2

votes

Severe depression and anxiety after 2 years eating paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 29, 2012 at 4:40 AM

Hello-

I started eating the autoimmune version of paleo about 2 years ago to combat severe rheumatoid arthritis. I had amazing success and improved my health a ton. I did still have lingering fatigue.

About 2 months ago I had a panic attack followed by ongoing anxiety and severe depression. I have never experienced anything like this before - it is really horrendous depression.

I am also experiencing a dramatic drop in appetite, menstrual irregularities, feeling cold all the time, and irritability.

I have had some improvement by removing acetyl-l-carnitine (I think this is what precipitated the anxiety attack) and by adding in 5-htp, tyrosine, DLPA and other things suggested in the Mood Cure. However, I am not back to normal by any means.

Has anyone ever heard of this happening? I have never been particularly low carb, but added in some daily rice since this started just in case. I take fish oil and vitamin D3. I eat so much healthy, nutrient dense foods that I just don't see how this could have happened.

Thanks to anyone who can provide some suggestions.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:19 AM

Oh wait - I mis-uderstood what you were saying. Yes - I have considered it could be caused by withdrawal from steroids. I tried a 2 month course of going back on steroids to see if it could help. It did help a little, but not nearly enough, so I tapered back off of them. I'm still not convinced that all of this wasn't initiated when I went off those meds.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:17 AM

Hmmm....I'm going to have to look in to this a bit. I don't eat nightshades or much processed meat. But I do eat avocados and some shellfish. Thanks :)

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:16 AM

Depression and anxiety are very frequently caused by physical issues. I was not experiencing sadness or unhappiness. I know what those things are - I have been through some difficult times in life and spent many years in severe physical pain every day. But I was not depressed. What i experienced now was a severe clinical depression. It was not something that could be thought away. Oh - and btw - I never blamed paleo eating for depression or anxiety.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:12 AM

Depression and anxiety are very frequently caused by physical issues. I am glad that you were able to come through your depression. But what I was experiences was not sadness or unhappiness. It was a severe physical clinical depression. I been through some incredibly difficult times in my life and live every day with a chronic health condition but had never experienced depression. I have already found myself, so that's not going to help. And, by the way, I never blamed paleo eating for the depression or anxiety.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:24 AM

I take B12 and used to take potassium. Without supplementation, I do have a deficiency. But was normal when all this started. I just recently added in all the methyl-B vitamins and an adensylB12 as well.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:23 AM

I haven't been able to get off the last med. This medication has no indication of causing depression and I was on it for more than 2 years before all this started. However, it does prevent healing of the gut, so that may be an issue.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Wow - thanks so much for the reply. I can't believe it, but a year later I'm still dealing with all this. I have never tried restarting the lcarnitine....too scared for that!! Did you try adding in a low dose?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:26 AM

This is a good point. Before this started I was eating plenty. But now I have absolutely no appetite and have been eating far too little. I would guess this is slowing down any recovery. But I literally have to choke down food right now. I'm trying, but not getting enough in. Maybe I should drink whole milk or something just to get more calories for a while?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:23 AM

I had severe fatigue for many years before getting RA, but I never considered my self depressed. I never had any type of anxiety issue before. I wonder if your depression before getting RA was caused my inflammation which will deplete neurotransmitters very quickly. But I don't discount the mind-body connection which can clearly be very strong.

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843

(528)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:16 AM

So because what your doctor said wasn't what you wanted to hear you completely disregard it? Why exactly do you think an avg nutritionist/chiropractor (not shady at all btw) would know any more, or even close to as much for that matter as the avg MD? I implore you, speak again with your doc, find out WHY he says/thinks what he/she does. Do not just throw information out even if you don't like it.

