Train Wreck

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 143.  Not awesome.

Weight steady for 6 days straight at exactly 207.5.

Still having hot flashes.  Is it possible it’s completely unrelated to the niacinamide/aspirin regimen I just started?  How could that be when the hot flashes started right after I started taking these supplements 3x a day?  Well, to be accurate they started 3 days after I started taking them, exactly when I increased the niacinamide to 250mg 3x/day from 100mg 3x/day.  They’re annoying now.  I can’t seem to correlate them to anything.  They happen in the middle of the night, right before eating, right after eating protein, right after eating sugar, an hour after eating sugar…If this was a stress response related to not enough sugar I think it would be prevented by eating it, right?

I’m starting to feel discouraged.

I started the niacinamide to address my ridiculously high triglyceride level.  However, various sources around the web say that niacin (NOT the non-flushing niacinamide) is more effective for this.  And apparently both niacin and niacinamide can cause higher blood sugar in diabetics (yup, got that too).  I feel like I’m completely fucked!  I mean, I’m trying to fix one thing and it’s making the other thing worse…and I’m not even sure it can possibly help the first thing, plus weird hot flashes.  WTF IS GOING ON WITH ME?

I haven’t even told you the best part yet.  For the last few months I’ve been feeling a sort of pressure under my left ribcage.  It had recently been turning into discomfort, and a little bit of pain throughout my upper torso. Research on the web suggested in might be an enlarged spleen, which can signal that other organs (like the liver) are having some kind of problem. That’s why I got labs done a couple weeks ago, including a complete blood count (CBC) – to look for elevated liver enzymes or other indicators that some organ might be struggling or fighting an infection or something.  After seeing those triglyceride numbers I was motivated to stop with the starches (again) and started eating a low fat diet – because hell, I’ve tried everything else, right?  (Well, and also because Ray Peat suggested it might be a key to lowering my blood sugar.)  Well, since I’ve been eating lower fat the pressure under my ribcage has gotten better – it’s not gone, but I’d say 75% improved, and the pain is gone.

I consulted Dr. Google again today, and it turns out high triglycerides can cause inflammation of the pancreas.  Definitely when trigs are SUPER high, like over 1000 mg/dL, but who knows – maybe when lower but still high (like me)?  Symptoms of pancreatitis: pain/pressure in upper abdomen, radiating to the back, as well as other things like nausea (which I didn’t have).  Holy crap – so now my pancreas is about to explode?  Recovery from mild pancreatitis involves a low-fat diet (maybe that’s why mine is helping?) and medication to reduce triglycerides.  Oh, and stop eating sugar and fat.

I’ve decided to get another fasting lipid panel done tomorrow, to see if I’m on the right track.  Our local health department will do it for $20, and you get the results right away….so I’ll be following up on this tomorrow.  If things are NOT even a tiny bit improved after abstaining from starches, eating lower fat, and taking niacinamide and aspirin 3x a day, I’ll be seriously reconsidering the path I’m on.  I FEEL better with a Ray Peat inspired diet, but if my labs continue to suck I’m going to have to change directions.

Here’s my diet breakdown today:


Carb/Protein ratio and Calcium/phosphorus ratios were short of ideal today, and fat was a little too high.

And did I mention it really pisses me off that niacinamide raises blood sugar!?


10 thoughts on “Train Wreck

  1. newtopaleo

    Pancreatitis is pretty nasty. I dont think you would be carrying on normally if you had it. Pain on left rib cage is not characteristic also. Chronic alcoholism can easily cause pancreatitis. You know why the TG are too high dont you? Too much sugar on one end and not enough speed in the pathways to take it up. I have been trying to tell you that.

    Not sure why niacinamide can cause hot flashes but if you think thats the reason just stop it and it should clear up. I seriously doubt Niacinamide would cause elevated blood sugar once the pathways are fixed. It causes less fat burning and more sugar burning anyway. If niacinamide is giving you trouble I figure its because you are not ready for it yet. You are still burning fat as fuel as evidenced by the low co2. It took me while before I could handle niacinamide myself. Even coffee was trouble at one point. I would get hypoglycemic.

