4

votes

Depression better and worse. What's happening?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 19, 2011 at 7:34 PM

I've been off grains, rice, and potatoes for many months. Stomach felt better, but no weight loss.

For the last 3 weeks I've been following the Quilt's recommendations for jumpstarting leptin sensitivity. I was waking up full of energy, early in the morning and even lost a few pounds.

I went down to 20gm carb/day, and started getting headaches in the evenings. That's when I upped to close to 50 and my depression has suddenly lifted, like flipping a switch!! It was great, but fleeting. I've felt good for only part of the last few days, and never in the morning. When I'm not feeling good, my mood has been blacker than usual. What gives?

Some background, I've suffered from depression since forever. I have about 15 kilos (28 pounds) to lose. My anxiety level is generally better.

Right now my #1 priority is to figure out how to get rid of the depression for good.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on July 24, 2011
at 12:56 PM

+1 for the importance of individualizing.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 20, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Yes I understand that now. It wasn't clear from the original post that she was only recently in ketosis.

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Already supplementing, but haven't checked levels.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:17 AM

"It seems like you are swinging back into depression when you go into ketosis." But she says the depression is actually worse on more carbs, just not as constant, so it's not that simple.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:17 AM

"t seems like you are swinging back into depression when you go into ketosis." But she says the depression is actually worse on more carbs, just not as constant, so it's not that simple.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:13 AM

SSRI's also increase serotonin levels, but I wouldn't recommend them.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Carb intake may increase serotonin levels, but serotonin is not made out of carbs. It's made of amino acids.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:08 AM

It depends what you mean by fixed. I consider myself fixed, in the sense that depression is becoming a distant memory, but I suspect I may always have to eat the way I do to stay in that state. It's a vulnerability, but if I can control my environment it stays in remission.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:05 AM

That's a very good point about adjustment time.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 19, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Congrats Lori! I know you'll be successful because you are definitely getting in tune with what works for you, its the only way!!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Maybe try eating more often while keeping carbs low, but not too low, and doing some 're-feeds' periodically?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

interesting Melissa! In that case, I would continue doing what you are doing and see what happens. If this is the first improvement you've seen, that's very good, even if it's irregular.

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:19 PM

If you are depressed, there are a lot of things that can mitigate the feeling, and I've been doing some of the things you mention already. But when the depressiong suddenly disappears in the middle of your day just like that, I think it indicates that there is some way to control it by diet. I'm just trying to figure it out.

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:17 PM

animalcule, I wasn't tracking, but I must have been around 100-150 for months before I went VLC 3 weeks ago. It was only after I went under 50gm that I had both the good and the bad. I doubt I'll be able to switch off the depression at 100-150 carbs.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:02 PM

+1 for sound advice

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13 Answers

8
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on July 19, 2011
at 07:49 PM

If I were you I'd up starches to 100-150 per day and see if that helps. It seems like you are swinging back into depression when you go into ketosis. Lots of people (including me) feel better with plenty of carbs. Not being depressed is much more important than weight loss.

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:17 PM

animalcule, I wasn't tracking, but I must have been around 100-150 for months before I went VLC 3 weeks ago. It was only after I went under 50gm that I had both the good and the bad. I doubt I'll be able to switch off the depression at 100-150 carbs.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:17 AM

"t seems like you are swinging back into depression when you go into ketosis." But she says the depression is actually worse on more carbs, just not as constant, so it's not that simple.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

Maybe try eating more often while keeping carbs low, but not too low, and doing some 're-feeds' periodically?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:17 AM

"It seems like you are swinging back into depression when you go into ketosis." But she says the depression is actually worse on more carbs, just not as constant, so it's not that simple.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 20, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Yes I understand that now. It wasn't clear from the original post that she was only recently in ketosis.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

interesting Melissa! In that case, I would continue doing what you are doing and see what happens. If this is the first improvement you've seen, that's very good, even if it's irregular.

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:03 AM

I just want to mention my experience, because it is different from most of the other advice here, and who knows what will work for you?

I've had depression problems my entire adult life. I was on a VLC diet for a long time, and it might have helped a little, but not much. Then I tried eating nothing but meat for 3 weeks. Within the first 2 weeks, the depression lifted. I've been on a meat-only ZC diet for more than a year and a half now, and my mood is still happy and stable. I'm off all medication.

The key point here is that I was depressed, sometimes dangerously so, on a VLC diet. So you can't necessarily generalize from how you will feel on VLC to how you will feel on ZC.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on July 24, 2011
at 12:56 PM

+1 for the importance of individualizing.

3
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on July 19, 2011
at 10:39 PM

Nobody has mentioned Vitamin D. I'm not sure if you supplement it or not, but you might consider doing so. Taking 5000 IUs of Vitamin D3 a day eliminated my severe clinical depression and magnesium eliminated all traces of anxiety/panic attacks.

It's worth a try if you aren't already doing so.

Also I second the eliminate caffeine sentiment. Good luck!

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Already supplementing, but haven't checked levels.

3
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on July 19, 2011
at 10:09 PM

I do a VLC, with most days tending to be ZC. After about two months of this my depression lifted. It was quite a surprise, I remember thinking to myself, "ahh, so this is how normal people are.".

The thing with VLC is that it takes some adjustment time. You must give it least two weeks for your brain to adapt to the change in fuel source (glucose to ketones).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:05 AM

That's a very good point about adjustment time.

