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Categories: Hormones, Labs

Do you suffer from insomnia?  Poor quality sleep?  Well, luckily you no longer need to do that.  In this blog post I will succinctly go over with you some of the very, very well known causes of poor sleep so that you have an understanding of what would be involved with improving your sleep if you suffer from poor quality sleep.

O.K., so let’s go through this.   Are you ready?

Sleep is nearly always related to digestion.  It is true that it is possible for a person to have an accident, such as a concussion that then leads to damage to the brain that then leads to poor quality sleep.  However, this is very, very, very rare.  Another common cause of poor sleep is compromise to the Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Adrenal axis or the Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Adrenal – Gut – Thyroid – Pineal axis.  Sometimes another name for this is chronic fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Doctors like to come up with all sorts of fancy names for things that they don’t know how to treat.  The other thing that they will do that you are most familiar with is put together all sorts of very complex, expensive and involved treatment procedures that are also very ineffective that everyone seems to like a lot.  When simple and effective, inexpensive and safe treatment procedures are suggested that actually empower patients, people tend to be less interested.  Many people would prefer to have a total knee replacement than to learn about a way to make a few dietary changes and then be able to allow their knee to heal and avoid surgery altogether.  But, I digress.

You have now learned about the main causes of poor sleep or inability to sleep.  When people have been stressed out for a very long time they will experience something called a “pregnenolone steal.”  What this means is that instead of the person’s body having the normal conversion of Pregnenolone to Progesterone to Cortisol, instead, the pregnenolone is either converted directly to cortisol or it cannot even do that and so the body starts using epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla in order to keep the sugar in the blood at the right level which then supplies the brain with fuel for functioning.  This is a rare clinical situation in which pregnenolone can be safely given to a patient for a very, very, very, very, very short period of time.  When the pregnenolone steal is taking place, it is common for the available hormones to be so sparse that the person starts to have the reticular formation in their mid brain break down due to the chronic stress that they have been under.  Because the condition is so serious it warrants a short term HRT of bio-identical pregnenolone.  I rarely pursue this therapeutic option in my clinical practice, but it can sometimes be necessary.  The pregnenolone steal can be diagnosed on a saliva hormone lab.  The lab will show the following three things: 1.  Low DHEA  2.  Low Cortisol  3.  Insufficient 17-OH-Progesterone.  For women, they may be then prescribed DHEA, Pregnenolone and Progesterone in this type of a clinical situation.  However, due to the phenomenally effective Triad Of Health Chiropractic Kinesiology System of Diagnosis and Treatment it is often possible to change the health of the patient so dramatically in just a single visit or two that they no longer need any bio-identical hormones.  Every case is different.  Other clinical considerations for the patient that experiences the pregnenolone steal are Adrenal Glandular substances that support the Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Adrenal (HPA) Axis, L-Tyrosine, and adaptogenic herbs.  Fortunately, due to the extensive clinical experience that I have, it is normally possible to diagnose and treat the underlying structural, chemical, emotional and infectious pathogens causing the HPA Axis dysregulation so that the patient does not need a lot of nutrients, hormones, herbs or other supportive biochemical intervention.  If the health care provider providing these types of therapies is not well seasoned they can run into all sorts of difficulties with this sort of approach.  For example, many of the bio-identical hormones and nutrients / herbs listed can cause high blood pressure.

Do you really need to do a sleep study in order to determine why you are having difficulty sleeping?  Was there anyone who has had a sleep study done ever found to have their diet be imbalanced that had then led to their difficulty sleeping?  No!  BECAUSE DOING A SLEEP STUDY IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN TAKING A DIET HISTORY!!  What ever happened to common sense?

98% or more of the neurotransmitters needed to sleep properly and have a restful sleep are metab0lized in the digestive tract.  These neurotransmitters (proteins) are mainly broken down in the stomach and then they are absorbed in the small intestine (jejunem).  So, what does this have to do with a sleep study?  I have no idea.  You tell me.

In order to make melatonin which is needed to sleep well, you need to have a properly functioning pineal gland.  One of the most important thing that you need to have a properly functioning pineal gland is an appropriate amount of sunlight.  In order to make Melatonin you need to metabolize Tryptophan with the use of B3, B6, Folic Acid, and Iron.  This gives you Serotonin.  Serotonin is then converted to Melatonin through the use of a methyl donor (CH3), B12, and Zinc.  This entire process requires healthy digestion and a good source of sunlight.  Additionally, if the muscles of the jaw are imbalanced they will lead to stress to the sella turcica and the area that holds the pineal.  These areas that hold the pineal gland and pituitary gland, when the muscles that connect to these bones (sphenoid bone) are imbalanced they affect the glands that are held in the sphenoid.  Therefore, proper cranial sacral therapy can dramatically improve sleep.

Do you think that improper digestion could also affect a person’s mood?  You bet it does.

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Posted on Jul 6, 2015

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