Going It Alone

I’m not following the Solving Leaky Gut program after all.  It’s a good program and probably helps the majority of the people who invest in it, but I found that it was not shaping up to be very helpful for me.  I couldn’t eat the recommended diet (too much fiber) or take many of the recommended supplements (side effects).  I will say their customer service is very good.

It’s really disappointing to spend $30 or $40 dollars on a supplement only to find it gives you headaches and makes you feel like crap.  I’m having to add the NuMedica Gluten Support PRP Balance to that category.  I’ve never had such a bad reaction to a supplement before.  I tried taking only a very very small amount of it (1/2 of a spray, as opposed to 8 sprays per day as recommended), but still I feel awful.  I stuck with it for about 2 weeks, unwilling to give up.  Finally last night I gave up on it.  I’m just not someone who gets headaches and I’ve had them every day.  Add it to the mountainous supplement graveyard.  Anyone want some supplements?

I think everything I’ve done in the last year has managed to make things worse for my gut.  I think low-carb may have negative effects on the gut – both by starving beneficial bacteria and by depriving the microbes of nutrients needed to rebuild the gut wall.  I think my repeated courses of antimicrobials and my course of antifungals have created a space for pathogenic bacteria to flourish. I think it’s possible The Beast in my gut has become immune to some of the antimicrobials – I’m probably creating a new superbug as we speak.

I think if I had unlimited money I’d be spending some of it on testing of my adrenal function right now, and I’d be finding that my cortisol is really really low.  I’ve decided to take the hydrocortisone that was prescribed to me – for just a little while, as I get back on my feet. I’m unable to cope with life right now.  I’m in pain every day – my muscles and joints are sore and achy, headaches, I have no energy at the end of the day to make dinner or tell my daughter bedtime stories.  I’m in the worst health of my life right now.  Thanks low carb, and the stress-hormone burnout that you’ve brought with you.  I’m done with you.

So what am I doing to fix this?

  • DIET – I’m eating a diet that includes protein, fat, and monosaccharides (simple carbohydrates) because that’s the only carbohydrate I can tolerate right now.  Di- and poly-saccharides feed The Beast.  Fermented foods are largely out.  I can’t tolerate the histamine produced.  I’ve been using DAO supplements, and that does help, but it seems to me I should be avoiding everything that disables me right now.
  • EXERCISE – None, because I feel like crap.  Maybe soon.
  • SUPPLEMENTS – It occurred to me that the cellulose that is in a lot of supplements is an indigestible fiber and thus is probably fermented by bacteria….meaning it could be a problem for me.  So I’ve been limiting supplements to lessen my cellulose intake.  Supplements include colostrum, which I haven’t used before.  More details to come.

Oh crap, I have to go to work.



 

40 thoughts on “Going It Alone

  1. Hey,
    I’m in the same shit of you dear…histamine, crazy reaction about supplements and food..
    I find low carb diet/fast tract diet is the best for me but with adrenal support and antibiotic/antifungal….
    You do read the book of R.Horowitz about Lyme disease.

  2. You’re describing the symptoms of hypothyroidism to a T…. despite what your lab work may say. Serum blood tests do not tell what is happening at the cellular level.

    I’ve been asking myself this question for years….it’s the proverbial chicken or egg, which came first issue? Did my lack of T3 at the cellular level cause my many symptoms? Or did my effed up gut cause the thyroid issues.

    I do know that a messed up gut will suppress the thyroid, but this is a vicious circle. After nearly three years of PUFA avoidance I do feel that industrial oils poison the mitochondria. PUFA stored in fat tissue suppresses metabolism and the ability of the cell to use glucose.

    As you know, I was unable to pull out of the downward spiral without thyroid meds. Some people take them on a temporary basis, so it doesn’t have to be for life, but they also help with digestion in a powerful way. Have you ever tried a bit of T3?

  3. T3 is really the only one that matters. Low TSH in weight reduced people is normal..the body is trying to slow things downn by lowering TSH, and converting T3 to rT3. I still think your leaky gut is letting everything in. The antiobiotics decimate the colonies and screw everything up.

