Huge hormones blog

Posted: 07/02/2014 by zandtao in Health

This is going to be a huge blog on hormones, my longest blog ever. I have been jotting stuff for a while but there was no cohesion. But now I have decided on an approach – forget trying to deal with the hormones.

Firstly I began an analysis of my hormones at different food phases in my life:-

Pre-Diet (working) 54 Pre-Hormone-Consc (Retired 54-60) Hormone-Consc (61-)
Diet Unhealthy Vegetarian Plant-based Mediterranean
Symptoms Migraines, flu
Pineal – good napper Sleep never good. To begin with alcohol, then stress. Weekends – get up Midday. In China severe sleep problem – connected with acupuncture corrective treatments. Usually had 1- 2 melatonin hours, sometimes 3 if work demanded – better sleep then but not always stress-free. No sleep in Bahrain (49) yet no perceived stress to begin with – Bahrain first sign of severe melatonin issue – year before China (50) and acupuncture No perceived sleep problem as happy being night owl until became hormone ill. Couldn’t change. Occasional melatonin hours Night owl – still trying to change Occasional melatonin hours
Pituitary – hgh – weight and immunity DHEA as well Never cared about body shape – associated it with being macho Feel a glow in upper body and have more swimming muscles – cannot swim better.
Thyroid and Insulin – weight BMI 80 Weight issues developed with the booze (stopped at 35). Continued weight problem I associated with stress. Never weighed – more than 100kg Lost 15 kg within 6 month. Fairly stable at 85. Once down to 82 and up to 89. Consistently 85 until started to rise with hormone problem Too heavy – consistently about 90 – now 91.5. I associate the problem with eating healthy fats (esp. butter and cheese) But is hormones not regulating. Feel some of this increased weight is muscles. Don’t like the increased weight but don’t see it as a problem – yet.
Parathyroid Flu always a problem, ill once every half-term. When drinking associated it with hangovers afterwards with stress. Reduced flu because of healing diet, always there though – at least one or two weeks flu every year. Flu was the issue that made me aware of hormones. Feel that hormone diet has increased immunity, cold symptoms – throat and nose not turn to flu
Testosterone Passionate when young, not just sex. Reducing. Reduced even further – more balance on hormone diet.
Adrenal No breakfast. Used to run on adrenaline. No breakfast. Continued to run on adrenaline. Small issues associated with kidneys, but now understood as adrenal. Breakfast. Healthy breakfast helpful. More balanced and less eating.
Itchy Eczema constant problem. When “Nancy-ed” severe problem used cortisone because bleeding at night. Always have jock-itch Started body-scrubbing. No more eczema. Patches on face. Jock-itch reduced towards end No eczema.
Bitchy Never Never Never
Sweaty shirt soaked in lessons in hot climates Sweat profusely with change of climate, shirt soaked in lessons – even when cold. saunas helped Don’t feel sweaty – good change. Saunas now part of keeping healthy, maybe once a month
Sleepy – see pineal
Bloated – wind Wind a constant problem. Can remember major efforts to control in lessons. Suspect I had IBS. Never concerned about health and weight Wind and IBS went with the plant-based diet Slight increase. Don’t feel overweight even though I know I am.
Forgetful Memory an important part of teaching. To begin with relied on memory without system, forgot stuff. As matured began using organiser – making notes and memory – worked well, as there was less to remember remembered stuff I forgot to write. But would tell people if you want me to remember must write it down Still use organiser but less to remember. memory worsening marginally but no issue No change – gradually worsening. Must be systematic. Everthing has its place – not in place must deal with it at the time or will forget. Using shopping lists. At this age one becomes conscious of memory more than before.
All-Dried-Up – see itchy as well Not drinking enough – changed to proper liquid intake. Ended migraines – mostly gone by then. Feel a headache start – drink and goes. Dry throat esp when wake up, prone to a dry cough

This gave me a picture of the impact of hormones, it is important to be aware of hormones and the way they cause problems – in my case now primarily sleep and weight.

