The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Carbs can be good for "adrenal fatigue"

Discussion in 'Adrenal Dysfunction' started by drob31, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    I've done the low carb diet for maybe a decade (way before my crash), and I've never given myself a chance to eat very many carbs because I labeled them evil, a long time ago. I know the current trend is towards low carb, higher protein / fat diets, such as paleo, and I honestly think they are great, or can be. However, I also think these diets could potentially contribute to adrenal fatigue assuming carbs are too low. If your goal is to raise cortisol, this may actually benefit you, as higher carbohydrate diets will lower cortisol. However, low carb may place too much stress on your adrenal glands regardless or high or low cortisol.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320587900865

    One thing I think I've noticed about my perceived food sensitivities is that they may also be cortisol fluctuations and not only food sensitivities. I think leaky gut is a huge factor from antibiotics, candida, and bacteria, but the immediate fatigue from eating food must be from the cortisol spike that occurs. Your cortisol spikes about 3 times higher when you eat, but if a meal contains sufficient carbohydrates, it is subsequently lowered when your insulin rises.

    If your SHGB is high, your insulin will usually tend to be low. Eating more carbs and increasing calories will elevate insulin levels, and help drop SHBG. This will lead to higher levels of *free sex hormones, including free testosterone. Adrenal fatigue usually occurs because of a surplus and/or deficiency of adrenal hormones. And while the root cause for this is much more complex than the glands being fatigued, they are most definitely affected by diet and carbohydrates. Eating carbs also increases free t3 and raises serotonin.

    I'm not suggesting that you should eat allot of carbs or junk food. But it may be safe to increase the amount of carbohydrates from acceptable sources that one isn't sensitive to, such as jasmine rice or purple sweet potatoes.
     
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  2. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I agree. If you eat low carb your adrenal glands have to work hard at gluconeogenesis. I think most people with low cortisol would benefit from eating more carbs, about 3 meals a day with 50g of carbs each. Sources should probably be starch from white rice, potatoes or tubers. This is also food for your microbiome.
     
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  3. gregh286

    gregh286 Senior Member

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    Totally 100% agree also.
     
  4. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    interesting @drob31 as my experience is similar. I came from macrobiotic (very high on complex carbs) which ended up just making me more exhausted. Then tried raw-ish and paleo/keto but felt I had to add some carbs back in. Grains of any kind (even grainlike seeds) still have a bad effect on me personally, but I do eat starchy vegetables, and the occasional potato.
     
  5. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Agreed, @drob31.

    Just wondering, how long were you on each of these diets? Was this before or after you developed ME/CFS?
     
  6. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    macrobiotic I started about a year before getting sick (was on it about 3 years I think). Although I'm not 100% sure when my ME started (slow onset so who knows). Paleo/raw was a the beginning when I was housebound and hell-bent on trying to solve it through food (silly me). I learnt to just feel what my body needed and that is what I do know. I've been eating the way I eat now for about three years. I tweak it depending on what I feel I need atm.

    re:macrobiotic: this was the first diet I really tried and it gave me amazing results at first, but since then I have learned that it isn't only about what you eat, but also about what you don't eat. Before the macro I came off sugar first. That was pretty intense. During my macro period things started to go badly, which I didn't understand at the time. But now I'm pretty sure it was a sign that I was just slowly but steadily declining because of ME. Not sure about cause or effect, but my guess is that I started looking into diet because I was slowly starting to feel sick (first sign was bad digestion and frequent migraines).
     
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  7. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    Also, has been mentioned, carbs feed the microbiome, and speed up gut motility. So food wouldn't sit there and be allowed to pass through the holes in the gut, it would speed through and minimize the amount of "things" that could pass through.
     
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Carbs certainly speeded up gut motility for me before I reduced them - I had trouble getting to the loo in time quite frequently, and what emerged was not nice.

    But as a vegan I probably still get plenty of carbs - just not too much of the really-high-GI stuff, and no gluten. Much better. My gut is happier. I may have a little less energy, but not always, and I don't get the excessive nervous energy now. Several symptoms are much improved.

    I wonder - with the mention of sex hormones - whether there are sex differences in what diets are most suitable.
     

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