Thursday, September 3, 2015

hot flashes and circadian rhythms part 2

so far so good with my new way to get a better sleep. to review 1. at least 20 grams or more of protein and low/no carb breakfast within half an hour of waking even if i am not hungry. 2. verilux light box first thing in the morning 3. as much outside morning light movement as i can get, even if it's just a 10 minute walk and wait for the train. 4. try to get outside at lunch to get sun 5. another high protein/low carb lunch, eating until satisfied and not worrying about calories as much as food quality and high protein/low carb content. 6. trying to have a lowER stress day, including being more organized and patient with myself. 7. blue blockers on at 8 pm 8. to bed around 9 pm with comfortable pillow and sleep mask and 70 degrees AC. i have a situation now where i have too much night light coming in to my bedroom, so i need a sleep mask, which gets uncomfortable. when i don't need AC, i will move to a room that has better light blocking curtains so i won't need the sleep mask. 9. metformin 500 mg for my hyperglycemia at 12 noon(not officially diabetic, but i have the genes for it). any later and i will wake up at night to use the bathroom instead of right when i want to wake up. 10. relaxing white noise at night. right now i am looking for a way to see the time at night which doesn't involve a lot of light. maybe those old kinds of clocks with the faintly glow in the dark numbers and hands. right now when i wake up late around 3 to 4 am, i have an axiety that i need to see the time. then i have to put on my blue blockers and use my cell phone as a clock, and it's light is too bright, even with the blue blockers. right now my wt is trending down as well as my bg (the bg was trending down i think is because of the metformin, but before the new sleep plan, the metformin was not affecting my weight). there are no huge difference in bg and weight since i have only been doing this plan for about 4 days. the hugest difference is that i don't have temperature changes at night going from hot to cold, so i am sleeping better. i will need to see how this new plan works in relation to my PMS. even though i had no temp changes at night and slept better, i still have swollen boobs today. it is day 19 of my cycle. i often (but not always) have really bad temp changes at night and headaches during the day for about 2 days before my period to the point i need to take aleve. i also need aleve for heavy menstrual flow (that has made me repeatedly anemic for years. now i am just regularly supplementing with iron starting from this summer). i will be very interested to see if this new sleep plan leads to lighter menstrual flow or not. i hypothesize that by the end of september i will see better sleep leading to cumulative positive changes in bg and weight.

Monday, August 31, 2015

hot flashes and circadian rhythms "The hallmark of menopause is the marked reduction of estradiol levels due to ovarian failure. This, among other factors result in hot flashes, the most common menopausal symptom. Hot flashes (HFs) can be measured objectively, both inside and outside the laboratory, using sternal skin conductance, an electrical measure of sweating. We have found that HFs are triggered by small elevations in core body temperature (T C ), acting within a greatly reduced thermoneutral zone. This reduction is caused by elevated central sympathetic activation, among other factors. There is a circadian rhythm of HFs peaking at 1825 h. Imaging studies have shown that hot flash activation begins in the brainstem, followed by the insula and by the prefrontal cortex. HFs in the first, but not the second half of the night can produce awakenings and arousals. This is because rapid eye movement (REM) sleep suppresses thermoregulatory effector responses, which include hot flashes." ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "Conclusions Vasomotor symptoms are experienced by women of all ethnic groups. They are caused by changes in the central nervous system associated with estrogen withdrawal...." Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats: where are we now? (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Aug 31, 2015]. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ last night was the first night i have not woken up and have not had temp changes in maybe years. before i had tried completely cutting out caffeine, wearing blue blockers, taking 500 mg metformin, not exercising at night, cutting out dairy/nuts, not taking showers at night etc. the difference was some simple info i got from about circadian rhythms. within 30 minutes of waking up, i eat at least 20 grams of protein. since i have a tendency to high blood sugar, my carbs are low at this and every meal anyway. i do not feel like eating at all in the morning- i usually just have coffee. i force myself to eat at least 20 grams. then i turn on my verilux light box which is next to my computer. i was doing that before, so it was not a crucial factor. eating the minimum 20 grams of breakfast within 30 min of waking up was crucial. when the sun is shining outside, i go for a walk with my husband. the rest of my meals are low carb as always and i take 500 mg of metformin at noon. i did this before, so it was not a crucial factor. i need to eat the most at breakfast and lunch, and then a light dinner. this happens naturally if i eat the high protein low carb breakfast. i eat a light dinner before the sun sets. i put on the blue blockers at 8 pm. at 9 pm i am tired. i go to bed in a cool bed room with my noise machine on and my sleep mask. today i woke up naturally at 5:30 am, which is the time i want to wake up. i wasn't feeling super energetic, but i wasn't feeling dragged out wondering how i was going to make it through the day either. the thing that seems really different from what i was doing before is that protein breakfast even though i don't feel like eating it. i am on day 16 of my cycle. if i can make it through without my pms of headaches and swollen areas and hot flashes, that means that i have found the next best thing to the fountain of youth. i will report back!@