  4. Excellent point SWOT….I was on antibiotics from birth. I was adopted and bottle fed and from Day One had chronic ear infections. When I try to trace the origins of my health issues, it seems go all the waaaay back to the beginning.

    Now I have to carefully balance my diet by feeding the right microbes with certain plant fibers while keeping other less friendly populations under control…..it’s like walking a tight-rope sometimes. But I’m here to say that even with a blown up appendix and the useless diagnosis of IBS, it’s definitely doable.

  5. @Meme,

    I’m similar. Bottle-fed. It most likely led to leaky gut when I was little. I was totally allergic to wheat. So I didn’t eat it. I use to get hey fever in spring and september, among other allergies. My mother use to give me tons of juice and cola, but ironically, I was relatively thin till around age 9. Then I started eating wheat again, but I didn’t get diarrhea. I was also put on Ritalin to improve my writing to satisfy my 4th grade teacher. Remember it was all about CICO back then.

    My appetite went up coming off the SNS as my body tried to down regulate the artificial stimulant effect, so I really started pounding the fructose. Then I went back to wheat, thinking I could tolerate it, but really I had sub-clinical symptoms of mostly edema and weight gain from it. So I didn’t think anything of it and paid the price with more or less permanent obesity.

    My father thought it was gluttony and sloth.

  6. @Meme,

    On the other hand, binging/dieting cycles during puberty led to adipocyte hyperplasia which on one hand permanently increases your weight as excess adipocytes are formed. On the other hand, I’m fairly resistant to T2DM/IR since when you have more fat cells, you can get a lot fatter before IR/T2DM occur. IR/T2DM are signs adipocytes are stuffed to max and can’t take any more. My lipids, sugars, BP, etc are fairly normal.

  7. Hi SWOT….Yeah, I’ve read that just being bottle-fed can lead to obesity, even without massive antibiotics. I was obese for twenty years, but it didn’t start until I got pregnant with my first child.

    My own father is 77 years old, he’s a marathon runner and still competes. I know exactly what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a hypercritical CICO lecture. EAT LESS EXERCISE MORE!!!

    I have a friend that I’ve known my whole life, her mom and my mom were best friends. Even though she was breast fed as a baby, she developed a weight problem in grade school, like you around age 9. Her weight has fluctuated massively over the decades through cycles of restrictive dieting, bingeing and TONS of exercise. Despite truly heroic efforts, she has NEVER been able to achieve a normal weight, let alone maintain it.

    She eats what I would consider to be a really crappy diet though and lots of it. I’ve been witness many times to what she refers to as a “food trip”…once she gets started eating, she’s utterly unstoppable. This behavior started when we were quite young and her parents literally installed padlocks screwed the the kitchen cupboards to keep her out of the cereal.

    I think eating lots of wheat was a major factor in my fat gain AND my ruptured appendix….now I’m thinking conventional COW dairy is to blame as well. I’m not saying this is true for all people, just my own personal sensitivity.

    Recently I wondered why there are some people who can get really really big, like the 600 pound folks and yet they aren’t or don’t become diabetic. Seems they don’t have that fabulous “self -protective” mechanism of insulin resistance. Must be a genetic thing?

    Ray Peat and super scrawny fruitarians seem to be the only ones who think fructose (from actual fruit, not corn syrup) is healthy. Even Dr. McDougall thinks it’s kinda bad and should be limited. I’m still undecided…..sort of on the fence and suffering picket wounds, no less. While I’m not super scrawny, my fructose ingestion seems to have actually helped me in my journey towards unwinding the diabetes….not sure though, could have simply been due to fat loss and PUFA restriction.

    I knew a kid back in the 90’s that was put on Ritalin. He couldn’t sit still at all, had zero ability to focus and he was super skinny. His grandparents were raising him because his mother was a drug addict. I know nothing about those kinds of drugs, but I couldn’t help thinking at the time that somehow the Ritalin was harming his poor developing brain. I wonder where he is now…if he’s overweight from taking the drug. One of my son’s ex-girlfiends has had that issue with Adderall.

