Increased Alcohol Sensitivity

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I don’t think I’m allowed to post comments on Mark Sisson’s site.  I was banned a couple years ago.  But I was checking out his most recent post and tried to post this comment on the topic of increased sensitivity to alcohol and caffeine on a low-carb Paleo diet, which I don’t think showed up.  My response was…

“Alcohol and caffeine cause sugar levels to crash on a cellular level.  They are perhaps the most potent triggers of these crashes, which you can test by monitoring your urine with an agricultural tool called a refractometer.  A reading below 1.5 denotes a crash.  Below 0.5 is considered very severe.

The fewer carbs you eat, the more prone you are to these crashes – for one because you are not offsetting the effects by consuming carbs with them (always consume coffee with lots of sugar if you have this problem – and have a candy bar or some cookies if drinking gives you this problem).

And I suspect another reason is diminishing glycogen storage capacity, which is to be expected when you are relying on glycogen less and less to fuel your body.  The storage depot diminishes.  Eating a higher carbohydrate diet, especially if the calories are high, increases glycogen storage and prevents the severity of the sugar crash when encountering a trigger such as alcohol, sugary foods, or foods with a high glycemic index.

That explains a worsening response to alcohol, but as far as getting drunk off of fewer drinks and being sensitive in that regard, a low-carbohydrate, whole foods diet is likely to trigger that because it is not very stimulating to dopamine and serotonin, which causes receptor sites to become more sensitized to anything that causes a surge in levels of these neurotransmitters – something alcohol does.”

GREAT THOUGHTS FROM 180 FOLLOWER:  “JIB”

From MDA:

“My guess is that breaking down and detoxifying the ethanol you’re imbibing is hard work for a liver that’s already tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state (gluconeogenesis).

We know that alcohol consumption inhibits gluconeogenesis by decreasing the availability of the “intrahepatic gluconeogenic precursors” by 61%. If alcohol detox and gluconeogenesis are competing for the same raw materials along similar pathways, and if the effects of alcohol increase with inefficient detoxification, it follows that someone drinking alcohol in a gluconeogenic state may be more sensitive to its effects.”

From the Brixman website, with a quote from Carey Reams:

“I know some people feel better on the high protein diet. However, the high protein diet only provides temporary relief but is not a cure.

The short-term relief occurs because the diet eliminates many carbohydrates to which the patient was hypersensitive. However, by itself, the high protein diet does nothing to correct the malfunctioning of the liver and pancreas.

Moreover, over the long-term, the diet can actually worsen the problem. This is because large quantities of hydrochloric acid are needed to digest all the protein. The liver begins to wear down trying to meet the demand. As we’ve seen, it is this liver malfunction that originally causes hypoglycemia.

Finally, on the high protein diet, urea builds up due to poor protein digestion. This leads, as we saw last time, to explosive tension and heart attacks. Ironically, some hypoglycemic die from heart attacks brought on by the high protein diet, the commonly accepted cure.”

Hopefully tools like the refractometer will be accepted as valid at some point in the future and people will be able to recognize that it does have actual scientific value in evaluating human health.

http://www.ajcn.org/content/42/6/1276.short

Urine urea nitrogen tests are already accepted.  The refractometer simply provides another piece of valuable information, as is the case with the pH, conductivity and cell debris numbers.

Anyway, to simplify things, what would we expect from a very high-protein diet?

I’d say exactly what it said on MDA:

“My guess is that breaking down and detoxifying the ethanol you’re imbibing is hard work for a liver that’s already tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state (gluconeogenesis).”

I would say it might be worth considering a slight re-wording:  “a liver that’s already OVER-tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state.”

What I got from that comment was that, basically, your liver has to work harder on a low-carbohydrate diet, and because of that, alcohol’s going to have a greater effect on you because you’re going to have a harder time de-toxifying it.  Women have less of a tolerance for alcohol, they say, because of some enzymatic thing?

The specifics there are irrelevant — the point would be, with women, that they have a more difficult time getting the alcohol de-toxified and out of their system.  The increase in alcohol sensitivity from a low-carbohydrate diet would make sense to me under the theory of low-carbohydrate dieting creating a greater burden for the liver, and so it has less resources available to deal with other things outside the standard dietary fare — like alcohol.  And probably all other toxins, for that matter.