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843

(528)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:08 AM

So because what your doctor said wasn't what you wanted to hear you completely disregard it? Why exactly do you think an avg nutritionist/chiropractor (not shady at all btw) would know any more, or even close to as much for that matter as the avg MD? It seems you've

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:18 AM

Obvious, but important: are you eating enough?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 30, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I did get all those tests - although I don't think he ordered the reverse T3 - unfortunately. The results should be in next week. I have never been very low carb paleo though - I eat fruit, sweet potatoes, and some white rice. I am pretty good about the micronutrient food groups as well. But I will bump carbs even further and see what happens. It's hard right now since my appetite is completely gone. I have to force food in at this point.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 11:47 PM

Actually, did you experience severe depression/anxiety before you got rheumatoid arthritis? I know I did, and I feel like the depression transformed itself into the arthritis. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm convinced that's what happened. Perhaps now that the RA is gone, the underlying cause (spiritual dissatisfaction of some sort) is resurfacing. You can call me crazy, and I know many will, especially likeslardinmayo and VB, but it may be something to consider.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Thanks. I did go to my general practice doctor for this to start with. She checked my TSH level and told me the hormonal issues were caused by stress. She also said I should come back in two weeks for anti-depressants if I don't feel better. I guess I need to keep shopping for a new doctor. I am seeing a nutrition minded naturopath/chiropracter. But to be honest, I don't have a ton of faith in him. He said this was probably caused by an accidental exposure to gluten. I just don't buy it. I think I will keep looking for a better physician to work with. Thanks!

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:16 PM

No - I made an appointment with the therapist after the panic attack and depression started. He has been helpful, but I feel really sure that something biochemical has shifted in my body. I will continue with the therapist for a while to keep digging and see what I can find.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Yes - I am definitely having some hormonal issues. My periods have been late, cramping is worse, and I am having a lot of pain and irritability during ovulation. I am 38, so I guess it's the right age. Right now I am having thyroid and adrenal testing done. Maybe I should have hormonal work done too. Argh - this stuff is all sooo expensive! I guess I am hoping if I can figure if there is an adrenal and thyroid issue, maybe the hormones will balance out.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:16 PM

You want to shoot for a level around 65 to 70.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:30 AM

Totally agree on both points, Jamie.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:29 AM

As for "open to anything" - I have to apologize to you because I really do not feel confident saying anything. Maybe you can find a good doctor/naturopath who can actually give you some qualified advice. All I can say at this point that I was told not to take it.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:19 AM

One more disclaimer - I have not tried Ray Peat myself and I will never try following his guidelines. I do not agree with him on some points, but I know people on Paleohacks who believe his guidelines helped them to recover after thyroid imbalance triggered by going VLC.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:13 AM

I drink reverse osmosis water. I shower in tap water, but it does go through a carbon filter in the shower head that gets changed every three months. I do wash my fruits and veggies in tap water.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:11 AM

As for my diet, I eat lots of red meat, butter, chicken, chicken stock, most veggies, sweet potatoes, fruit. I try to make sure i eat liver, oysters, sea weed, brazil nuts, and some bone marrow weekly. I don't always get them all in, but at least a few times a month. I do eat some white rice. No eggs, nuts, nightshades, coffee. I also had been doing intermittent fasting many days, but have stopped that as much as possible since this all started. Thanks for your help!!

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:09 AM

Thanks Jamie. I do have a nice social circle of good friends, although I don't have a ton of energy to spend time with them. I also moved to a new place about 2 years ago. I have made friends here, but my energy does keep me home a bit. I am making a very concerted effort to be more social since all this started. I do have a chronic illness, but have had it for years and feel better physically than I ever have. So it would surprise me to have depression cause by it now. But it is possible.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:08 AM

I think I know what you are getting at, but who doesn't shower in tap water?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:04 AM

Oh and do you eat liver BTW?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I am open to anything at this point, VB. I am desperate for any path to investigate.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Aside from diet, if you have taken a course of antibiotics, you may have wrecked your gut flora, which, in my opinion is the *centerpiece* of one's physical and emotional wellbeing. See what happens if you work hard to repopulate by taking high quality probiotics and especially by eating raw, unpasteurized or homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut with every meal. I don't think your diet caused your depression, but I do think it's related to your gut health.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:53 AM

He did but .... I don't really want to say anything - maybe you don't have it and then you will be alarmed for nothing.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:53 AM

