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.

A new approach to rethinking bipolar

It is almost 21 years since I was last a patient on a psychiatric ward. It is nearly 10 years since I took any prescription medication. Bipolar is fading into my history. My illness/disorder has left me with a strong interest in how people get well and stay well and that is what I have been researching and writing about since getting really well myself. I want to share what I have learned so far and what I learn – every day.

I am going to change the way I use this blog. Instead of limiting what I share to things related directly to bipolar, I will be sharing a wider range of information about getting well and staying well.

I feel okay about this as all illnesses/disorders are linked. If we can get our bodies healthier then it becomes easier to get our brains and minds healthier.

Please look-in regularly and let me know if you like this new approach to rethinking bipolar.

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?

Can Real Food Eliminate Cramp? / Might Magnesium From Food Prove Better for Stabilizing Mood Than Lithium Tablets?

I have debated before whether the mood stabilizing successes attributed to lithium are due to it helping people who have been magnesium deficient.

Here however, I seem to have left bipolar a long way behind me. I am now, on a lower carbohydrate diet, having the steadiest moods I have ever had. It is great to be sleeping well, getting lots of work done and spending time with lots of lovely positive people. Yet, as one of my bipolar clients said to me, years ago, “Even when moods are steady, it is never just right.” It seems life always involves some things that cause some discomfort.

In 2019, I think I only had cramp in my leg (calf) once. It was early in the morning and it hurt at lot! Early on 28th January 2020, I had a similar occurrence of cramp in my calf. It was over in less than a minute but left me hobbling a bit for a few hours.

As a teenager, when fell-walking in hot weather, I would get this kind of cramp the next morning and was told, and believed, this happened because I was sweating out sodium and failing to add salt to my food. Putting a little salt in the palm of my hand and licking that off seemed to stop it happening the next morning. Yet, was this real biochemistry or simply placebo?

These days, most people say that most cramp in legs is related to low magnesium and it does seem that taking a good magnesium supplement or a bath in Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) makes cramp far less likely.

So what might be the truth about my cramps that may be of use to others wanting to avoid this pain?

Well, I had just completed a study on myself where I recorded everything I ate over 6 days. This has allowed me to plot my intake of 4 minerals. This reveals that (compared with what I usually eat) my consumption of Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium were all low leading up to the morning I got the cramp.

Cramp due to low magnesium

Was that cramp, to some extent due to low sodium, magnesium and calcium intake?

 

I am aware of another factor. The day before, I had cycled up a steep-ish hill I do not normally  cycle up and so may well have been using my calf muscles in a different way. I can well believe this will have increased my risk of cramp. Overall, though I currently believe the cramp was induced mainly by a mineral imbalance.

Having considered the above graph, what will I do now?

In a moment, I am going to cycle to a local supermarket, fill my rucksack with fresh veg and cycle home (up a moderate hill). I need the exercise and I need to get back to eating lots of veg. I can do this while keeping my carbs low (surprisingly easy to do when avoiding bread) as that will get these minerals back in balance. I have taken a magnesium citrate tablet 2 nights since the cramp. I am not keen on supplements – dare I stop taking the extra magnesium?

Low Carbohydrate / No Added Sugar for Better Health AND for More Stable Mood

I was overweight and often tired while taking Olanzapine.

Olanzapine is infamous for increasing risks for diabetes.

Having been off psych drugs for about 8 years I felt safe from any significant risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. During 2019 I allowed myself to eat more carbohydrate and more refined sugar. I was then shocked that a routine blood test showed I was heading towards diabetes.

Diabetes goes with excess blood sugar so I decided to cut back on high carbohydrate foods known to raise blood sugar and then eliminate all added refined sugar as well.

Most days I now have less than 100g carbohydrate and most days zero refined sugar.

