The Grand Supplement Testing Project

I think I have something like twenty bottles of supplements accrued.  I have already tested about five of these, but I intend to systematically try the others. The first thing to mention is that I have mild type 1 (flushing) rosacea and mild IBS-C, and these conditions are what I will be testing the supplements against. I also sometimes get mild to moderate acne, which I will also test the supplements against. I am also growing my hair.

None of the supplements I have tried so far, have improved my IBS in any way or form. But a few have benefited my acne, had other positive effects on my health  and appearance, and I can only think of one thing I have tried which has helped my rosacea.

Here are the supplements that I have tried so far.

orientated

The zinc picolinate, and the spirulina seem to genuinely reduce what little acne I get. This makes sense as zinc deficiency can cause acne, and spirulina reduces lipid peroxidation in the body which is positively correlated with acne. Spirulina also contains zinc, along with a myriad of other minerals.

Gotu kola helps maintain the integrity and function of blood vessels, among other things, and appeared to help some spider veins I have on my legs. Unfortunately it did nothing visible to my rosacea.

The maca seemed to increase my libido for a while, and I think may generally make me feel more energetic.

The flaxseed oil, a common anti-inflammatory remedy for rosacea which might help the skin barrier, did absolutely nothing to me.

I just opened the probiotic bottle, but I don’t expect much from it.

In regards to the only thing, which is sort of like a supplement, that I tried that seemed to help my rosacea, I have literally no idea why it seemed to help. It might be a mere fluke, but drinking diluted apple cider vinegar every morning actually seemed to reduce my flushing. It wasn’t even an expensive variety. It really confused me.

Anyway, there are a substantial number of supplements I have yet to try, and I am going to break down by the order I am going to test them in.

1. Remedies (garlic and l-lysine)

12607346_10208645686368483_2106704862_n

These two supplements are often taken as remedies on rosacea forums, and I am not very confident that either of them will help. I think the anti-inflammatory qualities of the garlic means it could have some use, if it is going to help at all.

I remember that I used to eat garlic cloves for my acne, and that actually helped. Perhaps again because of the anti-inflammatory effects of the garlic, and likely also due to the anti-bacterial effects.

I think people try l-lysine for rosacea because someone marketing it invaded the forums at some point. That is my theory anyway.

2. Potent Anti-inflammatories (curcumin and astaxanthin)

I am actually quite excited to try these two. The bottle of astaxanthin reads “helps to relieve pain and inflammation, supports health, blood flow, and vessel integrity, the most powerful known natural anti-oxidant”.

I think one or both of those might help.

3. Probiotics


These may or may not help my IBS, we shall see.

4. Digestive Enzymes

The last time I tried these I ended up running to the bathroom for some reason. So I am going to work my way through the orange ones over the easter break.

5. Betaine HCL

12626107_10208645686968498_1695825131_n

Rosacea is associated with infection by H Pylori, which reduces stomach acid. You can see the logic in trying it. IBS and GERD also overlap a lot in patients, and my mum has GERD. GERD may actually be caused by low stomach acid according to Chris Kresser.

Low stomach acid can also cause digestive issues in itself.

So I am quite intrigued by the idea of trying this one.

6. Biotin (for growing my hair)

12583955_10208645686608489_161640443_n

This one is kind of a bonus and will probably require long term supplementation when I finally crack the bottles open.

So there you have it. I am going to test, and report back on, all of these supplements. I will likely take the supplements for a month to see what happens.

I’ll keep you posted.

Advertisements

Finally an Update!

Hello, I would like to apologise to my followers for falling into a sort of rut in terms of motivation and energy for many months. Lots of things seemed to stagnate in my life, like my relationship,  the movement of things outside of my control such as events regarding my siblings and myself sort of energetically. I suspect this might have had something to do with the antidepressants I took for rosacea, having received a free sample of maca I feel a lot better, so that might have something to do with my attempt at refocusing myself. Additionally I am having some relationship problems as a nice organic love triangle developed, but I won’t get into that here. This seems to provide me with a bit of motivation to improve myself.

I am going to focus on some key elements in this update.

Academically I left Psychology with a 2.1 and returned to Philosophy. I have utterly bummed this semester due my issues with motivation and hope I can compensate for this in the 3 semesters remaining. That said I am enjoying all of my lectures. Though my attendance is very poor.

