I started Paleo a year ago. It fixed a gazillion of health problems for me. But the few remaining problems, while I know how to fix them, they contradict one another. I'm at a loss. Here are the facts:
- IBS for 10 years, high inflammation all that time
- High DHEA-S, and relatively high estrogen.
- Started Paleo a year ago (~100 gr of net carbs).
- Malabsorption. Even months after I started Paleo and eating 3000% of the RDA of B12, I'm still deficient in it (I supplement now). Because my gut is in a mess, it's possible that I'm deficient on other nutrients too, even if I eat all kinds of foods.
- Fatty liver. This hasn't gone away in the one year of being Paleo (for others it goes away within 3 months!)
- I lost 20 lbs originally with Paleo, but then my weight loss stalled. I was left still obese.
- In December I had a lipid panel, which showed high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Not diabetic. Normal T4 and TSH.
- I started Paleo-ketogenic (up to 30 gr of net carbs daily) 5 months after I started Paleo, for two months, in February.
- On March I went low calorie in addition too, because just like the Paleo diet, the Paleo-ketogenic stalled for me, and I couldn't lose weight (even with exercise)
- Late March I went into HIBERNATION. My body just shut down.
- I started eating more carbs, up to 80-100 gr of carbs again, felt more alive, but I was still feeling fatigued.
- After started eating more carbs, my eczema came back. More incidents of IBS-D too.
- The months passed by, and I was feeling MORE AND MORE fatigued and tired, and COLD. Low temp too. My eye would close all by itself, and I wanted to go crawl into the bed and sleep more. Lost some hair too. I spent July being more cold and tired than April.
- I stopped exercising in April because I couldn't do it anymore, I was just shut down.
- In June, I did another lipid panel. Cholesterol still high, and triglycerides OFF THE SCALE. Iron, calcium, folic acid, rest of blood was ok (except for one type for blood which is caused by low B12).
- August came, and I developed high blood pressure. I was put on medication to bring it down, which I stopped 3 days later because I got VERY LOW blood pressure (which tells me that my high blood pressure was a symptom of something else, and not a chronic condition that I suddenly developed).
- In the last week I upped my net carbs to 150-200 gr (more fruits and a bit of rice/potatoes) and I feel less fatigued.
- Despite all this regimen, I haven't lost more than 5 lbs since the original weight loss of 20lb. I'm still obese, I'm still Paleo, and I'm still at a plateau many-many months later.
Other things to know about me:
- I sleep well, but I sleep really late at night, 3 AM. I can't sleep earlier. I work at home, so I don't go out much either. Melatonin probably screwed, dark circles on my eyes.
- I take D3 in the morning, 5000 IU (I'm at 38 ng/ml). I also take K2 Mk4, Mg, fish oil among others.
- I have a fibroid in a very atypical location (0.03% chance to have it where I have it near my bladder). I was put on temporary menopause (Lupron) in August to try and shrink it, since the surgery will be very hairy, and not a typical fibroid surgery, so the surgeon needs all the help he could get.
- I have a polyp in my uterus. I will remove this after my fibroid gets removed (it's impossible to remove it now, the fibroid is blocking it).
- I don't drink enough water, I don't like the water in the US (tastes... diluted).
- I eat eggs/avocado for brunch with a grapefruit, and then meat or fish with veggies for dinner. I eat fruits for dessert. Since I sleep late, I'm known to open sardine cans at 1 AM. I also do dairy (I need goat kefir for my IBS). Depending on the day, I eat between 1500 and 2000 calories. I'm doing offal, coconut oil, bone broth, fermented foods, the whole hard-core paleo shebang.
I made a lot of research about all this, and I now know that my fatigue was because I pushed my IBS-battered body too far with the ketogenic and later the low-calorie diet. My body was simply too screwed up to keep up with such a big change from glucose to ketones, or to get used to less food (since it couldn't absorb nutrients it needed more food, not less). Combined with B12 deficiency, malabsorption, and high cortisol (March/April was stressful to me because of a project I was working on), I'm pretty sure I developed high rT3. I have all the hypothyroid symptoms, and yet I'm not hypothyroid, which leads to one thing: excess rT3. The natural cure for this is to simply eat more carbs (150-200 gr, net), which I started doing recently. The Jaminets have a good article about this.
But the high triglycerides might point towards insulin resistance (I was pre-diabetic pre-Paleo). And my fatty liver is still there! I saw it on the MRI just a few weeks ago, when checking out my fibroid.
