A long introduction

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet' started by sa230e, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    Hi everybody,

    I'm a 26 year old guy from Canada and have been constantly battling with issues with my mental and physical health. I first became intrigued with the ideas of Ray Peat by reading his articles on serotonin which I hugely identified with. I know most people hate reading long winded personal stories but I'm seeking answers here and there are so many variables here that nothing less than a full account will do.

    I've had problems with depression since early child hood. Most likely because I didn't fit in at school and was bullied and socially ostracised. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome around age 7 which explains the not fitting in part. I developed depression and became withdrawn so my parents pulled me out of school and put me in a "special" school for a year which did a lot to restore my happiness and confidence which lasted even after I returned to "regular" school. When I started high school things were going well. I was finally starting to make friends and I was happy until it seemed like, from out of nowhere, I feel into a deep depression. I also started having periodic stomach pains and problems with energy. I would fall asleep in class and felt sluggish all day but I couldn't sleep at night and developed terrible insomnia. This was when I was about 12 or 13 years old, I think.

    My parents finally got fed up and dragged me to a psychiatrist. I've always been very close and could never open up to anybody, even when it was completely safe. I couldn't talk to the therapist so he put me on Prozac. The Prozac completely blunted all my emotions, I felt neither highs nor lows, and I became a robot. It puts you in a lower state of consciousness. There's no way to describe it. I was on it for a year. I hated the stigma of seeing a shrink and taking pills so I lied and said I was better, we tapered off the pills and I never saw him again. But even after discontinuing the pills I never regained my emotional vibrance.

    I pretended to everyone, even myself, that I was fine for years but I wasn't. My energy gradually depleted and I developed a wicked sugar addiction. I was drinking multiple cans of coke a day and gained lots of weight. But the time I was in college I was starting to burn out, I lost passion for my studies and everything else and the stomach pains were getting worse. After I graduated I got a job in a call centre and the stress was incredible. It killed my digestion and I had cramps all day and diarrhoea multiple times per day. I eventually decided to go back to school, not so much to further my education as just to have an excuse not to have to work, not because I was lazy, but because I knew it was physically and mentally killing me. I just didn't have what it took. I completely broke down in the second semester. I was dragged back to a psych and put through a litany of anti-depressants (cipralex, wellbutrin, effexor, cymbalta, imipramine, buspar) and other drugs. They did exactly the same thing. They numbed me out, made me a zombie.

    Since I also have ADD I was treated for that as well. When I was put on Adderall it changed my life. I thought amphetamines were the solution to all my problems. Suddenly I had passion again. I wasn't so shy anymore. For the first time I felt unashamed to open up to people. My sugar cravings disappeared. And the stomach pains were gone (probably because I ate so little, I guess). I shed weight like crazy. For the first time ever I actually wanted to exercise. For about 6 to 9 months I felt almost terrific.

    And then it changed. I started to feel anxious. I retreated back into my shell. There was this horrible, extremely intense feeling of stress and anxiety in my body. It was oppressive. And I was cold. It felt like my legs were packed in ice. My libido was gone. I developed an extreme sensitivity so sound (misophonia). You know how everything sounds louder when you're on the verge of sleep? Imagine that amplified by a factor of 100. Even the quietest sounds were incredibly painful. Especially high-frequencies.

    But I still clung to the idea that stimulants would save me. I was switched from Adderall to Dexedrine, Modafinil, Straterra and Vyvanse but in the end I realized that they just wouldn't work anymore. It was a one-time deal. They all made me feel so anxious and cold. I spent summers shivering under my blankets. I had lost all passion and couldn't concentrate. I thought it had something to do with amphetamines activating stress hormones. I convinced my doc to try me on a more specific dopamine agonist (Mirapex) in the hopes of getting my passion back without the speed rush, only to get exactly the same symptoms as amphetamines. I took two doses and that was it.

    It's been about 9 months since I've been off stimulants. It took at least 6 months for the anxiety to subside. It was an extremely slow process and I still have some symptoms. My legs are still cold all the time but I've been warming up. The sound sensitivity is much reduced. Gradually I'm working the junk out of my system.

