood pressure has always been low – 100 / 60 – again congrats from doctors.

    Every time I increase my dosage of NP Thyroid (so far I take 2 ½ grains during the day, with food) I get jumpy. My anxiety increases along with my heart rate (adrenalin I think) and also my insomnia. I take 150mg Trazodone at bedtime, along with 8-10 drops of Progest-E – more if I need it. In fact, I’m taking a lot because I go through 1 bottle in 3 weeks. I think the Progest-E is helping a lot with sleep – I sleep pretty well most nights. I take 50mg Pregnenolone 2x per day, 100mg niacinimide 2x per day and 1 aspirin 2x per day (with vit k), as tips from Dr. Peat to control anxiety. I think it helps, but who knows? I discontinued all estrogen as of March.

    Currently my heart rate is somewhere between 69 and 72 bpm and my temperature hovers around 98.4. I am using pulse/temps along with bloodwork to target my optimum thyroid dosage – currently my TSH is 1.54 and I am at about 30% of range in total T4 and 40% of range in total T3. So I think I have to still increase my medication.

    Some symptoms are improved with increased thyroid medication (interesting to note that although my thyroid medication is increasing, I am still nearer the bottom of the range in T4 and T3 so perhaps that’s why I still have a lot of symptoms) but most symptoms remain – I’m still constipated, I have terrible cracked eczema on my thumb that is fairly new to me, I am persecuted by low-level anxiety and insomnia, but my hair finally stopped falling out. It’s looking very good. My nails are ridged and brittle, but seem a bit softer in the last few weeks.

    I am interested in thoughts on my situation. I am my own lab-rat – no doctor seems to be able to help me, and no person I talk to directly has ever experienced what I’m experiencing. My family is tired of hearing me drone on about my symptoms and my research. Luckily my doctor is on-board with me adjusting my thyroid medication and supports everything I do as long as I stay in range. I am hoping that as my thyroid levels come up, my anxiety and insomnia will disappear. I have high hopes, but I sure wish I could read some testimonials to help me through.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Beebop

    Beebop Member

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    Hi magpie! Thanks for sharing, and good luck.
     
  3. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Ray Peat mentioned that endotoxin is one of the main reason for insomnia.
    Are you having daily carrot salad? Everyone has a different idea of
    a Ray Peat style diet. It is easier for us to understand if you
    post detail description of your diet from breakfast to dinner.
    Your pulse and Temp look really good. RP suggest that we measure
    temp and pulse 2 hours after breakfast.
     
  4. HDD

    HDD Member

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    I am interested in thoughts on my situation. I am my own lab-rat – no doctor seems to be able to help me, and no person I talk to directly has ever experienced what I’m experiencing. My family is tired of hearing me drone on about my symptoms and my research. Luckily my doctor is on-board with me adjusting my thyroid medication and supports everything I do as long as I stay in range. I am hoping that as my thyroid levels come up, my anxiety and insomnia will disappear. I have high hopes, but I sure wish I could read some testimonials to help me through.


    Welcome, Magpie! I am handicapped, too (56), lol. I am pretty sure most of us on this forum are our own lab rats. I can relate about family not really being that interested. I'll admit I do look a little strange sitting under a heat lamp with my feet in a bucket. I haven't dared to put on my orange sunglasses and breathe in a paper bag in front of them. I have some vitiligo that I cover with bangs and eye shadow. I don't even know when it happened. I just wanted to welcome you. There is a ton of very useful information on this site and there are some very helpful people.

    This is the place to drone on. :D
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    What I eat at night influences my sleep significantly.
    I take around 2000 mg of niacinamide, might try upping your dose slowly.
    Epsom salts at night also help, internally or externally.
    Gelatin
    Potatoes
    OJ with salt
    Ice cream

    Be careful with overloading our liver with supplements, progestE and T4 can give it more work than it can handle.
     
  6. OP
    magpie

    magpie Member

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    Thank you for your replies!