In terms of the situation with my siblings, who live with my neglectful mother, who also neglected and abused me, one of them has been made to leave the nest. On June the 22nd my then 12 year old disabled brother, came to live with us, having been scratched, bruised and pinched by my mother. Under police advice, my brother was sent to live us. He never returned to his mother. Because the investigation is now over, I can post pictures of the marks.

At the moment we are looking for a bigger house, and our current flat is overcrowded and under-decorated as we await our new home.

In terms of health, I unfortunately enjoyed a sigmoidoscopy, and a SIBO breath test, both of which found nothing. The only other things I can think of pursuing right now pertain to parasite stool samples and thyroid tests. I was on the FODMAP diet for some months and it didn’t really do anything. At the moment my gut is functioning near normally, and my rosacea is  essentially the same as when I initially started taking citalopram even though I am eating very unhealthily and drinking right now. This means I only have a major flush about once a week, and my rosacea doesn’t appear to be progressing at all.

In terms of facial development, my face seems a lot rounder. My implant has been completed, which has filled out my right cheek to a slight degree and offered support to the right side of my lips.

Here you can see the progression from large gap, to healing gap which resulted in the gum healing in a circle with a gap ready for the implant, and the implant inserted as to fill the gap. The whole process was relatively painless. It took a few days to get accustomed to the implant, as I kept biting my cheek until it I cut it. But this no longer happens and my implant feels as warm and natural as a regular tooth. Having had the implant inserted I feel my enunciation has improved and chewing feels easier.

Below you can see how my lower lip seems more supported, which is a general trend I have noticed in pictures since the insertion of the implant.


The differences in the more deformed right side of my face, courtesy of child abuse induced tooth loss, have been much slower but notable. Despite the fact all I have maintained since I lost most off my motivation has been my oral posture, rather than any gum chewing.

Notice the fuller profile, the rounder jaw, and the slight difference in gradient of the nasolabial fold. The first picture is from November last year, and the second picture is from today, the 31st of December 2015. My skin quality has obviously improved, despite a recent acne break out from falling out of the habit of washing my mineral sunscreen off before going to sleep.

I have found that the supplementation of spirulina seems to help prevent acne. This is likely due its role in the alleviation of lipid peroxidation. I am currently experimenting with a few antioxidant topicals, which might be relevant to rosacea too. I suggest anyone with rosacea, checks Instanatural and Camden Cosmetics on Amazon.


My hair has grew a surprising amount in a year, which might be a reflection of greater focus on minerals and protein.

here 2

In terms of new experiences in overcoming the sort of fears and anxieties mediated by child neglect and emotional abuse, this year I went down a sort of super slide, did my first bout of semi-independent traveling, ate squid and all sorts of foods for the first time, got my first tattoo and professional piercings, went on a speed boat, got some ferrets, planned out my first independent travel to London and probably did some other stuff I can’t remember. Unfortunately my trip to Amsterdam fell through due to a combination of passport office issues and my own failure in terms of motivation.


To close here is a comparison of passport pictures from 3 years ago, up until around about now. This is what abuse and determination can do to people.

before and after

 

 

Journal Log 6. 21.12.14. Anemia is Boring.

Bloating

Bloating/Gas Supplements and Dietary Extras

SIBO Supplements

constipation

Constipation Supplements and Dietary Extras

The Bottom of the Parasites Mindmap

The Bottom of the Parasites Mindmap

The Top of the Parasites Mindmap

The Top of the Parasites Mindmap

The Top of the IBS Mindmap

The Top of the IBS Mindmap

The Middle of the IBS Mindmap

The Middle of the IBS Mindmap

The Bottom of the IBS Mindmap

The Bottom of the IBS Mindmap

Hello there,

You’ll have to excuse my foggy head, but I almost definitely have anemia. So, I’ve been mostly in bed for I don’t know how many days, I have extremely pale nails, persistent fatigue, recurring headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness and a subsequent loss of balance. This is a ‘red flag’ symptom so as soon as my GP finds out, baring in mind that I presented with GI, skin and some psychological issues, I may be pushed off to an outpatient department. I don’t necessarily think the anemia is anything to worry about. It is possible that the wheat experiment, the NSAIDs, and the fact I am female resulted in anemia. However, there are signs that I am failing at absorbing minerals and fats which can be seen in my old symptom report. This indicates that my small intestine, where fats and minerals are absorbed, is for whatever reason not working properly. So, I might indeed have SIBO or some kind of parasite. I think my struggle in maintaining weight and my previous episode of anemia support that. You see, ulcerative colitis and IBS concern the large intestine. These GI disorders are the most probable in my case. I think GERD/GORD is another option given that some people with symptoms like mine have been diagnosed with it, and my mother has GERD/GORD.

