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New Here - Would Like Some Opinions/Guidance?

Discussion in 'Cortisol, Serotonin, Histamine' started by armrunner1998, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I'm new here and have been lurking on the RP boards for a little while now. After having been going through an obsession with finding the "perfect" diet after an acne scare and chronic skin problems, and having gotten worse after trying many including Paleo, Keto, vegan, candida, and low-carb, I would love to get all of your's take on my situation.

    I'm a 20-year-old male. 6ft1, 170lbs, fairly slim and muscular.

    Was a competitive long-distance runner between the ages of 10 and 18, and was vegan between ages 17 and 18. I currently still try and exercise daily and do weight-lifting, HIIT, core workouts, and yoga. I do take a little while to recover and my joints pop often.

    Developed seborrheic dermatitis (itchy scalp and dandruff, redness and flaky rash in T-zone on face and occasionally chest) when I was around 16-17, but manage it with MCT oil and Head & Shoulders shampoo.

    I also have GAD and have been taking a small daily dose of the prescription anti-depressant citalopram (celexa) since I was 12 to manage it. Have tried to wean off of it multiple times, but always end up getting bad anxiety/insomnia as well as panic attacks after a while. I do still experience anxiety from time to time and am not the best at sleeping (often wake up throughout the night at random points, and have a hard time falling asleep without my phone).

    All of my blood, thyroid, and metabolic panel levels seem to be normal, but my Vitamin D levels have been consistently low for years (was 23 ng/mL in June, but I've been taking 4,000 IU daily since them so it hopefully has gone up).

    I eat a somewhat balanced diet including meat and dairy, but don't feel like it's optimal as it is now.

    Additionally, the only supplements I take are Vitamin D and a multivitamin (with iron). My libido is average for a 20-year-old male, I would assume, but I don't have the drive that I feel like I should, perhaps.

    With all of this in mind (and I know it's a lot, so sorry!), what would you all suggest I do in terms of diet, supplementation, exercise, etc from a Peat perspective? I'm just a little frustrated of researching a bunch of conflicting health advice on Google, even from trusted "authorities", and would love a bit of guidance in getting my health on the right track and possibly seeing what you all think about treating seborrheic dermatitis, anxiety, etc! Thank you so much! :)
     
  2. KennethKaniff

    KennethKaniff Member

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    First thing first, wean yourself off that celexa. Reduce your dose by 25% every other week until you are off the drug. It's very harmful.

    Are you looking for dietary advice? What does your daily diet look like now?
     
  3. OP
    armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    Ok... what is harmful about the celexa? Is it worth it if it helps me go through daily life/sleep and all?

    And yeah, sure! I generally eat a good amount of protein per day (100g or so) mostly in the form of chicken, eggs, dairy, and beans. I eat lots of sugar (probably around 100g daily, through fruit, chocolates, etc.). I also eat lots of carbohydrates (some of them starches like potatoes, rice, wheat, etc.), a moderate amount of vegetables, and so on.
     
  4. KennethKaniff

    KennethKaniff Member

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    You should read more about Ray's view of serotonin. He thinks the SSRIs are very harmful. Good start is this article:
    Serotonin, depression, and aggression - The problem of brain energy.
    You mention libido problems, which are probably tied to the celexa. SSRIs are known for their suppression of libido, even in mainstream circles.

    Your diet sounds good to me, except I would replace the chicken with red meat. Beans are also not a great food unless you have strong digestion. Have you eliminated the PUFA oils from your diet entirely? What does your macronutrient breakdown usually look like? You want to aim for at least 50% calories from carbs.
     
  5. OP
    armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    Wow, that was very interesting. I had always had such a positive view of serotonin and was always looking for ways to increase it in my body (eating simple carbohydrates, improving gut health/probiotics, exercise, stress reduction). I guess it's hard for me to reconcile the notion that serotonin is toxic to the body and yet it is something that is naturally produced in a body that is healthy and stress-free. And I do notice that my libido (especially the time it takes to climax and the incidence of random stimulation) plummets when on celexa. If it is this dangerous to use celexa, I would most definitely want to wean off of it, but I fear the anxiety/insomnia coming back. What would you suggest for this?

    And ahh, okay! That sounds good. My digestion is alright, and I don't eat beans often anyhow, but I can stand to eat less chicken and more red meat. Also, I have not completely eliminated PUFA oils from my diet (still eat fish and baked goods/cooked meals with canola or vegetable oils), but can eliminate those if that helps. My macronutrient breakdown is probably something like 20% protein, 20% fat, and 60% carbohydrates. I feel immensely more energetic, mentally sane, strong, and happy when I get at least 50% calories from carbs.
     
  6. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    If you can take a week off or so, I’d recommend spending some time thoroughly becoming aware of how each food you eat creates different mental and physical states.

    Becoming hyper aware of how food creates these different mental and physical states in me has been the best guiding light in terms of moving myself towards good health.

    If you can’t take the week off then just start becoming aware of the relationship between food, mood, and energy. Experiment with lots of different foods, and try and focus on traditional plates that any non-American culture would eat, Japanese, Mexican, African, etc...

    With enough experimentation and awareness, you’ll zero in on foods that give you lots of energy and make you feel good, and ditch the ones that don’t provide that. It’s an arduous journey for sure, but remain open minded and curious and it’s ultimately very rewarding.

    Def keep the sugar and carbs high tho, and try and find a way to include coffee in your diet.
     
  7. brix

    brix Member

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    Do you use mct oil topically? I have had seb derm for years and can’t shake it.
     
  8. OP
    armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    Yeah... that could help honestly. I have noticed different foods triggering different mental and physical states in me. Chocolate, for example, always amps me up (not in a bad way) and I can always feel my heart beating firmly afterwards for a while. Meanwhile, eating cheese curds or something fried will literally make my skin feel hot and will make me sweat. It's interesting, really... what foods have you discovered to result in the most preferrable mental and physical states after eating them?