    Mittir:
    Yes, I'm sure I'm riddled with endotoxin, probably for as long as my bowels have been sluggish. I sure was a great sleeper until 5 years ago though. Briefly, my diet:
    Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs salted, 16 oz strained juice, coffee with sugar, gelatin, half&half
    Snack: Shredded carrots with raisins (no coconut oil - I seemed more anxious even with refined)
    Lunch: Cottage Cheese, grapes, 16 oz milk
    Snack: Fruit, large milk, maybe some salted OJ, maybe some dark chocolate
    Dinner: Liver or shellfish or beef, fruit, large glass of milk
    Before Bed: Scoop of ice cream
    The thing about this menu - Like some others, I also gained weight! Seems like some muscle, but also some fat. I needed some weight, but now I'm fooling around with quantity now, realizing that those liquid calories are hefty.
    Back to the endotoxin - I take 3 capsules of cascara sagrada at nighttime, and as long as I eat the carrot salad, I can usually stay pretty regular now. I'm sure there's still endotoxin though ....any ideas on how to lower it are very welcome!!! I will usually measure a temp/pulse mid-morning and mid-afternoon, for what it's worth. It's difficult - I look like a dork with a thermometer in my mouth at my client's office, lol.

    Jenn:
    Really, that much niacinamide really helps? I could try upping the dose - I'm really not sure what I should expect from it. I only take it because Dr. Peat mentioned it could help with anxiety, but I have no idea what it's really for. And how do you take Epsom salts internally - how much? Do you dissolve in water and drink? I'd be really interested - does it also help with regularity? I soak in it sometimes... it's soothing but I don't see it affecting my sleep much. I hear you about the liver ... I take Nutrisorb A and D-Drops and K topically and other than that, only the Pregnenolone, Aspirin, and Niacinamide internally. The Progest-E I rub into my gums (and on my thumb to see if it will help the eczema). The T4 shouldn't be a liver burden I think ... I know the liver converts it to T3 but isn't that my liver's job?? (lazy old thing) I don't drink alcohol at all. I used to ... but now it gives me anxiety and anyway, I want my liver available for more important things.

    Haagendazendiane:
    You crack me up! I sit under my bright light (which really does help with anxiety, by the way) - my husband says it's my 'brood' light - but he likes it because it makes me calm and smiley.

    Thank you everyone for your kind welcome and suggestions. I have learned so much from this forum and I appreciate everyone's collective wisdom. Thank you!
     
  7. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    If the liver is already overloaded, it's not actually converting the t4 and it's just going to waste. I only take t3.

    Try upping your dose slowly and see how you feel. You may find you need to back off the cascara.
     
  8. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Your diet is very good. Few suggestions here
    Egg whites can be allergenic and can irritate stomach.
    Any kind of stomach irritation increases serotonin, which leads to excess estrogen.
    You can add olive oil and vinegar to make your carrot salad more effective.
    RP suggests afternoon as a good time to eat carrot. This way it will clean your intestine
    by reducing endotoxin and estrogen by the time you are ready for bed.
    You can try cooked bamboo shoot instead of carrot and see how it feels.
    He also suggests that we eat light foods like fat and carbohydrate after
    sunset as our digestive system slows down. It would be a good idea to avoid
    liver and muscle meat at dinner. You can add some gelatin at dinner, it is a great sleeping aid.
    Glass of milk is fine too. Eat most of your protein during day time.
    Tryptophan in protein can cause sleep problem.
    Salt also helps with sleep. Add salt and sugar to milk or oj before bed. Ice cream is fine too.
    Excess Vitamin A can block thyroid function, you have to be careful with Vitamin A.
    RP suggests 4-6 oz of liver weekly. 1 oz beef liver gives you about 5000 IU vit A.
    For average hypothyroid people daily 5000 iu is usually required, for a week that is around 7 oz of liver.
    With large fluid intake you have to take extra salt to balance it out,
    Hypothyroid people tend to loose salt easily.
    Idea is to avoid all kind of stomach irritant. I believe you are eating ice cream
    with natural ingredients.
    Chocolate can be problematic for some people.
    Grape can have sulfur and many kind of pesticides.
    Make sure you are getting shellfish from ocean, not farm raised one.
    You need selenium and other minerals from seafood.
    You can add some baking soda in OJ to lower the acidity.
    I use old t shirt to strain OJ instead of cheesecloth.the pectin in OJ is pretty bad.
    Are you getting daily 80 grams of protein? It is very crucial.
    For some people gelatin can be a problem . as it can feed bacteria if it is not digested properly.
     
