Fasting and taking care of the liver

Fasting is usually the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to improve health – just that businesses have a lot of difficulty making money by reminding people to fast more!

As discussed, unless we do a bit of fasting the liver is always overworked turning excess sugars into fats, whereas it has a lot of other jobs it needs to be doing in-between meals.

This advert was published at 1am on 2nd Oct. The video is just 4mins 14seconds and worth listening to… I tend to listen while cooking/washing up as there is not much to see on these videos. http://products.mercola.com/liver-supplement/

Dr Mercola has been saying for years that almost everyone is having too much fructose and most of the fructose consumed has to be converted to fat. Excess fructose is probably the number one problem in the USA diet as its production is subsidized so USA food companies add it to everything they possibly can. It is easier to avoid added fructose in the UK, although the best way to be sure is to avoid all processed foods.

I do NOT recommend buying the advertised supplement. Yes, there are chemicals that are amazingly good at repairing the liver, but these are available from food. Near enough anything that is naturally green is good for the liver. Nature made things this way… mammals tend to eat green things (even lions eat antelope that have been eating mainly grass) so the liver is designed to make good use of chemicals present in green things. People who do not eat greens are generally sick and getting sicker.

As for me, I have a meeting in Nottingham today with free lunch. Last time though the lunch was sliced bread sandwiches, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, crisps, squash with sweeteners… I need to think about taking my own lunch… although, I note that they have changed the venue… maybe I need a packed lunch I can bring home if they manage to bring out something more natural this time.

Best wishes

Roger

Beat Bipolar Bloat #fasting #gluten

“All disease starts in the gut”

Eating late tends to give me gut pains at about 2am.

I made a decision to tackle this by not eating anything after 6pm. I had mixed success for a few days until, 24th August when I put this as my number one objective. I decided to allow myself to eat as much of whatever I fancied during each day, to be certain I’d not be hungry at the end of my early evening meal.

You’ll see here that I was successful:Monitoring time of last food of the dayWell, I was successful in achieving just that one goal for 2 weeks. This came at a price as the 2am gut pains came back far worse. I’d only feel okay when I got up and stayed active. Many nights I was up from hours like 2am to 6am, before sleeping about one more hour to get dressed at 7am.

Overall, I was averaging 4 hours sleep a night. I could not figure out what it could be that I might be eating that was causing all this pain.

I’d been out all day on Tuesday. I ate but was still hungry at 6pm. I made porridge with organic oats. Within an hour I was overcome with extraordinary tiredness and laid down at 7:15pm.

I woke at 4am with my abdomen bloated/distended too painfully to be sleeping anymore. It was good to have slept 8 hours, rather than the 4 hours of the previous nights, but what had caused this bloating?

Could it really be the organic oats I’d been using for more than a year?

I have just weighed the dry milled oats I have left. Knowing when I bought these I can tell my consumption had increased to over 500g/week. Four times as much as before 24th August. Most times I had been up in the night, I only eventually felt able to sleep again after mixing and consuming oats with salt and hot water.

I had become addicted to oats!

I believe that a problem with addictions, leaky-gut and failure of the blood-brain-barrier is that we seem to completely forget the most obvious causes.

I must have been suspecting something was odd, when on 13th Sept I had emailed some friends asking, “What is it that can cause oats to be irresistible or even addictive?”

I have known for years that oats and wheat are often:

  • often grown on the same farms
  • moved in the same vehicles and stored in the same barns/silos, which may not be fully cleaned between each load
  • processed in the same factories

The oats I have been using are not labelled ‘gluten-free’. (Even so, ‘gluten-free’ is not necessarily completely free of wheat gluten as the label only means that efforts have been made to reduce the risks from gluten. This was confirmed by an investigation into gluten-free oats that revealed most brands tested contained some gluten.)

How come was I able to eat these oats for so long without spotting these could be a major problem for my gut and sleep pattern?

On Tuesday, my Beat Bipolar presentation had included this slide:Beat Bipolar - 2017-09-19 - Zonulin SlideI have heard doctors question the existence of Zonulin, saying all this is unproven and doctors such a William Davies in his book ‘Wheat Belly’ are making outrageous claims about the harm that can be done by just a little gluten. Whether the science is good or not, I believe we each have to go with our gut feelings (pun intended).

I believe that I have been using these oats as a drug! Every time I had some I felt sleepy about an hour later. Sometimes, if having oats at lunchtime I would have an afternoon sleep.

I’ve made a decision and just given away the remainder of those oats so I will not be tempted.

To be continued…

 

Three dimensional movement – #notjustbipolar – including a great video from Lisa Huck

What is 3D movement all about?