    Apologies for my excessive chattiness…xoxo

  8. @Meme..fructose depends on quantity and flux. Someone who exercises a lot can eat a ton and not get problems. Someone who has a good TCA cycle in their liver can process it out before liver fat accumulates. If you eat it with fiber (aka fruit), the flux is less. If you’re a couch potato guzzling soda, you’re setting yourself up for problems. I reached my highest weight ever from fructose…sugary drinks, cola, juice. I had the ALT and fatty liver sonograms to prove it too. Ritalin/adderall are stimulants, Basically they cause tolerance by your body counter regulating the excess stimulation by downregulating receptors like dopamine, etc. It’s a great recipe for weight gain in a leaky gut, wheat inflammed, fructose guzzling kid.

    Regarding your pregnancy…pregnancy and puberty raise insulin, so probably the hyperinsulinimeia caused by the pregnancy threw you over the red line so to speak. Normally, insulin drops after the placenta is expelled, leptin works better, and you lose weight. But people who are prone to obesity and diabetes can get permanently screwed by it. It’s often why you’ll see gestational disables morph into T2DM after a few pregnancy cycles.

  9. @Meme,

    Regarding the 600-lbers…they typically have starve/binge cycles. Every cycle produces more fat cells. When fat cells shrink they become hypoinflamatory (low inflammation) and produce more adiponectin which signals they to split and create baby fat cells. Now you have more storage space and can grow bigger and are primed for additional weight gain for the next famine. I wouldn’t be surprise if they have some other genetic/epigenetic defects that predispose them to low dopamine.

    Lifestyle stress can do it. You smoke, do drugs, drink, gamble, whatever for your dopamine high, then switch to food when that is taken away as a dopamine substitute. Another binge recipe. I know people who drank like crazy because they were sexually abused and then switched to food in order to “cure” their alcoholism. They used sugar and eating as a substiture for low dopamine. That’s how they became morbidly or super obese.

    Anyways,
    Those hypoinflamed fat cells produce a fraction of the leptin normal size cells produce, (the inflammation stimulates leptin production), so you get binge cycles typical from low leptin and low dopamine.

    You can suppress insulin through dieting, LCHF, fasting, whatever, but as soon as you stop, whatever you are doing, expect rapid weight regain.

    There is no cure once excess fat tissue is present. All you can do is maintain lower insulin levels through lifestyle hacks. If the scientists had half a brain, they’d realize leptin injections in weight reduced people would be an effective therapy, but they seem too stupid to realize it. It works. It doesn’t work though in the presence of hyperinsulinemia–a typical fat person with diabetes which is why they stopped looking into it.

  10. @Meme & Lanie…check this one that just came out:

    http://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2016/07/21/gutjnl-2016-311964

    Intestinal cell damage and systemic immune activation in individuals reporting sensitivity to wheat in the absence of coeliac disease

    Results: Individuals with wheat sensitivity had significantly increased serum levels of soluble CD14 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-binding protein, as well as antibody reactivity to bacterial LPS and flagellin. Circulating levels of fatty acid-binding protein 2 (FABP2), a marker of intestinal epithelial cell damage, were significantly elevated in the affected individuals and correlated with the immune responses to microbial products. There was a significant change towards normalisation of the levels of FABP2 and immune activation markers in a subgroup of individuals with wheat sensitivity who observed a diet excluding wheat and related cereals.

    Conclusions These findings reveal a state of systemic immune activation in conjunction with a compromised intestinal epithelium affecting a subset of individuals who experience sensitivity to wheat in the absence of coeliac disease.

    There’s that damn LPS again. LPS kills dopamine, increasing appetite.. Wheat Belly Davis is actually on to something…

  11. Hey SWOT…..you just described my childhood chum with uncanny precision. There were certainly family emotional challenges early on, which lead to drug seeking in junior high….and eventually a MAJOR drug addiction for years. Sex too. Even though she is VERY bright and creative, she didn’t graduate from high school. We sort of lost touch off and on over the years when I left for college. And to be perfectly honest it was too difficult for me to watch her go through the cycles, but I could always tell what kind of drug she was abusing depending on her current weight. Smoking pot kept her in giant mode, cocaine use would shrink her down to nothing (complete lack of food intake), but only while she was using heavily and then she’d switch back to pot and balloon up again. Her dopamine was most definitely effed up.

