4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

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slinkystrudels
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4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by slinkystrudels »

Hi there - this is my first post and I found out about a week ago that I am 4/4 carrier. I suffer from Anxiety anyway and within 3 days I was not eating, felt sick 24/7 and ended up in hospital with the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. All triggered by finding out my 4/4 status.
As I write this, I’m a little calmer and encouraged by what I’ve read on here and by the Breseden protocol. I’m 40 years old and had a horrific diet and hadn’t properly exercised in about 18months so this has given me the jolt I needed to take control of my health .
I am still scared and incredibly anxious about this - on bad days I feel my fate is sealed and I just think awful thoughts. I am so glad I found this site.

1) Do I need a cognoscopy (now, age 40) and then tests every year? I’m so scared that this will take over my whole life and I will spend the next few decades ‘panicking’ until I start seeing signs of cognitive decline and then I will just lose it completely :(

2) The other main thing that’s concerning me is that I have been on and off Fluoxetine for about 8 years ( more on) for my anxiety and from what I’ve read this can further increase the risk of AD? I take 40mg per day currently. I want to come off of it but am so scared to go back to the way I was before and not be able to cope . I know my anxiety will be worse because of learning my genetics. :(



Any advice very greatly appreciated x
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Tincup
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by Tincup »

slinkystrudels wrote:I suffer from Anxiety anyway and within 3 days I was not eating, felt sick 24/7 and ended up in hospital with the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. All triggered by finding out my 4/4 status.
Welcome slinky!

Addressing the anxiety piece. I'm a huge fan of breathwork to deal with anxiety. See instructor, Patrick McKeown's presentation on anxiety. As well as his mp3 exercise, which can be accessed here.

This Google Doc has a lot of breathing links for Patrick and others.

As a 3/4 married to a 4/4, we feel grateful we found out our E4 status in 2014 and have been working on our strategies since. I'm 65 and my wife 61 and both cognitively well. Starting at 40 is a huge benefit.
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by birdie18 »

slinkystrudels wrote:I suffer from Anxiety anyway and within 3 days I was not eating, felt sick 24/7 and ended up in hospital with the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. All triggered by finding out my 4/4 status.
Dear Slinkystrudels,
You have found the apoe4 safe haven, for learning and sharing with a community of people who navigate similar seas. I encourage you to embrace Tincup's message. You have time to make the changes toward your better self. Don’t let the pressure get to you. There is so much you can do to build health and resilience! You have youth on your side!

Explore options and take a first step toward change. Choose something that makes sense to you, feels good and manageable at this time. Reach out to us here if you are not finding resources that meet your needs.

Set a healthy goal and take it on at a pace that works for you. Gradually, you will create new habits, new tastes, a refined understanding of how your brain and body work together to give you the kind of health that you imagine is possible.

Your genes are not your destiny! You've received new information about yourself but you are the same person. Maybe you are motivated to make well informed choices that lower your risk of disease? It is likely you will find more ease as you care for yourself through a balanced menu of food, rest, social engagement, movement and mental stimulation that meet your needs.

It sounds like you are ready to go on a learning spree. This site is carefully written and managed to get you started. Check out our apoe4 wiki. Here's another page that will give you tips for navigating the site. As you explore, feel free to post your thoughts, questions and even, your own story, if you like. The posted stories are each unique.

Stay in touch with the people who help you feel supported. Do your peeps know of this, your recent discovery? Who can you share this with? Let us know how you are doing and how we can help.

Consider, if you haven't done this before, a breathing exercise; breathe only through your nostrils with each exhale longer than the inhale. Keep each breath easy, neither forced nor deep.
Last edited by birdie18 on Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NF52
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by NF52 »

slinkystrudels wrote:Hi there - this is my first post and I found out about a week ago that I am 4/4 carrier. ...
1) Do I need a cognoscopy (now, age 40) and then tests every year? I’m so scared that this will take over my whole life and I will spend the next few decades ‘panicking’ until I start seeing signs of cognitive decline and then I will just lose it completely :(

2) The other main thing that’s concerning me is that I have been on and off Fluoxetine for about 8 years ( more on) for my anxiety and from what I’ve read this can further increase the risk of AD? I take 40mg per day currently. I want to come off of it but am so scared to go back to the way I was before and not be able to cope . I know my anxiety will be worse because of learning my genetics. :(
Hi slinkystrudels!

A warm welcome from a fellow 4/4! Judging by your user name we may also share some German ancestry and a love of strudel !
I'm so glad you shared your recent news and concerns; this is a community which now considers you our friend, our family and our contributor.

I like to think that I'm not cursed but "favored" with an ancestral allele that allowed my very ancient ancestors to travel to distant lands (now northern Europe, Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland) from sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 40% of some population groups have ApoE 4. It allowed those ancestors to store fat for bitter winters and poor harvests (something my body still thinks it has to do!) and also allowed us to develop both strong verbal skills (according to some studies of young people with ApoE4) and that deep empathy that can morph into all-too-real images of our own imagined future and the anxiety and panic attacks when our brain decides "time to fight, flee or freeze this place!". BTW, exercise is our friend in the battle against panic, since I strongly believe it tricks our brains into thinking we ARE fighting the good fight. Some recent, well-designed studies found that people who walked in greenspace (parks, woods, etc) showed fewer anxiety than those who exercised inside. Can Exercise Explain the Health Benefits of Natural Environments?

You have already viewed this news as a needed "jolt". Think of those genes as prodding you to move from "suffering from anxiety" to "living with anxiety" and thriving with ApoE 4/4. The pace of research of all kinds is impressive--and gives you lots of time to watch, learn and feel at ease with your choices.

