Lovely, patient readers: I am perhaps almost as frustrated as you are at the time it is taking me to get all these WTF is wrong with me?” posts written.  How best to deliver the flood of results and discoveries and accompanying abundance of awesomeness has been a constantly changing landscape in my mind for the last 6 weeks as this whole crazy thing has been unfolding.  My inability to decide how to break it down into the most meaningful and useful chunks is mostly what has kept me from writing anything, which is, frankly, ridiculous.

Today I woke up and decided to stop being ridiculous and just write.  My last thought on how to disseminate it all to you was by result, so I am going with that.  I have no doubt that if that approach doesn’t make sense you will raise your hand and wave.  I can always count on you to keep me on the {somewhat} straight and narrow.  The blood tests were the ones that came back first and got the ball rolling on where to start with unraveling the mysteries.

The various blood tests that I had done revealed all kinds of fascinating stuff: what was in my blood, what wasn’t in my blood, and what happened to my blood when a bunch of things were dropped into it.  I am only going to give the results that indicated where we needed to do some work.  If it’s not here, assume the result was normal or awesome.  Except in the case of food sensitivities where I simply got tired of typing as well as wanting to slash my wrists – you’ll see in a minute.

These are the {very short} cliff notes.  The full reports came with reams of notes, explanations, and complicated diagrams of Krebs Cycles and other things that would bore the pants off any of us who are not nerdy science geeks.  If you are a nerdy science geek then you may insert the right wording in your head where I have used language that the rest of us get.  Understanding enough of what was going on and making a plan to get well does not require one to be a scientist.  All you *really* need to know is what’s awry and how to fix it.  Simple is good.

 

What was missing (aka severe deficiencies) in:

  • Vitamin C
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • CoQ10
  • All B vitamins
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin D
  • Glutathione
  • Homovanillic acid (HVA)
  • Phosphoserine
  • Arginine
  • Methionine
  • Alanine
  • Glutamine

What there was too much of:

  •  A bunch of acids with nauseatingly long, unpronounceable names which it makes no sense to detail
  • Cystathionine

Note:

  • Everything that there was too much of is directly related to the deficiency of B vitamins
  • Deficiency of HVA and phosphoserine is directly related to the deficiency of B vitamins
  • Deficiency of arginine, methionine, alanine, and glutamine is directly related to gastrointestinal dysfunction

 

What made my blood sad when they were added to it (Sensitivity testing):

  • Potassium nitrate (food preservative)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Bunch of artificial colors
  • Few molds
  • Fluoride
  • Ammonium chloride
  • Tetracycline (anti-biotic)
  • Almost every food known to man – including, but not limited to…apple, Brussels sprouts, all citrus (NOOOOOO!), mussels, salmon (this cannot be happening), almonds (wait, what?), asparagus, beef (THIS IS A JOKE, RIGHT?), bok choy, melons, celery, chicken liver, coconut (WTH??) codfish, mulberry, mung beans, mustard greens, scallops, sole, string beans, tomato (ok, this is not ok), tuna (this is not funny any more), turkey (just stop it), venison, squash, arugula, yeast, beans, blackcurrants, blackberries, brazil nuts, mushrooms (now I’m *REALLY* mad), carrots, cashews, cauliflower (now you’re just being mean), chicken (is there life without chicken?), clams, grapes, kiwi, onions, papaya, peaches, pork (JUST SHOOT ME NOW), pumpkin, radishes, soy, trout, all peppers, a bunch of spices, a bunch of herbs, most dairy (I AM CRYING), bell peppers, blueberries, potatoes, all grains, all sugars, eggs (I AM GOING TO COMMIT A FELONY).

 

Other things that showed up:

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Need for methylation
  • Toxic exposure to MTBE (common gasoline additive) and styrene

 

Lipids:

  • Hemoglobin A1c: 5.8 %  *** this is pre-diabetic ***
  • Cholesterol LDL: 208 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol: 290 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 5.47
  • Cholesterol HDL: 53 mg/dL
  • Triglyceride: 146 mg/dL

 

Treatment Plan #1 (September 1st)

Supplements:

  • Multivitamin
  • Mitochondrial support
  • Vitamin D
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • Heavy duty specially formulated B vitamins

Diet:

  • KETO (very low carb, adequate protein, very high fat) diet – separate post coming on this!
  • Elimination diet – foods I can eat:
    • Kippers (smoked herring), mackerel, sardines
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • Macadaemias, hazelnuts, pine nuts
    • 100% fat dairy – butter, heavy cream, sour cream, creme fraiche
    • Lamb
    • Pork
    • Duck
    • Bison

And you think following a SANE diet is hard???  SANE is the easiest diet on earth compared to this.  I CANNOT WAIT until I can eat a SANE diet again – it’s going to be like the holidays every damn day for my mouth.  Plus, now you know why there haven’t been any new recipes lately – not even I can conjure up anything with only that handful of things to work with.  If you’re staring at that list going, “So what else are you eating besides those things?  What veggies do you get to eat with that meat?”  NOTHING.  That list is it.

  • Rotation diet:
    • No food from list above to be eaten more often than every 4th day
  • Increase liquid intake
  • Water must be bottled
  • Keep food log and track any symptoms or lack thereof

**NOTE**

My list of permitted foods was made a lot shorter because of my need to be on a ketogenic diet.  I will explain this in a separate post.

This list of permitted foods is unique to me based on my test results and needs.  I am in no way advocating that anyone else should follow this list.

 Other:

  • Reduce stress as much as possible
  • Get as much sleep as you can
  • Do not exercise or over-exert

 

I still had no idea what had caused all this, and I couldn’t necessarily correlate symptoms with test results yet, but finally I had something I could hang my hat on.  There, written in blood, were some things that were not right.  If you know me at all you’ll know that I embraced these results wholeheartedly and with a considerable amount of glee.

Clutching my bag of supplements I toddled off to the grocery store to stock up on all (!) nine (!) things (!) that were to feed me for the next (!) three-to-six (!) months (!), and so began the start of what has become a fascinating science experiment with my body as the lab.  I’m nearly 8 weeks in now, and boy is this journey turning out to be the best thing I ever embarked on.

