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 7. 17/01/15. The Little Things that Matter a Lot.

Hello there,
I am still alive, and finished my last university exam yesterday. The exam was fine, very easy, and much easier than the statistics exam. Two and a half years of university life to go, assuming I don’t take a PhD loan. Anyway, let’s get down to business:

  • My GI symptoms are much reduced, having removed all the obvious sources of wheat from my diet, and I exist in a way that is similar to how normal people exist. Perhaps, I have a sort of cyclical allergy to wheat, or rather it is a main trigger for something else that is wrong with me. Despite this, there are improvements to be made, and I still experience symptoms if I engage in any sort of exercise.
  • My rosacea-like situation is mostly unchanged, the flushing is still short lived and generally temperature dependent, but I seem to have developed permanent erythema on the right side of my face. There are still many angles to approach the matter, and so as it is early on in its progression, I am not worried and instead determined. My GP stated that I had rosacea, but she did not conduct a skin biopsy, or examine my facial redness. She seems to think I have type two rosacea, which I believe is incorrect. My skin is essentially clear of lesions of all kinds, I have post hyper-inflammatory pigmentation from previous acne lesions, and flushing is my main symptom. I fit the first subtype of rosacea description.
  • My GP prescribed Duac, that is a topical treatment containing 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide, which having had a reaction to benzoyl peroxide before is useless to me. I do not intend to use it. She offered me broadspectrum antibiotics of the tetracycline variety, which I declined, as they offer temporary relief followed by a worsening of GI symptoms after cessation. Not only that, but antibiotics permanently reduce gut flora diversity, and I will only use antibiotics specific to the treatment of SIBO as part of a longer SIBO treatment protocol, so that antibiotics help the GI issues rather than worsen them.
  • That said, I am currently looking into other topicals that might help with facial redness. Benzoyl peroxide and oral antibiotics are my only real no-gos, and therefore anything else is fine.
  • I have been referred to hospital for tests, including a SIBO breath test, my GP said SIBO is a possibility, but that there is an innate overlap in my conditions and that the conditions might be manifesting as separate entities.  I am awaiting a letter from the hospital detailing my appointment.
  • I have found that EGCG, that is the main polyphenol in green tea, may enter the skin in useful amounts if around 1 teaspoon of quadruple concentrated green tea is applied to the face (according to this AcneEinstein article: http://www.acneeinstein.com/fresh-green-tea-topical-acne-treatment/). A small number of studies concerning EGCG and rosacea have been done, one study introduction states that EGCG has immunomodulatory, anti-oxidant, photoprotective, anti-angiogenic and anti inflammatory properties (see here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933390/). In this particular study EGCG topical treatment over the course of six weeks, was found to inhibit HIF-1α induction and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression, which play a role in angiogenesis, in treated skin. However, no significant difference in erythema was found after six weeks of treatment. It was concluded that topical EGCG may help prevent telangiectasias and erythema. Another study, sponsored by Syed Skincare, was reported by WebMD and concerns type two rosacea. A significant reduction in skin lesions and inflammation was noted in participants who received the green tea extract cream, in comparison to the placebo (see here: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20050223/green-tea-helps-reduce-red-in-rosacea). I am applying quadruple concentrated Clipper loose green tea, that has been left to brew for about 5 minutes, to my face using cotton wool pads every morning after washing my face. It is too early to tell whether it has helped with the rosacea, but as it seems more like a preventative move to me, I may never know whether it has helped or not. But it has given me a nice golden glow that looks quite natural at no extra cost to me, as I have been drinking very concentrated green tea every morning for about two years. This golden glow has helped offset some of the acne mark redness and seems to make flushing episodes more psychologically bearable. Interestingly despite the child neglect dental scenario, when I visited the dental hygienist privately of my own accord for the first time last year, she was shocked at how clean my teeth were. I believe this was in part because I have been drinking the equivalent of 3-6 cups of green tea  every day for the last 2 years. Green tea helps prevent periodontal disease and dental caries. I would also like to add that daily consumption of green tea made a notable dent in my severe acne in 2013.
  • I tried the Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose lip balm, and as a person who doesn’t like bright makeup, was impressed. However it did not have great staying power. At about £3 from Boots it is an easy way to subtly enhance your appearance. It isn’t that moisturising, but it has a nice texture.
  • Thinking about my own personal experiences, having alternated between ash brown, auburn, and blonde hair colours, I can say that redish and red hair colours can help offset facial redness. The opposite is true of ash shades. I have also seen my observations manifest in my friends. This tendency is also supported by The Beauty Department and its articles on hair colour (http://thebeautydepartment.com/2013/10/hair-color-guide-hint-of-red/). In my view patterns in recommendations based on skin tone are not reliable, and some of them may even be faulty. I have a cool or neutral skin tone and I look better with a neutral to warm hair colour and look quite drab in cool ashy colours. In terms of hair colour recommendations I think people with more severe facial redness should move towards red hair as much as they can stand and is appropriate for them. People with mild or moderate rosacea should stick to hair colours with a hint of red like copper blonde, strawberry blonde, honey blonde, honey brown, auburn, chestnut brown, mahogany brown, and cherry black. Or, they can go straight to red. Generally, I find that blonde hair looks more attractive on people with naturally fair skin, and it may accompany financial benefits statistically in terms of employment. Blonde hair can suit individuals with pinker complexions too. I do not consider red hair to be ideal as cultural stigma regarding it, just as there is a certain distaste towards curly hair, is still alive and well. Be prepared to get less views on online dating sites and be spoken to less in clubs. The image below serves to demonstrate the rosacea hair colour ballpark in my view. Dyeing your hair is an easy way to make erythema look less troublesome, and I am going to dye my hair auburn soon, but after that I will look into honey blonde, reddish brown, chestnut brown and mahogany brown. The first one is ideal to me, but I would like to experiment with the other colours.
  • In terms of easy over the counter rosacea treatment I found the following “Topical vitamin C preparations have recently been studied in the reduction of the erythema of rosacea.18 Daily use of an over-the-counter cosmetic 5.0% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) preparation was used in an observer-blinded and placebocontrolled study. Nine of the 12 participants experienced both objective and subjective improvement in their erythema.18 It was suggested that free-radical production might play a role in the inflammatory reaction of rosacea, and that the antioxidant
    effect of L-ascorbic acid might be responsible for its effect. These promising preliminary results still need to be confirmed in larger, long term studies.” (see here: http://www.jabfm.org/content/15/3/214.full.pdf+html).
  • I have my pre-surgery dental implant appointment on the 21st of January.
  • I have been drinking a double concentrated ginger infusion with every meal. Ginger is anti-H Pylori, anti-angiogenic in vivo and vitro, a broad anti-inflammatory, and helps release digestive secretions including enzyme lipase and gallbladder secretions. ( see here for antigenesis: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X05014543, here for anti-inflammatory action: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125?src=recsys, here and here regarding digestion: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637486.2011.627841http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637489609028561and here regarding H Pylori http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761965/) It seems to help with the GI symptoms and make me feel better somehow in a very general way.
  • In terms of general good news Simple Skin Care has reformulated its line, and notable amounts of vitamin E and vitamin B3 can be found in its extremely cheap products.

