Hormone Labs and Supplements

I have a short window of time to post today, and I’m trying to decide if I should blather on about having watched another awesome Allison Siebecker video (which is no longer available to the public, unfortunately, as it is part of this Healthy Gut Summit), or if I should share my labs that I’ve had done recently through Nourish Balance Thrive (which I’ll for now refer to as NBT).  Or if I should talk about my life?  Which to do which to do…how about labs?  I love labs.

Adrenal health labs first.  Remember back when I had them done before?  Here’s a summary of where we’ve been and where we are now:

Here is my first adrenal stress profile, from April 2012.  Jack Kruse described this as “Stage 3 or 4 adrenal fatigue,” but said that my adrenals probably “aren’t completely dead yet.”  Well, good.  Here’s April 2012:


Then here it is in November 2012, about 6 months later after low-carbing and being under a lot of emotional stress.  Cortisol is lower in the morning and higher at night – the opposite of progress:


And here we are, 2 years later:

Adrenal Profile Feb 2015

Note, my levels are in yellow….the ones very near the bottom.  Low.  It’s really no wonder I’m tired all the time. I’m now low across the board – in the morning and throughout the day.

Other hormones were also low – estrogen, melatonin, and testosterone were all at the very bottom of the reference ranges.  Progesterone couldn’t be accurately tested because the sample was contaminated by my having taken Progest E the night before:


To address all of this Amelia has me taking several supplements.  I got most of these through the NBT site – their prices are the same as Amazon in most cases and NBT’s shipping was super fast (took 2 days to get to me):

Amelia said that in addition to helping the adrenals, these supplements should help with balancing all of the hormones by addressing the Pregnenolone Steal phenomenon.  Each supplement had a good rationale – I should have taken better notes when she explained it all, but it all made sense.  There wasn’t a shred of woo in it.

I’m out of time for now but I hope to update with the rest of my tests and supplements soon.  There are a bunch more of both.

A week into the supplements I have to say I feel really good.  A little more energy, mood is good, libido might be making a comeback (yes, this surprised me), sleep is good.  I’m more tired throughout the day when I don’t get enough sleep now, which makes me think adrenaline is lower.

On the downside, I’m struggling a lot with diet.  Low carb results in major carb cravings and adrenaline.  High carb results in blood sugar craziness and frenetic eating.  My weight is stable either way, but I can’t seem to find a good balance.  For now I’ll continue a primarily low-carbish paleo-ish nutrient-dense-ish diet, with periodic bouts of sugar/starch consumption.  I don’t know what else to do.  Salads leave me starving.  Amelia recommends eating carbs with dinner, later in the day.  However, I have problems if I don’t eat them by lunch time.

Still have bloating related to SIBO – I’m taking stuff for this too, but I suspect eating carbs and sugar is prolonging the eradication of whatever is causing it.  Again, back to the diet.

Signing off for now.  Maybe more later today or tomorrow.

14 thoughts on “Hormone Labs and Supplements

  1. Wish you could get back to Peating when you can. Its the best way I know to fix the adrenal numbers. Pregnenolone will help for sure. Peat is a big fan. Basically the Peat method is to raise TG, LDL then push it down into pregnenolone using T3. As LDL falls you can see the cortisol numbers come up.

    I have taken vit c and lipoic acid in the past to support the adrenals but didnt notice anything. Thyroid plus OJ works much better.

    Whats the plan to tackle the SIBO? I am hoping once that is under control things wont be crazy with the diet.

  2. I just don’t see eating like Peat again real soon. My blood sugar can’t handle it. I’m avoiding PUFA though. The other day I had a glass of OJ with breakfast and was on a blood sugar rollercoaster for the rest of the day. It’s downright distracting. The plan to tackle SIBO will be discussed soon! I have a plan!

  3. Maybe someday. If you look up conventional gastric bypass (where a part of small intestine is bypassed not the banding or stapling of stomach) the markers for inflammation and diabetes drop even before weight loss happens. Which is probably because it reduces the amount of endotoxin absorption from that portion of small intestine.

    Any effect of the active folate? Did you do a 23and me BTW? I dont remember.

  4. The rise in cortisol while LDL dropping using thyroid is amazing. Yours is a flatline now. I really think you could benefit at some point down the line when you can handle more carbs.

  5. I don’t know if the active folate is having any effect yet. So many changes at once, it’s hard to tell. I did do a 23 and me – I’m heterozygous for some of the MTHFR mutations, but not homozygous. Apparently that’s enough though.

  6. I tried T3 – just had a racy heart. Tried it like 3 or 4 different times. I think you’re right – I need to handle carbohydrates better to be able to use it.

  7. Oh, I am so frustrated to see you drinking a glass of OJ with breakfast and concluding (from that) that your “blood sugar can’t handle” Peating!

    As I’m sure you know, having a “glass of OJ with breakfast” isn’t “eating like Peat”. Of course a “a glass of OJ with breakfast” wouldn’t work in the context of your current diet! I think Ray Peat would have told you that it wouldn’t work! I think you could have told your very best friend that it wouldn’t work!

