Vitamin D versus Depression and Viruses

Over the years I’ve shared 13 posts where I mention vitamin D. It is that vital for good mood, avoiding depression, reducing risks of mood disorders.

A few times I have mentioned that it essential for the immune system. It is this that provides protection against viral infections and allows more rapid recovery. This morning I was reminded of this front page:

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Every cell in the body has vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D has a function in every aspect of the body’s complex interactions.
Vitamin D coupled with vitamin C and zinc are major factors in supporting the body against virus, bacteria and fungal infections.
There is not much money in promoting vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc, so we need governments to promote these as big businesses probably will not.

How vital is the “vital-amine” = vitamin D?

As of today I have decided to share more general, and perhaps more controversial, information on this web site.

Did you know, “Low vitamin D levels are linked to bad sleep.”

Doctors who study vitamin D are recommending the use of supplements that allow vitamin D levels in blood to be between 150 and 200 nmol/L (see this month’s WDDTY magazine). Such levels will help to protect us from viral infections, cancer and dementia.

With low vitamin D the immune system does not work, hence most people are especially vulnerable to viral infections during the winter and early spring. Most vitamin D supplements in the doses recommended on the packets will not provide enough vitamin D.

To be healthy it is best to have our vitamin D in blood tested and then take the right supplement to bring the level in your blood to between 150 and 200 nmol/L.

Sadly, in the UK, most NHS GP’s do not yet have this information. Perhaps ask your doctor if they read WDDTY magazine, to help keep up to date with emerging science.

Mood disorders are often due to deficiencies in vitamins and/or minerals

bipolar-vitamin

Getting adequate vitamin D reduces the risk of depressive episodes. This is a brand I have used. There are many other brands to choose from.

Regular readers here will be aware that I am not taking any prescribed drugs. I manage this largely by getting all the nutrients I need to have healthy chemical balances. My diet is pretty good, but my ability to absorb all the nutrients in my food is far from perfect. I use a few carefully selected supplements to correct for the deficiencies I have had in the past and common deficiencies that I want to avoid.

I choose the most natural forms I can and this helps me to avoid the most unnatural products from the pharmaceutical industry. However, it seems ‘big pharma’ continues to want to control and limit supply of the things we use that they have not patented. If this subject interests you then this blog post is well worth reading:
http://www.lynnemctaggart.com/blog/300-its-only-natural–like-in-oranges

 

Vitamins and Minerals Help Fight Off Diseases of The Mind and The Body

Vitamins and Minerals Help Fight Off Diseases of The Mind and The Body

All of the following has simply been pasted here from: Life Extension Magazine because I feel it is worthy of reproducing here and in the hope that more people will appreciate how much illness can be treated and often even cured through improved nutrition. This article was recommended by a reader of my blog who was diagnosed as bipolar and now says, “I am one of those who has rejected the bi-polar label and am totally off drugs for more than two years. I was on lithium and respirdal for just six months. It took me three months to get off the drugs (with the help of Truehope supplements). I am feeling 85% recovered.

I am not necessarily recommending any particular vitamins or minerals as a lot of research is needed to get the right supplements, whereas I have found that getting help with changing to a healthier diet to be the quickest lowest cost option for rapid improvements in health and well-being.

From: Life Extension Magazine

 Interview with Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

Hoffer: We ran it for two years, and then we did a blind follow-up. We had a follow-up team that would call the patients in every three months to see how they were doing, and at the end of the two years, we wanted to see what had happened. We found that for the patients on placebo, there was a 35% recovery rate, which is what you would expect from acute schizophrenic patients. The other two groups had about an 80% recovery rate. These results were very encouraging, so we ran another study, and another. Eventually, I did about six double-blind, controlled experiments in Saskatchewan between 1953 and 1960, and they were all confirmatory.1-3 Also, by this time, I was developing a good deal of clinical experience because I was also treating other patients who didn’t fit into our study.

By 1960, a large number of American psychiatrists had joined us, and by 1970, I think we had a collective experience of over 100,000 schizophrenic patients treated. The results were really good. They weren’t perfect-we’ve never claimed that-but they were certainly an awfully lot better than what you get today by simply taking drugs.

LEF: Have you been able to apply this to bipolar patients or other types of psychiatric problems?

