Emily has a Master’s degree and describes herself as a “scientific-minded person” who has spent a lot of her working time in the medical field and in the military as well.
She also has a five-year-old son who is autistic and was non-verbal and socially challenged prior to her carnivore experience. Autism is a complex and challenging condition, and any parent of an autistic child has pressures and stresses that other parents would have trouble relating to.
As if this combination were not already a challenging situation, Emily also had lifelong anxiety and depression. These conditions are often functionally linked to chronic inflammation and reflect the brain’s response. Our brains use several neurotransmitters, but the primary excitatory neurotransmitter is glutamate. The brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter is GABA, and it is made from glutamate.
A “normal” brain enables a person to quickly suppress thoughts that cause anxiety or depression when they enter their mind. It can be difficult to control these thoughts, and they can spiral out of control, leading to an anxiety or depression disorder, if there is too much glutamate (which causes overexcitation) or not enough GABA (which attenuates), respectively.
An enzyme called GAD is needed to change glutamate into GABA, and inflammation inhibits this enzyme. Through this mechanism, inflammation can cause depression and anxiety!
Emily “was in love with the science, the benefits, and the results” of changes to her diet. While many people subscribe to the non-scientific dogma that vegetables and anything plant-based must inherently be healthy, Emily relied on her own knowledge and scientific background to make her choices. When she ate vegetables, she noticed a difference and decided to make a change. “I always noticed small symptoms of inflammation when I ate large amounts of veggies (even low-carb). I cut them out.”
Many people experience dramatic improvements to both body composition and emotional control once they complete a transition to the carnivore lifestyle. Emily did as well, noting that “Once I went carnivore, I not only got leaner, I also completely cured lifelong anxiety and depression.”
These improvements represent a profound improvement in metabolic function as well as brain function. If this were a drug, it would be trumpeted as a breakthrough around the world. Emily’s improved body composition will probably lower her risk of developing disease, and getting rid of depression and anxiety can give her newfound energy.
Emily wanted her son to experience health gains as well and says, “I’ve put my 5-year old son who is autistic on this diet, and he is now speaking (previously non-verbal) and is social and may lose his diagnosis.”
It’s important to note that there are no medications, no medical interventions whatsoever, that appear to provide this level of improvement to an autistic child.
Emily would like to see more exploration of the possibilities, saying, “There is something significant to this and while I understand there is no money in it, more research needs to be done.”