Hi! I'm sorry to hear that you're not feeling great right now no matter what you seem to do. If you've been medication-free for some time, I can see why you'd be upset at not being able to balance as well as you'd like. I can't in any way speak to any links between depression and low-carb, but I do know that it is possible to find a healthy balance with Paleo whatever the issues may be.
The thing about eating Paleo is that people often find themselves here in order to address weight issues, but forget (or haven't read enough) to understand just how powerful Paleo is with respect to mental health, and health in general. Paleo addresses weight issues *because* it addresses the underlying hormonal/metabolic issues, which in turn impacts directly on mental health. Hormones affect mental health and can take some time to balance out... for everything to heal metabolically so that hormone levels, in all respects, stabilize. Until they do, you can have some upheaval.
Something to consider, additionally, is that if weight is an issue, your gut/liver is likely compromised, and your ability to absorb nutrients could be impaired. Also, the majority of serotonin is produced in your gut, not your brain. So, if your gut is compromised, until it heals, so will be your ability to maintain serotonin levels.
Something that can help in this regard is supplementing vitamin D. My daughter struggled with anxiety, I walked a fine line with respect to depression, and both of us struggled significantly with SAD... my husband struggled less so with both anxiety and SAD. While eating Paleo made a difference, it was supplementing with Vitamin D that made the most significant difference for all of us with respect to our mental health. The new guidelines recommend 25mcg/1000IU for every 25 lbs of body weight. With physician approval, my daughter takes double that, I take that amount, and my husband takes a little more than half that, and all of our issues with depression, anxiety and SAD have become a distant memory.
Also, are you watching your macronutrients? It could be that your (especially) fat and protein levels have to be much higher (a mistake that a lot of people concerned with weight loss make on Paleo is to get too rigid about calories, when the real issue is macronutrients). Adding in several tablespoons of coconut oil a day (also lots of eggs), and upping your protein, can really help with both depression and weight loss.
Here are some articles that you might find helpful:
Finally, don't underestimate the issue of withdrawal... the bottom line is that it can take a lot longer than a few weeks to be fully fat-adapted as a fuel source... especially if you've 'fallen off the wagon'... and it's harder to find the balance each successive time you do 'fall' because your hormones don't adjust so quickly. The truth is, Paleo is not the miracle solution for everyone who wants to lose weight. Anyone who has mental health or hormonal issues (and women don't generally have the same dramatic results with regard to weight), is fighting an uphill battle no matter what they do. I happen to believe Paleo is still the best solution, even though for me it is a long, slow process... but for the first time in my life, I don't feel like I'm ever going backwards.
You DON'T have to be 'one or the other'... it just may take you a little extra time/effort to find the right balance.
The Physiology of Womens Weight Loss From: Paleo for Women
It can be withdrawal even at 3 weeks, especially from addictive substances like wheat, dairy, sugar, junk food...The fact that you felt better after eating crap means it probably IS. Normally one feels good eating healthy paleo-ish foods.
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For me, I've noticed lately that if I let my carbs drop too low for an extended period of time, then my depression symptoms will show their ugly heads. If I have a little more fruit or veggies for a few meals, it seems to help get me back on track mentally. Also, I make sure and get a little more rest during that time, recognizing that maybe my body just needs a little more tenderlovingcare through those days.
I'd say definitely play around with it and figure out what your body is trying to tell you when you have those depression symptoms.
I dont think it was withdraw. It happened in the 3rd week, well after I got through the sugar withdraw and my cravings were completely gone. Besides the depression and also I was consistently really fatigued, I felt fine. That sounds weird but I mean i didn't feel flu-ish or headaches or cravings etc.
Now I'm eating TERRIBLE. I fell off the wagon hard. And physically I feel terrible. Ugh. I hate myself for what I'm doing. I'm just so unmotivated to get back on track after how that 30 days went for me. Mentally, I feel more stable though. I dont want it to have to be one or the other though!!
Does anyone have experience with noticing an increase in depression and anxiety while eating paleo or low carb? I just finished the Whole30 and had a couple emotional breakdowns during it. I have a history of depression but have managed without medicine for years so to experience 2 episodes in the space of a week was alarming to me. I've since read that people with low seratonin levels might experience worse depression/anxiety symptoms while eating low carb. I don't really think I was eating low carb though. I ate starches and fruit for one or 2 meals everyday, plus other veg. So I'm slightly skeptical that that was my problem, however, I've been eating whatever i feel like for the past few days and although physically i dont feel that great, mentally i do feel a bit more stable.
I want to lose weight and I'm more and more compelled to eat paleo for multiple reasons. But I'm nervous to try again and have a similar experience. I dont think I can handle it mentally. Unfortunately, theres not a lot of information on the topic and when I look for answers, it just leads me with more questions. I stumbled onto a post related to the topic on a site called paleohacks but I couldn't even follow the discussion. I'm definitely not a paleo expert and I didn't have a clue about most of the stuff they were talking about. It's pretty frustrating.
I feel like I have to choose between being thin or not having nervous breakdowns. There's got to be a middle ground somewhere. Anyone have any suggestions?
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