Hoffer: Yes, we have. This was, later on, called Orthomolecular Psychiatry by Linus Pauling [American chemist and researcher], who published his very important paper in Science in 1968.4 For a long time, I didn’t believe that depression would really respond, but I began to see a large number of people who were bipolar or depressed.

LEF: I understand as your research continued, you also made some discoveries by accident in regard to this approach to treating certain cancers.

Hoffer: It wasn’t our discovery. We just confirmed what Linus Pauling had reported. The first observation happened in 1960. A retired professor who was psychotic was admitted to our ward, and I discovered he had cancer of the lung. He was terribly psychotic, and he was declared to be terminal. At that time, we were examining the urine for a chemical factor that has since been discovered to be crypto pyrole. I was looking for psychotic people, and normal people [for a planned trial]. When he came in, and was psychotic and had cancer, we ran [several tests on] him, and we thought we had a huge quantity of this product in his urine. So, I wanted to start him on niacin because I wanted to treat his psychosis, and I didn’t think it would do anything to his cancer.

So, I started him on niacin-1 gram taken three times per day with vitamin C-on Friday. The following Monday, he was mentally normal. It wasn’t really schizophrenia he had. He was in a delirium, and he recovered very quickly. Then, I said to him, “I want you to stay on these two vitamins as long as you can,” not expecting it would do very much for [his cancer]. He was supposed to have died within a month or two, but he remained well for another 30 months. When he died, we couldn’t get an autopsy because he died at a different hospital. But as far as I can tell, the tumor was completely gone 12 months after he started on this approach. On an x-ray, they couldn’t see the tumor anymore. This was one observation.

I had another observation in 1986; a woman who had a terminal cancer of the head of the pancreas, and she, too, made a complete recovery, and lived for 20 years.

LEF: Were there other treatments used as well, or was this the primary treatment?

Hoffer: By this time, it was a fairly comprehensive treatment because we had concluded by then that one or two vitamins wouldn’t be adequate; that this was a major nutritional problem that required a more comprehensive approach. By this time, Linus Pauling had published his very important book on cancer and vitamin C5-13 [additional citations noted]. So, having read what he and [Ewan] Cameron had written, and in my own few observations, I decided that I would do the same. Because I was well known as an expert in the field of nutrition, cancer patients who were told by their doctors that there was nothing more they could do, would demand that they come and see me.

So, I began to see more and more patients. And after seeing five that first year-and some of them did remarkably well-it gradually began to increase. Eventually, I was seeing up to 150 cancer cases a year. It’s not a cure. Every one of my patients also had the usual treatment, which consisted of either surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or some combination. But when the vitamin program was grafted onto that, they certainly felt much better, and, according to my data, they also lived a lot longer.

LEF: Should these vitamins be taken in combination, or do they have their own unique value when they’re taken individually?

Hoffer: Each vitamin has its own unique value. It depends a lot on the patient; it depends on their condition, it depends how old they are.

LEF: Do you find that they need a multivitamin, so that they get all the basic nutrients to work together with the megadosages of the other vitamins that they’re using for treatment?

Hoffer: I think one should do that. One should use a good, comprehensive approach, using the essential vitamins and minerals. Not all, because a lot of the vitamins we get from our food. But the B vitamins are the most important, I think [as well as] vitamin E, vitamin C, and maybe some of the others depending on what condition you’re treating. For example, I’ve treated a few cases of Huntington’s disease. I think that’s a double dependency of vitamin E and niacin. And when I put the patients on 4000 [international] units of vitamin E and 3 grams a day of niacin, they were the ones whom I saw got well. And this is a disease from which there is apparently no treatment.

LEF: When you say “vitamin E,” it has a whole new meaning to us these days because there are a few different components we’ve discovered now besides alpha-tocopherol. Which kind were you using?

Hoffer: The alpha-tocopherol. Four grams a day. I worked up to it. I started out with 800 units, and gradually worked it up.

LEF: Can you explain the risks related to the toxicity that exists in our environment, and how vitamin regimens can help ward off that risk?

Hoffer: I think that we are overwhelmed today with a large number of chemicals, which are present in our air, soil, water and in our food. I found that since we can no longer live in a pure world, the best thing we can do is to improve the immune system of the body so that it can deal with these toxic compounds more adequately than it has been doing, and vitamins and minerals are very helpful with that.

LEF: What is your opinion in terms of conventional medicine? Where does it fall short? For instance, why don’t government RDAs work, in your opinion, when it comes to nutrition?

