Monthly Archives: March 2012

melatonin

pineal gland is in the brain

 

Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound that is mainly produced by the pineal gland and by some other peripheral cells such as the bone marrow sells. Melatonin is actually a very powerful antioxidant apart from being a compound that can help us go to sleep at night. Melatonin has been used in research to treat cancer, sleep disorders, depression, seasonal affective disorder, sexual dysfunction, and immune disorders for the course of medical science.

 

However, melatonin should also be taken with caution as medical science as also found that an overdose’s adverse effects to be not that desirable. Not only can it have an effect on your sleep patterns during the day, it can also drowsiness, nausea, irritability, hormone fluctuations, grogginess, vivid dreams and nightmares, and even hypothermia.

 

Since Melatonin is naturally occurring within our bodies, we can take control of its production by ingesting some healthy food. Have you ever heard of turkey meat causing drowsiness? It turns out turkey meat is chunk with one of the 20 essential ammino acids called tryptophan. Tryptophan is a biochemical precursor of the neurotransmitter called Serotonin. Serotonin is attributed to the feeling of well-being and happiness. Serotonin can  can be converted to melatonin via N-acetyltransferase and 5-hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities.

Foods rich in tryptophan worth mentioning are:

  • turkey
  • milk
  • dried dates
  • eggs
  • fish
  • poultry
  • peanuts
  • corn

also bananas, grapes, cherries

 

Try to pick low-sugar carbohydrate sources such as whole grain oats or cereals or bread. The reason for this is that meals rich in carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin in our bloodstream. Insulin makes the transport of tryptophan into the cerebrospinal fluid a lot faster. When tryptophan is metabolized faster, it becomes serotonin, which further metabolizes into naturally occurring melatonin. in cherries,bananas, grapes,

 

N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine – serotonin related?

 

st johns wort is a source

 

 

melatonin can suppress libido

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melatonin related symptoms?

blurred vision RIGHT eye

ache behind eyes – feeling of extreme tiredness – can hardly keep eyes open (associated with jet lagged feeling)

light sensitivity

bleeding from RIGHT nostril

sinus problems

slight mental confusion

slight mental retardation – poor concentration – crosswords clumsiness and co-ordination

unrefreshing sleep

severe jet lag type feeling

frequent weeing

sensitivity to stress

 

history

I was surprised to think that I might have diabetes. My excesses with chocolate etc weren’t of the magnitude that I expected would lead to diabetes and although I have a German grandfather who, I believe, had diabetes there was no other genetic factor.

However, Dr. Pradhan had warned me to keep an eye on blood glucose levels as my medication for high blood pressure predisposed towards pushing my sugar levels artificially upwards. So, with some blood glucose scores around 7 and 8 and feeling jet-lagged, having blurred vision in my right eye and frequently needing to wee, I saw my doctor who concluded I probably did have diabetes.

The confirming glucose tolerance test was a fiasco. So there is no official blood test that definitively describes a high glucose level.

My present regime is of exercise and controlled diet to which I stick quite rigidly. But, there is no immediate or significant pay-off. I continue to have hyerglaecemic  symptoms despite what I do. And they are more or less continuous. Since November 2011, when all this started, to the present date I have only had 5 days when I could say I was wholly free one any symptoms.

The worst of the symptoms is the jet lag. I sleep 6 to 8 hours but get up feeling totally unrefreshed. My sleep is deep and I dream – usually a sign of good sleep. But I am still so very sleep exhausted during the day.  I wake two or three times needing to wee but usually go back to sleep straight away, so that shouldn’t really disrupt sleep refreshment.

After several months of trying to manage my diabetes TWO things stick out for me:

ONE: There is no commensurate relief of hyperglaecmia despite my regime. And no pattern or correlation of severity of symptoms with how well I manage to stick with my regime.

TWO: The jet lagged feeling has made me wonder whether my diabetes is “standard” or whether there may be something more to it.

This jet lag made me look into possible factors and that is where I came across a possible connection with melatonin. I had mentioned this to the doctor when I first saw him in November but he had felt that it was not likely to be relevant at that time.

Hello world!

I couldn’t get iDiabetes as my blog address so I’ve had to settle for this one. The ‘awesome” factor though is the picture in the header: sunrise on Mars.