  2. Lauren

    Hi, I agree too much sugar, Ray Peat may be fine for non-diabetics but high sugar intake in diabetics is dangerous. Decrease carbs to 20 or less daily. Sorry but trig increase is related to two things eating sugar/starch and too many calories for your ideal weight. High caloric intake raises trigs on its own. Truth is we eat too many calories for our sedentary lives. 😦
    I tried his regime myself…gained weight high trigs….stopped it and viola they both weight down. The weight is much harder to get rid of than the blood markers. At least that is what I experienced.
    Best of luck, Lauren

  3. Karin

    I’m so sorry to see that you’re stressed out. May I ask if you are still resistance training? From my research, it seems the single best thing to do for blood sugar issues. If I were you I would try to do some rigorous strength training nearly every day on different body groups. This is an article about skeletal muscle adaptations in diabetics that I thought was very interesting. Apparently the skeletal muscle of diabetics tends to be more of the white, weight trainer variety, and that turns out to be particularly adaptive for blood sugar control:

    Would you consider writing to Peat again? Or requesting a phone consultation? I think he consults on a sliding scale basis. He is very generous with his time, but some people have suggested that he seems willing to give more personalized attention if you pay him something.

    Also, I know that you use another forum, but may I suggest asking for advice on There are 2 or 3 people on there who might have really great advice/insight. One is a really astute young German biochemistry student. Or would you be willing to allow me to ask questions on your behalf?


  4. “…once the pathways are fixed.”

    Yes, this seems to be the key. And the big mystery I no longer have time for. My pancreas is about to explode. Don’t you think you could have a mild form of pancreatitis that hasn’t quite reached the point of hospitalization? I think that’s what I had. Of course, that’s based on nothing but a gut feeling. Get it? “Gut feeling”? hahaha.

  5. Thanks, Lauren. I have a hard time taking people’s word for it so I have to see how it goes in my own body…but yes, it appears this approach isn’t awesome for diabetics. 🙂

  6. Karin – you always have the most interesting links! I have taken a break from weight training because I stopped liking the program I was doing. I’m going to start again soon though – maybe today even, with a modified program. I think I’m done with the high sugar thing. I don’t even like this diet, and it’s not doing me any favors health-wise. I’ll write a post about what’s next for me. Sure, feel free to ask on my behalf…but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here so I probably won’t do that myself. I appreciate all of your help and encouragement very much!

  7. I had pretty bad hot flashes during menopause and afterwards. It all went away when I went low carb. Now I can heat up (I don’t call them flashes anymore) when I ingest: carbs, lots of protein (like over 30 grams), lots of free refined fat like a spoon of coconut oil, B-vitamins, magnesium, alcohol. It is never more than 20 seconds, except for eating carbs, when it can last a long time. I am NOT a fan of Peat at all!

  8. Karin

    Okay, I’ll just ask for the hell of it. 🙂

    I do want to encourage you to look over your posts on this experiment before making any extreme changes in any direction, because it hasn’t been all bad…..I was about to congratulate you for yesterday’s improved blood sugar when I saw this post!

    Having said that, if you don’t even like the diet, it’s definitely not sustainable, imo. The few hours that I endured felt pretty damn torturous, lol.

    I want to stress that you don’t need to do an hour of exercise at a time. Even doing 10 minutes of hard resistance training or plank work can be tremendously effective. I’ve never been able to lose a pound of fat without at least a tiny bit of really vigorous exercise.

  9. I’ve been following Peat’s advice for 6 months and the hot flashes just started in the last 8 or 9 days, correlating perfectly with my change in supplements. I feel great eating this way – lots of energy, great mood most days. Low carb made me feel like every day was a chore. Given my lipid panels I’ll probably be eating lower carbs.

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