3

votes

Fantastically nerdy/smart people...please hack my dopamine

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I've been reading and waiting for a personal revelation in the food reward discussions. I continue to read Guyenet, Stanton, Roberts, the blogs/controversies etc. to try and understand my affinity for the cheetoe and peanut butter cup???or any hyper-palatable food. Interspersed with my bone broth, meat and veggies I fall off the wagon at least once a week--sometimes days at a time.

My twist is that I???m almost 10 years recovered alcoholic. Awhile back I realized??? "I eat like I drank.??? I feel a physical/mental/emotional urge. Willpower does not seem to work very well at these times. Stress and anticipation of stress is usually the only drive. My first ???alcoholic??? style drinking started my senior year of college when I discovered some pulls off the Jim Beam bottle at 7 am made it a lot easier to take my semester final that day. After that I used alcohol like an intravenous drip to ???calm me down??? for work or whatever???all day long. After 7 years and fatty liver I finally hit bottom.

I've used food the same these past 10 years. If I know I???m going to have a really stressful day at work I???ll calm myself with food. If I stay Paleo I???ll employ the likes of eggs, cheese, bacon and ribeye. This has served me well more than anything else???decreases my cravings. If I go ???cafeteria diet??? I???ll eat chocolate, cheetoes and whatever. I pay for it the next day with the full blown stomach ache and puffy face.

I got sober in AA and we don???t rationalize the disease. It???s chemical/physical???not emotional or cultural or situational. My Dad is also a recovered alcoholic. My reward pathway must be stimulated by the same dopamine response as the drinking?

We hit bottom as boozers and then forge a deep condition with a higher power that fills the void. I don???t think I???m going to hit bottom with food anytime soon. Right now I???m what we drunks call a dry drunk. I???m trying to manage it without the same steps I use for sobriety. And honestly...I don't think creating a pseudo-12 step program for this is really going to work.

I truly want to conquer this. I'm a year Paleo-mostly low carbish with fermented food and dairy. I???d like to continue losing another 20 pounds or so???but mainly I just want control over myself--and I know there is an answer or combination of strategies from you smart people that may work.

Anybody have any experiences, ideas or suggested plans? Big or little suggestions???every little bit helps.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 22, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Thanks PaleoGran. I just adore you and your posts.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:19 PM

BHC, am sending you lots of good thoughts. :) I find the supplements really help mood and well being. And staying very low carb is my "secret" key to being able to think clearly and being able to smile more. :)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 21, 2012
at 10:23 PM

Thank you sweet PaleoGran. I only take CLO and probiotics but that's a nifty list. I have stayed ketogenic for periods of time--and I feel pretty good on it--no sugar cravings.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 21, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Hi, BHC. :) Are you taking any supplements that help regulate blood sugar, such as L-Glutamine, magnesium, biotin, EPO, R-ALA, Chromium, Inositol, Vitamins A,D, and E, or supplements that help with neurotransmitter balance, such as: myo-inositol? I don't have it bookmarked, but there are lists of supplements that former alcohol users take to help with nutrient deficiencies and to help brain function. Also, do you stay ketogenic, or have you considered it? I wish you all the best. :)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I've slowly started incorporating some starches lately about once a week...with a lot of butter.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:52 PM

No starchy root veg? I get cravings if I dont include enough - sweet potato, carrots, beets etc, and a banana ocasionally.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Ahhh ha ha ha. Your last comment funny. Yes...pastured eggs. Everything sourced sustainably except my steak is CAFO. ground beef grass fed. Thanks Joni.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 20, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Keep in mind I'm not a nutritionist, and really have no idea what I'm doing. :)

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 20, 2012
at 07:05 PM

How much veg? I think some people need a lot more than others. Maybe a multivitamin for a while, just to see if it helps? Otherwise, it looks pretty good. Sources for food? Pasture eggs, etc? Maybe you want to have a small vice or cheat, that you allow yourself, and keep it small enough so it doesn't make you feel bad, but not worry about it after that? I'm not sure if that would be better than cold-turkey, or if it just makes you want more. Like me and my chocolate...

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

thanks Wabbit!!

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Thanks Joni. I will typically eat grass fed ground, spinach salad with bacon fat or olive oil/balsamic, chicken apple sausage and sauerkraut, cheese and salami, smoked oysters, I've recently added fruit hoping it would help. I also eat steak, eggs, bacon, cheese, chix/fish bone broth, liver in small quantities once a week, sardines (but they give me heartburn) and a very small variety of veggies...asparagus, fresh tomatoe and a little onion.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 06:16 PM

I have not because I've never considered myself to binge--but my hunger/dopamine definitely not normal. That might be good. I might be a pansy and see if they have an online version first. lol

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 20, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Have you been to Overeaters Anonymous? I also think I have a very messed up dopamine signalling system (family of alcoholics/cocaine/gambling/sex addicts). I don't go to OA anymore. I'm not sure what I did, but it worked. I still probably have a dysfunctional relationship with food in most people's eyes, but the important thing is that I don't overeat. My fridge is stocked with caviar, pate, smoked salmon, rilettes, blood oranges...nice things that give me pleasure but don't seem to drive me to overeat.

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2 Answers

2
9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I wonder if you are lacking some vitamin or mineral that makes you go off the wagon and crave other things? Can you list your foods for a few days? Maybe someone can find a nutritional void...

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I've slowly started incorporating some starches lately about once a week...with a lot of butter.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Ahhh ha ha ha. Your last comment funny. Yes...pastured eggs. Everything sourced sustainably except my steak is CAFO. ground beef grass fed. Thanks Joni.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on March 20, 2012
at 08:52 PM

No starchy root veg? I get cravings if I dont include enough - sweet potato, carrots, beets etc, and a banana ocasionally.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Thanks Joni. I will typically eat grass fed ground, spinach salad with bacon fat or olive oil/balsamic, chicken apple sausage and sauerkraut, cheese and salami, smoked oysters, I've recently added fruit hoping it would help. I also eat steak, eggs, bacon, cheese, chix/fish bone broth, liver in small quantities once a week, sardines (but they give me heartburn) and a very small variety of veggies...asparagus, fresh tomatoe and a little onion.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 20, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Keep in mind I'm not a nutritionist, and really have no idea what I'm doing. :)

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 20, 2012
at 07:05 PM

How much veg? I think some people need a lot more than others. Maybe a multivitamin for a while, just to see if it helps? Otherwise, it looks pretty good. Sources for food? Pasture eggs, etc? Maybe you want to have a small vice or cheat, that you allow yourself, and keep it small enough so it doesn't make you feel bad, but not worry about it after that? I'm not sure if that would be better than cold-turkey, or if it just makes you want more. Like me and my chocolate...

2
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on March 20, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Your problem is not necessarily dopamine, I recommend supplements that act on GABA. L-Theanine (not to be confused with Threonine) operates on both GABA as well as catecholamines such as Norepinephrine I believe). Its derived from green tea btw.

Raising other neurotransmitters you need more of can naturally cause a decrease in others that may be too high. Everyone is different, so can't really say what will work, but recommend you experiment but also be careful while experimenting.

Also try Natural Calm magnesium supplements as they are known to do as they say (night works best as you might fall asleep).

There may be other good ones but these are the ones that come to mind.

Do stay away from diet drinks or foods containing aspartame/nutrasweet. Half of that sweetener is a precursor for dopamine.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

thanks Wabbit!!

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