Seizures in Infants and Children

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While I’m not the almighty authority on such a topic, nor is it my bread n’ butter specialty, I feel compelled to share some basic insights on seizures in infants and children.  Plus man, November is Epilepsy Awareness month. I got your awareness right here!

This will not be an exhaustive and comprehensive look into this problem.  Rather, the intent of this post is to help parents of children with seizure problems eliminate one simple and frequent cause – what I believe to probably be the most prevalent and easy-to-correct of all causes… low sodium levels.  This article will also highlight some important features of human physiology that can be useful in general health and well-being, and hopefully keep parents from doing dumb shit, like restrict sodium in their child’s diet (or their own diet, especially while nursing) or constantly encourage water consumption on par with the growing compulsive drinking trend.

Like most things I write about, at first glance this will seem too simple to possibly be true – especially for a parent who has gone through several doctors and heard an endless array of complex medical explanation for their child’s disorder (explanations that quickly brush aside the primary focus of this article as being the cause of seizures – hyponatremia or low sodium levels).  But I’m EXTREMELY confident that a little at-home experimentation with some of the basic principles I’m about to discuss is very worthwhile.

It’s known that hyponatremia and water intoxication is a growing trend in the United States, and is presumably a growing trend elsewhere too.  Some have likened it to an epidemic.  Likewise, the presentation of seizures and some of the early warning signs of seizures when hyponatremia is present is extremely high.  If you were an infant with hyponatremia in one study done, your chances of having seizures would have been precisely 41 out of 60.  That’s astronomically high.

The problem is that hyponatremia, or low sodium levels, is something that is detectable only with a blood test.  -Emia of course referring to blood.  The thing is, blood levels of sodium are not constant, and are ever in flux.  A kid, or an adult, could very well have hyponatremia for a couple hours in the morning and then actually have HYPERnatremia later on in the day.  Trying to monitor such a thing with blood is not very useful, and not even really necessary as you can get a pretty crude measure of the sodium concentration of the extracellular fluid (which includes the blood) just by monitoring urine color, frequency, and concentration – and probably body temperature and the warmth of the extremities as well, as cold hands and feet and and hypothermia are next to inseparable from hyponatremia.  It may not be as precise as a blood test, but it’s practical and can be monitored any time day or night.  A simple drop of urine from a soiled diaper onto a $21 tool called a refractometer is more than enough to get a ballpark measure on blood sodium levels, simply by testing the amount of dissolved solids in the urine.  Generally anything below a brix of 3.0 is in the danger zone for hyponatremia and seizures, although it’s unlikely that hyponatremia would be severe enough to trigger a seizure until urine brix fell below 1.0.

Of course, we live in the day and age of turning everything over to a medical doctor to solve, and I understand that seizure seems to be too complex of a thing to figure out on your own, as a parent.  But you have a huge advantage.  You are around your child 24 hours a day.  Your doctor has to figure everything out in a quick visit with no observation of what your child eats and drinks, no monitoring in changes in urine concentration or body temperature throughout the day, and no observation of the radical changes that occur in urine concentration (and therefore the extracellular fluid) that takes place all day every day.  You, as a parent, can monitor these things and make simple minor changes that can completely eradicate hyponatremia all the time.  That’s important.  It only takes one big dive into low urine concentration to possibly trigger a seizure in an infant or young child.  And your child may not be in that state at all when getting blood drawn at the doc.  Hyponatremia thus would rarely look like a culprit, but in my experience in working around this issue and seeing how valuable a higher urine concentration can be, and how common it is to have a “crash” below 3.0 brix one or several times per day, there’s simply no way that it can be a rare cause of seizure in children like it is presumed to be.

Hey man, peeing is believing.