Whether or not we believe we have a mood disorder, depression, bipolar or any kind of disorder, the way our lives ‘pan out’ will depend so much on how we choose to look after our bodies. In some ways, ‘When we look after our body, then our; brain, mind, emotions, feelings and so on can all heal and we can make great progress with what we most want to be doing.’

I found the 15 minute video below on Dr Mercola’s site this morning and I am sharing this freely and as widely as possible.

In the video, Lisa Huck delivers amazing/useful information with a great combination of audio and visual.

If you are sitting, I suggest you stand, if you can, and move as you watch and listen to Lisa Huck of ThriveFNL.

Lisa explains things about our bones and muscles that I believe need to be taught in every school. It matches so well how I have been thinking just that I do not have the training and skills demonstrated by Lisa Huck… Fifteen minutes of brilliance:

Fasting to improve mood

I wrote about fasting to improve mood a month ago. I have made progress and am keen to share this.

Due to my blood sugar being a bit high (not diabetic but often higher than I want it to be) I have created a more ambitious plan for eating better quality food while overall eating less.

For 7 days now I have not eaten before noon. That is, no breakfast at all and no drinks that could be considered as food. This is a big change, for me, especially as I was brought up believing breakfast was essential. I also bought into the idea of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” before I discovered this meme was invented by businesses that sell breakfast cereals!

I made this transition by initially eating until late in the evening. Gradually I am finishing all eating a little earlier each evening to create a genuine fast, with my first meal feeling like ‘breaking a fast’ rather than a meal called break-fast.

This is day 8. It is 12:45pm and so far not eaten today.

Before I say how I am feeling on this new regime, I want to make it clear that I am not starving myself at all. I am eating a little less but only because I find I am less hungry and more satisfied with the better quality, mainly organic, foods I am choosing.

Moods? Essentially, I am feeling mostly good. I have a little more energy, doing 10,000 steps per day, sleeping through the night and yesterday easily swam 100 lengths… okay, it was a small pool!

If you do not see an update from me within a month, please feel free to ask how my longer overnight fasting is going and how this is improving my health.

Here is my previous article on fasting to improve mood

Intermittent Fasting to Improve Mood – Not just bipolar

Many psychiatric drugs have a side-effect of increased appetite.

As soon as I agreed to take Olanzapine I found I was getting hungry far more frequently while having less and less interest in exercising. On a combination of lithium and Olanzapine I steadied out at around 45 pounds heavier than my usual weight. I am sure I got off lightly as I know many people who about doubled their weight while taking Olanzapine.

I have said/blogged about how my weight came down as I reduced my lithium intake. Now, I believe the bigger factor was my being able to gradually reduce my intake of Olanzapine and eventually coming off all psychiatric drugs. My weight is now about what it was before starting on these drugs.

What has been bothering me for a while is that bad eating habits that set in while I was on Olanzapine keep coming back. Perhaps those habits have never left me.

I have read and watched lots and lots about the importance of fasting, or at least having several hours between meals and not eating when we should be sleeping. My scientific background allows me to feel I understand why eating less often is so beneficial, yet knowing stuff does not necessary make changing habits any easier.

After another stressful period I recently realized that I was again eating from early morning until late evening with perhaps a total of 12 meals/snacks! Not on any psychiatric drugs I’ve not been putting on weight but am sure all this eating has been doing me harm.

Since 1st January (yes, sounds like a New Year resolution) I have started to take overnight fasting seriously. A friend has reminded me of an info-graphic from Dr Mercola. See below.

My current plans are nowhere near so ambitious at this time. I am currently seeing getting past 9am without eating and not eating after about 7pm as great achievements and I am just starting to get benefits from this in terms of having more energy through eating less. Yes, sounds a bit bizarre, but by eating less often I mostly have more energy and feel better too.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this info-graphic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version… Intermittent fasting

Bipolar Driving Analogy #Wootton

Yesterday, in ‘Psychology Today’, my good friend, Tom Wootton posted a useful short article called, “Bipolar Treatment Is More Than Just Tools To Lower Intensity

Here are a few words from it; “I see too many people who have never learned yet convince themselves that they know how to drive. When their mania gets stronger than they can handle they don’t even have the good sense to put on the brakes. And then, when someone else puts on the brakes for them, they go back to imagining that they know how to drive. Their repeated failure to actually learn the necessary steps is just reinforcing the false notion among everyone around them that it cannot be done.

In the work I have been doing I have found car and driving analogies to be really useful. It fits with the picture millions of people have of recovery, or even everything about life being a journey.

Most people reading this will have passed a driving test after many hours of instruction from a tutor with a great deal of experience. How many of us have done such intensive training for managing our moods and our long-term well-being?