Is it possible to have Hashi's with a normal TSH? I am having the labs run this week. So you had depression with your Hashi's? Were you able to get it back under control at some point? Can you tell me more? I have not had weight gain, but I will say that since this started I have barely been eating and I have only lost a couple of pounds. Food is just horrible to me right now. I force myself to eat something, but I am surprised the weight hasn't just fallen off.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:50 AM

I feel like there is a clear link between starting the carnitine and the anxiety. Did your herbal doctor say anything about the types of side effects people had? How long can that crap last in my system though!?!?!? I will look in to Ray Peat now.....with caution :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:49 AM

Smart. I was kinda going with the hopeful idea that maybe it was a situation where because you didn't need the drug, or the drug was now too strong, it might be causing some new side-effects. Total shot in the dark.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:46 AM

To the OP, that was. Apparently i'm Yoda tonight

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Hmmm....no steroids lately. Although I did take steroids for more than 2 years prior to going primal. However, now that you mention it, I did have to take a course of antibiotic a couple months ago for a sinus infection. My GI health has been really off since all this started. Could there be a link there? I don't want to believe it is related to diet. This diet has saved my life. But I don't want to let my bias keep me from looking in to it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:45 AM

+1, call it a piece offering. Ray Peat can be a life saver or he can really screw you up (personal experience trying his stuff). Do your research on Peat...

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:43 AM

I take a drug called actemra. It is an iv of antibodies against the interluekin-6 receptor that I get once per month. I did check if depression has been reported. It is reported in a few people early on, but not in anyone who has been on it as long as me. I have held off on my treatment for this month just in case, but I don't think it is the cause. I have been on that drug for more than 2.5 years now.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:40 AM

Thanks LikesLardinMayo (great name by the way!!) I am generally low energy - but after vigourous exercise I feel really depleted and completely exhausted for a day or two. I never get that great bump in energy that other get from exercise! My doctor would only order a TSH which came back at 2 (normal). Today I got some labs drawn from a naturopath that would look for auto-antibodies, and free T3 and free T4. So maybe those will point me in the right direction.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:37 AM

You mentioned below you are off 3 and still on 1 drug. What drug?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Define "crappy" in the context of hard exercise? I really get a bit uncomfortable offering arm-chair diagnosis on this site cause I've heard some serious horror stories about what can happen. So, poor recovery from exercise, changes in period, cold hands...add some dry hair and dry skin or any of the other standard and I'd go right to Thyroid. But so would everyone else... I hope your MD listens and takes you seriously best I can say is make sure they do a real thyroid pannel, not just TSH.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:30 AM

Yes, that is ironic. Do you really think it's related to your diet? Did you take antibiotics or corticosteroids leading up to your depressive break?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:25 AM

I don't think this depression was necessarily caused by life. Nothing really changed that I know of. But I am exploring it in therapy. As for my diet, I do the low lectin paleo - no nuts, eggs, nightshades, dairy (except ghee), or coffee. I eat lots of red meat, veggies, fruits, tubers. I don't intentionally eat low or high carb - so I would guess I cycle carbs. The difference was amazing for me - I was flared in almost all my joints while on 4 meds. I am not down to one drug and have almost zero swelling or pain in my joints. It's ironic that I became depressed AFTER fixing my body.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:22 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I do get at least an hour of walking exercise outside per day, but not with intensity. I generally feel crappy if I exercise hard, but I will try to bump up the intensity a bit. I am seeing a therapist and had a visit with an MD as well as a nutrition minded Chiropractor. But I can feel that this is biochemical for sure. I would really like to understand what/why this is happening. Thanks again for your thoughts!

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23 Answers

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:01 AM

This is a diet, not magic. Not everything in your life can be solved with food and it is possible that eating badly when young messed you up and you are going to need extra support.

Do you work out? I've been reading "Spark" by John Ratey and he has seen great results by getting people to work out intensely.

Other than suggesting you check with an MD or a Psych (Therapy is Paleo) the only things I could suggest -

Make sure you are getting enough to eat. Try upping your carbs, maybe with something more like yam and less like rice. Make sure you are getting enough sun and enough sleep.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:22 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I do get at least an hour of walking exercise outside per day, but not with intensity. I generally feel crappy if I exercise hard, but I will try to bump up the intensity a bit. I am seeing a therapist and had a visit with an MD as well as a nutrition minded Chiropractor. But I can feel that this is biochemical for sure. I would really like to understand what/why this is happening. Thanks again for your thoughts!

