HW – Day 12

Yesterday again I was feeling really good.  Even thinking about starting exercising.  I haven’t thought about exercising for months.  I’ve seen no more evidence of possible parasite passing since the other day – and I’m not sure that even was what I thought it was. It wasn’t obvious…it was just different.  Don’t care, as long as I get to feel better.

I’ve decided to get a fasting insulin test this morning to see where things are at since I’ve been eating sugars again for a couple of months.  Fasting blood sugar this morning was 112 and I haven’t seen a post-prandial reading higher than 140, even after eating white sugar, so I’m curious how things are going.  I’m not going to test my triglycerides because I’m sure they’re high and I don’t wanna know right now.

63 thoughts on “HW – Day 12

  1. Hi Lanie,

    Did you see any change in fasting blood sugar after adding in the HW?

    Also, are you saying that you’re seeing improvements in your fasting blood sugar since adding sugars back in to your diet for a couple of months?

    My apologies, I don’t recall what your fasting were a couple of months ago….I’m glad you’re feeling better!!!!

  2. Hey Meme – No, I didn’t see a change in fasting blood sugar after adding HW – but I think it’s interesting my fasting bg is about the same after adding sugar in as it was before that. I guess I figured drinking fruit juice and eating chocolate all the time would send it up again. Turns out it hasn’t. I’m not really all that surprised though, because I’ve seen this before. Anyway, I was surprised my fasting insulin didn’t go down after months of very low carb. So now I’m wondering if it will go up after a couple months of 100-150g of carb per day.

  3. @Lanie…I wonder if you aren’t seeing a rise in blood sugar because of all the extra minerals you’re taking/getting through diet?

    Plus chocolate and fruit juice (well, OJ at least, as far as I know) have really good minerals and anti-oxidants…. that’s how I justify drinking OJ daily. I don’t eat chocolate daily, but I might start 😉

    @SWOT….this is interesting, thanks for the link. I recently bought a bottle of avocado oil from Costco because it said it was good for high temp cooking. I also used it for making home made mayonnaise…died and gone to heaven, it was soon yummy! One of the reasons I started eating more fat was because my skin became really dry after eating very low fat for sooo long.

    I’ve been trying to focus on MUFA intake because I think it’s safer than PUFA….Avocados and macadamias are two of my favorite foods.

  4. MUFAs are safer. I reread the study and detail and the headline is misleading. MUFAs provide the same GLP-1 as SFAs (short term satiety), but have better glycemic/insulin responses than SFAs (like the other article said) or CHO. I still take flax oil to counterbalance w6 PUFAs I get in things like mayonaise, but I eat a lot of salmon and tuna too.

  5. I use EVOO for salads mostly because I like the flavor, but I also use it for my roasted lamb and root vegetables (again for that specific flavor), but my roasting temp doesn’t exceed 350 degrees…….great, all this talk of food, now I’m HUNGRY!!!

  6. SWOT….Don’t you worry a tiny bit about the PUFA intake? Just a little?

    I ask only because of my own personal experience….When I found myself with diabetic fasting blood sugars three years ago I was in complete shock. I was NOT obese at 130lbs. I certainly didn’t fit the model of metabolic syndrome. I had lost 75 pounds of fat and kept it off for over two years by eating Keto or Very Low Carb…I hadn’t ingested carbs, sugar or any grain/starch at all, truly. I prided myself on the fact that I NEVER cheated on my diet, yet I steadily and progressively lost all control over my glucose handling (and other important body functions as well).

    I was eating a LOT of fatty fish, flax seed oil in my daily smoothies, fish oil supplements and massive amounts of nuts, almond flour and nut butter. Of course I was eating a TON of saturated fat too….butter, fatty beef, heavy cream, bacon lard, chicken skin and other animal fats etc…..really massive amounts of fat. Ya know, KETO!!!

    At any rate, I began studying to try and figure out HOW & WHY this happened to me. My doc was threatening me with drugs. My step-dad is a diabetic, I hate needles (and doctors) so I was NOT gonna go there….Eventually I concluded it was the SUPER high fat diet, based on studies like this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12172479

    I have a computer folder full of these kinds of studies. I’m not smart enough to be able to know if they were done properly and all that, but they’re the reason why I decided to swing the pendulum the other way, dietarily speaking. I did a complete switch-over, cutting all fat and adding MASSIVE carbs.

    Since I’m not super bright and have NO science background, I simply had to experiment. I dove in head first….definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

    Eating too many carbs too quickly caused me gain nearly 40 pounds….but slowly I regained control over my glucose handling. It wasn’t an over night fix, that’s for sure. But I really feel like I dodged a bullet…my fasting blood sugars are now in the mid 80’s to mid 90’s consistently.

    I cut all fat out of my diet, kept it under 20 grams (some days under 10 grams) per day for several weeks at a time with periodic re-feeds for gallbladder health (and severe cravings)….that was two years ago.

    I’ve gradually added more and more fat back in to my diet due to the skin issue, but I’m really happy to be able to utilize glucose without huge fluctuations or weight gain.

