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Coping With Histamine, Mood, Skin Issues And Beyond

Discussion in 'Logs' started by artist, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. artist

    artist Member

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    I'm going to start logging things in one place for my own sanity, records, and in the hopes that perhaps it could contribute to the body of knowledge and experiences on this forum.

    Quick background/timeline:
    • Dealt with depression, anxiety, skin and personality problems for life, worsened exponentially at the (relatively late) onset of menstruation at 15
    • Stressful and isolated childhood
    • Brother developed IBS severe enough he had to drop out of high school
    • I developed BDD during teens, escalated to anorexia/orthorexia at 18, became a vegan
    • Started to recover from that via various means including therapy at 22 but still struggled with some bulimic behavior
    • Tried paleo and found that I was less swollen, brain fogged, just seemed "better", but it wasn't sustainable, bulimic compulsions for CARBS increased
    • Came across Ray Peat in 2014 while living in sunny LA, began experimenting extensively with his diet recommendations
    • Realized conclusively I can't tolerate unfermented milk of any type (you name it, I tried it) but the main revelations were that
    1. It's important to eat enough, food should not have to be an enemy
    2. Hormones can be manipulated to my benefit
    3. Starch causes me problems that sugar does not
    4. Food powerfully alters my mood and overall wellbeing
    5. I have histamine intolerance
    • Tried progesterone (progest-e) one of the most important things I ever did in my life, had major reduction in anxiety, depression, tender/swollen/fibrous breasts, lower body water retention, retained those improvements even after stopping supplementation
    • Tried thyroid, results were mixed, still unsure I've ever been able to get the dosing on this right or if it's really the right drug for me. There was a time I was convinced this was a necessity, now I'm not as sure, but I have gone back on it recently (about 50mcg t4, 25 mcg t3 a day) since I moved back to the dark northwest and started struggling a lot with fatigue again
    • These revelations led me to experiment further for several years, to the point that I was able to live a more normal life and make a lot of progress becoming a well-adjusted adult. But I still haven't found a solution that truly stabilizes me and as a result I think I need to pursue pharmacological solutions more intently.
    Thus I've decided to really give cyproheptadine a go. My issues track heavily with histamine intake and I feel that the most accurate "diagnosis" one could give me is histamine intolerance. However, it isn't clear why I have this syndrome or what the root cause is. Either way, if longterm cypro is an option for me it'd enable me to live a more productive and even-keeled life. As of now I'm caught between several very restrictive diets and it's a problem for me as it makes it hard to eat enough and I develop deficiencies pretty quickly by my own observation. Obviously I also don't want to relapse into an eating disorder. Without being able to drink milk or orange juice, and struggling to tolerate starch without developing high serotonin symptoms, there isn't much I can eat without inadvertently sliding into a low carb diet. You might disagree, but consider that I don't have a lot of money and most fruit/juice sources make me feel extremely funky after only a week or two of relying on them, worse than the serotonin feel of starch. Orange juice feels satiating in a way that apple doesn't, but as a potent histamine liberator it is unsustainable for me to consume (it also did a number on my teeth along the gumline). I find that a starch-free diet makes it hard to hold onto enough sodium (not because I don't eat enough, but because it seems to somehow get washed out of my system), and salt is one of my main allies in controlling allergy symptoms. It just seems like no diet ever feels right, and I have had an increase in some symptoms over the past few years:
    1. My inner ears constantly itch to the point that it drives me insane (new symptom as of 2018)
    2. My eczema on my hands has gotten much worse
    3. I get pain in the duodenum area of my gut from time to time, sometimes chronically, usually triggered by high histamine foods or a long period of high starch intake
    4. I have chronic gastritis since getting food poisoning in 2016
    5. I had more cavities this year than I ever have in my life, lost significant enamel during my high orange juice intake phase. I have 3-4 cavities now and I had had 2 in my life, ever, prior to this
    I have more info to write but that's all for now, I wanted to at least get a place to started documenting how cyproheptadine is working for me.
     
