Tag Archives: bio-identical hormones

Day 535 Almost 20 months on GAPS

I have been very, very busy in the past couple of weeks. On Friday I went into town, taking one of my precious days off work to ferry around one of our clients who is blind. She has been helping us to gather prizes for our annual raffle and she was sorrowful at not having been able to sell many tickets. I knew it would really brighten her day if I took her around to sell tickets and I have always enjoyed spending time with my elders. She is 79 years old and quite the firecracker. We ended up selling almost 700 tickets! She had an idea to go to the fire stations and one of the captains took an instant liking to her and rallied up his guys to buy tickets, and then set us up to go to another fire station where they beat the amount the first station had bought. It was a fun day, but essentially I lost an entire day at home so I feel like I'm behind on everything. I did however get caught up on my husband's accounting, and we had our weekly meeting so I at least accomplished that. But I really need a housekeeper to help me with the housework!

I had to take a nap yesterday and today, I have felt extra tired.

Next Friday I have to go into work for a twelve hour day to work the party. I have to be “on” for most of those twelve hours so it will be interesting to see how I do. At last year's party I was eight months into GAPS and feeling a lot better. I am still feeling better than I did before starting GAPS, but still on a quest for more energy.

I've started to take a digestive enzyme Enzymedica Digest Basic (this is my Amazon affiliate link) to see if it helps. It says to take one with every meal. I wonder if I should take one every time I eat? I have been nibbling today and wondered if I should take one every time I eat another little meal.

Anyway, I have read in more than one place if your stomach doesn't have the right bacteria or acids to digest it will take much of your energy reserves to digest your food. Digestive enzymes are supposed to help, but I don't know how long it will take.

I am continuing to use the bio-identical hormone cremes and I recently learned that for the second jar I will not use the cremes for the first seven days of the month in an attempt to “regulate” my periods. The woman I spoke with on this said if my body has more eggs [affiliate link] to produce then I will begin to have regular periods, if not, she says going through menopause will be easier. I have committed to trying the cremes for four months, so we will see what happens.

So far I am still feeling calmer, but I do not yet detect more energy levels. It is so hard to keep up with everything… broth, ferments, cod liver oil, liver, etc. It just seems like too much sometimes. But I am still convinced that I will find the recipe for my personal GAPS cake.

The digestive enzymes were one thing that was recommended by the doctor who prescribed the bio-identical cremes, and he also suggested some B vitamins. I think I may start to supplement those next. I'm trying to do one thing at a time to see what works.

My air conditioning on my car is broken, and I just had it fixed in March. I am so frustrated by this, and I believe it is also adding to my tiredness. Thankfully my son let me borrow his car on Friday so we were comfortable while driving around to sell raffle tickets.

I had gotten back to eating a lot of fruit, so I stopped eating fruit on Monday the 18th and had no fruit for three days… then I had a banana on Thursday. And I've had some strawberries this weekend that my husband brought home (four pounds!).

This next week is going to be extra busy and stressful… and the next week will be really stressful at work as we attempt to begin entering our state billings in a brand new system. I will cope well, but I know I will be extra tired as a result. I am trying harder to get to bed in the evening as early as I can. I should be in bed already, but I took a late nap. I'm also very thirsty, I have not had much water to drink today.

So how are you doing on your GAPS journey?

 

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The First Indication My Adrenals Are Functioning Better

I've been using the cremes for a week. There is a “day” creme and a “PM” creme. The day creme is to be used upon waking and at 6pm. The PM creme is to be used when going to bed. I've not been sure if I've felt any different. I'm not even sure how long it takes until I start feeling any effects.

I've been feeling really stressed out about my husband. He's been scheduling a lot of work and keeps getting backed up until he will stay up all night long and the next day with only a couple hours of sleep. When he does this it really, really stresses me out because I know how vitally important sleep is, and I don't want him to end up blowing out his adrenals by doing this. I would be less concerned if it happened once a month but it's happening more often than that. Last night was one of those nights. For once he was home, building a platform that he needed for a job today. I went to bed around 9:30pm and I woke at 1:30. For the past few months, when I wake up in the middle of the night and he's not home I feel panicked. It's like the fight or flight response kicks in and I feel like my stress level just shot up super high. I lie there and my imagination runs wild with no so far fetched scenarios… like maybe he fell asleep and drove off the road and was in an accident and is just lying on the side of the highway.

