Welcome to Lanie’s House of Surly. I seem to have taken a turn from depressed to irritable. Two sides of the same coin, I suppose. At least this way I can get some things done. Depression sucks.
Know what else sucks? High blood pressure. It seems to me, after a month of being on beta blockers, including a failed attempt to get off of them, that they do nothing for me and I can manage this bitch completely by better managing my intake of minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium). I just took my blood pressure. 159/91. That’s on beta blockers, and with NOT watching mineral intake for a week. (And my meter measures low, by the way.) That’s eating a generally healthy diet, not using the salt shaker, but not being so obsessive about it that I avoid all food that contains sodium. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and I think I’m going to be informing her that it is NOT “fine to just stop taking [beta blockers]” after taking them for only 3 weeks, and that I’d like a diuretic instead. As well as a better plan to get off of these physically addictive craptastic pills without sending my adrenaline and blood pressure to the moon.
I’ve been reading Ray Medina’s blog lately. Very interesting stuff, and he seems to be just a regular person – not a scientist or a doctor – just a guy who has done a ton of his own research on the role of gut bacteria in health. Just like Ray Peat seems to think everything comes back to the thyroid, Ray Medina blames the ills of society on pathogenic gut bacteria. I don’t know who’s right, but RM makes a lot of sense. He seems to recommend a gut-healthy diet, something along the lines of Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet, which is basically Paleo plus “safe starches”. Yeah, I tried eating “safe starches” and I haven’t felt happy since. After spending hours reading his blog and not finding answers to my specific issues, I wrote to him to ask:
Q: Is there such thing as a pathogenic bacteria that may cause an endotoxin problem only in the presence of starches?
A: Interesting question.
Gut pathogens, like most living organisms, utilize glucose and iron for their metabolism, although not all. Lactobacillus bacteria, for example, do not require iron for growth. Other pathogens like Candida can utilize both glucose and ketones for their metabolism. I suspect this is why so many low-carb dieters are beset by yeast infections even when glucose intake is low.
It’s impossible for me to tell whether your problem is caused by bacteria or yeast. It may be one, the other, or both.
We know that lipopolysaccharides can initiate the inflammatory cascade that results in depression. Translocation of these types of gram-negative bacterial components to systemic circulation is dependent on their concentration in the gut, whether they are kept in check by beneficial bacteria, the condition of the mucus that coats the digestive tract, the state of the cells lining the gut wall, and the tight junction proteins that bind them together.
He states on his site that he’s not all about giving people medical advice, so I was pretty happy he even wrote back. What I take from his answer is that lipopolysaccharides (LPS, also known as endotoxin) can cause depression. Various factors, such as the balance of good bacteria vs. bad and gut leakiness have a lot to do with whether they become problematic. Ray Peat says basically the same thing, and recommends eating a raw carrot salad daily to address this (antibacterial carrot + oil + vinegar). Ray Medina stated also that yeast may be playing a role.
Who the hell knows.
I’m not sure what to do about this. Medina recommends a probiotic (he has his own, the production of which has been discontinued) and there are others he seems to think highly of. None are the soil-based probiotics recommended by Nikoley and crew. The challenge with probiotics seems to be getting the microbes to survive the stomach acid, which kills most of what we ingest. I ordered one of the last 5 bottles produced by Medina himself. Add it to the collection.
In other news, I got a Fitbit Flex for my birthday yesterday. I’ve walked 7800 steps today. That doesn’t include the steps during which I was pushing a stroller, because apparently it doesn’t count those. Awesome.
Ok, I’ve lost interest in writing. Time to go be surly somewhere else.