On the brightside, I can’t raspberry face flush even when I feel like flushing because I’m so anemic! Nah, this is unhealthy I know and needs fixing as soon as possible. I had my inflammatory marker blood test on Thursday, and I receive the results on Wednesday. I reckon that my GP is indirectly testing for IBD.

In the meantime I am struggling to meet the demands of the world because I am exhausted. I am doubling up on iron supplements and taking 6 teaspoons of Metatone daily. This helps.

I have been able to take a few notes from Kathryn Marsden’s Good Gut Healing, I am too sleepy for technology so you’ll have to zoom in on the maps.

I must confess I am getting a little freaked out by all the weird things that are happening to my body. I’ve demonstrated multiple ‘red flag’ symptoms now and it is not exactly reassuring. I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I look  like a shadow of my former self.

I’ll keep you posted.

Useful to Some: SCD Lifestyle Simplified Video Transcriptions III

SCD Lifestyle is essentially a business that creates profit by educating individuals about gut health. It makes sense to do such a thing, as the individuals who run the business have put a lot of effort and research into dealing with their gut issues, so they might as well profit right? Actually, I don’t think the answer to that question is so straightforward.

Nevertheless, I have written transcripts for a few of their videos. When I first watched the videos I found them pretty overwhelming and so I attempted to make sense of the information presented through writing. Hopefully someone will find this useful, and may even come up with ideas regarding what might be causing their gut issues. Remember, you can find your own answers.

Here is the third list of transcripts. It is worth noting these are only partial videos, as SCD Lifestyle sell the full videos alongside full transcripts. Despite this, I have found the partial videos  very useful as they have put into perspective just how important it is that I fix my gut issues to avoid further physical degeneration. It has also opened up a new realms of knowledge to explore, of particular interest to me, given my previously difficult existence is the concept of adrenal fatigue. I see now that it is also possible that I might be in danger of acquiring an autoimmune disease assuming that I don’t already have one.

The Exact Process of How Autoimmune Disease Starts:
Autoimmunity and autoimmune disease are separated by the quantity of damage and the symptoms it produces. Symptoms are caused when enough damage to tissues happens. The point at which autoimmunity leads to autoimmune disease varies from person to person, depending on the tissue being attacked, and the aggressiveness of the autoimmune disease. Symptoms can include more benign things such as fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, mood issues, skin conditions including rashes, dry skin and acne.
Two things have to happen to create an autoimmune disease, that is to move from a state of generalized inflammation, to a targeted attack on the part of the adaptive immune system. . The first thing is the production of a antibody, a protein. There are cells in the adaptive immune system that produce antibodies, which target specific entities, which are usually foreign invaders. Antibodies have a structure that resembles a Y. The of tips of the Y, have antigen binding sites on them, this is like a lock and therefore it acts to acquire the appropriate key. It is looking for a specific sequence of around 15-20 amino acids, as it does not recognise whole proteins, which it binds to. It follows that the antibody is looking for a specific protein fragment. In doing this the antibody signals to the adaptive and innate immune system that there is something that needs attacking. There are millions of antibodies in our immune system. Every cell produces a type of antibody which bonds a specific protein fragment.

When the cells of the innate immune system find something they tell production cells to produce antibodies specific to the invader. Other parts of the immune system decide whether the production of these antibodies is a good idea or not.

What can happen is that because antibodies are binding to very small protein fragments, they can bind to sites that are not specific to a forgein invader. This happens because there are structural similarities in cells and these similarities are necessary for life. Unfortunately this means that antibodies may attack the body.

There are certain things that make the autoimmune response more likely, including genetics, and infections. Some infections are more likely to lead to the production of antibodies that also recognise the body.

Antibodies attack the body in everyone. The body has a large number of fail-safe mechanisms to try to prevent the immune system from attacking the body. There are cells that exist to recognise autoimmune antibodies, and make sure that these autoantibodies are shutdown or killed. However in autoimmune diseases the fail-safes fail and so the production of autoantibodies is allowed to continue. So the immune system is simulated in a way that results in it attacking the body, it is unable to shut down autoantibodies, and will not cease their production. When enough damage results you have what is called an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune reactions can result from chronic stress, leaky gut, infection or some kind of toxic exposure because they stimulate the immune system.