Rather, from my point of view, hyponatremia should be assumed to be the cause of infant seizures until proven otherwise.  A simple blood test is not proof otherwise any more than one random urine sample that happens to have plenty of salt in it is proof that hyponatremia has nothing to do with this disorder.  I think this should be the first thing to be addressed, as a parent of a child who has developed seizures, because it can be corrected easily, simply, at home, with no medical interventions, drugs, barbaric brain scans and other forms of poking and prodding.  I mean make sure, REALLY MAKE SURE, that it’s not the cause before you go down any other routes.  Without further ado, here are some useful and very clear, pun totally intended, tips.  You don’t have to do all of them per se.  You can pick and choose what’s reasonable to you…

  1. Don’t give an infant with seizures plain water, especially when the kid is cold and peeing frequently with pale-colored urine as it is.  EVER!!!
  2. If you are giving a kid formula, be very careful about adding too much water to the formula when mixing.  To the formula, add a tiny pinch of salt.  If you want it to be more precise, add enough to where the formula is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.1-0.2% salt – or 1-2 grams salt per liter (one infant formula I just looked up has 725 mg/l – so not a huge increase).  Further still, you can add a little cream or sugar to the formula to make it increasingly calorie-dense, which also assists in increasing extracellular sodium levels and might be a safer way to do it because excess salt can cause kidney problems in infants if you take that too far.  To prevent calculation mistakes, remember to multiply the sodium content shown in the label by 2.5 to get the amount of salt in the formula to see how much salt is in the formula per serving.
  3. If you are breastfeeding and that is all the child is getting, that still doesn’t mean that your milk is adequate or is to be worshipped as the perfection of nature or something.  It may need added salt or increased calorie-density in the form of added cream to be good enough to prevent hyponatremia in your child, especially if you yourself urinate frequently, have a low body temperature or feel cold a lot of the time, have a history of dieting, drink more than a liter/quart of beverages per day (water being the worst from a hyponatremia perspective) in addition to the water you get in your food, or shy away from salty foods/restrict sodium.
  4. Better yet, increase the quality of your own breastmilk by increasing your intake of calories, carbohydrates, and salt in proportion to your total fluid intake.  The total fluids in your body will thus have a stronger concentration, including your breast milk.  Keeping yourself warm all the time with some good yellow color to your urine and a brix above 3 will almost certainly increase the octane of your milk.
  5. Monitor the warmth of the hands and feet of the infant.  Add calories and/or salt to the food they are receiving to get them warmer.  This basically increases the ratio of food to water – a small shift can be very powerful.
  6. Put a spoonful of a sugar/salt mixture under the tongue in roughly a 10:1 ratio if you suspect a seizure coming on, notice a sudden drop in urine concentration or body temperature, etc.  Be careful with giving an infant salt straight like this.  It should not be abused but should be reserved for emergency seizure prevention.
  7. Take note of the time of day/night seizures are most likely to occur, and give added salt and calories as a preemptive measure.
  8. Measure urine concentration with a refractometer and try to get urine concentration above a brix of 3 – into the no-seizure zone.  Even a slight increase from 1-2 brix might be enough to eliminate seizures though.
  9. Salt the bathwater.  Salty water has known beneficial properties.  The salt in the bath shouldn’t really be looked at as some medicament, it’s just that taking a bath in straight water, or drinking water while in the bath like the picture shown, can aggravate hyponatremia.  Salt in the water helps keep that from happening.
  10. Make this your own research project, and don’t necessarily follow any of the prescriptions and ratios and stuff I have laid out above. I have not spent a lot of time with infants or even seen an infant have a seizure.  So I don’t know enough to correct this precisely with infants.  I only do this with older kids and adults but many of the same rules apply.  Armed with a few basic principles you’ll be able to figure this out on your own to a much greater level of precision than anything I can put into a general prescription even if I had surrounded myself with seizing infants for an entire decade.

As a 2nd reminder, be very cautious about extremes.  A little bit too much water or a little bit too much salt can both be harmful.  These have to be very fine-tuned and minor adjustments.  And don’t fear water either.  As a kid’s metabolism rises and stabilizes he/she will actually crave, like, and need water.

As of December 1, 2012 you can now read more about the dangers of overhydation/hyponatremia for both children and adults in the book Eat for Heat.