Healing – Monica Cassani @BeyondMeds #beyondmeds

I just listened to Monica Cassini being interviewed on the radio. I am keen to share what she says.

Listen here to: Beyond Meds-Alternative to Psychiatry by The Wellness Journey

Monica Cassini

Beyond Meds Blog

Monica says a bit about how she needed to learn to live without psychiatric drugs. However, it is the other things Monica says about her recovery that I am hoping you will be able to listen to and think through.

Monica talks about  sorting out digestive problems (IBS), avoiding foods we are intolerant to, which for many is grains and especially wheat gluten, yoga and doing things like dancing when we have the energy to do so.

For me, Monica’s story is a familiar one. This is what I see in just about everyone who has been through the psychiatric system and is now well. It is recognizing our health (and moods) are dependent on good gut health and activity, such as walking, yoga or similar.

Neither Monica nor I are saying that is everything, it is just that digestion and movement are so often under-estimated by professionals and so often not seen as so important by ourselves when we are at our lowest.

Listen here to: Beyond Meds-Alternative to Psychiatry by The Wellness Journey

 

Five Keys to Mood – Adapted from Mood Mapping by Dr Liz Miller

We can do well in life and avoid disorders by paying attention to our five keys to mood and well-being:

  • SURROUNDINGS – Do we have a good enough home in a good enough neighbourhood and do we get outdoors?
  • HEALTH – Are we eating the right things that allow us to be active, sleep well and think clearly?
  • AUTONOMY – Do we have purpose in our lives and are we achieving some of what we want to be doing?
  • RELATIONSHIPS – Who are we supporting and who supports us?
  • EDUCATION – What do we know and what can we share?

We get over disorders by:

  • spending time in SURROUNDINGS that suit us
  • looking after our physical HEALTH
  • keeping HOPES alive and being able to ‘do our thing’ including being creative or productive
  • paying attention to our RELATIONSHIPS
  • continuing to LEARN and adapting to a changing world

Possibly you have only been paying attention to some of these keys to mood and well-being? This is okay because many people get by focusing just the things they feel are key for them.

What we believe is that sometimes it is necessary to re-look at the FIVE KEYS TO MOOD as part of restoring BALANCE to our lives.

Mood Mapping – Dr Liz Miller – About the Mood Map grid

Dr Liz Miller’s book, Mood Mapping – Plot Your Way to Emotional Health, has two main themes:

    1. The Mood Map grid
    2. The Five Keys to Mood

The Mood Map grid is a simple, visual way to understand and record the way you feel.

It can be used to explain why some of us can be convinced we are ‘bipolar’ and how many of us are coming to realise we never were that ‘bipolar’ at all.

If you want to understand your moods or think your bipolar diagnosis may not be right then the Mood Map grid is the place to start in understanding what is going on with your feelings and moods and how to live a life without being so ‘bipolar’.

Marian Moore says, “Mood can change in an instant or gradually over time. Some people are ‘morning people’, others more nocturnal. Some days are better than others. Mapping your mood helps you see when you are at your best, your worst, and even when it might be better just to stay at home!”

Mood Mapping allows us to increase our self-awareness by allowing us to know more about how we feel and gives insights into why we do the things we do. It develops our observing-self, enabling us to see moods or emotions for what they are, and not being caught up and overwhelmed by them.

Why map our moods?

Stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and depression have always been difficult to quantify and many people find it difficult to say which of these they are experiencing. Yet without measuring these, it can be difficult to know whether things are changing much at all.

Music may help you feel better, but how much better? Is quiet meditation more effective for you? Can this effectiveness be measured and described to others? Which foods improve your mood? Without an effective way of measuring mood it is difficult to know what is affecting your mood most.

By knowing and being able to accurately describe our moods we can become better at helping ourselves and finding the help we need when we need it.

Mood Map grid

Mood Map grid

The Mood Map grid as originally developed by Dr Liz Miller:

Mood is said to have two main components:

ENERGY – shown as up and down on the map

POSITIVITY – Essentially how you feel, shown as left and right on the map

The two axes divide the map into four quarters which describe the four basic moods;

  1. Tired (which can include good reflective moods as well as normal exhaustion and abnormal depressive states)
  2. Anxiety
  3. Action
  4. Calm

Moods affect not just how a person feels but also how they behave

For example, a small child runs towards a busy road;

–       a person who is very TIRED may think “How awful, that child may die, I wish I could do something”

–       a person who is already in a mood of high ANXIETY may panic and scream.

–       a person in the ACTION mood – runs to the child and whisks them away from danger.