So what do I do to fix all these conditions? Insulin resistance/fatty-liver/triglycerides requires me to eat fewer carbs/calories and lose weight (which I can't, at least not without eventually driving myself into hibernation because of starvation due to malabsorption), but my adrenals/thyroid hormones are out of balance because I went low carb while my body can't absorb nutrients (resulting in starving it in a bad way). What can I do to fix all that? What's the right balance I need to hit to fix all these conflicting problems?
It seems that the first thing that needs to be fixed is malabsorption, since that could make me lose weight with less effort, which will eventually fix the rest. But how do you even fix that? Is it even fixable at this point, after 10 years of IBS screwing my insides pretty bad?
UPDATE Feb 21 2013: Yesterday I found out that I was celiac all these years, not IBS. My celiac test was negative in 2002, but it's known to not be a sensitive test. After all this time on Paleo, I still have fatty liver, high triglycerides, high cholesterol. It's likely not my thyroid to blame though. Is it possible that my celiac is making things difficult to fix and lose weight? (I'm still obese after all this time doing Paleo, 1.5 years, having lost only 25 lbs out of the 55 lbs I had to lose).
asked byEugenia (11697)
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on August 29, 2012
at 02:48 PM
I concur re: malabsoprtion. Also your sleep cycle is really key.
Your D3 is still quite low. Optimal is 50-60 ng/ml and if you have any inflammatory condition, 60-80 ng/ml helps a lot. It may also help your sleep cycle/timing to regulate. Your 3 am bedtime is not physiologic & is likely contributing to some cortisol derangement.
Are you taking Magnesium? 200-600 mg in the early eve may help you to sleep earlier.
If you are having malabsorption issues, then a low FODMAPS diet could help. Avocadoes absolutely kill me--as well as most fruits. Without good absorption, your supplements are not likely to help.
Kombucha tea may be helpful re: probiotics.
Progesterone cream may be helpful in shrinking your fibroids, but I wouldn't do in in conjunction with Lupron.
Try to get out for a gentle/slow walk every day. Even 15 min will help. It will help your insulin resistance as well as increasing your metabolism.
on August 29, 2012
at 10:13 AM
You need to eat enough to have energy... Once you get there try walking 4-5 days/week for 20-30 minutes...
You need to walk for your health...
on August 29, 2012
at 11:28 AM
When I had a tumour, my ND recommended applying castor oil externally on the area, covered by a piece of plastic, then a hot water bottle; ultrasounds showed how it shrunk, then disappeared, avoiding medical intervention, to my immense relief. I'm newly segueing towards a paleo diet, and loving it so far; the most relief was getting off fruit, using yams, other starchy veggies to keep my carbs up for now. I have this higher carb meal at supper, which seems to help me sleep at night. For a few years now, occasional colon hydrotherapy has helped enormously in making me feel astoundingly terrific, and probably helped with nutrient absorption. But mostly, I'd do whatever it takes to drink enough water (squeeze lemon/lime into it, leave large, nice goblets of it sitting out in strategic places - e.g. at your computer) and start with that before breakfast. And I'd try to sleep while it's dark and get out for a quick walk in the morning to get daylight into your eyes. Get some good audio books to listen to in bed at night. Even if you lie there awake for hours till you're used to going to bed that early, at least it will be dark so you can start improving your sleep patterns. You've worked so hard at improving your health, you owe it to yourself to especially do the last two things.
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
You need GAPS and now.
Do yourself a favor and get Dr. NCM's book.
on February 21, 2013
at 10:20 AM
Have you considered candida?
How alkalising is your diet?
on September 24, 2012
at 01:09 PM
Check out leptin and Lyme disease.
on August 30, 2012
at 05:49 AM
Give your body some mitochondrial support. I have found excellent tips for this on the website of Dr Myhill
Once your surgeries are over, get your hormones checked. All of them. By a specialist in BHRT.
on August 29, 2012
at 03:12 PM
This year I got a lot of blood work done and the only thing that seemed wrong was I failed an oral glucose tolerance test. I suspect most paleo people would, since 75g of glucose in one shot is pretty unnatural. But I dropped out carbs again and noticed the sluggishness, but this time I made a point of eating more fat, even if I didn't feel like it. I even got some ox bile to help digest the extra fat.
