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Thread: 7 wks of Primal & severe depression hit

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Shop Now
    Well, for me it took adding in moderate carbs. Micronutrient balance is important, but some of us just get really depressed on VLC (under 50g daily) and feel better with more clean carbs. When I stopped trying to restrict carbs so much and started eating them in the 100-150g range, I found a huge improvement in my mood, academic performance, energy for lifting, and overall well-being.

    I'm not suggesting eating SAD levels of carbs (that's also not good), but I think going too low can be a problem for some people, and if you are having issues, you might try bumping carbs up a little and see how you feel.

    Oh, and I stalled out for weight loss after a while of VLC too (and I know a couple of people who put on significant fat on LCHF paleo and had to readjust). It's not the magic bullet for everyone.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    MA, USA
    First, you mentioned carbs & serotonin: you actually need protein for serotonin production. Tryptophan is only found is very small amounts of vegetable/non-meat matter. It's an amino acid.

    Second, you mentioned 5-HTP. Read "The Mood Cure" if your curious about how that and L-Tryptophan or sam-e or St. John's Wort work for depression. I use 5-HTP (precursor to serotonin) and L-Tyrosine (another amino acid) to manage my depression and anxiety. It works much better for me than anti-depressants ever did, and I'd tried several over the years.

    Additionally, as others have said, if you aren't trying to lose weight quickly, and especially if you're active, you should toss some more squash, sweet potatoes, and white rice into your diet to increase the carb intake.
    Depression Lies

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Everyone has given lots of good ideas, but none of those good ideas will help if your body isn't absorbing the nutrients. You can have the most expensive and nutritious diet out there, yet still be sick if your body is unable to take the nutrients because of damaged digestion system.

    So some suggestions:
    - For lack of appetite, and for digestion, buy a whole chicken and make stock from the neck and bones. Have a small cup with every meal or at-least once per day.
    - Make yourself have breakfast atleast. Force yourself to. With the chicken stock, you can make a light chicken or beef soup. It's very quick and easy.
    - Make or buy fermented-anything and have a teaspoon of it with each meal (to help digestion).

    King Asia makes real fermented kimchi, but you can also try sauerkraut or pickles or whatever you like (don't buy if it says vinegar in the label.)
    Also make sure your diet has a lot of cholesterol and saturated fat (it makes 65% of my calories minimum)

    I don't get any sunlight or vitamin D, and my diet isn't the best since I'm poor, but I haven't had depression since eating Primal and more so after having chicken and beef stock a few times per week. Before, I was a mess. Hope you start feeling better, I know depression is terrible...

    Fermented Food Recipes | Paleo Diet Lifestyle
    Making fresh bone stock | Paleo Diet Lifestyle

    Maybe you should do GAPS diet if depression isn't going away. It's like paleo, but specially designed to heal the digestive system (and in turn, heal problems like depression or ADD or food intolerances).
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 10-25-2012 at 07:07 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Gainesville, Fl
    I do not eat liver. I take vitamin d3, b12 and omega 3 supplements. I have always been low energy and depressed and I still am to some degree. I got sick last week and have not been able to shake it. So my questions are: Do you eat only grassfed liver or is standard okay (limited budget), how do you fix it, and most importantly can't I just take a pill???

    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    If you are eating liver, unles you have absorption issues, you can't be deficient in B vitamins or zinc. If anybody else is reading this, and has any lack of energy or depression, PLEASE start eating lots of liver if you aren't. I had NO idea how depleted I was. It took months of regular liver consumption to finally load my body with those nutrients it was lacking. I don't have numbers, but I do know I can't eat liver quite as often now. Probably the vitamin A in my body telling me 'NO'.
    You know all those things you wanted to do: You should go do them.

    Age 48
    height 5'3
    SW 215 lbs
    CW 180 lbs (whole foods/primal eating)
    LW 172 lbs
    GW 125ish lbs

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    sunshine state
    The first thing that jumped into my mind was that this could possibly be Seasonal Affective Disorder - it's the right time of year for it to be kicking in. I started getting that in my late 20s, it seemed to come out of nowhere. From my experience, it doesn't seem to be affected by diet at all.

    Also, I developed depression last winter while i was eating low carb (my only carbs were from fruits and veggies, at 75-120 g/day). For me, it wasn't enough. I cut back on the fat and added more white rice and potatoes and sugar (but NOT HFCS) and I made a pretty significant improvement that's been long lasting. It could be worthwhile to add more starches to your diet and see if there is any change.

    When I was trying to improve my mood (before I realized it was my diet), one of the things I tried that worked for a period of time was taking two amino acid supplements together (individually they didn't do anything for me):

    1) L-Phenylaline (a precursor for dopamine)
    2) Tyrosine (a precursor for phenylalanine)

    I also tried Sam-E and noticed that everytime I tried a round of it, it worked for a month then stopped. Maybe you'll have better luck with it.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Shop Now
    Thanks for the 2nd round of thoughts.

    As a response, let me tell you what I have done since and how I feel since. As I mentioned one day I woke up with severe depression out of nowhere. The next day I woke up with moderate nausea in general and severe meat nausea. Because of the meat nausea and the fact that carbs do seem to help me, I began eating more carbs. I immediately felt better and the depression completely disappeared as I got carbs into my body again. The nausea is better but I still have moderate meat nausea. Just reading about the bone stock makes me nauseous at this point. So if just reading about meatish things can make me nauseous now, I'd say I must have way overdone the meat and/or something weird happens in my metabolism with a lot of meat. That is why I am leaning towards investigating the pyroluria possibility, for which I had a very high score.

    I am not a vegetarian and only did it for any length of time when I was young and didn't feel well after awhile. So I am not rejecting meat per se, but am just having a problem with it right now. I am thinking that on my version of the PB I perhaps ate so much meat that it was too much. I do know the adding carbs back is helping.

    As for 5HTP, I now recall that I once took that for awhile until it too made me nauseous!

    I'm really wondering if I have absorption problems and other subtle problems. So I have an appt next week with the naturopath who tests for pyroluria. Being a naturopath, she insists on an hr long appt and addressing me holistically, so other issues may surface.

    I'm glad the depression disappeared with the adding back of carbs. I researched that on the internet and found mostly that LC cures depression, not the other way around, so I'm puzzled. For me, carbs seem to help.

    Thanks for all your thoughts. I'll report back if I manage to get rid of the nausea and get my energy and appetite back and if the naturopath is able to help.

    My feeling towards primal eating currently is one of being repelled by it all at this point! This is after 7 weeks of going around telling everyone how great it was and being an enthusiastic trier-outer of primal recipes.

    As for exercise, I got weaker and weaker as the weeks went by to the point where exercise is out of the question beyond 4000 steps per day (according to my step counter).

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