About

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. – Nietzsche

About Selfhacked

I started Selfhacked.com because I didn’t like the dogma that other blogs had.   People are often narrow-mindedly fixated on certain ideas and approaches.  I found bloggers who identified in a certain way (either paleo, vegan or any other group) were closed minded to ideas outside of their ideology.

I also didn’t like how most blogs are filled with marketing, hype and false hope.  Critical thinking is woefully missing.

I try to be extremely open-minded and willing to try anything, but I’m also highly skeptical and take a critical look upon everything.  Accordingly, I don’t fit into any category: I’m not “paleo”, low carb, low fat or anything else for that matter.  I do what works for me and I encourage people to do what works for them, but try out many approaches.

What irked me the most was when people were convinced that what worked for them must work for everyone else.  I think everyone is different and it’s important to isolate those differences and understand why  people react differently.

Hence, my role is to supply information so that you can then conduct your own experiments and see what works for you.

You can connect by liking my facebook page.

Goal of Selfhacked

My purpose here at Selfhacked is to introduce cutting-edge ideas to upgrade the human condition.  I think people have a right to feel great in mind, body and ‘spirit’.   Current technology has made this more possible than ever before.    Whether you have a chronic issue, disease or just feel you want to improve some aspect about yourself, you’re in the right place.

I combine attitudes, principles and knowledge from Science, Quantified-self and Buddhism.

My overarching philosophy is to simplify and achieve more with less.

In forming ideas, I look to traditional and cultural knowledge, mechanistic studies, animal studies, human studies, expert opinions, anecdotes and my own experimental results.  I prefer large, double-blind placebo controlled trials.

I don’t recycle the same old garbage as other blogs do.   I offer unique, creative and effective solutions.

I’m not committed to using only “natural” solutions, but for various reasons, most people do best with these solutions.

I favor a self-hacking approach where I provide the information and you experiment with various changes to see if they work for you.   Personal experience trumps any science with regard to your health.  Science can only say what works for a given set of people.

Selfhacking is the process by which I healed and upgraded myself.  This approach, combined with good information,  can be used by everyone to feel optimal.

Individual Approach is Key

A common theme on this blog is my attempt to not portray things as good or bad.

If you see me bashing piracetam or coconut oil, it doesn’t mean I think these are bad for everyone.  I’m usually just trying to give another side to the overwhelming hype.

Biology is complex and a balance is always in play.  Different people are physiologically imbalanced in different ways. Everyone has a different set of issues that needs to be dealt with in different ways.   Hence, one man’s poison is another man’s medicine and vice versa.

Why This Blog Is Important

A comprehensive study done in 2013 looked at 702 occupations and found that 47% are at risk of being computerized (R). These are the jobs with less cognitive demand.

Even if your job doesn’t disappear, cognitive performance will dictate how successful you are.  Intelligence has always been important for the modern economy, but as technology advances and takes away repetitive jobs, we have to up our skills.

As technology develops, economies become more competitive and more reliant on higher intellectual ability.  Simultaneously, we have  many technologies to improve performance that we never had before.

Every year, we have greater access to new technologies that is allowing people to heal themselves better than ever before . Access to information is also unprecedented.

Think about how much the internet has developed in the past 15 years.  Scientific studies are increasing at an incredible rate.  Devices like LLLT, for example, are ubiquitous and cheap.  The number of dietary supplements hitting the market is also astounding.  For example, 5 years ago it was impossible to get C60 and now multiple vendors sell it.  There are so many supplements that have been improved such as longvida curcumin.  There’s perhaps 10 different types of bioavailable curcumin, whereas 15 years ago the supplement probably didn’t exist in the marketplace.  The supplements that were available were much more expensive as well. Quality control in the industry has also gotten better, especially after the passing of GMP laws.

Drug developments have also been promising.  Blood, genetic and other kinds of tests have been developed and become significantly cheaper.

These breakthroughs will only increase in time and maybe even accelerate (as long the government doesn’t over-regulate like they did with 23andme).  We are at an exciting time period and you don’t have to be rich to take advantage of the technology we have in the 21st century to upgrade yourself.

About Me

My name is Joseph, but most people prefer to call me Joe.  I’m a self-learner, human guinea pig, ‘biohacker’ and extreme novelty seeker.  I’m willing to go to any length to  feel and think better.  

I spend most of my time reading medical journals, performing experiments on myself and helping clients. I’ve experimented heavily with supplements, diets, lifestyle factors, devices and philosophies.  

I have two degrees – one in finance and the other in psychology.  I’ve also taken the pre-medical coursework for possible entrance to a PhD program.  I’m thinking Immunology, but I’m not sure.

I’ve noticed this blog attracts like-minded individuals, so readers are welcome to befriend me on facebook if you want to ‘connect’.

My Story in How I Markedly Improved My Intelligence

 I’ve had chronic health issues as an adolescent and had to figure out the solutions myself, since no one could help.  These issues weren’t serious enough that I needed drugs or that I could be diagnosed with a disease, but they took a serious toll, especially cognitively.

My story is unique when it comes to improving my own cognitive function.  I grew up in unusual circumstances and never really got an education.  In addition, I had all sorts of cognitive problems from inflammation.

I grew up in a ultra-Orthodox Jewish family of 7 and was relatively poor.   My mother was a single mom who wasn’t very proactive as to which school I went to, and so I ended up in a religious school that was meant for kids with behavioral issues or delinquents, even though I didn’t have these issues.

