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Very low carb diet made my m.e worse, anyone know why?

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by anniekim, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Thanks heapsreal. I was wondering whether when kurt said he became carb intolerant whether he had symptoms other than weight gain due to insulin resistance

    As I said on this thread a low carb diet enough to take me into ketosis made me feel very ill and I seem to so best on a lowish carb diet but not so low to make the body go into ketosis

    Heapsreal, when you say Atkins had a programme to see how many carbs a person could tolerate. Did he measure this by how Many carbs induced ketosis? Did he like people to stay in ketosis permanently?
     
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    There are relatively cheap strips you can buy at the drugstore to check the amount of ketones in your urine. Ketosis strips I think? If it gets too dark, it lets diabetics know they're in trouble, but it can also show if you're burning fats when on a low carb diet.
     
  3. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I looked this up on an Atkins site, and his program is to go 2 weeks basically no carbs at all, to get into ketosis. Then add carbs in 10-carb increments (I don't remember how often), checking ketosis. When ketosis stops, you're over your limit and you work back down. I know you're supposed to stay in ketosis until you've lost all the weight. After that I think you slowly build up your carbs until you start gaining.

    The strips are available here in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Ketone-Urine-Test-Strips/dp/B002HY85AE. In the US they're easily available with the diabetic supplies; I don't know about in the UK.
     
  4. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    What I mean by carb intolerance is severe symptoms that start 20 minutes or so after eating any simple carbs or starches. This can include extreme fatigue, headaches, weird sensations in the head, feeling sick in many ways. Some have theorized this is caused by leaky gut in the upper intestine, others say it may be parasite or fungal/yeast activity (they digest the simple carbs and put out toxins). I don't know the cause, but it was horrible. However, complex carbs can be well tolerated, as long as they do not have gluten. So brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, sometimes oats are tolerated in moderation. This might be related to insulin, I did have some hypoglycemia type symptoms as well, and tested my blood sugar for a few years and did sometimes have spikes after eating, so insulin response was slow.
     
  5. sandralee

    sandralee

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    Hi Anniekim,

    I had exactly the same reaction as you to a very low carb diet.

    I was doing it to hopefully improve symptoms, not to lose wait, but the state of ketosis made me feel the worst I've ever been. My dizziness was so bad I could hardly stand up.

    I eventually worked out through trial and error the best dietry balance for me, and I can even have the occasional piece of chocolate :).

    Sandra
     
  6. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Many patients complain that sugars make them feel immediately bad or hyper followed by a crash or supposed "yeast overgrowth" symptoms or whatever. I don't remember experiencing a "sugar rush" or an obvious immediate "crash" in my entire life, although as I get older I have noticed or suspected that too much sugar does now make me feel a seedy hours afterwards or maybe the next day.

    At one stage carbohydrates literally saved my life. When I reacted badly to treatments my digestive ability appeared to become compromised and I lost a lot of weight. Fat seemed to cause the most issues. Despite erroneous accusations of an "eating disorder", I eventually discovered that the only way I could get enough calories was reduce fat further but increase carbohydrate intake to the point where I was basically only eating bread with jam and drinking water with fruit juice. Too much protein sort of made me feel weird as well. Later on I very slowly reintroduced other foods.

    I don't know if this is related, but I recently tried coconut oil for increasing energy to the brain via ketones as an alternative to glucose. I don't like making judgements on a single experiences that could be coincidence but shortly afterwards I felt more ill and then I developed a headache. "Herxing" and "detoxing" are oft-cited explanations for whenever something makes a patient feel bad but I think these are overused and possibly dangerous if "soldiering on" with something that may actually be bad for you for whatever reason.
     
  7. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    I also think that sugars have gotten too much of a bad reputation and been blamed for almost anything, but it is still true that we need to get the majority of our caloric intake from carbs (maybe not 2/3 as used to believed but at least 40%-50% I would guess). It might be good for some to avoid grains and starches, but you can still get good carb intake from fruits and most fruits - on an empty stomach - should be very easy to digest and should not cause a rush or crash at all. I have reduced my carb intake quite a bit (esp. sweets, refined carbs and grains) but I find it odd to believe that one can digest protein or fat better than carbs, I'd say for most people the opposite is true.
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    The trouble with carbs in ME/CFS is that the Kreb's cycle is a bit messed up and can't handle them very well. Without getting into digestive problems, there's still metabolic problems that can make protein easier to use. And the carbs that we eat but can't turn into fuel get stored as fat. Hence the need to diet in manner other than the typical low-cal low-fat manner. But without crashing from lack of carbs :p

    The trick is probably frequent small snacks throughout the day, instead of normal meals, mixing protein and fat with sufficient (but not too many) carbs. I plan to give this a more thorough test run after I finish testing for food intolerances. Hopefully grazing instead of eating meals doesn't interfere with gut motility.
     
  9. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    I agree, I feel best digestive-wise if I 'graze', i.e. eat 7-8 times per day small snacks. I also think carbs the best way to produce quick ATP (of course this might still be an issue if Krebs cycle is messed up).
     