But when I realized when I woke up this morning, I didn't feel my stress level shoot up. I tried to go back to sleep, but then I wondered how it was going with the platform he was building so I went outside. I stayed out and helped him for a while, threading on some bolts and washers while he drilled holes. Thank goodness we live out in the middle of nowhere far enough away from other people!

Then one of our dogs came up with foam all over her muzzle. My husband looked at her and asked what was wrong with her. I told him she probably got hold of a Sonoran Desert Toad. I heard them the other night when we had the really bad sandstorm. Our power was out for 5 hours and it rained so it was cooled down enough that I had my bedroom window open and we could hear the toads singing.

But then my husband said he hoped she didn't have rabies.

That worried me a little bit, but I really didn't think so.

She started acting weird, like she was going blind, running into things. I know really the only thing you can do is rinse their mouth repeatedly with fresh water, but I think I've also heard you can get rabies just by getting the saliva of an infected animal on you. I think you do need to have an open wound to be infected… like the animal has to bite you… so I decided that I needed to get her mouth rinsed out.

Now… a week ago I feel certain that my stress level would have shot to the sky… but I felt totally calm. Almost removed from the situation. Tess was compliant and readily allowed me to rinse her mouth with a squirt bottle. I rinsed her mouth about four times with 16 ounces of water each time. Finally she laid down and relaxed and stop breathing so hard and fast. She was so still I thought she'd died, but she was only asleep.

I finally went back in the house and got back into bed at 4am. I slept very peacefully until close to 10am.

I think that is the other thing that's happening, I think I'm sleeping better. Even though I have always felt like I sleep well, I feel I've been sleeping even more peacefully in the last few days.

I still don't have much energy.

I really want more energy.

I have also noticed that I'm not panicking about other things so much. I always have so much that needs to be done, and not enough time to do it, but I freak out with stress over what needs to be done, and then I don't get it done because I'm so panicked.

Could this all be due to my adrenals being fatigued?

Sometimes I wonder, how will I get anything done if I'm not insane with worry and anxiety over them? Will eventually I be able to complete tasks that need to be done, because they need to be done?

Something else I have noticed… time seems to have slowed down. The days seems to be longer. I don't notice missing whole hours. For example, it's 5pm but I would have thought it was 7pm already.

Anyway. That's what I've noticed so far. By the way, Tess is fine today. I don't know why she bothered that toad, she is one of our older dogs, she should know better. At any rate, I thought to myself it was a good thing I was up in the middle of the night!

Here are the ingredients contained in the cremes:

Day Formula: Pregnenolone, L-Lysine, Vitamin B5, Boricin, L-Glutathione Reduced, Pyritinol, Wild Yam (Progesterone), Proprietary Herb Extracts, Vitamin B12, Licorice Root Extract, Benfotiamine, L-Cysteine, Vitamin B6 P5P, DIM, Colostrum, DHEA, L-Tyrosine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, L-Ornithine, Maca Extract, Colloidal Silver,  Niacin B3, Aloe Vera Extract, Muira Puama

PM Formula: 5-Hydroxytyptophan, Phosphatidylserine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Avena Sativa Extract

I have to admit I have not done the research on all these ingredients, although it would probably be a good idea to know what purpose each is serving. At this point I'm strictly going on blind faith, hoping that I'm not doing my body a disservice.

Also, I was able to get four pounds of grass fed liver yesterday, as well as a small package of ox tails, half of a heart and *ahem* I also took the testicles. Everything is still frozen at the moment. I need to get dinner going. I am hungry. I have note eaten well today.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

The Results of My Saliva Testing for My Adrenals

First of all, I want to make it clear that it is my understanding that Dr. Natasha does not endorse hormone replacement therapy. I say this because of an answer to a question in the FAQs:

Is it realistic for me to think that GAPS could help my body naturally increase its progesterone level?

Yes, GAPS programme will re-balance your hormones to normal production. Progesterone has to be balance by other hormones, and only your body knows how to do that and in what proportions. Try not to interfere in this process by taking any hormonal preparations: drugs or natural.