  9. OP
    magpie

    magpie Member

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    Mittir - thanks for your suggestions. I will try to move my protien more to the middle of the day if I can. Adding olive oil and vinegar to my carrots will make it more effective at what? Elimination? That would be great. And salt, yes I didn't mention that much, but I love it. I salt my food, eat some salt during the day, and salt my OJ. And I keep a glass of heavily salted OJ by my bed for when I wake up in the night. I have noticed in the past, when very very cold and anxious, that eating a lot of salt relaxes me and warms me up, almost immediately. And the salted OJ almost always makes me go back to sleep. And yes, I'm getting a lot of protein. When I add it up, I'm usually around 90-100g a day, never less than 80g. The milk adds a lot of protein so I'm glad I can drink it. It's hard to know what foods irritate my stomach / create endotoxin because I never get gassy, bloated, heartburn, stomach pains, etc. My only GI reaction, to ALL foods, is constipation. Oh well, I'm definitely making progress.

    Jenn - I have a couple of questions - does niacinamide help with constipation at higher doses? I take 200mg a day, and you said you take 2000mg - will that help me with elimination (it's a big problem for me). Last night I took a rounded teaspoon of epsom salts - no results yet. Should I have taken more?

    About the T4 on the liver - last labs I had, the ones with TSH down to 1.54 showed total T4 at about 29% of range and total T3 at about 39% of range, and reverse T3 very low, so it seems to me that I am converting the T4 very well (liver doing ok) but just need to increase my NP Thyroid dose somewhat (slowly, slowly to avoid the anxiety). I'm very encouraged that the Peat-style eating has been providing good nutrition for this conversion and I plan to eat this way for the rest of my life. I do think that diet alone would not have helped me recover from hypothyroidism. I read Broda Barnes book about hypothyroidism, and something struck me - I had an episode at age 4 or 5 where I was very lethargic, sleepy, wouldn't go outside to play, and the doctor diagnosed me with anemia. My mother fed me eggnog shakes for several months and I recovered. It seems that I have had a thyroid problem all my life perhaps.

    One dumb question - what are bamboo shoots and where do you get them? Oh, and one more dumb question. I don't eat potatoes often because I thought the starchy-glucose wasn't as favored as the fruity-fructose for energy. I probably eat a potato with butter (no skin) about once every couple of weeks. Are they ok to eat? I probably won't do the whole potato-juice-protein thing because I don't know how, and it seems like a lot of work, and sometimes I'm just plain tired of being a hypochondriac :)
     
  10. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    Potatoes are the best bowel forming foods in my experience. Everyone is different. I found them to be highly beneficial in regaining my health. I CHEWED them thoroughly. I was regular eating just potatoes, eventually. I started in the fall though, and I found I didn't like them so much in the summer, except for the occasional potato salad or fries. I mostly ate milk and berries with sugar and cream of tartar and salt in the summer.
     
  11. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Oil and vinegar make the salad more effective at cleaning the intestine. Oil slows down the breakdown of carrot so the fiber can travel further inside the intestine binding estrogen and endotoxin. Vinegar has anti bacterial property making fiber less available to bacterias.
    Bamboo shoot is the root of bamboo, it is mostly used in chinese and japanese cuisine.
    It is eaten cooked . It has some toxin in it and boiling for long time removes the toxins.
    It works lot like carrot and some people do better with bamboo shoot than carrot.
    You can buy this in can from asian stores.
    RP has mentioned that eating raw carrot salad for few days lowered all the bad hormones and increased
    good hormones.
     
  12. OP
    magpie

    magpie Member

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    Thanks!!! I will try this and see how it works.
     
  13. chris

    chris Member

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    Could you explain this please? Does thyroid make cascara more effective?
     
  14. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Thyroid increases metabolism which increases digestion which increases poopy doopy. :mrgreen:
     
  15. chris

    chris Member

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    Aha, yes, got it. Thanks Charlie!

    Does anyone know why some places on the internet say not to take cascara for longer than a week at a time?
     
  16. Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    Charlie, Chris, and Magpie are never allowed to change their avatars, because I love seeing an ostrich, cat, and dog having a conversation.
     
  17. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    Sorry, I was referring to niacinamide. Niacinimide can be stimulating. The combination of niacinimide and cascara is potent, so if you are taking extra cascara, you may need to take less when adding niacinimide.
     
  18. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Just bumping this old post as it's excellent!
     
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