Clues to the Connection Between Sleep and Cellulite: Lecture by Dr. Stasha Gominak on Sleep, Vitamin D, and Healing

19 Mar

I asked for an interesting resource on sleep, and you responded.  Thanks to Pam for pointing me to this lecture by Dr. Stasha Gominak, a neurologist who studies the interaction between Vitamin D, sleep, and healing.

Since I started cupping in the mornings, it is clear how much more sensitive my body is when I don’t get a full night’s sleep.  Even though I know intellectually that is important to get eight hours of sleep a night, this simple observation motivated me more than anything to go to bed earlier.  The goal is to wake up naturally before my alarm clock goes off each morning.

I’ll write more about that later this week.  Today, I want to share this fascinating lecture by Dr. Gominak. It is posted in five sections.  I added a few notes after each one.  Even if you don’t listen to the whole thing, it is worth skipping through a few to get the gist of her argument.

Part 1:  Headaches are Not Normal (these are my titles, not hers)

I like how she emphasizes that it’s not normal to go to the bathroom during the night.  Your body should be in such a state where you don’t have this urge.

She points out that headaches can be caused by lack of sleep.  It’s NOT normal to have a headache.  When we have unsatisfying sleep, our bodies don’t have a chance to do the necessary repairs and pain is the result.

 

Part 2: How Dr. Gominak Became Interested in Vitamin D

Dr. Gominaks presents an elegant categorization of all the different type of sleep disorders.  The patient is either too paralyzed (sleep apnea) or not paralyzed enough (twitching arms, legs, talking, chewing).

She suggests that sleep disorders are much more common in developed countries and that pain (headaches, back pain, etc.) and a lot of other problems are caused by sleep disorders.

Your genes can make you vulnerable to certain conditions, but lack of sleep prevents the body from repairing that weakness.  Could this apply to cellulite, too?  She urges doctors to look at the sleep for any patient who complains of chronic pain.

I love the part at 11:11,  when she describes how she used Google to find the connection between B12 and headaches.  I can do that!  She seems genuinely surprised that she did not learn this during her training as a neurologist.

Towards the end of this clip, she describes how she discovered that all her sleep patients were low in vitamin D, and the worst ones were also low in B12.  It’s interesting to see the thought process behind how a standard doctor of modern medicine started to realize that nutrition is behind the confounding ailments modern medicine is trying to treat (laregly unsuccessfully) with all kinds of drugs and apparatus.

 

Part 3  The Vitamin D Disadvantage

In this clip, Dr. Gominak talks about the research on Vitamin D by Dr. Walter Stumpf, including why his work is not widely known within the American medical community.

At 9:50,  she talks about why the word “vitamin” relegated this important research to nutritionists and other health matters that are “beneath” doctors.

I’d like to read the articles she mentions about Dr. Stumpf experience with the peer review process in the United States.  Most of the groundbreaking work on Vitamin D is coming out in European journals.

 

Part 4: Sleep is Healing

At the end of Part 3 and the beginning of Part 4, Dr. Gominak explains why the early research on “D” was inadequate. It was performed on rats.   Rats are nocturnal. Humans, and most other creatures, absorb vitamin D from the sun.  Nocturnal creatures are not a good choice for test subjects on Vitamin D.

At 2:40 she mentions cod liver oil.  Still, she implies elsewhere that vitamin D is not available in the food supply and only comes from the sun.  She doesn’t ask our modern diet is lacking in vitamin D and she doesn’t talk about spending more time in the sun.  She relies on synthetic vitamin D for her studies, which I suspect is why she has to be so careful about prescribing too much of it.

In the second half of this clip, she talks more about sleep and healing.  She laments how hospitals continuously waken weak patients to bathe them, administer shots, etc, when this is the time their bodies are trying to heal.  “If you hurt somewhere in the morning, it’s because you’re not perfectly paralyzed at night,” she claims.

For our purposes here at CI, it is counterproductive to treat your cellulite during the day (whether it’s through nutrition, creams, massage, exercise, or whatever) and then not give your body a chance to process the treatment (i.e. heal) during the night by allowing for a full night’s sleep.

 

Part 5: Dr. Gominak’s Thoughts on the FDA’s Thoughts on Vitamin D

Here Dr. Gominak explains why she supports the FDA’s recommended dose for Vitamin D, even though it is significantly lower than the dosages she uses in her practice.  Her explanation makes sense, but it does seem like she is trying a little too hard to play nice.

At 4:00, she talks about a patient who was sent to the psyche ward because she took D2 instead of D3.  I like that Dr. Gominak isn’t afraid to talk about doctor’s mistakes (she does point out the prescription for D2 was not from her).

At 6:00, she discusses the cofactor vitamins: B12 (not shots), iron, and magnesium.  She recommends pumpkin seeds for their magnesium content because she doesn’t want to bother “understanding magnesium.”  C’mon, doc.  Just Google it.

Around 6:30 she explains that women get fat after they have children because child bearing uses up their stores of vitamin D.  Prenatal vitamins don’t have enough so new moms often end up with big butts and sleep problems.

I love her account at 8:00 about how modern medicine blames the patient because “you don’t do it right.”  She compares doctors to priests: “you screwed up, give me money, go do it right.”

As a doctor, she takes responsibility for creating the diseases that the pharmaceutical industry is trying to create pills to treat when they should be using nutrition.  How refreshing.

Around  8:00 there is a profound quote about how most of us in the developed world are in a perpetual winter.

 Photo credit

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

By submitting a comment below, you agree to abide by our comment policy

Liz says:
3/19/2012

I’ve only listened to the first segment and I find this facinating!