Interesting related links and studies…

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2055051

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/100/6/e4.full

http://www.breggin.com/ECT/HypntrmcSzrFllwgECTcasereport.pdf

https://umem.org/pearl_view.php?p=1303

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1877579?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3842164?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1985423?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3563573?dopt=Abstract

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baby-foods/9750/2

http://scienceblog.com/56744/

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/water.shtml

118 Comments

  1. First! (Wow! I have never been first before…)

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  2. Okay, now for my comment. I am around children and very young ones all day, everyday. Nice one Matt.

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  3. I have a 19 month old who always asks for water. We usually give it to her. She has never had a seizure, but I have noticed she has intermittent cold hands/feet and sometimes here diapers fill more quickly than others. Conversly, she also asks for crackers a lot, and sometimes we deny her those. Given this information, do you think we should not restrict her cracker intake as they surely are calorie dense and have a presumably high salt concentration? Should we also restrict her water intake? I would guess she probably consumes 10-12 oz of water per day not including water from food.

    Also, would adding bubbles to her salted bath water take away from the effects? She loves her bubbles!

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    • In addition to drinking water, she also drinks whole cow’s milk. Should I be adding cream, sugar and salt to it? She normally drinks milk only at bedtime and naptime.

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    • First, thanks Matt so much for writing on this very important topic, and including a word or two on breastfeeding and milk quality.

      Joel, i had a similar situation with my 4 year old. After the birth of twins, poor girl experienced so much stress and started peeing very frequently and lost her appetite completely. However, she had appetite for crackers and cookies and some sweetened milk. I gave her salt to lick from her hand whenever she asked to drink water or eat/drink liquidish stuff. This helped, certainly, but what really stopped constant urge to pee is giving her to eat whatever she wants, which was sweet and salty crackers, ice cream… I really decided to not put any limit to it whatsoever, except that i asked that she drinks some milk since she also refused to eat regular food. Also i noticed that appetite for regular food improved after doing something joyous.

      Constant peeing stopped, and hands became warm. Now she won’t eat cookies anymore – i never thought this could happen – and is more open to normal foods. But i see this fluctuates a lot depending on the situation (illness, school stress…)

      I see that they don’t like salty juices, but at least in my case, she licked the salt from her hand. Also, i think kids like cucumbers, so it’s a good place to put salt, although it doesn’t offer much calories.

      As for the seizures, i’ve read that combination of activated B6 and magnesium is good in stopping them. Probably has to do with energy production. I tried this to see how it affects the sleep, and babies sleep much better. But i know this is not the solution.

      I also think that coconut oil could be useful for seizures or any cognitive problems since it supplies brain with energy when brain glucose metabolism is affected. But only cooking with it seems to not be enough – more like 3 TBS per day for adults.

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  4. I am a kindergarten teacher and am training as a special needs teacher so I have a lot of exposure to children with problems. The ones with problems are often the ones with excessive thirst, cold hands and feet, etc.

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    • Yeah, these are just strong signs of their stress system being chronically activated.

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      • And then normal development can’t happen…

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  5. First! I’ve never been first. :)

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  6. Darnit, by the time my internet connection came back, I wasn’t first at all. :)

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  7. Salted bathwater? Are you advocating “bath salts” now Matt? ;)

    Seriously, when you say salted bathwater you mean just taking good old sodium chloride and adding some to the bath? What about actual bath salts (what they used to call Epsom salts before that became a euphemism for methamphetamines)? I live near the ocean, would it be beneficial to go swimming or just soaking in the ocean a bit?

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  8. …And most people somehow think kids should be on sodium-restricted diets! How that even got into the mainstream idea set in the last couple of years, I have no idea,

    Even for adults, low sodium can cause brain/cognitive issues so it’s not a stretch to think children would be even more affected. I feel awful if I don’t have enough

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    • Well, if you think about it, all these “doctor’s recommendations” and we have a rising problem with a lot of “genetic” diseases.

      Personally I think we are in a disastrous epigenetic age, where all these bad recommendations are literally fucking future generations over.