    I eat (on average) 100 grams of Fat per day (sometimes more) mostly from goat dairy, but other sources too…..trying to avoid PUFA as much as possible. I eat 100 gm of Protein and around 200 gm of Carbs….mostly from fruit and honey, but sometimes other sugars. My starch experiments have NOT gone well.

    There are some things I really miss about my keto days…..however, I can’t help but be convinced that eating the massive amounts of fat (especially the PUFA) directly caused my “diabetes”, which is obviously gone now.

    My story is anecdotal and all, but is there a better explanation out there? I think there may be some low-carb gurus that are having/had the same wonky blood sugar experience, though I’m not positive on that…..pretty sure I’m not the only one :-/

    For me, the type/source of carbs matter and in the same fashion, the type/source of fat matters too….I think.

    I know ya’lls think Peat’s a quack, but what if he’s right about PUFA???

    I still miss almond butter…..*sigh*

  7. @meme–No, since I believe in the science about w3:w6 ratios. When Peat starts blaming all PUFAs and doesn’t get into ratios or the difference between them or transfats, whether they’re processed, hydrogenated, or whatever it’s a strawman to me.

    That said, my fasting FBG this morning was 66 and my A1c normally tests <=5.0, so I'm not really worried about it.

    I still want to get my fasting insulin down, but I need to lose more bodyfat for that even though my sugars, trigs, BP, ALT are normal. My LDL is elevated, but that's from eating LCHF and expected. LDL-P is more important although I didn't test it last time.

  8. @Meme, and since Peats BS about fructose is just that, I don’t take him seriously about anything else either. He’s in the same boat as guynet, CS, colpo, kruse (although kruse does have some interesting ideas, it’s mixed in with a lot of untested hypothesis that he peddles as absolute truth and is thus unreliable) etc

  9. @meme..that study doesn’t account for the presence or absence of carbs. Mixed meals are worse no does. Iteven mention types of fat. French Fries don’t equal almonds

  10. @Meme, also by gaining 40lbs you swapped hyperglycemia for hyperinsulinemia. Taking insulin injections does the same thing. I don’t think its a good long term strategy. HI has it’s own set of comorbidities.

  11. @Meme…sorry..keep thinking of insights..if you could go back in time when you had those issues, I’d want your w3:w6 ratio on lab tests. I’d want your ALT, Trigs, HDL, uric acid, etc. to know if fatty liver was involved, or it was more on the periphery Magnesium levels would be nice too. A lot of people on LCHF screw it up because of micro-nutrient deficiencies.

    I think LCHF/Keto sucks for general nutrition, and you have to be careful and rely of supplements. However, I think it is the most effective therapy for managing hyperinsulinemia available.

    I also think HIV drugs suck for general health and other side effects. I also think they’re the most effective way to not die from AIDS if you are infected.

  12. @Meme..one more…here’s a couple of studies showing w6/w3 increase insulin sensitivity.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep06697
    In conclusion, higher n-3 PUFA concentrations in red cell phospholipids were associated with improved insulin sensitivity, lower free fatty acid and CRP concentrations, as well as improved nocturnal blood pressure profile in a group of overweight middle-aged men. Randomized controlled trials (that carefully control for potential confounders such as diet, physical activity, and body composition) are required to adequately investigate the effects of supplementation with long-chain n-3 PUFA on insulin sensitivity and metabolism.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17497447
    It was concluded that the EPA and DHA moderate dose administration in the patients with CRF on MHD had a beneficial effect on insulin resistance decrease. The anti-inflammatory effects of the supplemented PUFAs were also presented.

    http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/nh/v24n2/revision1.pdf
    Conclusions
    The use of n-3 fatty acids should be considered within
    more global strategies, which include changes in
    lifestyle, such as adhering to a healthy Mediterranean
    type of diet and doing regular physical exercise.
    Reduction of dietary SFA and its partial replacement
    by MUFA and PUFA, including n-3 family, leads to an
    improvement in insulin sensitivity and associated
    metabolic abnormalities. There has been concern in the
    past about a possible deterioration in glucose homeostasis
    after intake of n-3 fatty acids in patients with
    T2DM, but these have been generally observed after
    using very high doses of n-3 PUFA supplements and
    the possible interacting effect of mercury ingestion has
    not been considered. Fish oil, a natural source of n-3
    PUFA, has many physiological effects, indeed, it reduces
    insulin response to oral glucose without altering the
    glycaemic response in healthy humans; this is encouraging
    in the perspective of prevention of insulin resistance
    but further clinical and basic studies must be
    designed to confirm and complete our knowledge in
    this field. Finally, the nutrigenomic viewpoint should
    be included in all studies.

  13. Hi SWOT….thanks so much for your responses and insights. I should be the one apologizing tho, I’m slow and it’ll take me some time to read your links and try and wrap my head around some of the ideas you’re advocating.

    And sorry for my misunderstanding, I thought you were having blood sugar regulation issues…not sure where I got that??? Blaming my slowness here.

    Yes, you’re right, it’s hard to get enough nutrients on Keto. I do wish I had more data from my keto days. I track everything now and it would have been an interesting comparison. I’m almost positive that I wasn’t getting enough minerals back then…. I don’t think my intestines absorb the nutrients in nuts very well, even though I was eating a ton

    I actually really don’t have too much of an issue with the idea of eating fatty fish and I do eat some myself on occasion.

