Cortisol, Inflammation, and New Garlic

I started with a new brand of organic garlic a few days ago.  It’s like the experiment is starting over again!  Another round of swollen, tender lymph nodes, some minor GI issues, and re-enlargement of my spleen (or whatever).  Ray Medina has mentioned somewhere in his blog that different brands of garlic resulted in different bodily responses for him.  Targeting different bacteria?  More/less effective?  I’m just gonna go with it.  Currently doing the garlic only twice a day.  Mostly because it’s not such a big deal anymore and I tend to forget sometimes.  Yesterday I actually craved garlic.  Weird huh?  I chopped it up and put it all over something I ate.  Raw.  Maybe my new happy bugs are hungry and are looking for the prebiotic inulin in the garlic.  Quite a bacterial fantasy life I have now.

I’ve been reading a lot over at Ray Medina’s site.  He’s really got my situation nailed with his Inflammatory-Cortisol Ballet series.  I’ve only read it once (so far), but it’s like he’s talking about me.  It makes a lot of sense – gut dysbiosis leads to inflammation (um….hs-CRP of over 8?), and the body produces cortisol to cope with the inflammation.  I do have the classic metabolic syndrome/high cortisol body.  A nurse I knew once used to call it the “diabetic body shape”.  Fat accumulation around the waist, skinny arms and legs.  Anyway, because the inflammation is chronic, the high cortisol becomes chronic, which leads to a crap-ton of symptoms, many of which I have, including weight gain, obesity, high insulin level, insulin resistance and diabetes, high blood pressure…basically all the metabolic syndrome stuff.

I think it’s interesting that while Ray Peat and Ray Medina don’t agree about everything, they agree about a lot of things that no one else seems to say, mainly that chronically high stress hormones are behind the most common chronic ailments.  They disagree somewhat about how to treat this – Peat says to eat enough sugar and protein, get enough light, and eat a thyroid-friendly diet.  Medina says to eradicate gut pathogens, take probiotics, and eat a gut-friendly diet.  I don’t see why I can’t do both!

Still feeling very emotionally stable no matter what I eat, since starting the Great Garlic Experiment.  Depression seems to be gone.  My husband says he’ll believe it’s gone if a month passes without seeing it.  It’s been only a week and a half.

2 thoughts on “Cortisol, Inflammation, and New Garlic

  1. Hello,

    Very happy to read things are looking up! So interesting that you can handle starches again.

    I had a quick look at RM’s website and wanted to know if the prebiotic soluble fiber he refers to can be found in potatoes? I cannot take inulin (feels like sandpaper against my colon). Probiotics tend to hurt me too but I’m ok with potatoes – although, like you, starches tend to make me sleepy.

    I’ve been feeling like I have to get super restrictive to heal but I’ve done that in the past and my hormones go nuts… Anyway hope you continue to heal.

  2. Hey Marie – Medina does recommend a diet that includes starches (he give the Perfect Health Diet as an example), including potatoes and rice. So I’d have to say yes, from what I’ve seen so far. I know potatoes have both soluble fiber and resistant starch – more resistant starch if they’re cooked and then cooled. He doesn’t say much about resistant starch at all, so I think just cooking them and eating them is fine.

    Interestingly, starches don’t make me sleepy anymore. I think it really was something having to do with endotoxin produced by bacteria that are now greatly reduced in number. Whatever made me depressed was also making me sleepy.

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