Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Hello again. It is Susan from myketaminestory.com.
I am a blogger that suffers with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD), Anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was introduced to Ketamine for TRD in January 2015. I am forever grateful that I was. I spent the first two years focused on my recovery. I now have an excellent treatment plan in place, but that does not clear me from obstacles or pitfalls. I journal regularly. I educate and advocate for Ketamine Therapy to help treat chronic depression.
I have written for several Ketamine websites, entirely based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past four plus years in treatment. I am now adding the Ketamine Academy to my list of platforms I am grateful to use, in order to educate and advocate for this cutting edge therapy for treatment resistant depression.
In this blog, I really want to explore how consuming treats high in sugar content could potentially negatively impact the benefits of Ketamine therapy. During the past year or so my depressive symptoms have been controlled by my biweekly Ketamine treatments. I have been, what I would call, stable and able to handle stressors without my depression filtering every situation and interaction. This has been a huge benefit for me and for my recovery. Ketamine therapy allows me to see the world and the people in it without distortions for weeks at a time. I can function in a world that used to cause me immense fear, isolation, anxiety, thoughts of self harm, profound depression, and alienation. My inner universe appears completely different. I process my outer world significantly better with the aid of Ketamine treatments.
Recently, I have forgotten my lessons on sugar and how it causes fluctuations in my mental illness and sends me down a winding path straight into the abyss. I believe my addict mentality convinced me that I had abstained long enough from “goodies”; especially chocolates such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which are my personal favorite. I figured that having one now and then couldn’t really hurt me. That is true. Indulging with a forbidden treat once every four years probably isn’t a horrible occurrence. Unless, you are like me and one is too many and 1,000 is never enough. Partaking in that belief that I can enjoy one peanut butter cup and move on was shattered a few months back and is the reason for my article on sugar consumption and the effects it could potentially have on receiving Ketamine therapy.
It has definitely been my experience that several types of medications hinder the effectiveness of my Ketamine treatments. I have written previously how Benzodiazepines and Marijuana can suppress the efficacy of my intramuscular Ketamine shots. This curbing in the relief I typically get from Ketamine has occurred, for me, multiple times over the years that I have been using Ketamine as my antidepressant.
I wrote an article on antibiotics and Ketamine therapy and subsequently added antibiotics to my growing list of drugs that have been super problematic to the usefulness that Ketamine has shown me in its ability to consistently and dramatically reduce or eliminate my severe and oftentimes suicidal depression for two weeks or more at a time.
I feel I must warn others of how habitual consumption of pure sugar or sugary treats could reduce the effectiveness of Ketamine on depression. It may not be obvious, it wasn’t for me, the subtle changes in mood as well as the length of time Ketamine keeps the demons at bay.
Please note here that these discoveries are my personal experiences. I am not a physician. I have spoken to my doctor at length about my concerns with how sugar may be having a negative impact on Ketamine treatments. I have to laugh because my doctor just nods his head and doesn’t judge me. We are both pretty sure of what this new experiment will show, but we pretend otherwise. He is kind that way. He applauds my awareness and willingness to admit and change.
I was growing more and more frustrated by having such a difficult time between Ketamine appointments. I had been so consistent and stable in the months leading up to this newfound admission and insight. I was in denial of my binging on desserts and the connection to my frequent need for Ketamine therapy before my routine two week standing appointment. It took me a while to be open to my part in the change in the results of my treatment. Finally, I was discouraged enough to look at what choices I made over the past couple months and it was glaringly obvious that my sugar intake was enormous. I begrudgingly confessed to my doctor and notified him that I was abstaining from sugar.
Let’s see what happens…...
I want to prove or disprove that sugar was a direct link to my shift in Ketamine protocol.
I was pretty sure of what would happen.
I wanted him to know and possibly be proud of me for seeing that my sugar intake was to blame for my need to get Ketamine therapy every ten days and my drastic mood swings between appointments.
The positive results of sugar abstention were immediate. Once again I was noticing that my mood swings lessened. I was finding that I didn’t have to juggle my scheduled appointments. I wasn’t having fluctuations, depressive episodes and making it confidently to my next appointment. It has been six weeks and three Ketamine injections now and the difference is spectacular. I have consistent moods and I am managing my emotions even during trying times.
In the past, I have been very aware of how sugar increases my depressed mood and inability to function. I have gone years at a time resisting “desserts” for fear of how they will compound my depressive symptoms. When asked if I would like a candy bar or a slice of cake I would simply state “no, it severely messes with my depression and it is not worth it.” When I eat sugary treats I feel as though I am on a rollercoaster that jumped the tracks and the ground seems so far away until I slam into it. It takes days to recover. It is not worth it.
My memory gets foggy.
It sounds like such a good idea.
I deserve a treat.
It has been years.
I have been so good at resisting temptation.
One can’t hurt.
I throw caution to the wind.
That is exactly what happened a few months back. Against my better judgement I splurged. It would take me a couple of months to recognize my behavior and the increase in habitually eating sugary treats to notice how it was affecting me, my depressive symptoms and my Ketamine treatments.
It has been noted in much research over the decades that there is a direct link between sugar levels and insulin levels and how that relationship can alter your mental and physical health. If you google sugar and depression you may discover numerous articles on the relationship between the two. When I googled sugar consumption and depression just now the first article to pop up is titled, The Connection Between Sugar and Depression. It discusses seven facts about sugar and depression. It is not a bad read and only confirms my bias.