If you’re less efficient at processing and clearing out wastes/toxins from your body, how can that be beneficial?  At the very least, people that promote low-carbohydrate diets should be willing to consider these questions.  Maybe if someone shared studies about tribal populations and rainwater consumption there could be an acknowledgement of the value of distilled water.  Of course, it’d require an acknowledgement of low-carb teachers that high protein intake can lead to greater build-up of toxic metabolic byproducts.

The biggest problem I see is that teachers of low-carb might be afraid that the theory is flawed, and then saving face becomes more important than protecting the health of their followers.  Though I think the majority of people, if not all of them, promoting low-carb, really believe that it’s the best system out there.  I can’t blame them.  I’m very into RBTI now, but I have to be careful to keep my mind open and not fall into the trap of signing up to one belief system at the expense of ignoring everything else.

So with that said…the ‘solution’ here is to explore these issues more deeply.  It’s unfortunate you’re not allowed to post there, and I’m guessing anyone who promotes alternative viewpoints there or goes against the grain too much will be blocked.

But people’s health is what matters most.  I know I’m preaching to the choir here.  :p

It is concerning, though.  I trashed myself doing low-carb paired with high intensity exercise and fasting on a regular basis.  But when I started I felt absolutely wonderful.

I wonder if people who are doing it more moderately than I did are doing damage to themselves without being aware of it, because

1) it’s so gradual
2) the damage might be hidden by low-carb dieting

When I started trying RRARF I felt AWFUL.  Maybe your ability to handle carbohydrates is the true test of carbohydrate metabolism, which itself depends on proper functioning of the liver/pancreas/entire body as a whole.  “Carbs drive insulin drives fat” is a little too simple.  Maybe “Malfunctioning body drives malfunctioning health”.  The problem is not insulin but a malfunctioning of the organs that are responsible for proper metabolism, which ultimately would end up representing the body as a whole.

So I didn’t even realize how messed up I was until I started eating carbohydrates in quantity again, and also NOT fasting and NOT over-exercising.  These things can all produce temporary highs and make you feel awesome, as you’ve pointed out on this blog countless times with countless examples….

…much like chocolate.  I was eating lots of unsweetened chocolate during my low-carb stint too.  I’m sure that didn’t help.  But that’s just one more example of something that can make you feel fantastic when really it’s messing you up.  I’ve never done drugs but I’ve heard that there is absolutely no way to describe how good cocaine makes you feel.  I don’t question that but I think the dangers it presents to the human body speaks for the point I’m making here.

So it just concerns me because I think a lot of people won’t know how much they’re damaging themselves because they won’t be eating carbohydrates.  You can feel better because your body’s not being thrown off by getting overwhelmed with a benign substance that, if it were healthy, it should be able to process.  But if you went to low-carb as a result of a malfunctioning of that process to begin with, you could just be exaggerating a deficiency that was already there, and it could be getting worse while you’re feeling better.

54 Comments

  1. I experienced that- made me a(n even cheaper) drunk.

    I usually found that I really craved starches though, rather than sweets. Especially bread, but also rice or taters.

    Is this why eating on an empty stomach makes you drunk faster?

    Reply
    • The empty stomach thing is more about rapid absorption into the bloodstream, which is how Sisson answered the question about alcohol sensitivity on his blog.

      Reply
  2. Well said Matt! It totally makes me go crazy when I think of all the years I spent eating NO sugar and close to no carbs. Nothing helped, my sugar crashes during that time were just insane. If I had had a refractometer back then I can only imagine how dangerously low my sugars might have been (judging from my mood swings/temper tantrums….). And I’d spend time with my psychologist writing down when, how long and how often I’d crave sugar… My cravings NEVER stopped or even diminished during the 10 years I cut out refined cane sugar. It’s all so frustrating, but now at least I have a clue what my sugars are (1.1 writing this). My cravings are always spot on…..I should just learn to trust my body instead of trying to control it.

    Reply
    • Nice! Yay refractometer!

      Reply
  3. Matt, we need to talk about this this weekend. (Great timing, by the way) I have noticed recently that the wife gets wasted after just one beer, as a cup of coffee gives her a massive headache and nausea symptoms.

    Reply
    • Hah, funny. I get drunk on one beer and totally wasted on 2. But on the other hand, I never drink alcohol so it’s expected..