    Thank you! I will remember to keep the sugar and carbs high. My brain always reminds me that that's kind of necessary, haha. What do you recommend about coffee? (I've never had it)
     
  9. OP
    armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    Yes! It's fungistatic (meaning it inhibits fungal growth without killing it off) so if you pair it with something fungicidal like raw honey, a prescription antifungal cream, etc., it can be very effective in maintaining low levels of the malassezia fungus (and thus preventing seb derm) while repairing your skin barrier! I currently use Biom8 (it's a formulation of MCT oil, sea buckthorn seed oil, and Vitamin E) on my face and scalp and it works wonders.
     
  10. Mito

    Mito Member

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  11. brix

    brix Member

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    Very interesting. I use mct oil internally, like 3tbsp a day. Will look into the biom8. Thanks.
     
  12. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    Some foods may be best in combinations as well. I could never eat cheese or eggs alone, but cheese/eggs with oj and some pieces of fruit makes for a very tasty and pro-metabolic combination in my experience.

    Starch in general depresses my system and sugar/fruit ramps it up. I’ve found that neither one is bad in of itself, but rather has to be used depending on how I’m feeling at the moment. Anytime I’m sluggish or slow, fruit/sugar/milk/coffee will speed me up. I do this usually without even feeling hunger pangs, especially if it’s during the day and I need to be sharp.

    Hardcore hunger signals usually calls for salt/starch/protein in some fashion. Fruit just won’t cover it. A heavy starch meal, while satisfying the hunger, initially provides energy in that my hunger is filled, but after an hour will cause fatigue. I just found a solution today that involves milk/fruit shortly after my starch meal to counteract that feeling. I eat a lot of canned fruit because it’s guaranteed ripeness. I can’t stand the grocery store whole fruit.

    I’ve on and off with social anxiety, but when I’m flying high on fruit/sugar/coffee, that anxiety turns into optimism about the future, my cognition is very sharp, I enjoy socializing and act very proactively. When I’m low energy, either due to insufficient calories or inappropriate food, my anxiety will manifest, or ill become fatigued, usually accompanied by slower cognition and socially awkward/autistic behavior.

    Coffee is just a great drink if used correctly, it keeps the digestion moving, metabolism running, dopamine levels high, cognitive abilities sharp, etc...

    However if I misuse coffee it can create heat flashes and anxiety.

    Everything is about context.
     
  13. OP
    armrunner1998

    armrunner1998 Member

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    This is all very interesting! Thank you so much for the detail you went into :)

    I guess I just wanted to ask, since you seem to have figured out how to use food as "medicine" and to your advantage, perhaps, are there any foods that you have found are completely unnecessary to have in the diet and that you have cut out? I'm a little uncertain about whether I should keep gluten in my diet. I have tried cutting it out before, and it resulted in an insane amount of anxiety and unmanageable energy that I think was a side effect of the opiate withdrawal. It also seems to contribute to when I'm in a fatigued state that is accompanied by slower cognition and socially awkward/autistic behavior, like you described. Peat doesn't seem to approve much of grains like gluten, so it's an interesting dilemma.

    Thank you for the information about coffee, also! I may have to start introducing it... have been hesitant to just because caffeine is a stimulant, and I'm already kind of amped up when I feel anxious, but if it keeps everything moving efficiently then long term it should be better for overall health (including cognition).
     
  14. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    Yes if you are already very anxious I can see how coffee could exacerbate that. I'm curious if you would feel anxious after a very heavy starchy, fatty meal. That usually slows the system down a lot. You might also want to try experimenting with bone broth soup that's been cooked properly, by boiling bones for at least an hour + with vegetables (onion, carrots, greens, celery), herbs, and salt/stock. Very tasty and I've found to be very relaxing as well. That with some potatoes (I personally prefer yucca much more over potatoes) can really do a world of good, but again, you'll have to experiment with a lot of different foods and macro ratios to come to what makes you feel best.

    I really enjoy the taste of pasta/bread, and usually I’ve found that taste correlates relatively well with health, but unfortunately with gluten I was misled. I would notice weakened nails and worse gums and teeth consuming pasta/bread, so I eliminated it. It did give me positive mental effects, but I couldn’t justify it with deteriorating nails, gums, and teeth.

    For all other foods, if I like how it tastes and makes me feel, I eat it, if I don’t like how it tastes and especially how it makes me feel, I don’t eat it. My experience won’t be yours and so only you can really answer that for yourself.
     
  15. tara

    tara Member

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    Have you had a go at estimating your average daily calories?
     
  16. fradon

    fradon Member

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    stop taking the multivitamin with iron. get iron from meat...best absorbable form of iron.

    if you blood panels are good like hemoglobin and hemocrit then you don't need supplemental iron. excess iron builds up in the body and is hard to remove.

    if you were a runner for a long time then it is possible you could show low iron because of iron loss from foot strike. but again all the data i have read says to avoid iron supplements when possible.

    excercise done too much can lower libido. thought it feels good to excericise HIIT and endurance training can lower T. the body begins to make more progesterone and cortisol and lowers the making of the DHEA AND TESTOSTERONE. excercise can also raise endorphins which are opiods and these kill sex drive also.



    most of your skin issues could come from zinc and copper as zinc and copper seem to play a big part in skin issues and even dandruff issues which is a scalp infection. also with all the excercise you do the zinc and copper can eaisly get used up for muscle repair and growth leaving little for libido.
    here is a video that kind of explains what i'm talking about. also iron competes with copper and zinc so the iron in your vitamin could be nixxing your zinc and copper.

     
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