This was going to be part of a process of targetting hormones through hormone replacement therapy based on the book “Ageless” by Suzanne Somers – excellent book. The following is the thinking process the book was leading me through:-

The first thing to note about hormone replacement is that it has to be bioidentical. I haven’t come to terms with its meaning but I think it is something like you can find plants in Nature that have the same hormones as humans. Synthetic hormone like the cortisone cream I used are extremely dangerous, and cause further imbalance.

The first problem I have with her book is that it is discussed as anti-ageing. Now I have no problem with lessening the effects of ageing but I am not trying to regain youth. What about the raging hormones when I fell in love? I was out of control, and totally at the mercy of the woman concerned. Talk about dick-led. There is a question of premature ageing. I surmise that we age prematurely in a society whose food is so unhealthy and whose environment is equally unhealthy. At the same time unhealthy lifestyles are encouraged. In my case there are two lifestyle issues I never even considered were issues – not having breakfast and being a night owl. It was only until my knackered immune system allowed two flus in consecutive months that I realised my balance was gone. Place that in the context of my diet, and it starts to point at something. My diet did not address the issue of hormones ie a plant-based diet has the potential not to address hormones. And when I say plant-based diet I include macrobiotics.

Now I haven’t resolved my hormone problems yet, and might well have to spend to solve them, but I have no doubts at all that my change in diet is helping. However I appear not to be as healthy as I was two years ago – re-evaluated see below. At that stage (2 years ago) the hormone issues had not surfaced. I did feel a cold chest but the flu was still annual – just. My body was allowing me to heal it through the different stages as with detox, pH-balance, probiotics etc – detailed in the Zandtao plan. And the stage I am at is hormone balance. This means that the lifestyle issues of no breakfast and night owl are now raising their heads. I am satisfied with my breakfast change but Nature’s circadian rhythm is eluding me.

Why breakfast? The adrenal glands. They need food. I used to get up, not eat, and some days it could be early afternoon before I ate. I used to think I was developing kidney problems but I am now pretty certain that it was the adrenal glands that have suffered. But the night owl habits are proving extremely difficult. As a teacher I would stay up late – gone midnight, get up, rush out of the house, and barely be on time for school. My days improved when I went international because of their imposed school days. Starting at 07.00, 07.30, 06.15 in my 40s and early 50s forced me to get melatonin hours (23.00 – 02.00), and I felt better for them. Now I can do 02.00 – 08.00, nap during the day and get no melatonin hours. It’s no wonder that I eventually damaged my immune system – parathyroid gland.

I am becoming more and more convinced that my plant-based diet had deficiencies that affected my hormones, I am not prepared to say that the diets are intrinsically faulty but the way I practised them were. However I am happy to accept that the pace the plant-based diet took me through my healing was correct for me, but for hormone balance it needs changing. Now the book that made me alter my diet was the Perfect 10 book – torrent giving me the target of 40% carbs, 20% protein and 40% fats. In changing to this I increased fish, eggs and avocadoes, and I added butter and cheese. Now previously I hadn’t eaten eggs because I hadn’t found the free range, I had fish once a week – a bit more than that; my one “sin” interestingly was the occasional pizza. Now my breakfast includes salads with avocado (finding them has also been a new addition – if they were available previously I would have bought them), butter cheese and eggs. Healthy fat. Now butter and cheese I classified as dairy, didn’t eat them, and because I only ate some fish and no meat my fat was well below 40%. I think this was the negative affect on my hormones. I would note that the increased fats have not increased my weight although I am overweight – not true see below. I still snack late at night a little but not as bad as before – this is disappearing.

Where are my hormone issues? As far as I know they are melatonin primarily and weight – thyroid, insulin and DHEA I think.

Now to anti-ageing. The notion of that just goes completely against my Natural philosophy, but the problem is I don’t know what Natural ageing is. What make it worse is that many anti-ageing centres have all the plastic surgery stuff as well – something I abhor. So if I am going to try BHRT
(bioidentical hormone replacement therapy), I must join the queues with the botox, nose jobs and tummy tucks – Michael Jackson here I come; maybe I will change into a less-heavy Idi Amin. But if the philosophy of these places is to pander to the vanity of the ageing rich, there is not going to be an understanding of Natural ageing hormone levels. Of course in this day and age of environmental pollution who will know what is Natural ageing hormone levels. Mind you, to be fair, such a concept has got to be new. We have an ageing population in the West because there are no survival deaths, no curable disease deaths, even though there is an increase in degenerative diseae deaths because of BigFood and BigPharma promoted lifestyles.