    Thanks for the link on LPS, I’ll go have a look. I’ve known for close to three years now that endotoxin has something to do with metabolic syndrome….ever since I did my Raw Garlic Shock & Awe. I knew within days because my mood and energy took a sudden turn for the better and then weight began falling off. I was eating very very low fat at the time and avoiding all starch. Ever since then I’ve tried out various herbal anti-microbials with good effect, but I won’t touch pharmaceutical antibiotics ever again.

    I know we need some level of good bugs for proper digestion and for making certain vitamins, but I’ve had NO luck with taking probiotics.

    HOW TO ACTUALLY HEAL THE GUT LINING PERMANENTLY???….that seems to be the million dollar question. Avoiding certain foods (wheat for sure)…..and maybe all grains for a good long while? Processed industrial man-made crap too, cuz it’s not really food.

    Systemic immune activation is key….Yeast does this to me for sure. I think cow dairy does it too….and nuts.

    L-glutamine didn’t work for me, I guess I turn it into glutamate…..er something. It causes insomnia and brain melt down. Home made bone broth can do it too, but not always.

  12. @Meme, for me, the biggest healer of gut is time…lots of time away from triggers…grains primarily. I recently learned I can’t eat guar gum…gives me stomach pain too…There went my once a week oat or gluten free bread treat.

    Ironically, LCHF always made my gut better since it got rid of all the triggers. I have no problems with nuts, eggs, and cheese. Pretty much everything else, is a non-issue..just those grains.

    Last time, I did it I started eating wheat. I was fine for a few weeks..no problem, then about 3-5 weeks in, I had terrible stomach pains. I thought it was gallstones, but the gastro didn’t think so. It was after doing some heavy 24-48 hour IF experiments. Somehow, the IF put my immune system to sleep–My C-RP really dropped when IFing., because when it woke up afterwards, it went into a rage in response to wheat. I also had the worst seasonal allergy reaction last spring since I was a kid. I’m done now experimenting with, and probably will never eat it again, if I can help it. My wife says I have mood changes if I eat a lot of spelt too, but I never had a severe reaction to it like I did to wheat last winter.

  13. @Meme

    “Thanks for the link on LPS, I’ll go have a look. I’ve known for close to three years now that endotoxin has something to do with metabolic syndrome….ever since I did my Raw Garlic Shock & Awe. I knew within days because my mood and energy took a sudden turn for the better and then weight began falling off. I was eating very very low fat at the time and avoiding all starch. Ever since then I’ve tried out various herbal anti-microbials with good effect, but I won’t touch pharmaceutical antibiotics ever again.”

    Check out this one…Silymarin (Milk Thistle) protects Dopamine neurons from LPS:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12473078

  14. Anything that gimps dopamine makes metabolic syndrome worse—dopamine is an SNS stimulant. Animals getting ready for hibernating in the fall develop metabolic syndrome and their dopamine crashes. Bears get T2DM before winter, for example.

  15. Milk thistle is GREAT, I use the powdered stuff for keeping my liver happy……doesn’t even taste bad at all.

    Peat would say that bears loading up on PUFA (gorging on salmon) and becoming fat burners while hibernating (due fasted state) is precisely WHY they become diabetic….or something like that.

    I’m not a bear, but my three years spent eating a low-carb very high fat diet (tons of nuts and flax oil) eventually resulted in the very same syndrome…..a complete inability to use carbohydrates, diabetic fasting blood sugars, a tanked thyroid and worsened gut issues along with a host of other bad stuff like foot fungus from hell, chronic cold sores, kidney stones, insomnia, inability to relax/chronically stressed moods, no interest in sex etc.

    I’m not sure why these things happen to some people on a ketogenic diet, but not others…genetics maybe? Permeable gut?

