Thursday, May 3, 2012

the winter that never came part 2: my CT experiment n=1 + some autoimmune disease musings

i have been lifting weights since 2001 undulating between powerlifting and bodybuilding. in the beginning of 2011 i decided to be serious about powerlifting again after some years of pure bodybuilding. that decision meant a royally sore but. and legs, and back, and chest... basically everything hurt. training was intense and i loved it, but i started to need a bit more as a recovery aid than the usual glutamine. cold water came to mind. so since early autumn (august) of 2011 i started taking cold showers after workouts- i started out with short (minute or 2) usually targeting my legs. as i started to feel the results and getting more adapted to cold i added to the time and graduated to fullbody showers. then around the end of 2011 - bang, Dr. Kruse comes out with the CT series and puts a big smile on my face. around that time i got around to taking labs to track my MS - hsCRP, cortisol, leptin, vit D, thyroid hormones, DHEA... the whole shebang. and i liked what i saw, but there was room for improvement. now i have been doing 2 x 20-30 minute showers 4-5 times a week for 3 months. a few weeks ago i decided i should test the functional benefits and went for a walk - in around 0 degrees celsius in my underarmour heatgear (designed to cool you off in hot places) t-shirt and shorts. i was pink and peachy and walked at a leasurely pace enjoying the looks i was getting on the streets. just last week i got the opportunity to try immersion for the first time : 8 deg celsius water for 30 minutes. i would have gone much longer but i decided not to give my mom a heartattack - we were having a spaday - she in the saunas me in the coldtubby. id say this is an experiment that has graduated to a lifefstyle for me.

before embarking on this journey i had been mostly ketogenic paleo for years, so i think that the sucess and easyness of CT for me must be partly attributed to that fact. to tell you the truth im not crazy enough to revert back to SAD, trigger my MS and then implement keto and CT just to prove the point, but my extremely subjective feeling is that the MS issue has improved even more. sometimes you dont notice anything is wrong before it is gone and you feel perfectly normal and go "hmmm i guess that occasional nagging numbness in my upper thigh must have been lingering symptoms after all."

you know, im quite a shallow person - i like to work on my body just for esthetics sake - im the first to admit that the hours i spend deadlifting have nothing to do with the health of the posterior chain (a weak link in human physique) and everything to do with how my skinny jeans fit. but in the next addition to this series i`d really like to talk a bit about health for a change. neolithic diseases of civilisation, autoimmune disorders and ageing in relation to circardian biology and cold. in addition id like to bring up a theory of mine about the connection between the brain and autoimmune disease: what if it all starts (or at least is connected) in the brain afterall - lets talk about LTP (longterm potentiation). yes i know this is something that has benn researched in neuropsychology and memoryresearch, but my theory gos something like this: if LTP works with psychology (one neuron that encodes an experience triggers another neuron that ellicits the response), then could it work more generally also... might there be a neurological trigger to autoimmune responses? if so which enzymes cause which proteins to be triggered and do they have antagonists? i mean could there exist a socalled biochemical "memory" that initiates the same kind of neurological consolidation process when a autoimmune recession takes place? and how is it all connected to biological mismatches, circardian biology and coldadaptation. stay tuned.......


  1. Ok I'm just shooting off here bc I don't have time to research or think too deeply right now but....

    Could one see the mental/autoimmune connection in reverse and on a more superficial scale? For example, there are some that think that the foods you crave most and seem "addicted" to are the ones that you may be the most allergic to. This has been my experience to a degree. So what if there is a neural pathway that gets formed like this?

    First we eat the food innocently, but there are triggers, which encode more connections and so on. Makes sense to me, we can form neural connections from and for just about anything. Even though it would be detrimental to the body to reinforce such connections, the mind and body are not separate...just look at smokers.

    I think you're on to something here....let me know if I'm missing your point entirely tho. ;)

    1. thats exactly what i was getting at :) and if we could understand the chemistry behind such neural coupling - could we disrupt it?

  2. Ion channels are formed from glycoproteins- a lot from l-glutamate. Perhaps what we see in many mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases isn't what we think it is. Maybe it's an autoimmune attack on those very basic protein structures, that over time, degenerate into what we call, Alzheimer's, and maybe sooner into things like Autism.
    And even if that doesn't directly cause those things, perhaps looking at them from this possible angle could lead to cures and maybe, even greater insights into autoimmune disorders.

    LTP can be "depressed" by the use of modulators which, to your point, would have to be targeted to effect only the synapses that need to be weakened. Since synaptic strength is one of the foundations of LTP, we may be able to find and weaken certain synapses implicated in autoimmunity. This is where ion channels may come into play as they are exactly how the action potentials inherent in any bodily processes are carried out. If we could target the offenders upstream, we might be able to stop autoimmunity before it even starts.

    Not really sure how one would come about that tho. It's almost a chicken or egg scenario: does the autoimmunity cause disruption of the ion channels, or are the ion channels faulty to begin with? Or do the offending proteins (gluten and it cohorts, etc.) actually reinforce the autoimmunity through the LTP synaptic strengthening? And which chemicals are implied here? There are many pre synaptic and post synaptic chemicals involved here:sodium, magnesium, calcium, chlorine, etc.

    Again, I'm just brainstorming here but this has gotten me really interested....

  3. This is a pretty good piece of reference material


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