I would prefer the political term appropriate-ageing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy – AABHRT. Now the book that has got me into this is Suzanne Somers torrent. This book is much more geared towards the hormone issues for women, but she introduced me to the possibility of bioidentical. But she does speak of anti-ageing too much.

Reading this brought up the issue of cancer:-

As human beings, we are a bundle of cells reproducing. That is how we stay alive. So does it make any sense to avoid one of the essential elements of the makeup of a cell? By avoiding fats, people were left defenseless against cancer-cell growth. Remember, abnormal division of cells is the definition of cancer. So if you are avoiding one of the building blocks (fats) of the makings of a cell, there is no way a cell can reproduce properly. [p86]” There is not much fat in mb, yet I accept that it is an anti-cancer diet. And what about my hero, Gerson? That is a juicing diet, where is the fat there? Confused!! Maybe the healthy diet (plant-based) with the lack of fat inhibits the cell growth of cancers, and that maybe after they have gone there is a need to deal with the hormones. Knackered hormones are not a disease in themselves although the consequences could well be. Or maybe 40/20/40 (Perfect 10) is also anti-cancer.

Then she says this “That’s where they keep the real food—meat, chicken, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. [p87]” Free range meat and chicken great, antibiotic-filled lumps of meat – can’t accept this. Perfect 10 told me dark meats, I tried duck and was so uncomfortable trying to retch it out. Normally on diet any meat that came my way was no problem – gluttoning on Brian’s sausages(!), but when I was considering unsafe meat as part of diet my body retched. I have listened. Iwill give free range meat a chance if it comes my way but only that. Suzanne can choose for herself. On dairy I have decided that it is the milk that is the issue. Cow’s milk builds healthy cows, but cows don’t eat butter and cheese. Butter and cheese come from milk but I have found them acceptable. It is a distinction that works for me but whether it is a principle I am unsure. Maybe it is because my body needs healthy fats, and it doesn’t want meat!!

On cancer again “Although no one really knows where cancer comes from, whether it’s diet or something else, the best prevention is to keep your hormones balanced. In fact, the doctors I have interviewed for this book all concur that the best prevention for the diseases of aging is balanced
bioidentical hormone replacement. Think about it: Young people, with their full complement of hormones, rarely get cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.
[p86]” Not sure.

Remember those seven dwarfs: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried-Up. [p103]” These are gauges for women and hormones, are they true for men? Answer “those seven dwarfs pop up again: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried-Up. [p165]”

For men, your grumpiness dissipates. You get your energy back. Your libido wakes up. You want to go out, have fun, and continue working. That fat around your belly now has a chance of going away, provided you are eating correctly and exercising in moderation. [p104]”

More on the ageing issue there was a letter that wound me up. The letter [Suzanne p71] basically addresses the word “appropriate” for me. It is basically a letter written by someone who is over the moon about BHRT. What is good in the letter is that he turned from a “given-up” old guy into an active guy.

I am not a “given-up” old guy, I’m having the best time of my life. I don’t have to work, and have sufficient pension to live this lifestyle. I swim 300m 3 times a week, and do some chilel. Where does it break down? Six months ago with the hormones. A changed diet has helped but not resolved all problems, and yet again I have become a pin cushion for the acupuncturist to try to balance the hormones. My hormone constitution is not causing illness, but I returned to the pin-couch because I felt the sniffles and because my sleep was all over the place – I would also note that my weight has gone up a little on the mediterranean diet.

I believe I need significant but not drastic tweaking, and that is why I am considering BHRT. Yesterday I investigated the possibility that the katoey pharmacy would be able to get “bioidenticals”. and the answer was no; I was willing to attempt melatonin adjustment myself. So if I go down this road it appears I have to deal with the Bangkok Hospital chain – starting in Bangkok; in other words load o’ money. Within reason I might do that.