    A glass of OJ (or maybe better yet, 1/3rd glass of OJ), works in the context of a lowfat diet. Or even better: a VERY lowfat diet. As demonstrated by the Kempner Rice Diet protocol a la Denise Minger’s lecture (that you so wisely posted). And as demonstrated by you (in my opinion, again and again) in previous blog posts.

    I am not suggesting you go back to lowfat eating, if for no other reason then the fact that you aren’t motivated to do so.

    In my opinion, a low-carb diet can fix a lot of things, especially if it’s truly ketogenic. A high-carb diet can heal if it’s truly (consistently) lowfat. They each may have their place in your life. But you must remain loyal to them *while you are with them*. If you mix and match them on a daily/hourly basis and then expect them to do anything but drive you crazy you aren’t being fair to them or to yourself.

    I don’t want to annoy you, but I figure, what the hell, you don’t know where I live. 🙂

  8. I don’t recall if you’ve told me about your own health history, but it sounds like you don’t know how problematic poorly regulated blood sugar is. I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy to discuss each of these points. So I’ll just thank you for taking the time to comment.

  9. Ok, I got a second wind…please understand Karin, that I don’t write most of my thoughts and experiences in this blog. I did not discount all sugar based on one glass of orange juice. Please give me a little more credit than that! I have eaten macros across the spectrum over the last 3 months. It was almost exactly 3 months ago that I developed an intolerance to milk – I remember the day – and since then carbs have caused my all sorts of bloating, insomnia, and discomfort. Eating less of them helped, but I’m left with very little energy. After eating lower-carb for a couple months I have had some higher-carb days in which I’ve eaten juice, fruit, sugar, starches – some days I eat like a regular person. When I do these things, my blood sugar is up and down and all over the place (in addition to 7-month pregnant bloating). When I have carbohydrates in the morning I find myself needing large hits of sugar all day long or I become confused, unable to articulate sentences, and obsessed with eating. On those days I eat THOUSANDS of calories to try to make that awful feeling go away. There’s a rebound desperation after my blood sugar rises sharply and falls just as fast. That rebound desperation lasts for hours sometimes – well after I’ve eaten.

    I’m an intelligent person. I appreciate your thoughts and your comments very much. Please do me the honor of assuming I’m not a dumbass who is going to let one glass of orange juice decide how my life is going to go. Thank you.

  10. I think you’re telling me that fat is fine and that carbs are fine, but just not together. Pick one and go with it. Is that right? Which one are you recommending for me? The one that makes me feel lethargic, empty, and depressed? Or the one that pushed me over the edge into diabetes?

  11. Hi Lanie, I see you have done cortisol tests at different provider now and that’s correct thing to do as the last test is most accurate so don’t worry too much about that your condition is getting worse as I bet previous tests weren’t actually accurate to show real problem. That’s pretty common result of cortisol levels for a woman that has adrenal fatigue I have actually saw some results of cortisol levels by only 20 year old girls that showed even lower cortisol levels, so don’t worry it’s curable :). Here it’s the forum where someone who actually gone through severe adrenal fatigue writes how she cured herself and she gives many useful tips. http://www.curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=1737060
    I hope that will help you Lanie, take care.

  12. Lanie, I’m really sorry you’re under so much stress right now. (I happen to be in a similar boat, the only difference being that mine has pretty much already sunk. I keep telling myself that it can’t get that much worse, which is somewhat comforting). I’m not about to make any recommendations, for three major reasons: 1. I am not medically qualified, 2. I’m feeling resistance on your part to receiving my opinion, and 3. ALL of the data I have seen leads me to believe that there are multiple paths that one can take to beat Diabetes. I don’t want to irritate you or make you feel defensive, or to lose you as an online friend, but I will attempt to provide one last semi-comprehensive summary of what I see happening. I hate to repeat elements of my previous post, but I feel it’s necessary to get my message across here. If nothing else, perhaps a reader will benefit.

    At the end of March, you were beginning to notice the following trend:
    “When I eat more fat my blood sugar goes up – less fat, and it goes down.”
    “….it sure looks like high blood sugar (and possibly type-II diabetes) are related to fat intake much more so than to sugar intake.”

    In the beginning of April, you conducted a high sugar/lowfat diabetes experiment. Every single day of eating high simple sugar/lowfat, you noticed that your blood sugar levels were low when you kept your simple sugar consumption high and your fat consumption low:

    “It’s interesting, I think, that the less sugar I eat the higher my blood sugar the next morning. Once my tummy is back to normal I’ll be cranking on the sugar.”

    “So it seems I’m on to something here – my fasting blood sugar has taken a turn for the better since I started reducing fat.”

