Archive for December, 2012

Regarding Rampage Shootings

I wasn’t going to write why I believe these atrocities like the school shooting today happen all the time, *primarily* in the USA, but after some friends asked me to go ahead, and after seeing this thread on Reddit, I realized that my opinion might be shared with others too, and not be so outlandish after all. So in danger of alienating some of my readers, here is my theory.

First off, it’s not guns to blame. Guns are simply a tool in such cases. Making guns illegal would be useless to combat the causes, because the people who would want to use guns, they’ll find ways to acquire them. With the huge gun industry in the USA, incriminating or controlling gun ownership would be like trying to cut people off corn and corn fields. Good luck with that. Sure, regulating them will help, but it won’t treat the cause.

In my opinion, there are two driving reasons why these individuals jump the shark and start killing others en mass:

1. Artificial Societal Rules and Capitalism

The Western world (and especially the ultra-capitalistic USA) is living a lie. We are not meant to live the kind of lives we do today. As this very nice documentary put it, we’re running modern software on 50,000 year old hardware designs (our bodies). We haven’t evolved yet to be living in these conditions. So both the pressure to succeed as an individual in things that don’t truly matter (e.g. “becoming a successful professional and make money”), and the constant bullying and critique from the surrounding society for those who don’t play with the rules, is taking its toll. Most of us are burrying these feelings, others become bullies, and others just go on rampage, shooting people to get back to the society at large. It’s not random that most of the time they go and kill randomly.

2. Inhuman Nutrition and Mental Illness

This second point is the one that most people do not consider as a real point, but in my opinion it’s almost as important as the first point. Research in the ’80s shown that tribes of hunter & gatherers had very little schizophrenia or other mental illnesses (I highly suggest you check out this book too, by distinguished schizophrenia researcher E. Fuller Torrey). In contrast, half the Western world (especially in the US) is in med drugs. Kids these days are starting getting prescription drugs at the age of 6. We are NOT stable, normal people. We do NOT function properly — almost none of us in the Western civilization is! Except the societal pressure as outlined above, the second aspect is the kind of food we’re eating. The Western diet is a POISON diet, that’s why we have so many “diseases of civilization” that don’t appear in hunter & gatherer communities. The diet in the US is the most industrialized in the world, hence the various incidents mostly happening there. Poison your body, and you will poison your brain. After cutting down all grains when I went Paleo 15 months ago (and especially after going Paleo-ketogenic for a few months), I saw a huge change in my mental psyche: no anxiety anymore, situational depression was lifted, ADD lifted. I became less argumentative, less “difficult”. Even my sexual behavior changed, to the better (and this proves that this was a deep change). My creativity found new heights (I could never put my brain together before to do the kind of collage I do today). I would highly suggest you read the articles on this blog, by psychiatrist Emily Deans, and possibly do a search about various mental illnesses (and how these were lifted by cutting down the poison that is all grains, excessive sugars, vegetable oils, and legumes) at Paleohacks.com. Nutrition plays a way bigger role to mental illness than you think it is. We all think of mental illnesses as “bad luck” or “bad genes”, or “just craziness”, but it’s more closely related to Neolithic nutrition (that we haven’t evolved with) than we thought it ever was. Especially if you’re missing enough D3, and omega-3 in your diet (ratio to Omega-6 should be 1:2 or 1:3), expect mental havoc. Add on top of that environmental toxins and urbanization, and boom! With enough mental instability, some jump the shark and go shoot people.

As long as AT LEAST #2 is not fixed somehow (#1 can only be fixed via societal maturation and rapid, natural or not, evolution — which will take a few more thousand years), expect more such rampage killings in the future. So don’t sound so surprised the next time it happens and you start tweeting “Oh, my God, blah blah blah”. It’s very sad indeed, it’s a truly terrible thing. But it IS going to happen. Again, and again, and again.

The gut and Paleo, SCD, GAPS, FODMAPs

For many people with gut problems like mine (IBS/IBD), following some gluten-free, low carb diet usually alleviates most of their symptoms within a few weeks/months. But sometimes, for some people, it doesn’t. In that case, specialized diets, all similar, but also each more restrictive than the previous, must be followed. Elimination diets are not as effective in my opinion, because some foods can create irregularity as late as 1-3 weeks after they’re consumed, making it impossible to know which food was the offending one.