I remember being bright growing up, picking up reading, multiplication and division at a very early age.  I picked it up myself from some educational game.  However, my education at school was horrible to non-existent, since it was geared for kids who had problems.  I remember being bored to death by learning the same thing a million times. I decided to mentally check out.

By 8th grade, my reading and mathematical ability barely improved from earlier grades.  In all of elementary school, I had never studied for a test, read a book, did a piece of homework or wrote an essay.  Not once.

Come high school, the situation was better but still far from good.   My mom’s financial situation improved thanks to benevolent relatives who made lots of money.   Orthodox high schools cost a lot of money (usually about 15,000 dollars a year).  I chose one with the best education that we could afford (6000$ a year, with lots of breaks).  Little did I know, the education was horrible.

Not going to a Jewish school was out of the question for my family.  At least this school was geared for normal kids, but it still didn’t provide a decent education. To give you an idea of what this school was about, they told us not to study for the SATs because they didn’t want us to go to college and get a secular education.   I had 6 hours of religious education and prayer and 3 hours of secular education, most of which didn’t actually take place as the class was filled with boisterous students.

For high school, I never did homework and studied a total of 10 hours for tests a year.  This wasn’t because I was brilliant, but because it was a joke. On the rare occasion that I did study for a test I would do it the day of.  I still never read a book in my life and maybe wrote two essays in all of high school.  It was a joke.

By the age of 18, I had a fourth grade ability to read and write and the focusing capacity of a 6 year old.  I could barely understand half of what newspapers would write.  I didn’t have a clue about what any SAT passage was talking about.  I was what’s called functionally illiterate (half of the US is).

This was partly  because I grew up without ever having read a book or writing a paper and had overall little mental stimulation.   The other part was as a result of physiological issues such as brain fog and inflammation.

Fast forward, the situation now is entirely different.  I either score perfectly or in the 99th percentile in writing and verbal on a variety of standardized tests and score highly in math and a variety of other intelligence tests.  I do best on tests of reasoning.  

I have probably gained around 40 IQ points.  Sounds surreal, I know, but I’m not making it up.

At 15, I took a PSAT and scored an equivalent of about a 400 on the verbal section (less than the 50th percentile for my age group).

At 23, I took the SAT twice and both times scored a perfect 800 on the verbal.  Both scores weren’t a result of practice effects, since I didn’t study for it at 15 or 23.

At 27, my reading (and writing) ability is significantly better now than it ever was.  I was still having a lot of cognitive problems at the age of 23.

Although it’s a fair point that verbal ability isn’t completely indicative of IQ, I subjectively feel as though my general cognition improved in lockstep with my verbal abilities. So while I can’t know exactly how many IQ points I have gained, 40 points seems to be a reasonable and even conservative guess.

Physical Improvement

I never was fat, but I have gotten more fit by following my diet, with very little exercise.

I exercise for about 2 hours a month, excluding walking. No sit-ups.

Side effects from combatting insulin resistance

Diets I’ve Tried

  • Vegan,
  • Raw Vegan,
  • Whole food diet,
  • Whole food plant based diet,
  • Vegetarian,
  • Dairy free,
  • Gluten free,
  • Grain free,
  • Low carb,
  • Paleo/Primal,
  • Low fat,
  • High Saturated fat,
  • Mediterranean diet,
  • High protein,
  • Low glycemic index diet,
  • Bulletproof diet,
  • Atkins diet,
  • Harvard school of public health recommendations,
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Caloric restriction.

Lifestyle Experiments

  • Calorie Restriction
  •  Fasting
  •  Alternate day fasting
  •  Time restricted eating
  •   Meal regularity
  •  Skipping various meals
  •  Circadian rhythm
  •  Different types of Meditation
  •  different forms of Yoga
  •  Mindfulness
  •  Cold (showers, baths, etc..)
  •  Heat (saunas)
  •  Interval training
  •  Endurance Sports
  •  Breathing exercises and many others

Equipment

  • LLLT
  •  tDCS
  •  CES
  •  Emwave
  •  Neurosky neurofeedback
  •  Blue/green blocking glasses
  •  Bright light therapy
  •  Dawn Stimulation
  •  Ionizers
  •  Whole Body Vibration
  •  Foot massagers
  •  Foot stimulation mats
  •  Various vibrational devices
  •   Breathing device/inhaler
  •  Grounding pad
  •  Oxygen tank/ concentrator
  • Ultrasound
  • Molecular hydrogen

Substances I’ve Tried

I experiment with substances different than most people do.  I first take the suggested dose.

If I don’t feel anything or I’m not sure, I double the dosage.  I keep doing this until I notice effect to the point that it’s uncomfortable and too strong.

Like this I am relatively certain if/how things are working in my body.

Most of these have been experimented with multiple forms, brands, and methods of preparation.

Also, this is only a partial list and doesn’t include other substances as part of formulas.  I’ve experimented with these individually and in high dosages.

