Klutzo/Madwolf Can't sleep/on ZMA & Armour Thyroid

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by CelticLadee, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    I've been taking ZMA since around December last year and the last 2-3 months it has become less and less effective. I recently began taking 3 capsules but it only helped for a short time. Can you become immune to its good effects?

    My TSH was at 2.43 and my T4 was at 7.7
    I started 1 grain/60MG Armour Thyroid 5 days ago and the first 4 days (although I had wakefulness inbetween) I slept hard and at nap time slept hard too. (this is unusual) Now last night things changed on me. I was awake (except for light cat naps) all night long. When I first got up I felt wide awake not tired from a bad night. But I might add that every since I started the AT I have had morning fatigue everyday. Even today it has moved in on me once again. It seems to be at its worst around 10:00 am. which use to be my best time in the morning prior to AT. If Klutzo or/and Madwolf read this please give me your input about this. My N.D. will be calling me and I need your guidance please.

    What can I take to sleep that you can take with Armour Thyroid? I've got to get this resolved as I can feel my symptoms worsening with lack of sleep. Muscles burn/ache - brain fog. Thanks in advance for your help. You all are the best.


  2. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Thanks for the quick response.

    No, I'm not taking Cortef. My N.D. has me taking sublingually DHEA 0.7 mg/drop / Pregnenolone 0.19 mg./drop
    4 drops when rising and 4 drops before bed for borderline adrenal insuffiency. (seems my tests are always borderline)

    If I should be taking Cortef with the Armour what would
    the dose be? Maybe I can steer my N.D. in the right direction.

    As far as the sleep problem? Any suggestions?

    Thanks again.

    P.S. - Those symptoms are happening with me - especially the thirst & an stress intolerance in P.M. hours.[This Message was Edited on 08/26/2003]
  3. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I used to take Armour Thyroid, but several years ago they changed the inert ingredients and I had allergic reactions. I went to Thyrolar (synthetic T4/T3) and eventually had a reaction to the dye. My ND prescribed Westhroid which is natural and like the old Armour and I'm feeling much better (plus it's 1/10 the cost of Thyrolar).

    I do get the symptoms you described if I take DHEA, natural progesterone or even small doses of prednisone. You might try dropping the DHEA temporarily and see if it helps.

  4. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Would you mind describing to me your allergic reactions? I am interested in these things as I often have intolerances/sensitivities to food, etc.

    I will mention your experience to my N.D. when he calls me as it may help us figure out what is going wrong.

    Thank you for your help.
  5. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I seem to have two types of responses, one an actual allergic reaction and the other a "sensitivity" reaction (doctors like to differentiate).

    With an allergic reaction I get hives, swollen or stinging tongue, or diarrhea. This is most common for me with foods that either contain or stimulate histamines like nuts, strawberries, bananas, tuna, tomatoes, melons, kiwi, citrus, and several others. I used to have such awful food allergies I could only eat two foods - everything else gave me hives all the way down my GI tract and internal hives are horrid! I finally found that an amino acid called histidine stabilized that reaction. As long as I take about 100mg every day I can tolerate almost anything in small amounts. If it's allergy season or if I know I'll be eating the foods that cause the worst symptoms I might take a little more ahead of time.

    The sensitivity reactions are different...I think it has more to do with everything from electrolyte balances to insulin response. I get brain fog, memory loss, blurred vision, nausea, muscle pain, ringing in my ears, etc. The allergic responses are a little more predictable, but the sensitivity responses vary widely and I can be feeling perfectly okay one minute and after eating a certain food or drinking something that seemed okay before I'll feel like I'm plastered.

    The best thing I have found for sleep is 5-HTP. Since I tend to overreact to everything I just open a capsule and take about 1/4 - 1/2 an hour before bed. Sometimes it helps to take a zinc lozenge in the evening with it (10-15mg zinc) if you can tolerate that.