      Reply
  4. Hey Matt,

    Since I’ve followed a higher sugar-based diet (fruit, juice, sucrose, etc.) and cut down radically on pufas and flesh meats (Peat-ish), I can handle booze like nobody’s business. When I was low-carb, 3 drinks and I (a 5’3″ female) would be done. Now I can tolerate 8-9 drinks no problem. Don’t worry – I don’t make a habit of that (which is another testament to how much healthier my liver is….I have not been building a tolerance). :)

    Reply
    • Yeah, I don’t drink much alcohol, but since adding tons of fruit to the diet and cutting down on meat I too have no problems with it anymore. It used to make me sick every time I drank it, and now I handle it much better. Now I just need more practice!! I’m lucky to get in 2 beers a month!

      Reply
  5. I’ve noticed that when I have a cocktail right after the gym (life is short, and I am busy :-) ), it hits me quicker and harder than it will if I didn’t just exercise for 2 hours. I assumed that it was some kind of glycogen thing going on, but I’m definitely not a low-carber. Maybe just hungry, waiting for appetite to return so I can eat dinner. Though i’ve never considered serotonin and dopamine, which would probably be surging anyway at that time, anyway.

    Reply
  6. Alcohol building up a tolerance represents the actual tendencies to the running effects of ethanol in alcohol. This includes direct building up a tolerance, speed of restoration from insobriety and level of resistance to the development of alcohol addiction.

    Reply
  7. This is very interesting as my tolerance for alcohol and caffeine (especially coffee) has never been the same since I ruined myself eating Paleo. Its funny a cup of coffee now makes me shaky – but in the pre-paleo days I could pound the coffee and get no real effects apart from a slight mental lift….. The same goes for alcohol to some extent.

    Any ideas why the tolerance has not been restored since fixing my metabolism with a mo-carb diet?

    Reply
    • Probably just because you are a sissy boy! No, actually I don’t have the same experiences with caffeine as I do with alcohol. My caffeine tolerance went up on low-carb, which I presumed was because I was more desensitized to my adrenal hormones – since they were raging all the time. It seems low-carbers really start to get boners over caffeine after they have been on it a while, as their adrenals start to poop out on them. If I go apeshit with sugar, caffeine becomes quite revolting, and my response to it is very negative. It’s like I’m doing meth or something. The effects are very powerful and the crash after is very hard. I assumed that I had become more sensitized to norepinephrine by eating such a high-sugar diet, which seems to keep my adrenal hormones really low. But that’s just my interpretation of what “might” be going on.

      Reply
  8. I don’t think a reading below 1.5 indicates a crash. Hell, I’ve been on the program and doing fantastic, energy through the roof, and my sugars range from 1.1-1.8 or so over the course of a day (I check on a refractometer multiple times per day). I suggest researching more on the topic because not everyone is crashing at less than 1.5 brix in their urine.

    Reply
    • That is just a general rule. Anything below 2.0 is a crash for me. Not a particularly strong one. But I can feel the difference. In addition, the belief is that if you are below 1.5 your body is having to borrow sugar from your system to maintain balance. Even if you feel great, this borrowed energy can be depleting repeated over and over and over again for months and years.

      Reply
      • Matt,

        I’ve was doing the paleo/lowcarb thing for a while. I was only ready to consider alternatives after health problems continued to worsen, then began reading things like 180degreehealth and Carbsane.

        This was not long before you started writing about RTBI, so I bought a refractometer looking for a some other ways to understand where I’m at. I’ve used it long enough to notice some rough patterns with time of day, urination frequency/ugency, and how I feel.

        Question: What do you make of high (and variable) BRIX readings since most discussions have been about low/crashing BRIX?

        Thanks for your blog, it’s been a help to me.

        MoldyFudge

        Reply
        • You can bring those down quite easily by drinking more distilled water. But be careful to stop when the water makes them drop, and eat a bite or two of fruit or dried fruit when it dips below around 1.5 or you start to feel hypoglycemia-esque symptoms that clearly aren’t due to your readings being too high.

          Reply
          • Matt, there seems to be a lot of talk about how to handle a hypoglycemia brix reading, but what are the steps one would take if they were hyperglycemic? It seems that upping the distilled water would help, but are there any other rules, or guidelines to follow with a brix in the 8-9 range?

