What Aren’t You Thinking?
“…it’s an intellectual switch that happens from the bad experience…and if you’ve made an animal helpless by those experiences, just one experience of escape will cure it…the culture is telling people too often that they can’t escape…” Ray Peat PhD
The idea that it’s possible to examine physical and psychological parameters of health, as though they were independent unrelated entities, is – although quite profitable – most likely not a scientifically accurate view of human organismic functioning.
When perceived through a wider lens, it’s possible to see that mood disorders, such as chronic depression or anxiety, often go hand in hand with a variety of ‘physical’ symptoms and biochemical or metabolic conditions.
“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.”
“…conducted a…trial of whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) in humans…In…adults with MDD (major depressive disorder), we found that a single session of WBH was significantly associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms when measured 5 days after treatment.”
Metabolic issues – like for instance digestive distress, ongoing low level inflammation, or blood sugar dysregulation – are regularly treated as though they were inconsequential to, rather than inseparable from the progression of mood related illness.
Unfortunately, the contradictory nature of ‘official’ approaches to matters of mind and body, is fueled by entrenched belief systems, which interfere with the ability to see the natural simplicity of things, and preclude many logical and predictably effective solutions.
Many ‘established’ belief systems relating to health and disease have evolved out of decades worth of politically influenced, industry driven propaganda, and are backed up by biased and poorly performed studies, as well as sometimes fraudulently manipulated ‘scientific’ data.
Beliefs can be so deeply-rooted, they can become almost invisible at times. Yet they are still there, driving decisions further up the line. There is often very little realization that they played a 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…”
Powerful maxims like ‘all things in moderation’, ‘make sure you eat a balanced diet’, ‘eat your vegetables’, ‘clean eating’ or ‘high-fiber diets’, although extremely influential, are commonly based on misleading, irrational assumptions and incorrect interpretations with regards to nutritional science.
Moderation precepts can easily move a person into the realms of restriction and under-fueling.
“…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…”
Balance in diet often means very little, especially once you question the underlying assumptions behind the reasons for recommending many foods.
“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…”
The persistence of circular, self-fulfilling ‘truisms’, is often dependent upon confusion arising out of the reliance upon misleading and poorly supported physiological doctrines.
One prevalent example of cognitive dissonance, stems from vast amounts of dogma or propaganda regarding serotonin, with it often being erroneously referred to as the ‘happiness hormone.’
“…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 relationship between serotonin and digestive distress, chronic inflammation, as well as the promotion of degenerative disease states like obesity and cancer, has been shown experimentally, and is (at least in physiological terms) reasonably well understood.
“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.”
Even though the biological connection between rising serotonin and learned helplessness (or mood disorders in general) is not new, this information has done little to interfere with the sale of profitable pharmaceutical products intended to increase 5-HT.
“…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 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 genuine look at the history of physiology almost always makes it easier to see the interrelationship between symptoms that more and more today are being accepted as isolated, unrelated and extremely difficult to manage effectively.
“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.”
Ideas regarding what can seem like unrelated concepts – like estrogen and its impact upon stress and disease; sugar and salt consumption for mood; polyunsaturated fats and chronic inflammation – can then more easily fall into place.
“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…”
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 industry and profit remain the driving force behind decisions over what to produce, and promote, it’s unlikely that true biology – showing common approaches to a multitude of problems – will be permitted to play a large part.
As long as there continues to be enough disagreement and confusion regarding what is and isn’t safe or beneficial, the self-interest of the very few will prevail, at the expense of the suffering of the many.
“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…”
Most still believe that ‘they’re searching for a cure’, or that ‘they have our best interests at heart’, but what if that’s just another product of conditioned, insufficiently examined 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.