Thursday, August 27, 2015

20 gram protein breakfast needed to keep lunch/dinner bg levels lower?

according to a recent small, short duration study, type 2's who skipped breakfast had higher lunch and dinner blood glucose (bg) values. there were only 22 people in the study. during the study, lunch and dinner meals were exactly the same. when breakfast was eaten, lunch and dinner bg values were lower than when breakfast was skipped. i don't test for bg that much, and have often skipped breakfast because i was not hungry, running on caffeine, and because of the benefits of intermittent fasting. but for someone with my messed up glucose regulation, it might be important to eat a 20-30 gram protein low carb breakfast. so this will be easy to test. today i had tuna with ranch (about 20 grams protein) and coffee with cream and 1 packet of splenda. i woke up at 5:30 because of feeling hot, so i decided to get up instead of trying to go back to sleep. my fasting bg was a good 85. this time last year my fasting bg was in the 80's for 2 days in the month of august. this year adding 500 mg of metformin at lunch, my fasting bg has been in the 80's for 13 days with 4 days of august left (metformin has not caused me to lose any weight, and i do need to lose some). i ate breakfast at 6:15 am. one hour later my bg was 107 up from that 85. i was surprised since i thought my breakfast was almost zero carb. i may play around with just black coffee, green tea, or just water in the morning after this experiment is over to try to reduce that 22 point increase. at 7:30 am i went for a leisurely walk for about 1 hour. my bg only dropped to 98, which was strange as any kind of exercise usually drops it more. i was dealing with some stress right before i tested, so maybe that had an effect. also, i usually test the effects of exercise in the afternoon/evening. i don't have time in the morning to do the kind of testing i am doing now. since it's summer, and i'm off, i'm just getting around to doing this kind of testing (i should have done it a long time ago!!)i will test at 9:15 even though i usually only test 1 hour post prandial. 9:15am bg:my blood sugar is basically the same as i was at 8:30 am: 99!!!! i plan to eat lunch at 11:30 am. update. i ate lunch closer to 12. i wasn't really hungry, but i always get hungrier after i start eating.? at 12 before i ate my bg was a nice 91. for lunch i had 2 boiled eggs (14 grams protein), a half a cup of cottage cheese ( 10 grams protein), two oz of mixed nuts ( 12 grams protein), a little stir fried cauliflower (protein??). my total protein intake was 36 grams and i felt satisfied. one hour later my bg was a 110. it rose about 19 points. so after breakfast i rose 22 points and after lunch 19 points. very close, especially given the imprecision of test strips. both meals were low carb. dr. bernstein says that bg should only rise 10 points after which it should go fairly quickly down to the original preprandial number. i never do that., but then i'm not eating his 6-12-12 30 grams of carb a day plan either. day 2 i decided to be lazy and copy the original experiment that found skipping breakfast led to high bg numbers at lunch and dinner in type 2's (not on insulin i think). i am only doing this for 2 days, and that's how long the study was as well. day one was yesterday during which i had a 20 gram protein breakfast ( i wasn't hungry at all, so that amount of protein was ok). today i will skip breakfast, but but but- one thing different from the original experiment is that i will have coffee with cream and splenda because when i do skip breakfast, you know i am NOT going to skip coffee. so, as has been happening for like weeks, i had a bad sleep waking up hot. the good part was that i didn't wake up multiple times- basically just once