Methods that psychologists will never tell you
Elevated levels of cortisol increase insulin. This can prevent weight loss (especially in the late stages), even if you flawlessly observe Intermittent Fasting and LCHF (low carbs, high fats).
Cortisol is a hormone released under stress. It becomes a problem when stress does not occur occasionally (which is normal for any person), but lasts a long time or even constantly. This happens with general anxiety (when the patient is worried that something bad can happen, for no apparent reason) and other psychological disorders. And, of course, with depression. Therefore, to normalize the excretion of cortisol, you need to defeat these disorders.
Perhaps the last phrase made you smile. Easy to say - defeat! The resource you are currently reading is not about psychology. Nevertheless, I will tell you about my personal very successful experience, especially since the effect was achieved quickly and easily. I have won not because I am so smart or strong, but thanks to information, found by chance. If what I did does not help you (which may well be, because the list of existing problems is long and your problem may be different), be sure to book an appointment with a psychologist for a diagnosis, and then carefully research this diagnosis on the Internet for how to remove it. Do not forget that the psychologist is interested in money in the same way as you and I. That is, (s)he needs you to constantly visit her/him and bring money, which will stop immediately if (s)he cures you. Therefore, I wrote that you need to research the issue yourself - just like with weight loss, type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.
Here is a text I recently sent to a friend of mine suffering from a protracted depression. I apologize for some informality:
In short, there are two guns from which you can powerfully shoot at depression. I tested both on myself (or rather, I successfully test them daily). The first is vitamin D. I get it for a long time, 4000 units per day. I take breaks periodically (this is the recommendation), and if the break is too long, the result is felt! And about the second, zinc, I found out recently. The fact is that for many years I had general anxiety - it's when you are constantly on the alert, waiting for something terrible to happen, and you're not worried for a specific reason (if there is a reason, then everybody will worry), but "in general" - the depression went on at the background level (in this case, I use the word "depression" in its everyday meaning - in the strict medical sense I did not have it). One day, I saw in a video that lack of zinc in the brain can lead to psychological disorders. I bought a jar for a few bucks at a nearby supermarket, started taking one tablet (50 mg) per day, and on the third day my general anxiety... suddenly disappeared! Life began to sparkle with bright colors and sunny bunnies again - I remained standing with widely open mouth and eyes, in deep shock from what had happened!
And shortly before that, I started going to a psychologist (fortunately, my insurance paid for that), wrote long tests, was officially diagnosed with general anxiety, listened to the psychologist's lectures (although I didn't learn anything new because I read a bunch of books before that). And suddenly the problem disappeared! The next meeting with the psychologist was scheduled, even before I found out about zinc - well, I came, explained everything, and we found out that I didn't need a psychologist anymore - I didn't even sit the required 50 minutes for which I paid, but left after 10 minutes. The psychologist was shocked because I found out the truth and she has to say "bye-bye" to money I bring. However, this is not the first, but at least the 4th time, when I deal with professional killers of that (medical) kind. It is very important to understand the following:
Many mental disorders arise due to problems with neuromediators (peptide neurotransmitters). These are intermediary molecules that transfer information between neurons - brain cells (neurons interact with each other by releasing special chemicals). It's pure biochemistry, I would even say - mechanics! That has nothing to do with psychologists and their blah-blah-blah technics which only partially mitigate the consequences (that is, they act as an anesthetic for inflammation in the dental canal), doing nothing to remove the root cause, although removing it may be unbelievably easy.
But this will immediately deprive psychologists of the subsequent profitable visits of patients, and the pharmaceutical industry - of the income from tons of produced expensive antidepressants. However, if you don't know all this (and how can you guess it yourself?), then you will continue to worry not suspecting, that the nightmare can be easily stopped - thousands of jars of zinc are quietly dusting on store and pharmacy shelves.
I also started drinking teas from the ashwagandha and rhodiola plants, which I was advised at the Fung clinic - they calm and lower cortisol, which is constantly produced during depression (although according to the plan of nature, it should be released occasionally - in response to stress). Cortisol increases insulin levels, and insulin leads to the accumulation of fat. For 2 weeks with these teas, I lost 3 kg - in addition to the fact that they, haha, increase the "level of bliss". There are a bunch of other herbs and drugs to lower cortisol.