 

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • MInta - We’re all happy to see a light at the end of the tunnel.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - As I sit here with open mouth …. I am astounded at the foods that made your blood sad. Most of those are the foods I love. Cod? Blackberries? Eggs? Geez Louise! This is getting “curiouser and curiouser”. Mental note: Take my B-Complex vitamins everyday. Can’t wait to hear how you are doing now.ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - I am in total and utter disbelief at the food list you are able to eat from. I wouldn’t be able to do it. So proud of you for embracing your journey with gusto and am looking forward to the rest of the “WTF Is Wrong With Me” series. You’re amazing and brave to share all of this with us. Thanks so much for being YOU!! ?ReplyCancel

  • Kat - Hang in there Carrie. I went Keto a year ago and have never felt better at 66 years old. All my blood markers improved immensely. Lucky at least you can do dairy. I can not. I also added intermittent fasting which I find good for the brain and body. Love reading about your journey.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - Keep writing Carrie- I gave up on trying to follow my Alcat recommendations after 2 weeks and just threw my hands up and went back to BAD BAD eating. Tell me more about how you lived to tell the tale of coming out the back end of it.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - wow. that is a lot to take in, right? Do the food sensitivities mean you can NEVER eat them or is this just a healing period and perhaps in the future, you can start adding them back in?

    I learned about eating KETO about 6 months ago and have been enjoying it ever since. It’s been the key to keeping my weight stable and my brain loves it! At 51, I’m feeling more focused, more calm, more energetic, sleeping better, etc. I’ve also lost bodyfat and gained more muscle. Plus, it’s such a FUN and delicious way to eat! I find it very easy to stay in Ketosis and use my Ketonix to check my level regularly. And I love Jimmy Moore’s book, Ketogenic Cookbook. Everything in that book is great, thanks to Maria Emmerich. I highly recommend it.

    Thanks again for sharing your story Carrie. You are no doubt, helping many others. I’m on my way to the store now to stock up on some B vitamins. It’s one of a few things that are supposed to clear up some pre-menopause symptoms. (life is so fun sometimes).ReplyCancel

  • Debra Ulrich - Sure sounds like leaky gut doesn’t it? Yet we know you don’t it much in the way of grains. The next thing that comes to mind is that you don’t have sufficient microbes in your gut to break foods down to a from you can assimilate. I am thinking of the xylitol. We know it can stop a cavity in it’s tracks, and I recently read where people were dissolving it and putting it in their ears to treat ear infections.

    I will anxiously be awaiting your progress reports!

    Best wishes in your speedy recovery!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Wow, this is incredible. Those must have been some heavy duty blood tests. And I’m impressed that you’ve hung in there when faced with elimination of ALL your FAVES….and figured out how to make it work. Can’t wait to hear the next installment!ReplyCancel

  • Geraldine Denise Kuss - Dear Carrie,
    I have felt privileged to read about your various experiences in many fields. I have your book on Ice-Creams and I have Jonathan’s book on The Calorie Myth.I think both are excellent.
    Somehow I just can’t come to terms with what you are now writing as I live in Brazil and i almost can’t believe that such a diet would be possible anywhere in the world except The USA.
    People in India who are vegetarians wouldn’t subscribe to this prescription for good health and certainly here in Brazil I can’t imagine this being suggested as a cure. Still, I’m fascinated by it all and curious about the outcome. As you mention, you are the guinea pig. I wish you well, from Rio De Janeiro , BrazilReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Geraldine! Please remember that this current set of posts is unique to me given what test results have revealed. This prescription is for ME alone relative to the foods I am currently sensitive to. I am in no way suggesting that anyone else should follow my treatment plan. Once I have told the whole story you will understand the complete puzzle and see how it all fits together to heal me. Once healed I will be able to return to all the goodness of SANE! Trust me when I tell you that 8 weeks in I feel better than I have felt in more years that I can count :DReplyCancel

  • Take A Breath » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane - […] Written in Blood (WTF is wrong with me? #1) […]ReplyCancel

Back in July when I had to raise my hand and wave the flag of surrender, I really had no clue where to start in trying to untangle what was happening in my body that was making me unable to function.  I think it’s probably fairly typical for peeps with brain dysfunctions to assume that everything that isn’t working quite right stems from their neurological disorder.  Deepening depression, exhaustion, lack of interest in anything, inability to focus, inexplicable sadness, insomnia, desire to sleep at any given opportunity are all classic symptoms of various mood disorders, so there is a tendency to scurry straight off to the doctor to change or increase the meds because OH-HELL-NO I do not want to become suicidal, manic, or at the simplest level feel like I am feeling right now for one second longer.  We tend to assume that it *must* be brain related because our worlds revolve around making sure we are suitably medicated, so it’s easy to become fixated and believe that we are simply the sum of our medication(s).  We curse our broken brains and weep at the frustration of feeling like the rest of our lives will be controlled by a chemical concoction dreamed up in a lab somewhere, and without which life will plummet to every level of suckiness including the possibility of death.

So in July when I finally couldn’t keep going any more and had to decide on a course of action, my first thought was, “I must need to change my Bi-polar meds, since upping them a few weeks ago did nothing except stop me wanting to kill myself”.  Which was a good outcome, but still.  It seemed like upping them got me out of crisis but didn’t fix everything else so therefore – as the neurological disorder logic goes – I must need to change the meds altogether since these are no longer effective.

Hand on heart though, I was waging a war on the whole process of changing meds and the likely uproar and side-effects that would entail.  No.  I decided it was time to find out why I had Bi-polar disorder and how to cure it – or at least manage it without the use of medications.

I was going to figure this thing out or die trying.  Whatever it took.

My first port of call was to the brilliant Dr. Ted Naiman – who I irreverently refer to as Dr. 6-Pack – the ridiculously intelligent man who wrote the forward for my last cookbook, “Drink Smarter! Beverages”.  He is so not your ordinary family physician – not in mindset or in looks, and it’s hard not to pay attention to a Dr who has a body like his.  I mean, seriously?  He has to be doing something right.  I had remembered from our conversation over coffee a few months prior that he had said he was sure we could manage my Bi-polar with diet.  Now I was {more than} ready to hear about that theory.  Blood was drawn.  The first lot of testing was underway.

That same week a friend contacted me via Facebook and we got talking about all the food sensitivity testing that she had recently had done and how excited she was for what was transpiring as a result.  I was {more than} ready to be excited about getting some results of my own.  I called the Naturopath who had done the testing for her and made an appointment.  Blood was drawn.  The second lot of testing was underway.

During my consultation with this Naturopath she recommended that we also find out exactly what was – and was not – floating around in my veins in terms of nutrients, toxins, chemicals, and the like.  Seemed like a good idea to me.  Blood was drawn.  A lot of blood was drawn – now there’s a 3-hour-long-13-puncture-wound story I’ll have to share with you some day.  Regardless, the third lot of testing was underway.

Just to round things out we decided we may as well re-do the adrenal stress test that I had done way back in January 2014 to see what my adrenal glands were – or were not – up to.  Spit was hurled into vials at various times throughout a 24-hour period and shipped off to Tacoma.  You might be surprised to learn how much effort it takes to consciously produce enough spit to fill a vial, especially when you don’t get to count the froth.  Oh, and when you aren’t allowed to eat anything for an hour before each collection.  Producing a lot of saliva takes work.  The fourth lot of testing was underway.

