Archive for October, 2012


October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

 Do you ever feel like you may have PTSD?  I have been known to tell myself that I do.  Not because I’m a hypochondriac but because it actually does feel like I’m different from what I used to be.  Contrast that with some people who are always like that.  What is “that” anyway?
This Mindhacks article spells out that PTSD is defined by 3 characteristics:

  1. Intrusive Memories
  2. Hyper-arousal, and
  3. Emotional Numbing

I think my memories are not intrusive but otherwise, I do feel I have the the other two symptoms, and that of course creates a barrier in relationships.  Relationships are what you need to help you through this, so this doesn’t seem like a good situation.

The Mindhacks article implies that there was no documentation of similar symptoms during the Civil War, but during that time, men didn’t really express their problems, and if they did, it was not shared, discussed, blogged.  The term “shell shocked” came into existence during WW1, and that really does sound like PTSD.  Nonetheless the point is made that PTSD during that time  (and now) may just have looked like alcoholism or depression instead.  The implication is that some people do not manifest PTSD while others do.

On the genetic side, the RORA (retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha) gene has been associated with trauma. The hypothesis is that brains that make less serotonin are then more susceptible to PTSD.

So if you have this genetic setup do what every lame article tells you: avoid stress.  Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor from laughing, let’s look at some other direct suggestions on what to do after you already have PTSD.  Generalized suggestions will follow in the next section, but I want to highlight the topics that will be coming up in subsequent posts terms of treatment.

  1. EMDR
  2. Trauma Releasing Exercise
  3. Ear Training (Polyvagal)

Now if you have the gene, how do you avoid PTSD? I know these sound obvious, so I won’t elaborate too much on these:

  • Supportive and large kind families — the larger the (and kinder) family the more likely that assisting with your symptoms will be spread out amongst several people.  But friends who are like family will help too.  Being a loner single parent is probably not the situation to be in.
  • Support your detoxification-Physical stress through lack of detoxification can also build up.  Take Vitamin C, lipoceutical glutathione, epsom salt baths, magnesium, fish oil to help support your body
  • Simplify — Our world continues to get more complex, you may have to consciously simplify to reduce points of stress. This might mean automation of certain things, but it could also mean staying off the computer!
  • Nutritious Food–this seems obvious right? Do what you can, but do more than you are already doing.  Take the proper folate to help you detoxify.
  • really!  It has been shown to help alleviate stress.

Once you have trauma/PTSD you stay primed for response, but the methods mentioned above may help modulate it a bit.


Tricyclics for Mast Cell

October 22, 2012 2 comments

There are several tricyclics in the market.  These were used as antidepressants before SSRIs became popular.  They can help children who wet the bed when they get older, or help you sleep.   For me, I used it for sleep but lost interest in food.  This made for an easy diet and a 60lb effortless weightloss.  My friends worried that I did not have proper nutrition but I finally got my body to use my fat stores. Yeah! 🙂

Now what are mast cells? From Wikipedia:  “is a resident cell of several types of tissues and contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Although best known for their role in allergy and anaphylaxis, mast cells play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing and defense against pathogens.[2]” 

Many people with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) also have mast cell problems. This means there is a lot of inflammation and allergic reactions. This often manifests as skin inflammation, and for me sometimes I think it results in me taking  a “power nap” soon after eating items that activate mast cells.

Tricyclic antidepressants may be beneficial in CFS because of their ability to inhibit brain mast cell activation and release of proinflammatory molecules. (1)   Interestingly these happen in the brain.

There are several types of tricyclics.  The one I used is amitriptylene for sleep.  It takes about 6 weeks for it to go into full effect I lost weight easily and was not hungry.  Finally I saw that I was beginning to look gaunt. So I stopped sure that my weight gain would return….NOT!  Slowly I began to get an appetite again, and it was a normal hunger not craving.  Weight gain?  NOT!

It was only after 3 years, when under a lot of stress that my weight gain began and has continued steadily for the last 5 years.  I tried the amitryptiline again, but did not have the same effect :(.

Nonetheless, there is something significant about its effect. It may histamine related, maybe not.   Needs discovery.

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