My APOE journey

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
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Stavia
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Re: My APOE journey

Postby Stavia » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:28 am

It'll come together Wolfie. Break it up into manageable chunks. It's prolly overwhelming atm and everything is swirling in your head.
Think of it as levelling and gaining skills in an MMORPG one at a time. You only start out with one or two and slowly extra ones are added. And one grinds away practising and levelling. There's no way a newbie could be given a level 80 druid and be able to survive the even the first boss in a raid.
Slow skill progression.

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ArcticWolf
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Re: My APOE journey

Postby ArcticWolf » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:59 am

Stavia wrote:It'll come together Wolfie. Break it up into manageable chunks. It's prolly overwhelming atm and everything is swirling in your head.
Think of it as levelling and gaining skills in an MMORPG one at a time. You only start out with one or two and slowly extra ones are added. And one grinds away practising and levelling. There's no way a newbie could be given a level 80 druid and be able to survive the even the first boss in a raid.
Slow skill progression.

Thanks...that's a great way to think at it! Just wish I could purchase a lvl-100 character boost ;)

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Re: My APOE journey

Postby Stavia » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:03 pm

Nope sorry no gold farmers or speed levelling runs here honey. It's all old school. As it should be.

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cdamaden
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Re: My APOE journey

Postby cdamaden » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:07 pm

Artic -- for the sleep angle, I would encourage you to take a look at Dr. Sarah Balantyne's work. Here's a book she wrote:
http://www.thepaleomom.com/gotobed/
Several years before, she had this in her blog:
http://www.thepaleomom.com/trouble-sleeping/
As to your Testosterone results, keep in mind that T can be in range but if your free-Testoserone is low then you can negatively affect you in many ways. You might consider getting them both tested during your next visit.

Keep at it!
Chris
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Re: My APOE journey

Postby ArcticWolf » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:43 pm

progranulindefect wrote:my daughter has ADD. She was on Vyvanse and is now on Adderall (about 2 years). can you tell me what bad side effects you had from adderall?

Sure...I'd be happy to. As I mentioned, Adderall (an amphetamine salt) worked great for me allowing me to focus and have the motivation to get through a set of tasks. It was amazing to feel like a "normal" person who came to work ready to tackle their day and be able to handle housework (sometimes even washing the dishes seems like too much!). My rudimentary and simplified understanding of ADD is that it's often due to a lack of strong connections between areas of the brain as well as reduced dopamine (DA) activity and dopamine receptors in brain parts like the striatum and pre-frontal cortex. I'm also pretty sure that my lifelong issues with dysthymia (low mood and energy, lack of ambition/drive) are due to DA levels as well and aren't helped (and I think worsened) by SSRI medication. This is opposed to my episodes of major depression which were definitely related to the serotonin system.

Anyway, I was advised early on by my doctor about the tolerance issues with Adderall and to take regular "holidays" from it, for example on weekends. Well, after being "up" all week, a day without the medication would send me into the pits and I could barely get out of bed on the weekend. In addition, though the Adderall helped me be productive, I found that I got tired of the amped up feeling and that I found it changed my normal easy-going personality and demeanor. Other typical physiological side-effects that I had included a constant dry mouth (and bad breath), decreased appetite, change in food taste, teeth grinding and increased perspiration. After several months of dealing with the negatives, I finally had enough.

I gave Vyvanse a try for awhile--it is a similar to Adderall in function, so it has many of the same side effects. I also started having some issues with insomnia taking it, which in turn made my attention and mood problems far worse.

Later my doctor thought that supplementing the SSRI that I was on at the time with Wellbutrin (bupropion) might help since it is an atypical antidepressant that works as a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), increasing their levels in the brain. It seemed to help for both mood and attention for a few months, but eventually the effects petered out, even with an increased dosage. I also had some concerns since it has some anticholinergic activity which I knew wouldn't be helpful for my memory (short or long-term).

Finally I also tried Strattera, which is a norepinephrine inhibitor (NERI). Basically this medication just made me feel weird, and though there were some attention improvements, there was also brain fog and I felt physically like a taut rubber band. Not to mention the headaches and hot flashes. This let me know that norepinephrine isn't a neurotransmitter that I want too much of lol.

So that was my ADD medication experience. In the end, I decided that modern psychiatry is still in the dark ages...to quote Dr. McCoy from Star Trek IV: "My God, man. We're dealing with medievalism here!"