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  9. Hey Matt, in the same vein, what’s your take on mineral waters like Pellegrino? Better than straight water, I’d presume…

    I love Pellegrino. If I was richer it would be the only water I drank. :-)

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  10. So, while we are on the subject of children even though I don’t have any that have had seizures I would like to know what you think I could do to help my 4 year old son stop wetting the bed and his undies at least three times a day sometimes. My husband and mother-in-law were both bedwetters until they were about 10 years old so it does run in the family but my son wets through the biggest diaper I can get him before the night is even over! It doesn’t always happen like that but sometimes it can be a whole week that he does it every night. We make sure he goes potty before bed and doesn’t drink too much. I know its probably a low sugar or salt problem but I’m not sure what to do. He doesn’t like my salty juice that I drink. He’s very skinny and doesn’t eat as much as I think he should. So what do you think, Matt?

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    • I would look into food sensitivities. My 3 year old has been potty trained, day and night, for 2 years, but if she gets a food that she’s sensitive to (peanuts for her, but dairy is a common one for this symptom too) she’ll pee in the middle of the grocery store with no warning and/or wet the bed.

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      • Yes, gluten is associated with bed wetting too.

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        • Bedwetting is caused by an acute elevation of stress hormones at night. Trigger foods can be one of those stresses, but it’s important not to pin it all on one or a few foods. It’s more about the whole picture.

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    • I would definitely supply unlimited availability of dry, salty, carby foods – and very calorie dense and palatable foods in general. The foods also need to continue to be novel. What’s really exciting one week may be totally boring and monotonous the next. These things should foster a higher appetite and calorie intake and some strong signs of moving towards resolution of this problem. If not, I would be happy to look into it further with you over the phone.

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    • My almost eight year old wet the bed every night- sometimes twice a night. We had her on a gluten free, pasteurized dairy free, sugar free, fake food free diet and she still wet the bed. I finally got her one of those bed wetting alarms and after two weeks she was completely dry. It’s been four months and she hasn’t wet the bed since.

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      • I know hardly anyone is going to read this old thread, but just wanted to add some useful info in case anyone goes back. I read this article from slate that completely opened my eyes about bed wetting: in nearly ALL cases it’s caused by constipation or impacted feces in the colon pressing on the bladder. It doesn’t matter if the kid goes everyday- it’s not all coming out. It makes me so sad to think of these poor kids struggling with this and some parents turning it into a moral failure or saying it is laziness! The doctor outlines how the medical establishment will fight you on it, so one must persist in finding the cause. Tips in article adapted from It’s No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child’s Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and Other Potty Problems, by Steve Hodges with Suzanne Schlosberg.

        http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2012/03/bed_wetting_the_simple_cause_your_doctor_probably_missed_.html

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  11. matt it’s the conductivity meter that measures salts. timmy

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    • Yes a conductivity meter measures salts. So does a refractometer which is why they are used to measure salinity in ocean water and saltwater fish tanks. The refractometer isn’t 100% precise in terms of figuring out electrolyte content of the urine, but certainly you’ve noticed that conductivity readings and refractometer readings travel up and down together and are tightly linked.

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      • not really, 30 plus years rbti, just not famous or a wannabe. timmy

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        • Can you elaborate Timmy instead of saying “not really”? Maybe we all could learn something.

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          • this is not the place to discuss rbti. don’t totally disagree with matt, but he is preaching matt bti not reams biological theory of ionization. that is the problem i have. you can preach anything you want but don’t call it what it’s not. solids in solution, yes some can be sodium, but in rbti we use a conductivity meter to measure salts (energy). to high you fry, to low you slow. timmy

          • Timmy-I thought there was no clear consensus among RBTI practitioners as to what constitutes ‘real RBTI’ after Reams died. No clear line of succession meant there were lots of folks, including Challen, who took the mantle, but diverged somewhat from one another.

          • that is correct when all you read are health blogs, there are a few reams people out there that know one really hears about because they are not wannbees and are very serious about rbti. these people cruse under the radar because they like reams can get into much trouble. they are not just human health people, but they understand the whole system. soil health animal health human health. i personally would never consult with anyone who does not understand the agricultural system. growing healthy foods. your commonplace reams people don’t understand free energy, the body electric, ect. reams was much into frequency. everything vibrates at it ‘s own frequency, understanding this is where true healing begins. i am not against anything matt says, he is just in kindergarden. ya gotta start somewhere. by the way, i haven’t gotten out of kindergarden yet myself. timmy

        • The only time there isn’t a pretty strong connection between refractometer and conductivity meter readings is when someone is diabetic enough to pass a lot of sugar in his/her urine.