  10. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I think there can be a few metabolic things going in cfs, with me i think theres adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and insulin resistance and i think they are all interconnected and make each other worse. Low carb diet can help with the insulin resistance and help lose weight, insulin resistance can worsen estrogen dominance, estrogen dominance happens as we have adrenal fatigue and all our hormones are out of whack. Balancing our hormones can improve estroger dominance and estrogen dominance improves so does insuline resistance and possibly handle more carbs.

    With adrenal fatigue we have to try and treat the cause first which in cfs can be many different infections, once that is sorted/under control, then hormone treatments like pregnenolone, dhea etc can help, sometimes this is enough to reverse insulin resistance and estrogen dominance, if not then cutting back on carbs more to lower insulin and or add metformin to improve insulin resistance.

    As for ketosis, once your body gets use to using them as a fuel source, apetitte suppression occurrs as theres a constant supply of energy for our brain and body, ketones. But it does take some getting use to and many dont need to cut carbs that much to improve insulin levels but those who find it really hard to lose weight may need to stay in ketosis longer and reduce carbs to almost nothing.

    Low glycaemic carbs is also an option for some, ie eating really thick grainy heavy type breads etc no white flower etc many can lower insulin levels with this type of diet as it slows dowm the digestion of carbs. It all comes down to what we can tolerate and happy eating. But the main point is trying to lower insulin levels by not stimulating it with large amounts of unrefined carbs.

    cheers!!!
     
  11. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

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    I dont have CFS but I do have 18 broken genes many in the methyl cycle and many to do with BH4 (which I for some reason think has to do with diabetes) - and diabetes runs in my family. I cannot tolerate a low carbohydrate diet, nor can my father. I went on one by accident since I am allergic to wheat and wheat is in everything. (I am not celiac but I have the Ig or whatever shows I am allergic to wheat). Low carbs causes extreme low blood sugar issues for me so I quit the low carb diet and went back to eating wheat. (I decided then that pandering to my allergies was not going to work so I decided the problem was "leaky gut" -- pores in digestive tract too big and allowing absorption of undigested wheat -- which is nasty and causes neural efects...I solved this with zinc -- it was a hunch based on the breaking news at the time that zinc cured colds by "closing the pores in the nose so rhinitis germs could not get in" -- well the intestines are skin too - anyway it worked).

    So what I want to say about low carb -- there have been stides doen in the 1930s to the effect that eating a high protein or a high fat diet will case diabetes in a healthy person in 2 weeks and that eating a high carb diet will make it go away within 2 weeks. This is reported in that book "Reversing Diabetes" by Dr. Whittaker. Now the studies were done in the 1930s when the carbohydrates were better -- there were no junk machines and not so much junk food available and in fact most ffamilies ate all home cooked food (my Mom even made bread from scratch)). So if you want to translate these studies into the world today you would have to say something about the quality of the strach -- basically that it have a low glycemic index -- like oatmeal that takes 30 min to cook instead of instant, etc.

    I am aware that many people seem to be able to be on a (reasonable - careful to get some minimal amount of carbs) Atkins diet and not suffer blood sugar issues, (however they ALL become very sensitive to carbs as a result -- which is the diabetes IMHO)...I think if you actually eat the low basic carb allotment of atkins and have trouble (even if you don't splurge off it it with extra carbs) it may mean you have the genes for diabetes (as I do). I think the road to getting out of blood sugar problems is through complex carbohydraytes, not avoidance.

    However I also want to say that there is a link betwene waning testosterone and diabetes in men (and I think they will find there is one between waning estrogen and diabetes in women). I am certain that my taking DHEA starting at menopause has prevented me being diabetic. I sarted having "undeserved low blood sugar" and low blood sugar that was harder and harder to banish (I'd eat and half hour later it would come back - real easy to gain weight that way, fyi). The DHEA stopped that. Chemicals (like flea products n my pets send me back into that mode, and it takes either EXTRA DHEA (which I am not willing to do) or a STRONG dried adrenal product like from Nutricology to banish that.
    You know I forgot the question -forgive me if I have been rambling. Hope I said something useful. If not, sorry about that too. I am listening to a class and trying to type this at the same time and the brain is only partly engaged.
     
  12. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

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    I think if you would measure your blood sugar at this time you would find it had skyrocketted. Eating low carbs causes diabetes. Wild changes in blood sugar make you feel like crap. I cannot stit still nor stop shaking when mine dops real fast even though it usually does not drop too low.

    I think a swift rise - well let's think about it - it wil change the concentration of everything in your blood - it will make your blood more sticky - like molasses - oh yes, the word is that it will increase the osmotic pressure in your blood vessels. (I am really not up to taking the science any further than that, but perhaps Rich would be able to say the effects of a sudden higher osmotc pressure in the blood). I can only reason that - well it causes dehydration - membranes work via osmotic pressure...probably things are stolen out of your cells - water anyway - to try to dilute it, so then your cells osmotic pressure changes and won't work properly (they wont be able to get the nutrients they need into the cell), etc.
     