–       a person who is CALM can think how to avert the danger without unnecessarily alarming people.

In this example the positive moods of ACTION and CALM seem great. The reality is that there are no good or bad moods. There is a time and a place for every type of mood. As we learn from Mood Mapping, it is the ability to change to the mood we need at any particular moment that allows us to be healthiest and work well with those around us.

A Scientific Perspective

Mood most likely comes from the deepest part of the brain, where the sympathetic (flight and fight) and parasympathetic (housekeeping) part of our nervous system join. Thus when we wake up, we immediately become aware of how we feel, and then the rest of the brain can gradually work out why we feel that way, and what we are to do next.

Mood Mapping is a simple technique that is easy to learn and easy to teach.

The first step is to plot your mood at this moment by estimating how much energy you have and putting a mark on the vertical axis.

Plotting on mood map

Plotting on mood map

Then estimate how good or positive they feel and plot that on the horizontal axis. The Mood point is where vertical and horizontal marks on the graph cross.

The Mood Point can be labelled with the time and perhaps a quick note why you feel the way you do. If you feel this is not the right mood for you at this time then maybe think what you have done in the past that has helped you get the mood you want now.

Plot another point later, to see if your choice has been effective.

 

Thanks to Marian and Liz for allowing me to adapt their article from http://www.krysan.org/index.php/holiday

This is just the start of Mood Mapping. Next article: The Five Keys to Mood

MILLER, LIZ Dr., (2009), Mood Mapping: Plot your way to emotional health and happiness, pub. London, Rodale

Feelings, energy and thinking – its normal, not #bipolar

feelings and energy and thinking

Emotions can be considered to be a mix of our feelings, our energy and our thinking.

Perhaps almost everything now called ‘mental illness’ may really be ’emotional distress’.

Calling it something different does not solve our problems. It is just that when we recognize our troubles are to with emotions rather than being an illness or a specific disorder, then we can help ourselves and help those we care for by gaining a better understanding of emotions.

 

What are we recovering from? #bipolar #anxiety #grief

Full recovery?

People have always recovered from mood disorders. We get anxious then get less anxious. We feel exhausted, then after a rest feel energetic again.

Is it fair to talk of ‘full recovery’? Does anyone ever fully recover? Maybe it all depends on what we believe we are recovering from?

For thousands of years it was considered normal for moods to vary throughout each day. During the 20th century a new idea formed that any more than small changes in mood were a sign of illness. By 1980 this idea allowed the new diagnosis/label of bipolar disorder. Gradually the meaning of bipolar has expanded such that only those whose moods hardly change at all can be sure of not being described as bipolar.

If we step back from the idea of most of us having mood disorder and think about what caused our moods to appear disordered, then by tackling the causes we can expect to recover. If, in our minds, we can very nearly eliminate the original cause then we can very nearly eliminate its effects on our moods.

For example, after a relative died I saw a psychiatrist. I had never met him before. After our 50 minute meeting he wrote to my GP to say that in his opinion I was suffering a mood disorder and in his opinion I was a catatonic schizophrenic. I got over my relative dying (I just have a little cry now and then) but getting over a label like catatonic schizophrenic takes a lot longer. It is a shame the psychiatrist was not able to simply write that I was grieving.

Full recovery used to be defined as being able to get back to what you used to do. Theses days I wonder if it is more about being able to move on to what you want and need to be doing.

Moving forward #rethinkingbipolar

Yesterday’s funeral was especially difficult. It always is when our friends are dying are so young.  Fortunately, the burial plot was well sheltered from the wind and the sun came out for the service. We were offered some herbs we could drop down into the grave on the coffin if we wanted to. As I did this I promised my friend (it seemed rational at the time to be making a promise to a dead person) that I would make a big difference in the world to help others avoid the bipolar label that took his life. – I say ‘that took his life’ because I know only too well how we are taught in hospital and reminded constantly of the suicide option. I am not saying the nurses do this on purpose, but the question is always there. Even my excellent GP is obliged to ask in various ways if I am going to be alright… essentially her job requires her to ask me about suicide… I struggle with this aspect of the mental illness system. My feeling is that thinking about it again and again is not good, because when things go very wrong it is an option that pops into the heads of all us people who have been trained at some time to believe we are the ones most likely to take our own lives. It becomes for many a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Bipolar Disorder Shortens Another Life #bipolardisorder

Bipolar trainer – could this be the world’s most dangerous profession?

Tomorrow I am going to another friend’s funeral. The weather forecast is not great 4’C with light rain. I have shed a few tears today and no doubt will shed a few more tomorrow.