The Gut-Hormone Connection Stealing your Energy:

There is a direct correlation between how exhausted the adrenal glands are and how damaged the gut lining has become.

When you are first having adrenal fatigue, and increased cortisol levels, it can take a few years of stress before GI symptoms result. It is practically a prerequisite to have a gut problem if you have notable adrenal gland burnout. It is also the case that notable gut problems are usually accompanied by some level adrenal fatigue. They cannot be separated.

Cortisol is in charge of the secretion of immunoglobulin A (SIgA). Immunoglobulins protect the intestinal lining against potential foods that could be reactive or cause a problem. It also protects you against potential pathogens like bacteria and parasites or yeast. So, if your adrenals are burned out they cannot produce enough cortisol and your SIgA drops. This is why there is a direct relationship between how stressed you are and your gut health.

If you’re doing something to inflame your gut, you drive cortisol up, because cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone. So damage to the gut makes the adrenals worse and damage to the adrenals makes the gut worse. NSAIDs, substances like alcohol and poor dietary decisions cause gut inflammation.

Physical stress can be equally as damaging as emotional stress. So, both physical stress and emotional stress do the same thing, they drive cortisol up and cause gut immunity to drop.

There is a process by which cortisol becomes high, and then later becomes low. Initially we react to stress in such a way that our cortisol levels go up. However if this goes on too long our cortisol levels drop. This process exemplifies the stages of adrenal fatigue.

In stage 1 of adrenal fatigue cortisol levels are high. In stage 2 cortisol levels start to drop. And finally, in stage 3 cortisol levels become very low. The lower the cortisol the more fatigued the adrenals are, and therefore the harder the problem is to fix. An individual with more adrenal fatigue will have more gut issues and their situation will be harder to fix.

Low cortisol also relates to the accumulation of body fat, fatigue, and low sex drive.

How Leaky Gut is Probably Causing All Your Skin Problems

You might have dysbiosis, SIBO, parasites, fungal overgrowth, intestinal permeability, or just a lack of beneficial bacteria. All of these things can directly and indirectly contribute towards a plethora of skin problems. Changes in the gut flora can be due to antibiotic use, not being breast-fed, being born via Caesarean section, eating a poor diet, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, exposure to environmental toxins, et cetera. Changes in gut fora then predispose people to intestinal permeability and inflammation, which as mentioned leads to an inflammatory skin response.
Substance P is a neuropeptide that is produced in the gut, the brain and the skin. Altered gut microbiom promotes the release of substance P in both the gut and the skin. Probiotics have been shown to attenuate or mitigate the situation regarding gut flora.

The gut microbiome also influence lipids and tissue fatty acid profiles, which in turn influence sebum production (an oily waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin) and the fatty acid composition of the sebum itself. This can predispose individuals to acne.

There are have a myriad of studies that have noted a significant connection between gut and skin issues.

Two researchers Stokes and Pillsberry were talking about the gut skin axis, as far back as the early 1900s. They said that there is an important link between emotion and skin issues such as acne outbreaks, erythema, urticaria and dermatitis via the physiology and bacteriology of the gut. They noted research at the time that indicated that 40% of acne prone individuals in a given sample had low stomach acid. Low stomach acid can contribute towards SIBO and intestinal permeability. Low stomach acid can therefore contribute to the development of skin issues.

Stokes and Pillsberry suggested a number of remedies including probiotics and cod liver oil (a rich source of EPA and DHEA). EPA and DHEA are both anti-inflammatory. Additionally cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin A (preformed vitamin A- retinol).

How Gut Inflammation Triggers Depression

There are systemic effects to anti-depressants and psychotropic medicines. In 2009 there were about 235 billion prescriptions written for anti-depressants. The effects of anti-depressants and psychotropic medicines are not completely understood in all cases. That said, they can be very helpful. They are not magic pills. In fact in some cases they may not be the right instrument compared to modulating the immune system and modulating pathology via managing diet, managing gut microbiome, and making sleep changes. Lifestyle changes are more in line with our very complicated pathophysiology than the usage of psychiatric medications.

Inflammatory cytokine model of depression: inflammatory cytokines could be crossing the blood/brain barrier suppressing activity in the frontal cortex which may lead to depression.