In terms of plans regarding the next two weeks:

  • Chris Kresser offers a number of free ebooks, including one of skin health and another on gut health, and I believe that I can use these to help create a sort of alleviation of treatment protocol. I intend to cross references both ebooks with the FODMAP diet (very important)
  • I want to go back to the GP, claiming that the Duac caused a skin reaction, with a list of topicals I want to try and acquire something more appropriate (very important).
  • Find a Polish shop that sells kefir at a cheaper price than Asda, this will constitute the main part of my breakfast (quite important).
  • Locate more topical products containing licorice, or vitamin C, as to reach an investment (quite important).
  • Search foreign shops and the internet for tougher chewing gum, which is useful for giving your face more width (quite important).
  • Ideally I want to use Kathryn’s Marsden’s Good Gut Healing to produce a mindmap post on fibre, which might be useful to some people (bonus).
  • Obviously I want to dye my hair, and invest in my next dye, which will hopefully be more up my street (bonus I like the sound of)t.
  • I intend to pay more attention to fashion, and style, and may in time post research and ideas on that (bonus).
  • This is me before I started using the green tea as a toner, as you can see I look quite unattractive, I have just woken up and my face is in its natural format.
    This is me before I started using the green tea as a toner, as you can see I look quite unattractive, I have just woken up and my face is in its natural format.
    Another morning, after just waking up, having applied green tea as a toner for several days I looked like this.
    Another morning, after just waking up, having applied green tea as a toner for several days I looked like this.
    Again, before the usage of green tea as a toner.
    Again, before the usage of green tea as a toner.
    After the usage of green tea as a toner for a few days.
    After the usage of green tea as a toner for a few days.
    If you have acne, acne fade marks, acne rosacea, rosacea, or a naturally red skin tone this is your ideal hair colour ball-park in my opinion.
    If you have acne, acne fade marks, acne rosacea, rosacea, or a naturally red skin tone this is your ideal hair colour ball-park in my opinion.
    Before the application of Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose tinted lip balm.
    Before the application of Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose tinted lip balm.

    After the application of Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose tinted lip balm.
    After the application of Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose tinted lip balm.

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”.

Journal Log 5. 15.12.14. Patterns in Flushing and Gut Issues.