    On top of CFIDS and some other viral stuff I got in college (probably mono) I had some severe pesticide exposure growing up which seems to have caused all the immune problems. I was also born with a genetic muscle disease that causes stiffness if I get too much potassium or if my insulin levels get too high. It's quite a tightrope to walk!

  6. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Yeh, I'm with you on the sensitivities... I get headache, brain fog and muscle aches.

    It sounds awful having actual allergies and only able to eat two foods. I thought I had it bad! LOL. I can eat most vegetables, eggs, meat and some fruit and whole grains. Guess I have quite a lot to be thankful for. Glad you found something to help you expand your diet.

    I read that you should not take 5HTP with thyroid medicine unless your doctor allows it. I haven't heard from my N.D. yet. He usually calls around 6:00pm. though so hope he will call soon.

    It is so weird how all day I felt fatigued and then around 6:00 pm. the cloud lifted. Now I will feel good the rest of the night and then I won't be able to sleep. Too bad I don't live at night and sleep in the day. LOL.

    Well, again thanks for your input. Very interesting to hear how other people fare with this stupid disease. (venting)

    See ya around the board.
  7. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and if the second dose it too late, like today, it does interfere with sleep but did enable me to have a great evening.

    5mg of cortef twice a day is a low dose but in the UK some trials showed that in CFS no more was needed, nor did test results prove a reliable indicator as to whether it would help.


  8. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    I really appreciate your help today. Thank you again.
    Now if my N.D. would just call. Guess he was too busy.
    It is past 8:00 pm. so I know I won't hear from him tonight.
    Guess I'll survive another night with no sleep. I'm having
    some aches and pains that are reflective of my early bad days with this illness when my adrenal glands were at there worst. That is a little bit alarming. Hope I'm not headed into a major flare from all this. sigh.

    My hubby is concerned that this Cortef being a steroid will be dangerous to my health. I will do a search on it and if you know of some good info. I would appreciate it.

    Madwolf... I did read Tietlebaum's book - From Fatigue to Fantastic when I began to believe I had CFIDS/FM last year. I really need to check it out of the library again and study the thyroid section. There was so much to absorb back then that I don't think I did it justice. I was overwhelmed.

    Tansy... Glad to hear the Cortef worked for you. Knowing how you like to try to keep to natural things as much as possible does give me more confidence in it. I truely do hate to be taking such things but what can we do? Our bodies have rebelled to the point we cannot ignore it.

    May you both have a good night sleep and fewer pains tomorrow.


  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I also wonder if you shouldn't have started out with only 30 mgs. Armour. I had to stay on 30 mgs. for 3 weeks, and then on 45 mgs. for over a month before I could go up to 60 mgs. without insomnia.
    Also, ZMA sometimes backfires after awhile, about 2 months usually. Then it starts keeping you awake instead of helping you sleep. Both my hubby and I had this reaction, and had to go back to taking plain magnesium before bed.
    I am very different from you, in that morning is always my worst time. I come alive after dinner and am really rockin' right about now (it's midnight here in Florida). I feel almost normal at this time of day, but don't dare even drive a car at 8 am without risking my life and everyone elses!
    All of my stress meltdowns occur in the morning or early afternoon....at night I am my old happy, tolerant self. I wonder what Madowlf would say about that!
    It may take some patience to figure this one out, but keep at it, and please keep us posted.
  10. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Madwolf & Klutzo Thank you so much!

    I never expected to see any posts tonight but since I can't sleep I thought I'd check on it for something to do.

    Madwolf...That is so reasurring to hear about Cortef. Thank you for posting this. I read it to my hubby and we both felt much relief. I had just finished reading scary side effects from Cortef at some websites and was in shock! I suppose they were reflective of the high doses you mentioned. You should read what is said!

