Friday, June 22, 2012

Three Years and Going Strong

An anonymous person left a question on another post today, asking if I've gone back on the drugs.  LMAO.  No indeed!!!!

I am over three years on the program now, and feeling better than ever, thank you.  Plus, I am completely convinced that nobody should ever be on those drugs, except in a temporary, emergency situation.  I don't think mental illness is a problem of the brain at all.  The brain is the innocent bystander that is affected by a problem in the body.  It is a chemical imbalance of the body, and the problems with neurotransmitters that everyone worries about are side effects.  Treating the neurotransmitters without treating the root cause of the problem is just plain dumb.

I strongly believe that a diagnosis of mental illness should immediately be followed by a battery of blood tests to find the real root of the problem.  It's not in your brain!

But as for me, I am still taking 10 Empowerplus per day, reliably every day.  I also take:

  • 3 g of Omega3
  • Kelp (iodine), 600-1000 mg as needed for my thyroid
  • Life Extension's Arthromax (which is a great product for joint pain)
  • Life Extension's gamma tocopherol (a more complete vitamin E)
  • New Chapter's Holy Basil ( just one in the morning)
  • Udo's digestive enzymes with large meals
  • A good probiotic
  • 1000 mg of pure tryptophan (also from Life Extension) to manage the occasional protracted withdrawal symptoms that I still have

And that's all!  Since I eliminated all the extra antioxidants I've felt much better.  My IBS is long gone.  I still have reflux, which I manage with Zantac and Tums, and I take Reactine (Zyrtec in the US) for my allergies.

I don't have any prescription meds at all!

Plus, I have good mental habits now.  I meditate every day, and I am careful about situations that may destabilize me.  I don't listen to depressing music or watch pessimistic movies or tv.  I still don't read fiction.    I don't have a regular job, I have just been out of the workplace too long (over 10 years) to go back.  I have given full reign to my creative side, and I do some form of creative activity every day, designing and making things.  

I sleep regular hours.  Every morning I get out of bed looking forward to my day, and almost every night I go to bed satisfied with my accomplishments.  Distractions happen, but they don't pull me off track for long.

Life is really good, and I am so glad I took the chance with the Truehope program.  Depression and anxiety are just things I never think about any more.  You can do it too!  If Empowerplus doesn't help you, some other nutritional regimen will.  I think copper imbalances are more common than most doctors think, for one thing.  But drugs are never the right answer!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Antioxidants and Autoimmune Disease

Although I said last year that I was not going to post here anymore, I recently uncovered another piece of the puzzle that is so important that I need to share it.

It seems clear now that a significant contributor to my bipolar symptoms has been Hashimoto's Disease, which is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid.  In the past year, although my mood has been almost uniformly excellent, my allergies have been getting worse and worse and worse.  Last summer I couldn't go outside, because I had developed all kinds of new reactions to various plants that never bothered me before.  Recently I began to think that my autoimmune disease and my allergies were all related.

It seemed like my immune system was working way too hard, and overreacting to the slightest thing.  So I went on the internet to see what I could find on the subject.  What I found is new research that suggests that free radicals (ROS) can actually reduce the autoimmune response, and that excessive use of antioxidants can overstimulate the immune system.  I can't find the exact article I read, but this one is on the same track.

For over a year now I've been adding the powerful antioxidant supplements resveratrol and green tea extract to my daily routine.  I don't always eat the healthiest diet, so it seemed like a good idea.  Apparently not!  After I read the article about antioxidants online, I discontinued them both.  I actually went through withdrawal!  But now, I am feeling way better, and best of all, my allergies are greatly reduced (although not completely eliminated).

For me, the final proof happened a few days ago, when I made myself a berry smoothie for the first time this spring.  My recipe is just one cup of frozen mixed berries, half a cup of plain yogurt, a dash of honey and some filtered water, well pureed.  Tastes amazing!  But the next day I felt completely wrecked, which is a feeling I now recognize as a super slow thyroid.  Given that I had made no other changes in the past couple days, I realized that the antioxidants in the smoothie had "juiced up" my immune system, which slowed down my thyroid.  Fortunately, it was just temporary!  Lesson learned.

Truehope Support suggests adding a quercetin supplement, another strong antioxidant, to help with your allergies.  I now think that if your situation involves an autoimmune response, this is bad advice.  The best advice is still to listen to your own body, and find for yourself what feels best to you.