I'm in the process of trying to put myself back together after a recent discovery (after the fact) that I suffered from back-to-back rounds of postpartum thyroiditis after each of my pregnancies (2006 and 2010). Although my TSH/T3/T4 labs are "normal" I recently started under the care of an endocrinologist for low-dose T4 replacement since I also have strong family history of thyroid disorder and have been hypothyroid symptomatic for some time.
The hormonal roller-coaster also left me with adrenal fatigue, which the endo doesn't seem interested in addressing, so I am trying to manage it on my own. My symptoms were anxiety and very high nighttime cortisol that would leave me with raging insomnia between the hours of 11pm and 2am. I would simply be unable to sleep no matter what I took or did - benadryl, valerian, low-doses of melatonin, yoga, meditation, etc... Afternoon naps when the baby sleeps were often hard to achieve, too. The T4 replacement does not seem to be helping the insomnia or anxiety, but has been providing relief of my hypothyroid symptoms.
About a week ago, I started taking phosphatidylserine supplements (400 mg/day), which I had read about on a patient-to-patient thyroid/adrenal forum, and viola! I have begun to sleep. In fact, it feels like someone untied a knot in me. I am much more relaxed and get sleepy again and am deeply sleeping -- even dreaming. I feel a bit jet-lagged, but I think it is just because I have been sleep deprived for so long. I am very happy with the results and hope they will continue so I can work on healing and protecting my sleep.
My questions are:
1) I have been taking it on a wing and a prayer that phosphatidylserine is safe while breastfeeding because it is an EFA and a derivative of soy lethicin. However, it is also hard to find information about this. Do you have any information or recommendations on phosphatidylserine and breastfeeding?
2) Do you have any information on how long I should keep taking phosphatidylserine? Will there come a point when I can stop taking it once my body has had an opportunity to re-balance?
3) Do you have any other suggestions for me with regards to healing my adrenals?
Thanks in advance!!
I'm looking for the exact same answer! In fact, I have the exact same problem (thyroid/adrenals).
I took the PS last night and really slept for the first time in years. But I'm worried it's not safe for my baby.
Also, have you heard of thyroid resistance and/or Wilson's Temperature Syndrome? Back when I first got hit with PPD/hypothyroid/adrenal symptoms I got blood work done and my thyroid levels (TSH and T4) came back in normal ranges. But now people are beginning to test for reverse T3, which is created in abundance when your cortisol levels are unhealthy. The RT3 blocks the T3 receptors, meaning that the T3 is not getting into cells (thus the hypo symptoms), even though you're producing enough T4.
I'm looking into that.
Thyroiditis can be treated with organic iodine. I would recommend posing your questions to a naturopathic doctor, or naturopathic endocrinologist... not the internet.
Hunter Zen Watson 12/17/09
Jordan Christine Watson 09/13/11
I will answer the original question about phosphatidylserine and breastfeeding. Most naturopathic physicians agree that this is ok to take while breastfeeding, but please understand that as you are not a patient of mine, I can not advise you specifically as to the safety of this supplement, or others, in your situation. Phosphatidylserine suppresses cortisol production, which allows growth hormone to rise (cortisol and growth hormone are inversely related, so when one is low the other is generally high). At night, cortisol should be low to allow the body to rest and repair (growth hormone allows the body to repair). Since you mentioned that you had high night-time cortisol, it seems as though you have had some sort of testing, is that correct? Testing of cortisol is important to monitor the efficacy of treatment. If you are not working with a doctor who can help you with testing and monitoring of treatment, I recommend that you find a licensed naturopathic physician who can do this for you. Testing and treating adrenal function along with thyroid is crucial for success of therapy - the thyroid and adrenals are intimately related and both must be supported for you to feel your best.
Hope that helps!
How can I find such a doc? Nautrapaths are not licensed in my state -- anyone can call themselves an "ND" -- and I have been burned by word-of-mouth referrals before. Frankly, Internet forums have tended to yield better info, from my experience. Can you recommend an organization I can trust and contact for a referral of a well schooled doc? What qualifications should I be looking for?
To find a licensed naturopathic physician, visit the finder tool at www.naturopathic.org
All doctors listed on that site are licensed and members of the national association.
Many naturopathic physicians, myself included, offer phone consultations, so if you find someone you like outside of your area, ask them whether they would consult by phone.