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    the problem with studies is that you can find a study to suit what your after. I read where in ancient egypt where they ate a high carb, low fat grain diet that diabetes was rampant as well as osteoporosis and many other disease similar to today that they found was from high carb diets. i think people need to follow a diet that controls excessive insulin secretions, some people can handle low glycaemic type carb diets and others like me cant and need to follow low carb atkins style diet. myself when i follow a low gi carb diet my cholesterol go's up, my blood sugar go's up and down all over the place and i generally feel like crap and need to eat all the time and then put on alot of weight. when i follow a low carb diet with my bacon and eggs for breakfast and im not thinking of food all day and energy is stable and cholesterol comes down. I basically eat 3 meat meals a day and thats it, may snack on some almonds. I dont think there is one diet that fits all, i think alot depends on our insulin sensitivity, the better it is the more carbs u can handle. Also low cortisol can make it hard to have stable blood sugar levels.

    cheers!!!
     
  14. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

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    Heapster there is truth in what you say. But I do want to point out that a controlled double blind study taking healthy people and making them diabetic under controlled conditions and then reversing it is different from looking back in history and trying to piece together what happened in ancient civilizations. Still, as you say, studies are often wrong - even controled studies can be confounded by small details that no one thought had anything to do with anything.
     
  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I just dont agree with the low carb diets cause diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has increased as sugar consumptions as increased, more grains in diet then ever before, more fruit as its available all the time, not seasonal like nature intended. I think paleo type low carb diets that are mostly meat with low sugar fruits like berries and fibrous veges are alot better for us the grains, pastas etc. If someone follows a low fat diet then they naturally increase their carb intake and protein intake drops, protein and fats helps slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels plus ketones are a great energy source for the brain. Ketosis in low carb diet is a different animal to ketosis in diabetics as the ketone level is usually much higher as well as extremley high blood sugar levels and no insulin to allow cells to accept energy.

    3 things im working on at the moment that cross over and interact with each other are adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and insulin resistance. The only way besides with the help of drugs to improve insulin resistance is to lower carb intake. There is a doctor who is up on all this hormonal/neurotransmitter stuff who recommends low carb paleo diets and says that insulin resistance also causes leptin resistance which can then further increase obesity which then go's in a big circle of estrogen dominance and adrenal fatigue etc all of them making each other worse. If u have the time read this guys info on his site, he is a neurosurgeon who has sorted all his own problems out and now does the same for others, http://jackkruse.com/category/sleep/ He has a thing he recommends called BAB which is a big arse breakfast, meat eggs etc within the first 30-60min of waking up which go's along way to increasing leptin sensitivity. Its an interesting site. At the end of the day we are all different and have to dial in our on diet etc that best works for us. Im enjoying the discussion.

    cheers!!!
     
  16. rydra_wong

    rydra_wong Guest

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    Heaps,
    s'ok but I don't agree. Or maybe I do but worded differenntly. Carbs <> sugar. Yes, sugar is a carb. But I went to some lengths to say that the carbs must not be sugar but slow digesting carbs. I don't think going into ketosis is healthful. I think Atkins type diets helps people because they are eating junk w/o Atkins and at least Atkins forces them to ditch most of the junk. But if they just ditched the junk they would be better off. This is what I think but it is also what works for me. Admittedly I am an odd genetic mix of course.

    I greatly agree on the value of a big breakfast. I have run my life by the study reported by Adele Davis that if you get 20g of protein at breakfast it will stabilize your blood sugar all day (because protein slows down your digestion). Since then research out of Australia has shown that adding acid to your meal also slows it down (and is healthier than relying on too much protein - which is tied to cancer and osteoporosis -- to do it). By acid they mean apple cider vinegar or like the acid in sourdough bread. These are organic acids that alkalize so are healthful. This was reported in "The Glucose Revolution" : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1B54XD0J5G1E0XSSE1FT

    Watch out the protein heaps - yes, you probably need more zinc as a male and protein is a good source of zinc, but too much protein can strip magnesium from your body. After protein is broken down it leaves ammonia which the body has to get rid of through the ornithine cycle. BH4 and Mg are required by the ornithine cycle to do this. If you do not make enough BH4 (genetic problems related to folate pathway can cause) or if you eat more protein than ANYONE can make enough BH4 to handle, then ammonia builds up in your system. Ammonia will depolarize the magnesium on your NMDA receptors which will fall off and admit calcium into the neurons which hurts and causes damage. I do not know how much protein causes this for a normal person but it CAN BE CAUSED in a normal person. I am BH4 deficient so it would happen to me much more quickly of course.

    I think it is very hard to go against your hormones -- I can't do it. If you can manage to get your hormones working for you things become easy. So if you can't take DHEA, maybe try 7-keto-DHEA (which can't turn into anything else). And play with the amount of zinc in your diet tio maybe turn up your thryoid. Being estrogen dominant as a male can be from fat which makes estrogen or from insufficient choline (causing fatty liver) or possibly from being deficient in zinc since that is an aromatase inhibitor. I am sure there are other reasons, these are just the top ones. I am not saying it is easy to get rid of fat if your hormones are not working for you. I think it would take a better man than me to be able to do it in fact.
     
  17. Radio

    Radio *****

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