Metabolic Disease - Kidneys?

So in earlier posts, I echoed an unoriginal thought that CFS, at least MY version that I deal with, was metabolic in origin. I pointed to a pretty good article on Health Rising and some work by Dr. Davis (I'll try to link that below) -- and just the dart in the dark that most of all that ails us in the modern world are all metabolic issues.

To me when I hear 'METABOLIC DISORDER' -- I think, okay it's the FOOD. Okay - Okay -- stop right there, I know you're thinking I'm about to preach vegetarian at ya' and you'll have none of it - I get it, but I have a different point to make and I promise that's not it. Well maybe it kinda circles back around to it....but not my bad - you'll see - hang in there....

It's interesting that most of the people with CFS are women.
Most of the people with fibromyalgia are women.
Most of the people with later onset gastroparesis are women....

And these diseases like to hit around ages 35-45 with the change in hormones. Tick-Tock

This, of course, excludes CFS cases like the young 22 years of age who goes off to a foreign country to volunteer in a humanitarian crisis, gets mysteriously ill, and stays ill. I'm going out on a limb and say they contracted something abroad. Excludes the person with Lyme, etc. etc. you get it - I'm talking metabolic illness with no apparent etiology in middle age and older women.

That is to say, there seems to be a prevalent issue beginning in middle age women who have the same constellation of symptoms: GI issues, aches & pains, and fatigue. What is alarming is generally it sticks around and doesn't go away and often gets worse with time.

So this started with one thought.

Why do I feel good, I should be in the 9th level of Hell right now.

I had a bowl of white rice in front of me. A few veggies sat on top decoratively.

I had eaten a white tiny bagel for breakfast.

I think in the worlds of Vegetarianism, Veganism, Keto, Atkins, Paleo, Whole 30, WW, and ye old, "CLEAN EATING" -- is there anything WORSE than white rice and *shudder* white bread?

The fact that I had staunchly avoided both foods for years has not escaped my notice.

Yet last night for the first time in probably ten years I slept through the night.


As a kid we had a small rat terrier named Snoopy and Snoopy would get excited and always have to pee. That dog had a going issue. I grew up to BE that dog.

I am always seeking out a restroom (traveling with me a nightmare as I shift in my seat and keep asking...are we close to any towns yet?)... only now I'm not going.

Meet Dr. Walter Kempner in 1942. He fled the Nazi's and helped put Duke University on the map. He and his colleagues were trying to find a treatment for in particular high blood pressure but founded a treatment that helped all metabolic illness. Kempner had hypothesized (with his buddy) that it was the kidneys responsible for the metabolic issues (Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Fatigue).

The KIDNEYS. Not undiagnosed thyroid (which is what women my age get told ad nauseum on the Internet).

Kempner's thought was if pressure was taken off the kidneys they would be able to re-assert themselves, heal and balance and maintain the status quo of hormones and chemicals they control ((and here I just thought it was only cortisol....)

Kempner put people on WHITE RICE diets with fruit, sugar, fruit juice. Yeah, sugar (it was 1950!)

He put diabetics on this diet, people with high blood sugar, people near death. You had to be planning your funeral to be part of Kempner's studies and you had to follow the diet or apparently, he would fly into a rage and flog people .... but anyway....

WHITE RICE (note if you eat nothing but white rice you get BeriBeri a B1 thiamine deficiency...and eating nothing but rice actually can result in arsenic poisoning....)

And Kempner got amazing results. Back in 1950 they had no drugs for high blood pressure, they didn't have effective treatments for any of the metabolic diseases. You didn't just go get a script for Metformin back then, you simply died.

Yet Kempner had a 93% cure rate as long as they stuck to it (so why does Dr. Jung -- low carb / fasting evangelist doctor -- preach meat as a practicing kidney specialist?). Eventually, they could transition to a little easier to do Vegetarian - low meat diet (some of these diets included small amounts of fish in later additions as I understand it but am unsure if Kempner ran those diet trials or the people who came after and kept the diet study going).

So great, he figured it out - Kidneys were connected to metabolic disease - Booya, let us move on.....but no......controversy of decades of diet gurus really wishing they could debunk the results. "It's because the diet was so low salt!" Some said while others claimed the people were starved into their good health maybe they should have done fasting instead.

It is as Al Gore would say, really an inconvenient truth that Kempner successfully treated 18,000 people on WHITE FRICKIN' RICE.

(A few diet gurus latched on to these results as proof their diet worked of course but changed it to brown rice and not white).

Kempner chose white rice because it has the protein required by a human for a day in an easy to digest and process format that wouldn't overwhelm the kidneys. He kept people away from fat and meat to allow the kidneys to rest and re-assert - and they began to do just that. In spectacular fashion.

Which makes me wonder....what did Kempner himself eat being a relocated German? Was he still gnoshing on sausages? Yeah probably #1950s.

A word about protein. I spent a lot of time in the gym once upon a time. The dudes suck down protein shakes like there is no tomorrow. TO BULK. To get bigger. TO GET SWOLE.

Protein is a good way to get big. I mean, we knew this growing up. "In Texas and Oklahoma, we have cattle, we have big kids and great football teams. You go up North and what do you get? What DO YOU GET? RICKETS. FRICKIN' RiCKETS, cause' they get no sun and they don't get their meat!" I swear to you, you should meet my Southern relatives (this is making no sense at all to people outside the United States... "GO SOONERS!" haha)

So if you do need to lose weight don't' do protein. "But it keeps you fuller longer" - no, no it doesn't - but fiber will.

Don't take my word for it though. Very carefully do your own experiments of 1. N=1

I read those, "END OF DIETING" books -- six small meals a day, make sure you have protein at each. And that's why we all are skinny now ;-P *sarcasm* Ops -- I forgot, it is the white rice and white bread making us fat. Thank you Mr. Taubes, I have noted that about the Pema Indians, and I did enjoy "Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It" -- although it didn't work for me....apparently.

Hey, I have no book to sell, but maybe old Kempner makes me feel a little better about gnoshing down white rice and breakfast bagels (although it's worth noting that my serving sizes are small and I eat slowly) and even if I eat super slow if I forget and drink something too soon after I eat I get nauseated and feel like crap and waste part of my day waiting to feel better.

My weight has stayed about the same, energy is really good - until I hit my period then it's all bets off and I probably will crash and burn for awhile as my hormones cheer me on.

Anyway - a big thank you to any of you reading this full blog post :D I thought the kidney connection was interesting. I had kidney issues for a long while and had to go in for CBC's and pull my blood work every six months. This last CBC my kidneys were in great shape for the first time, but no meat. I've been searching for a unifying theory to pull my constellation of sucky symptoms into some kind of comprehensible problem to tackle.

And a final note, my father has T2 Diabetes and I have not made any dietary suggestions to him. He's somehow keeping the wheels on - so to speak- and hanging in there. He's a veteran, a lifelong smoker and worked physical labor his entire, however, he's staying alive he should stick with that and his active lifestyle and not take dietary advice from me. He's got a house, a big garden and a dog and lives on his own...I feel like I barely hang in there so hats off to you Dad, you're making it.

For my Mom who died at age 54 - retrospectively I would say .... stop trusting doctors already and eat the Kempner diet for a bit because your high blood pressure is going to kill you. At least STOP eating fast food every night for supper and having your only beverage as Dr. Pepper with your smokes. It's going to end very badly.

Gotta go start my day. But isn't it interesting, this link between kidneys and metabolic illness?

(final note -- if you take a PPI drug like prilosec, basically the acid reducers, those are very hard on the kidneys).
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