Labs

Some updated labs this week.  First, some background information, for those not following along….In February 2015 I adopted a low carb Paleo diet as well as lots of supplements recommended by my advisers at Nourish Balance Thrive.  I felt great for a while but after a while started to have a lot of sugar cravings and my hair began falling out at an accelerated rate.  I also started feeling tired and stopped losing weight.  In September I started eating carbs again, and in the middle of December (about 10 days prior to these labs) I dropped fat way down to about 25g/day and kept carbs high at about 250-300g/day.

So how are things going?

Let’s take a look at the basic metabolic panel first (click to enlarge):

Metabolic Panel

Notable items:

  • HbA1C: 6.4 (high)
  • BUN/Creatinine Ratio 28 (high, but improved)
  • Carbon Dioxide – 28 (much improved)
  • ALT (liver enzymes) – 39 (worse)

Fasting blood sugar somewhat improved (honestly I’m happy if it’s under 110).  HbA1C would have been in the 5’s if I would have tested it during low carb, but currently it’s high (6.4).  Considering that it reflects an average blood sugar over the last 3 months I’m not surprised by this.  During one of the last 3 months I was eating relatively high fat and high carb and the same time and my blood sugars were trending up.  This was improving over the last several weeks when I eliminated most fat.  Still, it’s not good and is still in the diabetic range.   BUN/Creatinine ratio tends to go up when I’m eating a lot of meat, and meat has been my biggest source of protein these days.  CO2 – better, and important in Peat world.  ALT – worse.  Fatty liver caused by….the tablespoon of honey I’ve been putting in my tea?  The tablespoon of sugar I’m sprinkling over out-of-season berries?  High carbs?  Dunno.

Next – Lipid Panel:

Lipid Panel

AAAAAAaaaand here’s where we run into some more serious trouble:

Notable elements: everything.

Cholesterol still high but much improved over my low-carb labs.  Triglycerides.  Seriously?  Look that that monster.  477.  I haven’t been eating that much sugar – most of my carbs come from white rice.  So I’m pretty confused at this point what is actually causing my trigs to be that high.  I know sugar can do that but I didn’t know glucose did that.  Any biochemists out there care to enlighten me?  With high triglycerides seems to come a dropping of HDL cholesterol and imminent death.  If I don’t come back you’ll know why.

And finally, thyroid.  I only had TSH tested because that’s all my doc would order and thus all my insurance would pay for:

Thyroid

Hey look – my TSH is the best ever in the history of me.  Thank you for that, carbs.

So to summarize, I can’t continue on this way.  I eat low carb high fat and my thyroid suffers.  I eat high carb, low fat and my triglycerides skyrocket. High fat/high carb and I’ve got blood sugar problems.  High fiber causes depression via endotoxin poisoning (see here and here for just two of the many examples of this).

Perhaps the answer isn’t in my diet.

My doc called me the morning after these labs were processed and told me she wanted to make an appointment to discuss my labs. I feel like I’ve been called to the principal’s office.  My appointment is later today. I’m sure she’ll be pushing the Lipitor and the Metformin.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought over the last few days as to how I’ll be handling this.  I think what I’m going to do is start exercising daily and stop thinking so much about food.  I’ll do the best I can to follow a nutrient dense diet and let the macros take care of themselves – probably fewer carbs early in the day and more later in the day – while getting at least 45 minutes per day of exercise – a combination of walking/cardio and strength training.

I know the first week or two is the hardest.  I was an athlete the first half of my life, and a gym rat until about 8 years ago.  I just need to get over the initial resistance until it starts feeling good again.  No nazi trainers this time.  I’m just going to do it.

I’ve been phasing out the supplements I’ve been taking, and making more of an effort to get nutrition through food.  I’ll be continuing this.

My personal life is still a bit of a mess, but things are stable at the moment.  Stable enough to start taking better care of myself and start remembering who I am and what I’ve given up over the years.

Low Fat/High Carb Day 9

On day 9 now of high carbohydrate (white rice, white sugar, whole fruit), moderate protein (low fat meats, oxtail broth daily), low fat (just what’s in the meat).  So far I’ve lost an inch on my waist, my energy is good, and my fasting blood sugars are under 110.  Take a look:

FBG

Interesting, isn’t it?  But the media says sugar is causing my diabetes!!!!!!!!

Oh well.  I’m learning that nothing anyone says has anything to do with me at all.  Sort of a metaphor for life, really.

I’m having a lab draw this week to look at lipids and HbA1C.  I guess we’ll see how this is affecting my triglycerides.  Last time I ate a lot of sugar over a long period of time my triglycerides reached 500, but I was also eating a lot of cheese and other fat and had a net positive energy balance (i.e., eating =/> my body needed for survival, as evidenced by weight gain).  Labs right now won’t tell me much after only a week and half, but hopefully it will be an indicator of whether or not I’m on the right path.

My family situation is causing me stress, of course.  This is the first time I’ve felt serious emotional stress that is not CAUSED by endotoxin in about 18 months.  My friends at Nourish Balance Thrive always recommended the Headspace for stress management.  I’m going to start using it.  I have historically had a really hard time with meditation.  I’ve participated in lots of meditation groups, classes and even retreats, and always the actual sitting and trying to control my mind was really difficult.  Probably an indicator that it’s something I need to work on.

Low Fat/High Carb, Day 6

I’ve been eating a low fat high carbohydrate diet, with no restrictions at all on sugar.  I’m on day 6 of this and so far I’ve lost 2 pounds and my blood sugars, which were trending up recently on moderate fat/moderate carb, have again dropped to pre-diabetic levels.  I feel better eating this way.  When I’ve attempted high-carb/low fat in the past I was using only sugar as the carbohydrate, in either fruit, juice, or granulated form.  This was unpalatable and unsustainable for me.  This time around I’m also eating a lot of white rice which is more satiating for me than sugar, and I’m finding it very easy to stick to.

Here’s my Cronometer from yesterday:

crono

I need to add some more greens to round out the nutrients, but this is basically what I’ve been doing for the past week.  Also making lots of oxtail broth.  I guess I may have stepped back into Ray Peat land.

My family is breaking up.  I’m really sad about it, but I know I’ve done the best I could do.  My poor health played a role, but my husband’s lack of commitment played a bigger one.  I guess this is just life.  Anyone have a good resource for keeping kids sane when their parents break up?

Scarce

I’ve been scarce around here.

I’m not optimistic that my marriage is going to outlast my poor health.  He couldn’t wait for me to get my shit together.

My experiments will be fewer going forward.  In the near future I won’t have the luxury of a day or two of depression resulting from eating navy beans or bread.  I won’t have as much time or as much money to buy supplements or quantify results with labs.  I’ll probably be spending less time on the web in general.  My little girl is going to need me to be present with her.

Not going away altogether.

Keep checking in, ok?