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:43 AM

I take a drug called actemra. It is an iv of antibodies against the interluekin-6 receptor that I get once per month. I did check if depression has been reported. It is reported in a few people early on, but not in anyone who has been on it as long as me. I have held off on my treatment for this month just in case, but I don't think it is the cause. I have been on that drug for more than 2.5 years now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:37 AM

You mentioned below you are off 3 and still on 1 drug. What drug?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:49 AM

Smart. I was kinda going with the hopeful idea that maybe it was a situation where because you didn't need the drug, or the drug was now too strong, it might be causing some new side-effects. Total shot in the dark.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Define "crappy" in the context of hard exercise? I really get a bit uncomfortable offering arm-chair diagnosis on this site cause I've heard some serious horror stories about what can happen. So, poor recovery from exercise, changes in period, cold hands...add some dry hair and dry skin or any of the other standard and I'd go right to Thyroid. But so would everyone else... I hope your MD listens and takes you seriously best I can say is make sure they do a real thyroid pannel, not just TSH.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:40 AM

Thanks LikesLardinMayo (great name by the way!!) I am generally low energy - but after vigourous exercise I feel really depleted and completely exhausted for a day or two. I never get that great bump in energy that other get from exercise! My doctor would only order a TSH which came back at 2 (normal). Today I got some labs drawn from a naturopath that would look for auto-antibodies, and free T3 and free T4. So maybe those will point me in the right direction.

5
6b12f51759715bf7db5b342066c27241

on September 29, 2012
at 05:40 AM

What about your thyroid? Hashimoto's hypothyroid can cause those symptoms...along with unexplained weight-gain, I had every one of the symptoms you described. Have you checked this?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:53 AM

Is it possible to have Hashi's with a normal TSH? I am having the labs run this week. So you had depression with your Hashi's? Were you able to get it back under control at some point? Can you tell me more? I have not had weight gain, but I will say that since this started I have barely been eating and I have only lost a couple of pounds. Food is just horrible to me right now. I force myself to eat something, but I am surprised the weight hasn't just fallen off.

3
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on September 29, 2012
at 07:00 AM

I'd speculate that it's the thyroid. Tell them to test for TSH, T4, T3, and Reverse T3 (they usually only test for 1 or 2 of these -- the Reverse T3 would be very telling here). My suspicion is that because you were so long in the AI version of Paleo, very low carb, you might have run out of energy and your body has freaked out. I'd suggest you add some carbs back to your diet, by the means of fruits, tubers, some raw & unfiltered local honey, and if you can handle it, goat kefir. I had something similar happening to me a few months ago. I had to eat 200 gr of carbs daily for a week to get better. After that, I stabilized at around 100-130 gr of net carbs daily. Also, don't forget shellfish, organ meat, bone broth, and sea vegetables.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 30, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I did get all those tests - although I don't think he ordered the reverse T3 - unfortunately. The results should be in next week. I have never been very low carb paleo though - I eat fruit, sweet potatoes, and some white rice. I am pretty good about the micronutrient food groups as well. But I will bump carbs even further and see what happens. It's hard right now since my appetite is completely gone. I have to force food in at this point.

2
0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

on August 01, 2013
at 05:30 AM

So, I thought I should update a year later. Even though I don't know much more.

I'm still paleo. Still on one arthritis drug but doing great as far as the RA goes.

The bad news is that I still have clinical depression. I found a fantastic MD with a background in functional medicine. He started me on probiotics, a few other supplements, and anti-depressants. The combination worked quite well. But when I tried to get off the anti-depressants the depression came back. I also gained 20 lbs which really irks me since my diet and exercise has been great. I'm trying to switch to a new med.

My doctor believes this is all related to long-term, on-going gut dysfunction. My therapist thinks it all came about as a result of finally being healthy after 20 years of illness.