    My concern is more with the flax seed oil: I’m an antiques dealer by trade and have used TONS of linseed oil over the years, both in furniture restoration and also as a finish on antique wood floors. I’m very familiar with it’s properties as a drying oil. It’s VERY reactive, oxidizes and hardens quickly.

    Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought it might be a good idea to put it in my smoothies everyday. My Barlean’s flax seed oil would often go rancid before I even finished the bottle. I kept it in the fridge, but I could smell it go off…. bummer too because that stuff isn’t cheap! Our bodies are 98.6 degrees, certainly not a refrigerator temp and oxygen free environment.

    Still, I really have come to believe that flax seed oil is not fit for human consumption.

    Ironically enough, I now take tsp. of turpentine on occasion because it makes me feel SUPERB….so I guess I’ve gone from being a varnish drinker to sipping solvent. :-O

  14. @SWOT….You mentioned that by me gaining the 40 pounds I “swapped hyperglycemia for hyperinsulinemia”….

    I have no idea what that means, is that a BAD thing? Would that have gone away after losing the weight again? Is this something that I should test for? Is it permanent?

    Sorry for so many questions, but today is September 1st and so I’m starting a new experiment and will go in for more lab work in November.

  15. hyperinsulinemia = high insulin levels. Fasting insulin should be below 5, ideally below 3. Anything above 10 is poor and above 20 is terrible. Anyone gaining weight or excess fat tissue (obese) normally has high insulin.

    You can have high insulin without high blood sugar. I think it’s the HI that kills and drives obesity, not the obesity itself per se.

    Without high blood sugar, just from high insulin you get
    Hypertension (insulin increases sodium retention by the renal tubules)
    Coronary Artery Disease (increased insulin damages endothelial cells)
    Hypoglycemia
    More energy stored as fat as opposed to used by other tissues=poor energy,
    leptin resistance=poor SNS activity, more hunger
    eventually, insulin resistance (more insulin causes insulin receptors to downregulate)

    With the blood sugar, you get the other stuff diabetics get like diabetic neuropathy, renal disease, glycation (artery hardening) retinal damage, etc.

  16. Aaah, okay….I’ve never had my insulin tested. I had the high fasting sugars at the doctors office (a few times) and was given a lecture, sent home with a meter and told to change my diet and lifestyle….which is what I did, but since I was already low-carbing and IFing that particular strategy wasn’t an option.

    My ALT, Trigs and HDL were all excellent at the time, Trigs were 65 and nearly doubled after adding carbs back in. I’ve never known my ALT to be out of range (don’t recall what uric acid was). I did develop liver pain after adding carbs/40 pound weight gain. I did the very low fat no starch diet to rip the fat back off my body and then went in for an ultrasound, no fatty liver despite drinking LOTS of OJ and eating honey daily.

    Pretty sure that my doc won’t routinely test for high insulin now, but I could ask for it based on my history. I’m very curious to know!!! Especially because Peat says that fructose doesn’t spike insulin like glucose does, at least I think that’s what he says….his writing is hard for me to understand, especially because I have no science background. I end up having to look up the definition of every other word and by the time I finish a sentence, I’ve lost the train of thought. :-/

    So, eating higher carbs drives insulin up and THAT drives hunger, right? But if the TYPE of carbohydrate creates a different insulin response, that might be why eating fruit over grains or potatoes might be useful, right?

    I know for ME eating starch on a daily basis makes me craaaazy hungry and also feeds bad gut flora, the whole thing ends up being a mess. I still don’t get how Guyenet and the McDougallers can eat so many potatoes. Gut flora?

    At any rate, honey and OJ do not induce the crazy hunger and messed up bloated guts starch effect on me.

  17. Also, I find your vinegar Mg combo interesting….I started taking a liquid ionic magnesium and find it superior to any other mag supp so far. I read somewhere that magnesium needs and acidic environment to be absorbed properly, so I’ve been taking mine in organic ACV too and OJ as well….really makes a difference!

    But I had no idea it was affecting insulin, HOW COOL IS THAT?

  18. Excess Fructose/Honey/sugar indirectly leads to higher insulin by causing fatty liver Fatty liver needs more insulin to do its job. Higher trigs suggest fatty liver. Uric acid also goes up. ALT usually soon follows. Fructose also doesn’t shut off appetite in the brain like starches do (insulin acutely lowers appetite, and chronically elevates it), Higher trigs prevent leptin from crossing the BBB. ACV lowers insulin in meals and Mg increases sensitivity.

  19. Carbs *can* drive hunger, Whether or not they do depends on whether you get hyperinsulinimia from them. In a normal person, you eat, your insulin goes up, acutely, it reduces appetite, then drops quickly, leptin is released (leptin follows insulin), more SNS, you release FFA between meals, and you burn fat and are in energy balance.

    In hyperinsulinemia, you produce either produce too much insulin and get hypoglycemia, excess energy is stored as fat instead of burned, then you get hangry from the adrenaline rush and FFA cut off, jittery, etc. Then you eat more,

    Or you have insulin resistance with HI, sugar and insulin stay high for hours, and leptin never gets a chance to bring you back to energy balance, and you get hungry, tired, sleepy, etc. so you get a a constant energy surplus over time. Both increase your waistline.

