Depression and Labs

Long one today…

The probiotic part of my plan hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs.  Most recently there have been more downs.  I started taking Prescript Assist a couple weeks ago.  It gave me headaches, poor sleep, and sugar cravings.  So I stopped it, and all of that went away.  In the meantime I started taking some other probiotics I had lying around (which absolutely did NOT interfere with my new baseline of fabulous).  Unfortunately I ran out of those and they’re no longer being manufactured. I tried adding in the Prescript Assist again gradually this past week – first once a day, then twice a day.  Poor sleep again, and sugar cravings again.  No headaches though.

And then…I seem to be be having a bad reaction to my bionic fibers. My functional med practitioners recommended adding Inulin, Glucomannan, and Acacia fibers as prebiotics to nurture along the probiotics.  I have had a bad history with prebiotics, particularly inulin and potato starch, so I wanted to approach this slowly.  I started with about 1/6 of the recommended amount, and added a little more each day.  Yesterday – about 5 days into this process – I became very depressed.  I couldn’t stop crying at work and basically had to leave my office and go sit under a tree in the woods for a while.  That’s the first time I’ve felt depression in months.  I’m sure it’s due to the use of the fibers, maybe in combination with the Prescript Assist.  Dunno for sure who the real bad guy is.  Sugar cravings were crazy yesterday too.  I eat absolutely no sugar or starch on a day-to-day basis, and never miss it.  In fact lately I don’t care much about food one way or another except that it makes my hunger stop.  But yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about sugar.  I grudgingly ate some M&Ms so I could get on with my day. (<– Seriously.  There was no joy in it. I ate M&Ms the way some people mow their lawn.  It was just something I had to do.)

I’m beginning to think I’m nothing more than a ball of electrical impulses controlled by bacteria.  Acutally, it’s becoming quite clear that that’s not far from the truth.

I wrote to Amelia for guidance and she recommends stopping the fiber and probiotics for now and restabilizing.  I’m going to take her advice, but I may trial a different probiotic after a couple of weeks.

Ok, next order of business: labs.  I had some lab work done to measure progress so far.  Right now I’m a week shy of 3 months on the supplement protocol recommended by my friends at Nourish Balance Thrive. In general I feel amazing (yesterday’s depression being a ridiculous and unusual aberration at this point).  Let’s see what the numbers say.

Keep in mind, this is the progression of events in my world:

  • In 2012 I was eating low carb/paleo including a couple months of cold thermogenesis, not much exercise.  Lots of emotional stress toward the end of the year (11/2012).
  • In October 2013 I started following Ray Peat’s principles and was well into it by 7/14.
  • In February 2015 I went back to paleo – no sugar, starch, or dairy and started NBT’s recommended supplement protocol.

Current labs are in red.

We’ll start with my basic metabolic panel (click to enlarge):


The good:

  • Blood sugar – much improved with current program.
  • AST/ALT – liver enzymes coming down a little.

The bad:

  • Uric acid – higher than before but not out of range.
  • BUN/Creatinine Ratio is high now – showing signs of kidney strain?  I have been eating much more meat since I stopped eating everything that tastes good.
  • Potassium is low. This could be because of the hydrochlorothiazide I’m taking for my blood pressure.  Amelia told me to supplement potassium and I stopped doing it when the bottle ran out.  Oops.
  • Carbon Dioxide – Pretty low.  Ray Peat would be displeased.

How about the lipid panel (with some other stuff mixed in):

lipids other

The good:

  • Triglycerides are down (still high, but down).  Amazing to me that they could be so high given the complete lack of carbohydrate in my diet.
  • HDL up a little from last time but still not fabulous.

The bad:

  • Cholesterol and LDL still high
  • C-Reactive Protein (HS) – still high.  I was really hoping that would have come down by now.
  • Estradiol low (don’t know if this is a bad thing, actually)

Thyroid Panel:


The good:

(…what’s that I hear?…)

The bad:

Let’s see, where should we start…

  • Reverse T3 is way up.  Stop the Thyroid Madness says my Rt3 ratio (the ratio of T3 to Reverse T3) is 12.5.  Ideal is over 20.  This suggests that T4 having trouble converting to T3 and instead is turning into RT3.  This happens under stress, from what I understand.  I’m not under emotional stress right now, which suggests I might be under physiological stress.  Ray Peat might be right about us needing carbs.
  • TSH is up a bit
  • T3 is down (But not free T3.  Don’t know what that means.)

And finally, CBC:


Nothing remarkable here, which I assume is good.  I don’t really know how to interpret the CBC part of the testing but things are all in range.

So, did I miss something?  Please feel free to share your interpretation of my labs in the comments.

So overall thyroid is struggling but liver and blood sugar are better.  In my current state of health, that’s the choice I’ve made up till now – I was warned that low carb might tank my thyroid, but I did it anyway because my diabetes was pissing me off.  So what’s the plan?  I probably need to start exercising so I can incorporate carbs into my world again.  So that’s next up.

Bring on the kettlebells.

6 thoughts on “Depression and Labs

  1. newtopaleo

    TSH up. RT3 up, LDL up, CO2 down. All whats expected from a low carb diet lowering your metabolic rate. Should reflect in your heart rate also. Nothing here should surprise you. At some point you should put some carbs back in. These numbers are the exact reason I dont recommend ketosis for anyone. You get short term gains for long term hormone wreckage. Honestly I havent been able to get back to baseline since no matter what I try.

    I am not convinced taking probiotics orally is a good idea. If you dont have motility issues I guess it might be ok. But fiber plus oral probiotics could just recolonise the small intestine which you cleaned out with the berberine and oregano oil etc.

  2. newtopaleo

    HSCRP has been the lowest in all your labs I think. So something was cleaned out of your system. Just not completely.

  3. Thanks for reminding me that low CO2 is bad. I’ve edited the post to reflect that. Nothing is too surprising, as you said.

  4. Thanks for the tip and the link, Beno. . I’ll run it by my gurus and see if they think it’s appropriate to add to the list of supplements I’m taking. Do you know anyone who has personally benefitted from Turmeric?

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