  9. From MDA:

    “My guess is that breaking down and detoxifying the ethanol you’re imbibing is hard work for a liver that’s already tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state (gluconeogenesis).

    We know that alcohol consumption inhibits gluconeogenesis by decreasing the availability of the “intrahepatic gluconeogenic precursors” by 61%. If alcohol detox and gluconeogenesis are competing for the same raw materials along similar pathways, and if the effects of alcohol increase with inefficient detoxification, it follows that someone drinking alcohol in a gluconeogenic state may be more sensitive to its effects.”

    From the Brixman website, with a quote from Carey Reams:

    “I know some people feel better on the high protein diet. However, the high protein diet only provides temporary relief but is not a cure.

    The short-term relief occurs because the diet eliminates many carbohydrates to which the patient was hypersensitive. However, by itself, the high protein diet does nothing to correct the malfunctioning of the liver and pancreas.

    Moreover, over the long-term, the diet can actually worsen the problem. This is because large quantities of hydrochloric acid are needed to digest all the protein. The liver begins to wear down trying to meet the demand. As we’ve seen, it is this liver malfunction that originally causes hypoglycemia.

    Finally, on the high protein diet, urea builds up due to poor protein digestion. This leads, as we saw last time, to explosive tension and heart attacks. Ironically, some hypoglycemic die from heart attacks brought on by the high protein diet, the commonly accepted cure.”

    Hopefully tools like the refractometer will be accepted as valid at some point in the future and people will be able to recognize that it does have actual scientific value in evaluating human health.

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/42/6/1276.short

    Urine urea nitrogen tests are already accepted. The refractometer simply provides another piece of valuable information, as is the case with the pH, conductivity and cell debris numbers.

    Anyway, to simplify things, what would we expect from a very high-protein diet?

    I’d say exactly what it said on MDA:

    “My guess is that breaking down and detoxifying the ethanol you’re imbibing is hard work for a liver that’s already tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state (gluconeogenesis).”

    I would say it might be worth considering a slight re-wording: “a liver that’s already OVER-tasked with the creation of glucose from amino acids in a low dietary glucose state.”

    What I got from that comment was that, basically, your liver has to work harder on a low-carbohydrate diet, and because of that, alcohol’s going to have a greater effect on you because you’re going to have a harder time de-toxifying it. Women have less of a tolerance for alcohol, they say, because of some enzymatic thing?

    The specifics there are irrelevant — the point would be, with women, that they have a more difficult time getting the alcohol de-toxified and out of their system. The increase in alcohol sensitivity from a low-carbohydrate diet would make sense to me under the theory of low-carbohydrate dieting creating a greater burden for the liver, and so it has less resources available to deal with other things outside the standard dietary fare — like alcohol. And probably all other toxins, for that matter.

    If you’re less efficient at processing and clearing out wastes/toxins from your body, how can that be beneficial? At the very least, people that promote low-carbohydrate diets should be willing to consider these questions. Maybe if someone shared studies about tribal populations and rainwater consumption there could be an acknowledgement of the value of distilled water. Of course, it’d require an acknowledgement of low-carb teachers that high protein intake can lead to greater build-up of toxic metabolic byproducts.

    The biggest problem I see is that teachers of low-carb might be afraid that the theory is flawed, and then saving face becomes more important than protecting the health of their followers. Though I think the majority of people, if not all of them, promoting low-carb, really believe that it’s the best system out there. I can’t blame them. I’m very into RBTI now, but I have to be careful to keep my mind open and not fall into the trap of signing up to one belief system at the expense of ignoring everything else.

    So with that said…the ‘solution’ here is to explore these issues more deeply. It’s unfortunate you’re not allowed to post there, and I’m guessing anyone who promotes alternative viewpoints there or goes against the grain too much will be blocked.

    But people’s health is what matters most. I know I’m preaching to the choir here. :p

    It is concerning, though. I trashed myself doing low-carb paired with high intensity exercise and fasting on a regular basis. But when I started I felt absolutely wonderful.

