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”.

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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.

Journal Log 4. 12.12.14. Thinking about Flushing: A Brief Update.

Hello there,
I haven’t had a serious flushing episode in nearly a week, but my skin gradually becomes redder and tingly most nights and mornings still. It is akin is a low grade flush without a notable stimuli. I appear to have fairly persistent erythema on the right side of my face, but not all the time. To start what I have cannot yet be called rosacea, for I have not as Crawford, Pelle and James (2004) would note, had the erythema for three months yet. And, I don’t want to. Furthermore, they note that a history of acne is not usually present (Crawford, Pelle, & James, 2004). Unfortunately I have a history of severe cystic acne, and now I have flushing and mild acne.
Additionally isotretinoin generally reduces some measure of blood flow in the face and helps with erythema as part of rosacea (Korting, & Schöllmann, 2009). Unfortunately isotretinoin caused a flushing side effect, and this was recognised by my dermatologist. She stated it may or may go away. It did indeed go away, and come back with a vengeance.
Weirdly, the flushing started with an alteration in gut issues, which leads me to ask what in the world is happening?
Something strange is going on, I also now have mild shooting pains that last for less than a second and appear and reappear all over my body. Great.
I am under the impression that I have vascular weakness caused by genetics, sun exposure during accutane (SPF 15 isn’t good enough Zoe!), accutane side effects and the unfortunate tendency of sitting too close to the fire when I was younger. That this weakness is working with some kind of bodily inflammation because there is something wrong with me, which is causing flushing. I hypothesise that it could be a sort of infection acquired, or perhaps some kind of autoimmune response maybe. I can’t wait for the blood test on Thursday. On the bright side I have been feeling quite content psychologically of late, I find investigating and planning empowering. I am the researcher archetype after all.

So far, the clonidine is mildly effective, but not quite effective enough, based on what I have read so far antidepressants are better. I will be seeing Dr Pande in a month and I will arrive with an antidepressant request. I haven’t decided which one yet. The clonidine has caused dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness. I thought I was going to faint some this morning. Thankfully, it isn’t too much too handle. But I might be able to use this to acquire a superior anti-flush medication.

The seborrhea dermatitis I was diagnosed with has disappeared after a single wash with Neutrogena T Gel. Like I said, it was the mildest seborrhea dermatitis in the world. It was a decent shampoo but I felt that it was a bit harsh on my hair, which I am trying to grow.

In terms of routine, I am taking vitamin D3 without any notable issues, magnesium oxide, vitamin B6,  Zinc gluconate and two cloves of garlic a night.  No one has stated or noted that I smell of garlic even though I have requested honest objective answers on multiple occasions. They don’t seem to be making the situation worse.

My skin is recovering in terms of sensitivity, and I am able to use my niacinamide moisturiser a few nights in a row. Tonight I will apply a simple mineral oil based moisturizer mixed with a tiny amount of adapalene to see whether my skin can tolerate it. Because the niacinamide moisturiser has sunscreen actives that I might be inappropriate for my skin I will be replacing it as soon as it runs out, perhaps I will be able to transfer a jar of sensitive Olay night cream into a bottle to preserve the antioxidant and cell communicating ingredients.

I will be learning how to use freshly brewed green tea as a toner due to its antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. I have a very concentrated green tea every morning, and I believe the antiangiogenic properties  might be worth the temporary increase in facial flushing (see here: http://www.acneeinstein.com/new-evidence-shows-drinking-green-tea-direct-skin-benefits/). Green tea basically protects skin from UV damage which is apparently attributed in part in the development of rosacea. I might as well use the tea. As a precaution I will use the tea after any possible reaction to the adapalene subsides and so I might try it in about a week.

I am currently using an aspirin mask every two days. I found this in a US patent ““Aspirin and E5510 (described by Fujimori, T., et at., Jpn J Pharmacol (1991) 55(I):81-91) inhibit NF-KB activation”, essentially aspirin can be used to offset a part of the inflammatory process that contributes towards hypervascularity in rosacea. This was also noted by Odom. “According to Odom, the use of low-dose aspirin, presumably to inhibit cutaneous reactions to inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and bradykinin, is based on clinical observation” (Crawford, Pelle, & James, 2004). Do note I haven’t orally took aspirin for several days. Interesting this also applies to quercetin and NAC. I have some NAC in the cupboard. Essentially it can be used to increase levels of glutathione in the body, which is an antioxidant people with acne have less of. In increasing the levels of glutathione acne becomes less severe (see here: http://www.acneeinstein.com/studies-reveal-almost-irrefutable-evidence-for-the-root-cause-of-acne/). This indicates that NAC can be using in treating acne and rosacea!

“Indirect MMP inhibitors include the kinase inhibitors genistein and quercetin (as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,637,703, 5,665,367, and FR-A-2,671,724, and related compounds, as well as other antioxidants such as NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), discussed below.”

I have found evidence for the use of vitamin E, and magnesium oxide in reducing flushing but I have yet to write about it. Through more indirect mechanisms lactobacillus reuteri,  and oral licorice may also be useful.

Essentially my plan is to research and compile data to do with the first type of rosacea, store it here, construct a thorough plan of action and use it to limit the flushing and telangiectasia while I find out what is wrong with me.  I think this is particularly important as I am under the impression that the online rosacea community is fragmented and full of anecdotes. Acne has Acne Einstein, Clear Skin for Forever, and Skinacea, which generally review the scientific literature on acne, what does rosacea have? I would to clarify that this is the immediate impression I have as someone who has only recently developed flushing.