    Type and quantity matter..but it’s a matter of degree depending on your HI and IR levels.

  20. Hmmmm….well, like I said my Triglycerides did go up, but they’re still under 150, which I think is the cut off line (not sure on that)….I don’t know what uric acid is, is that the same as urea nitrogen?

    Mine is 10 with a range of 8-25 mg/dL. My ALT is 16 with a range of 10-65U/L.

    Can’t they SEE a fatty liver on an ultra sound? All of my liver enzymes are healthy. Maybe it takes an excess of calories in general?

    Agreed that fruit juice doesn’t satiate, fruit with the fiber intact is better. I can only eat so much watermelon in one sitting.

  21. When I was in my 20’s & 30’s I would get the symptoms you describe as hypoglycemia. I’d get hungry very suddenly and feel like I was gonna pass out, nausea, sweating, bitchy, panic-y, clammy hands, etc. I never had a glucometer back then so I don’t know what my actual blood sugars were, but those were the days I also would binge eat due to extreme fluctuations.

    I had gestational diabetes with my second child at age 27 and then I went back to run of the mill pre-diabetes and morbid obesity.

    I lost the fat doing low carb keto and became fully diabetic after three years, 180 was the highest fasting blood sugar I saw….I had developed all the other symptoms that you describe: couldn’t stay awake after meals, had to take naps only to wake up with my heart pounding in my chest, starving hungry, hands and feet numb, scalp tingling, blurry vision, couldn’t go for more than two hours without eating…it was AWFUL!!!

    I have none of that now, neither hypoglycemia, nor hyperglycemia, nor the eating behavior and cravings that are driven by each disorder. I put that down to deep nutrition.

    Now I want my insulin tested….I just gotta know!

  22. Yes to ultrasound. Alcohol, transfats, and excess Bcaa also can trigger fatty liver. Pregnancy raises insulin and cortisol. Women normally get some permanent fat increase after pregnancy. too much w6 also can cause insulin resistance which Atkins people get too much of typically. Uric acid is a waste product from fructose and alcohol being detoxed in liver. It blocks nitrous oxide in the blood raising blood pressure. NO causes blood vessels to relax.

  23. Fiber in fruit slows absorption/Flux so mitochondria in liver don’t get overwhelmed producing all the bad effects.

  24. Fruit in sunlight and uv is less fattening to liver since uvb raises Enos preventing uric acid effects and alpha msh lowers appetite. Uv is antidote. Fructose absent uvb exposure fatten you up. uvb drops in September, fall is coming, so you fatten up for winter.

  25. In winter no fruit/carbs in nature. LCHF is more natural in low light, cold environments. Cold raises Sns absent sunlight and uvb exposure.

  26. Hi SWOT…..Yes, following the seasonal availability of fruit has always caused me to wonder if that is a more natural pattern. When I added carbs back in to my diet it was late October/November. I moved to a new home in December (more stress) and due to remodeling expenses I couldn’t afford to escape to somewhere sunny. Dark dreary wet winter at very northerly latitude, by March I was a complete mess.

    I had no ability to oxidize glucose properly and it took a major effort on my part to undo the damage.

    Since then I’ve worked extra hard to make certain I get more sunshine and red light therapy during winter, I’ve also noticed that I’ve needed more thyroid meds in the winter than I do in the summer.

    @Lanie…..My latest experiment is regarding my cholesterol. I added more fat to my diet over a year ago and also went off my thyroid medication several months ago. Since then, my cholesterol has gone up.

    Just to be clear, I’m NOT of the school of thought that having a total cholesterol level over 200 is necessarily a bad thing, especially for a recovering old gal like me.

    Having said all that, I don’t know what the true root cause of my higher cholesterol reading is:

    Peat would say it’s because I dropped thyroid meds.

    The Vegans would say it’s all the animal products in my diet (except I’ve been eating those for decades).

    The Low-Carb Crowd would say it’s inflammation from fructose….except I’ve been eating that for close to three years now……..So I dunno.

    Peat says coconut oil can reduce cholesterol, so my Latest Experiment is to add more of that particular fat to my diet….and maybe ramp down carbs a bit.

    I really know NOTHING about cholesterol other than one of my endocrinologists tried to get me on Lipitor many years ago…I refused to take the statin and found a new doc who changed my thyroid meds and within a few months my cholesterol “issue” magically went away….until Armour Thyroid became unavailable. Going back to Levoxyl (a T4 only med) resulted in full Hypo symptoms AGAIN along with elevated cholesterol. This chain of events is one of the main reasons why I won’t ever go back to T4 only meds.

    If I can’t get my cholesterol down with coconut oil and less carbs (still not sure where the magic number lies for Fall/winter), then I’ll go back on a tiny dose of thyroid come winter…..either straight T3 or a reduced ratio of T4 to T3.

    ME NO WANNA FATTEN UP FOR WINTER!!!