Hello there,
I have noted a few little things, the significance of them is not yet known. I still haven’t had a serious flushing episode, it has been about 10 days now! There has been a slight change in  the flushing, until very recently my face would become progressively more flushed and red throughout the day, but it would not progress in such a way as to cause too much distress. For the last two days this has not happened, and I have instead had ‘micro flushes’. So, my face will go bright red, so red it will be practically luminous, and then return to normal in a few minutes. It did this a grand total of four times yesterday and so I flushed for maybe fifteen minutes at most throughout the day. Weird. I think this is significant in two ways. The first is that my face is returning to normal quickly which indicates that the vascular system in my face is not overly damaged. The second is that this may not qualify as rosacea flushing as my face is returning to normal very quickly. That said, there is definitely something wrong with me. It is also possible that I have another broken capillary but I can’t tell  for sure. But then again the flushes may simply be short lived because of my efforts in controlling them.

I have been mixing a pea sized amount of Adapalene cream (a fairly non-irritating retinoid generally used to treat acne) into my moisturiser for the last two nights and applying it to my face. The Adapalene seems to reduce overall background facial redness, probably because it is a fairly powerful anti-inflammatory. I have had no general negative reactions to it if anything my skin feels better. It is possible that because my flushing started during a course of accutane, Adapalene is a retinoid and therefore a derivative of vitamin A, Adapalene is having a peculiar twofold effect on my face. It was claimed by some individuals in the Post Accutane/Minocycline Facial Flushing thread on acne.org (see the very very long thread here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/193804-post-accutaneminocycline-facial-flushing/) that vitamin A in consumption and topical application can worsen post-accutane flushing. However, Adapalene is poorly absorbed to the point where any absorption may be undetectable in humans (see here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2000/20748lbl.pdf). I wouldn’t necessarily say my flushing has worsened, just changed, and there are number of potential factors that might have contributed. For example it is a hormonal time for me as a female, I have been eating a lot of wheat as a negative experiment, and I forgot to apply my aspirin face mask yesterday. Overall I think Adapalene is fine to use in instances of acne rosacea, but some caution is required in cases of post-accutane flushing.

I have one additional point to make regarding skin. If anyone ever finds themselves in my situation, remember to use your aspirin face mask religiously every two days! Essentially, it  seems to reduce facial redness, limit the severity of facial flushing and may have antiangiogenic properties. Preventative measures need to be repeated to do just that, prevent something from happening.

I have been deliberately eating a lot of wheat for the past three days as some kind of really crude test to see how it affects me. Yes I know, I need to up my game. Anyway, having eaten flour slices of bread and two bowls of knock-off Shreddies everyday for the last three days, I have a headache, fatigue, and embarrassing bathroom delight. I feel like I am going to die, and unfortunately I am going to try to continue this for another four days. On reflection I think my symptoms were much worse when I was a vegetarian and ate a lot of carbohydrates. I think I have a number of sensitivities corresponding to different issues. However, I think it is not so clear cut, I have sensitivities to constituents rather than simply foods. The table below shows my limited understanding of the matter.

Problematic Foods

Acne

Gut Issues

Wheat

Sugar

Dairy

Oats

Rice

Bananas

Chocolate

Apples

Sorbitol

Eggs

Meat

It is very clear that I should not eat any form of sweet junk food, and that I seem to have issues with some sorts of fibre. Protein is normally harder to digest than other foods, and so perhaps it makes sense that if I have something wrong with me I might struggle. On the other hand, I might for some reason be easily satiated by it and not actually struggle with its digestion. Perhaps, I have low stomach acid or some such thing. Anyway, I will torture myself with knock-off Shreddies for long enough for me to definitively conclude that my malaise is because of it. Then, I will cease to eat wheat for a yet to be specified period of time.

I remember doing quite well on some kind of lazy Paleo FODMAP diet. I simply cross referenced FODMAP food lists with Paleo food lists and ate that way for around 70% of the time. However, I was undone by eggs. I will repeat this process but I make a number of adjustments:

  • Include probiotics
  • Include more probiotic foods
  • Remove wheat entirely
  • Eat rice porridge made with almond milk for breakfast*
  • Take licorice supplements*

*I used to eat rice porridge everyday for breakfast, but it seemed to make my acne worse. It may have done this in part because of the milk used to make it, and so I will experiment with milk alternatives. When I was eating rice porridge for breakfast I had symptom free days,

*I am currently writing a post on licorice supplementation for rosacea. In summary, but I assure you I have a myriad of references to back this up as you will see soon, licorice seems to make it difficult for H pylori to adhere to the stomach mucus lining and has anti-H pylori activity. It is also antiangiogenic. That said, it is a complicated substance with both good and bad side effects. It also interacts with a lot of medications. So, do not take it without thorough research in regards to dosages, side effects and interactions.

That’s it for now, I’ll keep you posted.

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.