    I'm calmer now, but also completely listless. Nothing gives me pleasure. I don't want to do anything. I have no ability to concentrate. I'm also back to being so reserved and withdrawn that I barely leave the house. I used to have such passion and many interest but now everything feels like a chore and I just find myself reading all day. That's all I have the energy for these days. I've been overcome by fatigue and sleep is totally unrefreshing. I'm just so tired all day. Everything feels so impossibly hard, yet I'm not depressed. My thoughts aren't negative and I have hope for the future.

    My GP prescribed a number of supplements to fill various deficiencies (zinc, niacin, iron) and B-12 complex injections (to get my homocysteine down, I think) but nothing's helped me. I've also done experimenting of my own with various things, mostly for my stomach (like peppermint oil and betaine HCL, for example). I've also tried thyroid. Both cytomel and later dessicated porcine thyroid (from Nutrimeds) but stopped taking it when it made me feel sick and nauseous.

    I was hoping people here who understand Ray Peat's work can help me make sense of all this. Clearly I have problems with my gut and high serotonin which was exacerbated by SSRIs. I've started eating the carrot salad and it was an eye-opening experience. I felt things I haven't felt in years. But it only lasts a few hours at best and doesn't give me any energy or motivation but the results are encouraging.

    I hope I can find some answers here. There are so many questions I have. I want to understand what's happened to me and how to change it, how to get back to the way things were when I was happy and productive.
     
  2. HDD

    HDD Member

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    Welcome sa230e!
    I have children around your age and a son that has depression/anxiety and is on an ssri. It has been a long road for him as I can see it has been for you. The good thing is you are trying to get well. Our bodies are so complex and yet amazing in the ability to heal.
    If you are choosing to take your health into your own hands, you need to learn. Ray Peat's articles are a wealth of knowledge. They all have important relevant information. Reading and learning is huge! Someone once said that there is a big learning curve in the beginning. I learn something every time I endeavor to read his work.
    There are threads on this forum that can help you to understand and apply Ray Peat's recommendations. And many forum members that are very knowledgable and helpful.

    Nutrition is very important! This should be your first step. This will take time, so try not to get discouraged and give up if you don't see immediate results. This link should help:
    viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20

    See you around! :D Diane
     
  3. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    sa230e, welcome to the forum. :welcome

    Thank you for sharing your story. As you are probably aware it would seem that most of the issues you talk about could come from a busted metabolism.

    If you were me. I would do my best to get the diet suggestions going. Making sure to lower endotoxin as much as possible by leaving out starches. Getting adequate protein, enough carbs, some good saturated fats. Work on bringing my salt intake up. I would also check into what Ray Peat says about supplementing thyroid. A thyroid supplement gives the biggest push, but you definitely need to have a sound diet to back it up. Some foods work for others and some don't so you just have to work through that part on yourself. But definitely lose all grains, beans, seed oils, and PUFA laden foods.

    Oh and I try to get as much sunlight as possible without burning of course. If sunlight is not available then I get it from heat lamps, incandescent and halogen lighting.

    I am sure I have missed something but hopefully others will chime it.

    Hope you find the relief you are looking for!
     
  4. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    Well, I've switched to coconut oil for all my cooking. It's great stuff. I've been trying to cut down on the PUFA for quite a while but it's not easy. It's everywhere. Plus I have a very big weakness for peanut butter.

    I have strong reservations about going off starches. They're my main source of carbohydrates because they don't bother my stomach much. I get major stomach problems when I eat more than a limited amount of sugar. I can't see getting most of my carbs from sugars. At least not until I clean out my gut (I suspect SIBO but have not been tested), hence the carrot salad and all the supplements. That said, I've been gluten free for well over a year and it hasn't done a thing for me. I think I have major problems with sugars so I've been trying to get more protein as a percentage of my calories lately. Although my GP won't take it seriously I have reason to believe I have reactive hypoglycemia. I have most of the symptoms and the blood glucose tests seem to back it up.