  2. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    Has copper helped you? I have noticed some benefit, less food reaction, less pruritus, from taking copper in the 2mg to 8mg a day range. Taking a tablespoon of olive oil before large meals has also helped me. I am about to start trying supplementing gaba for this. The hair on my skin overall always feels hyper sensitive to even the subtlest movement, I can have trouble sleeping e.g. from the sensation of my breath on my arm hair, anti histamines help with this but do not fix the problem. Good luck!
     
  3. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    @Captain_Coconut i've been too scared to try supplementing copper for various reasons, but I will look into it deeper. I typically don't react that well to olive oil. What do you think is the reason for it helping you? I have heard it can increase DAO production.

    ***I must acknowledge that I reintroduced thyroid (synthetic t3+t4) and progest-e quite recently, and this will confound my results, but I am already very familiar with how each of these drugs affect me individually, and this is my first time trying them in concert with cypro. I am hoping they will synergize and also mitigate the negatives of each other. Cypro can allow me to eat enough to tolerate thyroid well, progest-e will allow my hormonal profile to be healthy enough to handle the extra calories in a nice way, and maybe also limit how large of a cypro dose I need***

    So far I'm liking the cyproheptadine. I'm taking this as an opportunity to up my calories a lot, as I usually have a pretty weak appetite, and cypro certainly solves that problem. Hopefully under the influence of progesterone and thyroid any extra weight will go to desirable places, but it's a risk I'm more than willing to take at this point to become stronger. I think this factor alone (more calories) may go a long way in gaining benefits from this drug. I also am experiencing the focus, clarity and improved motor skills I get from other antihistamines like Zyrtec. Drawing and painting are coming to me easily, which is very important to me. Usually my brain fog is too severe and my hand muscles will feel permanently overstimulated, like I can't control my grip or the pressure applied to the paper.

    I definitely feel like I could sleep all the time on this drug but I am going with the flow for now. Paradoxically my motivation is much higher than normal so it hasn't been a problem to be kinda sleepy/daydreamy for the most part.

    My skin definitely seems softer and more even and moist (better circulation?) although I feel this effect isn't as pronounced now as it was the 1st two days.

    My face seems a bit more swollen but I expected that. I typically have quite a drawn, "adrenaline" looking face and body, and I'm now requiring my body to cope with a lot more food (ie. allergens, and starches) than usual. We'll see if this evens out or not. My undereye area however looks a lot less puffy than usual and less dark as well.

    My digestion is faster and more active.

    Definitely have the sense that my body is going through a total overhaul and I have no idea what to expect next.

    I'm taking around 3mg a day, experimenting with the timing still.
     
  4. Motif

    Motif Member

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    Ever checked out cbs mutation?
     
  5. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    Saturated fat typically promotes gut permeability and endotoxin, causing inflammation throughout the body, getting enough monounsaturated fat prevents this from happening.
     
  6. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    I hadn't heard of this before actually. So assuming I have it (I still want to get my genes tested at some point) the solution is a low sulfur diet? Obviously that's just from a cursory look
    I've heard coconut oil can worsen histamine sensitivity and I know fat in general promotes transport of endotoxin through the gut lining, but I don't think I knew that monounsaturated was preferable to saturated on this front.
     
  7. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    A few more quirky symptoms that might be clues:

    - Swelling behind the eyes that comes and goes, accompanying astigmatism that comes and goes. My eyes will be noticably bulgy on a bad day, I already have large eyes so that doesn't help. I think this is histamine related
    - 2 different minor yet strange skin conditions that my derm was not able to diagnose (!) as a child. Both went away within months of arriving
    - Persistent tendency to have all-over clogged pores (moreso than active acne) despite taken Accutane at 19 and doing everything I can to combat this
    - Tendency to somewhat hypermobile joints (nothing that crazy but I have dislocated my knee caps more than once, my thumb can bend all the way back etc)
    - Look younger than I am - seems to be associated with histamine intolerance though (or maybe dat low pufa diet tho)
    - Tend to have slow digestion rather than gas or diarrhea, in fact I very rarely have either
    - Lifelong bizarrely intense vinegar/sour cravings, not too bad these days however
    - Dad has multiple sclerosis and severe allergies, brother has IBS and anxiety, mom has social anxiety, depression, accompanying alcohol dependency
    - Always cold, can easily wear a thick wool sweater on a summer's day in LA
     