A few weeks later I contacted another Naturopath about starting some NAET treatments.  NAET is a muscle-testing protocol which I have had before and which had a remarkable effect on clearing some of my allergies – notably cats, perfumes, and pineapple.  It made sense to me to check in on potential food sensitivities via this method as well as the blood tests.   While this Naturopath was doing my initial work up to get the full picture on everything that was ailing me, she suggested that at some point it would be good to do a full GI panel.  No, there was no spitting in vials required for this one.  Vials, yes.  Spitting in them, no.  A lot of shaking was required, and a strong constitution.  The fifth lot of testing was underway.

There followed a lot of waiting.  Apart from the blood tests ordered by Dr. 6-Pack to check on lipid panels and general health markers, the other testing takes a while.  The kit has to be shipped to you, the various substances removed from your body *ahem*, and the plethora of vials shipped back to various labs across the country for testing, analysis, and reporting.  It’s quite the process.

So why all the testing?  It made perfect sense to me that if I have symptoms, something is going on to cause them.  You don’t get symptoms unless there is a quirk in the system.  There *MUST* be something that shows up somewhere indicating where things are not working quite right.  Blood, saliva and poop (there! I said it!) seem to be the obvious starting places to find out what is happening since the body is continually producing these.  It makes sense to me that these would give me a snapshot of my health.

I am going to share all the results with you, but I am not going to just dump them all out there in one hit.  I promise you I am not telling you bit by bit to drive you nuts.  I am doing it slowly because  1. There’s a LOT 2. It would be overwhelming 3. It would be confusing, and 4. I want you to see the logical progression of how we figured out the whole puzzle.

While this whole testing malarkey started as a quest to unravel my Bipolar and find out how to stop all these dastardly symptoms, once we had combed through all the results we found that the vast majority of my symptoms were not related to Bipolar at all.  There was most definitely something else going on, and the domino effect was alive and kicking around my poor body.  This whole process killed two birds with one stone – literally.

So now we get to the exciting part: what the results were, what they meant, what we did about it, and what happened as a result.

The two most important things for you to know at this point is that the change in my health since I started on my ND’s plan is nothing short of miraculous, and that the root cause of my symptoms had absolutely nothing to do with my SANE diet up to that point.  There are things that can make you {very} sick that are not related to diet.  Furthermore, had I not been on a SANE (or similar real-food-no-crap) diet I would have been a lot sicker.

I confess that I am both mad as hell and happy as a clam that this whole riddle was solved with just blood tests, spit tests, poop tests, and all in just a matter of weeks.  Had I known at age 10 what I have found out now my life would have unfolded in a completely different (better!) way.  But that’s another story for another blog post.

Let’s dive in!

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Dave - You go girl! I do hate suspense, though.ReplyCancel

  • DavidFW1960 - You are such a tease :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan - I’m really looking forward to seeing your test results and getting all the details. Thank you so much for sharing and best of luck…ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Anxiously awaiting the next post!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Not fair! I was hanging on to every word …. ready to dive in. Then nothing. That is so not right! :o)ReplyCancel

  • Wren - You got me on the edge of my seat! This is all very interesting. Thanks for the link to Dr. 6-pack.ReplyCancel

  • Fi - Hi Carrie,
    I’ve searched your site for some way of contacting you, to no avail.
    I’m in the UK and would like my hubby to receive similar testing to what you have gone thru. He’s presenting with a LOT of non-specific auto-immune disorder type ailments. We’re in Surrey near London but happy to travel for the right recommendation. You don’t mention the names of the Naturopaths you’ve met with altho I’ve msgd Dr Nailman on FB.
    Happy to contact your Naturopaths directly to see if they have UK contacts/recommendations – Appreciate any assistance you can give in directing our enquiry, ML Fi xxReplyCancel

    • carrie - Fi!! I am so sorry I missed this – you somehow ended up in the spam bucket – RUDE!!! Email me at cb @ carriebrown.com.ReplyCancel

Hey gang,

Just a short drive-by while I am working on the next exciting installment of my WTF is wrong with me? Series”With any luck that’ll  be ready tomorrow.

I couldn’t wait to share this little bit of insight though.  It’s something that has always secretly irked me because I couldn’t fully get behind it.  I wanted to, and I kinda knew it to be true, but there was always this annoying little voice in the back of my head whispering, “Really?  Is that really true or is that something we make up to make us feel better about ourselves when we are chunkier than we would like to be?”

And then yesterday happened and I had evidence that made it clear.  I do like a bit of evidence.  And by evidence I mean real, live, actual stuff.

 

3 months ago my blood looked like this:

Hemoglobin A1c: 5.8 %  *** this is pre-diabetic ***

Cholesterol LDL: 208 mg/dL

Cholesterol: 290 mg/dL

Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 5.47

Cholesterol HDL: 53 mg/dL

Triglyceride: 146 mg/dL

 

Now my blood looks like this:

Hemoglobin A1c: 4.6 %  ***this is lower end of normal***

Cholesterol LDL: 181 mg/dL

Cholesterol: 249 mg/dL

Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 4.37

Cholesterol HDL: 57 mg/dL

Triglyceride: 57 mg/dL

Notes from my Doc:  “A1c (three-month glucose average) looks MUCH better! Was 5.8% which is ‘Pre-diabetic’, now 4.6 which is EXCELLENT!! Lipid panel looks much better! Cholesterol/HDL ratio lower (average is 4.5, lower is better and yours is 4.37).  Triglyceride/HDL ratio is ***EXCELLENT*** at exactly 1.0 — this is phenomenal!!!!”

 

Now, regardless of what I did that caused such a dramatic positive change – the point of this little postette was to say – there was no visible change in my body composition after the 3 months.  My weight was EXACTLY to the pound the same on both days that I had blood drawn.

I am no fatter and no slimmer than when the first draw was taken but my health markers are significantly better now.

And that’s how it’s true that slim ≠ healthy.

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • DavidFW1960 - You should read Malcolm Kendricks’ excellent book ‘Doctoring Data’ – in it he cites studies that prove that the people who live longest are actually overweight (not obese but classed as overweight and you’d never know it from the title of the paper)ReplyCancel

  • Dr Mike Keen - People from the Indian subcontinent are notoriously slim on the outside but ‘fat’ on the inside. They carry pathological amounts of visceral fat and suffer much higher rates of Coronary Heart Disease and T2DM than similar white populations!!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - Congrats on the blood results – that’s amazing. I am with you completely on this. I have MS, and so health to me means being as symptom free as I can get. Body composition isn’t a factor for me.