I am fully functional again and the depression and anxiety are very well controlled by this regimen. But I am still searching for the cause and the cure.

2
81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843

(528)

on September 29, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I doubt it has anything at all to do with your diet. 2 years of steady lifestyle without much change and then boom panic and anxiety? I'd see a regular doc and a psych. Get some blood tests done that may shed light on any hormonal/other abnormalities, please don't try to do this alone, the general distrust and contempt for western medicine that can float around this site is alarming. there are great doctors out there and great psychologists or psychiatrists that can save you a ton of unnecessary suffering.

Best of luck.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Thanks. I did go to my general practice doctor for this to start with. She checked my TSH level and told me the hormonal issues were caused by stress. She also said I should come back in two weeks for anti-depressants if I don't feel better. I guess I need to keep shopping for a new doctor. I am seeing a nutrition minded naturopath/chiropracter. But to be honest, I don't have a ton of faith in him. He said this was probably caused by an accidental exposure to gluten. I just don't buy it. I think I will keep looking for a better physician to work with. Thanks!

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843

(528)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:08 AM

So because what your doctor said wasn't what you wanted to hear you completely disregard it? Why exactly do you think an avg nutritionist/chiropractor (not shady at all btw) would know any more, or even close to as much for that matter as the avg MD? It seems you've

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843

(528)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:16 AM

So because what your doctor said wasn't what you wanted to hear you completely disregard it? Why exactly do you think an avg nutritionist/chiropractor (not shady at all btw) would know any more, or even close to as much for that matter as the avg MD? I implore you, speak again with your doc, find out WHY he says/thinks what he/she does. Do not just throw information out even if you don't like it.

1
34eae99a7dd6b06157785501f39ea4cb

on July 09, 2013
at 11:32 AM

acetyl-l-carnitine !, That's how I ended up here, looking for others suffering the same.

I Started suffering anxiety not long after taking this, stopped it, then tried it again. It always re occurred and sometimes only hours after taking it. I found a studied conducted on Pubmed that revealed, low doses - now effect, med dose relieved anxiety and higher dose actually caused anxiety (in Rats). Not sure how this relates to humans but it effected me (maybe I'm a rat?)

Hope this helps, all be it a little late.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Wow - thanks so much for the reply. I can't believe it, but a year later I'm still dealing with all this. I have never tried restarting the lcarnitine....too scared for that!! Did you try adding in a low dose?

1
0e1f7e14caba1404e8bfa56384c4125b

on June 07, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I know this is very late and hope it's resolved a little for you now, but do your moods fluctuate? Upwards and downwards, like, monthly? Or does anybody else in your family have anxiety/depression? I started getting this in my early 20s and found out my mum, grandfather and aunt get it too so it's genetic. For the anxiety, I find Focus by Brauer (a spray from the chemist) very helpful. For depression or mood swings, try Vit B6 or Evening Primrose Oil. And perhaps get your bloodwork done for oestrogen/progesterone/thyroid levels too.

And thank you for your post. I have severe RA as well and am into week 2 of the autoimmune paleo diet. No results yet, but you have given me hope in that regard!

1
Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on September 29, 2012
at 06:06 AM

Do you drink tap water, wash veggies in tap water or shower in tap water?

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:13 AM

I drink reverse osmosis water. I shower in tap water, but it does go through a carbon filter in the shower head that gets changed every three months. I do wash my fruits and veggies in tap water.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:08 AM

I think I know what you are getting at, but who doesn't shower in tap water?

1
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:02 AM

To really comment on this, id need two things:

A) Some emotional background. Do you have freinds, a happy life. Have you been through anything scary etc. Stuff that might relate to depression or anxiety.

b) What do you eat. You might be missing something, but hard to know what, without a pretty detailled account of your food. Have you tried putting your diet through cronometer to see what you are missing or low on?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:04 AM

Oh and do you eat liver BTW?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:30 AM

Totally agree on both points, Jamie.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:11 AM

As for my diet, I eat lots of red meat, butter, chicken, chicken stock, most veggies, sweet potatoes, fruit. I try to make sure i eat liver, oysters, sea weed, brazil nuts, and some bone marrow weekly. I don't always get them all in, but at least a few times a month. I do eat some white rice. No eggs, nuts, nightshades, coffee. I also had been doing intermittent fasting many days, but have stopped that as much as possible since this all started. Thanks for your help!!