    Glucose challenge 75g
    Fasting blood glucose: 4.6 mmol/L
    Glucose 2 HR: 3.8 mmol/L

    That doesn't seem like normal glucose tolerance to me.

    All my GP would say is to eat many small meals a day which hasn't worked well for me. I've tried to get it from meat as I find refined protein products make me anxious.

    I've already tried supplementing thyroid. I was on 15mcg/day of Cytomel for a while which did nothing (to be fair I was coming of amphetamines at the time) and later got up to 1 tablet of Nutrimeds dessicated porcine thyroid day which made me feel quite sick so I stopped it.

    I'm most concerned about my mind and neurotransmitters, though. Particularly serotonin and dopamine. I can deal with problems with my body but when your brain doesn't work it makes life impossible. Especially when you're a computer programmer. I spent the last year just totally jacked on speed. I'm calm now and it's a huge relief but I'm totally listless. At the very least I just want to get some coding done.
     
  5. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Serotonin, estrogen, endotoxin, PUFA ,Iron all these are strongly connected. You really cant focus on one factor without balancing all other co-factors. Did you have low iron saturation index when your doc prescribed you iron?
    Excess iron, sepecially from supplement, is a major oxidant. Stomach is the main source of serotonin and endotoxin, which promotes estrogen. PUFA and estrogen amplify each others influence. It seems like you have hypoglycemia problem. One of the major cure for this is sugar containing fructose. What do you mean by sugar? Table sugar or fruit sugar in juice? Fiber in most fruits causes gut irritation. Avoidance of PUFA is one of the major recommendation in Ray Peat guideline. He recommends daily PUFA consumption should be below 4 grams. It takes about 3-4 years for body to get rid of PUFA once someone start strictly avoiding PUFA. Someone lean with good metabolism can remove PUFA in a shorter period. If you post a sample of your daily diet it would be easier for others to get a clear idea.
    Raw carrot salad or cooked bamboo shoot instantly helps with lowering serotonin and estrogen.
     
  6. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    I don't know what an iron saturation index is so I guess I can't answer that. I think it might have had something to do with anemia caused by low B-12 levels? I really don't know why he prescribed it. This is the stuff he prescribed http://www.douglaslabs.ca/pdf/pds/7035.pdf (2 per day). I don't know if I'm absorbing it properly. It seems to turn my piss bright fluorescent yellow, almost green when I take it. Last visit he suggested upping it to 3 or 4.

    By sugar I mean sucrose, in any form, table sugar, juice , anything. HFCS seems to do the same. Too much of any sugar seems to give me an upset stomach and if it doesn't give me stomach problems it still makes me hypo.

    Dairy is the worst. I can't tolerate milk or cheese at all.

    Will it take 3-4 years to see any benefit then?

    I've been doing the carrot salad for a few days now first thing in the morning. At first it really did have an effect on my mood but now nothing. I'll continue as it can't hurt. If it cleans you out, that's probably a good thing.
     
  7. j.

    j. Guest

    I started seeing notable benefits of avoiding PUFAs 3 months after I started.
     
  8. Swandattur

    Swandattur Member

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    The SCD diet uses honey instead of sugar. Have you tried honey instead? Have you been tested for fructose intolerance? I have had major depression and still have trouble with depressed moods. The carrot salad does help with mood for me.

    Interesting that the stomach would be the main source of endotoxin and serotonin. I wondered about that since the carrot salad can have such a quick effect. I wonder if it causes mood problems through the vagus nerve. I posted a study about serotonin in the gut and glucose metabolism in "Scientific studies" that seemed very interesting. It seems to go along with what Ray Peat talks about in his articles.
     
  9. Dan Wich

    Dan Wich Member

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    A big +1 to this suggestion. Other than T3 (which sounds problematic for you right now), I found tons of bright light to be the biggest "bang for the buck" for improving energy levels.
     
  10. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    Get the non homogenized PB and drain the liquid oil off. Replace with coconut oil. Stir, enjoy, CHEWING well. Starch is the storage form of glucose and must be digested in the mouth. Make sure you are getting enough potassium in meals with starch or sugar. Sometimes sugar intolerance is really a potassium deficiency. We use cream of tartar in our family to supplement potassium, as we were extremely deficient and could not get caught up with just food.
     