Here is what I am talking about shown graphically. Basically, low carbohydrate and zero refined sugar can work very well for reversing diabetes.Changing to lower carbohydrate early in December 2019

What I am keen to know is whether almost all the benefits I have gained from low carbohydrate (defined as under 130g/day) and zero refined sugar could be gained just by cutting out the refined sugar. I say this because Dr Robert Lustig has presented evidence that seems to me to make it clear that refined sugar is the main culprit for diabetes and obesity, while my own experience is far more stable mood when having zero refined sugar.

Are you interested to see how you feel when you switched to having only foods with no added sugar?

Building muscle after years on sedatives

How many of us are ever at our ideal weight. Today, I am at about 60kg = 132pounds = 9 stone and 2 pounds. From the graph you’ll see that sedating prescription drugs caused me to gain weight. The drugs also made it difficult for me to exercise, so gradually coming off the drugs 2010/2011 left me short of muscle. Better diet and more exercise has allowed me to get back to about my optimum weight. Yet, still I am wanting to put on that extra 1kg. I’d like to be 61kg, yet am I prepared to lift-weights everyday to add that extra bit of muscle?Roger's Weight in Kg over about 44 years

(After moving house I’d like to find my diaries for 2016 and 2017 to fill in the missing data.)

 

Reversing #Diabesity may improve the mood of the nation #diabetes #phc

My relatives in California say healthcare is in the UK, for most citizens, is far better than where they are.

Will healthcare in UK improve further in 2020? Yes! I certainly believe it will for millions of people. Take a look at this new charity I am getting involved with www.phcuk.org

Many of the experts, such as…

Public Health Collaboration…were videoed at previous PHC conferences. These videos are now on YouTube.

PHCPublic Health Collaboration is challenging the thinking/advice that has failed to stop the increase of chronic physical and mental health conditions.

Will you be at their 2020 conference in Bristol, UK?

 

How I am monitoring my sleep these days

Sleep and Mood are so much linked. I was told this again and again while in hospital in ’97, ’98, ’99.

How to sleep well and monitoring hours slept was a big part of the self-management courses I started attending in June 2000 and went on to teach for the next few years.

I became so good at glancing at the clock every time I woke that I could plot how long I was sleeping to the nearest few minutes and did this for about 12 years. This helped me manage medications and gradually reduce the amount I needed.

It was sometime after coming off all the medications that I came to appreciate the habit I had of looking at the clock the moment I woke, any time, day or night, might be less than ideal.

Just recently I have adopted a new way of sleep monitoring. It is not so precise yet, for me, is very easy. I’d like to share with you.

How I am monitoring my sleep these days

How much influence caffeine has on sleep varies a lot from person-to-person. Many people cope easily with lots of caffeine as teenagers, then by 30, 40, 50 years old suddenly find that coffee late in the day disrupts their sleep. Timing of caffeine intake has certainly been a factor for me for decades.

I was not sleeping well for the first half of 2019, then decided to record every time I had any caffeine. I log how much and at what time for coffee, tea, dark chocolate and cocoa. The immediate effect was that I consumed a little less caffeine and within days I was sleeping better.

I did not plot these results until a few months after moving house and finding I was waking too often in the night. Then the idea of plotting my first drink of the day came to me. This tells me a lot about my sleep because one way I manage my mood is to go to bed when I am tired which most nights is about the same time. Then because I almost always make a hot drink within minutes of getting up, I had near enough been recording my getting up time.

It was a visiting friend who said they were unable to tolerate the chemicals from new carpets that prompted me to keep my bedroom window open all day and all night. The graph reveals a step change from the first 24 hours I kept that window open.

Sleep and MoodHere are just a few of the things I find influence my sleep:

  • Caffeine
  • Fresh air
  • Cool bedroom with enough bedding to stay warm
  • Distanced walked in a day (especially in the evening) matches well with hours slept
  • Not eating late
  • No excessive drinking in evening
  • Darkness – This did not use to matter to me, but sleeping at the front of my new house on a road with only a little traffic at night – each set of car headlights seemed to disrupt my sleep, so now, no gaps in curtains.

