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Food sensitivity and an odd reaction to omega-3s

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by JaimeS, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Could be coincidence, but even when I was mostly well, taking fish oil as a supplement bothered me. I would hear good things, research it, and decide to take some. By the second or third day, I was always vaguely nauseated with a run-down feeling that is a faint echo of what a full-blown crash feels like. Again, this was when I was (mostly) well.

    So one of my docs recommended it, and I went back on it again. (This is probably the fourth time I've tried it as a supplement in my lifetime!) Part of the issue is that I perk up considerably when I eat actual fish. Sushi makes me energetic and cheerful for hours.

    I started taking a fish oil supplement (about 1-g), high quality (Nordic Naturals). At first I felt a tell-tale vascular tightening in my head. This has happened with other supplements and signifies when the supplement is going to do 'something' related to vascularity or has strong anti-inflammatory properties, or so it seems.

    Later that same day, I felt super-cheerful and energized.

    By the end of the day I was crashy - exhausted, weak, tingling, and sick at my stomach - some digestive symptoms in the AM the next day. I take lipase already; I thought this would help me digest the pure fat. Maybe not! I could try mixing it in some food, but I did try taking it with food - I took it between bites of breakfast.

    Anyone else have crashy symptoms with omega-3s, or is it just my stupid supersensitivity rearing its ugly head? Could it be that I need to take it more consistently? (Like, one in the AM, one in the PM?)

    On a final note, I had a food intolerance test done and my milk values were pretty high, except for goat's milk, which was at 2 (/6). I figured I could eat it once in awhile. I had a small amount of goat cheese sprinkled on top of my salad. I spent the rest of the night coughing up phlegm! I am, according to that selfsame test, more highly allergic to egg whites, but I wolf them down with nary a problem, and they're one of those foods that seems to reliably give me energy without causing any issues. I do eat organic and/or free range, always, so maybe the sensitivity was to something in regular eggs but not in organic eggs? Kind of grasping at straws here, because I don't understand.

    How accurate are these tests? I've heard that some doctors don't trust them, but I figured it was yet more of that whole distrust that allopaths have for anything they weren't trained to do, rather than based on any kind of factual information. Any kind of citation by a reputable source or two would be met with virtual (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free) cookies.

    Thanks!

    -J
     
  2. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    If you are referring to the food sensitivity tests KDM prescribes, he has said that he chose that company after sending the same sample 3 times to different labs, and that lab and one other, more expensive one were the only ones that gave the same results for the 3 samples. Of course, you have to take KDM's word for it...
     
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  3. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Fish oil reduces hormones like cortisol, aldosterone and angiotensin.
     
  4. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  5. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    @JaimeS

    It's possible I'm dealing with the same thing.

    At the beginning of July I was able to purchase some supplements including Nordic Naturals Omega 3's.
    I've been experiencing increased cognitive clarity but also increased physical fatigue and weakness.

    Although I don't experience any nausea, historically I don't get any GI symptoms, in the morning when I wake I feel like I've been hit by a truck.

    I wondered about this symptom in particular as my inclination for the suspect supplement was the Magnesium I was taking as it fit with the fatigue and weakness better. I added some potassium to my supplements but the problems persisted.

    So, I'll experiment and delete the fish oil from my regime for the time being.
    BTW, I take one omega in the AM (which for me is around noon by the time I get around to it) and then one PM before bed.

    At any rate, I'm sorry to hear that O3's are not your friend. They are one of the things Nancy Klimas recommends as good for PWME. It's a real bummer when this sort of reaction occurs, if that is what is going on.

    When I feel up to it I'm going to research the hormones Adreno mentions to see how they might relate to how I feel.
     
  6. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Ohhhh. That would be bad news for me. My cortisol is low-normal. This may kick it down to plain old 'low'.

    Can you link me anywhere that says this? I'd appreciate it.

    -J
     
  7. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    @msf - I trust that if KDM says he did it, then he did!

    However, this is a great, real-world example of accuracy vs precision. Precision represents how close values are to each other (reproducibility), and accuracy represents how close values are to correct. They are not related to one another. So while I'm sure the lab that KDM picked was the most consistent for the money (precise), I'm unsure whether tests like this reflect the biological reality as much as they ought (accurate).

    I'm going to go on a research hunt, I think. I'll report back if I find anything interesting!

    -J
     
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  8. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    Assuming you're not allergic to shellfish, you could try krill oil. I find it more tolerable than fish oil.

    There is an old study that found high dose EFA helpful for ME patients. I'm not sure if this has been reproduced.
     
  9. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Thanks, @halcyon! That's a cool study, and the data is pretty overwhelmingly in favor. That is a super-high dose, too!

    -J
     
  10. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I don't have any studies handy. It's all over the internet if you Google it.
     
  11. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    I found it the other way around:

    This makes sense, because it's when I've been dosed with corticoids that I've had this type of reaction. I just did the thing where I stared at my arm and willed it to move for fifteen minutes.

    Then there's this:

    Fish oil supplementation augments post-exercise immune function

    This might not be such a great idea for us, since our post-exercise immune function is already screwy. This study found no association with cortisol though, but with other immune dysregulation markers.

    The effects of supplemental fish oil on blood pressure and morning cortisol'

    Also no association with cortisol found. Systolic BP was lowered in normotensive adults, however.

    Fish oil supplementation reduces cortisol basal levels and perceived stress


    "At the end of intervention, amplitude, and duration of stress-evoked cortisol response did not differ between groups; however, the peak of cortisol response was temporally anticipated in supplemented subjects." I'm not sure how they can say it reduces cortisol in this case! I think I don't understand what they're saying very well, and can't get access to full text. Still, it just appears as though the cortisol peaks a little earlier than in non-supplemented subjects - like you get over the stressor faster?

    -J



    -J
     
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  12. Snookum96

    Snookum96 Senior Member

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    This is a really interesting thread. I keep being urged to take this but I'm always nervous to put anything new into my body because it seems I'm sensitive to almost everything now.

    Did you need a prescription for that food intolerance test?
     
  13. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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  14. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Thanks @dannybex. I think we were writing our post at the same time; I looked at some of the same studies.

    -J
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  15. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    You don't need one, I don't think. I had one, but I believe you can order them online. Can't vouch for the quality, though. Has anyone else had an IgG test for which they did not receive a prescription?

    -J
     
  16. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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  17. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    I read that one too, @adreno - note how they say "there was a tendency" in that abstract rather than identifying the change as statistically significant.

    Sure enough, when I read the full text, I see:

    They they try to blame their method of statistical analysis for not producing anything significant. ;)

    -J
     
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  18. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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  19. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Wow, thanks @adreno !

    A lot of what they're citing at the start is what we've already mentioned here, although their evidence for antidepressant activity seems better at first glance. I did note I felt especially cheerful a few hours after the first dose.

    What I'm noting is that long-terms studies note decreases in cortisol, and so do short-term studies on acute stressors. The study I found that raised cortisol was in long-term, pre-existing adrenal insufficiency. I wonder if there's anything to the differences in study length and characteristics of original patients. [Edit: that would make it seem cortisol-normalizing...]

    I guess I just need to accept that it's not good for me and move on, but I wish I knew why. Does it raise cortisol? Lower it? Raise it in some situations and lower it in others? Or perhaps my reaction is totally unrelated to cortisol. :(

    Too much conflicting evidence; too many poor studies making claims that cannot be supported by their data.

    -J
     
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  20. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    If you're still not convinced, look into IL-6. It's a powerful driver of the HPA, and it is inhibited by fish oil.
     

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