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Could worsening depression be part of the transitional phase?

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  • Could worsening depression be part of the transitional phase?

    I'm just getting into the primal lifestyle - started on July 2 and kind of eased into it as I learned more and more about what to and not to eat. I would say on average for this month I've probably been about 70%/30%, but it's a little hard to guess.

    About two weeks in, I experienced the lo-carb flu that everyone talks about - I was exhausted and couldn't concentrate, and that lasted several days. Then I started to feel better and had more energy, but certainly not the boundless energy that converts talk about. So, I figure I'm still going through that transitional phase.

    What's worrying me is that my depression has been worsening gradually all this time, and the last few days I feel about as bad as I did when I finally broke down and went to the doctor last summer. I've been on anti-depressants for one year now, and they've been working great up until now.

    Could this just be part of the transitional phase as my body adjusts? Has anyone else had this experience? All I read about is how everyone's depression magically went away, so this is especially concerning. Is primal eating messing with my brain chemistry?

    (Notes - I gave up Diet Coke (6 or so per day) at the beginning of this month also. I exercise five mornings a week - three of those are heavy weight lifting and the other two are yoga or light cardio of some fun nature. I am also on hormone replacement therapy due to early onset menopause (at 38) I'm 41 now)

    I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice anyone could give me - I'm miserable today and very worried about backsliding on the depression.
    Sassy: Revised - my primal log

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sassy View Post
    I'm just getting into the primal lifestyle - started on July 2 and kind of eased into it as I learned more and more about what to and not to eat. I would say on average for this month I've probably been about 70%/30%, but it's a little hard to guess.

    About two weeks in, I experienced the lo-carb flu that everyone talks about - I was exhausted and couldn't concentrate, and that lasted several days. Then I started to feel better and had more energy, but certainly not the boundless energy that converts talk about. So, I figure I'm still going through that transitional phase.

    What's worrying me is that my depression has been worsening gradually all this time, and the last few days I feel about as bad as I did when I finally broke down and went to the doctor last summer. I've been on anti-depressants for one year now, and they've been working great up until now.

    Could this just be part of the transitional phase as my body adjusts?
    Yes! I was a wreck with anxiety for the first month.

    Your body is adjusting to less sugar and carbs than were previously transporting serotonin accross your BBB.

    The book _Depression Free Naturally_ was a lifesaver and is a much more thorough, in depth look at the orthomolecular tx of mental health issues than Julia Ross's book (The Mood Cure).

    How much fish oil are you taking? Consider using a higher DHA fish oil.....fish have higher amounts of DHA than EPA so really, we should be replicating that as much as possible.

    Having very successfully treating depression and *very* severe debilitating anxiety, I'm happy to talk about this issue via email or phone.....
    cillakat @ gmail . com

    *hugs*



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    • #3
      Cillakat,

      Your reply is HUGELY encouraging, thank you so much. I also have slight anxiety issues, which I only treat behaviorally because when my depression is under control, I can deal with it - it's pretty low level, no panic attacks, just lots of free-floating worries.

      I am currently taking 3000mg(?) (whatever three of the usual big gel caps are), but it's not solid fish oil, it's a mix of fish, flax and something else. We just ran out of that and had planned to replace it with pure fish oil, so I'll be able to improve that starting this evening.

      I'll take a look at that book, and I may very well take you up on the email if I keep struggling like this. It DID clear up for you? Right? *g*

      Thank you!
      Sassy: Revised - my primal log

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      • #4
        I think it is great that you are looking at this practically, and not just discounting the PB lifestyle because, at first, it may not be an easy change and your body is adjusting. You deserve a lot of credit for that

        Keep that picture of your happy healthy self in your mind at all times. Or maybe spend some quiet time making a dream board with pictures of the lifestyle you want. I did this, and it has really helped.

        Take care

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sassy View Post

          I am currently taking 3000mg(?) (whatever three of the usual big gel caps are), but it's not solid fish oil, it's a mix of fish, flax and something else.
          Yeah, it's worth switching. Fish oil is what you're after, not a mix. Too much Ω6 in the mixes. When I was seriously treating heavy stuff I was taking 16g fish oil yeilding 4.5g EPA and 4.5gDHA

          It DID clear up for you? Right? *g*
          Yes It did. The worst of it took 3 weeks - but I was coming from a bad bad place. Inpatient treatment would have been most appropriate but I was (mostly) hiding the severity quite well.