 

Battling bipolar – not alone – sharing about psychosis

A letter to a friend in USA

Hi John,

For almost all my life I have been a, kind, of, high energy person. It was excess high energy that led to me being prescribed anti-psychotics etc. Prior to this any lows I had only lasted for a few hours.. then with the anti-psychotics I was low for weeks/months at a time.

I have been off all meds for nearly 8 years now and not had any extended lows…. Until very recently when I have been low for several days at a time – several times. I have just come out of one of these with renewed determination to make a difference, while of course not going high!

Up early (still before 7am here) I thought I’d use a little of my extra energy to tweet  [John Poehler sharing about psychosis] to promote your work. Keep at it. I know it is a rare thing that someone who has been through the whole bipolar thing finds the stability to work consistently on one project. (I’ve been jumping from one thing to another, which is not so clever.)

Kind regards and best wishes

Roger Smith

SHARE Wellness

www.sharewellness.co.uk

Promoting wellness, recovery, health, happiness and longevity

If you believe all foods containing wheat mess with your moods why eat it any of that?

“…wheat mess with your moods why eat it any of that?” – That was the question I was asked  this morning.

I’m so busy these days answering questions by email that I have hardly been blogging at all. At the risk of sharing too much I am simply going to paste my email response here for all to read:

Since 12th Oct just one toasted teacake with thick butter that I had instead of my more usual coffee at local café. That is the only bread I have had in past 31 days. I made a point for noting any adverse-affects and did not. I probably tolerate one small one-off dose of gluten or even glyphosate fairly well…. While, I have so many other digestive issues that something would, perhaps, need to be a lot worse than that one teacake to be noticeable.

As for the article you point to  greatest danger in your diet – great pictures for tempting people (not me) back to bread however, I was sure it would be about #glyphosate yet not even one mention of it.

On the subject of ‘ancient wheats’… what have you done with the about 200g of organic spelt I let you have? If you still have it and boil it for half hour or so you may find it both acceptable and digestible. I enjoyed eating it but will not buy it again.

In that article it says, “That’s because 75% of the carbohydrates in wheat are in the form amylopectin A.” – My previous looks into this revealed, to me, that this is no big deal. Amylopectins are a common form of starch found in all cereals, potatoes and all over the place not causing much damage to us at all.

When it comes to sugar in blood from carbohydrate sources I believe > Dr Robert Lustig < and others who warn against fructose are on the right track. Do you remember our discussions about refined fructose (molecule-for-molecule) doing about 10x the damage to red blood cells (raising HbA1c = worsening diabetes) than glucose. Is it true? I think so, while fructose from fresh fruit may be close to harmless. It is refined fructose (including the fructose released from refined sucrose that could be causing more harm than anything else in the typical western or SAD diet.) Then supermarket bread, in the UK, tends to have refined sucrose added, so another reason to avoid it.

Currently I find the article’s reminder about arsenic adds to my dietary concerns…

“Chronic arsenic exposure can lead to headaches, fatigue, brain fog and digestive issues… not to mention, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.”

“Just Say No” to rice flour ..”, “on the gluten-free aisle”, “Rice plants use silica to strengthen their stalks. But arsenic ‘looks’ like silica to the plant, so it is readily pulled from the soil.”

“…testing over 200 samples from 65 different products that contain rice. They found arsenic in EVERY product tested.!

…because I have boiled rice several times per week and have become addicted to rice cakes, plus fish a few times a week. All fish contains (typically low levels of) arsenic. In the lab we used to test samples of fish destined for dog and cat food for arsenic content. Not a regular thing but I remember we used to find it. Some fish considered too toxic for our dogs and cats yet does anyone test the fish we are eating?

Best wishes

Roger

That was my response to which my friend has asked, “Is it worth the risk?  Maybe No bread or rice.  Why not just eats oats?” – Now that is a good question as I love oats. One argument against oats in the UK is that even organic and even “gluten-free” oats tend to contain some gluten as the same vehicles are used for transporting wheat.