If the microbiome is off in your gut it will cause an inflammatory reaction. The immune system near the gut will release sorts of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 1 (IL 1) and interleukin 6 (IL 6). They send a direct message to the hypothalamus, which in turn tells the pituitary gland to the signal the adrenal glands to release more cortisol. It follows that gut issues can lead to depression, or manifest as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

How important is it for people to address the gut during the treatment of anxiety and depression?

Switching from a diet of highly processed food to a diet of less processed food will help the gut. Managing sleep is going to help the gut. All these things can affect the gut bacteria and the stress response.

In Victorian times they used to treat TB, depression and anxiety by visiting the seashore wherein they stay out in the sunshine and eat fish. Additionally individuals were taken to countryside mental institutions where they would be taken out in the early morning into the sunshine. When individuals were manic they would lock them in a dark room. Mania is characterised by immense energy, but also psychotic delusions. It happens in various disorders including bipolar and schizophrenia.

You can temporarily sleep deprive a depressed individual for half a night. Their depression will get immediately better, but once they sleep normally it will return as it was before.

Chronic sleep deprivation is a stressor that can cause depression. We are having around 20 less hours of sleep a week relative to 60-70 years ago.

Interestingly a 10,000 lux light box used before 10am in the morning from September to March can be as effective as an antidepressant. This is known as chronotherapy. However it is risky to use the light box after 10am, especially if you have a family history of bipolar.

If you have depression is it prudent to get up at 6:00am or 7:00am and go outside for some morning sun exposure. It is also a good idea to avoid night computer use. If you use your computer at night use blue blockers install Flux on your computer for use after sunset. This will help reset your circadian rhythm.

The blue light sends a signal to the hypothalamus saying “goodmorning”.

Useful to Some: SCD Lifestyle Simplified Video Transcriptions II

SCD Lifestyle is essentially a business that creates profit by educating individuals about gut health. It makes sense to do such a thing, as the individuals who run the business have put a lot of effort and research into dealing with their gut issues, so they might as well profit right? Actually, I don’t think the answer to that question is so straightforward.

Nevertheless, I have written transcripts for a few of their videos. When I first watched the videos I found them pretty overwhelming and so I attempted to make sense of the information presented through writing. Hopefully someone will find this useful, and may even come up with ideas regarding what might be causing their gut issues. Remember, you can find your own answers.

Here is the second list of transcripts.

The Sure Fire Way to Create more Chronic Disease

Any condition that you’re going to your Doctor for, that is resistant to the correct treatment, might be resistant because of inflammation in your body. That is, a leaky gut. Inflammation may worsen just about every condition so it is prudent to check for signs of a leaky gut. For example chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to intestinal permeability. Not every condition is, but many are connected to intestinal permeability. It follows that to prevent the progression of the disease if you have leaky gut, you must act to stop leaky gut from getting worse.

Autoimmune diseases are the number 3 cause of morbidity and mortality in the world (getting sick and dying). The mechanisms underpinning different autoimmune conditions are very similar despite the different ways in which the diseases are managed and treated.

Autoimmune diseases stem from a genetic vulnerability, which couple with environmental triggers (bodily insults) to produce disease. One of the most common environmental triggers is food. Consider how much food you eat in your life. So, the food you eat is an environmental trigger for possible disease. The third thing relating to the development of autoimmune diseases is intestinal permeability, and therefore the treating of intestinal permeability can prevent the development of autoimmune disease.

Are you Gaining Weight because your Metabolism is Broken?

Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within a living organism to try to maintain life. There are generally two types of metabolism. Constructive or anabolic metabolism is the building up and synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to create tissue and to store energy. Destructive or catabolic metabolism is the breaking down of chemical substances as to produce energy or excrete waste. The goal of metabolism is to help maintain homeostasis, the sort of balance necessary to maintain life. There are different aspects to homeostasis, including temperature.

In some overweight people, their metabolism is damaged. It is possible to damage your metabolism by overwhelming it with negative variables. There are so many different variables that can overwhelm homeostasis as to lead to the accumulation of bodyfat, some of which are in our control and others not. For example there are generational (epigenetic) effects, so the way the generations before you lived influences you now! Additionally the maternal relationship with your mother can influence how likely you are to accumulate body fat. Infections can result in a change in the microbiota in your body, too, which can encourage the accumulation of body fat.

There are so far over nineteen known ways in which the gut can become leaky.

Obesity is categorised as a body mass index (height to weight ratio) of 30 or more. The number itself doesn’t necessarily reflect what is happening in your body. There are about 50 or more comorbidities that accompany obesity. In other words you more likely to acquire at least 50 different conditions if you are obese. Of course being more to likely to develop a disease doesn’t mean you will get the disease. Obesity is likely an indication that there is something wrong with your body.