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:09 AM

Thanks Jamie. I do have a nice social circle of good friends, although I don't have a ton of energy to spend time with them. I also moved to a new place about 2 years ago. I have made friends here, but my energy does keep me home a bit. I am making a very concerted effort to be more social since all this started. I do have a chronic illness, but have had it for years and feel better physically than I ever have. So it would surprise me to have depression cause by it now. But it is possible.

1
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:14 AM

Yeah, it's not all diet. In normal cases, things like depression and anxiety are caused by life circumstances rather than diet. I mean, diet has an effect, certainly, on your mood, but it by no means provides the content of your emotional life. It sounds like you have some deep work to do, therapeutically, whatever that means to you.

Also, what's your diet like? I'm battling severe rheumatoid arthritis as well and have been on the paleo diet for 6 months. I'd like to compare our diets. Do you eat red meat? nuts and seeds? fruit? How low carb are you?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:30 AM

Yes, that is ironic. Do you really think it's related to your diet? Did you take antibiotics or corticosteroids leading up to your depressive break?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:00 AM

Aside from diet, if you have taken a course of antibiotics, you may have wrecked your gut flora, which, in my opinion is the *centerpiece* of one's physical and emotional wellbeing. See what happens if you work hard to repopulate by taking high quality probiotics and especially by eating raw, unpasteurized or homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut with every meal. I don't think your diet caused your depression, but I do think it's related to your gut health.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 29, 2012
at 11:47 PM

Actually, did you experience severe depression/anxiety before you got rheumatoid arthritis? I know I did, and I feel like the depression transformed itself into the arthritis. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm convinced that's what happened. Perhaps now that the RA is gone, the underlying cause (spiritual dissatisfaction of some sort) is resurfacing. You can call me crazy, and I know many will, especially likeslardinmayo and VB, but it may be something to consider.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:25 AM

I don't think this depression was necessarily caused by life. Nothing really changed that I know of. But I am exploring it in therapy. As for my diet, I do the low lectin paleo - no nuts, eggs, nightshades, dairy (except ghee), or coffee. I eat lots of red meat, veggies, fruits, tubers. I don't intentionally eat low or high carb - so I would guess I cycle carbs. The difference was amazing for me - I was flared in almost all my joints while on 4 meds. I am not down to one drug and have almost zero swelling or pain in my joints. It's ironic that I became depressed AFTER fixing my body.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:46 AM

Hmmm....no steroids lately. Although I did take steroids for more than 2 years prior to going primal. However, now that you mention it, I did have to take a course of antibiotic a couple months ago for a sinus infection. My GI health has been really off since all this started. Could there be a link there? I don't want to believe it is related to diet. This diet has saved my life. But I don't want to let my bias keep me from looking in to it.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:23 AM

I had severe fatigue for many years before getting RA, but I never considered my self depressed. I never had any type of anxiety issue before. I wonder if your depression before getting RA was caused my inflammation which will deplete neurotransmitters very quickly. But I don't discount the mind-body connection which can clearly be very strong.

0
0f8f77156cd0667d43194fc4b8bc3b5d

on September 13, 2013
at 04:25 AM

Have you tested yourself for pyroluria?

http://www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com/library/Pyroluria%20Questionnaire%20from%20Antianxiety%20Food%20Solution.pdf

0
F6c4b68f393c2a15b833a29c8d701af6

on September 13, 2013
at 03:01 AM

I've always battled with depression and I've come to believe that it's another symptom of my auto-immunity, that also gives me psoriasis and rheumatism. Just a paleo diet was not enough, I also had to follow a strict auto-immune protocol, that eliminates foods well-know to cause allergies. So far so good on every symptom, including depression. Maybe you have an undiagnosed auto-immune condition and it would do you well to follow the same sort of diet.