Various reports suggest that being labelled with a mental illness will shorten our lives by 15 to 20 years. In Andrew’s case it would seem to have been a lot more than 20 years. Is speaking out against the mental illness system also a factor in shortening our lives?

The blots keep showing through #bipolarlabel

I turn over a new leaf every day but the blots keep showing through is an idea from “Billy Liar by Laurie Lee?

I often feel my life is like this. Each day I try to live without bipolar disorder but it is always there. I do not believe I have a definable illness or disorder called bipolar, but what I have is a label… In the UK anyone labelled with bipolar disorder by the NHS is considered labelled for life. There is no system for removing the label no matter what we do. Yes, you can have a big argument with a psychiatrist and be relabeled with a personality disorder, but once labelled by a psychiatrist you can never get rid of the label. It stays on your health records for ever.

Why does this matter to me?

  1. It is very hard to forget… Not a day has gone by in the last 14 years when I have not thought about the consequences of having this label. In fact, I rarely go for a few minutes without remembering how I have been labelled. It is there at the front of my mind all the time. It is often difficult to think of anything else other than having this label that has been killing me.
  2. Being labelled as ‘severely mentally ill’ makes it very difficult to get back into meaningful work. A few people, such as Stephen Fry, are able to work without being held back by being labelled. For most of us though, employers find it hard to know what to do when a potential employee has been labelled as severely mentally ill.

Why mention this now?

Sometime soon I am going to be meeting with health professionals to discuss the severe anxiety I have been suffering in recent months. I am struggling as much as I was back in 1998, although without the mood swings induced by psychiatric drugs. These struggles with anxiety do not have to be labelled as bipolar disorder. Although I have learned a lot about coping I now have the health problems caused by having taking prescribed drugs, as well as the effects of having this label round my neck to contend with on top of the distress I am facing every day. I am not looking for medication. Some sort of therapy would be nice, but I am not good at explaining just how bad things have been so I am not expecting miracles.

I still have a vague hope that I can be ‘undiagnosed’. That somehow the psychiatrists can look back at my medical notes and say, “You know what, all those symptoms we saw are things that happen to people when they get very anxious and drugs are involved. I tell you what we are going to re-diagnose you as suffering from extreme anxiety.” Maybe they will decide that the stress I suffered was enough to cause PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as this has similar symptoms to bipolar.

It is a crazy idea. Just suggesting to a psychiatrist that you do not have the disorder they say you have is a dangerous thing to do.

Yes, I have met with critical doctors and critical psychiatrists who looking at my history can confirm to me that I do not naturally have extremes of mania and depression. However, these people are powerless to change my medical record. Only one man can do this. He is all powerful and it seems to me, he controls everything about how I will be living the rest of my life. I have never met him face to face and dread the prospect.

If he reads this, he will most likely pick up on my gloomy outlook… and a gloomy outlook will look to him like depression, to which he will be able to say, “That proves we were right all along, he is a typical manic depressive/bipolar person”.

I do keep trying. I do keep turning over a new leaf. Unfortunately the blot created in 1998 after taking one tranquilizer tablet that made me less tranquil, an ‘antipsychotic’ that made me psychotic, an ‘antidepressant’ that made me depressed and then high… is a blot that keeps on showing through.

Sorry to be so gloomy but it is true… at this time bipolar is for life… my advice to readers is try not to get the diagnosis in the first place.

– – – – – –

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Time to move on #foodandmood #anxietynotbipolar

When things get too painful it is time to make changes

From my time on psychiatric drugs I have suffered from bad abdominal pains.

It took a long time and a change of GP to have these pains taken seriously. It seems that most GP’s simply see us as ‘complex incurable mental illness patients, who should not be wasting resources that can be better used on those who are considered to be sane. (Is this unfair on the UK National Health Service?)

My new GP helped me in proving the pains were largely caused by too much wheat gluten/dairy produce/chicken eggs/onion. This combined with too much stress!

Better food choices helped but I was still working too much work and still saying ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that came along.

I was up most of last night with severe abdominal pain. I simply failed to read a food label. Now I know I need to make changes or I’ll end up in front of a psychiatrist again. The thought of more psychiatric treatment is frightening after a decade of relative wellness.

I am going to see a nutritionist privately.  I am grateful for the help from the NHS (three appointments with a dietician and an endoscopy) while realising this is about the limit, for a disabling but non-life-threatening condition.

I am thinking now about how pain can help us to move on. Without ‘listening’ to our pains we would just keep doing the same things and get more and more unwell.

I am left wondering how many others have developed food intolerances after taking psychiatric drugs?

Please share your thoughts on how often there seems to be a link between drugs and long term digestive troubles.

Thank you