What Food Sensitivities are Telling you about Infertility Problems

Food sensitivities indicate that your immune system is dysregulated. There are common factors that unite couples struggling to conceive, including common food sensitivities. For example they may struggle with gluten or dairy. This means that the immune system is using precious energy to create antibodies designed to attack food particles. Food sensitivities can lead to greater intestinal permeability and consequently cause even more problems in the body.

Just because you don’t feel ill when you eat something does not mean you are not sensitive to it. It is possible that you may not be aware of the negative internal processes that result from you eating a food. A food you are sensitive to, will cause inflammation in the body which will speed up the aging process. For example food sensitivities encourage blood vessel damage which may contribute to atherosclerosis.

Food sensitivities are not necessary for you to have a degree of intestinal permeability. This is because there are many causes of intestinal permeability, such as antibiotics or chemical triggers. Poor intestinal flora can also cause intestinal permeability. However, food sensitivities are the most common cause of intestinal permeability.


How a Leaky Gut Jumpstarts Autoimmunity and Massive Inflammation

Your body’s functioning is dependent on the health of your digestive system. The bacteria is your gut interact with the gut wall, in such a way that merely having the wrong kind of bacteria or having them in the wrong places can cause a leaky gut. Approximately 80% of your immune system is housed within the tissues of our gut. This why leaky gut is linked to practically all chronic diseases. Furthermore chronic systemic inflammation, which can be the result of a leaky gut, is a contributor to all forms of chronic illness. It follows that the barrier function of the gut is one of the most critical aspects to health.

The intestinal barrier is deigned to absorb the nutrients, both macro and micro, into the body. It is also designed to keep everything else out, such as viruses and parasites. Waste, bacterial fragments (dead bacteria), excess hormones and endotoxins are all things that are supposed to leave the digestive system. However, with a leaky gut they have the opportunity to enter the body and stimulate the immune system.

The body can in a sense ‘detoxify’ or remove waste products from itself. There is a system in the body designed to do this, including the liver. The liver detoxifies through a series of chemical reactions. The products of these reactions are sent to the kidneys to removed via the urine or to the gallbladder to be excreted.

Leaky gut allows these waste products to reenter the body which triggers the immune system. This can cause different parts of the immune system to react. Some kinds of reaction include the innate immune system which causes generalised inflammation. These immune cells exist and travel throughout the body and play a part in general inflammation. They attack nonspecifically. Alternatively the adaptive immune system can be activated, which specifically attacks targets, which is what happens in autoimmunity. Unfortunately, both kinds of immune system can be activated simultaneously by a leaky gut. Either way, the immune system will attack the body targeted or not.

The barrier function of the gut is critical in regulating the immune system. In no way is a leaky gut beneficial to the human body.

Useful to Some: SCD Lifestyle Simplified Video Transcriptions I

SCD Lifestyle is essentially a business that creates profit by educating individuals about gut health. It makes sense to do such a thing, as the individuals who run the business have put a lot of effort and research into dealing with their gut issues, so they might as well profit right? Actually, I don’t think the answer to that question is so straightforward.

Nevertheless, I have written transcripts for a few of their videos. When I first watched the videos I found them pretty overwhelming and so I attempted to make sense of the information presented through writing. Hopefully someone will find this useful, and may even come up with ideas regarding what might be causing their gut issues. Remember, you can find your own answers.

Lipopolysaccharide Toxins, Leaky Gut and How to Make Sure You Don’t Have a Heart Attack

Lipopolysaccharide is a toxin that can get into your blood stream and affect your body if you suffer from digestive problems. Your intestines are remarkably 20-25 feet long, extending from the mouth to the other end. It is lined in such a way as to absorb nutrients i.e. iron and magnesium. Interestingly there is a connection between coeliac disease and osteoporosis. This is because in coeliac disease the digestive lining is dysfunctional, worn down in a sense, and so calcium cannot be absorbed. Although medicines exist that will allow bone to be formed, the bone is weak and easily broken, as calcium is not being absorbed.

In a general case wherein the intestinal lining is dysfunctional, and more permeable than normal food molecules and bacterial waste products can enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. This causes the brain to activate the immune system which may cause immune reactions to different foods. One particular bacterial waste product is called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which can enter the body through one of four means, septicaemia, periodontal disease or gingivitis, cuts on the skin, and intestinal permeability which is the most common means of entry. LPS levels are used as predictors of survival in intensive care settings.