  27. Dietary fat tends to increase LDL, but that’s not really a problem since it’s usally IDL and not SdLDL. If you’re really worried get your LDL-P checked, but HDL to triglyceride ratio is a proxy marker for more IDL and less SdLDL (lower LDL-P). If trigs aren’t more than 2-3x HDL, it’s considered low risk.

    Peter Attia really get’s into it — http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-part-vi

    More thyroid in winter would be normal since less sunlight = less SNS, so more T3 would be needed to compensate.

    Check your rT3 levels. They might suggest your symptoms are caused by low leptin. Assuming you’re weight reduced, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  28. @Meme…forgot to mention, LDL-P goes up also from crap thyroid. But crap thyroid can be caused by hypoleptinemia (low leptin) from weight reduction (aka starvation mode)

  29. Hi SWOT….WOW, You’re like Encyclopedia Man!!!

    Once again, it’ll take me a week to figure out what you just posted upthread….sdLDL…blah blah blah….it goes in one ear and out the other cuz I have NO idea what you’re saying, lol.

    Okay, I’ll read up and learn me some stuff about cholesterol…..I’m not actually worried about my cholesterol, but this new doc is desperate to find SOMETHING wrong with me and she’s certain I need cholesterol lowering meds unless I can bring my levels down with “diet and lifestyle changes”.

    You know the drill….I just gotta make a slight difference before my next visit so she’ll get off my back.

    My previous doc did the EXACT same thing to me almost 4 years ago when she discovered I was “diabetic”….her dire warning speech was nearly identical, practically verbatim…..simply insert a different diagnosis.

    I get the distinct feeling that primary care docs are very well trained and rehearsed in fear mongering and drug dealing….and yet maybe NOT so well trained in actual physiology.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be going through all of this…..it has definitely forced me to read, study and learn as much as I can so that I can make appropriate changes.

    My most recent (8/19/16) REVERSE T3 was 12.2 ng/dL with a reference range of 9.0 – 27.0 ng/dL…….it was 8 on the prior test and flagged as LOW, weird eh? That was a different lab tho.

    I am indeed what you would consider weight reduced, currently 128 pounds…..down from something just over 200….203 or 205lbs, not entirely sure because I was so horrified at what had become of my life that I avoided scales for many years.

    I know for sure that I hit 200lbs though, that’s when I stopped looking….and I have the loose skin and stretch marks to PROVE it.

    Alright, I’m off to study all kinds of cholesterol…….thanks for the links SWOT!!!

  30. @Meme..

    In short… IDL is bigger intermediate density particles. Typically more on high fat lower carb diets. SdLDL = small dense LDL. high carb diets and fructose make that typically. LDL-C is total volume. LDL-P is particle number. Particle number is what is correlated to atherosclerosis, not volume. Most docs only check LDL-C/ volume. More sdldl per volume means more particles since you have a lot of little particles vs fewer bigger particles in the case of IDL.

    T3 to rT3 ratio proxy how much your body is trying to dump T3 to conserve energy.

  31. Free T3 should be 20x more than RT3 in lab values, but I think when they say lower ratios they’re using a different calculations…Anyway the link has the details

  32. @Meme, check out the video below

    TL;DW

    The Gut seems to have sweet receptors.
    Sweet foods (weather from fructose or artificial sweeteners) cause less GLP-1 (satiety hormone that slows gastric emptying).
    The guy who did the n=1 ate artificial sweetener with his OGTT. the % rise in his blood sugar was 40% without the 0 calories sweetener and 53% with the sweetener. In other words, sweeted foods consumed in a meal makes your blood sugar rise 33% more than without.

    More blood sugar = more insulin = greater % of calories stored as fat –> less leptin –> lower SNS and fidgeting/NEAT and greater appetite at next meal.

  33. @SWOT….Fascinating stuff!!! I’ve always wondered if Stevia was safe or if it was bad due to tricking the brain into releasing insulin when NOT necessary? Diet Coke used to give me wicked bad headaches back in the 80’s, so I pretty much gave up artificial sweeteners.

    I’m getting ready to go see a Cardiologist in a couple hours, so I’ll have a proper watch of this video when I get back. This is the first time I’ve ever been to a Cardiologist…my primary care doc referred me because I wanted total clearance for engaging in high intensity exercise. I wonder how they test for that?

    And yeah, the ratio calculations for T3/rT3 are complicated. My rT3 was tested at a different lab so I need to figure out how to get all the numbers on the same scale (er whatever) in order to calculate it properly. Jesus, this has become a full time job.

    Also, I read up a bit on cholesterol last night…..it appears as though SIZE MATTERS (ha ha, something I’ve always known)…that’s a joke People, laugh with me.

    More soon…xoxo

  34. @Meme…forgot to ask. When you were doing keto a lot and your blood sugar went up, were you showing any signs of lack of protein? I think you may have mentioned your T3 was low. Was your hair falling out, for example? I’m asking because during hypoleptinemia, glucagon and gluconeogenesis goes way up and converts dietary protein to glucose (causing hyperglycemia) instead of using protein for repair and growth. That’s a starvation response to partition protein to fuel instead of other uses.