Now back to the letter, how does this illustrate appropriateness? I am taking for granted that BHRT will produce benefits, but throughout the book Suzanne is promoting a panacea for youth. I don’t want youth, I just don’t want ill health and incapacity; I discussed this in hormone replacement

My libido returned with a vengeance, and my wife keeps looking at me with that what-happened-to-you look. I have turned into a hiking fool and need to go straight up a mountain to get rid of this excess energy, and for the first time in my life, I am experiencing endorphins, which I love.

A returning libido is the last thing I want, there’s enough unfulfilled desire issues in Thailand without my adding my libido. Presumably with use of testosterone I could mantain an erection, and have fulfilling sex but it doesn’t in terest me. I am much happier not having to deal with the libido
rollercoaster. But the knock-on effects of lower testosterone are apparent. I suspect that reduced testosterone, led to other hormones under-functioning. I want the level of testosterone that will allow me to balance the hormones without starting that appalling libido rollercoaster.

Some people think I have too much energy for my age. I am not one but I am far from listless. Whilst I watch too much TV I am not a TV cabbage. I sometimes have a tiredness issue when I am studying – particularly in the morning if I force myself to get up. I swim to keep fit, I do chilel to keep my energy levels up, and I have energy to work when I am not sleeping. Perhaps if I had to do a lecture tour or had greater demands on my time I would need more umph but for what I do Iam comfortable. I don’t need to be a hiking fool although in truth I would struggle if I had to go hiking. But that time has passed, I don’t need to be a westerner trying to keep up with shit.

Most of my doctors told me not to do anything. “Let nature takes its course. We don’t know enough about testosterone and human growth hormone yet. Most of those supplements you are taking are probably ending up in Santa Monica Bay. Why do you want to do this?” [p173]” I feel like these doctors except that their expectations are way too low. This quote is from “premature-ageing” doctors, I want an appropriate-ageing doctor who would recognise a balanced regimen and help me keep it.

I dumped all my doctors and found new ones who are young and forward-thinking. [p173]” Young sounds deadly. I don’t want to be a hormone-driven 20-something lurching from one personal relaionship crisis to another. I am an elder, and happy to be so. I have learnt about life. These “young forward-thinkers” might be fortunate enough to have stepped outside the box but they haven’t got my life of questioning. They don’t know why I am so much happier not having to deal with young shit.

I feel better than I ever have and a lot better than any of my friends, who are really a bunch of grouchy old farts who pooh-pooh what I am doing while they are losing their minds and their bodies. [p173]” I already feel like this, I just want to improve.

After having a pop at this letter I read the interview with Suzanne’s son; this stood out for me:-

He wasn’t trying to make me a twenty-five-year-old. That would be weird and dangerous. Everything is about moderation. Dr. Allen has been trying to get me five to seven years younger on the inside. That will manifest on the outside. That’s the benefit [p 177]” Now that’s more appropriate. But then he said this “I attributed a lot of that good feeling to the testosterone, the HGH, and the sixty-five vitamins, minerals, and Chinese herbs I take twice a day. [p178]” That pill-dropping is completely off – no way, where is that coming from?

It is interesting how the son was argueing for Lance Armstrong to be able to use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy [p179]. I have no idea what drugs “disgraced” Armstrong in the end but even if they were hormones that he took he knew the rules. Whether it is wise for an athlete to take hormones is a different question. Synthetic hormones definitely not. Are steroids hormones? There are no doubts that steroids some athletes take adversely affect them psychologically. Of course the problem with sports and drugs is that common sense is not the issue, athletes professional or otherwise seek performance enhancement to the detriment of their bodies, sort science is concerned with human performance whether at the expense of the athlete or not. Athletes often splodge after they have finished. I remember Billy Bremner. He was a midfield dynamo for Leeds when they still played football. He died with a pot belly at 44, I think after a stroke; my view, he was stretched to the extreme when playing. I think that extreme happens often in sport – legally or otherwise. Taking recommendations of sports adrenaline-junkies is not something I will do.

Yes, those cells that make their own progesterone need to be healthy to keep making their own progesterone. So it’s really a balance between maintaining circulating levels of systemic hormones and replacing those that are no longer being produced.

