Whatever Weren’t We Thinking?
The idea that it makes sense to treat physical and psychological symptoms of disease, as though they are separate or unrelated issues, is – although potentially highly profitable – most likely not the best approach to improving long term metabolic health and well-being.
When perceived through a wide lens, it’s not that difficult to see that mood and anxiety disorders, such as chronic depression or generalized anxiety (as well as even schizophrenia and bipolar), go hand in hand with a variety of physical symptoms, or biochemical, metabolic conditions or diseases, and this is not just a coincidence.
“The most substantial associations included those between affective disorders and diseases of the digestive system…anxiety disorders and arthritis…anxiety disorders and heart diseases…mental disorders and physical diseases often co-occur in childhood.”
“In…adults with MDD (major depressive disorder), we found that a single session of WBH [whole-body hyperthermia] was significantly associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms when measured 5 days after treatment.”
In spite of this, metabolic issues – like for instance digestive distress, ongoing low level inflammation, oxidative stress, blood sugar dysregulation and hypothyroidism – continue to be treated as though they are largely inconsequential to, rather than potentially inseparable from the progression of mood related illness.
The problem is, if you’ve been taught to switch off your thinking, and not even begin the process of considering the connections between all the different mental and physical symptoms of disease, it becomes far less likely you will notice them, and even less likely that you will understand them even if you do.
But regardless, the truth of the matter is that psychological dysfunction or instability is directly connected to metabolic performance, and this is reasonably easy to observe, in both directions, with the proper use of the scientific method.
Which is not to suggest that emotional or spiritual matters are unimportant, but rather that things that can interfere with metabolism can also have an impact upon the mind, and things that effect psychological state, also effect the way the body functions. Knowing this can open the way for innovative treatment of diseases of all kinds.
Unfortunately, the often contradictory nature of ‘official’ methods of dealing with issues of mind and body, is fueled by a variety of entrenched belief systems, which interfere with the ability to see the natural simplicity of proper metabolic function, precluding many logical and predictably effective solutions.
There is very little good reason to think that the treatment of physical symptoms needs to make psychological symptoms worse, and vice versa. In fact the opposite sounds like a far more reasonable premise.
Unfortunately, a great deal of modern, so called established science, relating to nutrition and treatment, is the product of decades worth of politically influenced, industry driven propaganda, often backed up by biased and poorly performed studies, as well as sometimes fraudulently manipulated results.
Erroneous foundational theories regarding health and disease can be so deeply-rooted, they can be almost invisible at times. But whether or not they are perceived, they are able to powerfully influence decisions and outcomes. Unless and until false premises are brought to light, there is often little realization that they played any part at all.
“One of the most nutritionally important features of plant lectins is their ability to survive digestion by the gastrointestinal tract of consumers…they can disrupt lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, promote enlargement and/or atrophy of key internal organs and tissues and alter the hormonal and immunological status…”
Ambiguous prescriptions like ‘all things in moderation’, ‘have a balanced diet’, ‘eat your vegetables’, ‘follow a clean eating meal plan’ or ‘consume lots of healthy high-fiber foods’, although common, are misleading, are generally empty of any truly useful information, and are mostly based on incorrect interpretations with regards to nutritional science.
The moderation doctrine can over time, easily move a person into the realm of calorie restriction and under-fueling, when what is often actually needed is better quality fuel and more of it.
“…dieting is ineffective because it is a stressor…Chronic stress, in addition to promoting weight gain, has been linked with a host of negative health outcomes such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and impaired immune functioning…”
The idea of simply eating a balanced diet in order to improve health no longer seems so useful, upon closer examination of the underlying scientific theories behind reasons given for recommending the types and quantities of foods making up the balance.
“…presence of…anti-nutritional and toxic factors in food legumes…substances include proteolytic inhibitors, phytohemagglutinins, lathyrogens, cyanogenetic compounds, compounds causing favism, factors affecting digestibility and saponins…”
“…significant change in the Western diet, concurrent with the obesity epidemic, was a substitution of saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated, specifically linoleic acid (LA)…The diet with 22.5% LA caused greater bodyweight gain, decreased activity, and insulin resistance compared to control and 1% LA…”
High fiber, vegetable filled, so called clean diets are anything but clean, relying upon poor quality ‘science’, that completely ignores the digestion interfering, stress promoting, bacteria feeding, inflammatory effects of excessive intake of anti-metabolic substances found in many kinds of veggies, particularly when eaten raw.