    Klutzo...LOL...I'm living in your world tonight. I normally am a sleepyhead at 9pm. getting ready for bed. Tonight it is like someone turned on a bright light in my head and I am ready to go! It was so funny ... I was a fatigued, moody grouch from 10 am. - 6pm. than - wham - transition time. The fatigue lifted and the mood lightened. Dr.Jekyl/Mr.Hyde

    The first 2 days I did split the tablet but it wasn't doing anything I thought so I decided I could just take the whole tablet. Guess that was my mistake huh? I'll go back to splitting the tablet in the morn. Thanks for letting me know this may be part of the problem.

    I have some magnesium glycinate I can take before bed. Hope that works. I'm sure not going to take ZMA. Thanks for letting me know about it. Well, guess I'll sign off for tonight. I need to try to keep my normal schedule so I don't get too much more messed up.

    I feel a lot less stressed over it all thanks to you both. If possible, I think I will sleep better - LOL.

    Bless you both,
  11. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    FYI: Dr. Teitlebaum says in his book that nobody needs more than one milligram of Melatonin, and most need less. He says there is no increased benefit from taking more, but there is some risk. I don't remember what the risk is supposed to be....maybe somebody else with the book will post it for me? Also, do not take it if you are a diabetic or have any other dx'd endocrine diseases.
  12. keeponsmiling

    keeponsmiling New Member

    I know exactly what you're saying about the "brain fog" all day, and then how it seems to lift in the late afternoon and then can't sleep that night!

    My saliva adrenal tests came back showing that I was releasing too much cortisol during the night, which was keeping me from getting sound sleep. Even with 12 hours, I never felt rested. And the brain fog during the day was awful. :(

    At first, my doc put me on pregnenalone at night, thinking that it would lower the cortisol while I slept. Worked okay, but not great. For about a week now, I've switched the pregnenalone to the A.M. and I can tell a huge difference. I'm also on a very low dose of Provigil. Very few dizzy spells anymore (unless I've been sitting for a very long time and then get up too fast), not nearly as thirsty as I used to be, and stressors don't seem to get to me nearly as bad as they used to.

    This is just a suggestion about the Pregnenalone... my doc said that 30 mg every day (he prefers sub-lingual) has been known to "flip" your circadian clock just like Cortef. It has also helped tremendously with my periods, and I don't have to take as much Melatonin to sleep at night. :)

    All the best,

  13. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Took 1/2 tablet of A.T. at 6 am. by 8 am. brain fog and fatigue began and is increasing.
    Did not take ZMA last night. Took 200 mg of magnesium glycinate ("Magnesium Plus")
    I did sleep nicely in between wake ups. Not the 1/2 awake light type or the hard heavy type sleep. But waking up every couple hours all night is not good. sigh.

    Saturn - Thanks for the tip. Considering I have 3 bottles of ZMA and one on the way it would be good to eventually use it up. Guess I better get it off my ProHealth program though. I have been reading about Melatonin and will consider it if I can't find any risks.

    Klutzo - Sure would like to know what the risk Dr. T. mentioned in his book. I will paste at the end of this post an interesting article I read at Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab this morning about Melatonin. It may help stop breast cancer cells...early research though.

    Keeponsmiling - Just love your Name!
    I am taking sublingually Pregnenolone 0.19mg. per drop (x 4 drops) when rising and before bed. It is mixed with DHEA 0.7mg. per drop (x 4 drops) I am so fogged up right now I can't make sense out of all this info. for now. I will read it again later when the fog lifts.

    All of you thanks so much for your input. Forgive me if I don't say anything more for now. Here is the article:




    Numerous experimental studies have reported an anti-tumor effect for melatonin, the body's circadian "sleep" hormone. But just how does melatonin fight tumor growth?

    A team of molecular biologists from the University of Oviedo in Spain recently shed more light on this issue, by elucidating specific biomechanisms underlying melatonin's possible protective effect against breast cancer.

    Using nuclear extracts of breast cancer cells, researchers examined the impact of melatonin on the body's response to estradiol, the most bioactive form of estrogen, which is known to stimulate the cell proliferation and DNA damage that spurs the growth of breast tumors.