Continue reading at: Life Extension Magazine

Lithium treatment damages more than just the thyroid ( #hyperparathyroidism )

Everyday I wake up thinking I will add to this blog. Almost every day I feel too anxious, weak, confused and a lot of other unpleasant stuff such that I write nothing. Day after day disappears and… well, my life is disappearing, while more and more people are being labelled as bipolar.

I am not a great advert for what happens when in recovery, but at least I am still here, which I am sure I would not be, had I taken all the drugs prescribed.

People who are new to bipolar are still being given lithium as a treatment without the potential consequences being explained.

It is a subject I have thought about for ages. I have had lots of blood tests… I hope one day to have more energy, get to the bottom of this and explain more about how much lithium treatment has affected me. Today, I have just enough energy to post the following which is from:

http://dbt.consultantlive.com/display/article/1145628/1544855?pageNumber=2

Note: Dr Pomeranz is not associated with this site… we just feel strongly that what he says needs to be seen, especially by doctors who come into contact with those being treated with lithium.

Hyperparathyroidism Resulting From Lithium Treatment Remains Underrecognized

By Jay M. Pomerantz, MD | March 26, 2010

Dr Pomerantz practices psychiatry in Longmeadow, Mass, and is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Until recently, I never paid much attention to the possibility that abnormalities of the parathyroid glands could be relevant to patients in my practice. But I decided to learn more about this issue when one of my patients with bipolar disorder who had been treated with lithium(Drug information on lithium) told me that she had been given a diagnosis of a parathyroid adenoma after her primary care physician noted hypercalcemia on routine testing. Since undergoing successful surgery to remove the adenoma, she is feeling much sharper mentally and more energetic.

Lithium continues to be the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It is also helpful for related diagnoses, such as schizoaffective disorder and cyclic major depression. In addition to watching out for the well-known complications of lithium treatment—hypothyroidism and decreased renal function—health care providers should be aware of hyperparathyroidism.

Development of Hyperparathyroidism 
The parathyroid glands are 4 small structures located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland, which monitor calcium levels in the blood and release parathyroid hormone (PTH).

PTH is a peptide that acts to increase the concentration of calcium in the blood by enhancing the release of calcium from bones. In addition, PTH acts on the kidneys to increase active reabsorption of calcium from distal tubules as well as to increase the excretion of phosphate, also leading to more free calcium in circulation. Finally, PTH raises calcium levels by increasing the production of activated vitamin D, which enhances absorption of calcium by the intestine.

Primary hyperparathyroidism usually results from an adenoma in a single gland, although other causes may be double adenoma or hyperplasia in multiple glands. Previous exposure to radiation in the facial or neck area and certain medications, including thiazide diuretics, may cause primary hyperparathyroidism. In some families, the disease may be inherited. Parathyroid cancer is an extremely rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism results from any medical condition that causes low calcium levels. This is most often due to kidney failure and the consequent rise in phosphate levels. Vitamin D deficiency is another possible cause.

The lithium connection. It turns out that lithium, a mainstay in the treatment of bipolar disorder, is associated with an increased incidence of hyperparathyroidism. Approximately 15% to 20% of patients receiving long-term lithium treatment show elevated calcium levels, although only a few of these patients also have significant elevations of PTH levels and clinical symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. Interestingly, lithium-associated clinical hyperparathyroidism is almost always caused by a single parathyroid adenoma rather than 4-gland hyperplasia.1

The first case of lithium-associated hyperparathyroidism (LAH) was reported in 1973,2 and many additional reports followed. It appears that longer duration of treatment is associated with an increased incidence of LAH.3Curiously, about 75% of patients receiving lithium in whom LAH develops are women, which is consistent with the overall higher prevalence of hyperparathyroidism in women and unlike the gender-neutral ratio typical of bipolar disorder and lithium use.4

Rather than considering the cessation of lithium treatment when LAH is discovered, which may or may not reverse the calcium and other abnormalities, the usual procedure is to surgically intervene and remove the offending parathyroid glands.