3
A65149d7c8cba5a27259f28a3a84d6a7

on July 19, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Ok, I will weigh in. First time posting, so be kind people. I have been Paleo for 4 1/2 weeks now. In no way does this make me an expert at all. Though, I have dealt with needing to lose weight and depression. First, I will be honest and say, I do not exercise much. Would love to do crossfit, but my life with three kids is VERY busy, so I only get to exercise once or twice a week. Second, when I started Paleo I was very skeptical. I wanted to make a change because I always felt like crap and was often depressed. I just wasn't sure it would really help. Because of this skepticism, I started an online app at the same time I started Paleo. It tracks my carbs, calories, and a bunch of other stuff I don't care about. The app asks you how much you weigh, how active you are, and how much you want to lose a week. (The most you can choose is two pounds) I decided on the two pounds. It suggested, at my activity level, that I should eat 1200 calories a day. If I am hungrier that day I do let myself eat more, but I wanted a guide and a little more accountability than just - eat meat and veggies. I have let the carbs fluctuate on different days to see how I feel. Trying to find the best situation for me and not just go by what everyone else says. (I suggest this) I have noticed that at anything over 100, I feel yucky and sick. Below 50 is doable, but I am sluggish and tired. The sweet number seems to be 70-90. If I stay in that area and stay away from dairy, grains, bread, rice, legumes, potatoes, and processed stuff, I am good. I have successfully lost 9.6 lbs in 4 1/2 weeks. It's a journey, and I plan to tweak as I go, but I am happy with the results so far.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 19, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Congrats Lori! I know you'll be successful because you are definitely getting in tune with what works for you, its the only way!!

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 19, 2011
at 07:51 PM

get sunlight, human inter-relations, goals and surround yourself with positive people. Also exercise alot(lots of walking etc.) especially first thiing in the morning on an empty stomach. Increase calcium and occasional caffeine to boost metabolism/mood. Try aroma therapy. set goals for yourself unrelated to weight-loss: something challenging.

34503e0d0acbea7cfc44d180454571f4

(134)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:19 PM

If you are depressed, there are a lot of things that can mitigate the feeling, and I've been doing some of the things you mention already. But when the depressiong suddenly disappears in the middle of your day just like that, I think it indicates that there is some way to control it by diet. I'm just trying to figure it out.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:02 PM

+1 for sound advice

2
666de0361be572857ebec0d2ed02674e

on July 19, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Carbs are a precursor to serotonin. Some of us need more of it than others. I have to get at least 100 g a day or I feel awful.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Carb intake may increase serotonin levels, but serotonin is not made out of carbs. It's made of amino acids.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:13 AM

SSRI's also increase serotonin levels, but I wouldn't recommend them.

1
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on July 20, 2011
at 10:07 PM

The reason of people not doing well on VLC,could be due possible adrenal fatigue. That's when you mentally feel worse with few carbs,bc glucogenesis of protein is stressing to the body thus the adrenals.

1
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:59 PM

I've been wrestling with the same scenario all my life and have spent the last 10 years trying this that and the other for help. I find there are lots of things to help mediate: sunlight and eercise are the crucial ones for me, but short-term and long term goals, family and friends, music, aromas, gratitude lists, and yoga all help.

There are a few things that make life worse for me: having a caffiene habit is bad news. Fruit and table sugar lead to gloom 24 hrs later. Artificla sweeteners, even a bit, mess me up. Wheat knots up my stomach, but doesn't wack my mood too much.

And then there are the personal variables, mostly what carbs you eat and when. I stick with non-sucrose carbs, mostly after 4pm. That ends up being a couple potatoes or some rice with dinner. The late carbs mean I get sleepy at bedtime and I wake up in a great mood. I am a fairly active athlete, and end up ~100g/day carbs on rest days, 140/day on active days.

You may also want to consider 5-htp...it's the precursor to serotonin. If you're not averse to supplements, 100mg morning and night made every bit of difference for me in being able to change my own thoughts and escape the evil cycles. I'm now at 400 mg a day total and held there steadily for several years. Depression never gets fixed, but it can definitely get better

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:08 AM

It depends what you mean by fixed. I consider myself fixed, in the sense that depression is becoming a distant memory, but I suspect I may always have to eat the way I do to stay in that state. It's a vulnerability, but if I can control my environment it stays in remission.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 19, 2011
at 09:49 PM

eat animal fat, eat high carb still, maybe try coconut and almond flour foods, put potatoes back in, and a big one I'm experimenting with right now is NO CAFFEINE. So far its helping me alot.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 19, 2011
at 08:16 PM

Check out Dr. Amens work about brain function and diet. I don't agree with his views on calorie/saturated fat restriction, but he does make some interesting observations about different brain types working better with different amounts of carbohydrate. If overfocusing on negative thoughts feeds your depression he doesn't recommend VLC because that tends exacerbate it.

0
9dbfedbe21eae2a65093f8774ba8ad4d

on July 19, 2011
at 08:09 PM

I relate to you in that a paleo diet has shown me how my diet affects my mental health. While I no longer had the dullness and crankiness of eating junk and sugar, going VLC made me much more restless and anxious, even prone to panic attacks, which isn't good for a full-time office job. So I'm paleo with about fifty percent starch diet.

But I do not rely on diet alone to settle my mental health issues. I also don't believe we can get rid of depression for good. I have a long-term history of it, as well as family members with it, and there are just too many complications in life to imagine it will go away for good. But I've gained more tools in managing it, as in, ensuring that it doesn't rule my life and keep me from achieving my goals and daily tasks. This includes commitment to healthy lifestyles. But also every other trick in the book - bonding with people, meditation, long walks, gratitude journals, therapy. The more tools you have for managing, the less likely it will oppress you.

0
F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on July 19, 2011
at 07:56 PM

the relora cortisol support from NOW works for me. can't speak to the weight loss facet, as that's not an issue for me, but it sure has chilled me the f out. :)

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