Please note that I’m not a doctor, but I read and I experiment a lot, and this is the guide I’d follow myself:

1. Start with a doctor’s visit
A stool, allergy and blood tests (and possibly a colonoscopy) can find out if the source of your problem is mechanical, food intolerance, auto-immunity, or an infection. If it’s an infection, e.g. C-Diff, some protozoa like B. Hominis, H. Pylori, listeria or gardia etc. then you need antibiotics or a fecal transplant. As bad antibiotics are, these bad organisms can’t always be eradicated with diet, because they are capable of eating everything you eat (while most “good” gut bacteria only feed on carbs). However, new research has shown that home-made kefir can help kill C. Diff (commercial kefir has less potency).

2. Paleo/Primal
This is the least restrictive diet, the most balanced of all in terms of nutrients. It has to be 100% gluten-free to see health benefits. Go for up to 100 gr of “net” carbs per day (for net carbs, just don’t count the fiber). In addition to the Paleo diet, also add this list of superfoods (bone broth is super-important for gut health, for example). Reading online, I found that the vast majority of IBS, GERD, diverticulitis, and Celiac sufferers find relief with plain Paleo. Crohn’s and UC patients range from finding full relief, to partial, to not at all. So for some of these more difficult cases, they have to either add 24-hour fermented home-made goat or water kefir (while cutting down all other dairy for a while), or read next.

3. FODMAPs + Auto-immune Paleo
If Paleo (or the similar SCD & GAPS diets) don’t work, try to cut down FODMAPs and follow the auto-immune Paleo protocol additionally. Three diets in one. Please note, this is an extremely restrictive regiment.

The Auto-immune Paleo is the same as Paleo, but without any dairy (not even butter), nuts, seeds, fruits (except a few berries rarely), yeasts, eggs, shellfish, pepper spices, and no nightshades (no tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, white potatoes). It’s basically just fat (olive oil, tallow/lard/duck fat and coconut oil IF you can tolerate it), meat/fish/organs (preferably grass-fed/pastured/wild), and veggies/seaweed. This diet is best for people with strong auto-immune problems (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis), but sometimes it works for gut problems too.

FODMAPs include specific food groups (e.g. onions, brassicas, apples etc) that are allowed in all other diets, but you can’t consume in this diet. So for this, you need to follow both FODMAPs and Autoimmune Paleo, which removes most foods. DO NOT stay on this diet for more than 1-2 months. After your regularity has returned, add foods one by one, one every 4-5 days. This way, you will find out, if for example, nightshades are bad for you still, or if eggs are now more tolerable than before. Continue adding foods (unless you’re really intolerant to them) until you reach normal Paleo again, which you will have to sustain for life. Also, check your D3 & Mg levels with a blood test, and get a good digestive enzyme that can break down carbs and fats.

4. Fecal Transplant
If you’re among that 3%-5% of the IBS/IBD patients where none of the above works, then it’s possible that your problem is an infection of an unknown origin, that tests won’t identify. In that case, revert back to Paleo (plus home-made goat kefir), for life, and get a fecal transplant from a healthy donor. Until modern medicine catches up, this is your only hope.

Personally, I was lucky to be able to fix my IBS-D with a mix of Paleo and SCD. That is: Paleo + home-made goat kefir, up to 100 gr of “net” carbs per day (I also followed the Paleo-ketogenic diet for a few months, up to 50 gr “net” carbs per day), vitamin D3 3000 IU per day, and only few tubers/starches. Since almost all these IBS/IBD conditions eventually create malabsorption problems (I was very surprised to find out via a blood test that I was short on B12, since I eat a lot of meat/fish), I supplement a few times a week. I track what I eat via Cronometer, so if I seem short on a nutrient on a weekly basis, I supplement with it once. Put money aside to check your hsCRP (inflammation), B12, iron, calcium, folate and D3 levels via a blood test every year. It’s all about optimization, especially for us with a sensitive gut.

Good luck!