I have dealt with issues of chronic insomnia and constipation for at least 7 years now. Without taking several drugs, I CANNOT SLEEP AT ALL!!! (Even after doing things like yoga, drinking tea, taking a hot bath, exercising, etc.) I have seen several doctors but have not gotten any help, every doctor is clueless. I am wondering who in the world has any clue what is going on with my body??? What do you think?
here are all of my symptoms:
Also, here is a description of a typical daily Paleo diet which I have been on since September 2012:
Ultrasounds, allergy tests, stool sample tests, blood work, a sleep study have all ruled out these issues:
Can you help me figure out what is wrong with my body??? Thank you!
Note: These symptoms began after I had took 3 months (x2 a day) of deoxycyline and minocycline for acne. This started with severe constipation and eventually grew to depression, insomnia and severe eczema. Symptoms greatly improved after starting the Paleo diet. Symptoms appear to greatly improve in the summer despite supplementing on 10,000 IU Vitamin D daily.
I would like to suggest that you ditch all or almost all of the supplements you are taking. You have a collection of substances that you have no idea what they are doing to your physiology.
For instance, valerian, taurine, and Vitamin D can all have paradoxical effects like raised blood pressure, heart rate, and insomnia. Raydawg suggested fish oil, rhodiola, and phosphatidylserine, but these three can also stimulate the system for a percentage of folks.
I have been down this trail myself. Vitamin D was a major issue for me. I cannot take D supplements as they jack my system up with increased heart rate, insomnia, higher than my normal blood pressure, and a feeling of anxiety. I use a Sperti Vitamin D lamp and get my winter D from this UV lamp.
Also, you are taking a lot of Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements can cause the thirst.
Phosphatidylserine, rhodiola, and valerian were okay and worked for a while and then they all caused a paradoxical effect of increasing insomnia. They were all like coffee. You can research online what I'm posting about here on all of these supplements.
It is impossible to figure out what's going on with you when you have all of these inputs, any number of which can be causing some or all or your insomnia.
That's where I would start. You need to isolate what's going on and the place to start is that raft of stuff you are ingesting.
You might try doing a supplement washout period. I find that supplements will creep into my routine and problems will slowly crop up and only resolve when I remove them. A big mistake is to play whack-a-mole with one supplement after another trying to correct the side effects of the last one.
Might also be worth it to enter your diet into something like fitday and see if there are any glaring shortfalls and correct them with different foods rather than supplements.
It sounds like you have low cortisol from HPA fatigue. Low cortisol can cause upset digestion, inflammation, fatigue, and thirst and frequent urination (b/c of salt and therefore water leaving body). Your body keeps producing more cortisol at night to make up for the lack of it. Because of this, you can't sleep. There are many things you can do to help with adrenal fatigue. I actually just ordered some licorice root to help myself for this very problem. (beware I haven't taken it yet so this is purely what I've read off the internet)
Licorice is supposed to prevent the liver from breaking down cortisol, this way it lasts longer and your body doesn't need to produce as much of it. This will give your HPA axis a break. However, licorice will raise blood pressure so it is not for everybody (keep in mind low cortisol can lower blood pressure so this isn't necessarily a bad thing). You're supposed to take it three times a day.
You can also have a doctor prescribe hydrocortisone. Protein and exercise increase cortisol. Personally, I don't think exercise is the answer - after exercise I feel great and then an hour later (when my cortisol insanely crashes) I feel like I need to sleep for 12 hours.
Good luck on your sleep though!
I have severe insomnia. Decided to give up pharma last summer and found nothing had changed. So I tried alternative stuff.
Here's what works for me, taken in stages before bedtime:
- glucose/fructose: 1/2 a banana.
- magnesium: high density solution of epsom salts in water - rub it in to chest, belly & ribs and leave for 20 mins.
- glucose/fructose: 1 tablespoon dark honey.
I also take a Relora pill, but I think the above steps are the effective bit, and I'd say the glucose/glycogen repletion is the crucial process. Overall I give it 80% for falling asleep, staying asleep, getting back to sleep, and waking up rested.
For research Google "sethroberts honey" and "epsom salt spray".
I'd ease off on the taurine and theanine. Taurine is in red bull and other energy drinks for a reason - it raises your energy levels. Theanine is a bit calming, but it is still tea's version of a caffeine analogue, and might interfere with sleep.
These might not help you, but it might be worth a try.
If you take vitamin D, be sure you take it in the morning and not at night, and balance it out with the retinol version (not beta carroteen!) at night.
Avoid oils like coconut oil, or even fish oil at night. Maybe try some carbs at night. Maybe a roasted sweet potato an hour before bed.
Frequent thirst/urination might be a sign of diabetes, you checked that out? It won't necessarily interfere with sleep, but might help to get a cheap $20 glucometer with maybe 10 strips and test yourself by testing several times a) before eating anything when you wake up, b) after a high sugar meal 15, 30, 45, 1h, 2hrs after. You should see low levels for a, then a big spike and a drop for b. Your glucose level should drop after the big spike and might go even lower than at a) if everything's fine.
That itchiness might be parasite related. Get that checked out. I've heard, but not verified that "drinking ocean water" can get rid of intestinal worms since they're not used to high salt. Don't use ocean water, but rather a cup of salty water and see what happens. If you see wiggling in the toilet bowl that did the trick.
Try some home made fermented foods too... kraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, dill pickles, etc. or maybe some SBO (soil based organisms) prebiotics.
If you're experiencing high stress, and certainly prolonged insomina counts, you might try Dr. Sara Gottfried's suggestion to destress:
at the same time i tested with constantly high cortisol back in early 2011 via 4 x saliva tests (in one day) & also later confirmed with an AM & PM cortisol blood test, i also did the 'pupil test' described in the above article and 'failed'...my pupils were unable to stay constricted for 30 seconds under the bright light from the side, they would dilate & then pulse, very weird to look at.
The pupil test is described under 'Test Two' in the article. All you need is a small bright torch, a mirror and a dark room. Give it a go, i'd be interested to know if you 'fail' it.