    They discovered that melatonin inhibits the estradiol activation of estrogen receptors, dampening the responsiveness of breast cancer cell growth to estradiol.

    "We observed that melatonin interferes with [the] effect of estradiol on proliferation," researchers explained. In fact, they found that estrogen-dependent DNA synthesis in the breast cancer cells was "virtually abolished" by melatonin.

    Elucidating the specific molecular mechanisms that mediate antiestrogenic effects is extremely important, observed the researchers, particularly those that don't compete with estradiol in the body to mitigate its positive effects. Anti-estrogen treatment is currently the front line defense against estrogen-dependent breast tumors, and initial studies on breast cancer treatments combining tamoxifen and melatonin have shown very promising results.

    As a powerful free radical scavenger, melatonin can also significantly reduce oxidative stress, and may prevent free radical cell damage arising from estrogen metabolism, researchers noted.

    NOTE: The Comprehensive Melatonin Profile is a crucial clinical tool for establishing optimal levels of melatonin over the complete circadian cycle, which the body depends on for healthy sleep patterns, optimal immune strength & emotional well-being, and anti-cancer effects. This assessment allows you to monitor the effectiveness of therapies designed to produce safe and protective, yet not excessive, levels.

    Source: Rato AG, Pedrero JG, Martinez MA, del Rio B, Lazo PS, Ramos S. Melatonin blocks the activation of estrogen receptor for DNA binding. FASEB 1999;13:857-868.

    My best to each of you,

  14. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Here is another interesting article on melatonin:

    Melatonin Levels Don't Decline With Age

    By Theresa Defino

    WebMD Medical News Archive

    Nov. 5, 1999 (Washington) -- The popular notion that the quality of sleep naturally declines with age because the body produces less of the hormone melatonin has many people, particularly the elderly, swallowing pills, sucking on lozenges, and even brewing special tea. But Harvard researchers now say money spent on melatonin supplements may be money thrown away.

    A study in this month's American Journal of Medicine shows that healthy older men and women had melatonin levels that were similar to those found in young men. Both study groups stayed for several days at a sleep lab, where they lived under carefully controlled conditions while their melatonin levels were regularly monitored.

    Secreted at night by the pineal gland in the brain, melatonin is thought to control sleep cycles, which are frequently disturbed in the elderly. Often described as "the sleep hormone," melatonin is sold without a prescription in a variety of forms. Because it occurs naturally in tiny amounts in barley, rice, turkey, and other foods, it is not regulated by the FDA.

    "The common belief was that the pineal [gland] is an aging clock -- that it winds down as we age and heralds our demise. We actually set out to quantify how much melatonin declines and we were shocked to find that it didn't," Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD, one of the study's researchers, tells WebMD.

    "The older subjects that we studied did have more sleep disturbances, more fragmented sleep, but that can't be attributed to lower melatonin levels in these subjects." Czeisler is a chief of the section of circadian, neuroendocrine, and sleep disorders in the department of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    In light of these findings, Czeisler says, most people don't need melatonin supplements. If they are having problems with sleeping, it is unlikely to be due to a melatonin deficiency. Side effects of medications and other illnesses, such as depression, might be the cause. At a minimum, their melatonin levels should be measured before using supplements, Czeisler says.

    "There have been claims that melatonin does everything from curing cancer to improving your sex life," he says. "There are no large-scale studies to show whether melatonin is effective in the treatment of insomnia or whether it is safe. I think it is unwise to buy a compound that hasn't been tested as safe to use, and it is reprehensible that it was released to the public before large scale studies were done."

    Czeisler says previous studies that have shown a decline in melatonin in the elderly were flawed because they did not exclude individuals who were taking medications that suppress the hormone and did not control for factors such as sunlight, which affects the level of melatonin in the body.

    "This looks like a very good study; they put [people] in a controlled setting, and they were very precise about their posture and the light they were exposed to," says Samuel Durso, MD, a gerontologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "I think it is an important study. It is another valuable advance in our understanding of normal physiology of aging."

