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The Undoctored Brain

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Bob Niland

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Posted: 6/23/2018 1:47:13 PM
Edited: 5/2/2023 5:20:13 PM (3)
 

The Undoctored Brain
Mental Health Tips

Edition: 2023-05-02

Most of the “problems in living” seen today are probably not, at root cause, neurological. There’s a huge metabolic component, a microbiome component, a toxin component, and toxic culture component. Fixing all these won’t work for everybody, but everybody needs to address these basics. Medications might still be needed, and even be crucial in acute phases, but meds are usually symptom management, almost never cure for this class of ailments, and could be part of the problem in the long run.

The core program here does a number of things that have direct bearing on mental health, and these benefits have been a recurring theme in the program. ⎆Here’s “mental health” on the Infinite Health Blog, for example ⎆WBB: No grainer brainer.

Substance abuse issues are presumed to be off the table.


This is all program core. Anyone interested in mental health is presumed to have this well in hand (have been following the 2014+ Wheat Belly, Undoctored or Infinite Health programs).

Grain Free

Eliminates opioid peptides highly correlated with things like schizophrenia, not to mention autoimmunity enabled by grain proteins. Diets that are ⎆merely gluten-free (⎆on PCM) are possibly helpful, but only a small part of the answer (and are often just a different form of sky-high glycemic).

Very low net carb

Optimal blood sugar reduces brain glycation and inflammation (and I personally suspect reduces overload of the recently discovered deminimus brain lymph system). Diets that are merely LC are probably helpful, but only a small part of the answer.

At 50 grams net carb/day, this program is at the borderline between full-time glycemic and full time ketotic diets, and that may be all that’s needed for most people. Chronic keto, clearly of benefit in some chronic ailments (like epilepsy), is a tool in our box, but not generally necessary. Diets that are merely keto are probably helpful, but only a small part of the answer (they would be inherently very low grain).

Is a course of keto worth a try for someone who has done everything else? Yes, but be sure to ⎆keep ample prebiotic fiber in the diet, and be aware that only about half of the ⎆usual sources are sufficiently low in net carbs.

High specific fats

The brain is made of fat (lots of cholesterol and DHA). This program has specific targets for fish oil intake. Culture-wide low-fat mania has been a disaster for brain function, as probably has been the modern overload of so-called vegetable oils (industrial grain and legume oils high in ⎆Omega 6 linoleic acid).

Low-inflammatory generally

⎆Weight loss alone is a big contributor here (⎆on PCM), with reduction of leaky gut also dialing down the provocations. Elimination of zonulin from grain proteins is a key factor in tightening up the leaky gut.

Thyroid focus

Grossly ⎆distorted thyroid function is pandemic, and the mis-testing, mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment scandal has left many people with not just uncorrected function, but being put on anti-depressants. Yes, consensus medicine is often causing mental disorders.

Gut flora cultivation

⎆It’s not yet known how huge this is. The program has had a focus on it for over 8 years now, and it is still developing. These bugs and their metabolites have a powerful influence on mental health (in part due to sleep effects). Adding prebiotic fiber to the diet often reveals what now appears to be a very high incidence of SIBO. That needs to be corrected for multiple reasons, one of which is mental health.

Implicit in this is minimizing excessive exposure to antibiotics. Take them only when really needed, and unless otherwide contraindicated, consider a course of high potency probiotics during and for a month after the AB course.

There’s an internet meme that “all drugs are antibiotics”. Presume that any medications are microbiome stressors, if not antagonists. Where meds are contributing to dysbiosis, they may have self-perpetuating effects. Entirely apart from the known side effects and the co-pay, wean-off could have wider benefits.

Micronutrient deficiencies

⎆Fish oil, at program-suggested intake levels, reduces inflammation and increases brain DHA. Higher-dose fish oil is being used in treatment of PTSD, TBI and acute anxiety.

