Crazy Train

All Aboard the Crazy Train.  Guess who’s conducting.

I’ve had some stressful things come up.  I’ve been crying and worrying.  I thought all the crying and worrying was because of the stressful things.

Nope.

Let me back up a bit.

I was eating simple sugars as my primary source of carbohydrates for 2 or 3 months there, from January or February through April of this year.  Occasionally I’d have starches and I’d invariably regret it, because it would almost always make me unbearably depressed.  A few days later, after being off of them again my mood would improve.I realize this isn’t normal, and have accepted that there’s some bad stuff going on in my gut, including lots of serotonin being produced and released into the bloodstream when I eat starches. In March my serotonin level was 155 (range 11-204) – fairly high.  And that was on a GOOD day.  Hence, the depression that is always just under the surface.

Well I felt GREAT eating sugar, but it seemed that doing so was making some of my labs worse, so I decided to stop and to instead eat starches.  It was rough going – depression, irritability – these things became commonplace to me again, after feeling so much better for a long time.  There were some days that felt a little better, but in general I struggled during those few starchy weeks.

About a week ago I noticed my 4-year old becoming more anxious and telling me she’s scared of me when I yell.  She became unwilling to let go of me when it was time to say goodbye in the morning. She was crying more and was startling more easily.  I realized I had to stop with the starches again.  It was more important that my daughter have a sane mom than for me to have triglycerides in the normal range.  Today, at least.  So after 3 weeks of eating them, I again stopped.

I’ve been back to sugars again the last few days.  But I haven’t been able to regain that sense of calm.  I’ve been crying and sad – less aggressive maybe, but still depressed.  My dad is having health problems, which scares me, and things are changing in my work life.  I thought these stressors might be putting me over the edge.  It was in this frame of mind that I wrote my last two posts, and called to make a doctor’s appointment, thus giving up my quest for unmedicated health.

I figured maybe 3 weeks of eating starches had raised my serotonin so high that now I couldn’t cope with life. Today, while unable to concentrate on my work, I started researching Cyproheptadine, an antihistamine that Ray Peat says can be effective at reducing serotonin.  It’s not without side effects though – most commonly sedation and sometimes weight gain.  Neither of those sounded good to me, which is why I’ve hesitated to try it thus far.  Then I came across a thread from a month or two ago on my Facebook Ray Peat group.  Someone asked the group if there was a NON-SEDATING way to reduce serotonin.  One person suggested black tea, saying it was helpful for her in that respect, and a couple others agreed.  Worth a try, right?  I went to the store and bought some Luzianne iced tea bags – iced tea is double the strength because you’re likely to water it down with ice cubes after it’s made.

About 20 minutes into this cup of tea I started feeling like myself again – able to concentrate, to sit up straight, clear headed and emotionally stable.  Happy even!  What a relief.  Now I know the depression wasn’t due to life circumstances (though of course they’re on my mind)…because they haven’t changed.  They’re still there.  My dad’s still not well, and my work is still stressful.  But now I feel like I can cope again.

Black tea.  Serotonin reducer.

I know it’s not the caffeine that made the difference because I’ve been drinking coffee and swallowing caffeine tablets on top of it, trying to muster enough energy to get through the day.

Depressed?  Drink black tea.

I’m so going to cancel that doctor’s appointment.

Hope

So what’s been going on the last two days?

The Good (I’m really excited about the Good):

  • I found a physician’s assistant (PA) that does BHRT using the Wiley Protocol.  Her office is about 2 hours away from me  The best part about it is that she’s covered under my insurance!  I didn’t expect that.  Maybe this won’t be as expensive as I thought it would be.  The other awesome part is that I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  I don’t know yet if she has a problem doing BHRT for someone who is still menstruating (Dr. K thought this might be an obstacle for me).  I do have an email in to her so I hope to hear back before I make the trek over there.  I’m glad I put a hold on the CT – if new labs are ordered I want them to be real…not swimming with estrogen from detox.  In fact, I may not have stopped soon enough.
  • Stressors are gradually exiting my life. We just got rid of a car I didn’t like (it was a gas hog) and bought a used Prius.  Yeah!  Sell house – check.  Sell car – check.  Find more time in the day to get things done – check.  Start doing yoga – hm…maybe today.  Get consulting work done – er…avoid.
  • My food journal has been really helpful.  The most useful part is the checking in an hour or two after eating to see how I’m feeling.  I didn’t used to do that, and now I’m identifying patterns I might have missed before.  Examples:  Dairy = GI issues, I’m tired after most meals, regardless of the quality of food (hello, adrenal fatigue), and green tea makes me hungry.  Hm.  Very interesting.
  • Got the Hormones webinar working over at Dr. Kruse’s site.  It’s really pretty chock full of information.  Haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing yet.  Maybe today during Baby’s nap.

The Bad

  • My blood sugar started climbing again as soon as I stopped doing CT.  It’s now over 100 again.
  • I’ve really started paying attention to the ways in which I’ve come to accommodate adrenal fatigue.  I just take a caffeine pill every day…as if that’s normal.  IT’S NOT NORMAL TO NEED STIMULANTS IN ORDER TO FUNCTION.  Oh sorry…didn’t mean to yell.  Sometimes I have to yell at myself because I can be…well…a little avoidant.  Also, the hypoglycemia that I’ve been battling for the last few years – another symptom of adrenal fatigue.  I used to just eat my way through it and now I’m trying very hard not to snack.  I think the CT may really help with this, in the long term, and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  I also need to learn to manage stress…first of all by staying away from stressors, and secondly by dealing with it better when it’s unavoidable.  Currently I do neither.
  • I started chugging green tea (as Dr. Kruse recommended to me)…but I started feeling hungry all the time.  Like, 2-3 hours after my BAB I’m getting hungry.  I don’t  understand it.  I had the same experience when I was drinking coffee…and I’m pretty sure it was high quality coffee.  Nobody else I know gets hungry from drinking coffee and drinking tea.  Why do I?  I don’t know.  I asked Dr. Kruse on his forum why this might be and the answer was “stimulates cortisol.”  Hm…well, caffeine pills don’t do this to me, so it’s not the caffeine.  I don’t know…but I know I don’t like it.  Avoid.  I’ll probably go back to drinking water and take yet another supplement in the form of green tea extract.  What the hell…what’s one more pill.
  • Still having a weird reaction to putting a hold on CT.  Hot flashes and sweating mostly, but also crying about things I don’t normally cry about.  It is 100 degrees here so I don’t know how much that’s contributing…but my temperature regulation definitely appears to be off.  It’s like my body is saying, “I’m ready to go!  Where’s the water!”

Time to go and enjoy the 5 more minutes of me-time before Baby wakes up.

I’m really excited about Tuesday!  I hope the PA will work with me.