2

votes

Help with hormones and sleep

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Hi all...I'm new around here so please be gentle. I started eating primally last November - no dairy. I stick to it about 98%, in fact it isn't hard at all as I love the way I'm eating. I jog a little (7-10 miles a week), walk a lot with my dogs and have started to do some strength training 3 times a week. I initially lost 6-7lbs but have stuck around the same weight for the last couple of months and for the last few weeks there has been no inch loss either. I'm pretty low carb - don't really eat sweet potatoes (don't think I'm active enough to get away with it) or starchy foods at all.

My feeling is that my inability to lose fat is linked less to what I eat and more to do with the fact that my hormones seem to be all over the place (I'm just about to turn 45 with some perimenopausal symptoms). Also I don't sleep well - haven't for years - I suffer from intermittent chronic pain. The doctors reckon it is a trapped nerve in my stomach but there's little guarantee of success so they won't operate. TBH I don't believe that - I think it's more likely an issue with my hip flexor although it's bizarre that it always flares up before and during my period.....so it's very difficult to get back to sleep again.

I would really welcome any words of wisdom as to how to get progressing. Would doing a leptin reset help?

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on January 30, 2013
at 07:52 PM

Have you had extensive hormone testing? Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, dhea etc... This might be the first step to get a good picture of what is going on.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 04, 2012
at 07:44 PM

PS If the NHS doc won't order you a D3 blood test, you can order a test kit cheaply here:http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/index.html

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 04, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Nope. IF will not be helpful to you at this point & would likely add to your hormonal issues (via increased cortisol.) Read my answer below.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 24, 2012
at 12:08 PM

Yep, this. Calories (and type of calorie) do matter. I only lost the weight I wanted when I tracked and counted for a while, just to get a better sense of how much I was eating. I resisted doing this for a long time, but I found I was seriously underestimating my intake, especially on the carbs.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on April 17, 2012
at 01:03 AM

My hips have always gotten extremely sore during my period - sore sore that I can't lie down for long, but walking eases the pain. My mother suffered from the same thing as well.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 21, 2012
at 01:45 PM

spuggy, I would then recommend that you start icing. I note that (especially after exercise) any sort of inactivity (driving home for 40 minutes from my gym) or pilates my hip joint is absolutely screaming. This subsides if I ice my hip during the inactivity. Since I'm already wearing compression (UnderArmors) shorts during my workouts, I just place a cold compression pack into the shorts over the affected hip. I also have had massage in the area to some considerable success, although I cannot afford it to the extent where I think I would be healed - but if you can, by all means, experiment.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:41 AM

The only things in my diet that could be an issue is that not all meat is grass fed (due to expense)....but my eating is pretty strict paleo/primal with the exception of the odd piece of 90% cocoa chocolate.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:41 AM

The jogging is very slow and couldn't really be considered 'chronic cardio' and actually it doesn't aggravate the issue at all. It is more likely to flare up with pilates or inactivity and is much worse when I lie down. It rarely bothers me when I'm active and on my feet. My diet is quite varied - ditching the dairy has helped with chronic sinus issues (although not completely gone ), but I've had PMS water retention for 2 weeks now which is a pain.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:39 AM

I don't monitor calories because that represents diet and anything that says diet is, for me, unsustainable and leads to feelings of deprivation followed by falling off the wagon and bingeing. Although I do occasionally track a day or two - just to be sure. I know that my calories in/out are in the right region that I should be losing weight, hence checking out other areas that could be contrinbuting to the lack of fat loss. I'm fairly sure that if I could somehow get sufficient sleep and sort out my hormones, everything would fall into place...but I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:23 AM

Oh..I meant to say too, that I'm in the UK, so comprehensive blood tests aren't really an option. The NHS just doesn't go there over here!

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:17 AM

No - I don't think so. Actually I feel pretty good and energy levels are great considering I'm always short on sleep. I have tried 5-htp in the past to help with sleep but I didn't find it had too much effect.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:16 AM

I haven't really tried IF yet. There's so much information out there, it's difficult to know what to do but much of it infers that IF is something for a little further down the line, once I'm closer to my goal weight am a little less 'broken'. Having said that, perhaps I'm mistaken?

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on February 20, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Do you ever fast long enough for your body to go into autophagy?

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8 Answers

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 04, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Hi & welcome!