Deer Antler Velvet
 Sage
 Bacopa
 Chocamine
 Saffron
 Tea (white peony silver needle Jasmine Napalese black Houjicha
 EGCG extract
 Tulsi
 Chamomile
 Yerba Mate
 Olive leaf extract
 Astragalus
 Ginkgo
 Gotu Kola
 Lion’s mane
 Matcha
 Licorice
 Milk thistle
 Hyssop
 Turmeric
 Apple cider vinegar
 Curcumin – Bio-curcumin
 Longvida Meriva
 Curfen
 Rosemary
 Relora
 NAC
 NAG
 Resveratrol
 Danshen
 Panax/red Ginseng (multiple kinds)
 Nucleotides
 Shankhpushpi
 Pregnenolone
 7-Keto DHEA
 Sea minerals
 Calcium Magnesium Citramate
 Whey Concentrate and isolate – Goat and Cows
 Hemp Protein
 Rice protein and Bran
 Pea protein
 Colostrum
 MyoInositol
 D-Chiro-Inositol
 SAM-e
 Chlorella –Pyrendosa and yaema
 Raspberry Ketones
 Pycnogenol
 Ubiquinol
 CoQ10
 Sharp Phosphatidylserine
 Citicoline (CDP-choline)
 Choline Bitartrate
  Alpha GPC
 DMAE
 Melatonin
 Limonene
 Uridine – TAU
 UMP
 Nattokinase
 Cordyceps
 Bilberry
 Green Coffee Extract
 Vitamin D3
 Ashitaba
 Noni Juice
 Coffee
 Barley Grasses
 Wheat Grass
 Enzymes
 Betaine HCL
 Taurine
 Shilajit
 Fulvic+Humic Acid
 L-Carnosine
 Carnitine
 ALCAR
 Maca
 Yohimbe
 Quercetin
 Brainon
 ENADA
 Hordenine
 Syneburn
 Schisandrol A
 Saw Palmetto
 Stinging Nettle
 Bitter melon
 Kava
 St John’s Wort
 Fennel
 Aniseed
 Parsley
 Dandelion Root
 Dandelion Leaf
 Guarana
 Kola Nut
 Catuaba
 Stone Breaker
 American Ginseng
 Lemon Balm
 Marshmallow
 Activated Charcoal
 Bentonite Clay
 Spirulina
 Blue-green algae
 Psyllium Husk
 Cod Liver Oil
 Purified Fish Oil
 Krill Oil
 Long Jack – LJ100
 Tribulus
 Nutritional Yeast
 Caffeine
  Lysine
 Citrulline
 Glutamine
 Arginine
 Acerola
 Cinnamon – Cassia
 Verum
 Hawthorn
 Blueberry extract
 Pomegranate Extract
 R- Lipoic Acid
 DHLA
 PQQ
 Andrographis
 Ashwaghanda
 Apoaequorin
 Rehmannia
 Fo-Ti
 Chaga
 Muira Puama
 Reishi
  Maitake
 Shiitake
 Cat’s Claw
 Creatine
 Soy and Sunflower Lecithin
 Pollen
 Propolis
 Royal Jelly
 Various raw honeys
 Rooibos
 Malic Acid
 EDTA
 5-HTP
 Tryptophan
 Aloe Vera juice
 Aloe Vera gel
 Aloe Ferox
 Dulse
 Wakame
 Nori
 Kelp
 Wassabi
Hyssop
 Basil
 Schisandra
 Echinacea
 Elderberry
 Hibiscus
 Noni
 Artichoke
 Huperzine- A
 Rhodiola
 Eleuthero
 Sceletium
 Valerian
 Angelica Root Extract
 Amla
 Camu Camu
 Mangosteen Juice
 Yacon powder
 Manuka Honey
 Honeybush
 N-Acetyl L-tyrosine
 Mucuna Pruriens
 Magnesium (Threonate
 Citrate
 Oxide)
 DMG
 Sea buckthorn
 PEA
 Suntheanine L theanine
 Peppermint tea and oil
 Lithium Orotate
 Acai
 Goji Berries
 Mulberries
 Probiotics – many different strains
 Oregano oil
 Fenugreek
 D-Ribose
 Grapeseed Extract
 Grapefruitseed extract
 Eyebright
 Pau Darco
 Chayawanprash -5 brands
 B complex
 Biotin
 Garlic
 Ginger
 Soy Isoflavones
 Stevia
 Xylitol
 Gynostemma
 Epimedium
 Sulforaphane
 Calcium-D-Glucarate
 Berberine
 Leucine
 Glycine
 Glutathione reduced
 Desalted sea minerals
 Boron
 Forskolin
 Vanilla
 Cannabis
 THC
 Astaxanthin
 Lutein+Zeaxanthin
 Fisetin
 Modified Citrus Pectin
 Arabinogalactin
 Gelatin
 Carob
 Arrowroot starch
 Potato starch
 Evodia
 Gymnema Sylvestre
 Celastrus Paniculatus
  Suma root
 Triphala
 D-Aspartic-Acid
 Plant sterols
 Collagen type 1,2,3
  Beta- alanine
 Luteolin
 Pterostilbene
 TMG
 Rutin
 Plant sterols
 DIM
 Apigenin
 Apple Polyphenols
 Tart cherry extract
 Kudzu root
 Waxy maize
 Maltodextrin
 Dextrose
 Trehalose
 Palatinose
 Isomaltooligosaccharide
 Inulin
 GOS
 Acacia
 Chrysin
 Salicin(white willow bark ext)
 Aquamin sea minerals
 Allicin
 aged garlic ext
 Lycopene
 Ox bile
 Pancreatin
 DPP4
 Bromelain
 Papain
 Serrazimes
 Proteases and a bunch of mixed enzymes
 White Kidney Bean ext
 Citrus bioflavanoids
 Hesperidin
 MSM
 Ferulic
 Humic acid
 Zinc
 Magnesium
 Chromium
 Calcium
 Potassium.
Strontium
 Boron
 Phosphorous
 Iron
 Selenium
 Manganese
 Niacin
 Pantothenic acid
 B12
 B complexes
 Vit D
 Vit K1
 Vit K2-MK4
 MK7
 Iodine
 Vit C
 Vit E
 Germanium
 Vanadium
 Molybdenum
Cardamom
 Tamarind
 Oxaloacetate
 Nicotinamide Riboside
 C60
 Hi-maize RS
 Fucoidan
 Glandulars: Brain
 Hypothalamus
 Pituitary
 Thyroid
 Thymus
 Adrenal
 Stomach
 Pancreas
 Liver
 Kidney
 Orchic
 Spleen
 Lung
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Hyperimmune egg
  • Eggshell membrane
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Chitosan
  • Chitin
  • Sialic acid
  • Collagen UC-II
  • Alginate
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Myricetin
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Red yeast rice
  • Chinese skullcap
  • White willow bark/salicin
  • Feverfew/parthenolide
  • Hops/xanthohumol
  • Chymotrypsin
  • MCT oil
  • Corosolic acid
  • Arabinogalactan
  • Mannose
  • Octanoic acid
  • Golden berries
  • Agmatine
  • Ornithine
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Sarcosine
  • Liposomal Glutathione
  • Hydrogen Boost
  • AMP Citrate
  • Octopamine
  • Black walnut hull

