Zeroing in on the Underlying Causes

Over the past few weeks, my PCP has run several tests, and I’ve had two consults with Dr. Jack Kruse.  What have we discovered?  We’ve discovered that circadian cycles, is a huge driver for me.  I have to fix the light mismatches going on.  What does that mean?  It means LIGHTS OUT As soon as the sun starts to set.  We’ve started using orange glasses at night – to block out blue light, we’ve started using candles to light the house, and we’re also using red lights to read the kids bedtime stories.

Why is light so important?  Have you seen the recent studies released – that have shown that increased artificial leads to an increase in cancer rates? Artificial Light Increases Breast Cancer Risk  I have and I’ve taken notice.   Artificial light also impacts your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.  Sleep is essential if you want to heal and recover, not only from disease but the daily grind as well. Dr Kruse provides a quick and dirty break down of why sleep is importation in his blog: Sleep Ya Big Dummy  and he hits it again in Cold Thermogenesis 7 . I not only want to reverse PCOS, Insulin Resistance, bring my Pg:E2 ratio up, and recover from the previous day, but I also want to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer.  If I’m going to fix what’s going on I need to start with my circadian cycle first.

So, how are we going to fix my disrupted circadian cycle?  Well, in addition to limiting artificial light at night we’re going to use Cycloset, which is a FDA approved drug to control diabetes to reset circadian cycles through the stimulation of the hypothalamus, causing a release of cortisol, growth hormone and prolactin. [1]  Another benefit of cycloset – it helps control blood glucose.  Controlling my high Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) readings is going to be critical if we’re going to get a handle on my PCOS.

PCOS isn’t just a typical hormonal problems women face.  It’s a dis-regulation of your hormones.  Women who have PCOS, have increased Testosterone, they have insulin resistance, they can have cysts on their ovaries,  they tend to be overweight or obese, they have a hard time losing weight, and can have problems becoming pregnant or carrying to term. [2] In addition PCOS is also a hormonal imbalance of Progesterone (Pg): Esterdiol (E2). [3]  In case you didn’t know, estrogen dominance is a leading factor in Breast Cancer. [4]  So, it’s very important to have your Pg:E2 ratio at the top end of the reference range, the reference range is usually measured between 100-500. My Pg:E2 ratio is 75:1.  I’m not even in hitting the reference range, even with 5 months of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) using progesterone.  In addition to all of this, I received my 23andMe test results; which indicated I have the higher than normal genetic risks for both Type 2 Diabetes and Breast Cancer.

Wow.  Looks like I’ve got some work to do, if I’m going to turn off those epigenetic switches.  How am I going to do that?  We’re going to address the root of the problem, PCOS, which is driving my insulin resistance, Estrogen Dominance, and Circadian Mismatches.

What are some of the recommend treatments for PCOS?  It’s critical to manage insulin resistance.  This can be accomplished in two ways, using a low-carb, high fat diet (think Paleo) and drugs, which control blood glucose, usually metaformin.[5]  I’ve been eating low-carb, high-fat paleo diet since October 2010, and I’ve recently dialed it in even more focusing on the Epi-Paleo Template which Dr Kruse, lays out in BrainGut 5: Paradigm Drifts Paradigm Shifts: Epi-Paleo?  Eating this way I’ve seen some of my PCOS symptoms such as painful menstrual cycles disappear.  But the underlying issues of Testosterone, Estrogen Dominance and Insulin Resistance are still there; which is why I’m using BHRT to bring the Pg:E2 into balance and why we’re adding cycloset to the arsenal to address the insulin resistance issue.

This morning was my first dose of cycloset.  I took it upon rising, got up went outside to watch the first rays of the sun, then sat down to nurse the boy for his am nursing session. Yes he’s still nursing but that may not be for much longer as one of the side effects of cycloset is decreased lactation.  My Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) reading this morning was 98mg/dl! After 30-days if my FBG hasn’t normalized below 80mg/dl in the morning, we’ll add metaformin to the arsenal.

So, from today forward I’ll be getting up, taking my cycloset and armour thyroid medication, go outside and get direct sunlight on my Suprachismatic Nucleus, then testing my FBG and eating my Big Ass Breakfast, a la Dr Kruse’s TheLeptin Rx . The SCN is responsible for controlling the circadian cycles.[6]  In my recent consult with Dr Kruse, I learned that 45% of the brain is impacted by LIGHT.  Too much LIGHT = Circadian mismatches and this is why we are now running around the house after dark wearing red light headlamps and using candles!

Well, after my first dose of cycloset, I can tell this is going to change my world! For the first time in years I feel like I’m actually awake, and I’ve felt like this within 30 minutes of taking the cycloset, and letting the morning light hit my SCN.  I feel like I just had 4 shots of espresso, but without the caffeine.  My brain is awake, there’s no sluggish feeling.  I 100% positive that the cycloset, coupled with the focus on LIGHTS OUT after dark, will reset my circadian cycles.  I’m also confident that with a clean Epi-Paleo diet and the cycloset my FBG will come down to an acceptable range.  We’ll be retesting all blood work in September, and see where I’m at.  I think at some point I will come off the cycloset, once my FGB are consistently between 70-75 mg/dl and my Adrenal Stress Index shows a normal circadian cycle. I most likely will be on BHRT for the remainder of my life to ensure I maintain a proper Pg:E2 ratio, which will be key to keeping the PCOS from returning, but also provide protection against Breast Cancer and eliminate my Migraines.

I’ll continue to post updates as I continue on the journey.  Hopefully my experiences will help others like me figure out how to fix their medical issues, especially those women who have PCOS.