    I wonder if people who are doing it more moderately than I did are doing damage to themselves without being aware of it, because

    1) it’s so gradual
    2) the damage might be hidden by low-carb dieting

    When I started trying RRARF I felt AWFUL. Maybe your ability to handle carbohydrates is the true test of carbohydrate metabolism, which itself depends on proper functioning of the liver/pancreas/entire body as a whole. “Carbs drive insulin drives fat” is a little too simple. Maybe “Malfunctioning body drives malfunctioning health”. The problem is not insulin but a malfunctioning of the organs that are responsible for proper metabolism, which ultimately would end up representing the body as a whole.

    So I didn’t even realize how messed up I was until I started eating carbohydrates in quantity again, and also NOT fasting and NOT over-exercising. These things can all produce temporary highs and make you feel awesome, as you’ve pointed out on this blog countless times with countless examples….

    …much like chocolate. I was eating lots of unsweetened chocolate during my low-carb stint too. I’m sure that didn’t help. But that’s just one more example of something that can make you feel fantastic when really it’s messing you up. I’ve never done drugs but I’ve heard that there is absolutely no way to describe how good cocaine makes you feel. I don’t question that but I think the dangers it presents to the human body speaks for the point I’m making here.

    So it just concerns me because I think a lot of people won’t know how much they’re damaging themselves because they won’t be eating carbohydrates. You can feel better because your body’s not being thrown off by getting overwhelmed with a benign substance that, if it were healthy, it should be able to process. But if you went to low-carb as a result of a malfunctioning of that process to begin with, you could just be exaggerating a deficiency that was already there, and it could be getting worse while you’re feeling better.

    Reply
    • Nice comment Jib.

      Same here 1yr VLC paired with IF and intense training ruined me, and I thought it was healing me, low carb was the future! Now over two years later with RRARF and RBTI, I feel much better but it has been a uphill battle for sure. Digestion takes a long time to catch up after lowcarbing for a year.

      I am now back to intense training, RBTI style meal timing, some IF, and feeling good with easy recovery. Never hungry, eating what I love, and getting stronger and leaner, but actually increasing my overall weight. Up to almost 195 now at 6’2. VLC got me to 178, but weak and sickly. RRARF with no excerise brought me up too 188. Adding intense exercise with RBTI styled eating got me to 195. Epic lunches indeed!

      Reply
      • Oh meant to add to that my alcohol tolerance is way back up again. Hangovers are not as bad, when I have more then planned!

        Reply
      • BEAST!!!

        Reply
    • Legendary comment Jib. And Broda Barnes echoes those thoughts on high-protein diets as a palliative (but long-term killa) for those with impaired carbohydrate metabolism. I think I will copy this coment and insert it into the post for more to read who find the post in the future.

      Reply
  10. I can’t decide if this is related to the topic or not, but in the book Potatoes Not Prozac the author recommends treating sugar and alcohol cravings (which she calls “sugar sensitivity”) with a bedtime potato.

    Also unrelated: Last spring I tried some IF (six hour eating window) and was cold to the bone, which made me suspect that for some, IF is not good for the thyroid. I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience. (I am already hypothyroid, though improving.)

    I love this site. I love the idea that health and wellness with a little bit of a higher number on the scale is more important than skinny jeans.

    Reply
    • It depends. I usually recomend a higher meal frequency and a bigger eating window for those needing to raise metabolism. There’s no question that IF can reduce appetite, which in turn can make you undereat and get super cold. Even Berkhan says that an 8 hour eating window is too small for women, and recommends a 10-hour eating window. So 6 may be taking it way overboard. Eating a whole foods diet can probably make IF more harmful as well, as you eat far fewer calories on a whole foods diet than if you eat more palatable food like my buffet excursions. There’s no way I could do that eating meat, potatoes, and vegetables. It takes tasty pastries, breads, ice cream, milkshakes, etc. just to get me to 2,500 calories per day when eating BEYOND appetite.

      DesMaisons bases her nighttime potato on serotonin secretion mainly – pushing insulin up in the absence of other amino acids so that more tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier. It definitely causes that to happen. I get some crazy ass dreams doing that.

      But all in all if I had to make a definitive statement about alcoholism after my recent RBTI adventure, I would say that most people crave alcohol because their body does not produce enough of it. It can’t when the sugar levels in the body are too low. That can be fixed by eating more sugar, so there’s no wonder that someone without alcohol will then turn to eating tons of sugar. With a refractometer and a sugar-stabilizing meal schedule I suspect many alcoholics would fare well, and do so without the unrealistic (and potentially detrimental) restriction of sweet foods.