Notable Blends

Iberogast
 Mindcare
 Adapt 232
 Arctic Root
 Khan Jang plus
 Cereboost
 Jack3D
 Ginsana
 AHCC
 Epicor
 Mindpower Rx
 Alpha brain

Drugs

Methylene blue
 Modafinil
 Nicotine
 Piracetam
 Aniracetam
 Oxiracetam
 Donepezil
 L-Dopa
 Centrophenoxine
 Sulbutiamine
 Pyritinol
 Hydergine
 Picamilon
 Phenibut
 Desmopressin
  • Amphetamines (Adderall)
  • THC/Marijuana/Pot
  • MDMA (Ecstacy)
  • Psylocibin (Shrooms)
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Selegiline/Deprenyl
  • Metformin
  • Endoluten
  • Oxytocin
  • Valproic acid

Essential Oils

Rosemary
 Ylang Ylang
 Pine
 Emu
 Jojoba
 Tangerine
 Clary Sage
 Tea tree
 Arnica
 Frankincense
 Myrhh
 Roman Chamomile
 Sandalwood
 Ginger
 Cinnamon
 Clove oil
 Bergamot
 Marjoram
 Lemongrass
 Neem
 Peppermint

Previous Health Problems That I Have Had At Some Time In The Past

Keep in mind that these are downstream events caused by more fundamental issues.

For example, all of the issues below stems from a disregulated hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid and adrenal axis.

Specifically, I had a precursor to some autoimmune disease that targets my hypothalamus and disregulated my neuroendocrine system every time I got inflammation.

Cognitive:

Some of these are closely related.  For example, generalized anxiety will be correlated with test anxiety, performance anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, nail biting, insomnia, etc…

I don’t have these issues anymore to any degree (as long as I keep to a strict diet)..

Brain fog
Brain fatigue
Hypothalamic inflammation
 Neuroinflammation/BBB permeability
OCD- Cognitve…Nail biting, Lip biting
 GAD- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
 Social Anxiety
 Test Anxiety
 Performance Anxiety
 Panic Attacks
 Chronic Stress – even if I wasn’t busy
 Anhedonia
 Dysthymia
 Memory problems
 Cognitive dysfunction
 Nervous tension and energy
 Insomnia
 Post-meal fatigue
Chronic fatigue – physical and mental
Low motivation

Reactive hypoglycemia/Neuroglycopenia

GI Related

IBS
 Intestinal permeability?
 SIBO?
 Gut dysbiosis?
 Constipation

Other

Insulin resistance/metabolic issuesHypoglycemia
 High liver enzymes
 High cholesterol
 Higher end of blood sugar range
 Acne
 Tinea versicolor
 Dry eyes
 Continual loss of vision even after 21
 Bad circulation in hands feet and in general (cold extremities)
 Phlegm and Mucous
 Hemorrhoids
Getting exhausted and nauseous quickly from exercising
 Migraines – exercise induced
 Knee Pain/Arthritis,
Back pain
 Slowed wound healing
 Lowered immunity – got sick after lifting weights and frequent sickness – colds,  flu, strep, bells palsy.
 Needing more than 8 hrs of sleep
 Nose bleeds
 Weak gums
 Cavities/Teeth problems
 Needing to drink a lot – like a gallon a day
 Dry lips, hands

Again, all of the issues listed have been fixed.  I can’t say that issues won’t  resurface and tweaking will need to be done here and there, but I have built many firewalls for this purpose.  If one firewall fails, I have the necessary back-up systems to stem the bleeding.

Foods Caused My Inflammation

In my case, these issues come from inflammation induced by food.  It took me up until the age of 26 (I’m 27) to figure out all of the foods that were causing me inflammation.

It turns out that I’m sensitive to almost everything that people eat. This includes:

  • Gluten,
  • All grains
  • All potatoes
  • All nuts
  • All dairy
  • All legumes (except tempeh)
  • Yeast (in all breads)
  • Some fish
  • Eggs
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Some fruits
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Various food additives
  • Mildly sensitive to seeds

It turns out, that I’m extremely sensitive to lectins, which also causes other food sensitivities.

When my health problems were at their peak, I lived on gluten, dairy, yeast, whole grains/plant based foods, eggs, fish, in addition to alcohol, caffeine and food additives.   It’s no wonder why I had all of those problems.