    Clearly ketosis works well in the long term for some and yet the complete opposite works better for others….and then there’s the peeps that are somewhere in the middle.

    I read that LPS rides on little “fat rafts” through the gut wall….chylomicrons, er something. Which is why low fat diets are less inflammatory….depending on what else one is eating, I suppose.

  16. @Meme, sorry, I think Peat is quack.

    Anyway, salmon have lots of w3 which improves insulin sensitivity. Richard Jonhnson studies uric acid and fructose and its the fructose from fruit gorging that causes the fatty liver and IR in animals before winter. The uric acid skyrockets in the fall. That comes from fructose. Shorter light cycles also lower dopamine/SNS. In humans, seasonal affective disorder is the result.

    Regarding LCHF. People often blame the LCHF for the symptoms when really it was the success of the LCHF shrinking fat cells–the weight loss itself. Loss of weight causes hypoletinemia (low leptin). Women are more sensitive to it than men. Low leptin causes hair falling out, low energy/mood/dopamine, cold, crashing T3/rising rT3 and all the unpleasant side effects, That’s called being weight reduced without leptin injections. Aka, starvation.

    Peripherial insulin resistance is normal on LCHF as the body decreases insulin sensitivity on the tissues to conserve glucose for the brain. Four days of eating carbs reverses this typically. My fasting blood sugar goes from the 80’s to high 90’s/low 100’s when LCHF if I don’t exercise.

    PUFA problems/w6 on diets like atkins are typical. People will gorge on mayonnaise, nuts and other w6 oils without balancing it out with w3. I use flax oil instead of fish. There are studies that show the body converts LNA to EPA/DHA and shows rising levels in the blood (Flax to fish oil) contrary to fish oil promoters claim,

    Here’s one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16365063

  17. @Meme, forgot to mention, the rising sugar levels are from gluconeogenesis…the liver converting protein to glucose for the brain. That’s what happens when there is no insulin to stop the liver from dumping sugar into the blood since the HPA axis feedback loop doesn’t really care about higher blood sugars. I suspect in the presence of lots of w6 PUFAs LCHF it’s worse. I still believe that either exercise and/or w3 oils can counter this effect. I’d suspect eating more fat and less protein would do the job too.

  18. @Meme…I also think stress is a problem on LCHF. When your leptin crashes from being weight reduced, you are *very* sensitive to insulin and cortisol. Stress increases Cortisol which ncreases insulin which blocks the tiny amount of leptin your shrunken fat cells produce. No leptin = total starvation symptoms…

  19. Hi SWOT…..no need to apologize for your thoughts on Peat being a quack, I’m fairly certain most people would agree with you.

    It’s hard for me to know for certain because I wasn’t tracking stuff like I do now, but when I was on a LCHF diet some stuff definitely improved, but over time some stuff got much worse. It was great for a while. Granted I was going through total mayhem on personal level (financial ruin, having to move while still trying to run my business…..it was awful), so that surely contributed to my stress levels.

    There were things that I loved about eating LCHF, rarely having to eat was awesome. Plus I happen to ADORE fat….and yeah, I was eating tons of omega 6’s. I took lots of fish oil sups and ate flax seed oil in smoothies every day, but I hadn’t discovered Cron-O yet so I don’t know what my ratios were. I SO wished I had that data for comparison!

    I know all about the seasonal affective disorder, I live in the Pacific Northwest, it’s dark grey and cloudy for six months out of the year. I absolutely MUST leave every winter and get some sunshine or else by March I am a wreck.

    When I first went into ketosis I had very low fasting blood sugars, like in the 70’s and even 65 once that I recall, but I never felt like I had low blood sugar due to the ketones I suppose. As the years went by my blood sugar kept creeping up and no amount of fasting/starvation/exercise would bring it down. Eventually I could no longer exercise due to chronic fatigue, I simply had NO energy. NONE….. and I was super depressed, freezing cold ALL the time, joints were aching. I thought I had arthritis, felt like I was 80 years old. Doc tested me for RA, which was neg and told me that all my thyroid numbers looked fine on the current dose of thyroid meds. By then my fasting blood glucose was in the high 170’s and the fat was piling on no matter what. In my opinion, T4 meds are useless if your liver is burdened with LPS.