When it was first suggested to me to have my adrenals tested, I did not realize the end result would be bio-identical hormones.

My husband first heard about bio-identical hormones on a news program with Suzanne Somers. He was sold and told me he thought I should try them. This was several years ago, pre-GAPS. I bought the Suzanne Somers books at a second hand store and learned why she feels we should use bio-identical hormones. But it didn't really sit well with my tendency to simply  let nature take its course. If I remember correctly, SS still has a menstrual cycle, complete with menses. I don't think it is natural for a 60-something year old woman to be having a period. I think that was one of the main things that caused me to discontinue pursuing this path, and I'm sure the other part of that was the expense, and having to go to the doctor all the time and be reliant on prescription medication.

But then I started getting bent out of shape and distressed about not losing weight, in fact, gaining weight while doing intro. Horror of horrors! And so one of my GAPS friends and I had a pow-wow and she suggested the adrenal saliva test. In fact, I had recently written a blog post which mentioned all the things that I may need to do, should do to further my healing and I was just overwhelmed and not sure what to do next.

The adrenal test seemed like something fairly easy. All it required was spit after all. 😉

So… I ordered the test, chewed the cotton and shipped it to the lab. I got my results back several weeks ago, and I've been on the fence about what I should do. First of all, when I talked to the consulting doctor on the phone I was very excited to get started, but I thought he was only going to formulate a transdermal creme for me to use. When his suggested protocol arrived, there were so many things listed that I immediately jammed my head right into the sand.

In a nutshell, the consulting doctor explained that I'm in a state of adrenal maladaptation.

My cortisol level at peak is highest at 8 o'clock in the morning – that's good – but it is just under the normal range at 3.46 (normal range is 3.5 and 6.3). That's bad. My DHEA sulfate should peak at 8am and have the lowest point at midnight, but mine is inverted with the highest value at midnight and the lowest at 8am. That's not good. He explained that this is a sign of adrenal maladaptation, and this means that my body cannot manage the physical and emotional stress that I am currently having to endure.

He says my adrenal fatigue is fairly recent, and explained the adrenals attempt to adapt by blowing up like a balloon but they can only do this for about thirty months, before they start to shrink or atrophy and he says this is where I am at right now.

I have two questions about this. First, I was feeling a lot better just by doing GAPS and then my husband started working a lot of hours and not eating right and not sleeping enough, which was stressing me out terribly. And I've been on GAPS almost 19 months. So where does thirty months come in? And how do we know I'm at the tail end, not at the homestretch toward healing?

Anyway… I was also freaked out about not following the doctor's orders… even though several of the items listed on the protocol contained definite GAPS illegal ingredients, I still worried about not doing the protocol 100% because at least doing what he recommended 100% I would then know I had done my best.

But then I started getting an idea of what it would all cost and that really freaked me out. For one thing, I only thought I would be using one creme which would be around $70 and purchased once a month. That was hard enough to swallow. That's a lot of money, and we aren't exactly swimming in cash here. But two cremes were recommended. One two be used twice daily, morning and at 6pm and the other only once in the evening, at bedtime.

So $70 one month and $140 the next month. Plus shipping.

I decided to sleep on it for a couple of weeks. Finally I decided to do both cremes. I'd told myself I might want to get started with this on July 1st, since I like to start something new on the 1st of the month. I finally ordered the cremes and they arrived on Friday.

I assume it takes a while for the effects of the creme's ingredients to begin working.

I started on Friday night with the night creme. I put on the Saturday creme. I seem to feel in a better mood. Also, one unusual thing is that I was able to concentrate and get my husband's business tax forms completed. He has until the 20th to submit the various forms to the various cities, counties and the state of Arizona, and I usually try to reconcile his two checking accounts on the first weekend of the month that the statements are available, and then the second weekend I try to get the paperwork done and submitted. But sometimes I am rushing on the 17th, even sometimes I've had to do it on the evenings of the days I work. But yesterday I managed to get it all done.

Now something else I've been doing… I have been trying to eat liver every day. I made a liver pate based on a recipe of a GAPS friend, and I have been trying to have two tablespoons each day… I also have been trying to get ferments in. I've found that eating sauerkraut after liver… not a good idea. The sauerkraut has an awful taste with the liver taste in my mouth. I've been trying to eat the sauerkraut first thing in the morning, then my two tablespoons of liver.