  8. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    Yes, my experience is fatigue, allergies, auto-immune, and depression symptoms flared when I spent 4 months specifically avoiding all fats but saturated. When I reintroduced olive oil and butter, instead of using coconut oil for everything I felt significantly better. I took 1 tablespoon of olive oil to break my mfa fast and it was like a veil was lifted, colors literally became more saturated and bright to me. If I recall there is some evidence to support the role of mfa in maintaining healthy levels of dopamine.

    Edit: There is some evidence to support that high carbs with sfa supresses leptin and dopamine moreso than a high carb with mfa + sfa diet.
     
  9. Motif

    Motif Member

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    CBS needs to avoid sulphate but after some elimination you can add it back. Molybdenum helps for sulphur issues too.

    I would try the diet
     
  10. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    @artist That is interesting about the histamine and looking younger than you are. I am in the same boat I suppose. Could you provide some more details on the theory behind that relationship? Re: juice, I had the same experience, feeling good for a week or two and then crashing on o.j., I also could not afford the best o.j. I have settled on cranberry juice cockail ... I also found that I do best with some starch and keeping sugar under 100 grams a day. If you suspect sulphur issues : pepto-bismul may be of use. This is against RP Law (chuckle) but high dose vitamin c, iodine and selenium may be helpful to experiment with if you haven’t yet. How do you fair with thiamine and niacine?
     
  11. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    After more research I decided I am going to try incorporating this. It's interesting because I recently had a really terrible allergic reaction to elemental sulfur that lasted multiple days - I had applied some to my face to try as a skin treatment and had an intense full body reaction, shortness of breath, swollen eyes, inflamed red skin. Even the slightest residue from that mask on a towel or anything else wound up reactivating the flare up.

    That's fascinating, you've inspired me to include more olive oil and see what happens.

    Apparently histamine causes the skin (and the body in general) to overproduce collagen somehow. I'm a few months from 30 and I regularly have many people including people who are 20 themselves, telling me I look around that age. I think I look aged, or just bad, in other ways though, but I definitely have no fine lines or loss of skin elasticity yet.

    How does Pepto Bismol help with sulfur? I noticed a sulfate ingredient in the bottle I have so I'm wary to take it now, but frankly I already love the stuff -- it's the only thing that helped my gastritis when it was really bad and it seemed to have a therapeutic effect.

    I find myself feeling very anxious and adrenaline loaded from relying on sugars, and I have the sense that my mineral balance is very fragile on that diet. I feel like I need loads of zinc, sodium, magnesium, etc just to maintain a baseline. On starch I don't feel as off kilter or like I am dealing with constant cravings for random foods/minerals. I don't avoid sugars but at this point I don't avoid starch either. There's seemingly a downside to every food and I have found longterm it's just better if I try to include some starch. I found that the yeast in bread is actually one of the main things in "starch" that I react to, and if this sulfur issue turns out to be meaningful, that would mean nixing beans etc. Maybe then I would tolerate the remaining starches.

    I didn't feel much benefit from C in my experiments but I haven't tried iodine or selenium yet. I'm a bit scared to mess with iodine...
     
  12. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    IIRC pepto-bismul binds to sulfur in the gut and helps with its elimination. If you are afraid of iodine, at the least I would try selenium. Selenium is equally if not more powerful than iodine but mega dosing is not at all necessary to get something out of selenium. 400mcg of selenium daily is a good amount, aside from helping with thyroid it also has some importance with dopamine.
     