    This morning’s fasting BG was 101, not perfect. However now I can eat much more freely, no more insane restriction and no weight gain…….I’m STILL trying to make sense of it all.

    I very well might have just needed some effin T3, cuz adding that in has completely changed my life. That and fixing my gut infection.

    If LPS rides on fat and causes systemic inflammation then the way out of the downward spiral is to either cut all fat when eating higher carbs so there is no vehicle. Or to to cut all carbs when eating higher fat so that there is no feeding of the bad guys in the first place.

    I tried both extremes, neither are great long term. Depending on who you ask, everyone says their diet is best for healing a leaky gut. I think we can all agree that grains are NOT ideal.

    A third way is to eat a balanced diet (whatever that is) and take no mercy on the microbes through the use of herbal antimicrobials and activated charcoal.

    Some meat and eggs, some fruit and veg, some raw garlic. Real WHOLE food.

  20. @meme, I bet you were low T3…the doc probably just looked for high TSH and overlooked it.

    LCHF higher on protein tends to increase blood sugar. Higher fat tends to lower blood sugar. Anyways, LCHF can decimate gut flora long term in some people. Other’s thrive on it.

    In general, LCHF, sucks when cortisol is high whether that be from endotoxins, leaky gut, or stress in the real world. Dieting already increases cortisol..you see it all the time with these women complaining about weight loss stalls on the scale when in reality they get edema from cortisol’s effect on aldosterone on the kidney…they think they stalled when they are puffy from water weight gain.

    But really, any reduced calorie dieting whether from LCHF or weight watchers, or whatever increases cortisol which is a disaster when you have other stuff. In an ideal world, weight loss should would only be attempted on someone with a healthy gut lying on the beach in Maui.

  21. Lying on the beach in Maui…well, I wasn’t in Maui, but I TOTALLY agree. My fat loss using a higher carb very low fat diet was conducted during the summer with NO stress whatsoever. My gut was already in shambles so I did the raw garlic protocol which helped ENORMOUSLY. I had finished moving, paid off all my debt, closed my business and basically took a 4 month siesta. I did absolutely nothing but lay around in the sun. It was so easy, the weight just melted off, no exercise.

    I took a break over the winter and added fat back in to my diet to see if my weight would stay the same and it did. Things got effed up in my gut after I took antibiotics for an unrelated infection the following February, so that’s when I did the a long course of high dose Nystatin and stuff has been great since.

    My gut flora was already decimated before going LCHF, due to a ruptured appendix (I’m blaming bread/wheat consumption coupled with hypothyroidism/constipation and tons of stress for that). Was required to take truly MASSIVE AMOUNTS of antibiotics…..It’s taken me years to recover.

    I feel a lot more jiggly on a higher carb diet, which I hate…kinda feel like jello.

    And yeah, I was probably eating too much protein on LCHF. I have a tendency to do that…..even now I aim for 80 grams of protein each day and I always end up around 100 or higher. Not sure how to fix that? Neither fat nor sugar seem to satiate like protein….While I love both fat and sugar, they both get kinda DISGUSTING/TIRESOME when eaten to extreme in the long term, at least that’s been my experience.

    Besides, the kind of fat that I want to eat when eating LCHF is the bad kind. It’s way too easy for me to over eat the omega 6’s. I crave them actually when I eat I high fat diet. The same thing happens with carbs though too, I begin to crave refined sugar if I over eat certain carbs. I blame wonky gut flora for sugar cravings, but what causes the PUFA cravings?

    Hence my eternal search for balance….both dietary extremes resulted in rapid fat loss, but I still have ten pounds to lose to reach my goal. This more “balanced” way of eating seems to be working, but it’s very VERY slow….and I’m impatient….and too lazy for extreme exercise.

