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Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 11, 06 at 22:18

Hi all,
My saliva hormone tests prove it! Hormones are all out of whack and there are REAL reasons I feel unwell, despite my doctor never finding anything wrong with me. Blood tests are useless to catch all but the worst cases of hormone inbalances. Many people have marginal imbalances, like me.

My results:

"Morning cortisol is depressed, suggestive of marginal HPA performance or adrenal fatigue. Noon cortisol is elevated suggesting a stress response or rebound effect often associated with glucose counter regulation process. Morning cortisone augmentation or 11 Beta HDS inhibitors, as in licorice, worth consideration." Cortisol levels are supposed to be highest in the morning, then gradually taper off. I have a really hard time getting going in the morning, and this explains why.

"Thyroid T3 low 0.15 (normal 0.28-1.1) T3 measures the amount of thyroid hormone that has already been converted from T4 and is ready to go to work in your tissues." So not enough of it in my case. I have such debilitating fatigue, and now I know why! Thyroid needs adjusting, possibly I have Wilson's syndrome. I have so many of these symptoms its scary: Wilson's Syndrome Do you?

Nutritional supplements and herbal remedies can fix this low T3 problem. I don't know if I'm a candidate for presciption thryroid meds, since other thyroid levels are normal, but will check with my doctor of course. Now that I know what the problem IS I can start to address it, with or without his help. The thermometer test confirmed thyroid issues.

"Free testosterone 21 elevated (normal 8-20)" Explains a few things... Apparently this is also helped (lowered) with licorice. Whoda thunk it? Licorice?? So simple...

So ALL THREE of my major hormone systems are NOT QUITE RIGHT!

Even though the entire gamut of routine blood tests showed NOTHING was wrong with me.

This is NOT in my head! I'm going to print out the results, go see my doctor and see what he says.

I also Googled whatever information I could find regarding atopic eczema, as I have a horrible case on my hands, and have been scared away from using the strong steroids prescribed, which are dangerous. I kept coming across something called "leaky gut syndrome" (aka Intestinal Permeability) which is basically holes in your gut that let food and toxins leak directly into your blood stream, causing many auto-immune diseases, not just eczema, and also over-stressing the liver. If youve ever been on the pill, on broad-spectrum anti-biotics that wipe out ALL bacteria, good and bad, eat a diet high in refined and processed foods, drink alchohol, have one or more auto-immune diseases, this could be the reason. There is a simple urine test to find out if one has a "leaky gut". See this link for more information about it:

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Supplementing with good bugs and cutting out irritating foods is the fix, nothing invasive or drastic.

Eczema/hormone inbalance/leaky gut connection

These marginal hormone imbalances and leaky gut syndrome are pretty common, but testing for them has become available relatively recently and many mainstream medical doctors have no clue about them. Canada only has one or two labs that will even do saliva tests. Much cheaper to go through the Canary Club in the USA which is where I got my testing done. I checked all over, they are the most economical. I am working on my insurance company to cover the cost of it ($141.00US) because my doctor wrote a letter suggesting it, at my request. He wants to help me, just doesn't know how, so I had to get proactive. Hoping I'll be reimbursed, but if not, it was money well-spent.

The Canary Club, for saliva testing

This book is a good place to start if you want more information about marginal hormone imbalances. I found it in my local library, but will probably buy it for future reference. It is well-written, and has questionnaires you can take to see if you might have hormonal imbalances worth further testing, and also suggestions for what supplements, herbs and prescriptions may be of use. The authors encourage you to work with your doctor if possible, but its not always possible and you can help yourself if necessary:

Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled?

Im also doing a liver cleanse, both with a 30-day herbal product and with diet, as many sources cite an overworked, sluggish liver as the root of many diseases as well as fatigue. According to The Liver Doctor, Sandra Cabot, one of the first signs of a stressed liver is raised cholesterol levels and blood-sugar problems (which I have), and she claims that eating a liver-friendly diet will reverse this, as well as help with weight-loss, fatigue and low energy, among many other complaints. Cabots Liver-Cleansing Diet is basically a 40% raw foods diet, high in complex carbs, good fats (no trans fats) and protein, but mostly derived from non-animal sources. Free-range hormone-free chicken and eggs are allowed, no dairy. This is the diet that many alternative health experts recommend for optimal health, and is great for cleaning out the pipes. But there are many other health conditions it will help, see this link for symptoms of an overtaxed liver:

Symptoms associated with liver dysfunction

Note, you can have liver dysfunction without elevated liver enzymes showing up on routine blood tests. Again, only when things are pretty far gone will it show on the blood work. Many people have dysfunctional livers and don't know it, or anything about it. There is a lot of good information on her site, check it out.