Effects of Hyperparathyroidism
When a parathyroid gland enlarges and produces too much PTH, the blood calcium level becomes high, bones may lose calcium, and kidneys may excrete too much calcium. These changes may give rise to symptoms and signs such as polyuria, thirst, fractures, and kidney stones.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with primary hyperparathyroidism include anxiety as well as cognitive and psychotic presentations. However, the most common presentation is depression with associated apathy.5 In a prospective study of 34 patients with hyperparathyroidism, Velasco and colleagues6 found that approximately one-third of participants had no psychiatric symptoms, one-third had affective symptoms (with or without paranoia), and one-third had cognitive impairment. Affective symptoms were most common in patients with modest elevations in electrolyte levels, while cognitive deficits were more often related to higher calcium concentrations.

Hypercalcemia. The severity of psychiatric symptoms in patients with hyperparathyroidism often correlates with the increase in serum calcium levels. Calcium performs a crucial role in nerve conduction. Consequently, it is no surprise to find out that some common symptoms of parathyroid hyperactivity and high calcium levels are related to the nervous system.

Other symptoms have to do with the muscular system, which uses changes in intracellular calcium concentration to initiate and transmit the command to contract muscle fibers. Improper regulation of calcium levels may result in muscle cramps and weakness. The heart is a muscle, and therefore its conduction system is also vulnerable, with possible shortening of the QT interval, rhythm disturbances, and even cardiac death.

The skeletal system not only functions as the reservoir of calcium for the body, but calcium phosphate(Drug information on calcium phosphate) is an essential ingredient of bone tissue. Consequently, a hyperactive parathyroid system contributes to osteoporosis and vulnerability to bone fractures.

When hypercalcemia is present, it is important not only to screen for hyperparathyroidism but also to rule out other possible underlying conditions, such as malignancy and drug-induced elevations in calcium levels.

Case Note
Already, early in the process of screening for elevated calcium levels in my many patients who are receivinglithium(Drug information on lithium), I have identified a patient with hypercalcemia and a markedly elevated PTH level, which may indicate hyperparathyroidism. She is a 50-year-old woman with schizoaffective disorder who has been receiving long-standing lithium therapy and is undergoing further evaluation by an endocrinologist. All of us are hopeful that her recent cognitive decline and mental apathy will prove to be reversible.

– – – –

After the virus – “Welcome to a Brave New World” – Of Good Nutrition, Greater Health and More Happiness

I said that I’d say nothing more about viruses. I know most of my followers here have a bipolar diagnosis, yet whatever diagnosis we have, or have had, we need good nutrition to resist viruses. A friend I just spoke to said the following is ‘too intimate’ to be sharing. Yes, there are risks around sharing anything. I hope the risks I take here are worth it and that you each will be able to rethink what you are eating and start switching from fake to real.

Dear Mum,

On the radio at 6am the announcer said, “Welcome to a brave new world”. Well, certainly things are different. It was then announced that there have been “No new cases of the CoVid19 virus in China.

What might they be doing differently in China? Whatever they are doing… IT WORKS!

On the internet, it seems to me that, hundreds of expert doctors such as Joseph Mercola have been telling us that when Chinese doctors started to recommend and use VITAMIN C the spread of the CoVid19 virus slowed rapidly and this is why they are getting over the crisis quickly. They say that South Korea have been doing the same and have slowed the spread.

VITAMIN C KILLS VIRUSES. It always has and probably always will.

How then can we share this knowledge with doctors in the UK?

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps, somewhere at some time someone has found a virus that can resist VITAMIN C? Have you ever read any scientific report on the internet or in any book that says anything about a virus that can survive in the presence of VITAMIN C?

There is the question of “Why do some people who take VITAMIN C daily still get colds, the ‘flu and people taking VITAMIN C sometimes do still die?” Well, if they have had a diet that is high in sucrose or have had consistently high blood sugar then they will need A LOT MORE VITAMIN C.

For many years Dr Thomas Levy and Andrew Saul have been two famous doctors, among the hundreds of experts, who have been writing and teaching about the different amounts of VITAMIN C needed. The more unwell a person is the more VITAMIN C that person needs.

If this really is “a brave new world” as the radio announcer says, then if it is to be a benevolent world then it is time the government, the NHS, charities and businesses work together to:

  • Ensure the people who need the most VITAMIN C receive the most, while explaining that people, who are healthy and not having foods with added sugar, only need tiny amounts. (I take just 0.1g three times a day.)
  • Help the charity I work with ‘The Public Health Collaboration’ to spread the word about benefits to all of a REAL FOOD LIFESTYLE.