Reply

I did too, Liz. I wish there were more doctors out there like her! I had to listen to it in segments too because of time constraints but it was worth it.

Reply
Pam says:
3/19/2012

Nice summary Melissa. The bit that caught my attention was when she discovers that the vitamin D receptors in the brain are located in the exact same area that controls sleep timing and level. This was a huge piece of the puzzle for me because I’ve been battling insomnia for two years and nothing has worked as well as increasing D intake.

Reply

Makes total sense! Is your sleep back to a healthy state now or are you still working on it?

Reply
Pam says:
3/21/2012

Not perfect, but vastly improved. No doubt there are other factors involved besides D; however, if Dr. Gominak is right about D playing a major role, then it appears you would have to get your D in place first before being able to move forward from there.

Reply

That makes sense. My fiance and sister in law both reported improvement after taking 5-htp. I first read about it in The Mood Cure. It’s the first supplement she recommends for sleep issues and she says it works with a significant portion of her patients.

Reply
Pam says:
3/21/2012

I read The Mood Cure, which I quite liked. Alas, 5-HTP did not work for me. Nor did tryptophan, melatonin, St John’s Wort, or any other permutation or combination recommended. As for the GABA? Yikes, that gave me such intense vertigo I had to be taken from work on a stretcher by ambulance to the ER. Very embarrassing (not to mention unpleasant).

Reply

Oh dear, that’s terrible! Did the docs have any idea why you had such a strong reaction to the GABA? When I read the book, Gaba was the amino acid that seemed most relevant for me since I was unreasonable stressed at the time. That went away though when I started taking my magnesium taurate supplement.

Reply
Pam says:
4/24/2012

It was I who suggested that possibility to the ENT I consulted with, but he had never heard of any connection. He told me the only way to find out was to test it again if I was willing. After the vertigo cleared up (which took around 2 weeks), I tried a lower dose of GABA and the vertigo started to come back, though not as strong. I also thought GABA seemed most relevant for calming down my jacked up sympathetic nervous system, but it was not to be. Magnesium at least stopped my heart from pounding out of my chest in the middle of the night and also lowered my BP, but it did not improve sleep that much.

Reply

That is frightening! Good thing you figured it out so quickly. I am reading a fascinating book right now about sleep called The Promise of Sleep. It was written in 2000 by the Stanford doc that first documented REM sleep. Even though it’s a little outdated, I am learning so much and really enjoying reading it. I haven’t gotten to the section yet about how to improve your sleep, but you’re bound to pick up a few gems of knowledge with this one if you’re still dealing with sleep issues.

Reply
Teresea Carson, LMP says:
3/20/2012

Way to go, Melissa. I’ve only read your notes and am amped to view the video. Lots of information!

Reply

Thanks, Teresea! I’m still looking for a good book on the subject, but the videos are a good place to start. I just added The Promise of Sleep to my Amazon shopping cart. I was hoping for something more recent but it gets good reviews. I like that it doesn’t focus on tips for improving your sleep like most of the books on sleep out there. I want to learn what is happening during sleep.

Reply
Liz says:
3/21/2012

Just finished listening to all the segments. Wow! I have sleep issues, thyroid issues and more. I just recently starting seeing a new doctor and she had my blood level tested for D and it was 39. She was very concerned about this and got me on D3 immediately. I tuned in to her concern, but wasn’t sure how important it was since I was “in range” per the blood test results. Watching this lecture makes me sit up and take notice a bit and I’m excited at the possibilities. I also need to get my husband and daughter tested and see where they’re at. Thanks so much Melissa!

Reply

I’m glad the info is helpful, Liz! Have you looked into taking fermented cod liver oi? There is a ton of controversy out there over the best form of vitamin D, but I’ve been really happy with the fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures. I take the one that’s blended with high vitamin butter oil (I like the cinnamon one). You can read more about it on The Healthy Home Economist blog, the Weston Price Foundation Website, etc (sorry, no time for link right now!). I suspect the body responds better to this traditional form of vitamin D and could explain why Dr. Gominak and her patients see negative side effects when they take too much of the synthetic vitamin D. Just something else to look into!

Reply
Pam says:
4/24/2012

I’m thinking that her patients’ negative side effects could be from an imbalance of A, D, and K2… a subject Chris Masterjohn has written extensively about in his Daily Lipid blog.

Reply

That makes perfect sense. Most food based sources of D also contain those other vitamins for a reason. I’m happy with my fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend.

Reply
Liz says:
3/22/2012

Thanks Melissa. I am familar with the fermented CLO, and currently have the capsules. No matter how good it is for me, I cannot gag down the oil from a spoon. I can do it once or twice, but not daily. Nor will my family. So I buy the capsules, and try to take 4 per day throughout the winter months. But, it’s very costly and I suspect that even 4 is not enough. This past winter I sort of reserved them for my daughter. If she got even the tiniest sign of a cold I would have her take them several times per day.

Reply

Yes, that stuff is brilliant for colds, isn’t it?! Did you try the FCLO/butter oil blend? They have cinnamon and chocolate flavors. I haven’t tried the chocolate, but the cinnamon flavor is fantastic. I look forward to taking it each day. I love cinnamon, so to me it’s like a yummy spoonful of dessert. It’s a lot cheaper than the capsules.

Reply
Henk Poley says:
8/13/2012

There is an updated talk from last month available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA2B229C42784AD73

Reply

Thanks for the info, Henk!

Reply

Oops!Please fill out all required fields

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.