    Keep up the good work!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Impressive! I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.ReplyCancel

I remember when the precursor to “The Calorie Myth” launched onto the diet book scene almost 4 years ago and the kudos and comments started flying in.  All the research!  All the science!  A diet that was science-based!  No woo-woo hocus-pocus!  Everything backed up by science!  Wheeeeeeeeeeee!  It was all so exciting.  People were clamoring for a diet based on facts, not fiction; not some crazy regime that had us swilling with lemon juice on rising, eating 3lbs of grapefruit every day, and bolting down nothing but as much cookie dough as we could stomach for the first week and then alternately eating cooked cabbage and raw eggs for the next month.  We were all clamoring for a diet that science had proved would really work.  In a world – or at least a country – where ‘scientifically proven’ is banded about like it’s the highest accolade a thing could attain, this book was filled to bursting with ‘scientifically proven’, and people everywhere sighed a collective sigh of relief.  Finally!  Diet sanity had arrived.

Then, as the weeks went by a few people started yelling, “This book manipulates the facts”, “The studies chosen are just cherry-picked to support the author’s agenda”, “The author isn’t even a Doctor, he has no idea what he is talking about”, and other inexplicably odd statements that actually said nothing at all that was useful.  They were both lambasting the scientific proof provided and simultaneously screaming for correct scientific proof because Jonathan suggested that people should try eating real, whole foods instead of the standard American diet if they wanted to lose body fat and feel healthier.  Say what??  We need scientific proof to eat spinach over candy?  Are all the self-appointed health do-gooders that love to spend time bringing down books like The Calorie Myth picketing outside Krispy Kreme stores demanding scientific proof that they are bad for us?  When any number of truly crazy ass diets (which come, unsurprisingly, with no scientific anything) come along, where are all these people demanding scientific proof before they would embark on them?  Try reading book reviews on Amazon if you want the answer.  No wait, don’t bother.  It seems people only criticize and scream out against things that are actually helping others to be healthier.  We are a very weird race.

Since collaborating with Jonathan and embarking on this whole *SANE thing, I have become an avid reader of all things ‘health’ – when time permits, which is way less than I would like.  I say ‘health’, because as we all know, opinions of what constitutes real health are as varied as there are colors on a Pantone Chart – and then some.  As time marched on I realized that the term ‘scientifically proven’ has now become about as meaningless as a food label saying ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’, which means that we don’t really have a benchmark for what is right and what is not, and what we should accept as fact and follow versus what we should toss out in the trash.  And yet, ‘scientifically proven’ is still hailed as the standard by which we need to measure every ‘health’ thing that flies by our conscience.  If something is said to be scientifically proven then it absolutely must be The Thing that we can all buy into with full confidence, right?

The problem is that these days, pretty much everything that is scientifically proven has a diametrically opposed – and scientifically proven – argument.  Coffee is a magical bean straight from heaven and will cure all that ails you!  vs. Coffee is the most toxic substance on earth made by the devil and will kill you when you least expect it!  Both sides of the fence offering up scientifically proven results for why their science is correct.  So which one of the scientifically provens do we know is right?  Which one are we supposed to believe?  That’s a problem.

I started to see this everywhere across the whole ‘health’ and wellness scene – you need meat, meat will give you cancer, vegans are the healthiest people on earth, people who don’t eat animal products will keel over and die at any moment, Paleo is the only diet we humans are designed to eat, dairy is essential to great health and without it your demise will be swift and painful, dairy will cause inflammation and all your farts to smell of methane, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, high-carb, high protein, zero carb, low protein, SANE, KETO, Bulletproof coffee – where’s the protein and veggies?!!, sugar is poison, raw food is the only food with nutrients in it, grains are the staff of life – avoid them at your peril, juicing will even de-toxify your soul, cleanses are required before anything else will work, coconut oil will heal your entire body from everything including the inability to gargle with your mouth closed, grains and starches will make you obese faster than anything else on earth, butter will kill you with high cholesterol, eggs are the perfect food, if you drink juice you may as well eat a Mars Bar, eggs will block your arteries and give you heart disease, if you don’t eat breakfast you will gain 57lbs a week, practicing intermittent fasting every day will make you as lean as a package of 97/3 ground beef, and on and on and on.  Each proponent fights their scientifically proven point to the death.  It’s exhausting.  Not to mention ridiculous.  I just want to know what’s real so I can make adjustments and skip off merrily into the super-healthy sunset.  Instead I started to just become immune to all of it – the brilliant and the asinine – and now when I see the words, ‘scientifically proven’, my eyes glaze over and I click outta there faster than you can say, “Oh, and give me a large side of spin with that please”.

Then there were the articles where scientists made scientifically proven stuff up to make a point.  I’m looking at you, Scientists Say Eating Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight!  In reality there are boatloads of people – scientists and otherwise – making stuff up and selling it to us as scientifically proven because most of us don’t (can’t) know any different.  The only difference between them and the chocolate study is that the people behind the chocolate study told us it was a scam, plus why and how they did it.  We like to trust scientists, doctors, and ‘health experts’.  We want to believe they are pure-hearted and honest, driven only by a desire to help and heal.  If we can’t trust them, who can we trust?  There absolutely are some amazing health pros and experts out there who are fighting the good fight for their fellow man’s well-being.  But there’s a lot who aren’t, especially in this revenue-driven medical system I chose to become a consumer of when I crossed the shores some 15 years ago.

For 40-odd years we’ve been told endlessly that eating fat makes us fat and that the only way to not die of heart disease is to eat much less fat.  If we do eat some it should be of vegetable origin.  Presumably that message was scientifically proven.  Awesome.  So now a huge bunch of people have over the last few years scientifically proven that all that was bunk.  OoooooooooooooK then.  Scientifically proven is clearly where it’s at.  And how do we know that the former is, in fact, bunk?  Because after 40 years of following that scientifically proven information we are far fatter and far unhealthier than we were 40 years ago.  Oh, wait.  That’s just anecdotal evidence.  Yeah, anecdotal doesn’t count for anything, right?  The fact that the former didn’t actually work in real life isn’t worth a hill of beans.  Makes you wonder who benefited from this 40-year-long pushing of erroneous ‘science’.  Big Pharma, perhaps?  Big Food?  The entire medical profession, maybe?  The Government?  All of the above?  Oh no, wait.  That would all just be conspiracy theory.  Silly me.  Point is, it certainly wasn’t you or I.

Wow this is a long post.  Go grab yourself a snack, I’ll wait.