at 4:30 am- so that was an improvement of sorts. i moved to my other bedroom which is a lot darker at night since it does not face streets with street lights, and the darkness made me feel better drifting off to sleep. i haven't used my orange glasses for this experiment, so tonight i will start wearing them at 7:30. i will try anything to get a good night's sleep!!!!! this morning my bg was 96, which is higher than it has been lately. like i said, i only had coffee with splenda and cream, so i will see what it is one hour later. ok, one hour later my bg is about the same: 95. i guess the coffee/cream/splenda didn't raise my bg because when i woke up it was 96. just like yesterday, i have just been sitting on my butt in front of the computer for the one hour after breakfast. yesterday i went for a walk around 7:30, so i will do that again. while i am waiting, i'm reading a lot of bill lagakos has a lot of relevant studies. this link i want to save: basically his post is about a bunch of studies that all show that a big breakfast (protein/carb breakdown?) and small/no dinner is better for weight loss and glucose regulation. the problem is i'm never hungry enough to eat a big breakfast. EXCEPT at one point a couple of years ago, for some reason, which i forget, i was shoveling in 3 eggs and 3 sausage patties for breakfast and that was when i was at my thinnest: 125 lbs. now years later i am around 136, but i have never regained my normal pre low carb weight of 145, although the weight is creeping up now, and i am closer to menopause and not sleeping well. it's been 6 years since i lost the weight. so i am still ahead. if i start eating low/no dinner, then i should wake up hungry enough to shovel in that high protein food. but how will going to bed with an emptier stomach affect my sleep? my sleep already is crap, so it better not get worse!!!! here is one of the studies bill lagakos linked to which i want to read carefully- i will later as it walk time. the above study says a protein/fat rich big breakfast is better than a carb rich smaller breakfast. right now i am skipping breakfast altogether and i am starting to obsess about food and it is only 10:44 am. yesterday i ate lunch at 12 even though i was not that hungry. today i'm pushing it up to 11:30 am, and i have a feeling i am not going to be satisfied by the amount of food i ate yesterday. still i will control myself and only eat that amount so i can compare the one hour/ two hour post prandial response. but in the real world, i would be chowing down! ok- a review of day 2- no breakfast fasting 96... one hour after having had coffee/heavy cream/splenda= 95.... 2 hours later- a little lower 92- but the meter of course could be off, as is true for supposedly +/- 15 points on any of these glucometer values. idk why, but i didn't measure right before i ate at 11:45. duh. one hour later i was 86!. and 1 hour 15 minutes ( i had a 15 minute break in the middle cuz i had to hard boil some eggs so i would be eating the exact same lunch of cottage cheese/nuts/ 2 hard boiled eggs (no cauliflower- ate it all yesterday). so at 1 hour 15 minutes i was 103!!! yesterday when i ate 20 grams of protein for breakfast, i was pretty much the same- 110. at two hours after lunch i was 97. SOOOOOOOO i didn't see some shocking rise in blood sugar having skipped breakfast (except for the coffee). BUBBBUUUTTTT i felt restless and was watching the clock for when i could eat lunch. SSSSOOOO even if i have pretty much the same bg whether i eat breakfast or not- i'm eating so i won't be distracted by hunger. the only thing that would dissuade me is if i overdo it at breakfast and start getting FATTER. PS i don't know why skipped lines do not show up on the final copy of this blog- i am putting in spaces when i type the draft.

