I’ve written plenty on here about how starches make me tired and depressed.  They even almost killed me by making me fall asleep at the wheel.  It’s been this way for years – I remember 10 years ago realizing that every time I ate the bun with my hamburger at lunch I’d feel like taking a nap at 2PM.  I went low carb and chalked it up to gluten sensitivity, because those are the buzz words, rights?  Then I found out I’m not gluten sensitive.  My most recent foray into the world of the Perfect health Diet (including safe starches, of course) was a depressive disaster.  I was irritable, crying, tired, and generally a mess. My kid started showing the strain of living with me so I stopped it.  I’ve been off starches for most of a week, until I ate half of a homemade brownie a few days ago.  (Watch out – I’m about to go down a nerd spiral…) The entire recipe had 1/2 cup of rice flour in it – so the 1/2 piece I had had maybe 1/24th of a 1/2 cup of flour in it – so 1/48th of a cup.  If one cup is 4 quarter cups and there are 3 tablespoons in a quarter cup, and 3 teaspoons per tablespoon, then I essentially had…let’s see….well, less than a teaspoon of flour.  And it made me tired and depressed!  Then a day later I ate a banana in a smoothie – tired and depressed an hour later.

Well, I think I may have figured out why starches make me tired and depressed.  I was googling around about it and came across information about how deficiencies in various enzymes can cause various symptoms.  I’m wondering if I have a deficiency in glucoamylase – the enzyme that turns starch into glucose. I don’t seem to have any problem digesting and getting energy from glucose or fructose, so it’s not a generalized carbohydrate intolerance…just a starch intolerance.  Ray Peat would say I’m having depression and fatigue because of high serotonin caused by eating things that are hard for me to digest.  That makes sense…I just didn’t understand until now why potatoes that are cooked in boiling water for 45 minutes and bathed in butter would be hard to digest.

So what I’ve decided to do is order digestive enzymes, specifically ones that contain a good amount of glucoamylase.  I found these, which don’t contain any weird ingredients like magnesium stearate or silica, and which are reasonably priced.  I’ll be getting them Thursday, but I’m not sure when I’ll actually try them.  I have a lot going on right now – no time for depression if they don’t work.


I went to my doctor’s appointment on Monday.  Wasn’t sure if I was going to, but I decided to do so because I’m concerned about my persistent high blood pressure.  I can’t be stroking out.  I have things to do.  So went to the doc.  My blood pressure in the office was 164/108.  That’s the highest it’s ever been. Stupid stress. She put me on a calcium channel blocker (probably because I had a bad reaction to an ACE inhibitor once).  Well, apparently this type of medication can take up to 2 weeks to reach full effect, so my BP is still high, 2 days later.  Not loving that.  Also, my feet feel like they’re walking on pins and needles and my ankles are swelling a little.  Not loving the side effects.  I may be calling tomorrow to ask for something else.

She wants me to get labs and come back in a month.  She’ll be holding my blood pressure medicine hostage, I’m sure, until I do that.  So bring on the expensive lab tests.  My $450/month insurance is just for show.  I’ll be paying cash for all of it.


I do what I can, but I’m not biking every day.   My life got stressful (and today an additional stressor was added)…and I’m afraid of raising my blood pressure any further.  I’m just trying to stay calm and quiet.

Resistant Starch and Probiotics

I have a shelf in my kitchen where supplements go to die.  Well, actually it’s more like they go to rest.  That’s where I put things I’m not taking now but I spent so much money on I don’t want to throw away.  My RS+Probiotics experiment is on hold because I can’t eat starch right now, and I don’t think it’s because of bad gut bugs – I think it’s because of an intolerance to starch.  I might go back to taking the probiotics, but if I’m not eating starch it seems pointless. So if the digestive enzymes help and I can eat potatoes and rice, I’ll give the probiotics a go again.  For now…they’re on the shelf.

Blood sugar

Fasting blood sugar has been in the low 120s since giving up starch again, down from 140s.  I’ve also been minimizing fat.  Maybe that’s helping.


How come I haven’t been eating smoothies my entire life?  I started making them 4 or 5 days ago and I just LOVE them.  I can put berries and yogurt and all the stuff that I don’t particularly look forward to eating into a blender and it comes out much more interesting!  Yay for smoothies.

Emotional State

I feel pretty ok overall.  My daughter is back to her normal self.  I feel calm and even tempered again.

Family stress, job stress, and social anxiety are on my mind.  Just trying to get through the week.

8 thoughts on “Updates

  1. You dont like berries and yogurt what?! Interesting thought on the enzymes. Keep us posted if you try it.

    Every medication has its issues. Hopefully you can get off it sometime. In the Peat essay on serotonin he clearly states it causes hypertension. Maybe try something drug wise in that direction.

  2. Yeah, I don’t like the seeds in berries – but I don’t mind drinking them in a smoothie. Yogurt is ok, but it’s not something I ever eat if I don’t have to. I got the enzymes today in the mail. Will probably try them on Monday, after several stressful events have passed. Interesting about high serotonin causing hypertension. I’m starting to think this thing with starches is at the root of many of my problems.

  3. “The ability to oxidize sugar is impaired by serotonin, and several drugs with antiserotonin actions are being used to treat diabetes and its complications, such as hypertension, obesity, and foot ulcers.”
    “Serotonin’s other names include thrombotonin, thrombocytin, enteramine, and 5-HT, its chemical name (5-hydroxytryptamine). These historical names derive from its role in the intestine and in blood vessels. In 1951, it was discovered that enteramine and thrombotonin were a single substance, and its involvement in circulatory disease, especially hypertension and vascular spasms, was the focus of research. (The increase in the number of “cardiovascular events” recently seen in the study of women using estrogen is what might be expected from something which increases serotonin dominance.) “

  4. The starches likely raise your serotonin. Maybe because your bacteria ferment it into something irritable? Could be the reason the probiotics help people I am guessing. Which probiotic have you tried so far?

  5. I’ve tried 3 different soil based probiotic supplements, each containing many strains of probiotic bacteria.

    The problem with that hypothesis is that the probiotics are supposed to populate in the large intestine, and serotonin is produced in the small intestine…no? Wouldn’t the irritant be in the small intestine?

  6. “A DECADE AGO, microbiologists at Washington University in St. Louis noticed that mice raised without any microbes, in plastic bubbles with positive air pressure, could gorge on food without developing metabolic syndrome or growing obese. But when colonized with their native microbes, these mice quickly became insulin resistant and grew fat, all while eating less food than their germ-free counterparts.”

    Calories dun matter if sterile gut? Because serotonin and CRP are low? And that keeps thyroid high I suppose? All ties in with what Peat has been saying for decades.Peat talks about antibiotics to keep intestines sterile. Although a sterile gut is not practical. So keep gut quiet with happy bacteria and kick out the bad ones?

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