And then there are {what I suspect is} the majority of food and beverage manufacturers.  We just don’t want to believe that these companies don’t give a mouse’s bottom about our health, but in reality their existence in this world has one purpose: to create {enormous} revenue to pay their executives, board, and shareholders.  I would hazard a guess that most people now understand that mainstream soda is not a healthy choice (AT ALL), but just look at the Beverage Institute of Health and Wellness funded entirely by Coca-Cola and tell me that all the dietitians, doctors, scientists and ‘health experts’ show up to work every day because they believe what they do is truly helping mankind be healthier. And I quote, “The BIHW does not promote products or brands, or any information not based on peer-reviewed science”.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.  Coca-Cola can declare their products as healthy based on peer-reviewed science.  Hey, it’s scientifically proven!  GO, Soda!

We’ve been blindly buying and eating edible products forever, without batting an eye or questioning them for a millisecond, and yet suddenly when someone offers up an alternative that truly is healthy we become instantly suspicious and require copious amounts of scientifically proven data before we will even consider it.  When was the last time you questioned C&H or ever thought twice about eating their products?  Right.  (PS. Their tag line is “The Real Way to do sweet”. Their marketing tactics make me want to pour vats of melted butter over them.)  But when someone suggests that maybe sugar isn’t the best for us and there is something better – healthier – we’re all, “Where’s the science??  Where’s the evidence??  How do you know this is better??”  And so we’re given evidence that equals the volume of Saturn (without the rings) that sugar is killing us, plus anecdotal evidence that would circumnavigate the globe 17 million times and we’re still standing there going, “But it can’t be that bad, C&H wouldn’t sell it to us if it were poison”.  And still no one is asking for the scientifically proven data that sugar is safe or good for us.  We all just take it as fact that it is fine.

There are studies up the ying yang (plus an endless stream of anecdotal evidence that says that sugar is the single biggest enemy to our health), yet suggest to people that they could make a drastic improvement to said health by simply swapping out sugar for xylitol and erythritol and everyone throws their hands up in horror screaming, “How do I know these things are safe??  Where’s the science that says they are not going to kill me??  How do I know I won’t become obese eating them??  OMG xylitol has a glycemic index of 7 – I’ll put on pounds!  (Meanwhile, sugar has a glycemic index of 58).  I am not going to let one grain of those things past my lips until I have scoured the entire internet for every last mention, and read every last scientific review that ever existed before I decide if I am letting it into my temple of a body”.

As an aside I was just reading on C&H’s site how cane sugar is much better than beet sugar.  Cool!  Does ‘better’ mean that it will kill you slower or faster?  Good to know.  Clean eaters everywhere will rejoice to know that …it seems to be cleaner“.  At least you can be reassured that the sugar that is killing you is the cleanest sugar there is.  And, just in case you are confused about sugar, C&H have cleared that up for us:   “Obesity is the result of eating too much food, especially those with a high-caloric content. It’s easy to point a finger at sugar as the reason for obesity. Science, however, doesn’t support that view.”  Really.  Well I’ll be.

I can think of countless examples of this in daily life where we have blindly been eating whatever crap food manufacturers have thrown at us our whole lives, but as soon as someone suggests we might want to try eat real, whole foods we demand to know every last intricate detail about where, what, why, when, and how before we sit in a dark room, surrounded my incense while chanting, as we meditate on whether we should allow it into our bodies.  It really is insane.  Like eating real, whole foods could possibly be more harmful than eating a standard American diet (except if you’re allergic to peanuts and you eat one).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All this just to say I no longer give a flying duck about most science.  Science schmience. When the scientists, doctors, medical professionals, and other ‘experts’ can’t agree on any of it – despite an overwhelming amount of wildly contrary ‘scientific proof’, churn out ‘science’ that refutes the ‘science’ that was just published by someone else, and spend cycles along with an obscene amount of money running studies that a few years down the line are then ‘proven’ to be hogwash, how are we lay-people supposed to be able to make any sense of it at all?  It’s no wonder that I and countless others just don’t put very much credence into anything that the ‘experts’ claim are scientifically proven – at least in the realm of food and health.

Annnnd in case someone inadvertently misunderstands me here…I do not think all science is stupid or a bunch of rubbish.  I do not think all doctors are quacks or useless.  There are some things that I have a lot to thank traditional doctors for and for which I am extremely grateful.  Some of the science and doctors and experts out there are nothing short of brilliant, but the problem is that it’s hard to tell the fabulous from the awful, and the absolute truth from the utter nonsense and / or blatant dishonesty – because all of it is released to the world as The Truth.

As one lady commented on the blog of a Doctor recently, “I am a non-scientist who is following the debate as best I can in the hope that you smart people will figure it out & publish the results so I can just for the sake of all that is holy finally lose some of this godforsaken weight.  I can’t follow the science & don’t have time to try to figure it out myself.  I need answers & I realize there aren’t any at the moment so I read a lot of blogs while I’m waiting”.

So in light of all this, it’s anecdotal evidence all the way for me, baby.  I decided I was going to suck it and see, because I am not a Doctor or a scientist or any other kind of medical professional, but I am super-capable at observing how my own body responds to things, adding 2 and 2 to get 4, and fitting puzzle pieces together successfully.  I no longer give a rip what studies have been done or what the ‘experts’ say.  It’s like not listening to gossip – I hear what others say about someone but I will treat that someone according to my own experience of them, not what a third party told me.

3 months back when I started on this voyage of uncovering what in the world was wrong with me, I had a bunch of tests done.  Most of them were unconventional tests.  By unconventional I mean tests that most MDs do not order or work from.  I suspect that a lot of MDs don’t believe in them, and even probably think they are scams.  But I was at the point where traditional Western medicine had done pretty much nothing for me in terms of healing my body of Bi-polar, psoriasis, eczema, headaches, migraines, IBS, excess body fat, exhaustion or anything else that I wrote about here – some of which I have had without relief since I was 11.  It’s true that traditional medicine gave me a whole pile of band-aids for these things.  But healing?  Yep, I was game to try anything that might end up taking me down a path to true healing.

Who’s with me?

www.carriebrown.com

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Jan - Right on Carrie!
    It’s up to us to figure it out. Watch Ty Bolingers series this week on preventing and curing cancer. That’s the way we should all eat. Just real colorful food!ReplyCancel

  • Pip - It’s astonishing isn’t it? I read a Facebook anti sugar site ( just eat real food – no sugar or seed oils – not selling any supplements or recommending anything weird) and doctors are constantly on there abusing it. They tear any quoted study to bits. You would think not eating sugar was the most dangerous thing in the world!ReplyCancel

  • Erik Hyypia - I grew up with a scientist for a father, and engineering as my profession, and have a great respect for true science. At the heart of science is saying, “I’m observing this, and I have a theory why that is happening. Let me test it and try to disprove that theory. Then let others try to disprove it.” And in this way, you weed out the bad theories, refine the good ones, and end up with something useful, repeatable, predictable, and authentic. This can be done at an institutional level, a family level, or a personal level. “If I do this, I observe that, over and over again, repeatably.”