I can only hope that neuroscience gets to a better understanding of the brain in my lifetime. In the meantime, I've decided to stick with good old coffee and green tea.

progranulindefect wrote:my daughter has similar problems with sleep, going way way back to preschool (she is now 18). melatonin won't always work for her and often gives her a headache. we did find out that a smaller dose - 1mg is better than 3mg (which can make you too groggy). i've read that a lot of doctors specializing in ADD have their adult patients take some of their stimulants close to bedtime, and it helps with sleep. we haven't tried this- but you probably need a doctor who specializes in adults with ADD/ADHD. my husband is a night owl- he finds a glass of wine (only one!!!) helps him go to sleep. another thing that helped my daughter was getting up early and doing exercise in the morning sun. she had been on a weird run where her eating was out of control- she kept on feeling hunger, but whatever she ate wouldn't satisfy her, so she ate til her sides hurt. and her sleeping was all messed up. the field hockey started at the end of august, and she loves that, so she made herself get up to practice with the team. that got her on a good sleep schedule and took care of the compulsive eating. i think the effects of morning light plus exercise plus the social aspect were very important in helping her. lastly, she uses a fan all night as white noise to block out other sounds and to help her fall asleep.

As was mentioned earlier, I think proper sleep is a big part of the issue for ADD'ers. Without 8 hours of sleep I'm pretty much so scattered I can't focus properly on anything. That's easier said than done though, as I'm currently working in a job that has a 4/10 schedule (7am-6pm four day a week) with three-day weekends to completely wreck my wake/bedtimes and throw me into jet lag mode by Monday morning.

progranulindefect wrote:*re cholesterol numbers. if you eat higher fat, you need to eat lower carb. i have eaten like this since about 2009. i made a recent change by including coconut oil, and it may have improved my HDL (there were other factors), but also caused me to gain belly weight (i am female, but have always gained weight on my belly). and i didn't see improvement in memory.

high fat low carb 2015-->'16 adding 1 tbsp of coconut oil w/ coffee + using salad dressing with Coconut oil
total cholesterol- 190---->193
HDL----------------88------>96
Triglycerides-----51------->46
LDL---------------92-------->88
vitamin d last year was only 19, then got it up to 34, so that might have helped. i was also anemic last year and cleared that up. so coconut oil, and an increase in vita d and normalizing iron were all factors associated with higher hdl looking at 2015 to 2016

Thanks for sharing your experience--I hope to get a new lipid test soon to see where I'm currently at.
Last edited by ArcticWolf on Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RE: Re: My APOE journey

Postby ArcticWolf » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:18 pm

ru442 wrote:Wolfie... my diet is varied and not as strict as Stavia and others, I've been able to reduce my trigs significantly and increase my hdl greatly with diet. My other numbers also support my particular diet and exercise, I take very few supplements and rely on my mostly whole food diet for my nutrients. What supplements I do take are based on regular testing in six week imcrements as I adjust meds and/or diet. As I refine my diet and regime I will reduce testing to six months.

My approach given the ancestrial gene is a hunter gatherer approach.... eating what is freshest and readily available to me and affordable. Most importantly I rarely eat ANYTHING proceesed, even veggies. I buy fresh (local farmers in season, else organic if at all possible, but rarely frozen or canned, unless time is an issue ). All my meat is pastured... no grain at all. NO GRAIN AND NO SUGARS OF ANY KIND. I don't go out for dinner and if I do it's fish (fresh or shellfish) and salad (bring my own evoo and balsamic vinegar).

Hi ru442--thanks so much for your reply and sharing your experiences. I also had the opportunity to read your thread and story. I feel that a completely whole food, no grain/sugar diet is probably not sustainable for me right now, but I am trying to work that direction on a meal by meal basis. I'm still confused as to the benefits of the med diet (supposedly the best thing for your brain health) which includes grains but low dairy vs. your direction which seems more paleo. From the abstracts of the talks at the recent conference, it sounds like this is an ongoing debate among even the top researchers, so I guess I will need to start trying and testing.

ru442 wrote:I fast minimum of 12 hours each day... it took about 2 months to reach ketosis (mild imo... not an over achiever on this one), and while I don't test for this I am fairly confident I have acheived this based on body mass and need for food intake prior to 12pm (I generally don't eat until lunch... and don't need to as I am using already available fat and energy stores... I.e. usually not even hungry). I rarely eat "breakfast", just don't need it (but do need coffee!!).

I also try to fast a minimum of 12 hours and many days skip breakfast (except coffee). My best thinking and productivity are usually when I haven't been eating or am a little hungry. This has been a big confusion for me, since I've always been told that my brain needs breakfast to have the energy to work properly.

ru442 wrote:As to the liver issues, I also had high ferritin levels and a fatty liver when I began this journey (and as Stavia pointed out likely storing fat in other organs as I'm a fairly skinny guy as is). Was tested for hepatic seatosis which was negative. In short this supports the fact we 4's are generally hyper absorbers of the bad fats. Changing diet can dramatically improve many things....