  35. Hi SWOT….My symptoms were a rising TSH, massive joint pain, freezing cold body temps, severe depression, low kidney function on lab tests (both kidneys were tender and left kidney developed colic and at least one stone), poor glucose regulation, chronic fatigue, muscle cramps, insomnia, loss of interest in sex and chronic gut issues (I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch).

    I felt totally stressed out and irritable all the time. I was super bitchy, high-strung and impatient……can’t remember if my hair was shedding or not at the time. My hair has fallen several times in the past, but it always comes back when I get my thyroid and other hormones sorted out.

    Looking back through some of my labs, I can see that my iron was waaaay off. I think iron overload can contribute to blood sugar issues and hypothyroidism. I think excess iron can feed pathogenic bacteria too. My immune system was totally crashing. I think I was eating too much red meat. I wasn’t getting enough calcium (flagged on lab tests, but doc never said anything about it). I’m positive that I wasn’t getting enough magnesium, but my guts could not tolerate supps at the time. I tried transdermal mag, but HATED the way it felt on my skin…*shudders*

    The first two years of low-carbing were awesome, but I felt very very depleted after three years HFLC/Keto….Like I’ve said before, I know I did LOTS of stuff wrong.

    However, I also knew I couldn’t do it anymore and was in a bit of a panic as my body fat was starting to pile on despite rarely eating. In the end, I was down to eating just once per day and that single meal was NOT very much food, usually a bed of swiss chard with a lamb patty sprinkled with sun dried tomatoes and an avocado or a smoothie. I knew I had to start eating again, my body was in full-on hibernation mode, totally metabolically down regulated. Starvation was NOT my intention, but that is where I ended up.

    This has been a long recovery and learning process…..there are MANY contributing factors/mistakes and my goal is to learn about and permanently fix each and every one of them.

  36. @SWOT….p.s. that was a great video. I stopped consuming artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin etc. many years ago, but I do kinda feel like they could have contributed to my initial weight gain in my 20’s.

    Now I’m wondering if the sweeteners that I thought were safe (Lakanto, Stevia and Xylitol) are really safe at all???

    I quit consuming them when I quit Low-Carb (three years ago). I’ve been weight stable since quitting all that nonsense…for the first time in 25 years.

    Do you use NO-calorie sweeteners SWOT? Do you have a history of using artificial sweeteners? If so, how has it affected your weight/appetite?

    Based on my own personal history/use of no-cal sweeteners, Me thinks the brain doesn’t like being tricked.

    We should write a book listing each and every one of these contributing factors.

  37. @Meme,

    I hate artificial sweeteners. Can’t stand them. Yes they increase my appetite, and give me headaches when used chronically. Hypoglycemia/Hangry resulted too often. In general, I only drink coffee with cream (and a small amount of dextrose), green tea, and water. Sounds like a big part of your LCHF fiasco was from low leptin based on the symptoms you described.

  38. @SWOT….Yep, EXACTLY this when using fake sweeteners “increase my appetite, and give me headaches when used chronically. Hypoglycemia/Hangry resulted too often.”

    Never again.

    My dad has been drinking diet Pepsi for decades, he also suffers from MAJOR memory issues….not sure if it’s related. I can’t say anything to him tho, he gets so angry and defensive.

    I don’t know what leptin is……I’ll have to learn about THAT after I finish Peter Attia’s cholesterol series. He’s very detailed oriented and thorough, but damn I feel sooooo dumb cuz I don’t know what he’s saying half the time.

  39. @Meme,

    In short, your fat cells produce leptin. Leptin goes to your brain and tells it you aren’t starving. Smaller/shrunken fat cells produce less leptin. Growing fat cells produce more leptin. When leptin is present, you feel normnal. When it’s low/absent, you get the starvation symptoms described..

    Thyroid crashes. rt3 increases. You get cold. You become supersensitive to carbohydrates. They fatten you up quick. Your liver starts converting all the protein you eat into glucose and dumps it into your blood to keep you alive. Your dopamine crashes. You feel lethargic. You feel indifferent to life. Your NPY and Agrp levels go up in your brain so you get severe carb cravings. You’re always thinking about (and probably only thinking about) food like a grizzly getting ready to hibernate. Your ghrelin goes up in your stomach so you get hunger pains more intensely and more often. Your PYY and GLP-1 crash so you don’t feel satiated from your food. You have the nervous system output of a burned out meth addict in withdrawal. Your BMR drops 10-20% what would otherwise be expected of someone your size.

    Insulin and triglycerides also block leptin. That’s why fat people can keep eating and not feel full even though they have a lot of leptin.

    Prader-willi kids have brains that can’t see their leptin signal at all–broken hypothalmus

  40. Oh my goodness…..what a heart-breaking video. I cannot even imagine the struggle of those families with Prader-willi kids….soooo sad. 😦

    I’ve been trying to figure out what changed in my own brain….something DEFINITELY changed. It was like a switch had been flipped…it was most pronounced when I quit eating grains, especially wheat.

    I recall in my mid-twenties (after the birth of my first child) asking my very thin sister-in-law how she does it….How did she have so much apparent self-control? I didn’t realize that she didn’t have the same insane hunger signals that I suffered from.