      Reply
      • Yes, a 6 hour window was probably silly. I was initially trying for 5, as I had stumbled on the Fast-5 Diet. The book mentions that you might get cold on the plan, and kind of dismisses the issue with, “Think how comfortable you’ll be in the summer!” I was trying to compensate with cold showers, cayenne peppers, and finally it occurred to me that being that cold might not be healthy. (I can be a bit slow.)

        Your comment on whole foods reminds me of something you recently said that has really influenced my perspective on diet, along the lines of, if you wanted to nourish a starving child, you’d give him chicken nuggets, not brussel sprouts.

        Reply
        • Amen. And yes the fast 5 probably will make you very comfortable in the summer. My dabblings are not as extreme and involve eating quite a bit of food. I’m feeling very warm this year. I was one of the only people out in the cold December ocean today – and I hardly ever got in the water this time last year. Now I can hardly stay out of it! So I think this is a pretty good sign.

          Reply
          • You gotta stop doin’ that!! :)

          • That reminds me. At a friend’s holiday thing recently…

            My friend’s daughter was getting over strep throat. The grandmother felt her and said that she had a fever. My friend asked me to check her to see what I thought. She felt cool to me so I said, “No she feels cool. She doesn’t have a fever.” The grandmother felt her again and insisted that she had a fever. Then I felt her again in a few places and she still felt cool to me. This time the girl said, “Gawd Corena your hands feel hot. I think ‘you’ have a fever.” I touched her mother and asked her if they felt hot to her and she says, “Ooh yeah you’re really warm honey I think you really might have a fever.” lol

            Wish I had had a thermometer to check both of our temps. That would have been interesting lol. I have no idea what my temp is, I haven’t checked it. But I do know that I do not have a fever! :)

          • I think you may have just discovered a huge missing link here! Kids that are “sick all the time” and medicated must just be moms that think their kid is running a fever all the time because they are so cold! Alas! The answer!

            Another great Corena story for sure.

          • Yep. I knew you’d pick up on that. Exactly what I was thinking too. And I tried to explain that to ‘em. But unfortunately they’re all highly programmed by “conventional wisdumb” and it’s tough getting through. I don’t try to force it though. Just been doing it in small ‘doses’ over the years – and letting “real life” instances such at that serve as lessons.

            I’m always telling them though in a lighthearted way to just let the kid “be” – even when it comes to food. To just let her eat what she wants and as much or as little as she wants – keeping all foods free game and on an even playing field (like you said) – and it will all work out. The Halloween candy story was a (sweet!) “real life” lesson in that – thankfully. Talked them into letting her go nuts on it. She gorged for a bit then she put it down on her own and that poor candy has sat untouched for weeks!

            They still don’t see the big picture quite yet. But I understand. It’s hard for them to let go of all the conventional wisdumbs we’ve all been exposed to for so long.

            As a side note:
            The fact that kids do tend to get medicated so much (not to mention vaccinated – won’t go there!)… and parents rushing to medicate them when they do run a fever (the body’s own natural remedy) – is one of the main reasons kids do get sick so much and take so long to recover (from strep throat, etc.). But that’s just a hunch on my part ;)

            Okay. Rant over! Now I’m gonna get ready for my Chiefy kinda feasty for the day! Feeling much more relaxed now about my tendency to not always stop to eat “three proper meals a day!” :)

          • Imagine December up past the 49th parallel … I’m still in shorts it’s like minus ten out lol

          • I’m not in that camp yet, but I was the only patron sitting outside today at breakfast – 8am. In shorts and a t-shirt. Okay it was like 60F, but I was toasty warm and practically sweating by the time I finished my stuffed french toast and cinnamon roll.

          • Okay. Curiosity got the best of me – after that whole fever incident. Checked my temp as soon as I woke up this morning…

            99.3 rectal

            Interestingly, I was doing some research to forward my friend some further light reading on the subject to confirm what I told her – and reassure her that I’m not nuts! :) And hmm? Maybe she was right. According to this, as an adult, looks like I just might have a fever! Haha ;)


            An adult probably has a fever when the temperature is above 99 – 99.5 °F (37.2 – 37.5 °C), depending on the time of day.

