…you’ve got nothing.
At the age of 44, my health is now starting to interfere with everything I care about.
This used to be a hobby…something fun and interesting to do in my spare time. AROUND my other real-life activities like work, family, exercise…
Now my health is making all of that much harder.
I had a really good opportunity to promote my business today. Things came up and got in the way, as things are prone to do in life. If my health were good I could have made it work anyway. It wouldn’t have been easy, but I could have managed it. I would have needed a lot of energy and focus, neither of which I have right now because of my new blood pressure medication, which is making me foggy, lifeless, and depressed.
I started on one medication on Monday….a calcium channel blocker called Diltiazem. My ankles started swelling and it did nothing for my blood pressure. I called the doc to inform her and she told me to stop taking that one and start taking Metoprolol, a beta blocker. Now I’m 3 days into this one and the side effects are worse – I felt like a zombie last night. Plus my ankles seem to be swelling again, but I can’t tell if that’s psychosomatic. And, as if that’s not enough, it doesn’t work. Blood pressure is unchanged. I’ve just taken one more dose – if things aren’t somewhat improved in some respect by this afternoon I’ll be calling the doc again.
I wonder how many people lurking and reading this blog are laughing and saying, “Yep…she poo-pooed the EMF boogeyman and now look at her. She’s so dumb. And now her health sucks too.” Yeah, well I still don’t think it’s EMF. I think it’s serotonin and I think the reason I’m struggling is because my body doesn’t tolerate starches, and they’re in EVERYTHING. They’re in cocoa powder, supplements, caffeine tablets – even when I’ve avoided starch, I’ve still been consuming starch in these items. I learned yesterday that bananas and dates contain a lot of serotonin. Not sure if my catatonia-like depression last night was because of the dates I ate or because of the new medication.
Did you know even confectioner’s sugar contains starch? That’s right…some sugar contains starch.
I’m beginning to think that ALL of my problems are related to high serotonin, and my high serotonin is related to starch intolerance. The best I’ve ever felt in my life was when I gave up most starches (didn’t even know about the hidden ones yet) and ate sugar – finally I had energy (carbohydrates) and no starches to pull me down again. And seriously, aside from followers of Ray Peat, who would try this? How many people EVER IN ALL THE LAND actually eat a ton of sugar and eat no starches? First of all, it’s friggen hard to avoid them because they’re in everything processed and even when following a whole food diet, they’re so darn delicious. Second, EVERYONE IN ALL THE LAND says that sugar is bad. It’s a foregone conclusion now – people don’t even feel the need to provide citations for this stuff anymore. “Sugar is bad.” Everyone in the room nods. Duh, of course it is. So I (and other Peatarians) might be the ONLY people IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD to know that starch intolerance is not the same as carbohydrate intolerance.
Here’s what I think most people do (and indeed, it’s what I did): They feel like crap and they’re overweight and showing early signs of chronic illness. They hear low-carb or Paleo will cure it all – lower blood sugar, less inflammation, weight loss. What could go wrong? So they try low carb. Some people are turned off by the fact that their energy is sapped within 2 days (about how long it takes a healthy person to burn through their glycogen) and give up. Those of us persistent, determined, or desperate enough persevere, and eventually our body gives up signaling us to eat carbs and we begin living on adrenaline and cortisol. Feels good at first! Energy! Plus, if you have an intolerance to some (or all) carbohydrates because of an enzyme deficiency (or gluten sensitivity/celiac, or whatever) you feel SO MUCH BETTER. Not because low carb is the way to go but because the offending substance is gone from your diet. Inflammation drops, Jack Kruse pats you on the back, and you keep going. Weight’s dropping too – yay! “Low carb FOREVAH!” you say.
Until other things start failing. Your TSH starts climbling, you’re cold all the time and your sleep starts to suffer. Weight loss plateaus. You say, “I must be eating too many carbs! I’ll reduce them again because that’s what worked last time!” So you cut down from 30g of carbohydrate a day to 20 or 10. Pretty soon you eliminate vegetables and start eating weird things like animal hearts and fish heads. You try to convert everyone you know, because you’re sure this is the path to health! It has to be! It worked for a while! I must be doing it wrong now!
You get tired. People on the interwebs say you have “Adrenal Fatigue.” No you don’t. You need carbohydrates. EAT SOME HONEY ON A SPOON. GO! DO IT NOW! You’ll feel better.
Anyway, I did all that. Did it for years. Got really hardcore in 2012, eliminated every last shred of carbohydrate except for some veggies. Got cavities in my teeth from malnutrition – first ones since I was about 8 years old. Tired, stressed, a mess. So I found Ray Peat – he said to eat carbs. I ate them. Started adding starches, sugar, whatever. After experimenting I’m learning that for ME, sugar = feel good, starch = feel bad. Low carb felt good, not because I was doing the right thing for my body but because I was avoiding something I was intolerant to.
I think my starch-eating experiment in May completely raised my serotonin level. I break down and cry so easily now. I never feel really happy, even when I avoid all starch (even the hidden ones). I’ve been drinking black tea and matcha green tea, both of which contain theanine, which lowers serotonin, but I suspect they don’t lower the serotonin produced by the body, just the brain’s ability to receive or recognize it. I say this because they do lift my mood a bit, but the effect wears off after an hour or two, and then I’m back in the middle of it again.
I think the only thing that will really work for me is to avoid all starches. My new medication comes as a tablet containing starch. Check it out:
The tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, sodium starch glycollate, colloidal silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, talc, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol and polysorbate 80. In addition, 50 mg tablet contains D&C Red #30 Aluminium Lake and 100 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue #2 Aluminium Lake as coloring agents.
Seriously? My white 50mg tablet contains red dye?
I guess I’ll use one of these enzyme supplements I just got every time I take it. I’m still considering taking cyproheptadine or some other serotonin antagonist, but I’m not sure it would be any more effective than tea, and it has a long list of adverse side effects. Probably the best thing to do is just avoid starch, and over time maybe my serotonin will drop as my intestinal tract is given a rest.
I”m so tired of being tired and depressed.
Oh and by the way…I had a dentist appointment a couple days ago. No new cavities. After months of sugar and orange juice. The dental hygienist, right after telling me that sugar and orange juice cause cavities, told me she was “prone to cavities” and had just had one filled. I told her to try vitamin K. She sounded excited about it.
Ray Peat, right again.