Skip the leptin reset & IF. They are not likely to help the issues you are dealing with.

Vitamin D3 sufficiency made a HUGE difference for me & now I have no perimenopausal symptoms at 49.5 years. D3 is needed for good sleep, fat loss and is a hormone precursor.

Since you live in the UK, I can almost guarantee you that you are deficient in D3. More info at www.vitamindcouncil.org

This article will be helpful.

Also, sufficient A, K, and Magnesium are needed as co-factors for D.

Zinc is needed for good hormonal balance.

All my joint aches disappeared on daily supplementation of 500 Neptune Krill Oil.

I have a blog post that may be helpful: http://www.sondrarose.com/nutrition-for-a-juicy-menopause

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 04, 2012
at 07:44 PM

PS If the NHS doc won't order you a D3 blood test, you can order a test kit cheaply here:http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/index.html

0
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on January 30, 2013
at 05:17 PM

The pain you are describing (chronic abdominal, worse near cycle, pain in hip flexors) is something I've dealt with the past few years. I have a very localized abdominal pain about 2 in right of my navel. And a nerve/muscle pain that makes my right hip sore, and sometimes shoots down the top inside of my right leg. Very tied to cycle.

My holistic gyn has told me that it's endometriosis. At this point, I'm just trying to minimize the pain until I get through menopause. I've had ultrasounds, CAT scans, you name it. Here are some things I've tried that have worked (other than going paleo, which made a huge difference, of course):

-Vitamin D

-Vitamin B (I take these chewable ones by Solaray)

-Magnesium (I alternate between several sources: Mg oil, bath in epsom salts, Natural Calm Mg Citrate drink, and capsule of chelated Mg)

This amazing stretch for hip flexors: http://www.mobilitywod.com/2010/08/dont-go-in-pain-cave.html

And here is the weirdest one: being upside down! Not during your cycle, but other times of the month. I just hang off my couch for about 5 minutes, lol. I started doing it bc I'm trying to learn how to do handstands, and just being upside down was making me dizzy. So I thought I'd try a little at home. Lo and behold, it took the pain down a notch.

All of these things have helped a little, and collectively I feel much better.

If you are getting insufficient sleep, that could certainly contribute to the stall in weight loss.

0
379a2d03d6772a6c98f5a259e9775eb3

on January 30, 2013
at 03:51 PM

I highly recommend Marcelle Pick's two books Are You Tired and Wired? and The Core Balance Diet! She offers great insights into the link between hormones, diet, and weight. You may also want to check out her clinic's web site - www.womentowomen.com - I've found the newsletters about womens' health issues super helpful! Good luck!

0
C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 07, 2012
at 03:53 PM

giving up dairy seems to have worked better for me, for losing weight.

As did being honest about what I was eating (i.e. no goldfish crackers even if the toddler does shove them in my mouth).

With those two, and adding some more strength training, I've been able to add back in more regular dark chocolate, and daily blueberries, and up the calories but still be losing.

It could be some simple tweaks to what you are doing, that will help.

I can eat almonds, for example, and I think they do help my insulin resistance, but I can only manage an ounce, or an ounce and a half max.

Also, for me, my weight loss is not regular. I will remain the same for 4, 6, even 8 weeks then lose all that I should have lost in one week. I will drop 10 pounds in 7 days, no joke.

It could be, too, that your body is getting adjusted to what you do. maybe shaking up your diet and exercise is enough to get things moving again.

0
28f280f8d64c7207fd94d158fbe6e070

(218)

on June 26, 2012
at 10:19 AM

When I started bio identical hormones ( to fight migraines), a hip pain I had while sleeping on one side disappeared.

0
Fd8cf1696bb79f053b2e02037c1be724

(100)

on February 20, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Paleo absolutely helped me lose weight, but I know I am not alone here in finding that my caloric intake did matter. Using Fitday to track what I eat really helped me figure out exactly what I could eat if I wanted to keep losing.

Other things that helped: regular slow exercise (walking and yoga) plus weight lifting, not snacking (this is true for me regardless of caloric intake), getting lots of sleep (sorry I can't help you with that), avoiding sugar (again, I find this to be true regardless of caloric intake -- fruit doesn't cause problems for me, but too much chocolate or other sweets does).