  13. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    Oh okay, yeah I found this
    Bismuth: When Should It Be Used to Improve Your Digestive Health?
    I do have the magic indicator that I have a lot of sulfur in my gut according to him (TMI dark p00p from pepto bismol), he thinks it's a result of sulfur producing bacterial overgrowth which at this point seems as likely as a genetic mutation. I wonder if my sensitivity to topical sulfur is an indicator either way.
     
  14. OP
    artist

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    SIBO: Hydrogen, Hydrogen Sulfide, or Methane, What Is the Difference?
    "Most of the sulfur in the human body is used up by our cells and microbiome. Some sulfur metabolism byproducts are detoxified and excreted from our body as well. In a healthy person minute amounts of sulfur is converted into hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is necessary because it is an endogenous cellular signaling molecule, it is important for producing mitochondrial energy, it is a vasodilator, and in very minute amounts can reduce mucosal injury and inflammation. Hydrogen sulfide dysbiosis mainly occurs in the upper gut but can cause SIBO as well. Many bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide from sulfur and thiol ingestion colonize the upper gut. I consider the upper gut to be the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the duodenum. Upper gut bacteria may also effect and colonize the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and their ducts.13 14 15"
    This is interesting to me because I feel like my stomach/upper gut has always been the problem (vinegar cravings, feeling full quickly, always "eating like a bird" as a child), and I've never really heard people discuss particular bacteria as favoring this area other than H. Pylori. I find that any problems I have with food tend to arise immediately after eating them, and I get anxiety/fatigue relief from oregano oil within 30 seconds of having it in my mouth.
     
  15. Captain_Coconut

    Captain_Coconut Member

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    Do you burp a lot? I do. And it has become worse with Peating. I recently connected the possibility that my constant bloated gut is connected to a lack of GABA. My anecdotal evidence from taking gaba and skullcap so far is good, less burping and less bloating. I usually eat a reasonably sized dinner, 800 calories or so, but bloat so badly it feels like I ate twice that amount. All my attempts to fix this have sort of gone nowherre. It is a little early to say, but I think I may have nailed it with gaba.
     
  16. OP
    artist

    artist Member

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    Weirdly enough I don't. I don't get heartburn or anything like that either. Wish my symptoms fit a little more cleanly somewhere. That's excellent that you found a promising solution in GABA though.
     
  17. Motif

    Motif Member

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  18. Motif

    Motif Member

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  19. OP
    artist

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    Well @Motif et al. this info was so new and impressive to me that I actually abandoned ship on the original idea of cyproheptadine so I could properly test out the low sulfur/thiol diet. It made a massive difference immediately so I decided to stick with it. I am not sure if my sulfur intolerance is genetic or downstream from some other malfunction in my body. In my internet travels learning about sulfur I was led to the whole "vitamin A toxicity" idea that is trending now and I think vitamin A issues may also apply to me. There is no question that dairy does not agree with me and it could be a twofold issue of sulfur and vitamin A. Having taken Accutane as well as vitamin A (sometimes in large doses) the likelihood that I have a problem with vitamin A excess is high relative to most people. My current supplement routine now is molybdenum, liposomal vitamin C and (as always) magnesium, as they seem relevant to all my potential issues at the moment and relatively safe. I'm feeling much better and it's great because there is no side effect unlike the fatigue that comes with cypro and I feel like I'm getting closer to the core of the problem. I may also incorporate avoiding vitamin A into the low sulfur approach (or even as an alternative) although frankly the low thiol diet is pretty naturally low A (which makes me wonder...). The few times in the past I tried liver I was met with severe hormonal cystic acne (which I almost never get, I always just get "congested skin") so I never eat it and it's one of the few sources of retinol on the low sulfur diet. Beta-carotene is the only thing I'd really need to restrict (and maybe butter). I wanna see where the sulfur avoidance takes me though first. Main improvements are energy, mood, improvement in eczema and in eye health. Eye pain, floaters, bulgy puffy eyes and blurry vision are something I've dealt with in increasing intensity over the past several years. My face looks much better and I can actually see it clearly :D
     
  20. Motif

    Motif Member

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    Awesome!

    I bet a lot more people would feel huge improvement from it
     
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