  11. honeybee

    honeybee Member

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    What were your/family's symptoms of pot defiency?
     
  12. Swandattur

    Swandattur Member

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    I woke up in a depressed mood a few hours after going to sleep. I tried eating some honey (it's convenient and doesn't stick to my teeth), but that had no effect. Finally I got up and fixed a carrot salad which made me feel better only briefly. Lots of times one or the other of these has worked for some depressed moods and for just getting back to sleep. Then I had the idea of trying some Alkaseltzer. It contains aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and anhydrous citrate. Anyway, that worked. Maybe it reduced stomach inflammation which might be a cause of depression? Don't know. Or the aspirin stopped the use of fat for metabolism? Maybe all those things together did that? At least instead of suffering with a depressed mood I now know to try some things to change it.
     
  13. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    According to my blood tests I'm not potassium deficient.

    I've been drinking more orange juice lately. Surprisingly it hasn't bothered my stomach much. I should say that even though I've noticed certain things give me problems it still is quite unpredictable. Sometimes I can eat things and it doesn't bother me, sometimes it doesn't matter what I eat.

    I have been eating more sugar lately but I don't really want to go too far back down that road. I used to be a total sugar addict and it never had the benefits for me that RP claims it does. Maybe that was due to PUFA intake but things don't seem to be any different now. I'm rapidly gaining weight and my acne is really coming back.

    I guess I'm just really frustrated and confused. I wish I had a straight-forward condition that could be easily treated. Instead I have this nebulous constellation of symptoms with no easily apparent cause and nothing seems to make a difference. I research them but usually I just find a bunch of articles with "coping strategies".

    I guess I shouldn't have just thrown all my problems out there at the beginning of the thread. I 'm always hoping that there's a connection that ties them together. Instead I think it just confuses people.

    Right now all I really want back is my passion. I used to be able get absorbed in things and pursue them without needing to eat or sleep. Now even simple things see impossible. Nothing is rewarding. I'm just in a place where nothing is possible and nothing makes sense. I'm ashamed of what I've become. I see all these people my age living their lives and doing great things and I'm just stuck in a rut I can't escape. I feel like my youth is already gone and I never even got to enjoy it. I can deal with the physical limitations but without my brain I have nothing.

    I try to write code but even thinking about it makes my brain tired. I just can't even force myself to do it any more. I just don't have the mental energy. I fear I'll never be able to support myself and hold down a job.

    I've been wanting to try Tianeptine for years but it's not available in Canada and I don't want to get into trouble with the law by ordering it from abroad.

    I have an appointment with my GP this week. I guess I'll have to talk things through with him and go from there.
     
  14. Swandattur

    Swandattur Member

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    It's fine that you gave a fairly complete picture of your health problems. People can help you better that way. I know what you mean about trying to find a connection between various symptoms. It seems likely they would be connected. Talking to the doctor seems like a good idea. You always hear stories about people who just kept on working with doctors and finally found an answer.
    You shouldn't feel ashamed for being sick. It's not your fault you're ill. I know having your brain not doing right is the hardest thing. I'm trying to work on my problems, too. Having insomnia lately and really tired. I'm not that experienced with all this, but I'll look over your information again tomorrow and see if I have any ideas.
    Actually you're not so alone. It seems like many young people have health problems. Maybe you are on the right track, though, with your problems being thyroid related. It seems as if Ray Peat's ideas should be helpful to you.
     
  15. Swandattur

    Swandattur Member

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    I did get good sleep last, and I reread this thread. Your story sounds pretty classic for thyroid problems from what I've been reading on the Ray Peat forums. People have given very good advice. It seems like you need to read and study the Ray Peat articles and maybe listen to some of the interviews. Start working on your diet. Try to eat more non-starchy fruit instead of starches if possible. Eat plenty of protein. If you can't tolerate dairy, then lay off on that for now. Maybe you can do the gelatin part. I'm having to make do without all dairy but butter and without gelatin, because of allergy symptoms. So, I'm just eating mostly beef and some shrimp and clams for protein. I do balance it with fruit. I try not to eat too much at a time. I try to notice when a food is a problem for me and drop them from my diet. Maybe later I will be able to have dairy and gelatin. Anyway, you just do the best you can within your own tolerances.
     