It becomes even more difficult to discover the serious harm that can be done by these kinds of notions, because of the existence of vast amounts of poor quality studies, which attempt to frame all sorts of biochemical substances which rise under stress, as being responsible for improving metabolic health.
A good example of this is serotonin, which is often inappropriately referred to as the ‘happiness hormone’, with the implication being that psychological dysfunction is the result of insufficient serotonin availability.
More and more scientific experiments however, are finding what has been scientifically demonstrated many times, over many years, that serotonin is a promoter of symptoms of depression and anxiety and mood dysregulation in general.
“…these data reveal a discrete 5-HT responsive circuit…that underlies pathological anxiety and fear associated with a hyperserotonergic state…SSRIs are currently a first-line treatment for anxiety and panic disorders but can acutely exacerbate symptoms, resulting in poor therapeutic compliance.”
The idea that rising serotonin improves mind states, makes even less sense in light of the well understood physiological relationship between high serotonin and many kinds of metabolic issues, like digestive distress, chronic inflammation, as well as the promotion of degenerative disease states including obesity and cancer.
Add to that an awareness of the relationship between increased bacterial endotoxin and rising serotonin (and other stress substances such as nitric oxide and estrogen), in the context of the direct connection between digestion and psychological state, and the idea that depression or anxiety is a low serotonin condition holds little water.
“More than 90% of the body’s 5-HT (serotonin) is synthesized in the gut…the microbiota promotes 5-HT biosynthesis…targeting the microbiota can serve as a tractable approach for…treating 5-HT-related disease symptoms.”
“…96 patients undergoing liver resection for malignant liver tumors…Patients with high IP5-HT [intra-platelet serotonin] levels…exhibited a reduction in morbidity, severe morbidity and LD [liver dysfunction]…patients receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment…displayed…an increase in postoperative morbidity…”
“…results suggest that endogenously released 5-HT [serotonin] activates 5-HT2A receptors to aggravate cerulein-induced pancreatitis. We propose that selective 5-HT2A antagonists may provide a new therapy for acute pancreatitis.”
“…serotonin has more recently emerged as a growth factor for human tumor cells of different origins (carcinomas, glioma and carcinoids). Several data are also available on serotonin involvement in cancer cell migration, metastatic dissemination and tumor angiogenesis…The results of several studies showed that serotonin levels in the tumor played a crucial role in cancer progression.”
Even though the proposition that there is a causal connection between rising serotonin and the development of learned helplessness (or mood disorder symptoms in general) is not new, this information has done little to interfere with the sale of profitable pharmaceutical products specifically intended to increase 5-HT.
There is no good reason that I know of to believe that more of a substance that directly suppresses metabolism (including brain metabolism) would be necessary for improving psychological issues, unless you also believe that a ‘deficiency’ is bad for metabolism in general. In which case you have to accept that suppressing metabolism is the way to fix health issues. There are people who suggest this, however I am yet to hear an argument that sounds logical and convincing. The fact that serotonin has been shown to promote brain tumors should be enough information alone.
“…increasing extracellular serotonin, SSRIs disrupt energy homeostasis and often worsen symptoms during acute treatment…symptom reduction is not achieved by the direct pharmacological properties of SSRIs, but by the brain’s compensatory responses that attempt to restore energy homeostasis. These responses take several weeks to develop, which explains why SSRIs have a therapeutic delay.”
When drugs fail to have their desired effect – or even when they cause a significant worsening of symptoms known to result from chronic stress and serotonin issues – results tend to be disregarded, or rationalized away as unrelated ‘side-effects’.
“…adverse effects studied were reported by over half the participants; most frequently Sexual Difficulties (62%) and Feeling Emotionally Numb (60%). Percentages for other effects included: Feeling Not Like Myself – 52%, Reduction In Positive Feelings – 42%, Caring Less About Others – 39%, Suicidality – 39% and Withdrawal Effects – 55%.”
“…use of SSRIs and more generally of antidepressants with strong inhibition of serotonin reuptake are associated with an increased risk for ICH [intracranial hemorrhage], particularly in the first 30 days of use…”
Biased and inaccurate observation and reporting of treatment results and effects, fuels a murkiness regarding interrelated problems, making the possibility of using logical investigation and holistic understanding to solve numerous complaints simultaneously, very difficult.
