A Flying Kickstart to Healing.
The thing about healing a compromised metabolism, is that it is rarely just a case of learning the rules, figuring out what you’re doing wrong, making the necessary changes and then sitting back, reaping the rewards. Wouldn’t that be nice.
Even though one good way I have found to deal with illness – or metabolic dysfunction – is to approach it under a banner of ‘general stress reduction’, there isn’t – unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) – only one way to attend to stress.
In fact there also isn’t just one way to understand stress, and this can confuse matters. On one level stress is to be avoided, and yet from another perspective, it is a necessary part of life – unavoidable per se – perhaps even beneficial.
Hence the word stress can take on new significance depending on circumstances, context and intended meaning. Added to this, there are a number of complicated, seemingly contradictory aspects of metabolic function which can be involved in preventing improvement.
For starters, it’s important to realize that fixing a damaged – or under performing – system is more than simply a matter of following a set of scientific instructions. Even though it’s true that a logical and rational physiological approach can be very effective, there is a certain kind of experimental artistic element to healing.
One must be able to distinguish between the kind of scenario which allows for the normal functioning of metabolism in the face of stress, and other situations where the body is failing to meet demands placed upon it – and is moving in the direction towards surviving in a kind of emergency ‘stress state’ – leading to sub-optimal results.
With these ideas in mind, it’s easy to see why there is so much potential for uncertainty and ambiguity when one attempts to interpret symptoms (or biochemical indicators) during a period of illness or reduced metabolic performance.
This is why it’s best to avoid the mindset that ‘because certain things are seen as being good for you – and other things bad for you – all you need to do, is do more of the good things (and less of the bad things) and everything will be peachy.’
Which is not to say that it never happens this way. It’s just that there is no guarantee that things will be so straightforward, and in many cases this kind of black and white protocol-like strategy can more damaging than helpful.
In fact, things which have the ability to support thyroid function and energy metabolism in general, can (under some circumstances) become part of the problem, causing more stress rather than reducing it.
After years of exposure to stress metabolic systems can be unstable and highly sensitive. Chronic inflammation, large amounts of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) stored in tissue, reduced glycogen storage capacity, an overstimulated nervous system, a propensity for dysregulated blood sugar, and a variety of related hormonal vicious circles, can occur simultaneously.
Under circumstances where stress is high it can be counterproductive to move too quickly. It isn’t uncommon for the excitement which comes with improvement to lead to a one step forward two steps back scenario which can be very disheartening.
That’s partly why it can be dangerous to promote a belief system based on the premise that weight loss is a default for health improvement, and weight gain must be avoided at all costs.
When toxic metabolism damaging substances stored in the tissue, get released into the blood stream too quickly – sometimes as a result of things that are used to stimulate metabolism for protection against stress – the result can be more injury to the system.
Weight gain can come from increased muscle size, or it can come from changes in fat composition away from PUFAs towards less inflammatory pro-metabolic saturated fats. It can also be the result of settling down nervous system excitation and stress, and therefore the start of improvement in overall health.
The issues responsible for excessive weight gain are roughly the same as those which drive a chronic inability to gain weight, and in both cases metabolism is running on stress.
A safer approach to healing involves trial and error experimentation with a combination of stress reduction techniques. The big picture approach often includes a gradual increase in fuel/nutrient consumption to suppress stress, improve glycogen storage capacity, and ramp up thyroid performance and regenerative capacity.
Learning how to use pulse and temperature as an indicator is very helpful because – when done consistently over a period of time – it provides insight into whether or not thyroid energy metabolism is improving. It can also enhance confidence in an innate ability to be aware of how good metabolic function feels. That can help quiet nervous system hyper-vigilance.
It’s important to take digestion seriously. The ability to heal problems throughout the whole system – often appearing to arise in unrelated ways – is influenced by factors which are exacerbated (and oftentimes initiated) as a result of interference with digestion.
All the disease states which result from impaired liver function, chronic and systemic inflammation, hormonal imbalance (including thyroid insufficiency), and blood sugar dysregulation, are interlinked with digestion issues including bacterial overgrowth and excessive endotoxin exposure.
It can take a long time to figure out what can then appear to resolve itself overnight. And what looks like a major ‘setback’ can be a sign you are heading in the right direction, maybe just a little too quickly or forcefully.
You might need to pull back a little or maybe mix it up. The art cannot be taught, but it helps to have an understanding of the principles. There are no guarantees, and results that seem not to go your way do not mean you have failed to improve.
Here are some questions I have found to be useful:
- Do you track pulse and temperature throughout the day? This is an effective way to gauge thyroid energy metabolism.
- Are you aware of the quantity of PUFAs included in your diet?
- Do you know that PUFAs get stored in tissue over time and are released under stress or when fuel is low, causing inflammatory issues?
- Do you eat regularly enough to maintain energy levels and blood sugar stability throughout the day?
- Do you know about how different sources of ‘sugar’ can effect digestion and blood sugar regulation differently?
- Are you conscious of gums and other potentially toxic and allergenic things used in foods as binders or fillers or preservatives?
- Do you consume enough calcium every day? Do you know about the relationship between calcium and excessive phosphorus intake with regards to inflammation?
- Have you experimented with replacing grains and starches with simple sugar sources?
- Do you know which cuts of meat are high in gelatin?
- Have you considered that you might be reacting to foods that you ate a few days ago?
- Have you played with your carb to protein ratio?
- How much salt do you consume daily?
- Do you eat liver and oysters and some low fat seafood? Do you use raw carrot salad for digestive system cleansing? Have you tried cooked mushrooms?
- Do you get exposure to daylight, and do you know what kind of lights you are exposed to indoors, especially in the evenings? Have you experimented with incandescent lighting and red light?
- Have you tried bag breathing?
- Lowering stress before working on up-regulating energy systems is thought to be a good idea. Salt, magnesium, red light, sugar, and bag breathing are some things known to help lower stress.
I am not a medical or health practitioner of any kind, and none of the above is intended as advice or as instructions to follow. Just ideas to consider.
It is important to get the right kind of help, and it is important to find out what is truthful and useful information. It is also important to experiment and to base your decisions on the evidence you discover.
There are vast amounts of information available online in physiology and other scientific texts for those who wish to delve deeper.
Hard work is required in order to master any art form. Much can be gained by practicing one kick 10,000 times, but there is also something to be said for practicing 10,000 kicks once.
Copyright 2021, by Dan M @ CowsEatGrass. All rights reserved (except for quotations and images having their own protected copyrights). This copyright protects author-publisher Dan M’s right to future publication of his work in any manner, in any and all media — utilizing technology now known or hereafter devised — throughout the world in perpetuity. Everything described in this publication is for information purposes only. The author-publisher, Dan M, is not directly or indirectly presenting or recommending any part of this publication’s data as a diagnosis or prescription for any ailment of any reader. If anyone uses this information without the advice of their professional health adviser, they are prescribing for themselves, and the author- publisher assumes no responsibility or liability. Persons using any of this data do so at their own risk and must take personal responsibility for what they don’t know as well as for what they do know.