Case Study – Insomnia Chronic Pain

I have had INSOMNIA on occasion…miserable, right?! But always, my tired butt falls right asleep the next night. Check out the story of this patient with INSOMNIA for 2 years straight! Plus chronic hip, back and knee pain, anxiety attacks, and his distance vision was failing.

He shared in our first meeting that sometimes it feels like the pain in his hip, back, and knee are what keeps him from falling asleep, but other times, he just lies awake, for as long as SIX HOURS, and when he finally does fall asleep, he’ll wake after a couple hours, and not be able to fall asleep again for 2-3 hours.

For 2 YEARS!

As you might imagine, he also rated his energy pretty low due to the lack of sleep.

This person was unique, in that he wasn’t a “doctor person.” He knew the medical “playbook” for insomnia, and he didn’t want to “drug himself” to sleep. He tried going to a natural doc who did some hormone testing, prescribed a few supplements, but it didn’t help…in fact his symptoms continued to increase in frequency and intensity!

He was also doing “everything right”…exercising regularly, and eating a healthy, whole food diet!

I often see this situation, so it isn’t so unique to my experience. People assume that eating better and exercising more or more consistently is the NEED for resolving their symptoms. I’d say that is a better approach than Ambien, but it misses the extension of our dinner plate known as botanical (plant) medicines.   These plants provide healing, nourishing, soothing, and stimulating of our various organs. Just like you, your organs can get tired or over stressed, and finding that RIGHT plant to meet your NEEDS can make all the difference.

He didn’t need a lifestyle change, so what did he NEED? I often refer to our full system blood analysis as “facing reality.” What we discovered in his reality was that he was approaching diabetes. His hemoglobin A1C was 5.9, with 6.5 being the threshold for diabetes. (5 is optimal) CRAP!!…he worked his tail off, and his result was “Metabolic Syndrome X “(AKA Pre-Diabetes)!

Sure, you could accomplish the same blood sugar result by eating donuts with every meal, and it might have been more fun!!…but the FULL TEAM needed to for optimal blood sugar includes your diet, your pancreas (insulin) AND your liver and adrenal glands!

When we looked at the rest of his labs, we also discovered DEHYDRATION. One of the functions of the ADRENAL GLANDs is to respond to the environmental stress called “drought”or lack of water. When we lived in nature, there were times that water was more scarce…so your adrenal glands produce a hormone called Aldosterone to preserve the water in your body.

If your body is dumping water (I drink tons of water, feel thirsty, but I just run to the bathroom)…that is a sign of hypo-adrenal function. The weird thing is…medicine doesn’t acknowledge this condition. I don’t get it…your thyroid can have low function…get tired out…but your adrenals can’t!? Hmmm…well, I have looked outside of medicine for solutions, and this is one reason why!

We also know that the adrenals, our “stress” glands, produce another hormone called Cortisol, which signals to the body to release FAT for energy production (for times of famine/lack of food). While most of us have a fridge full of food, the one time we lack calories is sleep. We fast through the night, and wake to break-fast. Right!?

If your adrenal glands don’t produce adequate amounts of cortisol through the night, our blood sugar drops…which activates the backup system for increasing blood sugar…known as ADRENALINE. Guess how well you sleep when your body is kicking out Adrenaline!? Yeah…not so much!

Guess how well your body HEALS when it is in the STRESS of hypoglycemia…yeah…not so much! At this point we had a CAUSE of his sleep issues, anxiety, vision problems…and a reason why his knee, hip and back didn’t heal…all related to stress physiology and the hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

One more finding from this 15 dollar test called the CBC (Complete Blood cell Count) that eventually led to our success. This test also counts the white blood cells and gives a percentage of each. I use the analogy of our countries military…certain troops are called to certain defense needs. So if you see a high percentage of certain troops deployed, you can assume the defense NEED is present. In his case, the defenses that were deployed were for yeast/fungal invasions. And doesn’t that make sense…his blood was SWEET with sugar, so that attracts yeast.

This brings up a critical point that may have thrown off his previous doctor. As you may recall, the previous doctor tested hormones, and to the patient’s recollection, he was informed that they were “all messed up.” Here is the critical point… You cannot resolve adrenal hormone imbalance without resolving IMMUNE challenges. And, you cannot balance reproductive hormones without improving STRESS hormones.

It is a hierarchy of function that I describe like this…imagine you went home to find that a burglar was in your home. (Immune defense). Your dreams of a ham sandwich quickly evaporate. (Energy production).   Or if you find your basement is flooded (Stress physiology)…you again put off lunch (Energy). But if you are fed, rested, and safe…you wonder if your partner is “thinking what you are thinking”…yup…reproductive hormones… which on a cellular level equals cell reproduction…AKA HEALING!

You have to handle inflammation (invasion) and stress to get to energy and healing. But when you DO…follow the hierarchy…it all falls in place!

We met the needs of his immune system by providing a plant called Cat’s Claw…found in the Amazon rain forest, with a history and tradition of thousands of years…for treating fungal infections, reducing inflammation, and supporting immune defenses. (One of my favorites for yeast /candida!)

We met the needs of the adrenal glands with a glandular supplement called drenamin. It contains the proteins from an adrenal gland, providing nourishment and healing to tired adrenal glands.

We met the needs of his nerves…nervous exhaustion… with a couple plants…Gotu Kola and Lavender…both are soothing and healing to nerve tissue and to your brain! Both are indicated with nerve exhaustion from stress!

The RESULT: By addressing all of his NEEDS, through specific NOURISHMENT… he has achieved complete remission of his insomnia, and virtually ALL PAIN! Plus… he has no more anxiety (well, everyone feels anxious at times, but it doesn’t cause chest pain or panic attacks) and his vision cleared up!

And STILL his body has NEEDS…on his most recent visit, he was noticing an afternoon slump of energy, and that one exercise motion still caused shoulder pain. That’s called careful listening, and careful RESPONDING to his body needs.

Imagine THAT…!! Your body functions SO amazingly well… and yet you feel so confident in Nature’s medicines… an extension of your dinner plate… that you acknowledge a slight slump of energy as a body NEED… and you respond to that little symptom with a nourishing plant!

And further…each time you respond to your body NEEDS, you gain confidence in your certainty of HEALTH…the worry of “some disease” attacking you… fades…and is replaced by wondering…How Amazing CAN I feel…?!?

That’s a pretty cool path!