The funny thing is that I read David Perlmutter's book "Grain Brain" (pdf) long ago, in which, as I just found out, there is a paragraph that I (brainless!) didn't pay attention to (since that information was buried among a huge amount of other information):
"Some of the more critical nutritional deficiencies that have been linked to depression include vitamin D and zinc. You already know the importance of vitamin D in a multitude of physiological processes, including mood regulation. Zinc similarly is a jack-of-all-trades in the body's mechanics. In addition to aiding the immune system and keeping memory sharp, zinc is required in the production and use of those mood-friendly neurotransmitters. This helps explain why supplemental zinc has been shown to enhance the effects of antidepressants in people with major depression. (Case in point: A 2009 study found people who hadn't been helped by antidepressants in the past finally reported improvements once they started to supplement with zinc.)"
Now I will summarize the steps that I recommend to take based on my own experience (with the addition of new material) - hopefully, they will help you too.
The steps are listed in descending order of importance - first of all, start from the first ones:
- Do a sleep study to find out if you have obstructive sleep apnea. It has more than one mechanism for influencing the mental health. Panic attacks and other psychological problems caused by it can pass instantly after the start of CPAP therapy. OSA and the method to get rid of it are described here.
- Take vitamin D. Better in liquid form than in tablets.
- Take zinc. It exists in different forms: zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate. The most highly absorbable (and, so, most recommended) form is picolinate (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3630857). I take one 50 mg pill per day. Please note that zinc leads to a lack of copper, so a month after starting to take zinc, start taking copper tablets as well (or buy pills where they are combined).
- Remove gluten. Previously, this item was not listed here because for me (and for those who practice LCHF with me) this is so super-obvious, that even doesn't need to be mentioned. We removed all farinaceous food, so the gluten was removed automatically - that's why at first I even forgot to mention it here, but then I remembered that people were eating tons of bread, and added this paragraph. For doubters: the topic is very well explained in the already mentioned book by David Perlmutter "Grain Brain." Here is a short excerpt:
It's important to note that a common thread in many of these studies is the length of time needed to turn things around in the brain. As with other behavioral disorders, such as ADHD and anxiety disorder, it can take at least three months for individuals to feel a total sense of relief. It's critical to stay the course once embarking on a gluten-free diet. Don't lose hope if you don't have significant improvements right away. But do realize that you're likely to experience a dramatic improvement in more ways than one. I once treated a professional tennis instructor who was crippled by depression and not improving despite the use of multiple antidepressant medications prescribed by other doctors. When I diagnosed his sensitivity to gluten and he adopted a gluten-free diet, he was transformed. His depressive symptoms evaporated, and he returned to peak performance on the court.
- Reduce caffeine intake (i.e. coffee and tea) as much as possible. The way it affects us is stress. Simple arithmetic: more caffeine - more cortisol - more potential fat deposits.
- Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol causes a persistent increase in cortisol levels within next 24 hours.
- Drink soothing "teas" from Rhodiola and Saint John's Wort, as well as Ashwagandha and Valerian root. Boil them, then reduce heat and simmer for 12-20 minutes (read the instruction). For that, it is convenient to use a Turkish coffee pot; and then pour into a teapot with a basket to filter out the solid parts. All these adaptogens (plants that increase the body's resistance to stresses) exist in the form of tablets as well, but I prefer to brew because I drink a lot during the day anyway.
- Sleep enough hours. Go to bed so early that you wake up on most days before the alarm rings.
- Take vitamin B and (but not too long) C.
- Visit the massage therapist several times a month. Affecting through skin receptors stimulates the activity of the vagus nerve, which innervates most organs. The vagus nerve conducts signals of the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a relaxing and restorative effect on the organs and systems of the body. Dr. Fung writes about this method of lowering cortisol in his book The Obesity Code (pdf) (in general, much attention is paid to cortisol in that book).
- Get rid of metal (amalgam) fillings - they can cause depression due to the release of mercury! One medical professional recently told me that he had depression caused by mercury from an amalgam filling. Think about that: the source of such a dangerous poison is in a couple of centimeters from the brain during decades! But the most severe depression, which lasted 3 years, began after the removal of this filling - due to the fact that it was removed incorrectly, and the guy abundantly inhaled the mercury that was released during the removal. Later, he figured out that there were special doctors who remove such fillings correctly - maximally isolating the tooth and using a powerful vacuum suction hood (while they themselves are in a mask and chemical protection suit) - watch this video. To find such a specialist, google "safe amalgam removal [your city]". Also, read the article Dental amalgam may be linked to psychological disorders
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