    Durso, who reviewed the study for WebMD, says he also believes melatonin supplements are usually not necessary. "From a therapeutic standpoint, we don't have much good evidence to start with that melatonin is a useful medication for most older people with sleep problems," Durso says.

    © 1999 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. keeponsmiling

    keeponsmiling New Member

    Thanks for sharing that article, but it's my opinion that most mainstream doctors don't know diddly squat about alternative medicine. It also takes money out of their pockets when patients can purchase cheaper alternatives to prescription drugs.

    Pharmaceutical kick-backs are enormous with physicians. :(

  16. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    ...have told me all I needed to do to raise my melatonin to optimal was to spend at least 15 minutes outside every day in the sun, preferrably in the morning. Of course, for those who live in dark, gloomy places, instead of in Florida like I do, that may not be possible. The last article seems to confirm what I was told.
    Thanks for posting it.
  17. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Thanks for your comments.

    keeponsmiling - I understand your view and most of the time I also agree wholeheartedly. I'm not sure on this melatonin though. The things Klutzo and layinglow say are sure valid.

    klutzo - My ND has okayed me to use 5HTP. He warned me that it doesn't work for everyone. So I will try it tonight and go from there.

    layingglow - I especially thought your view on tampering with hormones and not knowing what will cause what to react was right on. It is bad enough trying to regulate the various hormones in "normals" but like you infer with us "bent" people it is a roll of the dice. What are you gonna get? Well, you said everything so much more eloquently but I really enjoyed your post. Right ON!

    Due to brain fog I can't remember what else I was going to say to each of you. LOL. But I appreciate each of you.
  18. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    My ND is an expert on thyroid and teaches seminars for doctors. So saying that, I have to have some faith that he knows what he is talking about. He hasn't steered me wrong yet.

    Asked him about using 5mg. of Cortef at 8am & noon to help with the adrenal insuffiency. He said "No, that would not be good for you." My tests showed I have normal cortisol levels except in the AM. so said I don't need more cortisol. That is why he put me on DHEA/Pregnonlone as it will help my adrenals produce a little more cortisol in the AM. hours. He said something like it would just cause more problems for me to use Cortef with my adrenals and thyroid balances. Like upping the anty. He very eloquently explained everything like a master and I'm doing a hatchet job on it. LOL.

    Because of my history of reactions to proteins, lots of food sensitivities etc. he feels I am reacting to the Armour Thyroid itself - ya know the pig thyroid. I am to quit taking it and in 3-4 days begin taking Levoxyl. If it doesn't work for me he will give me T-3 seperately until I am feeling well and in the future when the tests show I can stop the T-3 he'd take me of it at that time. Anyhow he has a game plan for future problems if any so I will try it his way and see if it works out.

    I am beginning to feel a little bit better this afternoon. So not taking A.T. this morning has been a relief on my system for sure. About 1/2 the brain fog and fatigue now compared to the past days on A.T. Didn't get much sleep last night again but hope with the help of 5HTP I will get some sleep tonight. As I said in earlier post, my ND okayed me to try 5HTP but warned it doesn't work for everyone. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Well, I think that is all for now. Thank you all for your support and help. Each of you helped me through another rough spot in this unmarked trail in the wilderness we call CFIDS/FM with your caring suggestions. It really quite amazes me at times how thoughtful and generous each of you have been towards me. Just gotta love you all! Hugs!

    Blessing upon each of you,
  19. Suekoo

    Suekoo New Member

    I just ordered ZMA from this sites store today. Hope it will work for me.... now I'm wondering if I should have ordered it. I think Shirl has had wonderful luck with it, that's what got me to thinking about it. Oh well, we're all different - keep yuor fingers crossed for me.
  20. keeponsmiling

    keeponsmiling New Member

    ...my adrenal results came back exactly the same as yours! High during the night and morning/"normal" in the afternoon and evening. That's why my doc put me on Pregnenalone instead of Cortef. Interesting...