5

votes

Autoimmune disease and carbohydrate intake

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Hello everyone,

I have autoimmune issues that seem to be set off when I eat an appreciable amount of carbs in one day, even if the carbs are from squash, fruit, and natural sweeteners. My throat will swell, and my neuropathy will increase, leaving my lips, fingers, and toes numb. These symptoms gradually fade over the course of a couple of days (if I decrease my carbs).

I want to be clear that this is due to a large carb load, not to the particular foods eaten. I do have quite a few food intolerances, but I can have a small portion of these foods without any problem. These issues only happen with a meal of, say, three apples or pears, 3/4 of a Hubbard squash, and 1/4 c maple syrup added to that. (I should also admit to eating a pound of raw carrots earlier in the day, a practice which is pretty common for me.) The foods could be different, but if the quantity approaches this, I get the same physical result.

Is insulin somehow setting off an inflammatory response? How does this work?

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 10, 2013
at 10:21 AM

tell that to Danny Roddy and Ray Peat

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on January 12, 2013
at 04:26 AM

Massive amounts of greens and sulfurous veg like onions.

E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on November 30, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I'd agree that courgettes (zucchini) act like green veggies in my body, but winter squashes like hubbard, acorn, butternut act like simple starches.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 18, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Interesting. Thanks for the ideas!

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 18, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Thanks for your ideas

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 18, 2012
at 05:15 AM

Search wikipedia for "Glutamate decarboxylase". It's an enzyme found in a few places in the body, most notably in the pancreas and nervous system, and upregulates GABA production. It serves as a marker for type 1 and latent autoimmune diabetes and various nervous system disorders, such as epilepsy, encephalitis, and PNH diseases. The suspected antigen stimulating production is gluten. As with many auto-antibodies, it's an excellent indicator of what diseases you are developing, which can't be accurately diagnosed clinically yet.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 18, 2012
at 05:08 AM

We're in the same boat then :) I also have nerve issues and lots of autoantibodies, including IgA-ttg (biopsy negative). Going gluten free made a world of difference. Mostly, the downward spiral stopped and some things got a bit better but I'll take it.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:47 PM

I've never heard of GAD65, so I'm googling it. Any resources you recommend?

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:47 PM

See the comment below about my blood sugar. About the nerve issues, these stem from a long-term undiagnosed gluten intolerance. I was severely ill for a while before we figured out the problem. Although the improvements in my health have been dramatic, my nerve issues and inflammation issues continue, even after 6 years gluten free and keeping tight control of my Omega 3:6 ratio. A more recent breakthrough in the past year has been lowering my carb intake and avoiding an number of other foods, including dairy, nightshades, grains and legumes.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Just throwing some things out to consider I suppose since we really don't know much about you.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Another cause of loss of feeling in extremities is low blood pressure or some other circulatory issue.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I have a blood glucose monitor because before I went off of dairy I had trouble with hypoglycemia. I've never seen my blood glucose levels go very high, even after excessively carby meals. I might have seen it go up to 107 once...

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Yes, this meal was an unwise departure from the norm.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:38 PM

I have long resisted counting grams of carbs (although I'm desperate enough to start, now, I think). I am fine with as much broccoli, cabbage, etc., as I can eat, but once fruit goes above one serving (one apple, one bowl berries, etc.) per day, things go downhill. I seem to tolerate spaghetti squash or occasional other squash, but only occasionally and in limited quantities. I went crazy with that syrup...It is generally my policy to have NO added sweeteners, except the negligible amount often found in bacon, etc.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:35 PM

This is a very interesting angle. It is true for me that it is even more important to limit starch (sweet potato, squash, etc.) than fruit sugar when it comes to gastrointestinal trouble, and fruit gives me more of a problem than cabbage or broccoli. Contrary to the experience of many, I can eat a whole head of cooked cabbage and have less gas than I would with a sweet potato! Still, I never considered how the gut flora could impact my neuropathy...Would this be by producing toxins?

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 04:26 PM

Yes, her ideas are very interesting. Doesn't she include a lot of carby fruits and veggies, though?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 16, 2012
at 01:33 PM

Have you looked in to Dr. Terry Wahl's protocol? I just started about 2 weeks ago and I'm feeling much better. It was a dramatic and quick change.

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8 Answers

1
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 16, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I imagine you would have checked already but have you been checked thoroughly for diabetes? Not just fasting glucose but also A1c and a stress test. Could you elaborate on the autoimmune issues? Have you been checked for GAD65? Nerve repair takes longer than a few days so it seems more likely that nerve function is impaired by the surrounding environment and poor blood sugar control seems like the poster child for that kind of problem.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:47 PM

I've never heard of GAD65, so I'm googling it. Any resources you recommend?

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 18, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Interesting. Thanks for the ideas!