How Inflammation Leads to Obesity (and the Vicious Appetite Cycle it Feeds)

‘The black swan effect’ of obesity

Obese people tend to have more some bad bacteria (firmicutes) relative to good bacteria (bacteroidetes), in comparison to the general population.

This impacts obese people in that their negative bacteria balance results in higher inflammatory signaling.

Inflammation plays a part in cell communication, and therefore a certain level of inflammation is healthy. Inflammatory signals are released from various tissues including fat.

Inflammation is key to body fat regulation.

When inflammation is too high, the body struggles to deal with it. Inflammation affects signal transduction in such a way as to cause leptin resistance.

Signal transduction is when a signal arrives at a cell, and binds to a receptor on the cell as to pass on its message. The cell should respond in a way that is appropriate to the message using internal mechanisms. However, inflammation can interfere with signal with transduction. This is how leptin resistance happens. So, leptin arrives at a cell which is part of a particular tissue but it can’t properly communicate its message. Consequently the way cells and tissues respond to signals can be inappropriate.

In terms of body fat regulation, leptin needs to reach the brain, and communicate its signal to the brain. Its signal concerns the balance of energy intake and output. People who are obese might have leptin resistance, and therefore the messages regarding energy regulation received by the brain do not correspond to the amount of leptin in the body.

It follows that people with leptin resistance are hungrier than might be expected. They also expend less energy unconsciously through their posture. Their brains cannot determine how much energy is being put into the body.

Chronic overnutrition (putting more energy into the body than required) causes inflammation, leptin resistance, and hyperphagia. Hyperphagia refers to intense hunger and subsequent overeating.

How Estrogen gets Recirculated and Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Some suggest that altered HPATG (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal–gonadotropic axis), causes your brain to function less efficiently. If HPATG is off, it negatively affects vagus activity.

The vagus is a nerve that is part of the digestive system, and the connection between your brainstem and digestive system.

If vagal activity is poor, there will be consequences in terms of gallbladder function, decreased enzyme production, pancreatic enzyme production, and decreased stomach acid production.

Poor gut transit time, or gut irritability can result. This manifests as constipation or diarrhea.

As HPATG is overactive, there are effects in the immune system it may become suppressed. Gut blood flow can be negatively affected. Furthermore negative gut flora and food cravings for sugar can manifest. The lack of dietary fibre caused by the food cravings worsens the situation.

The situation is defined by ‘leaky gut’ and chronic low grade inflammation.

Overactivity of HPATG affects the thyroid and gonads too. Less thyroid hormones might be created, resulting in symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, feeling puffy, and in some cases depression.

In terms of gonad activity, progesterone production is decreased, and the associated receptors are blocked. This may cause mood symptoms.

Ideally estrogen in the body should be used and then removed. Removal is primarily done in the liver in two different ways.

When there isn’t enough fibre, when your liver is overloaded with endocrine disruptors, xenoestrogens and other substances like alcohol, estrogen is recycled.

This can cause PMS and breast cancer.

The solution is to eat enough fibre and heal your leaky gut.

Fibre recommendations in this video:

Women: 35-40g

Men: 50g

You have to poop each day as constipation means that semi-broken down estrogens are more likely to be recycled in the body.

How Stress drives cortisol, and creates leaky gut

When the body feels it is under threat corticotropin-releasing hormone comes from the hypothalamus. Corticotropin-releasing hormone goes to the pituitary to send a message asking the adrenals to create more cortisol. This causes high cortisol. Chronic stress, especially chronic perceived stress causes decreased gastric secretion, decreased vagal activity (can trigger IBS, decrease pancreatic enzyme secretion), gut microbiome is directly affected, your gut is a part of your nervous system and when corticotropin-releasing hormone is released due to stress so gut permability is directly affected.

There is a strong link between chronic self perceived stress and IBD (crohns and UC), food intolerances, GERD, small bacterial overgrowth, and dysbiosis.

Some people have low cortisol which is connected to autoimmune diseases.

Low cortisol is acquired through previously having high cortisol. Essentially HPATG has been off balance for so long that the adrenals couldn’t keep up.