Im hoping that the liver being overworked is the cause of these marginal hormone imbalances in the first place. It seems like its all related. And that once the liver is functioning optimally, the rest will re-balance also. Got her Liver-Cleansing Diet book for $15.00US including shipping on Ebay, and am just starting the 8 week detox program on Monday. Recipes look delicious, and there is a lot of variety.

Strange as this may sound, I am SO GLAD my test results were abnormal because I'm sick of being told I'm fine, when I'm not fine, and haven't felt really well for a long time now, since 2001 at least. All these things are easily treatable, just needed to know WHAT to treat! I feel vindicated now and am confident I am going to get better, with or without my doctor's help. It's been like putting a puzzle together without all the pieces. Now I have them!

I'm sharing this with you all not just to share my own news but in case you suspect you may have similar problems and want to check them out. If it helps even one person get the answers they need, thatll be great!

To your good health!

Taryn


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Taryn, bless your heart for taking the time to post all of that! I've been doing a LOT of research about hormones, etc. lately. I had NO IDEA how being a bit out of whack can cause so much trouble.
I once went to the doc with a "list" of symptoms, thinking it could be hormonal. He pretty much looked at me like I had ten heads. Said there are tests that could be run, but they're expensive, and I seemed pretty healthy, other than I needed to lose weight and quit smoking. Lol, well...tell me something I DON'T know. Guess a person just has to do their own research, go in and order specific tests, and steer the doc in the right direction.
It's really reassuring to see so many of my symptoms disappear with changes in eating habits. I think the refined carbs are pretty much like drugs for me. Once I eat them, I feel like crap, and just want more of the same thing that's making me feel bad. I had started to wonder if I was just a hypochondriac, but I KNEW I should feel better than I did. I haven't felt really good for any extended period of time in a good 10 years. Was thinking that if I felt this bad in my 40's, I was going to be a miserable wretch by the time I'm 60. Finally, I feel optomistic, and GOOD for a change!
Thanks again for all the info. I'm going to check out all those links, but first...that hot shower is calling my name. Take care, and keep us posted on how things are going for ya!
Brenda


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Taryn: Interesting stuff!!!

A "you're my friend so be careful" word of caution. Wilson's Syndrome is VERY VERY different than Wilson's disease, which is the inability of the body to metabolize copper. W. disease is an orphan illness that almost killed DB2 when he was 14. If you follow a Wilson's Disease regimen, rather than a Wilson's Syndrome regimen, you could do serious damage. Again, you've done a lot of research and appear to be Very careful about what you're doing, but others may not be.

Being 48 means that all hormones are in flux and I'd need to change doses of anything on a daily basis. I've decided to forego any medications I can forego as long as Rich is willing to put up with me. Reading your stuff, though, makes me think that a long overdue talk with my FEMALE GOOD DOCTOR may be in order.

A wake up call is always good.

Hang in there. Come to us when you need to scream, or cry, or just rest.

Martie


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

  • Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 12, 06 at 16:41

Brenda, can relate to the "looked at me like I have 10 heads" thing! We have to advocate for ourselves these days I guess.

Martie, very good to note the distinction! Wilson's Temperature Syndrome is a cluster of low-thyroid symptoms and characterized by a lower than normal body temperature. Unlike thyroid disease, which is usually treated for life, with Wilson's Syndrome the thyroid can usually be nudged back to performing well on it's own, with a few months of treatment. This has nothing at all to do with Wilson's Disease, the inherited disorder in which the liver can't break down copper, which can then build to dangerously toxic levels and cause permanent damage.

Oh, forget to mention the liver-cleanse diet allows fish and seafood as well as free-range chicken. There goes that collander of a memory again. :) Thanks for the support...