    She has two boys like me and I was baffled by her lack of weight gain during and after her pregnancies. She NEVER over eats….and so I asked her about that. Her response was “I only eat to live, I don’t live to eat.”

    I analyzed my own crazy hunger patterns, they clearly were NOT normal. I was close to 100 pounds over weight and yet it was like I DIDN’T possess the trigger in my own brain to tell me to stop eating. I never felt satiated. I thought about food all the time. Portion control was meaningless. Even when physically stuffed with food, I felt like I was starving.

    Looking back, I do think there was an element of actual starvation from wheat induced malabsorption…..eating wheat (or any grain) for more than two days in a row will trigger profound feelings of hunger. Back then I ate some form of wheat, oatmeal, rice or potatoes every single day.

    It wasn’t until I went grain/starch free that normal hunger/satiation signals were restored in my brain. I suspect gut flora might have something to do with it as well as insulin.

    Ditching all artificial sweeteners has helped too, even the ones that some Paleo peeps think are okay (stevia/xylitol/etc).

    Obviously I don’t know the names of all the hormones/neurotransmitters etc involved in the process of obesity, I’m only basing my statements on my own personal experience.

    So, I need to learn about Leptin….It sounds like this is another part of process. Is leptin something that can be tested, like in a blood draw? Maybe I can test that at the same time as fasting insulin?

    I still carry some excess body fat (like 10 pounds), so maybe my fat is still making a lot of leptin and that’s somewhat protective against feeling starved? Do some people’s fat make more leptin than others?

    If insulin and trigs block leptin, shouldn’t I be feeling super duper hungry in my weight reduced/carb eating/higher triglyceride condition? Or is this a brain inflammation issue???

    What I’m trying to figure out is all the reasons for WHY I don’t feel starved now, whereas I did eventually feel starved on Keto even though I am the exact same weight…..it has to be the difference in micronutrient status.

    Thyroid meds make me hungry too, for sure. I’ve needed less and less meds as I recover my health.

  41. @Meme. Pregnancy increases insulin and cortisol. You’re bathing in it for nine months. Hence the weight gain. This is partially how gestational diabetes manifests (and goes away). Baby pops out, insulin and cortisol drop, leptin starts working, you lose the baby weight.

    Your sister most likely had lower fasting and postprandial insulin levels than you.

    Allergic reactions to wheat increase cortisol. Cortisol raises blood sugar. Higher blood sugar raises insulin. Insulin blocks leptin.. It’s easy to fatten someone up by giving them cortisone shots. It’s also why T1DM teenage girls stop taking their insulin to lose weight (not healthy, but it works).

    I bet on keto you had may have either had lower bodyfat than now and/or higher cortisol from HPA counteregulation. (adrenals spewing out cortisol to keep blood sugar higher). You’re probably at a plateau…if you push it further you’ll get those semi-starvation sympotoms.

  42. @Meme…there are also individual genetic and epigenetic differences in glucose metabolsim..some people with “thrifty” genes produce more insulin for any given level of CHO.

  43. @Meme…leptin can be tested, but good luck finding HRT for it since too many doctors are too stupid to realize it actually works in weight reduced patients vs patients with hyperinsulinemia. That’s the crux of woo’s ranting for 5 years since she actually was weight reduced when she took it and had effortless weight maintenance and lots of energy on it in her weight reduced state. Now she can only get inferior results with lifestyle manipulations and inferior supplements like dopamine boosters (green tea/ECCG, sjw, etc) and legal stimulants like her kratom n=1 experiments.

  44. Hi SWOT….AGREED on the plateau thing. I can’t push things further right now without a stress response….insomnia kicks in first, then bitchiness. It’s not worth it. My cortisol was very high on Keto, I was super stressed out and my life was falling apart……so glad those days are over.

    I’ll ride out this Fall/Winter just maintaining my 7 pound loss and call it good enough while I strategize for next Spring/Summer.

    I’m having a cardiac stress test this week and also an echocardiogram in order to get cleared for high intensity exercise. Hopefully I’ll pass…..whether I actually get off my *ss and actually exercise intensely remains to be seen, lol.

    I’d like to have my insulin tested….too bad on the leptin replacement thing, seems like millions could benefit from that.

  45. @Meme…HIIT might help change your body composition..a little more muscle, and a little less fat.

    You could try LCHF again, but make sure your stress is lower, your taking your micronutrients. If you want to experience a ton of energy, pig out on a LCHF diet…eat tons of cheese and nuts and protein, and watch what happens when you have high leptin and low insulin. Keep an eye on your waistline, with a tape measure, but the scale may go up. I gained a bunch of lean tissue and lost a bunch of fat even though the scale barely budged doing that.

  46. @Meme, still I’d caution you doing it if your leptin is low. He and I did it at higher levels of leptin. I’d only try it if your free t3 is at least 20x greater than your rt3.

  47. Hi SWOT….I agree that my body composition has changed since my Keto days. I recently pulled out some clothes that I purchased back then while vacationing. Even though I am the EXACT SAME WEIGHT as then, these clothes are a bit snug now, like I’m fluffier. I do feel more jiggly too, which totally bugs me.

    So yeah, I definitely must have less muscle mass…bummer, need to rebuild.