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 18, 2012
at 05:15 AM

Search wikipedia for "Glutamate decarboxylase". It's an enzyme found in a few places in the body, most notably in the pancreas and nervous system, and upregulates GABA production. It serves as a marker for type 1 and latent autoimmune diabetes and various nervous system disorders, such as epilepsy, encephalitis, and PNH diseases. The suspected antigen stimulating production is gluten. As with many auto-antibodies, it's an excellent indicator of what diseases you are developing, which can't be accurately diagnosed clinically yet.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:47 PM

See the comment below about my blood sugar. About the nerve issues, these stem from a long-term undiagnosed gluten intolerance. I was severely ill for a while before we figured out the problem. Although the improvements in my health have been dramatic, my nerve issues and inflammation issues continue, even after 6 years gluten free and keeping tight control of my Omega 3:6 ratio. A more recent breakthrough in the past year has been lowering my carb intake and avoiding an number of other foods, including dairy, nightshades, grains and legumes.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 18, 2012
at 05:08 AM

We're in the same boat then :) I also have nerve issues and lots of autoantibodies, including IgA-ttg (biopsy negative). Going gluten free made a world of difference. Mostly, the downward spiral stopped and some things got a bit better but I'll take it.

1
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on November 16, 2012
at 02:08 PM

Not that I can explain your reaction, but the example carby meal you give is wayyy more carbs than you need. That meal would also make me feel like crap, just in different ways.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Yes, this meal was an unwise departure from the norm.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on March 09, 2013
at 10:09 AM

Yes, carbs are to blame for everything

Damn those evil, evil carbs!!

0
80192c3e9130705af010bd772264a071

on January 12, 2013
at 07:00 AM

I recently read a study about gluten-free diets eliminating many autoimmune disorders, due to the reaction that the general population has to gluten...though it is manifested in many different ways. Have you tried a Paleo or Primal diet to see how your react to a low-carb higher protein lifestyle?

0
3d2221dd5efc616e5de377072a182c1b

on January 12, 2013
at 06:48 AM

Sugar in any form is inflammatory. Too much sugar is the problem.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 10, 2013
at 10:21 AM

tell that to Danny Roddy and Ray Peat

0
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on December 15, 2012
at 03:57 AM

I would suspect that you might have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). If it is the case, eating too many carbs feed an excess of bacteria in your small intestines, triggering your symptoms. I wrote an article about SIBO in the Oct/Nov issue of Paleo Mag. You can also find more info here and here.

SIBO, leaky gut and autoimmune diseases are often associated.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 16, 2012
at 03:20 PM

It would be impossible to say without blood work, but I see no reason for you to consume that many carbs in the presence of such overt symptoms. It could be that you are insulin resistant and blood glucose levels are elevating too high and too long past time of consumption. Thats just a guess as to peripheral neuropathy and your question about insulin though. Its just as likely exacerbating your autoimmune condition or some other mechanism.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 18, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Thanks for your ideas

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Another cause of loss of feeling in extremities is low blood pressure or some other circulatory issue.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Just throwing some things out to consider I suppose since we really don't know much about you.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I have a blood glucose monitor because before I went off of dairy I had trouble with hypoglycemia. I've never seen my blood glucose levels go very high, even after excessively carby meals. I might have seen it go up to 107 once...

0
4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

on November 16, 2012
at 01:17 PM

I can't claim this is hugely scientific but in my personal view it is the effects of carbs on gut bacteria that is more important than direct insulin response.

I know you were very clear that it is not the type of carb that effects you, but have you thoroughly experimented with different types of carbs?

have you tried green veggies like courgettes, brocolli, leeks etc as a carb source? I personally get a vastly different reaction to starch (no way) honey (in small quantities) green veggies (fine, but don't go overboard). I put this down to alterations in gut flora

There are so many theories relating to autoimumne flare ups that self experimentation is the best way, unless you want to follow a protocol like GAPS or SCD.

Good luck - as long as you get the carbs you need to fill your needs then that would be fine - how many grams of carbs can you tolerate?

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:38 PM

I have long resisted counting grams of carbs (although I'm desperate enough to start, now, I think). I am fine with as much broccoli, cabbage, etc., as I can eat, but once fruit goes above one serving (one apple, one bowl berries, etc.) per day, things go downhill. I seem to tolerate spaghetti squash or occasional other squash, but only occasionally and in limited quantities. I went crazy with that syrup...It is generally my policy to have NO added sweeteners, except the negligible amount often found in bacon, etc.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 16, 2012
at 06:35 PM

This is a very interesting angle. It is true for me that it is even more important to limit starch (sweet potato, squash, etc.) than fruit sugar when it comes to gastrointestinal trouble, and fruit gives me more of a problem than cabbage or broccoli. Contrary to the experience of many, I can eat a whole head of cooked cabbage and have less gas than I would with a sweet potato! Still, I never considered how the gut flora could impact my neuropathy...Would this be by producing toxins?

E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on November 30, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I'd agree that courgettes (zucchini) act like green veggies in my body, but winter squashes like hubbard, acorn, butternut act like simple starches.

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