Hello I am looking for some help with a few questions before embarking into the world of paleo. I will provide my background and try to be as brief as possible.
I am 25 years old male and since I was around 12 I have dealt with OCD Obsessions, compulsions, the whole lot. They became much more severe in high school greatly affecting my day to day to living so at 16 I was placed on Zoloft an SSRI at 200 mg daily. Zoloft did ease the compulsions somewhat although they still occurred but the decrease in anxiety and obsessive thinking was the biggest benefit. Kind of a dulling of my overactive mind, peace amidst the turmoil, but nonetheless I believe I was affected cognitively by it. I also started dealing with acne and was placed on antibiotics from about 17 to 23 years of age. Three of those years where on Bactrim DS.
During that time I constantly dealt with alternating constipation or diarrhea, .I figured that was just how certain people are. Even as a child I remember crying because I couldn???t ???poop??? so constipation was around back then too just not as severe.
At age 21 I lost much sexual drive or libido almost having no desire to have relationships with the opposite sex. I blamed my woes on Zoloft after researching the issues and in December 2010/January 2011 stopped taking Zoloft. What ensued was the worst hell of a depression and anxiety/suicidal thoughts that I had ever experienced. I gave up on my semi clean eating and stopped working out because I literally had no energy to lift weights or exercise. I started researching ways to help myself heal and slowly climb out of the hell I was in.
I finally tried cutting out Gluten and dairy in May of 2012 because I was told my OCD would just disappear. Not so, although I must say digestion was vastly improved and I now go once a day upon waking with occasional greasy diarrhea. Acne also cleared considerably. Probitoics have also helped tremendously.
I do believe that 7 years of Zoloft during puberty and development could have caused pituitary and hormone imbalances, and 5 years antibitoics for acne have wrecked my gut, but it has been 2 years since stopping Zoloft and still I have tested low t3, hypothyroid, low cortisol during day with evening spike causing insomnia until about 1 am.
I have a few questions that I hope I can be helped with:
Do you truly believe a paleo diet could help me in my situation, or will just cause more stress trying to prepare all meals everyday and religiously avoiding brown rice, beans, grains etc. I don???t completely buy into the idea that all mental illness is brought about by diet, I haven???t been eating gluten for a long time and OCD is still very prevalent. I was told Gluten was the cause.
In regards to hormonal imbalances will Paleo help or hinder? Thyroid low, TSH high, cortisol low, Testosterone tested 405 on scale of 280-1100. Sidenote: I am naturally skinny but hold fat on my thighs and lower back, always have even when in my best shape.
After going gluten free my diet became rather Paleoish I still eat rice, beans, I tried eating fruit again and have begun to get cystic acne. I now get dizzy and light headed when eating more carbs, could my lower carb diet have further stressed my adrenals so now I am having hypoglycemia issues.
Last question why would my blood test have all been normal, normal thyroid, testosterone, etc. Great energy in the gym while on Zoloft and eating SAD (gluten included) but now my hormones are all out of whack and I eat cleaner than I ever have. Is it possible that some people flatout need SSRI???s? People come down so hard on them but life has been pretty piss-poor these past two years without them, dropped out of school where I had scholarship, moved back home, trouble working. I enjoyed life more on AD???s But my hope was that I could reach true peace through diet.
Thank you for listening and giving advice I am very appreciative for that, I feel there is so much to share to fully understand my situation but I will stop here. I just want to know if strict Paleo can actually do anything for mental illness or just for physical health, or if I should just go back on SSRI???s and get back to living life. Any ideas or suggestions would be great thank you very much!
asked byBrandon_7 (30)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on January 07, 2013
at 06:27 AM
Your post reminds me of myself, in the bad old days. You didn't mention your vitamin D level, was that ever tested? My depression, anxiety, etc really cleared up when I started supplementing with 2000 IU of D3 everyday AND going out in the sun for 30 minutes every day. You may need to work yourself up to this level, if you're fair skinned. My husband works long hours in a large office and never gets to go outside except for the weekends, but we are also very busy with kids then. So he takes prescription strength D3 (50,000 IU) once per week for six months. His mood change was virtually overnight.
I would recommend that you stay on Paleo, or at least gluten free since you mentioned some improvements. Do the best you can, without stressing yourself too much here. As for prescription meds, you should get back on if you feel nonfunctional without it, or try a lower dose?
Everyday decisions can be so difficult when you are depressed, I know personally, but do try D3 and going out in the sun. Start today and try to do it everyday for a month. I would love to see an update to see if you are better or not. Good luck!
on January 07, 2013
at 07:55 AM
Hi - I have been on Prozac and/or Zoloft for close to 25 years and have experienced all sorts of health issues brought on from the long term usage. I didn;t know that was the cause until I started to do some research. I actually had one Dr pushing me to keep taking it even though I really wanted to wean off and find a more natural solution. My new Dr who is an integrative MD recommended that I look at a website called The Road Back and she is helping me slowly wean off the rugs. OCD is a serious problem so you have to work with your dr if you decide to try an alternative - but check out this website it has a lot of info that may help you.
on January 07, 2013
at 05:59 AM
According to Ray Peat thyroid health is critical and PUFAs (which are contained mostly in seed oils) are the culprit of the most of health evils (he doesn't like other plant toxins like gluten as well)
Avoiding grains and seeds is not hard at all. You can eat white rice, potatoes, fruits and drink juices (don't go low carb)
on January 07, 2013
at 04:37 AM
i wish i had an answer for you, brandon. i personally believe that in some cases, medications are necessary for health and well-being. diet/supplements/rest/sunshine/meditation can only do so much. we live in a very toxic world unlike when our paleolithic ancestors lived.
what i would do if i were you is try paleo. i don't think it could make anything worse. i have seen some improvements in my AI condition but i'm still very sick and need medication in order to function.