Looking at all the hormones requires a balancing act among all of them. As we age, the synchronous production of hormones becomes dissynchronous. The rise and fall during the day gets dysregulated and upset, so part of the skill of replacing hormones is trying to bring some synchronous side to hormones. DHEA, for example, is probably best given at bedtime. [p186] ”

Talking of Lance Armstrong brought up a memory of a squash friend (a couple of years older than me) who I thought of as an adrenaline junkie – before I knew about hormones – adrenaline was just a word for stuff that came in your body in sports or when you were hyped. I was 49 or 50, and playing the full squash session was a struggle for me. I used to be able to “give him a game” because I could hit winners thus making the scores more even. I am fairly sure I always lost but I can’t remember. My point about this was that after he played me he would go off into the gym to do weights whilst I struggled to a shower and jacuzzi. After a year of this he moved on jobs, and the next I heard he’d had a stroke. Our paths crossed again and he was a shadow of who he’d been – but he was in recovery, but there was still in him this adrenaline junkie but he couldn’t do it. It is more than 10 years since I’ve met him and he is still alive – I don’t know about the condition of his heart or physical exercise now. At that time I wasn’t particularly fit but he was over-the-top. Hormones a problem, maybe, but if he took bioidenticals would his mind feel the chemicals and he then push his heart too much?

At this point I was looking into bioidenticals so sought a solution online. Looking online for hormones is too risky. The people who answer are selling, they are not there to answer questions that will guide people away from their product. I contacted provacyl mentioning bioidentical, and asked about the contents getting a standard reply – reasonable. I pursued the query got the same reply. I wrote back saying my question wasn’t answered, and someone engaged saying that the product was herbal and encouraged hormone development so then I asked a two-part question:-

The first part got no reply, I asked if there were no synthetic hormones (lost the question.

But there was a reply to the second part of the same email with a further list of ingredients, some of which were hormones. Decision – too risky.

There was homeopathic melatonin online. They said melatonin was usually synthetic, I asked somewhere else but got no answer.

I would guess that all of the above took a month to grow. During that month I have almost completed a course of acupuncture. This acupuncture has seen a growth in energy levels (verified by the acunouncture pulses) but it has not seen a change in sleep patterns – nor has it altered the weight issue. Above I discussed cheese and butter. I overdid them. The plant-based diet saw the end of them – or at least I had thought so. Perfect 10 started me on Mediterranean, and that meant cheese and butter. When I overdid it, I got phlegm problems. I stopped the cheese and butter, and what happened cheese cravings. I think I am sufficiently in tune to recognise that this is not errant taste buds but a bodily need. Balanced cheese and butter are needed. Why Perfect 10 came up with 40% fats I don’t know but I feel it is in the ballpark.

But 40% fats is giving me weight!!! Danger!!!

I have arrived at my strategy. Humans produce their own hormones. There might be cases in which synthetic are appropriate – but not for me. Bioidentical seems to make sense. Measure hormones, an expert decides on an appropriate level, and then tops up with bioidenticals; makes sense. It is good use of intelligence to investigate Nature’s “bioidenticals” but is that use for normal ageing or if something is going wrong? I have decided on the latter.

The three tenets of Zandtao are clear:-

Improving the mind

Harmonising our energy

Taking care of our bodies

Now that I have a local acupuncturist I can balance the energy along with doing chilel; I can attend regularly if I feel energy is out-of-sync. I am following a balanced diet – with Perfect 10 adjustments. I can focus on certain things – such as seaweed for thyroid, and fruit-shots for the pineal. I trust balance, I trust Nature. There is exercise, sauna and massage. There are hormones to be monitored but pills-for-hormone-levels is not for me. Doesn’t feel natural; science in daily life need not push in that direction. Why shouldn’t I be out of balance now? I lived 55 years without diet, so why shouldn’t hormones have got screwed – especially when you consider other ways I screwed with my body. It is time to end hormone fixation. Watch them, follow the three tenets, and trust that Nature will return to normal. Don’t be attached to rupa – anatta – 3rd tenet.

I feel OK even though there are sleep and weight issues, that is what matters – long-term happiness.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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