    Eating is such a f*cking chore….enough procrastination, must actually do some work now 😉

  22. @Meme, Sounds like those last 10 are vanity pounds, and if your metabolic numbers are otherwise good, it’s not a big deal to worry (+cortisol) about it.

    I have cravings for almonds-relatively high in PUFA, but I think it has more to do with wanting l-tyrosine and magnesium in them. Anyways, I try to balance it out with w3 by dumping flax oil on my salads, so I don’t get really care.

    Protein is the winner for satiety, for sure..more TEF, PYY, and GLP1 than fat or carbs even if it’s more insulinogenic than fat..

  23. NOT vanity pounds! I’m only 5’2″, currently weigh 129 and need to be 120….I was always 110 or less in high school….crept up to 115 in college and when I got married…Hell, at my age I’d settle for 125 if I was super muscle-y (too lazy, but working on it)….120-125 is realistic, 110 is not. Pretty sure I would be stressed out and starving round the clock at that point. I’m not that vain.

    My metabolic number that isn’t ideal is my fasting blood glucose, although my recent A1c was 5.0….so maybe my home glucometer is off. I dunno, people like Mercola would say that I’m “pre-diabetic” with it hovering around 100. I haven’t done a lipid panel in two years, I’m due for that. Blood pressure is fine.

    Almonds are my biggest downfall, pecans are a close second. I even like walnuts waaaay too much. I can eat pounds and pounds. Macadamias make me swoon. Same with almond butter, love it dearly. And avocados. And bacon….sigh. I do miss LCHF.

    I had sardines (packed in olive oil, but drained cuz gross) on a bed of romaine sprinkled with Tajin for lunch today, you would have been proud, so low-carby. Does your wife eat low carb? If so, for how long? If you don’t mind sharing…

    After lunch I was thirsty so I squeezed two lemons and grated some fresh ginger to make lemonade (with bubbly mineral water) and sweetened with raw local honey….you would have cringed at that point, so fructosey. Damn delicious & refreshing tho.

    I’ve tried to make it with stevia in the past, NOT yummy at all. Honey Ginger Sparkling Lemonade…it’s simply got to have the honey, you know for flavor. Cheers!!!

  24. Weight gain is normal with aging as insulin increases from mitochondrial die-off. My mother is same size as you 5’2″. She use to be 109 all the time; now she’s lamenting she’ in the 120’s–at almost 70.

  25. @Meme, I thought Peter Attia’s N=1 was interesting: http://eatingacademy.com/how-i-lost-weight

    He basically tracked his bodyfat at each level of insulin (based on type of diet.). %wise, when I plugged in the numbers, they were very similar to my own.

    Basically you take your maxmimum bodyfat level in lbs and apply the following numbers which give you typical plateau points.

    No sugar 6 days a week (~25-30% loss)
    No sugar/Low Glycemic load carbs/high fiber (~40% loss)
    Reduced carbs (~100g day starch +fruit/veg) (60-70% loss)
    VLC/Keto (<50g day) – 75-80% starch.

    This suggests to me that 20% of total maximum bodyfat is permanent without going into total semi-starvation (absent drugs)

  26. Hi SWOT….Does your mom eat a low carb keto diet? If so, how long has she eaten that way? How I wish I could have kept at 109 for most of my life!!! Your mom is so very fortunate.

    I keep reading conflicting stories about women and low carb diets though…I read that Mark Sisson’s wife eats like 150 grams of carbs a day, so not super low.

    I don’t think Peter Attia’s wife eats like he does, but I do find his personal hacking & tracking quite interesting.

    I’d love to see more examples of middle aged women eating (and thriving) on a LCHF diet in the LONG term. There are plenty of women that have success initially, but it never seems to last long as a way of life.

    I happen to agree with the basic premise, which is why I did it for so long. But so many women can’t seem to stick to it forever. They fall off the wagon and then they’re unable to repeat their success when they try to go keto again……Men seem to have better success with a low carb diet, especially long term. I do wonder why that is.

    Maybe a cyclical approach would work for me long term? I dunno, might just be constant torture, lol.