This is a helpful link, but I'm sure you can find many others on the internet:

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-overcome-candida-naturally

0
41a3d63158cc5ad951d9b1f6a5dd96d1

on September 12, 2013
at 09:29 PM

are you consuming any aspartame at all?

0
22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on August 01, 2013
at 12:22 PM

I'm not sure about depression, but panic attacks can be caused by histamine intolerance. A lot of paleo recommended foods are very high in histamine: fish, fermented foods, processed meats, shellfish and also some fruits/veggies such as avocados (big time), tomatoes, eggplant. Also wine (especially red).

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:17 AM

Hmmm....I'm going to have to look in to this a bit. I don't eat nightshades or much processed meat. But I do eat avocados and some shellfish. Thanks :)

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on August 01, 2013
at 07:35 AM

Depression & anxiety are mental attributes, i'd suggest things like meditation, exercise, sometimes counselling/therapy helps people, eating healthy foods has not much at all to do with curing depression in my experience, people can be happy eating crap everyday, pepole can be miserable eating super healthy, the only true cure for depression is you have to find that calm peaceful happy place within yourself and put your attention there

After losing my dad & 2 of my best friends within a year i went into a deep existential crisis/depression, no diet could put me in that depression or bring me out of it, only finding myself

Sorry if all this is a bit harsh its just ridiculous to blame eating paleo for depression or anxiety, imo

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:16 AM

Depression and anxiety are very frequently caused by physical issues. I was not experiencing sadness or unhappiness. I know what those things are - I have been through some difficult times in life and spent many years in severe physical pain every day. But I was not depressed. What i experienced now was a severe clinical depression. It was not something that could be thought away. Oh - and btw - I never blamed paleo eating for depression or anxiety.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:12 AM

Depression and anxiety are very frequently caused by physical issues. I am glad that you were able to come through your depression. But what I was experiences was not sadness or unhappiness. It was a severe physical clinical depression. I been through some incredibly difficult times in my life and live every day with a chronic health condition but had never experienced depression. I have already found myself, so that's not going to help. And, by the way, I never blamed paleo eating for the depression or anxiety.

0
B88d8e09b788739b929a016ed8b4ddbb

on July 25, 2013
at 05:09 AM

Hi

Have you considered it is actually withdrawal from your arthritis meds that you have been weaning off. your symptoms fit it exactly. drugs can take 2 years to fully get out of your system and then your brain can rewire. All the best.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:23 AM

I haven't been able to get off the last med. This medication has no indication of causing depression and I was on it for more than 2 years before all this started. However, it does prevent healing of the gut, so that may be an issue.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 02, 2013
at 02:19 AM

Oh wait - I mis-uderstood what you were saying. Yes - I have considered it could be caused by withdrawal from steroids. I tried a 2 month course of going back on steroids to see if it could help. It did help a little, but not nearly enough, so I tapered back off of them. I'm still not convinced that all of this wasn't initiated when I went off those meds.

0
4cef120270c742b7f0094b05c617636f

on July 09, 2013
at 11:43 AM

Get you B12 levels checked. Alternatively try taking some methylcobalamin combined with potassium and see what happens.

You could have a gut issue which is preventing B12 absorption.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on August 01, 2013
at 05:24 AM

I take B12 and used to take potassium. Without supplementation, I do have a deficiency. But was normal when all this started. I just recently added in all the methyl-B vitamins and an adensylB12 as well.

0
0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

on September 29, 2012
at 10:22 PM

I have been following the Mood Cure suggestions with some success, as I mentioned. But still have a long way to go.

I am really considering spending the $4000 to go to her clinic. It will take me forever to pay that amount off, so I am hesitant. Anyone here ever try her clinic?

0
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 29, 2012
at 08:04 PM

if you were seeing a therapist prior to the attack, i would ask him/her to review what you were working on just prior to the attack. perhaps you hit on something that you don't even realize is important.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:16 PM

No - I made an appointment with the therapist after the panic attack and depression started. He has been helpful, but I feel really sure that something biochemical has shifted in my body. I will continue with the therapist for a while to keep digging and see what I can find.