Of course, VITAMIN C is not the only nutrient needed to be healthy and happy. By the 1930’s about 50 vital nutrients had been discovered. Nutritionists are aware of these 50 nutrients, yet so far, I have not met a GP, endocrinologist or any other non-nutritionist who can even name 50 essential nutrients.

I have returned to working full-time in my efforts to spread the word about healthy nutrition and how people can change from a fake food diet to the kinds of real foods that you had as a child.

Perhaps we, ambassadors for the PHC, need to bring people like you (ex-nurses, now over 80 years old and in good health) along to workshops to explain that illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes are optional. People can make healthy food choices once they understand which foods are needed for those 50 essential nutrients.

Love from Roger

19th March 2020

Everyone (even Dr Bruce Lipton) is talking about a virus. I’ll risk sharing my less expert thoughts…

  1. Does talk of a pandemic and self-isolation mess up people’s moods and make them more vulnerable to all illnesses and disorders?
  2. Is the following too controversial?

As Bruce Lipton points out, corona-viruses cause the common cold as well as ‘flu.

We have probably all been infected by corona-viruses, when catching colds, most winters, as tends to happen in our early years. As our immune system matures, if well-nourished and not too stressed we rarely catch colds or ‘flu.

The amount of harm any virus can do to us is related to our cortisol levels (as well as our nutritional status (i.e. have we been eating real food and taking any essential supplements such as vitamins C & D)).

To keep cortisol low; avoid stress and ideally spend time with friends or family and most especially we others who have a keen interest in health and longevity.

Here is a link to Bruce Lipton’s words being read by a man on a boat!. Why man on boat? …because I do not know yet how to link from here to his original article.

Believe in good nutrition then eat well stay well

I have been asked, how much our susceptibility to any illness or disorder is due to beliefs rather than to do with healthy nutrition/lifestyle. More specifically it was in a discussion about the latest corona-virus. Here is my reply,

Yes, beliefs are so very important when it comes to viruses. In my world, beliefs and actions go hand-in-hand.

When we believe we can resist the virus by ensuring we have daily vitamins C & D and zinc then we find a way to include these nutrients in our daily meals.

I accept that even the best food choices can be undermined by belief about diseases.

Beliefs that create fear seem to lead to greater vulnerability to all sorts of illnesses and disorders (including bipolar diagnosis). Mainly though, stats and science tell us that people who eat well stay well. Also, people who have been eating fairly well before an infectious disease or disorder comes along, in general, recover quicker, than malnourished people.

In 2018, I found a way of quickly checking my subconscious self-limiting beliefs then balancing those with empowering beliefs. To qualify as a facilitator of this modality of knowing and balancing beliefs I attended a course with Sharon Lock in Leeds, UK.

Here is a 3 minute video made during that very 3 day course (I appear, yet do not have a ‘speaking part’ 🙂 )

Would you like to hear more about food or more about beliefs?

Diabetes and Bipolar – How often do these go together?

Prior to all those medications (psychiatric drugs), how much was excess carbohydrate consumption badly influencing my mood?

I am not saying it was my number one stressor/trigger. I’ll share about that another time, however…

What was I eating and drinking prior to being assessed by psychiatry?

  • I ate bread and either potatoes, pasta or rice every day
  • I would eat a few biscuits and pieces of cake every day
  • I worked for a multi-national food manufacturer with access to unlimited half-price confectionery and with chocolate/candy dispensing machines positioned throughout the offices.
  • I drank lots of orange juice = 10% sugar every day
  • I was consuming semi-skimmed milk (fat reduced but still 5% lactose = sugar!)

Was I balancing all this carbohydrate with healthy dietary fat?

  • I considered avocados, olives (and organic foods) to be too expensive
  • I was minimizing use of butter, cheese and reluctantly ate lean meats rather than the tastier fatty meats
  • As a family we regularly fried foods in cheap non-organic toxic vegetable oils from plastic bottles
  • We ate ready-meals and fast-foods that arrived in plastic containers

I believed I had a good diet!

As a food scientist I knew what happens to animals such as dogs kept on a High-Carb/Low-Fat (HCLF) diet – they get sick!

I did not believe I was sick. I was a very busy person burning off all that carbohydrate my body did not need. I was not dying but I was not sleeping well-enough or thinking clearly enough.

My diet was depriving me of just about every key nutrient!

I was most likely short of vitamins C, B vitamins including niacin and B12, D, E, K1, K2. So much of the carbs I was consuming were so processed that they were nutritionally of almost no use at all to my brain.

