ARE YOU WAKING UP DURING THE NIGHT IN A SWEAT?
It's no fun, and trying to fall back asleep when your
bedclothes, sheets, and pillowcase are wet can be a
challenge. The good news? Night sweats are optional.
More good news? When you treat their underlying
causes, you're going to feel much better overall!
There Are Four Key Causes Of Night Sweats:
- Deficiencies of reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone
- Infections, such as Candida
- Drops in blood sugar from inadequate adrenal function
- Nighttime acid reflux
This four-part series will take a look at all of these and
how to address them. Don't be surprised if more than
one underlying process is contributing.
A helpful tip for all of these? Sweating is controlled
by our hypothalamic autonomic control center. This
can be stabilized using a special herb called Black Cohosh. Research has shown that the only brand that
is effective is Remifemin (by Enzymatic Therapy). Take two twice a day and give it two months to work, so
you can sleep dry and comfortably. It also helps the
daytime sweats. Then the dose can often be lowered.
In this first article, let's look at reproductive hormone
Optimizing Reproductive Hormones IN WOMEN
Ever wonder what each of these hormones does?
- Inadequate estrogen will result in poor sleep, sweats, brain fog, vaginal dryness and depression.
- Inadequate progesterone will result in anxiety and poor sleep.
- Inadequate testosterone, even in women, will result in weakness, loss of libido, and pain.
The problem? Most doctors will not diagnose
estrogen or progesterone deficiency until your menses
stop, or the blood tests become overtly abnormal.
Unfortunately, estrogen and progesterone deficiency
have already been present for 5–12 years before these
Have you had a hysterectomy or tubal ligation?
Hysterectomy can trigger estrogen and progesterone
deficiency about 1–2 years afterward. Even if you're
only 20 years old! Most doctors are not familiar with
this old research by Philip Sarrel, emeritus professor
in the Yale Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology &
Reproductive Sciences and presume that if the ovaries
are left then there is no problem.
This is simply not the case. Especially in younger
women, where suddenly being thrown into menopause
can trigger major problems, including fibromyalgia.
Sadly, I find hysterectomies to be more frequent in
young women with a childhood history of sexual abuse.
It seems almost as if the psyche is trying to do a "clean
sweep." Other techniques to deal with the trauma such
as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can be very
How To Tell If You Need Bioidentical Estrogen Support
Instead of relying on the blood tests I find one single
question to be most helpful. "Are your sleep or fibromyalgia
symptoms worse the week around your menses?" If
the sleep, brain fog, pain, and fatigue are worse around
your menses, when your estrogen and progesterone are
at their lowest, this suggests that deficiencies of these
hormones are contributing to your symptoms and a trial of
bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are warranted. This
can be used just around your menses, or even throughout
the month depending on which leaves you feeling the best.
If you simply are having irritability around your menses
(at any age), this suggests low progesterone, and I will give
the prescription Prometrium 100 mg, one capsule once or
twice daily (although I will go higher if needed) around the
menses, adjusting the dose as feels the best. Alternatively,
a compounded progesterone cream can be used, with 30–
60 mg a day being optimal for most women. This can do
wonders for PMS, anxiety, and sleep, and a low dose may
be used through the rest of the month as well.
For a woman suffering refractory migraines mostly
during ovulation and around the menses, this is often
being triggered by shifts in estrogen and progesterone.
In these cases, I will use just the estrogen patches plus
Prometrium during these periods to prevent migraines.
Some doctors will not give progesterone to women who
had a hysterectomy, because they think the progesterone
is only needed to prevent uterine cancer from estrogen
treatment. This simply is not so. Progesterone is a critical
hormone for sleep and maintaining a calm mood. So I do
recommend it as part of hormone replacement even if a
woman has had a hysterectomy.
If testosterone levels are in the lowest one-third of the
normal range, adding testosterone can be very helpful.
Over 70 percent of women with fibromyalgia, as well
as those in menopause, are in the lowest 30th percentile
for testosterone. Using bioidentical testosterone by
prescription (one-half – 5 mg daily) has been shown
to not only improve function, but also will decrease
fibromyalgia pain. This was shown in a study on women
with fibromyalgia done by Prof. Hilary White at Dartmouth
University. It can also help improve libido. In one study we did, when we asked women with fibromyalgia how the libido was, the answer 73 percent of the time was, "what libido?"
For treatment, I only use bioidentical hormones and
not the synthetics. The bioidenticals are very healthy and
the synthetics are quite toxic. Most often I will use the
compounded mixes that contain BiEst, progesterone, and
testosterone. These will need to be prescribed by a holistic
physician. Alternatively, the standard estrogen patches
(0.1 mg) and Prometrium (100–200 mg daily) are both
bioidentical and can be obtained at a regular pharmacy
(often insurance covered). Unfortunately, this does not
supply the testosterone. The overall research is suggesting
that these bioidentical hormones are very healthy, actually
being associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. It was
the toxic synthetics that caused the problems.
In women who prefer not to use hormones, eating a
handful of edamame each day around their menses can
also be helpful, as can the Black Cohosh. As mentioned
earlier use only the Remifemin, brand. This is the only
form shown to be effective in research studies.
Treating Testosterone Deficiency IN MEN
Inadequate testosterone levels in men, even if the blood
levels are "normal" simply means that you are not in the
lowest two percent of the population, often including 80
year old men, which is an absurd way to define the normal range for a younger man. Low testosterone often causes
night sweats. It also can trigger erectile dysfunction, low
libido, diabetes with high blood pressure and elevated
cholesterol (called metabolic syndrome), weight gain with
a "spare tire" around your middle, and a generalized poor
mood and a decrease in motivation.
Studies show that using bioidentical testosterone
(not to be confused with the toxic chemicals bodybuilders
sometimes use) helps bring down blood sugar, blood
pressure, and cholesterol while helping many of the other
symptoms. It also seems to be associated with improved
overall health and longer life.
I do not recommend testosterone shots or synthetic
testosterone. Instead, in men over 55 who are no longer
looking to have more children, I use compounded
testosterone cream, switching over to the subcutaneous
pellets if convenient and if they feel better on it. The
cream should be put on different locations each day or
the skin may him stop absorbing the cream over time.
In men under 55, I preferred to begin by giving the
prescription medicine clomiphene, which stimulates
the body's own production of testosterone. I have them
take half of a 50 mg tablet each night, and repeat the
testosterone level the morning after the seventh dose. If
it is over 550 ng/dl, then the clomiphene by itself is often
adequate and I will leave them on one-half tablet a night
or every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night.
For those with difficulty with elevated blood sugars,
a wonderful new herb called Hintonia latiflora (sold
as Sucontral D) can be very helpful, lowering average
glycosylated hemoglobin's by almost one percent. I am
so impressed with it, I wrote a book on it!
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, I invite you to
read my newest book "Diabetes Is Optional." It can be found on Amazon
Please be aware that medicine is complex and without actually being your attending physician we cannot
give medical advice. Any information given is to be used as a teaching tool for you and your physician to
work with therefore we cannot take any legal responsibility for its use. Please check with your personal
physician before applying any recommendations.