Taryn


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Taryn-I was just reading on the other post about you having metabolic syndrome. That's the conclusion I came to, also. Haven't talked to the doc about it yet, but have been following the carb addict's diet. But, in reading on the ADA message board, I figured I needed to start adding in some complex carbs. Had oatmeal this morning..the old fashioned kind. Dosed it up pretty good with cinnamon, which is also supposed to help regulate blood sugar. After supper every night, I've been having a Dannon low carb/low sugar vanilla yogurt with flax meal and cinnamon mixed in. Not bad at all..could be cheesecake if you have a good imagination ;) I was doing that before I read about cinnamon being good for your blood sugar.
I'm fortunate enough to have never had experience with gangrene. That has got to be a horrible thing..and what a terrible way to lose your dad.
Do you have to test your glucose? Do you always eat protein with carbs? I had a boiled egg with my oatmeal this morning, just in case. I'm trying to get all this stuff with diet figured out before we start farming, so I have some idea of what kind of food to pack along with me. The guys tend to go for a sandwich, chips and a pop and there's no way I can eat that, especially after being "clean" so long :)
Brenda


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

  • Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 13, 06 at 9:36

Hey Brenda,
Yes I've heard 1/2 tsp of cinnamon a day helps to regulate blood sugar. I love oatmeal (I buy the large flake) with cinnamon, and recently have started having it wil almond milk, blueberries, 1 packet of stevia to sweeten and a tablespoon of LSA. LSA stands for linseed (flaxseed), sunflower seed and almonds, and you grind them up in a coffee grinder in a 3:2:1 ratio and add them to cereal, soups, salads etc. Great source of protein and good fats.

Your yogurt sounds yummy but unfortunately I can't have dairy right now. Was googling soy products as I'm not big on milk, have given up coffee/cream, but will really miss my cheese and yogurt. Was surprised to learn that soy is not as healthy as we'd been led to believe, and mimics estrogen in the body, causing precocious puberty in little girls! I immediately emailed my brother about this, as my SIL doesn't let their 3 girls have dairy milk and gives them soy. Don't want them needing bras by grade 2!!! My bro phoned me yesterday, said he asked about it at his favourite health food store and they concurred, rice or almond milk is a healthier choice.

SOY ALERT

I've read from several sources that it is always a good idea to have a bit of protein and good fat along with your good carbs, which help prevent a glucose spike that might occur with carbs alone. The LSA mixture makes this simple. I would think a trail mix with not too much dried fruit would be a great trac-snack for when you're out in the fields. My most recent fav is homemade hummus with raw zuchini. REALLY satisfying with the chickpeas in the hummus. REALLY tasty, and easy to make!

Metabolic syndrome, aka syndrome X, is scary but quite common. I have it, and no, don't ever want to experience gangrene and other horrible complications of diabetes again. By the end my father had his toes chopped off, had 2 unsucessful surgeries to try to increase blood flow to his legs, was blind, and finally kidneys failed. 13 and a half months in hospital, it was a slow and horrible way to die. If the Diabetes doesn't get you, the complications (if the disease isn't well-managed) will.

No I don't have to test for glucose on a regular basis. I had one high reading several years ago, 11.5 MMOL/L. Normal is 3.3-6.0, 13 and over and you're a diabetic. Eliminating sugar, white flour, white starches brought it right down. My last one in October was 5.8, 2 hour challenge was 6.6 (normals for this are 3.3-7.7 MMOL/L). I know I've mentioned this before, but its so impoortant especially for women: if you are testing for blood sugar, INSIST on a 2 hour challenge as well as the usual fasting glucose test. For some reason, many women with glucose problems test in the normal range with the fasting glucose test, and glucose problems are ONLY detected when they test again 2 hours after eating, or doing the liquid sugar glucose challenge. Most men with glucose problems show it on the fasting glucose test, but not women. Good to know, as doctors don't routinely ask for the 2-hour challenge. Make them. If we managed our health the way we manage our finances and other aspects of our life, we'd all be better for it.