    I can eat tons of cheese and protein, but I can’t do too many nuts. The fiber irritates my intestines and then I get cold sores on my mouth.

    This is why I was designing a Peatogenic Diet: I like the nutrients that I get from eating Peat foods (milk and OJ), but was thinking maybe too many carbs are in the way, so thinking of fermenting some of the sugars out…..dunno? I’m just guessing. To my knowledge, no one has tried it.

    Peat says that lactic acid from fermented foods is a metabolic burden, so I have been hesitant. Plus, I still think women need more carbs than men….maybe? I have MUCH MUCH less stress in my life now, so I’m ripe for such an experiment!

    I’m still toying with that whole idea….waist is currently 28 inches, but I want it smaller….more like 26″. I found an online calculator for my free T3 to rT3 and it came out to 25.4, so that seems okay, I think?

    Can I simply ask for my Leptin to be tested? Or do I need to have a “specific symptom” in order to get my insurance to pay for the test? My doc wasn’t going to test my vitamin D status unless I told her I had “chronic fatigue”…lol.

    I’ll go check out your Sam Feltham link…

  48. @meme leptin can be tested directly by a lab. It’s not done commonly. Women are more sensitive to fat loss so carbs keep them fatter to avoid low leptin starvation symptoms. insulin and leptin levels would give you the clearest picture. if you really want clear, do insulin under an oral glucose tolerance test.

  49. @SWOT…
    That overeating link was interesting, there certainly was a visible difference in body fat. Too bad these experiments are always done by young men.

    Where are all the Old Bags??? Maybe I’ll hafta be the first.

    Thanks so much for your insight….running to get me Leptin, Insulin and Oral Glucose Tolerance tested (all at once). This should be interesting…

    (to be continued)

  50. @Meme..no problem. Just another thought with stress and low carb. People use carbs to cut stress. Carbs increase serotonin which calms you down. They activate PNS and make you feel relaxed and feel good, but fatten you up while you do it. When I do cyclical keto, I always sleep hard like a baby on the nights I’m on my break. Then I feel like a sloth two days later, and just want to get back into keto to get my energy back

    Low carb doesn’t give you that coping mechanism, so you’re dopamine is higher (think rapid, crazy, anxious thoughts), your stressing, your getting more agitated and anxious, you get insomnia, your cortisol goes up, etc..you can get into some nasty runaway stress if you can’t find an alternative to deal with it. So when people say they need carbs, I think they are really saying they need carbs to calm down. You can get all the glucose you need from gluconeogenesis from dietary protein anyway. People unaware of these realities are setting themselves for trouble doing LCHF in a high stress situation.

  51. @Meme..your t3:rt3 ratio is ok. If your fasting insulin is <4-5, there isn't really much reason to lose more bodyfat from a health perspective although if you're postprandial insulin is high, changing diet would be more useful.

  52. @SWOT….I agree, carbs are soothing, but when I eat too many I feel sort of unmotivated and not quite myself. I’m still trying to find the correct balance for me. This is one of the reasons I feel like I need to try a lower carb diet again. There are some aspects about eating that way that I really enjoyed…..maybe even just in a cyclical fashion? I don’t know.

    Peat would say a low carb diet is stressful. However, it’s totally unfair for me to judge a LCHF diet as “stressful” when there were so MANY other factors in my personal life that were completely effed up, it was unreal……divorce, losing my house, total financial ruin, had to move several times while still running my business, still had one kid at home, HUGE nutritional deficits, improper thyroid meds, etc. Blah blah blah.

    The list was really long and I needed to address each and every one of those other factors before I can honestly say that low-carb is a failure. See what I mean?

    I have personal challenges that are unique to me as well, like I have a hard time getting enough potassium when low-carbing because eating too much fiber can irritate my guts….seems like potassium always comes with fiber….hence the pulp free OJ a la Peat, it’s been practically miraculous for me. Goat milk too, which has more potassium than cow’s milk and a better fat profile.

    Peat would also say that lots of stored PUFA is toxic and that it takes 4 years to deplete those metabolically suppressive fats.

    I would have to design my low carb diet to NOT include excessive PUFA. I’m almost 3 years in to my PUFA reduction plan and I have found that I need less and less thyroid medication as I go. So I kinda think Peat is right on that issue….I can’t really give up on that now, else I’d have to start all over again.

    If I can design a proper nutritionally balanced low-carb diet without excessive PUFA intake that would be the ideal test/experiment. I will always be required to supplement magnesium, that seems to be a given, but I do NOT want to supplement potassium….pretty much everything else is easy to cover with healthy whole foods, I think.

    I have the enormous benefit of hindsight (my previous dietary failures) coupled with NO stress and Cron-O on my side….so who knows, maybe I’ll have resounding success? I’d like to be my normal adult weight at least once since giving birth over 25 years ago. I’m pretty close, but I’ve never actually achieved it. I never bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight like other women do.

    When they test insulin, is it both fasting AND postprandial that I need to ask for???

    Tomorrow I see the Endocrinologist to BEG for the above mentioned tests, Thursday is the Cardiologist to Stress Test me Ticker…..wish me luck!!!

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