The point being... I am not a picky eater, I love variety of protein and veggies at the right proportions. I've been able to achieve my "balance". At the same time I've been able to keep animal protein in play (hard to give up, and for some really bad), at limited quantities and very high quality for good fats (bison, wild game, beef and pork local only pastured not grain finished ). I continue to get 70-80% of my calories and fat from green veg, evoo or evao, nuts, avocado etc. I don't buy into lectin intolerance ( ala Dr. Gundry) at this time, so I do embib in many of the items on the forbidden list especially fresh produce at this time of year (tomatoes, corn, etc). Should I begin to encounter cognitive issues down the road I will certainly revisit this aspect of my diet. But I absolutely abstain from grain and sugar, and zero processed food has passed these lips in over 6 months (ok I have cheated.... but Stavia can chime in.... skip a meal if you want a cheat!! Ice cream can be hard to resist)

If you would like some ideas on my diet pm me... I'd be happy to share. Or if folks would like I in can post, just can't promise as I am terribly busy and can't promise a av quality post, but here to and share.

Sure, I would appreciate some meal ideas. The biggest struggle I see is the loss of so many of my meal staple go-to's--bread, bagels, pancakes, pasta/noodles, rice, pizza, potatoes, fruit, corn etc. that there's not much left. Tomatoes are bad too?..sheesh. Take away dairy and animal protein and I would pretty much starve lol.

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Re: My APOE journey

Postby ArcticWolf » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:25 pm

cdamaden wrote:Artic -- for the sleep angle, I would encourage you to take a look at Dr. Sarah Balantyne's work. Here's a book she wrote:
http://www.thepaleomom.com/gotobed/
Several years before, she had this in her blog:
http://www.thepaleomom.com/trouble-sleeping/
As to your Testosterone results, keep in mind that T can be in range but if your free-Testoserone is low then you can negatively affect you in many ways. You might consider getting them both tested during your next visit.

Keep at it!
Chris

Thanks for the links Chris! I mentioned above that sleep is currently a challenge with my work schedule, but also a big priority and any way to improve my routines will be helpful.

Any thoughts on increasing T (beyond resistance training and copious amounts of red meat)? My experience is if you're within the normal range, most doctors won't consider HRT and the only option would be to go to an expensive private clinic that insurance won't cover.

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Re: My APOE journey

Postby progranulindefect » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:44 pm

my daughter said adderall/vyvanse really motivates her to do whatever is on her mind to do. nowadays it bothers me that to her taking a shower is a lot of work and she needs adderall to take a shower and put her make up on. she often doesn't take adderall, but the amount she takes seems to make her motivation worse (she didn't used to have problems with taking a shower). but the genie is out of the bottle and she is 18. she says on the stimulants things aren't as funny and her personality isn't at crazy (the way she likes it). but she does see benefits. if i start having close calls in my car due to being distracted and not being about to focus quickly, i will definitely try to get adderall prescribed for me. i'm not there yet, but i almost was. i know my deficits now- like if someone is about to cross the street, i will focus on that potential danger and be mind-blinded to the fact that someone is about to go thru that intersection and i might hit them. i drive safely now, but i have to concentrate more than i used to.

i found something that helps me sleep, but i don't want to try it out with my daughter or really even recommend it to others until i go like a year on it. it's only been a week, but it's been a great week in terms of energy and mood- but my short term memory is still bad- no improvement there. i'm hopeful, though. good luck to you, arctic wolf.

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Re: My APOE journey

Postby Stavia » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:16 pm

Wolfie I started basic Mediterranean and slowly tightened up over many months. Mediterranean is absolutely better than Standard American Diet - that is why it performs better in head to head trials. But is it optimal? That's the question. I believe not, but it's a good start.
Mebbe your concentration issues will improve as your diet slowly tightens up!
Transition is difficult at times. RU has done incredibly well and he is very generous to share meal ideas :)

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Re: My APOE journey

Postby Tincup » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:51 pm

On sleep, I recently started immersing my face in cold water to create a "mammalian diving reflex" on the vagus nerve prior to bed. See this and this. I've found that pushing my face in very fast works better than slowly putting it in. I've yet to get a snorkel to extend my face time in the cold water, but that is next.

Stavia told me she sits in a hot tub to get very warm and then cools off. That it is the temperature change.
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