⎆Magnesium and ⎆Vitamin D, core program supplements, likely are also very helpful in mental health. Magnesium is a player in sleep and migraine, which itself is a huge factor in mental health (more below). D3 is very effective in SAD.

 


These might be some items for extra focus.

Incep dietary status

The program generally presumes that people are transitioning off the USDA’s MyPlateOfMetablicSyndrome diet. But people may also be refugees from other dogmatic or dissident diets, some of which are antagonistic to mental health, such as many ⎆vegetarian/vegan, chronic keto.

If you’re just here due to diet fatigue, from programs that don’t work, rest easy. No calorie counting here. Willpower and won’t power are usually not a problem. Exercise is optional, but encouraged. There are no secret sauces or proprietary potions. All that is counted are net carbs, and usually only transiently, until what to eat is understood.

Sleep

If ⎆sleep isn’t optimized, nothing else is apt to be either.

Get tested

Consensus medicine tends to avoid some key and meaningful tests, particularly where the results reveal some condition they don’t know how to treat, or for which there’s no pricey patented prescription potion. ⎆So learn as much as you can about your overall health. Many issues can be effectively dealt with by natural means (minimum or no meds). Certainly, several common anxieties (e.g. heart disease, cognitive decline, oddball skin ailments, and the general malaises of excess weight) can be neutralized.

Do not, however, bother about food sensitivity testing right away. Due to the leaky gut enabled by standard diets, a Cyrex Array (for example) could be expected to light up like a casino marquee for anyone new to the program. Reserve such testing for way down the road, as you may discover that your reactions have vanished.

Food toxins

The program tends to eliminate nearly all processed foods. Just doing grain-free, added-sugar-free, and low net carb, shoves most of them off the plate. But any desire to optimize mental health needs also to eliminate added ω6LA and transfats, preservatives, emulsifiers, colorants and flavorants, not to mention contaminants that won’t necessarily appear on the Nutrition Facts panel, like heavy metals. Mental health wonks are attuned to some of these, but it all needs to go. So in general, avoid all processed foods until you become an NF panel ninja.

Even with single-ingredient foods, the program advises ⎆non-GMO, organic, and for animal-sourced: pastured or wild-caught. Genetics aside, field, transport and storage pesticides are an under-appreciated gut microbiome hazard. The biggest problem with second-hand antibiotics might not be resistant bacteria.

Personal environment toxins

⎆What’s in your water?. Mental health advocates are often aware of modern hazard like flame retardants in bedding and night clothes, but drink chloramine-laced municipal tap water, or restaurant beverages made with it. There’s very likely a big problem here. Further, swimming pools and hot tubs look like a perfect storm for various body microbiomes, even if you promise to never swallow any of that Cl- and Br-infested water.

On BPA, BPS, release agents and other endocrine disruptors: favor glass and modern ceramics for containers and cookware, then stainless steel, HDPE ♴ or LDPE ♶.

Exercise

Although many people first come to this for weight loss, exercise is spectacularly inefficient for that. It is great for numerous other reasons, and has brain and cognition benefits. It is getting additional focus in the emergent ⎆Undoctored High Performance initiative.


So you did all that, double-checked it, and are looking for more, there are some non-trivial philosophical, psychological, and cultural aspects to mental health. Being beyond program, my insights on this aren’t so far found in the forum. But you can take control of a lot of this, rather than it being the other way around.

Another modern problem, that was a handful of isolated case studies when I was born, but is now an exploding pandemic, is the unhappy presentations of ASD. This might be preventable, and appears to be at least partially responsive to the program. I have no roll-up of suggestions yet.
___________
Bob Niland [⎆disclosures] [⎆topics] [⎆abbreviations]

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ClaireBelle1911

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Posted: 6/23/2018 6:57:58 PM
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 10/22/2018 2:59:36 PM
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Posted: 10/22/2018 7:15:05 PM
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Posted: 10/22/2018 10:28:29 PM
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