Here we are, three months into 2020, and we here at Fully Human are learning it is a scary time to be a small business. Now we are spending a lot more time cleaning, and re-cleaning everything (including sanitizing our inventory of Freedom).
We were previously excited about the future of Fully Human, and how our initial product was showing results for our customers. Now we are seeing just how hard it is to be a small business in a time of economic downturn.
Founded by a disabled veteran, Fully Human was never about making an easy ‘buck’. Now however, more than ever, we are focused on making sure our customers and employees can bring their full selves to life even in this crisis.
Speaking of Employees
We are also putting our two cutest employees on notice. Turns out they had historically just laid around the house when we weren’t working from home.
Former management track employee
Now that have transitioned to working from the house we have been finding out they are doing far less work that they report on their timecards.
January’s Employee of the Month
Ok, so maybe the dogs are happier that we pet them more. But they sure are confused when we take their ‘beds’ to do our teleworking.
Maybe it was a mistake to use these two for anything but modeling. We had hoped they would rise above their looks and prove to us they were also hard workers. But alas. They are just too good looking to work hard.
On the serious side. We know that many in our community are having to struggle far more than we are. Because of that we are looking for ways to give back wherever we can.
We here at Fully Human want to recognize you who are on the front line of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. We want to provide you access to Freedom…for free. You are working tirelessly to help the infected recover, and prevent the rest of us from getting sick. Many of working 12+ hour shifts, constantly on the move.
While none of us is qualified to take a shift to help you out – we want to help where we can. Freedom contains powerful anti-oxidant shown to reduce the inflammation caused by constant work and stress.
If you are a healthcare worker, message us and we will get you a free bottle of Freedom, just pay our shipping cost. It can’t get you back the time you are dedicating to serving others, but hopefully it will make that time a little easier.
“Oh, I wouldn’t take a sick day unless I was really sick”
-Well Meaning People
All of these quotes are things people have told me, either about my own depression, or about theirs. All of these have the same sub-text. Depression isn’t a ‘real’ condition, or illness. The ‘fake’ illness they talk about impacts nearly 15 million Americans’ daily lives; and nearly 4% of American adults reported having a suicidal ideation in 2018.
Let that sink in.
Millions of people every day are suffering from a disease that their peers belief isn’t real. Sometimes I compare this to me telling someone who broke their arm to ‘hold this’ because ‘well you still have an arm’. We would all agree that is cruel and borderline sadistic. But with mental disorders we can’t see the injury, so discount it as fake.
The Guest Your Brain Doesn’t need
Depression causes three fundamental changes in our brain, a resizing of core components, rewriting neural pathways and inflammation. Research is ongoing to determine if brain inflammation causes depression, or if it is a symptom the disease itself due to a change in how the brain absorbs oxygen.
While changes typically take a minimum of eight months to develop. The potential for near permanent dysfunction in memory, executive function, attention, mood, and emotional regulation exist after bouts of longer-lasting depression.
The Sizing Changes
A 2016 international study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports that 65% of all depressed patients have a smaller hippocampus. This is the region in the brain that controls emotions, learning and memory. According to PsychEducation.org, this shrinkage occurs because of the way depression kills existing hippocampal cells and prevents new ones from growing efficiently.
The report in Molecular Psychiatry goes on to say that this change is most pronounced in people with extended or recurring bouts of depression. So then, the longer someone goes without treating their depression, the harder it becomes to remember, and learn.
This is a bigger deal than it sounds because recovery from depression requires a relearning of how to feel; while a common treatment for the disease involves remembering. So in effect this disease attacks the very parts of the brain which would be most able to combat it.
Remember that next time you feel the need to tell a friend to ‘pull themselves out of it’.
Another study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports that major depressive disorder causes the amygdala to swell. This often results in sleep disturbances and makes the body’s hormone release process go haywire. At the root of this is the high levels of cortisol associated with depressive symptoms (and a key driver of our stress response).
There are links being made between inflammation and depression. It’s still not clear, as I mentioned above, whether inflammation causes depression or vice versa.
But brain inflammation during depression is linked to the amount of time a person has been depressed. The study I cited above shows that people depressed for more than 10 years showed 30 percent more inflammation compared to people depressed for less time.