  16. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    Well I've started drinking OJ and surprisingly tolerating it pretty well. Haven't had any major stomach issues but maybe that's because I find I'm not eating as much solid food. From what I've been seeing, Peatarianism seems to be somewhat of a liquid diet. Most of the calories seem to come from milk and OJ. Or am I mistaken? I've switched from coconut milk (has carageenan in it) to lactose-free skim milk and it hasn't been bugging my stomach either. I also have the carrot salad every day.

    I usually feel best after a balanced meal with plenty of carbs (including starch), fat and protein. I just have to have something substantial in my stomach. I get kind of shaky and whoosy if I don't. It raises my body temperature afterwards. If I just drink OJ and milk and don't eat enough solid food I feel colder.

    I've been trying to avoid PUFA and doing better at it but found it hard to do whilst on a gluten-free diet. Many gluten-free alternatives are higher in PUFA than the regular wheat counterparts. I used to eat a lot of chicken, I'm trying to lay off it and eat more beef but it's getting monotonous.

    I'm eating less starch these days but I still eat it. It's just hard to cut it out completely. It's summer time and so I've been barbecuing and I have to have a bun for hamburgers. And I do like potatoes and rice. They shouldn't be a problem if they're well cooked, right? I tolerate them very well.

    A few days ago I did quit my gluten-free diet, though. I know Peat recommends not eating it but I'm just sick of it and it has had no benefit. I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac. I only went on it because I tested positive for the antibodies on a RAST test and as an experiment. I don't eat much wheat and what I have eaten hasn't bothered me at all.

    The carrot definitely did something for my mood at first. I felt alive (but not happy) for the first time in years. I felt like some things were starting to come back online. Then I started feeling depressed and now I'm just feeling flat. I wonder if the milk is to blame. Apparently it's high in tryptohan.

    My sleep has definitely gotten worse, though. I'm very groggy and somnolent for about 4 or 5 hours after I get up and haven't been able to fall asleep until after 5 am. Last night I popped a Benadryl at around 9pm to knock me out. I slept till 5am, got up did some reading and by 6:30 I was tired and fell back to sleep and woke up at like 11 and was still dead tired. It's like my body won't let me sleep during the night and be awake during the day. I keep fighting it and fighting it and it just doesn't work. This is how it's been ever since my teens.

    I used to have a prescription for Cytomel but I ran out and there's no chance I can get another prescription. I'm really leery about getting it from one of those online pharmacies.
     
  17. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    I am on my second batch from Mexicandrugstore.com, there are even cheaper places too. My only issue with them is their long shipping time, which is not their fault. My only other issue is my credit card gets blocked when I try to buy from them, but that's not their fault either, I just have to remember to call ahead of time to say I will be buying from them.

    It can be a liquid diet, but it doesn't have to be. It could also be a potato soup diet or a gelatin diet. ;) It going to depend on what you like to eat, what agrees with you and what foods you have available to you.
     
  18. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    Is it true that supplementing thyroid atrophies the thyroid gland so that you become dependent on it?

    The URL Mexicandrugstore.com seems to be nothing but a parked domain. There's nothing there.
     
  19. 4peatssake

    4peatssake Member

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    I think this is BS but I don't have an immediate source to back that up. I'll betcha Mittir or someone else does though. Meantime, I'm gonna go look. :mrgreen:

    It is My Mexican Drug Store but This is a Better Mexican Pharmacy to use. Much cheaper. Shipping does take a long time though but that can't be helped.
     
  20. OP
    sa230e

    sa230e Member

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    If I was to get thyroid how would I dose it? When I took Cytomel I was up to 15mcg a day which is the maximum the doctor would prescribe. I take it then that that's a conservative amount? What would be considered a "peatarian" dose?

    Also with regards to the online stores, I have questions. Is there someone I could PM about it?
     
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