Yesterday was a  weird day. I wasn't very hungry for most of the day. I am not sure if that's the liver, or the creme.

The doctor said I should retest in four months. He praised me for being on GAPS, and said he would be counseling me to do a similar diet if I were not already on GAPS. He says I'm 50% of the way there with my healing, but I'm in a tailspin with my adrenals and hormones. He says this creme will pull me out of the hormonal tailspin and get me pointed in the right direction. I sure hope he is right. I have heard a few horror stories about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy… at the end of our conversation I said I can't wait to have the energy of a toddler and he said, “Well, you're going to.” You see why I freaked out about not following his protocol to the T? If he really thinks I can have the energy of a toddler, he's probably assuming I will take every thing he has suggested.

If I have a chance, I will share some of the items he wants me to be taking. I'll keep you posted on how this goes. I'm still a little bit nervous… worried about the results because as Dr. Natasha says, our body knows when to adjust our hormones. I'm applying a creme with man-made ingredients… I hope I'm not making a mistake.

One more thing. My nose suddenly turned into a super smeller on Wednesday last week. Suddenly smells were very intense. And no, I'm not pregnant. :=)  And now I need to get in the kitchen and get our picnic dinner started.

 

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Day 541 Saliva Testing for Adrenals

I've been missing in action here at the blog, and I stopped reporting on my experience with intro. I apologize for that, but the depression just got the best of me there and I had to take a break and recuperate.

During the time of depression I spoke with a friend who is doing GAPS, who suggested that I look into testing my adrenals as the place to begin with the cherries on the cake. I have listened to so many podcasts by Dr. Natasha that they are beginning to blend together in my head, but I think she did mention the cake analogy on the interview that I did with her. At any rate, she says GAPS is the foundation – the cake – and some people do very well with GAPS, but others have to add to the cake, they have to add the frosting and cherries.

I've been doing GAPS 17 months, and I have seen a lot of healing as seen in my six month update and my one year update, but when I was feeling the depression I started to feel like I need to do something else. As I mentioned in my post called When Sleep Takes Precedence Over Blogging there are some things that I may need to address which could be holding back my progress in healing. My friend mentioned a place to start could be my adrenals, and I thought that sounded simple enough, so I ordered the test. I ordered the Female Circadian 24 hour test from Sabre Sciences. It cost $249 for the test and shipping back to the lab. The kit included six plastic vials with a piece of cotton inside. You chew on the cotton to get it wet with your saliva and then send back to the lab to get your results. The cost of the test includes a consultation with one of their doctors.

I have been taking the saliva samples today, I have to take six in a 24 hour period, every four hours: 8am, noon, 4pm, 8pm, midnight and 4am.

So far I have been right on the dot. I was sure I missed taking the 8pm sample… I took a very late afternoon nap and I woke up at 7:35pm. I was completely certain that I'd missed taking the sample by 35 minutes. The lady I spoke with told me if I did miss one of the time slots to just take the saliva at the same time, the next day. So I wrote down on my paper that I had missed the 8pm sample and I went and sat at my computer. Thankfully I brought my phone with me (I've set the alarm on my phone to go off when it's time to take the next sample) and it started to sound at 7:55. This is when I realized with some surprise, that I had in fact not missed the 8pm sample.

Now I need to make sure I don't miss the midnight and 4am samples.

I have never tested my adrenals before, so I don't have anything to compare with my test results.

It was pretty cool when the lady was explaining to me to be sure to drink 5-7 glasses of water the day before the test and she asked me how much water I usually drink in a day. I told her I only drink water and she said that was good and many people who want to take the test are drinking soda and coffee [affiliate link] regularly.

Of course these two things have an impact on the way our body functions.

I thought to myself how cool it was that I can say I don't drink coffee or soda.

There is a form included with the kit, with questions. One of those questions is what foods do you not eat? And as I was writing down the main GAPS illegals, it occurred to me as if for the first time I really realized that my diet is so clean. I'm one of “those” people who eat healthy!

Well, my kind of healthy. Because some people have different ideas about what foods are healthy.

I'll have to let you know my test results when they return, I think it will be at least a couple of weeks until I hear anything.

 

 

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.