The level of inflammation I get from each of these is on very different levels.  For example, I get much more more inflammation from dairy than squash, but I still feel tired from squash unless I take supplements to combat inflammation.

Some of these foods I recommend in my diet because I feel they are less inflammatory than other foods, even though I myself don’t eat them or do but in limited quantities.

A decade of chronic inflammation by all kinds of foods messed up my hypothalamus and led me to react negatively to high glycemic index foods, even if I wasn’t sensitive to it.

I didn’t react well to high fat diets or products like coconut oil, leaving me with few options.

What Don’t I React to?

I can eat most of the foods on the lectin avoidance diet.

So What is Life Like Now?

I forgot what it feels like to be anxious, for one. I’m never stressed (even under pressure or deadlines) and I barely ever get in bad/dreary moods.

My OCD has vanished.  Brain fog and fatigue are a thing of the past.

My brain is working twice as good as ever.  I’m barely ever thirsty, my circulation is great and I don’t have any aches or pains.

I have lots of endurance and I feel great after intense bouts of exercise instead of feeling nauseous.  I don’t get sick and I have no phlegm or mucous.  All of my GI problems are gone.  My vision has also improved.

Why Didn’t I Go to Doctors?

I did.  They were useless.  Also, nothing was markedly wrong with my blood tests, so they just thought I was making everything up.  Even if they did believe me, there was nothing they could do.

The only person that enlightened me a bit was a psychiatrist I saw for attention problems at the age of 23.  He diagnosed me with disthymia (a low grade, long term depression) and generalized anxiety disorder, in addition to “probably having OCD” and “possibly having ADHD.”

Looking back, I had severe OCD.  Popular culture makes you believe that OCD is a disorder that manifests itself by chronic handwashing, etc… I consider OCD as simply an inability to let go of thoughts or possessions.  I couldn’t let go of either. Accordingly, hoarding, perfectionism, nail biting, various minor obsessions and elevated anxiety are common manifestations of OCD.

The Problem with Doctors

I must say it’s unfortunate that today’s medical doctors don’t begin to understand the full range of options because it simply wasn’t taught to them and they usually aren’t enterprising enough to read the literature directly.

The medical system selects for a specific type of person.  This person will be good at memorizing lots of information and diligent in studying it, without selecting for people who actually know how to apply it properly and think outside the box.   And if these doctors did think out of the box, this litigious society would sue the sh*t out of them.

Most doctors go to school for a long time and then just see patients afterward without being proactive in constantly learning new information.  If a doctor went to med school 10 years ago, they are clueless about all of the studies that came out in the past 10-15 years.

The few doctors who do read the literature directly are stifled by an ultra-conservative philosophy that if something isn’t studied and replicated by massive double blind, placebo controlled trials (which only the drug companies can afford) and published in prestigious journals then it has absolutely no value.

Instead of looking at problems with a risk/benefit analyses they are stifled by their parochial view. On the other hand,  there’s way too much dogma and quackery in the alternative health sphere.

Don’t get me wrong – the doctors aren’t the problem.  Most of them are normal well-meaning people.  I just think the system is broken.  The medical system is dominated by bureaucracy.  Instead of going to school for 10 years and completely stopping like it’s done now, it would make more sense to go to school for a few years and thereafter go to school for 3 months out of the year for the rest of their lives.

There’s obviously a lot more problems, but it’s out of the scope of this post.

The Multi-Factorial Nature of Disease

I think the nature of disease is woefully misunderstood.

The usage of drugs by conventional medicine indicates an approach to disease that is highly targeted.  For some diseases that happen because of a very specific cause, this is a good approach, but  for chronic disease, it’s usually not optimal or effective.

This is simply because chronic disease – whether it be depression, anxiety, cancer, obesity, schizophrenia or heart disease- has multiple causes that contribute to the disease.

Multiple things need to go wrong in the body by the time we realize something is seriously wrong.  The body is good at adapting when one or two things go awry.

These multifactorial diseases can’t successfully be treated with a drug that only addresses one of the issues.

In practice, this is what’s called treatment resistance – a continuation of disease despite one or more treatments.

You see, when one factor in the body goes awry, the body adjusts through homeostasis and tries to work around the imbalance to function normally.  When multiple things go bad, a new homeostasis is created and at that stage even if someone tries to fix one of the underlying issues, the body will get back to its new diseased homeostatic state.

We see this with every chronic disease.  This is why it’s so hard to treat any chronic disease and most of our attempts are futile.  We can give drugs for depression but it barely makes a dent.  There might be a small decrease in depression for a few weeks, but after a few months depression takes hold again.

Cancer chemotherapy drugs are often clinically insignificant because cancer comes about as result of multiple dysfunctions.  Once it takes root, it’s the new homeostasis.  I don’t think herbs or alternative medicine is the cure, either.  A combination of drugs, herbs, diet, lifestyle and various new technologies to kill the tumor more specifically is the best bet.

If one is in a diseased state, they must attack it from multiple angles that address all of the underlying causes of the disease.  Some of these causes we aren’t aware of yet, but our knowledge is progressing quickly and we learn more daily.

Finesse and balance are required for attacking the disease in multiple ways.   If one treatment is targeted too much, as is the case of many drugs, an imbalance will occur and the person may have side effects that are worse than the disease itself.  So the treatment must target every cause significantly but not so much that it causes tremendous harm to the body.

One must always remember , though, that any treatment – diet, exercise, supplements or anything else – always comes with a trade-off.