In terms of my everyday life, I have my university exams in about five weeks, which is no big deal as there are a mere two easy exams. So I will be applying child developmental psychology as part of revision, to my own experiences in this blog. Tomorrow I will have been with my boyfriend for a year. He’s pretty awesome. 🙂

Crawford, G., Pelle, M., & James, W. (2004). Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 51 (3), 327–341.

Korting, H., & Schöllmann C. (2009). Current Topical and Systematic Approaches to Treatment of Rosacea. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 23 (8), 876-882.

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.

Journal Log 2. 06.12.14. The First Visit to the GP.

Hello there,
Having presented the GP with my symptom report (https://ausefulobsession.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/journal-log-1-04-12-14-seeing-the-gp-about-rosacea/) the following outcomes occured:

  • The GP seemed more concerned about the gut issues than anything else
  • She stated it could be anything at this point, and that even coeliac disease can manifest atypically as constipation or other deviations from the standard symptom list
  • I’ve already tested negative for coeliac disease so I may be referred as an outpatient for more specialist tests
  • The symptom list was scanned into the system, so they are less likely to ‘miss’ anything
  • I have been diagnosed with very mild sebhorrheic dermatitis (just like a tiny sliver of dry skin near my right ear, and a patch on the back of my neck) so I was given a shampoo (Neutrogena TGel) and an ointment
  • I remember having a little dandruff as a teen which went away by itself in a week or so, I had this a few times, and its never been anything other than mild so I am not concerned
  • I also might have had sebhorrheic dermitis on accutane as I developed dry patches near my ears
  • I am going to have a full set of blood tests as some of the results on record are 4 years old
  • I was prescribed 25mg of clonidine per day for the anxiety and facial flushing

So , this is quite a good outcome as it means I have a low dose of one anti-flushing medication to review. It is generally quite difficult to get a prescription on the first visit for facial flushing, that said I did have to ask for it.

To try to control the facial flushing I intend to consume 1-2 cloves of garlic a night (find out why here: https://ausefulobsession.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/useful-to-some-supplements-for-rosacea-i/), 200mg of Gotu Kola 2x daily, 25mg of clonidine daily, and 75mg of aspirin a day. If the garlic causes me to smell I will try the supplements.

After a couple of weeks I will cease taking the aspirin, as long term NSAID consumption is unhealthy. This is especially salient as the main adverse effects, which manifest in the short and long term in this case, are GI related. For example aspirin has been shown to increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Enteric coated aspirin doesn’t seem to be safer.

“Blockade of COX-1 by aspirin apparently results in the upregulation of COX-2 as part of a gastric defense and that taking COX-2 inhibitors concurrently with aspirin increases the gastric mucosal erosion. Therefore, caution should be exercised if combining aspirin with any “natural” supplements with COX-2-inhibiting properties, such as garlic extracts, curcumin, bilberry, pine bark, ginkgo, fish oil, resveratrol, genistein, quercetin, resorcinol, and others.”

Exactly. Recently vitamin C taken with the aspirin in equal amounts has been investigated as a means of reducing stomach erosion.

However vitamin C seems to contribute towards facial flushing in some rosaceans, its not listed on any official trigger list I know of though. So, would taking the aspirin while eating fruit that may be processed differently in comparison to vitamin C supplements help?

Maybe this is why vitamin C might do this: “An increase in microcirculation has been noted secondary to increased blood flow, thought to be a general property of antioxidants.” Although pycnogenol increases microcirculation too, it can help with venous insufficiency, menopausal flushing, and helps relax blood vessels. So, it is a little different.

Another way is to apply aspirin topically to the facial skin.

“Chemical name for aspirin, one of the most widely used anti-inflammatory drugs in the world. Applied topically, aspirin works to reduce irritation and inflammation while also helping to relieve pain and discomfort. Persons allergic to aspirin when consumed orally should avoid applying it on skin.” (see here: http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/acetylsalicylic-acid).  Paula’s choice seems to be a reputable and well researched brand, that lists aspirin as ‘best’ according to their cosmetic ingredient rating system.

Unfortunately topical application might simply delay the inevitable damage.

“The bioavailability of cutaneous aspirin was 4%-8% that of oral aspirin. Cutaneous aspirin (750 mg/day for 10 days) significantly lowered serum thromboxane (by 85%) and gastric and duodenal prostaglandins (by 49%-71%); placebo had no effect. Moreover, cutaneous aspirin, but not placebo, resulted in significant gastric mucosal injury. These findings demonstrate that even tiny amounts of aspirin in the blood (2 microM) have inhibitory effects on prostaglandin production in the human stomach and duodenum that result in gastric mucosal damage, even without direct exposure of the stomach to aspirin.”

In the end I will need to stop using the aspirin to control the redness, the occasional use of an aspirin mask might be okay.

The other risk with my stack (so far) is the combination of garlic, which may reduce pressure, with clonidine which may do the same thing.

Once I mean that the clonidine might be working, perhaps via experiencing side effects like drowsiness, I will reduce the amount of garlic I consume to one clove per night.

Eventually I would like to buy something else to help support my facial capillaries too in addition to the Gotu Kola (I will write about this one soon). I would also like to increase my dosage of Gotu Kola to take advantage of potential cognitive benefits.

In terms of skin care, my skin is getting a little less sensitive and I may be able to resume with my normal niacinamide moisturizer soon.
Niacinamide is vitamin B3 which in terms of skin care is a cell communicating ingredient.

The good:
Increases ceramide and free fatty acid levels in the skin

It helps with acne post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red marks).

Helps the skin’s barrier function and helps prevent it from losing water content.

The bad?

It increases microcirculation in the skin.

That said, Paula’s Choice sells rosacea skin care kits with niacinamide in them. (see here: http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/collections/Rosacea-Dry-Skin/_/Rosacea-Kit-Normal-to-Dry )