“Pregnenolone (PREG) and L-Theanine (LT) have shown ameliorative effects on various schizophrenia symptoms…blunted affect, alogia, and anhedonia…were found to be significantly improved…PREG-LT also significantly associated with a reduction of anxiety scores such as anxious mood, tension, and cardiovascular symptoms…and elevation of general functioning…”
“…rapid recovery (less than 7 days) from major depression using 125-300 mg of magnesium…with each meal and at bedtime. Magnesium was found usually effective for treatment of depression in general use. Related and accompanying mental illnesses in these case histories including traumatic brain injury, headache, suicidal ideation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, postpartum depression, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco abuse, hypersensitivity to calcium, short-term memory loss and IQ loss were also benefited.”
It’s little wonder confusion arises when consumption of ‘health foods’ – promoted as healthy because they raise serotonin and nitric oxide, or are high in harmful polyunsaturated fats – cause obvious digestive distress and other symptoms, and worsen anxiety and depressive feelings?
The chances of believing something that makes you feel sick is helping you, go up if there is a disconnect between biology, and popularly promoted approaches to health and well-being.
A more comprehensive look at the history of physiology can make it easier to see the interrelationship between symptoms that, more and more today, are being treated as if they are isolated, unrelated conditions.
“Cyproheptadine was effective in improving symptoms of functional abdominal pain, functional dyspepsia, in a relatively larger number of patients. Patients in smaller numbers had significant improvement 13/18 (72%) abdominal migraine, 10/10 (100%) IBS, and 6/8 (75%) cyclic vomiting syndrome. This is the first time report of improvement in IBS.”
“There was a significantly stronger expression of serotonin in the prickle cells, sweat gland cells, sebaceous gland cells, and hair roots of the lesions in patients with chronic eczema. There was no positive expression of serotonin in normal skin.”
“Stress and stress-induced anxiety play a major role in functional intestinal disorders…our data propose a therapeutic use of Lys [l-lysine] in the treatment of stress-related intestinal disorders, in which 5-HT sensitization and concurrent anxiety disorder are diagnosed.”
When the biochemistry of stress is discussed honestly, logically and holistically, many interactions which are often misunderstood or ignored – like the impact of excess estrogen or serotonin on stress and disease; the relationship between sugar or salt consumption and mood regulation; the inflammatory effects of the breakdown of PUFAs and metabolic illness in general – can begin to be seen as important, interrelated clues for the improvement of metabolism as a whole.
“Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men…instances of depression in females are associated with levels of reproductive hormones and their fluctuations across time…the change in level of estrogen is critical…exposure to the stressor…increases estrogen…evidence that a disruption in the HPA activity is associated with depression, at least in males…”
“…evidence that consumption of beverages sweetened with sugar, but not the artificial sweetener aspartame, inhibits stress-induced cortisol secretion in humans….sugar consumption…associated with greater activation of the hippocampus, which is typically inhibited during acute stress…”
“…evidence for direct estrogenic regulation of CRF gene expression provides a compelling mechanism for sexual dimorphism of stress reactivity and prevalence of stress-related psychopathology in women…”
“Several studies have shown a positive association between depression and obesity…Selected sex hormone parameters were significantly different in overweight and obese compared to normal weight males…Depressive symptomatology was associated with increased estradiol levels in younger men, regardless of BMI.”
It makes sense that a better understanding of metabolic function would show how things work together more – rather than less – logically and predictably.
“…progesterone treatment decreased serum corticosterone compared to the controls and sham….results indicate that single dose progesterone may be effective for treating anxiety caused by TBI (traumatic brain injury).”
Unfortunately, whilst the objectives of big industry and big government remain the driving force behind decisions over what to produce, and to promote, it’s unlikely that genuine biological principles relating to nutrition and disease (pointing to common approaches to a multitude of health related problems) will play a large part.
Although I’m not a doctor or scientist, and none of this is intended as advice, I believe that as long as misinformation and confusion continues to be the driving force behind what is and isn’t considered to be safe or beneficial, it’s unlikely that official approaches to the treatment and prevention of disease (both physical and psychological), will include good information for improved holistic whole metabolism outcomes.
“The time differential between the onset of 5HT reuptake inhibition by SSRIs (minutes) and onset of their antidepressant efficacy (weeks to months), when considered with their overall poor therapeutic effectiveness, has cast some doubt on the role of 5HT in depression…”
Many still believe that ‘they’re searching for a cure’, and that ‘they have our best interests at heart’, but what if that’s just another product of conditioned, unexamined thought bubbles.
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Progesterone treatment decreases traumatic brain injury induced anxiety and is correlated with increased serum IGF-1 levels; prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus neuron density; and reduced serum corticosterone levels in immature rats.