0
E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:36 PM

If you are a woman my guess would be too much estrogen. It causes all of your symptoms and it may have nothing at all to do with being Paleo and more to do with age. Estrogen and progesterone get out of balance in your late 30's to early 40's. Run your symptoms through this test and see what you come up with: http://www.johnleemd.com/store/resource_hormonetest.html

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Yes - I am definitely having some hormonal issues. My periods have been late, cramping is worse, and I am having a lot of pain and irritability during ovulation. I am 38, so I guess it's the right age. Right now I am having thyroid and adrenal testing done. Maybe I should have hormonal work done too. Argh - this stuff is all sooo expensive! I guess I am hoping if I can figure if there is an adrenal and thyroid issue, maybe the hormones will balance out.

0
Dea454157947011c92e8a28351a793ca

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 04:20 PM

You say you take vitamin D. How much do you take? I woukld recommend reading "Sunlight Robbery" to see what you have to do to up levels of vitamin D in your body. There is also a very good thread on the subject on a low carb forum called The Great Vitamin D experiment. It was there that I found my ideal dose to take to recover from severe low vitamin D levels. You have to increase your levels until you "feel happy" - for me that was in the beginning 8000 iU per day. These days I take 5000 iU in winter and 2000 in summer if it rains a lot. I have been taking it for 6 years now and have not had a cold once. Believe me if you feel happy you have tons more energy and no depression.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:16 PM

You want to shoot for a level around 65 to 70.

0
5daf265b82d5a5bbb48ef3ae0d9117ae

on September 29, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Sometimes a freak reaction/event happens due to a multitude of possible factors - a virus, too little sleep, a stray thought etc and everything that happens after is merely because of it.

Whether diet is affecting this or not, there are starving people who are far more ill than you who are relatively happy. There are kids with cancer who still laugh when the clown comes in to the hospital ward. If anyone was going to be depressed, it'd be them.

After a traumatic event a health conscious person scare themselves into a state of lasting worry. "Oh my god, perhaps it was that carrot I ate...or this.... or that... but I don't want to get my arthritis back....I thought everything was perfect and I had it all figured out but now the future is so uncertain!"

Rather than forget about it -the health conscious, solve everything through diet person- will search for the reason "why do I feel anxious" and cause further anxiety- you get into a viscous cycle.

The trick here is to instead focus on solutions rather than the problem. Ask yourself the following questions:

What things make me feel good and how can I do them more?

I recommend you watch some "Antony Robbins" on depression. Just search and you'll find a couple videos.

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:40 AM

  1. I don't have an answer to your question.

  2. I am not a doctor (disclaimer)

  3. I have a feeling that it could be not diet related but L-carnitine related. My herbal doctor advised me against it - he told me that it had severe side effects in some people. Here is something I found:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-834-ACETYL-L-CARNITINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=834&activeIngredientName=ACETYL-L-CARNITINE

  1. If it was triggered by hypothyroidism, you might want to follow Ray Peat's dietary guidelines.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:19 AM

One more disclaimer - I have not tried Ray Peat myself and I will never try following his guidelines. I do not agree with him on some points, but I know people on Paleohacks who believe his guidelines helped them to recover after thyroid imbalance triggered by going VLC.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:46 AM

To the OP, that was. Apparently i'm Yoda tonight

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:53 AM

He did but .... I don't really want to say anything - maybe you don't have it and then you will be alarmed for nothing.

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:50 AM

I feel like there is a clear link between starting the carnitine and the anxiety. Did your herbal doctor say anything about the types of side effects people had? How long can that crap last in my system though!?!?!? I will look in to Ray Peat now.....with caution :)

0277d31384ec7f53beb3c9f302803dc9

(30)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I am open to anything at this point, VB. I am desperate for any path to investigate.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:29 AM

As for "open to anything" - I have to apologize to you because I really do not feel confident saying anything. Maybe you can find a good doctor/naturopath who can actually give you some qualified advice. All I can say at this point that I was told not to take it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 29, 2012
at 05:45 AM

+1, call it a piece offering. Ray Peat can be a life saver or he can really screw you up (personal experience trying his stuff). Do your research on Peat...

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