It is working- I don't think the problem is thyroid because I got that tested, the problem is not having enough ketones. I could cheat regularly as long as I made reasonably paleo-esque choices and stay at the weight I wanted, but I the scale doesn't actually say much about health. I was keeping myself in a situation where my body was not happy with the level of any of it's fuel sources. For the last year or two, the standard paleo answer has been to increase carbs. This has not been a good strategy for me. Yes it initially makes me feel better, but starches seem to bring on depression, and sugars ramp up my appetite and encourage binging. Meanwhile, blood sugar swings are likely causing some damage.
So I am guessing keeping your ketones high and eating enough calories could work for you too.
For many of us, paleo ends up being a good template to start from, but there are necessary deviations to make for our particular situations.
on August 29, 2012
at 01:11 PM
I would recommend you read a book called "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross...I'll leave the bulk of the book to you to find, but it sounds like you are deficient in amino acids and have a sluggish thyroid...Perhaps even a problem with yeast growth.
I am transitioning to paleo, but also using her guidelines her book, as well as using amino acids as supplements (although I am down to just the complete and l-tyrosine right now)
I would encourage you to check out that book...It certainly can't hurt :-)
I wish you the best with your journey <3
on August 29, 2012
at 12:39 PM
I used to be very sick in a different way, but regardless, something may be relevant.
start weight training-THis is the fountain of youth. yeah you have no energy. But, being in shape gives you more energy. Starting is tough, so start slow. Just 30 minutes a day is all you need. Buy some dumbbells (should't run you more than $100 for three pairs of light weights, which you should start with OR buy a couple kettle bells). Start with shoulder girdle (presses) and back exercises (rows) and squats/lunges. Start with 30 minutes 3x per week + 30 minutes of walking daily. I do not know how old you are, but your picture makes you look like 20s, so this is starting slowly and I know you can do it if you want to.
stop kefir- This may sound weird, but when I was a kid I ate A LOT of yogurt (my whole family did), but had a weak stomach. I cut out yogurt for a year and my stomach improved dramatically. I still consumed dairy though (protein shakes), just not probiotics or lactose. I ended up trying Primal Defense by Garden of LIfe probiotic and fell sick for a week for the first time in years. I stopped it and reintroduced it a month later with the same effects. I don't think exogenous consumption of certain probiotics is good for everyone. I know a lot of people who eat no yogurt/fermented veg/or probiotic supplements who are in terrific health.
be willing to try something new and keep records- if your current diet strategy is leaving you feeling like this, it is not the right diet for you, right now. Try something new. I'd first stop the grapefruit, as it can increase estrogen and slows liver detoxification (it used to be popular for bodybuilders to take certain supplements with grapefruit juice because their blood levels would remain consistently higher for longer periods of time due to impaired detoxification). Switch to berries. Maybe try adding in sprouted grain breads for more carbs if you feel you need them (I used to eat Ezekiel bread and think they are great products). Eat salads (lots of raw leafy greens). I know it sounds girly or w/e, but you're a girl so should have no problems implementing 1-2 salads a day. Go easy on the animal protein (you should be fine with 4oz per salad) but load a plate or bowl with tender leaves (baby romaine, arugula, spring mix, and herb salads are what I like).
Try a whey protein supplement- they're good for a lot of things from glucose control, body composition, glutathione levels and detoxification. Get a clean whey isolate. http://www.myvitasource.com/en/
take a powerful multivitamin- I have been taking Animal Pak for the past five years and every time I switch, always come back to it. You can literally feel it working and it is so comprehensive- even has a grass fed beef liver tablet and loads of digestive enzymes. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/univ/animalpak.html
Drink water. Drink it.
* Now pay attention to this part because it is important. You say you need to lose weight but can't. You need to eat more because you're malnourished (your digestive function is weak). If start exercising you can eat more and get leaner (if you weight train). Muscle is very metabolically active tissue, so the more muscle you can have, the more calories you can eat without gaining body fat. Please start weight lifting so you can nourish your body without negative consequences of too many calories.
Maybe that is relevant, maybe it is not, but those are some things that help me feel good. I hope you start feeling better, but I think you're going to have to be willing to try some new things in the short run if you want to be well in the long run. Hope this gives you some options.
on August 29, 2012
at 10:04 AM
b vitamins are stock vitamins, they must ALL be present to work. So an onslaught of just b12 is purely placebo. Too much fruit if obese, get out more like it or not, drink water like it or not, sleep earlier, and everything you need u covered. you say you're paleo, but youcreally aren't listening to what paleo is. also FODMAPS.