The older someone is the less wiggle-room they have and their condition becomes significantly  harder to treat.  I view chronic disease mostly as just a manifestation of aging, where we eventually succumb to one diseased state or another if we live to be old enough.

In this paradigm, there is no “cure” for a disease, only a slowing of its progression.  So if you see me use the word “cure”, realize that what I really am saying is a a temporary reversal  which can last a long time if the person is young enough or a halting/slowing of its progression if a person is very old.

Disclosure

I earn a small commission on items purchased from AMAZON.  This helps support the blog, my research and experiments.   I only recommend items that I myself use, unless otherwise noted in the description.  I also try to link to the cheapest item possible (combined with shipping costs), when there’s no or a negligible difference between cheaper and more expensive items.  Sometimes, though, quality is extremely important and price reflects this-  longvida curcumin is a good example.  Sometimes I post links to products without affiliate commission such as C60.

Citation Policy

If something isn’t cited and I don’t specify that it’s my opinion call me out on it in the comments section and ask for a reference.  If I can’t find the source, I’ll erase the sentence.

Comments Policy

I am very lenient about approving comments and almost never censor comments.  The only time I will censor a comment is if someone just hurls insults without making any point.  I don’t mind approving insulting comments if they are informative

I try to answer everyone, but sometimes I don’t.  If the question requires a one or two word answer I am much more likely to answer it.   If it requires a long explanation I usually don’t answer the question.

38 thoughts on “About”

  1. Fascinating blog. I am not sure how you haven’t driven yourself crazy at this point. I had OCD as well, the thing that has helped most was fixing micronutrient deficiencies per spectracell. I used to pay more attention to studies trying to elucidate the effects on humans based on evidence in a petri dish. It is sometimes worth doing and sometimes not worth doing. Anyway I have a lot of respect for you getting on here and putting this stuff out here. I have a similar blog, but I uploaded all of my bloodwork at hackacne.com.

  2. 33/F fellow “neuroshaman” here. Wow, someone who thinks like me! Well, with one tiny difference. I’d probably be writing a blog very similar to yours if it weren’t for my passion for art, philosophy and anthropology. But I have quite a health story to tell also…I’ve done similar research for a different condition (no cognitive impairment, but several major chronic diseases (including hypereosinophilic syndrome), extreme polypharmacy AND illicit drug abuse). I am Th17/Th1 dominant, nasty combo! My cognitive skills were better (always 99th percentile, must be that high NF-kB high IQ/anxiety correlated subset which I always wondered about myself) but my physical health was a lot worse than yours sounds like it was, so we were both equally miserable and useless for many moons, from what I can tell. Managed to get off of all but 2 meds and I’m now gearing up for my last major fight…withdrawal from 2 mg/day clonazepam. It won’t be good for the progress I’ve made but I think by now I’m ready to take it on as a healing vs a damaging stress.

    Your website has inspired me to add a few notes on my health saga to my upcoming (starting New Year 2015) philosophy/anthropology blog…I think my perspective is similar yet different enough to be complementary (my research is much more specific to people with autoimmune disease and polypharmacy). Hope you won’t mind if I link to some of your work as a reference…you fill in some areas I didn’t investigate, and I also think you took better notes than I did!

    I’m also super impressed by your general outlook on life. I always thought that if human civilization were a work of art, now would be the time to subtract something.

    My first thought would be to tell you to stay away from med school, everybody’s a fanatic supporter of their one piece of the puzzle so nothing really gets understood, but on second thought I think the field of medicine really needs people like you and also like Bruce West, author of Where Medicine Went Wrong. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! A perspective on medicine from the field of dynamical systems theory.

    Hope to maybe share notes in the future and thanks for putting this out there.

  3. I just found you site today. Thank you for giving of your time to share with others what you have learned. I plan to read most of your posts. I too have been studying wellness for a few years in order to feel better myself. I have come a long way on my journey, and still have room to grow.

  4. Wow, how exciting to have found your site! I will have to scrounge around a lot and find stuff to help friends and family. I love the super conventional comment near the beginning of the comments. Poor creature, wait till he really tries to use what conventional medicine has to offer.
    I got off cows milk 23 years ago, got off wheat 15 years ago, and just in the last year realized I was going to have to avoid Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, binds manganese and zinc. Zinc is needed to make 50 digestive enzymes. Manganese is needed to favor symbiotic gut bacteria over pathogens. The “inactive” ingredient in Roundup is POEA, a cell penetrant that probably makes everyone have the sort of leaky gut that celiacs have. What clued me in was that only after I could no longer buy conventional corn for my chickens did they start giving me gut trouble. Once I started experimenting, I found that RUR fed beef and pork and chicken give me gut trouble, but organic fed animals don’t. Milk from cows fed mostly chemically laced RUR feeds give me headaches even if the milk is raw or from an A2 cow. Raw milk from an A1 cow that is fed mostly clean hay or grass will only give me a headache if I heat it up (break up the A1 beta-casein).
    Incidentally, though GMO foods may be a problem in and of themselves, the main reason I want them labeled is so I can avoid Roundup and Bt. Even labeling GMO’s won’t tell the public that non-GMO wheat is also sprayed with Roundup. Worst of all, it’s sprayed only a week or so before harvest!