5G and Depression

A phrase you may remember from Star Trek is “Resistance is futile.”

It certainly seems that way when it comes to the roll-out of 5G. In the UK, we have a system where getting 100,000 signatures on a petition like this one: “Postpone the rollout of 5G in the UK, pending further independent investigation.” means parliament is obliged to debate it.

With 27,201 signatures this petition is to be stopped very soon “due to general election”. So far as I can tell no political party, in the UK, is against the 5G rollout (not even the Green Party), or in favour of greater safety testing, so whatever the outcome of the election… 5G is coming to a street near you… in UK and across most of the world.

Is it safe? Businesses that make money from Wi-Fi all say it is safe and surely they should know as they could afford to pay for testing if they had any doubts. They seem to have no doubts!

What do experts say? Very dangerous! Who wants to hear that potentially depressing fact? I have found researching and writing about 5G to be exhausting and for me, exhausting is very like depressing so maybe it is time for me to take a break from looking into 5G and get back to how readers of this blog can move on after a bipolar diagnosis.

 

5G and Lithium

I have been asked my opinion of 5G/Wi-Fi. My understanding is there is no way that 5G can be used safely as the pulses work in the same way as pulses within our own bodies that create tension and relaxation. Again, my understanding from reading the science is that with 5G your ability to be tense or to relax will be controlled by telecoms providers. It would seem that using 5G you can be woken at any time during the night and put into a state of extreme anxiety without knowing where feelings such as fear and panic have come from. Eliminate Wi-Fi from your home and switch off mobile at night.

One thing rapid pulses of radiation, such as from any cell phone, does is put more calcium into our cells = more tension. Ensuring plenty of magnesium in your diet seems to help many people to be less severely affected by Wi-Fi. Lithium will most likely have a similar, slightly protective effect. If you are currently taking Lithium tablets, it may be worth staying on a low dose, especially in an area where Wi-Fi is unavoidable, such as neighbors who keep their’s on at night.

High doses of lithium are toxic, while low dose lithium may be beneficial for many people.

Does that make sense?

Will avoiding WiFi / RF help with stabilizing moods?

I must be a very sensitive person as just about anything containing big magnets or giving off microwaves I get confuse with head-hurting. Its not good for my moods and maybe not good for yours to be too close to these devices.

I hold my mobile (cell phone) away from my head and gave my microwave oven away.

The biggest and most positive change for me has been to hard-wire my laptop so I can have WiFi in my house switched off – all the time. It is faster and more reliable.  I have quickly got very used to having the internet without WiFi.. I like it.

If you are wondering how real this might be when it comes to physical and perhaps emotional health here is a 2 minute video about risks.

 

Food Matters TV – Making Best Use Of This Resource

I just signed up with Food Matters TV through one of their special offers so I am paying  less than £8/month for access to just about everything they have on offer.

For me, this could the best value thing I am doing right now for my own well-being and for helping others.

Here is one of their newer videos. Watching this without paying and the price I just paid are time limited (ends tomorrow) so take a look now: https://www.fmtv.com/transcendence/live/episode-1

 

Life after bipolar and a letter from Sir David Attenborough

I am not sure if Karen will remember emails we exchanged many years ago while we were each still struggling, having been told no one recovers from  bipolar disorder.

Contrary to ‘expert’ opinion, we have we each recovered. Karen has a video on this web page where she talks about her recovery: http://www.karentyrrell.com/recovered-bipolar-you-tube/

This is not new news, so why am I mentioning Karen now?

There is something about her latest book that is grabbing a great deal of attention. It is a letter of support from Sir David Attenborough for Karen’s ‘Great Barrier Reef Rescue’ for children, an eco-adventure mystery, to educate and empower kids to care for the reef.

I am sharing this because not only may it help inform more people of a new or greater danger to this habitat… It also to let more people know recovery is possible and Karen is one of many examples of people thriving beyond / after being described as bipolar.

 

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