    At the end of April, you conducted a similar experiment, and again noted that it had consistently good effects on your blood sugar:

    Then on May 1, you had one day with a high fasting blood sugar. ONE DAY, and you were already talking about “seriously reconsidering the path” you were on, if your labs weren’t improved. “I’ve decided to get another fasting lipid panel done tomorrow, to see if I’m on the right track.” I think it’s worth noting that on April 23rd, you had made reference to yourself “dabbling in lowfat eating”. (Considering the limited number of days that you had followed a lowfat diet, and the fact that you only did so intermittently, I would not expect your labs to accurately reflect whether or not you were “on the right track” at that time).

    Rather than belabor the point, I’m going to fast forward to your own words on August 17th.
    “In other news….I’ve been eating around 20g of fat per day for 4 days now, and the last 2 days my fasting blood sugar has been under 120. Usually it’s around 135.”

    In response to Newtopaleo’s comment that day, you stated:

    “Regarding the Minger video, I think this is about more than just avoiding PUFA. When I keep my fat very low my blood sugar improves. Eating lots of saturated fat, my fasting blood sugar consistently stays in the 130s to 140s. Fasting BG has been below 120 the last 2 days after keeping ALL fat low.”

    “When I keep my fat very low my blood sugar improves.” Hear hear! I thought at the time. She remembers that the fasting blood sugar improved on the lowfat diet!

    Then on September 1st, you wrote:

    1. Low Fat = healthier for me

    “I seem to become healthier when I eat a low-fat diet. I need to get back to this.”

    And then on September 11th, you were still planning to get back to a lowfat, reduced calorie diet.

    “I’m going to try to eat a low-fat diet and count calories.”

    Then on September 13th, you decided it was “time for a change”. (A change from the lowfat diet that you had just decided to try again)?

    Then on September 28th, you were no longer focused on going lowfat: “It appears the only things I digest well anymore are the foods that Ray Peat recommends. “Dairy, juice, meat, fat, eggs, sugar, and maybe some low-fiber fruit like watermelon, and some well-cooked vegetables.”

    Fast forward to October 24, three and a half weeks later, and you had reversed your decision again:

    “I’m also going to attempt, starting today, to eat lower fat.”

    But it appears that you never got back to that lower fat plan. Fast forward again three weeks to November 20th:

    “I haven’t been watching my diet very closely, mostly eating what I want including some starchy foods. This is mostly because 3 weeks into my new job…….”

    Later in that post:

    “So where do I stand right now with diet? I’m not really happy with my Peat-inspired diet. Milk and sugar got me in to this mess.”

    I struggle to know how you came to this conclusion (especially about the sugar) when your higher sugar/lower-fat experiments proved successful each time, at least in terms of controlling your blood sugar. (I believe that you may have seen even better results if you had been able to eat even lower fat for longer stretches each time).

    You wrote to me:
    “Which one are you recommending for me? The one that makes me feel lethargic, empty, and depressed? Or the one that pushed me over the edge into diabetes?” I think Peat’s recommendation to a person in your situation would be to keep your diet lowfat, low-starch, high-nutrient, and high simple-carb. I can see how this dietary advice would be extremely difficult to maintain for long stretches of time, (I would have GREAT difficulty, as I’ve indicated in the past). However, based on what you’ve shared in your blog, that is not the diet that you have followed for most of the past year. So from my perspective, it couldn’t be what “caused” you to become diabetic. .

    Even though I’m no fan of the narrator, I think this is a helpful video about insulin resistance, It might help to illustrate why I think that someone with blood sugar issues who is generally eating a moderately high-fat diet cannot be expected to do well drinking the occasional glass of orange juice:

    I could say much more, but this is all for now. I think this should probably be my last comment. In any case, I wish you all the best in life. I have no doubt that you will one day get the healthy body that you so deserve.

  13. Dude, don’t go away! Geez, I really struggle with speaking freely and not pissing people off. I don’t do it well. I love your comments, even if I don’t agree with them. So don’t go away. If you do I’ll have to believe that I can’t be honest with people. And that would be a sad thing to believe.

    You make a good case, of course, for me eating a low-fat diet. I agree – low fat seems the way to go! However, I’m left literally unable to function on a low fat diet. The blood sugar swings are too dramatic – and they were becoming more and more dramatic before I attempted low carb. When I was still full-on Peat. When I was eating like Peat I was eating all day long – my body couldn’t go more than an hour or two without reactive hypogycemia making me confused and desperate feeling. I couldn’t go to a store without bringing snacks. I would wake up every night in the middle of the night ravenous. That’s what happens when I eat low fat – I have to eat higher carb. The highs (post-prandial blood glucose over 200 on a regular basis) and the lows (see above) seemed dangerous and were incredibly uncomfortable and disruptive. The alternative is to eat meat all day long – I don’t think that’s a healthy option.

    Does that answer your question? It’s not that I can’t hear you. It’s a vicous cycle. My blood sugar swings caused by sugar make it impossible for me to eat low fat right now.

    I’m sorry my tone seemed harsh – I was having an awful day. I’m glad you’re here and I hope you stay.

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