I am about to try an elemental diet to treat severe SIBO, leaky gut and slow-transit constipation. It will consist of:
~125g Hydrolyzed whey protein (a product called Dymatize ISO-100)
~25g Hydrolyzed collagen
~100-150g Dextrose powder
~70g MCT oil
-multivitamin, sea salt and electrolytes
My main concern is the insulinogenic properties of these ingredients, as dextrose always makes me crash and crave carbohydrates soon after. I can't follow a ketogenic diet because of adrenal and thyroid issues, so I'll probably use 100-150g dextrose per day. I tolerate carbohydates better in the evening, so I was thinking that I'll drink all of the dextrose at night. However, this will cause an even bigger insulin spike if I drink it all at once, so I'm not sure what to do.
1. Should I drink all of the dextrose at night, or should I try to spread it throughout the day? Also, are there any supplements that might prevent the blood sugar crash from dextrose? I might add alpha-lipoic acid, but I'm not sure if that would help or make it worse.
2. Will the sucralose and artificial flavorings in the whey protein have any impact on gut bacteria? I'll be consuming ~125g per day, and I wasn't able to find a lactose-free unsweetened hydrolyzed protein powder. Normally I avoid all sweeteners, but this was my only option.
3. Are there any potential problems from following an elemental diet for 1-2 months?
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Alex0, so the interesting thing is your heart rhythm issues, particularly after going very low carb. The four main electrolytes play the critical role in each heartbeat. Calcium starts the closing process of each heartbeat, and sodium finishes the closing process. Magnesium starts the relaxation process that causes expansion of the heart muscle, and potassium finishes the relaxation process.
So - I am no expert - but it is not a stretch to say that you have some kind of electrolyte issue involved. When I developed rapid pulses on low carb, these were quickly resolved by sodium. But my muscle cramping, lack of muscular energy, and general sense of fatigue did not resolve with sodium alone.
Something about these very low carb diets messes with electrolytes, and for some us, getting them into balance again while still remaining in a low carb mode is not a trivial thing.
Define "high amounts of sea salt".
Get the electrolytes measured during one of these heart pounding episodes.
I'm not denying that cortisol may have a role to play in your symptoms, but it is extremely important that you observe these symptoms after you start a low carb diet. Low carb diets are diuretic and force the body to lose a lot of sodium. Sodium imbalance causes the intracellular potassium to be excreted, and then you get muscle cramping and cardiac rhythm issues. Ultimately fluid volumes diminish and you get incredible fatigue.
You might get these symptoms worse than others because of your cortisol problems, but unlikely you are escaping the basic implications of diuresis caused by low carb.
Alex0 the heart pounding and palpitations are a classic symptom of an electrolyte imbalance, and high probability that on a CHEM8 panel you would test low on sodium levels during one of these episodes. Get your doctor to hand you a lab form for a basic metabolic panel that includes all electrolytes, and save that for the next time the symptom repeats.
These electrolyte issues are a HUGE problem for low carb diets, but only for those people who are NOT overweight and fluid-bound. If you are holding a lot of extra fluid, the diuretic effect of the diet is a fantastic benefit. If you are skinny, the diuretic effects of these diets will just destroy you, unless you manage your electrolytes. This is a completely under-discussed aspect of these diets. Doctors will fail you in making the low sodium diagnosis, and even if they find it I guarantee you that less than 1% of doctors out there have read enough about low carb diet research to understand the sodium issues.
Some researchers suggest that low carb diets (<60 grams a day) can require up to to five grams of sodium supplementation per day. That's about 2.5 teaspoons of celtic sea salt, and that is a LOT of sodium. That ended up being too much for my case.
I am going to start a thread on this issue soon, so watch for that.