So here's advice from someone who managed to also end up in the ER at about your age with what turned out to be a panic attack from hyperventilating with weird stomach flu symptoms that my sleep-deprived post-partum brain interpreted as a stroke. :oops: So I know how quickly panic attacks can come on, and learned how to "read" my body and use some of the breathing techniques recommended by Birdie18 and generally remind myself that "I've got this; my body can fix itself". That and some medication as needed made a huge difference--and it turns out that I didn't need it forever, but did through the 40's.

You may want to talk to your doctor, asking them not to put your ApoE 4/4 status into their records, but letting them know you are concerned about fluoxetine. Here's some good news about Fluoxetine from a 2020 article in Harvard Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and ... your-brain If you scorll down to the chart, you'll see that fluoxetine is one of the recommended alternatives to benzodiazepines. Unlike that class of drugs, fluoxetine, buproprion, sertaline, certalopram and others have NOT been found to associated with late-late risk of dementia.
You could also ask about ordering some labs covered by insurance to check for "low-hanging fruit" to improve: B-12 (take 50 mcg methylcobalamin B-12 as needed to get above 500 on a blood test, was the advice my clinical study nurse practitioner gave), and a lipid profile of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol. If you have a family history of early heart attacks or strokes, ask about an ECG and a cardiac stress test. If you live in an area without a ton of sunlight, get a Vitamin D test and add that. Each piece of information that you get acts like a brick in building a wall against panic, and improves your health for the long haul. If not covered by insurance, many of these tests are available in Direct-to Consumer options, described in our Wiki Direct-to Consumer Lab Testing

Others may choose to get a "cognoscopy" at your age; however, the best evidence seems to be that the changes seen in the brain in the 15-20 years before a diagnosis of Alzheimer's are highly unlikely to be observable before age 50-55 at the earliest. instead, check out the strategies recommended by Dr. Stavia in the Primer. Our genes are not our destiny--merely one small piece of coding in a complex system built to be resilient in the face of adversity.

Hugs from a healthy and now happy ApoE 4/4.
4/4 and still an optimist!
slinkystrudels
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by slinkystrudels »

Thanks so much for the replies. It’s all so much info to take in ! It’s been the jolt I needed to turn around my diet & lifestyle so I am grateful for that and will try to look at this as a positive way of being healthier and in control.
I am taking Vit B complex , vit D , Omega 3 pure oils and probiotics. Is this ok to start ? What else should I take ?

Also - I’ve read that I should stay away from copper, iron & zinc supplements. Is this correct ?
And aluminium...where would that be present ? Canned goods ? Are deodorants safe etc as I notice it says they contain aluminium also. So confused 🤷‍♀️

Thankyou 😊
41years old from bonnie Scotland. 4/4 ....
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by Tincup »

slinkystrudels wrote:
I am taking Vit B complex , vit D , Omega 3 pure oils and probiotics. Is this ok to start ? What else should I take ?
I'd not worry so much about what to take, more about lifestyle, activity, eating well and with times of not eating (see Satchin Panda's work at the Salk Institute, videos, book, he's been discussed here.). Not eating late at night, with at least a 3 hour window before sleep.
Also - I’ve read that I should stay away from copper, iron & zinc supplements. Is this correct ?
I would not do any of this without testing. If you are female and premenopausal, sometimes iron can be an issue. The rest of us generally accumulate iron so need to stay away. Having said that, I'm male and 65 and as a vegan (not now, years ago), who was donating blood frequently, I ran my iron levels a bit low. If someone needs iron, I suggest iron bis-glycinate chelate ([url=https://www.albionferrochel.com/in ... ]Ferrochel[/url] - made by Albion and sold in a lot of products by NOW and other sellers)

Bredesen would like a copper/zinc ratio around 1. Personally, I have to supplement Zn and still have a hard time meeting this ratio.
And aluminium...where would that be present ? Canned goods ? Are deodorants safe etc as I notice it says they contain aluminium also.
Laurie wrote:
Laurie Adamson has a FB group on the aluminum topic. Her husband, Dennis Crouse, is a Harvard PhD chemist and they've helped his mother with her dementia by getting aluminum out of her life. Dennis has written a couple of books on the topic. Laurie also has a huge thread on the topic here. They talk about aluminum in foods and appliances (coffee makers). They suggest a) getting aluminum out of your life and b) consuming water with silica in it (like Fiji water & Dennis has a recipe to make it yourself).

I actually use bulk magnesium hydroxide powder (active ingredient in milk of magnesia) as my deodorant. I decant it into old glass spice shaker jars to use. I look at it as getting more magnesium into my body, a good thing.

Another pitch on breathing. Breathing should be light, slow, diaphragmatic and through the nose (even in exercise and during sleep). The ratio of inhale to exhale should be 1:1 or exhales longer, even 2.

I realize my answer has a lot in it. I'd pick one thing, say not eating 3 hours before bed. Work on incorporating that into your life. Once that is comfortable, pick something else. Don't have to do everything at once!
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

Post by laurie »

slinkystrudels wrote: And aluminium...where would that be present ? Canned goods ? Are deodorants safe etc as I notice it says they contain aluminium also. So confused 🤷‍♀️

Thankyou 😊
Here is a link to a list of sources of aluminum. Tin Cup mentioned me in their response to you. Dennis N Crouse is my husband. https://prevent-alzheimers-autism-strok ... lives.html
"True prevention is only possible by first discovering the cause of a disease such as Alzheimer's."
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Re: 4/4, Anxiety & SSRIs

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laurie wrote:Here is a link to a list of sources of aluminum. Tin Cup mentioned me in their response to you. Dennis N Crouse is my husband. https://prevent-alzheimers-autism-strok ... lives.html
Thanks Laurie!!
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