            A child has a fever when the temperature is at or above one of these levels:

            100.4 °F (38 °C) measured in the bottom (rectally)
            99.5 °F(37.5 °C) measured in the mouth (orally)
            99 °F (37.2 °C) measured under the arm (axillary)

            Fever is an important part of the body’s defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in people thrive best at 98.6 °F. Many infants and children develop high fevers with minor viral illnesses. Although a fever signals that a battle might be going on in the body, the fever is fighting for the person, not against. Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6 °F (42 °C).

            Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003090.htm

    • I have noticed that a tolerance builds up the more metabolically active you become .. It now takes me about 3 days without eating to get the ” chills”

      Reply
      • Yeah, I haven’t gotten to the 3-day point yet, but I’m definitely noticing the ease with which I can go longer and longer periods without food without any negatives, dips in energy, ravenous hunger, etc. By the way, I’ve been having Fight Club-esque visions of the two of us sneaking into Weight Watchers and kidnapping people, taking them to an underground buffet and Matt and Chief’s “food camp.”

        Reply
        • “I’ve been having Fight Club-esque visions of the two of us sneaking into Weight Watchers and kidnapping people, taking them to an underground buffet and Matt and Chief’s “food camp.””

          Now THAT would make for a great video! And even better reality TV lol :)

          Reply
  11. So if you IF, you just simply have to make sure that you get enough calories, and it is more difficult to do so with whole foods? That makes a lot of sense. I’ve been more or less skipping dinner as of late, but eating basically entirely whole foods (I feel like I’m eating SO much at lunch) and have been having some problems with being cold, having low energy, sometimes really bad sleep, etc. On days that I eat a lot of highly palatable foods however (like ice cream or a big bowl of fettuccine alfredo) I feel SO much better.

    Reply
    • SOOOOO much better.

      Reply
  12. I’d like to know more info for people who are pregnant Matt! I’ve been trying not to restrict any foods (whereas I was doing low carb gluten-free because I was told I was a protein type and I get bloated from gluten), but I am still so cold! I had a beef hot dog and baked beans for dinner and my nose and hands are icey! I remember someone said that when they took out dairy they stopped getting cold, I wonder if thats the missing link for me or at least raw dairy, since, before dinner I had some raw milk. Milk never seems to warm me up like it is suggested. I also have nausea that usually happens in the afternoon, I am waiting for that to let up, I am 12 wks. The nausea makes me lose my appetite which is not a good thing for metabolism!

    Reply
    • I think you are trying too hard to eat healthy! Give mama some calories! By the way, and I hope to write about this soon, in studies comparing raw egg to cooked egg consumption, 94% of the cooked protein was digested compared to only 51% of the raw egg. Think about that fun fact when you are drinking raw milk! I suggest cooking it and drinking it warm, which dramatically increases its digestibility – a principle of Ayurveda. I also would eat a ton of food early and midday and eat more vegetarian and light at night. But think palatability, digestibility, and calories. That’s very important for someone feeling cold all the time. I would go big on carbs, especially fruits and juice throughout the day as well. Try it and let me know if you warm up. We’ll figure this out.

      Reply
  13. Sorry if my lay 2 replies went to the wrong spot
    Hey Matt ,
    … what did you do to get so much hate over at the primal blueprint
    …. Hmm weird name makes me think a caveman reading a drawing made by an architect and building with stone aged tools…
    Makes about as much sense as having a prehistoric man design the ultimate human diet for us modern folks.

    Reply
    • I pointed out that Jimmy Moore and Richard Nikoley of freetheanimal.com both had low basal temperatures, and that it was at the root of their problems and common to people on a low-carb diet. Nikoley totally lost his shit over it. And I continued to leave comments just dogging low-carb and Paleo diets in general. Nikoley urged many members of the Paleo community to ban me from making comments. Sisson was one who listened. But if they hate me now, it is only a tiny fragment of how much they are about to hate me in February when I’m interviewed for the online Paleo Summit hosted by Sean Croxton.

      Reply
  14. Dun, dun dunnnnnnn… the saga continues.. Actually I’ll be very interested in that interview. I’m kind of surprised they would let you in, but I guess some are more openminded than others. For me Paleo was a step in the right direction (after low carb) but not very sustainable….energy was too low. Then again I was trying to curb the fruit and tuber intake because of the “carbohydrate curve”.