The glory of Fitday is that it allows you to figure out what works for YOU. The glory of paleo is that you can usually find ways to tweak your diet so that you've cut calories, but don't have to be hungry -- low fat diets never worked for me because I can't stand being hungry.

I'm a little older than you, and would guess that I eat far more carb than you (I currently average about 25-30%).

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:39 AM

I don't monitor calories because that represents diet and anything that says diet is, for me, unsustainable and leads to feelings of deprivation followed by falling off the wagon and bingeing. Although I do occasionally track a day or two - just to be sure. I know that my calories in/out are in the right region that I should be losing weight, hence checking out other areas that could be contrinbuting to the lack of fat loss. I'm fairly sure that if I could somehow get sufficient sleep and sort out my hormones, everything would fall into place...but I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 24, 2012
at 12:08 PM

Yep, this. Calories (and type of calorie) do matter. I only lost the weight I wanted when I tracked and counted for a while, just to get a better sense of how much I was eating. I resisted doing this for a long time, but I found I was seriously underestimating my intake, especially on the carbs.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 20, 2012
at 05:39 PM

"I think it's more likely an issue with my hip flexor although it's bizarre that it always flares up before and during my period..."

Not bizarre at all, water retention plays a huge role in joint health and inflammation.

I tried the leptin-reset protocol, and it didn't do very much for me. Your mileage may vary but I'm not going to suggest you start picking boogeymen to fight (such as leptin), before knowing if they are the actual ones plaguing you (in other words, get tested for Leptin resistance before jumping into an LRP, or any other treatment-diet for chronic issues).

I think you will find that if you swap out that jogging for walking, you might deal with a little less hip stress, least that was my case.

I would like to know what you do eat and drink, in any given day. There is a possibility that you might still be getting an inflammatory toxin in there somewhere, and although there are other factors at work (the menopause, jogging, hip pain, etc), minimizing the inflammatory foods in your diet will reduce one of the stressors causing your issues.

I have suffered from problematic hip issues my whole life, and like an idiot I went on compete in several strength sports, where it plagued me intermittently throughout my life (and still does to a much lessened extent). I've found that an ice pack around the hip area, sandwiched between my skin and some compression shorts, works wonders quite well for localized inflammation. That, and removing certain foods that I know cause me issue.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:41 AM

The jogging is very slow and couldn't really be considered 'chronic cardio' and actually it doesn't aggravate the issue at all. It is more likely to flare up with pilates or inactivity and is much worse when I lie down. It rarely bothers me when I'm active and on my feet. My diet is quite varied - ditching the dairy has helped with chronic sinus issues (although not completely gone ), but I've had PMS water retention for 2 weeks now which is a pain.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 21, 2012
at 01:45 PM

spuggy, I would then recommend that you start icing. I note that (especially after exercise) any sort of inactivity (driving home for 40 minutes from my gym) or pilates my hip joint is absolutely screaming. This subsides if I ice my hip during the inactivity. Since I'm already wearing compression (UnderArmors) shorts during my workouts, I just place a cold compression pack into the shorts over the affected hip. I also have had massage in the area to some considerable success, although I cannot afford it to the extent where I think I would be healed - but if you can, by all means, experiment.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:41 AM

The only things in my diet that could be an issue is that not all meat is grass fed (due to expense)....but my eating is pretty strict paleo/primal with the exception of the odd piece of 90% cocoa chocolate.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on April 17, 2012
at 01:03 AM

My hips have always gotten extremely sore during my period - sore sore that I can't lie down for long, but walking eases the pain. My mother suffered from the same thing as well.

0
F10f728978cce0aa704864401ee0cc8c

on February 20, 2012
at 05:17 PM

Are you experiencing any other symptoms that may indicate neurotransmitter levels are unbalanced? Lack of energy or focus, risk taking, memory problems, etc. I would suggest having a neuroscience panel done. My nutritionist ordered one & found my serotonin was low and dopamine was high. She gave me a high quality 5-HTP supplement which has made a world of difference to my sleep and my energy & focus.

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:23 AM

Oh..I meant to say too, that I'm in the UK, so comprehensive blood tests aren't really an option. The NHS just doesn't go there over here!

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:17 AM

No - I don't think so. Actually I feel pretty good and energy levels are great considering I'm always short on sleep. I have tried 5-htp in the past to help with sleep but I didn't find it had too much effect.

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