    The more complex the problem, the more variables you need to take into account. Stabbing yourself in the hand and observing you bleed is a simple, repeatable experiment. Understanding how body chemistry operates is rather more complex. But the basic idea of good science is the same: Develop a theory, test it and TRY to disprove it in every way possible, and if it stands all the tests, and all the tests of your allies and competitors, you might be on to something.

    Along with that is the idea of controlled experimentation. “If I change this one thing, what happens?” You don’t need to be a scientist to do this. We all do it every day. “If I replace my bulbs with LEDs, what happens? My power consumption drops, my bill drops, and I have more discretionary income. And I can measure all of that.”

    What the food and beverage industry has done, however, is brutally dishonest. They have over and over spun up studies to prove that smoking is good for you, sugar is necessary for your existence, aspartame does no harm…the list is endless. This is not good science. It is partisan cherry picking of results at best, and murder for profit at worst. They have not done good science by trying to disprove their claims in every way possible. Those claims have not stood the test of repeated assaults by other testers. In fact, we see the opposite over and over. The only conclusion I can come to is that getting you to part with your dollar is the only thing they care about, and they are willing to lie, falsify, cherry pick, sue and kill to do it.

    I’m going to guess that Carrie is leading up to experiments in personal science. “If I eat this, my body rebels in this way, repeatably.” There is a long and valid history of personal science leading to one breakthrough after another, and nothing is more valid than doing things to your own body and clinically observing the results. I, for one, cannot wait to hear where Carrie is going with this.

    To sum up my rant, I think digging for understanding and personal experimentation can produce some amazing results. It’s the antithesis of blindly ingesting all the for-profit bullcrap that we get fed daily. It takes guts, stamina and an inquisitive mind, and I think Carrie has those in spades. I can’t wait for the next blog.ReplyCancel

  • Tina - My stepmom once told me that I need to eat a more balanced diet. I asked her if she meant that I should eat sugar and she said, “Yes, of course.”
    There you have it. Some will never get it and will always look at the rest of us as weirdos. I’m proud to be in the company of more.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - here here! for n=1 experiments. after all, that is what really matters to us, personally, right? what are the results that YOU experience? we are all so very different. I’ve learned that a lot in the past few months. I’ve tried “coaching” people into following the SANE way of eating, and for some, they just didn’t get the results expected. Then others, I suggested eating LCHF, and again, no results. This whole weight thing is too complicated. There are many variables besides what you eat such as sleep, stress, water, exercise, genetics, toxins, the environment, etc etc.

    I love reading your posts, Carrie. I alway stop what I’m doing to read them. You crack me up “practicing intermittent fasting every day will make you as lean as a package of 97/3 ground beef”. That made me laugh out loud. And I wish. I’ve been doing IF for about 3-4 months now and my bodyfat % is exactly the same.

    Keep us informed. I’m very interested in what changes you’ve made in your life and how they improved your health.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda - Hello, Carrie,
    S.A.N.E. was the beginning of my understanding a little better. I learned about a Broken Metabolism and many other helpful ideas on the Jonathan’s podcasts with you and his guests.
    Things began to turn in a more personal direction for me when I was staying at the same weight, not feeling better and Dr. Cathy posted a study somewhere that stated that protein intake in amounts larger than the body needs will be processed as sugar, I got enormously disappointed.
    How was I going to learn what 90 gm/day of protein was going to affect my own Blood Glucose? I had to accept my body, get a glucometer and become more of a scientist for myself.
    I had to use my own curiosity to lead me on the journey that would take into consideration my age, my genetics and all.
    I really responded to Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. The understanding finally has led me to Low Carb/High Fat.
    I am now doing LCHF and achieving great results. I need only 20 gm/2 x day of protein.
    That is my n=1 that Wren mentioned.
    I truly am happy not to have to eat 10 cups of veggies a day.
    We all have to find our own path, ultimately.
    I enjoy the unique way that you document your reflections on the journey and your world, even the exasperation of looking for truth, both relative and ultimate.
    I was a Calorie Myth convert for a while. We have to believe in something to even have the possibility for it to work. The Scientific Method says that this is not so.
    But alas, here I am with my experience and thank goodness it is working for me. I am within 20 pounds of my goal, getting fitter and feeling great.
    For now, even the nutritious carbs of vegetables has to be limited for me to lose weight. My body has to heal from hyperinsulinemia. I’m willing to continue the experiment.
    Much love and success on your continuing journey.
    It’s great that we can encourage and support one another.ReplyCancel

    • Deb Sanders - Your journey sounds exactly like mine. Using a glucometer was really eye opening for me. It has given me control over my body’s response to food. LCHF has proven to be the best way for my body as I had also developed hyperinsulinemia from years of eating SAD. My blood work showed crystals in my urine from eating too much raw spinach and kale in smoothies, presumably. You just have to figure out what works for you.ReplyCancel

  • Joe Wojtuniak - Amen sister!ReplyCancel

  • Joe Wojtuniak - Amen sister!ReplyCancel

  • Joe Wojtuniak - Amen sister!ReplyCancel

  • Lori Pellnitz - Great insight Carrie!!

    If there is one thing I’ve learned on my health journey, the one thing I can truly have faith in is my n=1 experiments on what works for me. I’m grateful for people like Jonathan Bailor, who have brought together people with different nutritional perspectives to discuss them, teach others their theories to help determine what works best for them. It is hard to see how eating real food instead of edible food product could be bad, but the ratios of which kind of foods in what amounts needs to be figured out on the individual level.ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I have known about SANEity for all of a week and a half, and I have been listening to the podcasts that you and Jonathan Bailor put out a few years ago, and I feel like I have discovered the holy grail of health. I struggled with my weight in high school and college, although my “will power” *never* worked. Ever. It was only when I was happy (think summer at grandparents, when I started dating my husband) that I could lose weight, and that was totally without trying! My mom would joke that I was skinny when I was happy. Now I can see there probably was a lot of truth to that. All of the “anecdotal evidence” in my life points to this being 100% true, even if it is supposedly too new to have produced scientific proof. The thing about medical ARTS, however–you really cannot test everything with proper control groups and other constants because you cannot know all of the factors!! Similar to Jonathan shared in the book and the podcasts about two sets of twins treated identically, you are never going to get the same results twice when dealing with humans, ESPECIALLY if your science is flawed in the first place. The other problem is that, like researching can lead you to come to the conclusions you want to find, experimenting with the aim of proving your own wishes and desires usually does not lead you to write a report that more than vaguely suggests that your theory was wrong! So–I suppose I’m going SANE to see if the Myths are wrong, but I already feel loads better. I already knew sugar made me sick, and was trying to get almost totally off it, but after a week of doing this IMPERFECTLY and my sleep, energy, clothing fit, and mood have changed. So thank you for “not caring” about the science. I really cannot believe that I have never heard of this before now when most of it really does seem like common sense!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - I’m with you Carrie…..all the way!!!ReplyCancel