Taryn

Here is a link that might be useful: Metabolic Syndrome


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Hi, Taryn! I wanted to touch bases with my "Sydrome X" buddy, lol! How are ya doin'? I haven't had time to catch up with the Idylls yet-still playing doctor, and NOT the fun way ;)
My DD had a low blood sugar swing at work the other night, and called me to come and get her. I did, brought her home, fed her well, and hauled her to the doctor the next day. She's slated for some blood work, the dr. thinks it's a very good possibility that she's hyperinsulinemic. I told him about my sister having the Helicobacter Pylori infection, and he said that it can, indeed cause you to overproduce insulin, and that it's also very plausible that if one person in the family has it, we all do. There was a LOT of it in the mid 80's, came from undercooked chicken. So, if you've got acid reflux, other gastric troubles, or think you may be kicking out too much insulin, wouldn't hurt to get checked for it. The treatment is pretty simple..two week course of anitbiotics and bismuth.
I still need to set up an appointment to have some blood work done myself...I've been putting it off until I took off a little more weight. I'm down 28 pounds YAY! So, I'm hoping my cholesterol is looking good, and if I test positive for this "bug", I'm doing whatever it takes to get DH & DS to get tested and treated.
How did the liver cleanse diet work out for you? Are you still doing it?
If you have time to keep me updated, I'd love to hear how you're getting along. Not a lot of people in my circle have even heard of Metabolic Syndrome, let alone have any experience in getting it under control.
Take care of yourself!
Brenda


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

Taryn:
Don't give up. I also have immune, endo and auto immune disease. They can pile up, it could be more than one thing bothering you. I now have several.
Gardening, even though it is very difficult to manage right now is keeping me sane.
I eat a LOT of soy, at the hospital they suggested it was what was keeping me very healthy in many ways. I also eat a diet low in some other proteins that can cause problems: wheat and dairy. This has helped me immensely, personally.

Go with what works for you. If you want a 2nd opinion, consider seeing a ND. My friend in Toronto is a very good ND, please let me know if you are interested in seeing her. She might have some great suggestions.

GGG


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RE: Get well II--hormone imbalances, auto-immune diseases, etc

  • Posted by taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 6, 06 at 21:08

Hello! Finally getting some time to check in here after a very busy weekend buying a house! :)

Brenda, sorry to hear about your daughter, but it sounds like you're taking care of it. 28 pounds--wow! You go girl! I've only lost 3 so far, but on the liver doctor site I linked earlier she says that if you have a fatty liver, that internal fat has to be disposed of first before weight-loss will occur. So I'm hoping that's what's happening with me and I'll see the scale start to drop more soon.

Great to hear that ulcers might be causing some of the problems in your family, and that there is an easy fix. I remember watching a documentary about the Austrailian doctor who first discovered the connection between Helicobacter pylori and ulcers, and was originally held in complete contempt by the medical establishment. He infected and then cured himself to prove his point. Amazing...They are now linking it to heart disease as well as ulcers, so definitely worth checking out. Ulcer Bacteria Linked to Heart Disease I've never had pain or reflux problems though, just bloating with wheat and dairy, so don't think that is an issue with me.

I finally managed to see my doctor, and though he believed my saliva test results, because his tests showed nothing, he can't prescribe anything for me! He 'must operate within the parametres of the system' blah, blah, blah! One interesting connection may have come out of it though--he thinks my elevated testosterone levels might be indicative of Polycystic Ovarvian Syndrome. Since PCOS is linked with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, this would make sense. Here is a useful site with a "scorecard" for checking metabolic syndrome. Like me, many people have some degree of both thyroid and adrenal imbalance. My doctor has refered me to an endocrinologist, though the first available appointment is August 8th! If this fatigue continues I could be in a coma by then!

I just added zinc to the selenium supplements and essential fats I'm taking to try to boost thyroid function. Here is a list of the top supplements for thyroid, but they suggest (in the book I linked earlier) adding just one supplement at a time for a few weeks to see it's effect, so it may take me a while to do this on my own.

So GGG, thanks for your input, and I'd love the name of your naturopathic doctor in Toronto. My MD suggested a ND, and at least insurance would cover a lot of it. And it might speed up the recovery process for me. I need energy to move! Think I'll see my acupuncturist too; it is supposed to be very helpful for thyroid issues.

Sorry you are going through all that! Glad the gardening helps (gardening always helps!) Re soy, there seems to be differing opinions, but this endo site claims that whether soy is healthy or not depends on whether it is the traditional fermented Japanese type or the modern North American version. Maybe there will be some useful information for you there. Will email you through GW about the ND. Gotta get these kids to bed now, and me shortly after...

Taryn


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