          After treating it for some time, I was left with just my normal anxious self. And since the beginning of July, with exercise, sat. fat, plenty of Ω3, exercise and lots of goodness in my life, even that normal 'default' setting seems to be going away. I just feel......good. Just really really good.



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          • #6
            Sassy,

            Depression and anxiety are lifelong problems for me. Cillakat's advice is great. I did have some temporary intensifying of those problems after changing diets--can't use sugar for a quick boost, or eat junk food for comfort food, etc., plus just a lot of metabolic adjustments. But I feel so much better now than I have in years (8 weeks Primal now). Stick with Primal and your blood sugar will stabilize, and you'll have a lot less ups and downs than you used to, if your experience is like mine. You'll also feel healthier which will improve your mood.

            It's not really a cure, I still get depressed. But the depressions are shallower, shorter and much easier to manage now. Once your body adjusts to the diet (which can take a few weeks) you're much better off overall. Plus you have more energy to exercise, which is a great way to fight depression (but try telling me that when I'm depressed!).
            My Primal journal goes like this

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cillakat View Post
              ... exercise and lots of goodness in my life, even that normal 'default' setting seems to be going away. I just feel......good. Just really really good.
              I'm happy for you. I know that feeling - it's what I had earlier this year when the AD really kicked in and it was like clouds blowing away, and I was thinking "I remember this!!" Good to know that will most likely be coming back.


              Smhsailaway - Thanks, and that's a good idea. I might try that over the weekend while I'm sorting recipes to try. It'll give me something to focus on while I transition.
              Sassy: Revised - my primal log

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              • #8
                Wait, Sassy, you live in WI. What are you doing for vitamin D? What is your 25(OH)D level per labcorp or ZRT? (see the linked d doc below)



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                • #9
                  I'm taking Vit supplements every morning - I think 2000 whatevers (two teeny gelcaps). My hubby dishes out the vitamins while I make my monsters, so I don't remember the amounts and types of stuff. I could try upping for a little while, though I'm not sure how much of an issue it is since I've been doing that long before going primal and was fine. I'll take a look at your link.

                  Caveman - I'm more and more relieved as more people say it happened to them too!
                  Sassy: Revised - my primal log

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                  • #10
                    In my experience, YES.

                    I had experienced this years before going primal when I gave up sugar. At that time, it took about 6 weeks of not being weepy, depressed, and exhausted for my system to regulate itself from the sugar (still on grains at that point). I did it without nutritional supplementation to support me through -- the (needlessly, I now know) hard way.

                    I highly, highly recommend 5-HTP. It's a natural precursor to serotonin. I take 300 mg a day (150 twice daily). It's been shockingly effective in helping a b*tch of a 20+ year eating disorder. In the book I have on 5-HTP, the naturopath author said he has NEVER seen a person who consistently took 5-HTP at the recommended dosage who continued to binge, and this has been the case with me as well. Anyway, the first third of the book deals with depression and 5-HTP's effect on it. I have seen how the two are comingled for me and, in fact, it's the same root deficiency (serotonin!) causing both.
                    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                    • #11
                      Sassy, hang in there girl. I've suffered from depression since I was about 8 (I'm 34 now). Even when I wasn't *really* down, I was just enduring life. When I went PB, within ONE week of cutting out grains, supp'ing fish oil (Carlson's, 2 TB) and Vit D (20,000iu for 2 weeks, then 5,000iu regularly) my general sadness lifted. I'm not going around clicking my heels and singing yankee doodle dandy or anything, but I feel CONTENT. A totally new feeling for me. All this started for me early April 2010.

                      I would say be very diligent about keeping grains out of your diet, get your supps, exercise, and it will all come around. Your body is going through a lot of changes right now, be patient with yourself.
                      Last edited by say_rahhh; 07-29-2010, 08:57 PM. Reason: Also, take magnesium!!!
                      Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
                      ~Borges

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                      • #12
                        @cillakat, mind if I email you? I saw it listed earlier in the thread.

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                        • #13
                          please, do feel free to email Namasteak.

                          Also, anyone considering 5-htp, please reconsider to tryptophan. 5-htp can be risky.



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                          • #14
                            Tigerlily and Say-rahhh - Thank you SO much for sharing your experience with me. All these accounts are very encouraging and giving me the support I need to see it through.

                            I'm feeling better today, too, which is helping
                            Sassy: Revised - my primal log

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                            • #15
                              consider some inositol too. It's cheap and super effective at all kinds of brain related goodness:
                              http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1



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