Because brain inflammation can cause the cells of the brain to die, this can lead to a number of complications, including:
decreased function of neurotransmitters
reduced ability of the brain to change as the person ages (neuroplasticity)
These complications make it hard for people to learn, affect mood, and cause loss to memory. Young adults suffering from depression face the risk of severe mental limitations due to how rapidly their brains should be growing and changing.
Depression has been linked to reduced oxygen in the body. These changes may be due to changes in breathing caused by depression. But like with inflammation which comes first and causes the other remains unknown.
Overall, the brain is highly sensitive to reductions in oxygen, which can lead to:
brain cell injury
brain cell death
Inflammation and cell death can lead to a host of symptoms associated with development, learning, memory, and mood. Even short-term hypoxia (brain lacking oxygen) can lead to confusion, much like what’s observed with high altitude hikers (clearly a reason to not hike 🙂 ).
We will explore herbal remedies later, but there are also other, non-prescription treatments which have see excellent results in clinical studies. While these treatments are very effective, they should absolutely never be used INSTEAD of seeing a trained and trusted mental health provider. I did that, and it led to the first of my suicidal ideations.
The next few posts will be more about depression as a disorder, and ways we can treat it, or help others who are suffering from it. Odds are that at least 2-3 people you know suffer from depression, and almost none feel safe talking about it.
Do you want more about inflammation and its harm to the body? Check out some older posts here and here. We here at Fully Human have not yet launched our supplement to combat the symptoms of depression. But we hope to do so by the end of 2019. If you are one of the millions suffering from ‘regular’ inflammation, check out Freedom, the first supplement to combine clinical dosing, clinical timing and clinical frequency.
I wasn’t always healthy…in fact if you compared my diet to my fiance’s you would say I was unhealthy. However I am much more conscious about what goes into my body, and how what goes in my body makes me feel. All that to say…back in his day Tim could really drink…and when I say really, I mean his record is 1.5 liters (that is 2 standard size bottles) of 12 year old scotch in 3 hours, followed by a walking tour (yes I remember the tour) of downtown DC, and more drinking. And no….before you ask, my hangover the next day wasn’t that bad. I was dehydrated, but otherwise my hangover was relatively minor.
What is my secret? How did I do this, and how can you replicate it? Well 1. ‘Don’t try this at home’, and 2. It is really easy to replicate. Just take care of your liver. It is really that easy. Nothing in your body likes multi-tasking (that is why it is hard for you to change direction really fast while running), so don’t make your liver do more than one thing at once.
Great – But What Even Does My Liver Do?
So we all know, or at least those of us who took health class once, that our livers process toxins, and clean out our systems (tangent – your detox diet is not going to be better for you than taking care of your liver). Well our livers also have an anti-inflammatory skill:
“In addition to serving as an arena for a number of immune-mediated pathologic processes, the normal liver has continual direct involvement in adaptive (specific) immunobiology. Major facets of this involvement consist of (1) deletion of activated T cells that originate from inflammatory reactions at any site in the body (emphasis added)…”
– Parker, G. A., & Picut, C. A. (2005). Liver Immunobiology. Toxicologic Pathology, 33(1), 52–62.
What does that mean? Well great question – among other things, it means your liver helps flush out cells your body activated to fight inflammation. If that seems like a crazy thing for your body to do, remember, too much of a good thing is nearly always bad. Studies since 2002 have explored the role of these activated T cells in people with rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, and found that in those who had the worst symptoms, the T cell count was either too high, or too low. Too high of a count, and those T cells attacked healthy cells, creating more inflammation, while too low of a count and – you guessed it – inflammation could run rampant.
Researchers have found that a healthy liver is really good at regulating the amount of T cells in the body, and as such keeping the liver healthy is a critical part of ensuring the inevitable inflammation associated with aging doesn’t run rampant.
The Even Shorter EXPLANATION
I know I know…this post was supposed to be about how to drink all night, and still be productive the next day. Here’s the short answer. Drink at least 10 times as much water as you drink in liquor, or liquor equivalent (1.5oz liquor = 1 beer = 1 glass wine), eat some kind of fatty food (avocado, eggs, pizza…etc) at least an hour before you start drinking, and don’t have ANY sugar from at least three hours prior to drinking until after you wake up the next day.
In my last post I talked about water and fat soluble compounds, and for the purposes of our anti-hangover miracle cure we need to talk about where things are processed in the body and what exactly is your hangover. In the case of alcohol, it processed in the liver, and a hangover is just a combination of your body still processing alcohol and being dehydrated.