Although slim, I was not healthy and am sure I was already heading towards diabetes by the time I was prescribed Olanzapine. Olanzapine being a drug known for its ability to increase body weight and make diabetes more likely. It even says this in the leaflet that comes with it.

I had to change diet to get physically and mentally healthier/fitter.

 

Reversing Diabetes / Diabesity While Keeping Moods in Order

On Olanzapine/Zyprexa (for 14 years) I was heading towards diabetes. Okay, so I only gained about 45 pounds in weight due to psych drugs, but then I was making huge efforts just to not gain more, while losing my physical fitness.

Yes, I have to admit the psych drugs helped me to stay in bed a lot longer, which was a blessing for my family. Perhaps, it was because I was so sedated that allowed my children to do so well throughout school and university. In fact, as I type this I am thinking maybe it was all worthwhile. Did all those years of poor health for me allow better health for those around me?

It was blood tests that left me in no doubt things had to change. Well, yes and no. It was getting up for a ‘pee’, twice, then 3 times, then 4 times every night that caused me to insist on the blood tests. By then my guts were wrecked, so I was lying awake in pain in-between the toilet visits. I was in bed a lot longer, but getting no more refreshing sleep than I had before the drugs or since I have come off all prescription medication. If we can go drug-free (and it is not easy and involves serious risks for many) then the sleep we get is so wonderful. To sleep like a child again is beautiful.

After the drugs my HbA1c measure of damage to my cells by excess sugar was just below pre-diabetic, even though my diet was good. Clearly, these days, good is not good enough when we start to look at food labels. I found the support I needed to cut right back on some of the things going hand-in-hand with my poor eating habits. I went without wheat and dairy for months, lost more weight and my HbA1c came down. I am not 100% free of wheat and dairy, just that I have most definitely broken the addictions and can now go for weeks without the tiniest bit of either.

The big dietary changes I made (and there have been many more of them) included switching to what a friend described as ‘single ingredient’ foods. Basically, if there is a list of ingredients just don’t buy it. I am mostly buying fruit, veg or anything that has no legal requirement for a list of ingredients. Yes, big business is not going to like anyone doing this as it rules out just about anything they can make much money from. It was a simple change and perhaps the main one for bringing my HbA1c down. Down by just ‘one point’… away from diabetes.

Then my HbA1c stabilized at a level I was far from happy with. By then I was working close to full-time as a health researcher and having to learn more and more about the links between high HbA1c and seemingly every chronic condition.

Please do your own research or ask me to send some reliable links to answer questions like… Is elevated HbA1c always a driver for cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart-attack, stroke, pancreatic troubles, liver damage, kidney disease… the list goes on and on. Only yesterday I was working with someone while we discussed how closely HbA1c might be linked with MND (Motor Neuron Disease). Excess sugar and lack of vitamins alone may never cause any of these, just that the evidence is piling up that if we can take control of our sugar and have better levels of vitamins in our blood (and balances between these vitamins too) then risks go way down.

The other big change I’ve made has simply been to stop eating at night. Now, it seems so obvious that eating close to 24 hours a day is going to be linked to weight gain and blood sugar troubles. For people taking high levels of Olanzapine the desire to eat returns every few minutes. On that drug, the only time I stopped thinking about food for more than a few minutes was while I was asleep, but sleeping more was not burning off that sugar coming from carbs eaten late in the evening and replaced within minutes of getting out of bed.

My wife said so often, “You’re always in the pantry”. I do not believe she was ever able to get her head around how a psych drug can effectively eliminate will-power.

I have set myself a new lower target for my HbA1c with a retest scheduled for just 8 to 10 weeks from now. I am going to work towards this by averaging a fasting window of 15 hours in every 24 hours. I’ve worked towards this by getting my gut as physically as fit as it can be at this time. Fasting 15 hours it is not going to be difficult as I am already feeling the benefits from skipping what I used to call breakfast and supper. I still have a huge 9 hour eating window and no restriction at all (for me this is) on calories. I can eat as much fatty food as I fancy, although here I am talking about healthy avocados, olives and a wide range of organic high calorie foods, with nothing at all cooked at high temperatures.

I am staying pretty much grain-free because it aids my clarity of thought, while making it far easier to avoid excess carbs.

Okay, I have typed plenty for today. If you’d like to know more about how my challenge is going, what I eat day-to-day or anything else do ask by email or through the comments option below.

Now, if you’ve not seen any of the iThrive series see if you can check it out. The link  below may only work for the next 20 hours or so. Just listen to what ‘Chef AJ’ says between 6m 14s and 6m 44s [[[just 30 seconds]]] and share this with anyone you love.

I am sure the experts can share a lot more about diabetes than I can. My approach is simple. Check out your HbA1c, research what probably caused your HbA1c to be higher than the ideal, then start eliminating the causes in a way that works for you. I am currently 100% sure that if you remove enough of the relevant causes your body will be able to move you further away from diabetes.

Finally, what has this to do with bipolar?

  1. Bipolar and diabetes have been linked many times. Mood troubles affect food choices and psych drugs can so often make things far worse.
  2. As I have been teaching for more than a decade, if you have mood troubles, so bad that you are getting a mental health diagnosis, then food choices so often have to be made with mood in mind. Yes, we can change anything about our foods, including what we eat, when we eat and whom we eat with, but we still have to keep our moods in order. Staying safe in the short-term is key, while keeping that long-term goal of lower HbA1c or whatever target you have in mind. Get support and get your physical health sorted at the same time as eliminating mood disorder from your life.

If video does not play click here for next episode: diabetes-bipolar-link

Thoughts on Zoe Harcombe’s ‘Food to help you live longer’ article

I have just read a recent article from Dr. Zoe Harcombe.

Zoë Harcombe

I am fan of Zoe’s work.

I do wonder though how this stacks up with real life experiences of people who are able to do veganism in an informed and sustainable way. Vegans who ‘do it right’ seem to be exceptionally healthy.

Information such as ‘no retinol in plants’ rarely get any consideration, yet should not be forgotten if people are struggling with veganism.

Some experts seem to have moved on, by considering whether some nutrients that traditionally have been thought of as only coming from animal foods (such as vitamin B12) could be supplied by a healthy mix of healthy gut bacteria.

Even so, I believe Zoe is making some very valid points that make sense when I consider how many people fail, health-wise, when they say they are adopting a vegan diet, while selecting the equivalent of vegan donuts! [not a good idea]

! ! ! vegan donuts ! ! !

For people determined to never eat anything from an animal ever again it is worth seeking good advice and (as for anyone) never stop learning about nutrition.

To read Zoe’s article please paste link this in your browser: http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2018/01/food-to-help-you-live-longer/

Best wishes

Roger

Stomach Acid 1 of 4 – Not just Bipolar Disorder #notjustbipolar

Not just Bipolar Disorder #notjustbipolar

Stomach Acid 1 of 4

When we get stressed, part of the fight or flight reaction is for our stomachs to make less acid. This is because it takes a lot of energy to make stomach acid and when we are stressed that energy is being used elsewhere.

Without enough stomach acid we do not digest protein at all well. If we continue to be stressed then much of the protein we eat will leave the stomach only partially digested. This is harmful to our health for these reasons:

  1. Lack of building blocks for good health:

For optimal health, then every day, we need enough of 8 essential amino acids that we can only obtain by digesting proteins. A lack of stomach acid is likely to leave us short of these vital building blocks for health and happiness. For example: Serotonin (often described as a good mood hormone) can only be made from the amino acid tryptophan. Failing to get enough tryptophan from our diet will cause us to feel less well as our serotonin levels drop. The medical intervention for low serotonin is often an SSRI drug (such as Prozac or Citalopram) however, without tryptophan you cannot make any fresh serotonin, which makes such interventions ineffective compared with improving digestion.

  1. Inflammation:

Below our stomach our gut has a sophisticated immune system. Its main function is to protect us against tiny organisms (especially but not only bacteria). However, our gut needs friendly bacteria such as those that allow us to digest enough vitamin B12. There has to be a chemical way for us to tell friend from foe in our guts. Every organism has unique sets (codes) of amino acids. Your immune system knows the codes for common invaders and will react to these often causing discomfort and inflammation. The trouble is that many partially digested proteins (perhaps most famously from wheat gluten) are mistaken by the immune system as invaders and so cause inflammation.

How does inflammation impact on common disorders? Reactions to improperly digested foods do not just affect the gut. This inflammation can affect our breathing, our balance, cause us to itch, cause blotches and almost always causes our energy levels and hence our moods to be more variable. Joint pain is also related to inflammation, so whether or not diagnosed with arthritis, the inflammation due to poorly digested protein tends to make us feel more pain/less well.

It seems that most people with the bipolar diagnosis have food allergies (and many may well have low serotonin due to poor digestion). Many allergies are mild and are simply described as intolerances. These may be put down to everything other than the true cause as most often the proteins causing the allergy are in that person’s favourite foods. For example: Protein in cheese is for many a source of variable moods, yet few cheese eaters will willingly give up eating cheese.

From personal experience I can say there are several effective routes for dealing with low stomach acid and through using these I can say the outlook is good. As we start to overcome low stomach acid and its effects then we can start to have more of the moods we want and need to be having. I will share what has been working for me and what I know works for thousands of others who have been diagnosed with ‘modern’ disorders and are overcoming these through improving their digestion.

For understanding allergies and intolerances I found ‘Boost your Immune System’ by Patrick Holford and Jennifer Meek to be particularly helpful

Roger Smith – www.rethinkingbipolar.com – article updated 29th June 2014

Better quality research is required

I have just received an email magazine where this headline is presented as if it is a new one, “BIPOLAR DISORDER ‘SHRINKS BRAIN’

Typing this into Google this turns out to be a small study from 2007 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6907050.stm

that seems to have been dragged up, perhaps by someone somewhere hoping the public will see it as new and worth re-reading?

This idea alarmed and worried people at the time, but then seemed to be untrue having only involved a small number of people and possibly not taken into account a lot of lifestyle issues, such as drug intake that may have influenced the results more than the diagnosis. Here is one of the places it was discussed at the time. You will see some people were upset by being told their brain would shrink faster.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/07/29/bipolar-disorder-shrinks-the-brain/

Professor Goodwin was reported as saying, “It supports the idea that cognitive function is impaired in bipolar patients in middle age” By saying this in this way, makes it sound as if this is a well documented fact. Where does this idea of impaired thinking come from? Those who so readily point out that Winston Churchill and Sir Isaac Newton were probably manic depressives do not seem to believe that mood disorders caused ‘cognitive impairment’ in the days before antipsychotics.

Through my work I meet hundreds of people with the bipolar diagnosis. In my experience those who take antipsychotics gradually have impaired thinking whilst those who do not take drugs continue to have ‘sharp thinking’. Now, clearly the people I meet are a particular sample and a lot of other things are going on in their lives. It is just that they talk to me about the drugs they take and over the years I have seen deterioration in brain function in those who take antipsychotics for long periods. Good brain functioning seems to return for those who can safely, gradually come off the drugs.

The results from this old study might still be useful, if enough data was collected to view them in a different way. What if records exist for how much of the various brain-wasting drugs were taken by each person prior to their first scan and in the four years between the two scans?

It is known that anti-psychotics cause brain shrinkage. How much drug was taken by the bipolar group and how much by the control group? Also alcohol is associated with changes in the brain. Research has shown many people with mood disorders drink more than average amounts of alcohol. Did the researchers record alcohol consumption?

It would be interesting to hear from the 2007 team and see the data they collected and how they came to the conclusion that a diagnosis was causing brains to shrink rather than any environmental factors.

If it turns out that the un-diagnosed group was taking similar drugs prior to the study and during the study then my thoughts are about diet, as people with the bipolar diagnoses can tend to give up hope and turn to less nutritious high calorie low vitamin content foods that may be associated with changes in brain structure.  If not diet, stress hormone (perhaps cortisol) levels may be seen to vary between the groups as we know mental health diagnosis increases stigma and that could in turn increase stress levels.

Do any readers know of brain scan research that has looked at a fuller range of possibilities rather than starting out to prove that a diagnosis can directly shrink brains?

I do not doubt that those of us who were diagnosed have ended up with brain shrinkage. I am just keen to know which factors are causing the loss of brain cells… is it the antipsychotics, the illegal drugs, the alcohol, poor nutrition, higher stress levels or any number of other possibilities such as poor sleep or smoking more?

Let us have more research that includes brain scans – just that a future team could include me, as an experienced researcher with chemistry and pharmaceutical background having had the bipolar diagnosis. This would of course require the rest of the team to accept that the diagnosis has not already shrunk my brain too much. I can say upfront that the amount of medication I took is likely to have destroyed 10% of my brain. There again it is not how much brain we all have – it is how we use it that matters.

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