Monday, March 2, 2015

blood work back- looks like chest pain related to infection of some kind

I got my bloodwork back. my crp was 8, which means a high risk of heart attack, or infection with a cold, flu, etc. my iron values were all low. My hemoglobin was 10.4 (normal 11.7 - 15.5). my feeling is that my body had an infection and was restricting the absorption of iron so as not to feed bacteria growing from the infection. what kind of bacteria? h. pylori overgrowth? anyway, my lipid values were excellent: total cholesterol 190, HDL 88, LDL 92, tri's 51. in a month i will be tested again for crp, iron, and vitamin d level (if my insurance will pay for it).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

vitamin d at 19 is when the cold sore/infection/colds start

i have my threshold for vitamin d deficiency causing cold sores/infections= 19. 19 was what i just got on my lab test. now i am back to religiously using my vitamin d lamp. does anyone have a brand of d3 that they like or that i should definitely stay away from? so anyway, i went from 25 in august and being out in the sun all summer to 19 in the beginning of february. now i am thinking that the only reason i was 25 and not higher is because i must have started the 2014 season (when the sun is strong enough to help generate vita d) extremely low. i have a lot of moles on my back and arms, so i direct the light at my legs and use sunblock for the one or two moles/freckles there.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

chest pain night before period: printzmetal's angina? acute pericarditis precipitated by herpes virus? etc

I had my worst chest pain yet at 2 am right below my sternum and i could feel the tightening. it went away after a couple minutes. i checked my blood sugar at the time, and it was around 103. i wasn't having a hot flash. that was the night of day 23 of my cycle. on day 24 my period came. i did some research that shows when estradiol levels are low, from the end of the luteal phase to the beginning of menstruation, women can have a coronary vasospasm. there may be heart disease present to varying degrees, or there may be no heart disease. the attack usually comes between 12 am and 8 am. I posted before about chest pain that occurred during my period. i thought it was caused by dehydration. i do not believe i was dehydrated during this latest bout. i didn't have constipation and my lips weren't chapped. my health has been good all winter except for this month. on 2/6 i saw the beginnings of a cold sore and started with abreva right away. on 2/9 (2am) i had that bad chest pain. my body is becoming stressed out- maybe whatever vita d i had is at the tipping point for being low as i was only 25 (low already) in august, and i don't supplement. today i started using my sperti vita d lamp. i will use it 3 times a week for 5 minutes each time per the instructions. not included in the instructions, but out of caution, i put sunscreen on my one mole and all freckles on my front legs (i am directing the lamp on my legs only). as the light shines on my legs, i move back and forth to avoid the light frying one spot continuously. next time i will shine the light on the back of my legs as you are supposed to change body areas. i always use the goggles to protect my eyes from the UV radiation. i am going to make an appointment with my family doctor and have yearly blood work done. the last time i had chest pain, i went to a cardiologist and was evaluated with a stress test. he found nothing wrong, but a stress test i have since learned won't rule out printzmetal's angina. i also have baby aspirin around the house and if my family doctor doesn't prescribe nitroglycerin, i will take 4 baby aspirins. when my mom had a bad bout of chest pain and went to the ER, they gave her 3 baby aspirin, and i've read that this is a viable strategy for dealing with the pain. i will also stop tutoring after school as this is a source of stress i can control. cold weather is also know to bring on printzmetal angina, but there is nothing i can do about that at the moment. i will also cut down on trying to eat high fat as i feel some discomfort after a particularly high fat meal. someone suggested to me that i may have a gallbladder issue. seeing how the chest pain followed closely on the cold sore development, i googled herpes and chest pain and got a hit for acute pericarditis. i guess i will know if this is a possibility if a cold sore and chest pain are linked in the future. but if i get chest pain before my next period again, then it is more likely related to low estrogen.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

factors correlating with a good sleep

room environment: put a container of water at vent light box day 7- day 8 of cycle fasting morning of good sleep 98/95 meals the day before good sleep: breakfast- 2 decafs and chai mug cake with syrup/lunch- salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and chicken strips with coating decaf with cream/tea no sugar/dinner- 2 salmon patties with balsamic, half avocado,chai mug cake/celery/small yellow pepper stress- during the day before the good sleep started out very lethargic but was energized in the afternoon when i was helping a new Chinese family. at home- low level stress. got a nice massage. did school work and went to sleep at 9 pm. no hot liquids. had a cup of bang zhu dabian de yingliao. sleep- woke briefly 2.5 hours later- went right back to sleep. woke briefly when daughter got home. went right back to sleep. no temp changes hot or cold. felt rested at 4:30. stayed in bed until 4:50. no headache, good mood. starting to gain weight eating higher fat, so will rein that in a little.