  5. So Mr. Nondescript, you seem very confident in the science of the mainstream. So you support the recommended mainstream diet consistent of 70 percent carbs? The use of statin drugs? That gut bacteria is pointless for healthy living so anti-biotics are safe? That GMO are more helpful then harmful? Soy is a good alternative and is not related to hormone disruption? Everything I just mentioned is highly popular today with Doctors and society. All we can do is look at results. Guess what? The results are in on both sides.
    I don’t encourage you to participate in the mainstream for too much longer. You may be resilient enough to continue; time will tell. However, if that time comes and you fade from homeostasis please return; some of the information on sites like this one coupled with consistency may serve you better than not.

  6. Gotta agree with you concerning the amount of BS written in most “health blogs” but they are not in the business of educating people about health but making money unfortunately.

  7. Quote:
    “Cancer drugs are mostly useless and clinically insignificant for most cancers because of their selectivity.”

    You are an irresponsible person to make such claims. Your website, and all websites such as this, waste so much of your own and other peoples time and energy. Why don’t you go to school and become a neuropharmacologist? Maybe the system can help you learn to, at the very least, write compelling, fluent sentences? Or help you understand how to interpret the data you get from all those medical reports you read, because you don’t seem to understand, at minimum, how to comprehend statistics. Otherwise, I’m sad to say, you are going to drown in a sea of similar pseudoscience blogs that set out to undermine “big pharmacology” and all those sheep doctors you so readily discriminate against for the sake of camaraderie amongst those disenfranchised.

    Quote:
    “I usually only cite references when I feel a piece of information isn’t widely known. If something isn’t cited and I don’t specify that it’s my opinion call me out on it in the comments section.”

    Rule one of medical skepticism: Always cite your references. Otherwise anyone can say whatever they want, no matter how meaningless. You are functioning here as a skepticism antagonist. I don’t believe you understand what skepticism is and I’ll recommend to you “The Demon Haunted World” by the late great Carl Sagan as a definition.

    I sincerely urge you, if you have the means, or if not, apply for some student loans and take some of the extremely progressive and varied courses in pharmacology, biochemistry, neurology, or even the ever growing, and ever fascinating, field of biotechnology. There are so many extraordinary schools in this country. While some of these people either teaching or attending such courses may risk the public health for monetary or personal gain, I think that you’ll be surprised to find many, many, more with an unquenchable desire to increase the quality of life for all people. Doctors are not a special breed of people, they are kind and caring, and prone to mistakes as others are. But I stress to all concerned that, even at worst, they are infinitely more discerning than an internet blogger.

    I urge you to stop spreading personal anecdotal evidence and message board posts as evidence or argument. And please learn to use the vast collection of medical data that pours out of understudy and laboratory research as merely a stepping stone toward a less polemic and more sagacious argument for the causes that you champion.

    There is no doubt in my mind that you care deeply about these topics that interest you, but you must understand that there are simply too many people desperate to be heard and understood, and with that comes a great and potent responsibility. If even one person forgoes chemotherapy or antidepressants because of what you have written and that decision results in their death, you will have done a great disservice to all of mankind. The information that you provide here is negligent. That is not to simply say inapt or unintelligent, but you have framed almost every argument with brash, sentimental reasoning that simply must be abolished if you wish to convey to the public empirical evidence. A simple warning of your lack of credentials is not enough. Because you posture as a well educated person and attempt to glean authority by claiming reduction of your own ailments and listing your numerous degrees, and in this way, you are abusing the publics trust of such documents for your own gain. Of which Independent “studies” is an absolutely meaningless misnomer unless you are speaking a friend or family member who might ask for simple advice.

    Quote:
    “For example, all of the issues below stems from a disregulated hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid and adrenal axis. Specifically, I have an autoimmune disease that targets my hypothalamus and maybe thyroid and disregulates my neuroendocrine system every time I get inflammation.”

    “Specific” and “maybe” should rarely be included in the same sentence. This statement and blog is absolute medical nonsense poised to inflict harm on your readers, and will, I assure you, not improve a single persons life outside feigned solidarity. Please stop it before someone gets hurt.

    1. It’s sad to see educated people such as yourself being so scared of information. You are locked in a mindset and can’t get out. But this is what happens when you go through the educational system. You become square and locked in and afraid of information that goes counter to your set of beliefs. I urge you to practice true skepticism. I feel bad for you.

      RESULTS:
      The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.
      CONCLUSION:
      As the 5-year relative survival rate for cancer in Australia is now over 60%, it is clear that cytotoxic chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

      Meant to say lack of selectivity. As in they attack both cancer and normal cells (and destroy the immune system, which fights cancers.) I didn’t tell anyone not to take their drugs. For cancer, some drugs work really well for some cancers.

      Conclusions

      The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms, and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712503/

      Your obsession with school and pedantic attitude tells me you are an old, square fart who confuses your schooling with your education. Welcome to the 21st century. You also have OCD and you’d do well taking some of my suggestions. This blog is for the crazy ones – those who see things differently and who aren’t shackled by dogma.

      I find I learn most from independent study. This allows me to make connections that otherwise wouldn’t be made if I was just trying to get a piece of paper. I can take any course I want for free on the internet from the best professors, so schooling is just for the piece of paper.

      I think doctors mean well, but taking the premed classes taught me that almost all of these future doctors study for the test and not to genuinely learn. They forget most of what they learn after the test. They are very rarely creative and can’t think out of the box.

      The medical system has completely failed me and many others. It’s slow, bureaucratic and filled with people wanting to attain a degree to boost their income and status. I’d be extremely messed up by now if not for me taking things into my own hands. I report information on the cutting edge.

      I think reports of my self experiments has a positive impact on people and provides a value. Anyone who thinks that this isn’t valuable doesn’t have to read my blog.