...Food can have many effects on your mood and emotions. When you’re hungry and want food, you can be grumpy, upset, or even angry. When you’ve had a delicious meal, you may feel elated and euphoric.
The food you eat can also have long-term implications for your health. Specifically, eating too much sugar may increase your risk for mood disorders, including depression.
What is even more crazy to think about is just how addictive sugar really is and how difficult it is to limit one's intake. Sugar is a drug. I have learned this lesson many times. I keep challenging the data but the outcome is always the same for me. I am not the only one.
…..A study done in rats found that the brain’s sweet receptors are not adapted to constant and high levels of sugar. This intense sweetness can stimulate the brain’s reward center and may be more pleasurable than cocaine, even in people with a drug addiction. In other words, the high from sugar is stronger than the high from cocaine. Your self-control mechanisms are no match for sugar’s strength.
That is insane. What is disgusting, as well as discouraging, is the methods used to hide sugar in labels and packaging. Education is key and so paramount for those of us suffering from mental illnesses. If you are using Ketamine therapy as your antidepressant take notice to changes in your Ketamine regimen.
I also have to bring up another element and that being inflammation on the brain. I feel the more I learn about depression, my depression, and other people’s experiences with depression is that there is definitely an inflammation component to almost every case that I’ve heard about.
Granted, I’m not a doctor, I haven’t seen hundreds of cases, but the more I read about Ketamine and have my own experiences with Ketamine to reference, the more I am convinced that inflammation is a factor and studies will back me up on this. I also think the amount of time a person has had to deal with the inflammation and impairments directly correlates as to how long it may take Ketamine to repair and heal the sufferer.
Ketamine is phenomenal.
I am a living example of the success of Ketamine on combating treatment resistant depression.
As recently as 2016, studies suggested that Ketamine was believed to have the ability to regenerate brain cells. In 2018, an article was written that Ketamine was shown to have a muzzling effect on bursting brain cells. Ketamine has been known for years to restore brain connections. In fact, there have been several articles reporting the neuroregenerative properties of Ketamine.
What does neuroregeneration actually mean? According to a quick google search it refers to the regrowth or repair of nervous tissues, cells or cell products. Such mechanisms may include the generation of new neurons, glia, axons, myelin, or synapses.
In elementary terms that I can understand, Ketamine heals the brain and aids in repairing the damaged cells.
Healing takes time.
How much time it takes Ketamine to heal the brain could be linked to the extent to which a person has been afflicted.
I think it is important to discuss inflammation as it is associated with sugar. Sugar is often linked to studies on diseases, obesity and depression because it promotes inflammation. Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on our immune system and mental health. Ketamine seems to have a significant positive effect on the regulation of inflammation. It is one reason I feel that depression and inflammation are directly linked and why limiting sugar consumption is critical. In my experiment over the last month the results solidify just how tragic sugar can be for those with compromised health issues, but that is not to rule out those individuals not battling mental illnesses or chronic illnesses.
Everyone can benefit from minimal indulgences of sugary treats like candy, cookies, and cakes. However, those of us with Treatment Resistant Depression need to be hyper aware of all the added obstacle to avoid. It is one of the reasons I am writing on my experiences with sugar and how not only does it increase inflammation, depression, and mood swings it also affects the results of Ketamine therapy; at least that has been true from my personal experiences lately.
I discontinued the use of the obvious offenders of sugar. I am attempting, daily, to make better choices in my diet. I am not always successful at it, but I have definitely seen the advantages to eliminating all the dessert items. I will continue to challenge myself to read labels and limit the items that “sneak” in added sugars; that is absolutely a challenge indeed. The better I feel mentally, the easier it is becoming to make smarter choices.
The most important skill you can obtain for yourself is to get to know who you are without the depression symptoms, as well as, how things change when the depression resurfaces because it usually will; at least that has been my experience. These assessments and suggestions I write about in this article, and have written previously in other topics on Ketamine and depression, have been crucial in my healing and recovery. If you take anything away from this personal blog I hope that it is to have an awareness of self.
If you are interested in educating yourself further on Ketamine therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression, check out the four-part series I wrote answering questions about Ketamine use, based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past four plus years.
My first blog, Ketamine: Addressing Questions & Concerns focused on my early experience with Ketamine Infusions.
In part two of the series, Addressing Questions & Concerns About Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression I addressed questions and concerns about Intramuscular Ketamine versus Ketamine Infusion therapy.
In my third blog, Frequently Asked Questions: Redefining Depression With The Assistance Of Ketamine Therapy, I was a bit more random. I had emails with several questions and themes, and I addressed as many inquiries as I could.
In my final question and answer dialogue, Pondering Concerns & Questions: The Benefits Of Ketamine For Treatment Resistant Depression, I discussed research, clinical studies, and the need for changes to occur within our insurance companies and federal government so that maybe one day Ketamine will not be so difficult to afford or obtain from any qualified professional.
I hope these personal blogs from a patient that suffered for over four decades with treatment resistant depression will be helpful in convincing you why Ketamine could help you or someone you love.
Also, if you would like to become a provider of Ketamine Therapy try enrolling in The Ketamine Academy‘s online Ketamine Infusion Therapy training course; it would be an excellent decision and could be extremely helpful for others like me. The Ketamine Academy online program will surely benefit you and the mental health community.
I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. Please visit my personal website for the full provider list. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state. I update the provider list regularly. I highly recommend individuals contact me if you administer Ketamine or if you are aware of a Ketamine provider not in my directory; I will happily add new Ketamine clinics.
In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms.