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Carnitine = more fatigue

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Star-Anise, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Very interesting. I would like to add that though I take my LCF and other things before eating, I do drink my morning coffee with cream and sugar, slowly, over the next several hours. I might never have noticed this, not that I have any known problem with insulin of blood sugar. I never really ever though about it as an issue.
     
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  2. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    Taking the ALCAR straight after a meal with slow acting carbs in it, prevents demand on your adrenal glands, but still hits your system before you have produced more Insulin. I found with close monitoring that this worked best for me personally.

    It's only an potential issue when (re)introducing a therapy for ATP production, though after a couple of weeks things should stabilise. Thereafter this should not be necessary

    I discovered this by virtue of also having diabetes. By the time I started using Alcar and Ribose I had already researched Insulin action and hypoglycaemia pretty thoroughly.

    ME/CFIDS is a bit of a nightmare with blood sugars (more so for type I diabetics), it interferes with all three primary mechanisms for regulating blood sugar. I have noticed a number of issues ranging from nuisance to downright dangerous. I found they always occur following either marked changes in fatigue level or with commencement of successful treatments.

    One of the issues in ME that badly needs to be researched is when each of these disruptions commences and ends vis-a-vis fatigue levels.

    One of the paradoxes of this one, is that this reaction can make one feel worse BECAUSE therapy is working (at least until things stabilise) since hypoglycaemia causes brain fog like symptoms when it occurs, fatigue after it wears off, and possible adrenal fatigue in the vulnerable.

    A lot of ME/Diabetes symptoms are very similar hence distinguishing this from ME-brain fog takes some doing. The difference in sensation is very subtle and hard to spot.

    These 'low blood sugars' are transient in somebody who does not take Insulin by injection hence difficult to spot without a circulating Insulin test during severe fatigue. Even then I am doubtful if could be reliably detected. This issue is touched on in the book 'living with ME' though the science behind it is not covered. To my knowledge this is known about empirically but has not been subject to enough research.

    The nature of this problem (blood sugar and Insulin levels alike) makes it very challenging to study. I am currently trying to work out a way to study this issue in depth - whether it's possible is anybody's guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
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  3. Star-Anise

    Star-Anise Senior Member

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    Hi all, thanks for everyone's input. It does seem like this seems to be a bit of a theme for some people.
    After some experimentation since I originally posted it's seems like @Leopardtail is right on the money with his advice. My dad is a severe diabetic, and hypoglycaemia was some of the very first symptoms that I started to have with my initial decline & onset of chronic fatigue symptoms. My adrenal weakness was also there since childhood in some form, I'm sure.
    What seems to be working is ensuring that I have sufficient carbs with/and around the ALCAR supplementation. The immediate increased fatigue & "brain-fog" has decreased almost entirely. However, the reactive hypoglycaemia is still present with increased activity - any increased heart rate for more than a few minutes seems to set it off rapidly, and then I'm finding it extremely difficult to stabilize the sugars following increased activity.

    I have been following a strict food combining diet for the past 4 months, which has greatly reduced my general fatigue.

    What is totally throwing me for a tailspin, is that it *seems* that I don't need to do this anymore.

    I'm totally blown away my what seems to be some massive healing that has occurred in my ability to digest & metabolize food since I have started the adenosyl-B12 and ALCAR.
    I used to get *severe* post-meal fatigue and the only thing that alleviated this was strict no carb with meat rule. I had to follow a strict elimination diet, as I would either get ++agitation or ++fatigue following certain foods, such as nuts. I have now successfully reintroduced all nuts other than almonds to my diet. And this has all happened since I started adenosyl-B12 and ALCAR. We are talking about less than 1 month ago! I have re-introduced other things too like different fruits with no reaction.

    @Freddd do you have any insight to lend regarding this almost "too good to be true" scenario with the introduction of adenosyl-B12 & ALCAR? Even in tiny doses, um, it seems to be a major game-changer?!

    My plan going forward is to slowly return to a more normal diet... I'm going to start by keeping paleo rules for the most part, but I'm going to experiment with the reintroduction of rice especially for on a day when I am going to have increased exertion. I've been blessed in that since I successfully got rid of my parasite early last year and the introduction of methylation supports that I have been able to exercise a bit! At first it caused major crashes, but then as I worked with it, I was able to do it without too much PEM. However, since the introduction of the ALCAR and adenosyl-B12 my reactive hypoglycaemia has ramped up to dangerous levels causing me to quickly make dietary adjustments to support more slow release of sugar into my blood stream especially with increased exertion.

    I'm so very, very thankful for all of your support. This is a wonderful place to come to when one is feeling like they are losing their marbles, lol :) I always find someone that can validate and make suggestions :) xoxo S
     
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  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Great that you are seeing such improvement. I found that taking acetyl-l-carnitine along with alpha lipoic acid built my muscles back up. My excess fat was already melting away with my leaky-gut diet.

    Re the scare story about TMAO, there have been some threads/posts about this, and it seems that if you avoid certain foods you shouldn't get high levels of that - e.g. this page.
     
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  5. Star-Anise

    Star-Anise Senior Member

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    @MeSci Lol, it's so funny. NONE of my clothes fit anymore! I'm bigger where I used to be smaller, and I'm smaller where I used to be bigger. It's like my whole midsection of my body from my knees to my neck has redesigned itself in the past month! Ah well, good excuse to shop? :p
     
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  6. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    For the benefit of the thread. Sugar is not usually a good idea, but if you are about to exercise immediately it is advisable since you will burn it off before you body can produce insulin and spare your adrenal glands some work.
    You will also raise your metabolic rate for some time after (if your thyroid is working well) this could increase the need for carbs up to three days afterwards. You can lower demand on your adrenals with regular nibbles of healthy carbs.
     
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  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I agree with avoiding sugar as much as poss, but the bit about insulin is not quite right. It is insulin that enables cells to take up glucose, so you can't burn off sugar until this has happened. As we have difficulty using glucose by the usual oxidative method, ingesting simple carbs before exertion will have very low efficacy, and the sugars are probably more likely to be turned into fat than with healthy people.
     
  8. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    MeSci,

    That is only partially correct. You are arguing with a type I diabetic who injects Insulin.
    I do however fully understand why you would think this, much literature of this over-simplifies and makes itself misleading.

    Lets get a bit more technical for the sake of clarity

    Cells have four varieties of Glucose transporters, only one GLUT4 has high demand for Insulin (at least relating to Glucose Metabolism) and is about storing glucose for later. The most extreme example (the brain) has absolutely no Insulin receptors, and no transporter capable of carrying Insulin molecules across the blood brain barrier. The brain however used disproportionate amounts of Glucose and is poor at using fat or protein for energy (exception some amino acids).

    Cells do need small amounts of 'background insulin' but the body produces that continuously whether you eat or not.

    The point that is you take sugar too long before exercise you risk creating a 'reactive hypoglycaemia' caused by a peak Insulin production due to the body's assumption that more carbs are coming. Thus to avoid that problem it needs to be immediately before. For that reason you need to take is just before exercise (as many diabetics needs to also) in order to provide a Glucose peak for the 'immediate peak'.

    One key point worth adding, the amount matters. For each 15mins of exercise, about 15-30g of sugar/glucose will likely be enough. I find it better to take a little before and little after. Also worth considering if you feel light headed during or straight after exercise.

    I agree that our bodies under some circumstances metabolism carbs less well, however we are talking about two specific circumstances here. Being well enough to even try a peak of vigorous exercise like football. Secondly in this scenario every person's body (including ours) releases and burns glucose internally (from glycogen), it's the preferred energy source for 'peak demand'. Metabolism works such that if their is too little glucose muscles destroy their own protein causing wasting.

    The two of the most common causes of a tendency to 'put on fat' are: low Carnitine that impairs using fat for energy, low testosterone causes fat to respond better than muscle in storing carbs.
    It is in part for this reason that Carnitine is so helpful for us.

    @MeSci Thanks for the feedback , I dummed it down a bit too much.
    I hope its now clear

    L. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
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  9. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    @MeSci
    Second and separate point on this one. I do agree completely that (for some) a higher protein / carb ratio is advisable under conditions of normal energy demand and also during periods of high fatigue.
    My personal experience has also been that little and often works better in high fatigue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
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  10. S.A.

    S.A.

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    Great points about insulin, @Leopardtail ! We're finally getting ready to start l-carnitine fumurate with my First Born. He's 15, tall, extremely skinny/muscle atrophic. He's been doing a lot better on the active b12s but still worried about the muscle wasting and he has periods during the day when he's exremely weak and emotional. I've felt that blood sugar was involved. I was a little worried when I ordered the l-carnitine because it said "fat burning" on the bottle. That stressed me a bit since he has absolutely no fat to burn. However, I trust @Freddd and finally ordered it after delays first with First Born having a reaction to another medication over the holidays and then our debit card getting tied up in the Target debacle. At long last carnitine is on its way.
     
  11. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    @S.A.
    Confirming your suspicions

    You can get a blood meter kit here (England) over the counter for about $30 complete with 50 test strips, cheaper with less strips.

    Alternatively:
    If low blood sugar is causing weakness (not ME) then you will likely see of progression of symptoms (the mood ones are easier to spot for a Mum).
    Symptoms (in order):
    Overly playful, risk unaware, sweaty, agitated, over excitable but unaggressive, possibly impatient (cause Epinephrine aka adrenalin)
    Euphoric without good cause, possibly slightly 'high' behaviour (cause Norepinphrine)
    Hunger sweating, (cause AcetylCholine)
    Snappy, aggressively demanding food, irrationally over excited, hard to handle, refusing help when needed (cause Cortisol)
    Poor balance, rocking from one foot to another, inability to stand, talking gibberish (cause severe lack of blood sugar)

    Most people (if otherwise healthy) will progress through these symptoms from top to bottom, they increase as blood sugar goes down.
    A couple of words of warning, the irrational Euphoria is something to watch as a first sign, but do not pick up on it too fast, look for the others stuff first. If its normal teenage 'feeling silly' it can create havoc in relationships if parents pick up on it wrongly (it pulls mood down).
     
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  12. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Where is this info from? Are there not other potential causes of the various symptoms?
     
  13. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Hi S.A.,

    LCF allows a lot of processes to continue. It was fundamental for me to be able to put on 50 pounds of muscle. I had to eat a bit more. With my weight stabilized, at most are adjustments as things reorganize, I'm back down to the same 1500 calories I've always been on but not putting on water and if I'm careful, not putting on fat. I can say that there is all that much difference. Maybe I burn 100 calories a day more. That is all too easy to eat that much more and then some. Its a vey subtle difference. It does transport fats to the mitochondria and that is the normal way things work. It isn't that suddenly it goes into high gear just burning fat for no reason. It just feels like more energy at the beginning while the body is adjusting. I found a whole capsule too much to start with. If a person starts with perhaps 1/8 to 1/4 of a capsule and if that is comfortable increase. Of those who have this CFS/FMS about 90% have to have the fumarate to be effective and the other 10% have to have the ALCAR to be effective. Some people are not short on it and have no effect at all. Some need more biotin to get it going and for some it is D-ribose that is needed. I know that is a lot of variations, but that is one branch of these things. Since it can start additional layers of healing be careful and note any changes for folate and/or potassium. Rebalancing is often needed after this is started.
     
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  14. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I had quite a dramatic effect from ALCAR plus alpha lipoic acid at first, and got really excited. My legs suddenly became strong, leading me to think that I might soon be able to do things that I used to do again, like cycling. But it didn't last. I then had mild head and neck pain for a few days, then was back to my usual ME state but with increasing muscle strength.
     
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  15. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    The info comes from the Oxford Textbook of Diabetes and Endocrinology and The Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. Essentially they are the British and American 'medical bibles' for specialists in the field.

    As with all symptoms they can of course individually have multiple causes - ME can also interfere with that sequence.

    SA was concerned her son may be getting hypoclycaemia hence the posting.

    x
     
  16. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    Making sure I understand your experience/sequence here:
    • Rapid peak
    • Move backwards (or mild crash)
    • Slow continuous increase in muscle power?
    Picking up on Fred's excellent point, did you take Biotin? That combo is relevant to a diet with a low proportion of carbs.

    I did not take a separate Biotin supplement personally, but my diet is low fat.

    Look forward to hearing more,

    B.
     
  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    • I felt dramatically stronger, also with greater mental energy, clarity and positive mood, for a few hours.
    • Then mild head and neck pain for a few days. I wouldn't call it a crash.
    • Then yes, slow increase in muscle power. No prolonged increase in energy, but the structural strengthening means that I can now use a wider range of muscles, which makes things easier.
    Biotin is included in my multivitamin and mineral supplement, and I think there is probably a good amount in my diet according to this page. I don't know if my diet is what some people would call low-carb as I am a vegan, so consume plenty of veg, some fruit and some legumes, plus nuts and seeds.

    May I ask why you are on a low-fat diet? There is increasing evidence that fat reduction is not good, except maybe for specific conditions.
     
  18. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    It's low fat, not no fat. E.g. butter not margarine, whole milk, however I don't fry a lot of food. I had escalating cholesterol and refuse to take Statins hence some dietary change was needed. I am not vegetarian hence 'low fat' is relative here.

    I also had some issues with sub-optimal testosterone and insulin resistance both of which creates some issues.

    I tend to associate fatigue with energy and strength (for me they go hand in hand symptom wise). Most of use use 'fatigue' as a symptomatic catch all though. When you say 'fatigue' do you:
    • mean low stamina?
    • degree of exhaustion?
    • tiredness?
    • sleepiness?
    • mental sluggishness?
    Was it only the raw power of your muscles that improved or did their stamina?

    Personally with the doses and combo I took I noticed several improvements: mental clarity, better lateral thinking, improved muscle strength and stamina

    look forward to hearing more

    B.
     
  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Did I mention fatigue?

    My muscles have developed and so become structurally stronger, presumably on the muscle-fibre level. However, I still have the classic problem of being unable to sustain activity for long without getting physically exhausted (i.e. muscle pain and inability to continue) and later suffering PEM. This is probably due to the underlying mitochondrial abnormalities.

    Better lateral thinking - yes, I think I can relate to that. Maybe not entirely down to carnitine but a general result of fixing the gut? I can hold more thoughts in my mind at a time now and work with them, perhaps. Not sure about that though. Still get brain fog after a while. Could be mitos again.

    BTW low-carb diets are now being shown to be better at modifying cholesterol than low-fat ones, such as in this meta-analysis.

    Off-topic - sorry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  20. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    Hi MeSci,

    all interesting stuff (re off topic).

    Sorry no you were quite specific about energy! I was very fogged earlier, having a bad day.

    I suspect that we suffer multiple issues affecting brain function - and that what ails each of us most will do most good when fixed. Carnitine has a wide range of effects, thanks for the research link from De Meier. I can't comment with your level of authority on the gut related items since I had inflammation with very little in the way of dysbiosis - I suspect because my stomach acid remained normal.

    The Acetyl form of carnitine acts as an analogue of AcetylCholine (research papers on PubMed for that). That neurotransmitter is considered by some (no idea of the strength of science) to improve alert lateral thinking and creative approaches. I do know that when my diabetes has caused hypoglycaemia of the correct severity to elevate AC that my thoughts did become very lateral and creative if I retained reasonable mental function.

    My major cause of brain fog was blood volume. At one point ME/CFS crashed my Insulin response, and I also retained no water I drank irrespective of blood sugars. That meant I had to have two litres saline to fix the issue. My brain function and stamina immediately returned to normal, as did my ability to filter noise. I got full fours hours of 'brain strain' research done in a continuous burst. The improvement was stunning and continued until I passed water.

    B.
     

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