      1. Yes, fear paralyzes….even the brain. I was chronically ill and unable to function normally for more than 40 years. The orthodox medical system kept me there by not getting to the root of my problem. The only way I got well, was researching, being willing to try almost anything and never giving up. As for cancer, I’ve healed several patches of skin cancer outside of the mainstream methods and they never reoccur. What I am interested in finding out, is, some success stories in dealing with ITP. Our family has managed it by supporting thyroid function and we finally found a medical doctor who says, if what you’re doing works then go for it. Nice to find some support for sure. Keep up the good work you do!

  8. Hey joe, love your blog. You should upgrade your site – make it look better. Not that looks really matter, but i think it’s a great idea!

  9. How long do you think until you have a book out? What kind of stuff are you going to put into it, Are there going to be any intelligence increasing technique added like how to stream stuff like that.

  10. Hi Self-hacked,

    I suffer from chronic brain fog and have had this nagging sensation for the past 11 years. I’ve had every physical test taken imaginable and my diet is extremely clean (although I probably consume more fermented dairy and saturated fat from coconut than you’d like). Now I’m working with one of the best depersonalization specialists to try a variety of pharma options. She suggested the Fisher Wallace Stimulator. What are your thoughts on this or other CES devices?

  11. I’ve seen that you mention that you are gluten intolerant, that means celiac? Or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitive? How did you know? Did you get tested?

    1. Through EXTENSIVE self-experimentation. I’m also sensitive to all dairy, yeast, eggs, caffeine, theobromine, alcohol and other foods/substances.

          1. What about the Alcat test. I just got my blood work done for one. Should get the results in 2 weeks for 200 foods. I hope it’s accurate…

          2. Wiki:

            The test is not supported by research and is not considered to be a reliable medical diagnostic tool; since it has not been appropriately validated it is not a suitable guide for therapeutic decisions.[1][2][3][4][5][6] In a position statement, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy classified the ALCAT with other forms of cytotoxic tests as inappropriate tests, saying of them
            “These results have been shown to not be reproducible, give different results when duplicate samples are analysed blindly, don’t correlate with those from conventional testing, and ‘diagnose’ food hypersensitivity in subjects with conditions where food allergy is not considered to play a pathogenic role.”[7]

  12. I totally relate to your disillusionment with doctors. I found I couldn’t lose 20kg of post-baby weight even though I was working out a the gym six days a week and I went on Light n Easy on the 1000 calories option (the recommended daily intake for women is 2000 calories). Months went by on this rigid routine and still no weight loss, not even a kilo. I went to the doctor who said to me “if you are working out and eating right then you should be losing weight” like she thought I must have been eating chocolate bars on the sly or something. I told her that I was doing everything I could but something was wrong with my body, so reluctantly she ordered a round of blood tests. This turned up a diagnosis of insulin resistance which surprised the doctor and explained why I wasn’t losing weight despite the exercise and low calorie intake. I was then referred to an endocrinologist from the DIabetes Institute who told me that eating 1000 calories a day was too much. I asked what the recommended intake for a women should be and he said he didn’t know. I couldn’t believe it. Giving diet advice without knowing RDIs!!!! He could’ve given me an eating disorder telling me I was overeating when I was already eating far below the RDI in an attempt to lose the excess weight. Doctors have six years of medical study, plus extra years for specialty medicine, but they can give wrong advice and turn up less solutions than a ten minute search on the internet!!!

    1. Cindy,
      Thank you for your anecdotal experience. Have you checked the health of your thyroid? It would explain weight issues and the insulin resistance.

      Best,
      Joe

  13. Interesting … but I just can’t quite believe you built your 6-pack with almost no exercise (assuming you didn’t goto gym before either). How does the muscle ever come??

    1. The six packs are always there, is the fat that you need to get rid off to see yours! He is doing pull ups and push ups that is good enough for a thin muscular body.

      1. Thank you Daniel for your succinct response. I’d like to also add that genetics play a role, but are only part of the picture.

  14. Hi, I have a question. Where do you get all the money for study on colelge and experimenting with this tons of stuff ? You have a good job or are u from a rich family ?
    Thnak you !

  15. Hey, nice blog. Found you from longecity. I have a couple things to say. First of all, I would be very interested in more information as to how you treated your social anxiety, generalized, ocd, and panic attacks as this is a problem many people face and is one not easily dealt with.

    Also, after scoring a perfect 800 on the verbal section of the sat, do you have (new) plans for college?

    1. Thank you.

      These kinds of issues have different causes. I do believe, however, that all cases can be dealt with if people implement certain protocols. People don’t realize how much can be done for these and other health-related issues. With that said, there’s also lots of stuff that don’t work and people can waste years trying them out. I’ve dealt with someone who had OCD and depression for 20 years and only got over it recently after consultations with me. This person is extremely bright(800 verbal SAT) and had been devoting most of his life to treating these issues, without success.

      I have a college degree already (2 degrees, actually). I took the SAT again as a benchmark of reading ability and overall cognition. It’s a convenient test since people generally don’t improve on it as they get older and it’s highly correlated with IQ. Also, since I didn’t study for it there were no practice effects. I’ve scored in the 99th percentile on an officially proctored GRE verbal without practicing as well. I recently took a practice LSAT and scored in a similar range. I don’t mention these results because I am proud of them, but rather to support my contention of a large IQ increase.

      Refer to the contact section if you’d like a consultation on the best approaches suited for your unique issues.

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Self-Empowerment In Health