  • STOP » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane - […] (and downright lies) behind much of the nutrition out there is staggering.  It’s confusing at best, and harmful at worst.  I lost count the number of times I have thrown my hands up in the last 6 months and thought, […]ReplyCancel

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Bi-polar II disorder some 2½ years ago I have been pushing against everything about it.  At first I was all, “Oh, hey!  Cool!  I get something to hang my hat on now!  I know what is wrong with me so I can do something about it!  I can stop feeling the way I feel and my brain is going to stop trying to kill me!  YAY!”

I was put on medication which I happily took, and my then Psychiatrist had me buy a copy of “The Bi-polar Disorder Survival Guide” by David Miklowitz.  After reading the first few chapters of this book I started getting mad.  The book’s premise is that there is something wrong with you and that you will just have to learn to manage it for the rest of your life.  Things like you’ll be on medication (with multiple side effects) forever, you may not be able to hold a job down, you may lose all your friends, your medication may stop working, your family may disown you, and other such lovely things to look forward to.  It then goes on to tell you what to do that might help you manage these unavoidable outcomes and still live an OK life.  It read like a living death sentence.  Like I had been taken over by an alien and my life was no longer my own.  Like I would just have to learn to become a bystander to the disorder that would henceforth decide the course of my life, and how others perceived and treated me.  Like a huge, scary monster had moved in and would lumber around after me wherever I went and whatever I did.

I didn’t want to have Bi-polar.  Do I for sure have Bi-polar?  What if I don’t actually have Bi-polar?  I certainly didn’t want the Bi-polar label if I didn’t actually have the disorder.  Having to be medicated felt like I was no longer me – like they had changed who I truly am because they altered my symptoms and behavior with a pill.  It felt like all of a sudden, since some psychiatrist had decided I had Bi-polar disorder, I was unacceptable to the world.  The label meant that the world no longer saw me as I was, but as something that was mentally ill, someone who might go off the deep end at any moment, that was no longer employable, trustworthy, or reliable.  But I hadn’t actually changed, other than having been given a label and a pill bottle.

The thought that this was just something I had to suck up and deal with did not sit well with me.  Psychiatry, after all, is an entirely made up science.  Psychiatrists don’t actually know what they are doing.  My own psychiatrist confirmed that this is true when I called him out.  There are no tests for Bi-polar disorders – they just look at you and lump you into whichever group your behavior and symptoms most align with.  If it looks like Bi-polar then it is.  And then, because they don’t know anything about it or how it works, they prescribe you the medication(s) that they think *might* work based on things that have worked for others who have a similar set of behaviors and symptoms as you.  Then, when the first thing they put you on doesn’t work (and which can have disastrous consequences), they either add something else to it or they put you on something different and sit back to see what happens.  This process can go on for months, even years, and in the meantime we have to go through not only the original symptoms of the disorder but also the side effects and symptoms of the medication – which can be truly awful; even worse than just dealing with the symptoms of the disorder itself.  This is one of the reasons why so many people with Bi-polar quit their medications – life can actually be easier and more pleasant without them.  The process of finding the right medication can be the very thing that makes you unemployable, untrustworthy, unreliable, or any of the other bad things that Bi-polar peeps have become famous for – because these medications, I tell you, can cause all sorts of mayhem.  Then add the all-too-common issue where you need higher and higher doses to keep you stable, or the medication stops working and you need to start the whole process again until you find something else that works.

I didn’t want to deal with any of this, and neither did I want to be suddenly labelled when nothing about me had actually changed other than some psychiatrist putting me in a box.  And why do people say, “She’s Bi-polar”, instead of, “She has Bi-polar”?  No one says, “She’s cancer”, or “She’s a migraine”, or “She’s heart disease”.  Why is that Bi-polar is seen as being who you are instead of a disorder that you have?  A disorder that can be cured, or at least put into permanent remission like cancer.  I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being given band-aid after band-aid with no attempt to uncover the real problem.

I just didn’t buy into the whole you’re ill and you need to be medicated forever thing.  I didn’t want to deal with the panic or judgement of those around me if I felt a bit down some days:  “DID YOU TAKE YOUR MEDS TODAY???”  like I am simply the sum of my medication.  I couldn’t be me anymore without being questioned about the state of my medications.  It just didn’t feel right.  Why was no one trying to figure out what was actually causing me to have the symptoms known as Bi-polar disorder?  Why did everyone treat it as the core problem and not just a collection of symptoms?

Symptoms are not the problem.  A broken leg is a symptom.  The problem is putting enough force on your leg bones to break them.  Putting your leg in a cast will fix the symptom, but that doesn’t stop you from breaking your leg again.  The only thing that will stop you from doing it again is to stop putting enough force on your leg to break it.  Psoriasis is a symptom.  The problem is whatever is causing the skin to respond that way.  Steroid creams and medications will clear up the symptoms, but they won’t fix the problem.  And yet the medical profession seem perfectly content to just deal with the symptoms with no thought to stopping the body causing them in the first place.  To me, symptoms are simply the body’s way of telling us, “Houston, we have a problem”.

I didn’t buy into Bi-polar being the end game.  Something caused the symptoms to manifest and therefore there is a problem that needs solving that has nothing to do with the symptoms – other than it produces them.  Something is happening to cause my body to produce the symptoms that psychiatrists call Bi-polar.  Why was nobody else wondering this?  Why did the medical profession just call it a thing and hand out band aids instead of looking at the root cause?

Ever since I read that book I have been pondering the question of why do I have Bi-polar.  What is the problem here?  Why did I start exhibiting the symptoms of Bi-polar?  Was it genetic, environmental, chemical, stress-induced, something else entirely, or a combination of all of the above?

Since I didn’t want to have Bi-polar and be on medication (and the associated side effects) forever I decided that come hell or high water I was going to find out.  I was going to get off this medication and ditch the label if it killed me.  {HA HA :-) }

www.carriebrown.comI decided to start with genetics, since those are written in blood.  {HA HA :-) } and non-negotiable.  Your genetic code is just what it is, so I figured it made sense to start there before moving onto all the other possibilities and variables.

I merrily spit into an assortment of vials and sent them winging their way across America.  A little while later I got a full DNA report.  To say it was fascinating is an understatement.