    Reply
  15. I used to be hungry all the time and had the worst cravings on low carb. I thought I had some psychological problem and couldn’t understand why my insulin resistance was just getting worse and worse.

    Now I know that I was bloody hypoglycaemic most of the time and stressing out my poor little liver. And of course a sick liver = poor blood sugar control.

    Ugh!

    What is RBTI’s position on low carb causing a worsening of I.R/diabetes? I’d be interested to know.

    Reply
    • I don’t think there is an official RBTI stance on that.

      Reply
  16. What is your theory about it then? Do you think the switch to low PUFA made a difference?

    Reply
  17. I notice that now that I eat high carb caffeine doesn’t have the same effect. i guess it turns out the euphoria i used to achieve with a cup of coffee was due to my body fighting off low blood sugar.

    Reply
  18. I’ve wondered how one goes about dropping a little knowledge on people. I’ve alienated more than a few friends when they told me they were going on diets and I started begging them not to do it. “It’s only Weight Watchers” is one I’ve heard a few times. I tell all of them that if I could go back in time and skip my WW years I would do it. They all start out talking about health but it takes about five minutes to uncover some deep-seated self-esteem shit. “I feel disgusted with myself,” etc. I come over all Stuart Smalley on them, but it’s clear they aren’t absorbing it. I’m starting to think Matt’s Fight Club reform school might be necessary.

    Reply
    • We will get you a badass outfit to intimidate our abductees. Or dare I say, flabductees? I try.

      Reply
  19. Since I was about 25 my diet has been very balanced and I’ve felt very healthy.My diet is typically pretty high calorie and I exercise moderately (compared to marathon runners). I used to drink a pretty fair amount and it really didn’t bother me – my drink of choice – red wine. I am now 38, I found that from being pregnant or nursing for the past 8 years, and not drinking at all for years long intervals – 1/2 a glass gets me tipsy and gives me a total headache 50% of the time. What’s your metabolic explanation for that?

    Reply
    • Probably crashes your sugars out, unlike when you were younger and metabolically stronger. Motherhood always takes a big toll on the human body.

      Reply
  20. this is not completely related to this thread. it is more about the effects of hangover and about the power of ovulation on basal temp. but i wanted to bring it to your attention, matt. i am a person that takes my basal every morning. i am 49, and cycle normally– at about 97.5 pre-ov, 98.5 post ov. i’ve always considered that pretty good. i do have weak adrenals, and my problem is keeping my temp steady when exposed to cold and such. ANYWAYS

    i typically have 1/2 glass of wine or beer nightly, but because of various reasons i went on a bender. haven’t done this since i was young. up all night barfing and woke up and started barfing some more!

    well, that one night of horribleness had an awful effect on my temps, they got lower for weeks. when i did ovulate that month, i don’t think the corpus luteum was very good. my postovulatory phase was shortened by 3 days and my temp change wasn’t normal.

    it took until my next ovulation for my body to resume it’s normal temperature.

    i assume that i lost stomach acid, i might have toasted my liver, wore out my adrenal further, interrupted up the complicated cycle of female hormones… but i also think this bodes badly for my post menopausal basal. it seems that until that new corpus luteum kicked in, i was stuck in hypothyroid land.

    i could hardly drag myself out of bed before nine, while usually i wake on my own at seven… very strange.

    Reply
  21. Hey Matt..remember me? I had asked you about my hypoglycemia-since-childhood-problems on Facebook. You explained how low-carbing could actually make things worse. I followed your advice…actually ate PIZZA again & ended up with a spare tire around my hard-earned-solid abs & then I freaked out! So I guess it’s the price I had to pay to stay warm & toasty & keep my insulin levels up. Since I’ve never been able to handle drinking coffee, I searched the subject & just stumbled across this blog. Maybe after low-carb ‘recovery’ I might be able to handle a cup of java. Thanks for defending the truth & also for shedding light on this & many other subjects…before I totally screwed up my health. Now if only someone would fall in love with a Pillsbury dough girl :-D xoxoxo

    Reply
  22. Various vitamins, especially from the B group, are often used during alcohol withdrawal treatment.Sodium oxybate is the sodium salt of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). It is used for both acute alcohol withdrawal and medium to long-term detoxification. This drug enhances GABA neurotransmission and reduces glutamate levels. It is used in Italy in small amounts under the trade name Alcover.

    Reply

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