Episode 20 – Biohacking Mental Illness Using Keto for Bipolar: How to Become Your Own Detective | Carrie Brown
Is biohacking mental illness even possible? In this podcast episode, learn how Carrie Brown became her own detective to heal her mind and body using her “seek the tweak” approach and how she used keto for bipolar to optimize her health and live her best life. Listen to Carrie talk about her experience with Bipolar II Disorder and how she has biohacked mental illness through tracking health data, a keto for bipolar diet, MTHFR support, supplements and lifestyle changes.
Now completely medicine-free, she maintains a healthy mental outlook by understanding what her body needs and how to support it.
If you’ve ever felt even a little bit of that darkness, you know that it isn’t something you can talk or will your way out of. Your body is literally starving for what it needs, and while a pharmaceutical may be necessary to help you while finding your root causes, you do not have a medication deficiency.
After years of being crippled by overwhelming thoughts of killing herself, Carrie hit a point where she was nearly committed to an institution but was able to pull herself out into the light enough that she had an opportunity to find another way. Carrie wants you to know that there is another way and if you’re willing to do the detective work and seek the right avenues for support, you too, have an opportunity to heal unmedicated. Although she emphasizes that everyone with bipolar disorder has their own path, she is a firm believer that you need to listen to your body and remember the importance of collecting and monitoring data. “Even data such as: How do I feel when I eat X? Or I eat Y?”
It is Carrie’s hope that her story inspires you to take control of your own health, to be your own detective, in the knowledge that she believes there is a fix for you, to know there IS light at the end of the tunnel.
Carrie Brown is a former-professional-pastry-chef-turned-keto-cookbook-author, recipe developer, keto advocate, motivational speaker, and podcast co-host of Ketovangelist Kitchen. She is also part of Ketovangelist Unlimited (a membership for people who are serious about keto, who want to take it to the next level).
Listen to her inspiring story and know that you are not alone. Suicide is a very real subject and anyone having suicidal thoughts should call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255. Ask for the help that you need.
If you know someone struggling, reach out to them. You may be the lifeline that they need.
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In this podcast you’ll learn:
- Carrie Brown’s history and background; how she was born depressed and did all the conventional meds and therapies [5:45]
- While working at Microsoft and in the corporate world with a high profile career, she learned very early to fake it (happiness) to be able to make it [8:50]
- How exhausting it is keeping up the front that everything is normal while inside your thoughts are obsessive and all-encompassing, and everything in your brain is telling you to die [10:00]
- How she talked herself out of being committed at the hospital in the middle of the night, by agreeing to meds and therapy [13:45]
- Why she was frustrated at the lack of critical thinking in conventional treatment (i.e., being a deep thinker, started asking about things she could try and her therapist was just agreeing with what she was suggesting). They just wanted to medicate her to the point where she didn’t want to kill herself but was socially acceptable, not asking the question of why she was bipolar [17:30]
- Why she fired everyone except her psychotherapist [18:15]
- How “you can’t talk your way out of clinical depression or bipolar any more than you can talk yourself out of a broken leg or diabetes” [18:30]
- She started her detective work with her DNA (23andMe) and uploaded her data into a website to help her unpack the info into something useful (like Genetic Genie) [19:30]
- She’s found out she’s heterozygous for MTHFR and learned that it has the ability to cause a lot of issues including anxiety, depression and bipolar [23:55]
- That it’s super important to live in a non-toxic environment from the cleaners she uses to the furniture she buys due to her impaired detox abilities, and how uncovering this information through 23andMe testing gave her a place to start [26:00]
- How she was on Lamotrigine which was originally an anti-seizure med and via Dr. Ted Naiman’s help, made the connection that the ketogenic diet was originally prescribed for seizure prevention in children; there might be a strong enough connection to work on the same mechanism to help her bipolar [28:15]
- That more ketones do not mean more weight loss, but it can be helpful when working with the brain to have higher ketones, which she refers to “peetones” for urine testing to figure out which foods were working for her [32:55]
- That she was terrified to come off of her Lamotrigine, but she was able to in a week or two (under a doctors care) and has been completely off of meds with no bipolar symptoms in the 2.5 years while being on a ketogenic diet [35:30]
- How she wants everyone to know that their experience will be different and their needs will be unique to them, even if they are doing a ketogenic diet or if they have methylation issues…you need a healthcare provider who will support you in finding your combination for your unique body [37:35]
- How your needs change over time, so it’s important to review your supplements and diet, etc. to continue supporting you (or “seek the tweak,” as Carrie calls it) by tracking your data [41:40]
- Why it’s super important to find an ND and/or a functional doc to work with that understands all of these tests and the ketogenic diet [50:00]
- More about Carrie Brown’s current work with writing cookbooks, working on the Ketovangelist podcast team developing recipes for keto and teaching individuals how to cook and make delicious food, as well as speaking at conferences such as KetoCon [53:40]
- About her gratitude for what she went through to be able to be given the opportunity to give back [1:00:20]
Strategene report by Dr. Ben Lynch on methylation
Dr. Ben Lynch’s book: Dirty Genes
Plant Paradox by Dr. Stephen Gundry
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