Why do I think cilantro (coriander) tastes like soap?  Turns out it’s a genetic thing.  Who knew?!  See, I am not just a picky eater.

My super-tasting abilities?  Genetic.  This drove my mother crazy because she always tried to sneak cheap brand name knock-offs onto my plate and I wasn’t having any of it.  Turns out you made me that way, Mum :-)

The rare ability to detect ‘bitter’ way before most people?  Genetic.  This is why turnip, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables taste more interesting and less horribly bland to me.  See?  Your dislike of Brussels may just be genetic.  They really are awesome! :-)

The probability that I will live to be 100 (assuming I don’t get shot or drive off the side of a mountain)?  Genetic.  Note to self: get some *really* good medical insurance and up my retirement savings.

I am related to Bono.  And Benjamin Franklin.  True story.

I am 51.6% British and Irish, 19.5% French and German, 2.7% Scandinavian, 0.6% Spanish, and 100% European.  Oh, and 2.7% Neanderthal :-)

My dry ear wax?  Genetic.

Inability to maintain weight loss without high intensity exercise?  Genetic.

Psoriasis – genetic.  Dependence on alcohol – genetic.  Depression – genetic.  Bi-polar – genetic (WOOHOO!!!).  Higher BMI – genetic.  Freckles – genetic.  Antidepressants less effective – genetic.  Reduced metabolism – genetic.  No change in urine smell after eating asparagus – genetic.  Migraines – genetic.  More difficult to hypnotize – genetic.  Crazy good memory and attention to detail – genetic.

Fascinating!!!  These are all things that have expressed themselves in me physically, and which I was predisposed to genetically.  There are a whole bunch of other things that appeared on my DNA that I do not have physically.  And there are a whole bunch more things that are on my DNA that I do have physically…some of which I will introduce you to in the next several posts as we unravel my health challenges.

So let me be clear about what your DNA report tells you.  It tells you where you are at a higher or lower risk for developing things – it does NOT tell you that you are definitely going to have these things.  For example – all over my DNA it shows I have higher risk for macular degeneration and eye problems.  In reality none of that dodgy genetic code has manifested itself into symptoms, since I still have 20/20 vision and have never experienced any issues.  So just because something shows up on your DNA does not mean that you will get whatever it is.  It just means that your DNA coding indicates a higher or lower risk.  As I understand it – and I am sure I am not using the correct terminology here – the bits on your DNA that indicate outcomes are not necessarily expressed.  For example – my DNA indicated that I had a very high likelihood of blue eyes.  I have green eyes.  My DNA indicated that I would have blond hair.  Now while I do have blond hair, I can assure you it is nothing to do with my genes (!!!).  But, as I look at the symptoms that I have in real life and then look at my genetic blueprint I can see if I was predisposed to those things.  Some genes express themselves from birth – eye color, height, hair color, etc. – but others don’t express themselves until other factors – environmental, diet, situational, etc. –  ‘switch on’ the genes.  Some genes never express themselves.

For me, seeing that a higher risk for depression and bi-polar were all over my DNA (they appeared in multiple, multiple places on multiple, multiple genes) was enormously helpful in starting to unravel my health challenges.  It was also staggeringly helpful emotionally – turns out having bi-polar is no different to cilantro tasting like soap, or having freckles.  Psychologically it took away my label and removed me from the ‘crazy lady’ list.  It wasn’t my fault and I didn’t cause it any more than it was my fault I have green eyes or I caused myself to become a super-taster just to irritate my mother (although that would have been entertaining).

Turns out you can’t positive think your way out of uni- or bi-polar depression any more than you can positive think your way out of dry ear wax.  Plus, there are doubtless a huge number of people who also have a higher risk of depression and bi-polar written into their genes, that are never expressed physically.  You may have the genes for bi-polar just like me, but never have to deal with the physical manifestation of it.  This knowledge also gave me enormous hope that if I could figure out what had ‘switched on’ those genes, I could stop my bi-polar symptoms altogether, or at the very least manage them without the use of medication.  Because while we cannot influence our genes, we can influence how those genes express themselves.

How happy do you think all this made me?

 

Seeing my DNA report helped me in so many ways over the last 3 months as I have unraveled what has been ailing me.  The bi-polar hunt was just the impetus for getting it done.

If you choose to get your DNA report I highly recommend also doing three things:

  • Go over it with a medical professional who can translate it and make sense of it for you.
  • Don’t read it and go, “OMG!  I am going to get *fill in the blank disease* and die!”
  • Remember that just because you have a genetically higher or lower risk of something doesn’t mean it will express itself.
  • Use it to verify the symptoms (or lack thereof) that you already have rather than using it to diagnose what you might get.

Get your DNA report here.  I think you’ll be amazed at how much it’s all in the genes.  When you see how my journey unfolds, DNA has a lot more to do with it all than I imagined.

Happy genotyping!

 

PS. You also have the option of getting connected with hundreds and hundreds of relatives that you never knew you had.  Turns out I have relatives all over the US, and even some in Seattle.  I haven’t been brave enough to call any of them up yet :-)

 

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Dave - Carrie, you are one of my most favorite people ever! If I weren’t already married…..ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Stephens - To a dear and amazing woman:
    I hear you.ReplyCancel

  • Judi - My DNA says I am a high caffeine metabolizer…. so sometimes DNA tells you good things too!

    (I am also 2.9% neanderthal, but the DNA couldn’t tell me why I developed graves disease – another lifetime “learn to deal with it” disease, but not as hard to handle as bipolar and none of the baggage.

    You are a brave wonderful woman. Eat more chocolate… it may not cure you but it makes each of our unique weirdnesses more fun.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - Thank you for being so transparent. You are such a story teller and have a remarkable way with words and phrases. This sounds like the beginnings of a book to me – your journey with bi-polar. I do wish you well and hope that you are not confined to taking medication forever. I know how bad the side effects are since I was on all kinds of meds during my back surgery 5 years ago. Thank goodness that is all behind me now.

    ps. I’m ready and waiting to be your recipe tester anytime (wink wink)ReplyCancel

  • Cindy E. - I’m so very happy you aren’t taking your health issues lying down no pun intended. I also have (had) issues the medical community just didn’t know enough about to get to the root cause and fix it! They were very great at treating the symptoms once you were broken however that wasn’t good enough for me. So when I have followed all the great advice Jonathan recommends and still not seeing results I got a good naturopathic nutritionist that sees the body as a whole unit, heals with food and food like products. I am 75% better and getting better every day thank you for all your work that you and Jonathan have done and the guests he has had on his show. I wouldn’t be as happy and healthy today without you guys showing me there was a better way God blessReplyCancel