  27. @Meme—I think women don’t tolerate LCHF either for long times, but there are exceptions like woo. Anyways, I think women are more sensitive to lower leptin levels caused by them, so that is a big factor.

    My mother never ate low carb.. She eats mostly grains, potato, some vegetables, and a little bit of meat/fish/poultry. She never had a leaky gut as far as I know, but she has other problems like arthritis and other issues which woudln’t surprise me has to do with her what I consider lousy diet. Probably too many PUFAs eating at restaurants all the time, but I think she still takes flax oil so that mitigates it somewhat.

  28. My mom eats like your mom, but she’s in her early 70’s and has always been pretty darn healthy. Starting in her 50’s she began eating out in restaurants like 5 nights per week. Predictably, she gained weight and is now having problems with arthritis. Her blood pressure has been high for decades too, but that began prior to her dining out.

    I appreciate woo’s narrative and I’m very happy that she’s found something that works so well for her. I do think her history of obesity at a young age is a factor and also the obvious hormonal mayhem of infertility/PCOS….and I don’t even mind her delivery, being the foul-mouthed-know-it-all-wench that I am. I find it entertaining.

    My only issue is she’s convinced that “if Keto doesn’t werk for U, yer doing it wrong…or cheating”….which simply isn’t true for everybody.

    We all suffer from tunnel vision when we find something that works as well as Keto obviously works for her. I’m guilty of the very same.

    I might try cycling very low carb with refeeds, just to see what that does to my body. My only certainty is that I need to find something that is sustainable for me in the long term.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. @Meme…agreed about woo, although some of her followers are as religious as she is. For long-term LCHF, it’s probably either micro-nutrient deficiencies, hypoleptinemia, gut dysbiosis, or rising cortisol (probably from the 3 above ones)

    The first two she manages with lots of supplements…That’s how she manages her symptoms other would drop out from. Your average joe schmoe LCHFber wouldn’t know what to take or barely how anything works, so that doesn’t work. I think she did have dysbiosis or SIBO too at one point, but nailed with vinegar and some other supplement. The point is, unless you know what you are doing, LCHF is likely going to screw you up long term.

    That she is an R.N. and does tons of research shows it can work, but most people are never going to get to her level of knowledge to do be able to be self-aware of their symptoms that come with it and how to deal with it.

  30. @SWOT…..In trying to read my dietary failures through the vision of hindsight, I’m certain I had some major nutrient deficiencies (not eating properly, but not tracking so I was unaware until I got kidney problems) and I definitely had gut dysbiosis. The two could go hand in hand, though not necessarily I suppose.

    I’ve always wondered if a gut infection would raise cortisol, it certainly seems that it would. For me, an overgrowth triggers an immune response and cortisol is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, correct? But what happens to people who have it for YEARS and it goes undiagnosed, ignored or misdiagnosed? This is what happened to me for decades.

    By the time that I did begin to track what I was eating, my guts and brain were in shambles and I don’t think I was actually absorbing nutrients well at all, despite eating very very well….gut bugs steal nutrients too. Gut irritation leads to hormonal disorder.

    I found woo’s blog years ago and I remember thinking WOW, finally someone who gets it!!! I could tell that she was super tuned-in/observant, she was articulate and described some of the exact same things/patterns that I had experienced myself. And yes, very VERY bright….much smarter than me, so I really wanted to be a disciple. It would have been so much easier!!!

    Alas, I took what was valuable and kept searching. No doctors have been able to help me, I’ve received ALL of my help form people like you and Lanie….people who are brave enough and willing to share their experiences. So yes, woo, Ray Medina, Dave Asprey, Dr. Daniels, the SCD boys, Lyle McDonald and even Ray Peat too….I have many “mentors” and I highly value each and every one of y’all.

    I don’t follow any one person hook-line-and-sinker, but take little bits here and there, continually experimenting. Keeping what works and moving on to different theories if something doesn’t seem to be panning out.

    It has been a LONG journey back, no quick fixes for sure.

    I’m enormously grateful for the internet and I sure do appreciate the time you guys take to share…hugs all around.

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