Essentially corticotropin-releasing hormone went to the pituitary, and sent a message to the adrenals requesting more cortisol. Unfortunately the request for more cortisol has been happening for so long that the adrenals cannot produce enough to meet demand. This causes low cortisol.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone tells the pituitary to create adrenocorticotropic hormone. It also tells parts of the brain to go into ‘fight or flight’ and the brain produces more epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Reflection 2. 11.12.14. The Concept of ‘Just Be’.

Hello there,
Humans are remarkably poor at dealing with bad news, despite the possibility of unexpected disaster. In this world a mere bout of norovirus or rotavirus, can leave you with chronic skin and gut issues. That can happen to almost anyone. You and me. It might have already happened to me. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention stated that as of 2012 around half of adults in the US, around 117 million people, have one chronic illness. One in four adults were cited as having two or more chronic health problems (see here: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm). That said these statistics may not even consider the prevalence of gut and autoimmune diseases. Naturally, such chronic illnesses are more likely to occur in the old, but survival in young people who would have ordinarily succumbed to chronic illness is on the rise. It follows that because of this, and other reasons, the number of young people suffering from chronic illness is on the increase. Essentially there are many common diseases regarding which many feel isolated and misunderstood. At face value, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I am under the impression that when I state that I have an illness, even if in my case it is mild, that individuals think less of me on some level, and that guilt is an appropriate response on my part. This is perfectly understandable, and if I lost partners or friends because of it I wouldn’t be surprised. Sure, it’s not the most altruistic of actions, and in some circumstances it is nought but destructive. In the end we all want the same thing, to live life. At the end of the day I don’t want to be in my office most of the day reading about the gut-skin axis at the age of 20. I don’t expect anyone to join me in my activities, all I want is faith, especially from my dad. Trust that there are many ways of solving and managing my body left to be explored. Trust that there is the possibly for me to embody life in a fuller form. The idea that the body is a complex machine, regarding which we don’t have all the answers, seems to indicate that many illnesses can be solved and controlled. Despite this knowledge, illness can still be a social death sentence. Apparently humans can’t wait for you to reach a plateau in terms of treatment.

What irritates and intrigues me is the lack of knowledge and understanding regarding the sorts of chronic illness that exist. My dad is so funny, I must have told him 20 times by now that if I don’t stop the flushing it might progress very slowly over years and eventually become a more disfiguring manifestation. He still says I look rosy. A girl in my Psychology degree, lovely as she is, keeps inviting me to social events despite knowing I am chronically ill. Sometimes humans are in denial regarding the frailty of existence and at other times they are not acting rationally. They put too much money on their self awareness and knowledge. Of course, if I had the audacity to challenge the comments pedestrians make about me during flushing episodes they would probably deny the situation by insulting me, deny making the comments, or deny that I have rosacea or otherwise. Oftentimes denial is a form of self defense, both direct as in the above scenario, and indirectly through the denial of knowledge regarding the self and the situation.

Living is easy, and difficult. It is easy in that to end your life takes pain beyond any comprehensible measure. Tomorrow you could be struck down by a car, your face might be disfigured, you might become paralyzed and experience agonising neuropathic pain.  Your partner might leave you, you might lose your job, lose your independence and everything might change for the worse. You will live like this for years, probably decades, and even then you might not intentionally face the end. Because living is easy, and living is difficult.

You can think of yourself as intrinsically connected to a parasite. This parasite is so connected to you that you could never be separated, and if you were what makes you you would fade into nothing. The parasite controls you near infinitely, it will try to deny you truth, deny you friends, deny you self awareness and knowledge and deny you any notion of goodness you might have. Of course, you know that this parasite is life, all it wants is to be and it will push against anything that challenges it. I wouldn’t worry about finding the strength to go on, to perhaps conquer your obstacles and endure great pain. No, I worry about our capacity to deal with an increasingly sick world in the most logical way, to deny life when necessary, to avoid the excesses of life as part of future planning, and to accept ourselves and each other.

Disclaimer: Although there is certainly something wrong with my body in that I have a cluster of gut, skin and occasional psychological issues which are interconnected, I am NOT chronically ill in the sense that I am perpetual pain, housebound, on many many medications or otherwise. Furthermore, while I am managing symptoms of illness everyday, and find it difficult, my symptoms would not be seen as severe. So, I am in a sense on the outskirts of chronic illness looking in, and commenting on what I see. I hope that I have not offended anyone through my ignorance regarding the experience of having more severe forms of chronic illness. That said, my experiences might apply better to those who have chronic illnesses that distressing but not severe, or those who have managed to manage their symptoms up to an extent.