Welcome to Sharudin Jamal Blogspot

More than two decades ago, I was diagnosed of having a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affective Disorder. My world as I knew it crumbled; I lost my business, then my job and later my sense of purpose. It was during this dark moments I rediscovered the joy of running and writing. Most of the articles here are about my rekindled pleasure of hitting the tarmac, my coming to terms with the illness and my discovery of the meaning of life.

I always on the lookout for inspirations to write in these three areas with the hope that they will shed new ray of hope to others who are in the same position as I am.

Do keep in touch if you feel connected through these essays.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Managing Bipolar Disorder through 16/8 LCHF

For those who are battling with any form of mental illness, it is worth noting that the illness is pretty closely related to the fluctuation of the neurotransmitters in the brain; particularly dopamine.

What is more interesting, the regulation of the chemicals is very much dependent on the physical condition of the body.  In other words, the body effects the mind, not the other way around.

This is quite prevalent in the food that we eat and the condition that we subject our body to.  Early this year I experimented with the Ketogenic Diet.  Which means I reduce the amount of sugar intake (including starch).  Initially I had difficulty to stay alert.  This lasted for a few days (3 days to be exact) and because of that I was feeling a bit depressed.  However as the days passed, I felt rejuvenated and clear-headed.  This is due to the possibility that the body had accustomed itself to the kind of macronutrients that it consumed, namely high fat and moderate protein.

To eat Low Carbs High Fat (LCHF) is quite a challenge because I had to maintain between 70% to 80% healthy fat throughout the day.  On top of that I also did 16/8 Intermittent Fasting (16 hours no food and 8 hours eating window) by stop eating at 9:00 pm and eat again at 1:00 pm the next day.  My diet comprised of MCT Oil, Fish Oil, Black Seed Oil and Grass Fed Butter on top of the regular protein and veges.  This lasted for 4 weeks.

The effect on my mood is tremendous.  I was able do stay away from the sweet stuffs and and the urge to smoke.  This is a great improvement compared to last year where I was having a hard time to stick to my diet plan and to quit smoking (I tried numerous times quitting but the cravings took over).

What this kind of diet does is it regulates the blood sugar in the body and the outcome is a more stable mood.  By the end of January, I lost 4.4 kg within 1 month on this diet.  What is more interesting is I no longer crave sugar and cigarettes; the means of dopamine surge.  It is the overproduction of dopamine that creates mania and the depletion of it that creates depression.

There is a downside though.  Within the month of January I had several nasty gout attacks and inflammations that almost immobilized me.  It could be the healing crisis because while I suffered the pain, recovery from it showed I had improved tremendously in my runs especially my sprints.  In addition, my blood pressure improved tremendously from a borderline hypertension to normal again within a month.

Weight: 93.5 kg
BP:  133/94
Pulse: 90

Weight: 89.1 kg
BP: 117/88 
Pulse: 74

A word of caution.  Once you stay away from sugar and starch, you need to be resilient not to take anything sweet.  That is because once you tasted sweet stuff or even eat carbs like rice again, you will binge on the carbs.  Carbs Craving should disappear after 10 days.  I broke the pattern on the 7th day and sure enough I binged.  When I did that I became so groggy as if I was drugged.  Because of that I restarted again.  On the 7th day again I caved in.

This is the problem with this kind of diet.  After a while doing LCHF, I started to miss carbs.  It was recommended for those who want to do Ketogenic to go for Cyclical Keto, which means eating carbs on the 6th and 7th days of the week.  There is an opposing thought that suggested that by doing this you will not be fully fat adapted because it takes 2 weeks to be in one.

Even with all these setbacks, I personally testify that by forgoing sugar and starch from my diet, I certainly improved my mental health condition tremendously.  I intend to stick with this way of eating since the most glaring benefits are weight reduction and blood pressure improvement.

The following is my daily intake for the past 1 month:

7:15 am
  • Black Coffee with a pinch of Himalayan Salt
1:00 pm
  • Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Blackmores Sustained Released Vitamin C 1000 mg
2:00 pm
  • Kordel's Magnesium Chelate 750 mg x 1 capsule
  • Blackmores Multi B x 1 tablet
  • Agrilife MCT Oil x 2 tbspn
  • Blackmores Fish Oil 1000 mg x 3 capsules
  • Habasyi 88 Black Seed Oil x 3 capsules
  • Anchor Salted Butter 1 slice x 4 g
8.00 pm
  • Fish/Beef/Chicken/Eggs x 1 serving
  • Mixed Veges/Salad x 1 serving
  • Anchor Salted Butter 1 slice x 2 g
10:00 pm
  • Kordel's Magnesium Chelate 750 mg x 1 capsule

Note:  The salt helps with the hunger pangs and contrary to popular belief does not contribute to hypertension.  Butter is a great source of of Vitamin A, D, E and K.  It is also rich in Leptin, the hormone that makes us satiated.