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          • Like ME! :)

        • FWIW, I agree with Matt, because in my personal experience, the refractometer and conductivity readings go up and down together. When my urinary refractometer reading is low then my conductivity “salt” reading has also always simutaneously been low as well. And when my urinary refractometer reading is high then my conductivity “salt” reading has also always been high.

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  12. Hi Matt,
    I purchased the talk session. I have yet to receive a reply about times that are good. I was wondering what time is good for us to talk?

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    • Sending you an email Danielle…

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      • Got it! Thanks!

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  13. Having too much foremilk is a problem for many moms and babes. I’m guessing that could be a contributing factor.

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    • Maybe not, because foremilk contains lots of sugar and other substances.

      Too much foremilk will result in lots of gas due to fermentation of excess lactose, but this can be fixed by reducing the supply a little, if that’s the cause of the problem.

      Or if there is truly not enough fat in milk, then mama has to eat a lot more, according to my experience.

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      • Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is an issue, usually caused by mismanagement (or more accurately, overmanagement) of breastfeeding. Usually the mom switches sides too much instead of letting baby finish the first breast first.

        Ending the nursing session too early is a biggie too, because the letdowns after the initial one have more fat (in simplistic terms, the fat that sits in the breast is reabsorbed by the body, the the fresher the milk the more fat).

        According to all the available research, there is no way to increase the overall fat *quantity*, only the *quality* – meaning that nursing moms should not eat trans fats (duh, noone should!)

        A trick that can give baby more fat if s/he is sleepy or a “snacker” (not a vigorous sucker) is to manually compress the breast during the feeding. It’s as simple as it sounds – squeeze! The fat then comes down easier. This is a fantastic way to get baby pooping more frequently and gaining well. Dr Jack Newman described this method, you can google it…

        since Matt is talking about the dangers of forcing water, I also have to mention another myth – nursing moms do not need to force water. It can even be counterproductive and *decrease* supply due to edema (again, simplifying). When I led breastfeeding support meetings I used to groan inside every time I heard a mom tell the others that “drinking a gallon of water a day boosted her supply”.

        Um, no.

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        • Eh, i don’t care what research says about not being able to increse fat proportion of the milk. People have way too much faith in research. Just because someone didn’t figure out how to increase fat and no studies were published, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Just how many people are discouraged just because there are no certain studies published.

          I’ve seen fat increase in my milk if i increase calories…even the foremilk was more whitish, and the hindmilk was very white/yellowish (fattish) when i ate a lot more food, including calories. I observed it very closely.

          Also, a big blow to this argument is that women all over the world have very different fat percentages in their milk. I think women from India had one of the lowest, but i’m not sure so please check it for yourself.

          Dr. Newman is great.He’s got some really nice videos of newborns feeding on his site. It was really helpful. Yeah, i think his method is great even for older infants as the baby gets impatient while waiting for next letdown. I’ve been having problems keeping them on the breast long enough to get full…even the dark room doesn’t help much. But when they see that there is lots of milk gushing out, smart little babies stick around for much longer.

          Also, i just want to say to any mummies reading that increasing calorie consumption increases her milk supply like crazy.

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          • But there *are* lots of studies that show that a woman cannot increase the fat content of her milk nor can she change the composition of her milk. Breastmilk is not made from the contents of the stomach. It is made from the BLOOD. Breastmilk is more like “white blood” than it is anything else. The body will take from the mother’s stores if her diet/calories are inadequate hence the old wive’s tale that a mother loses a tooth for each baby (nature favors the fetus/baby over mom).

            My concern when women hear that they need to eat a special diet in order to produce enough milk for their babies is that this thinking leads to early weaning or a mom not initiating breastfeeding in the first place. Just like misinformation (not understand how breastfed babies act, comparing them to formula fed infants, etc) leads to same.

            Breastfeeding women from all around the world – and their milk – has been analyzed and found to be nearly identical despite wildly different diets. Think about it – if breastfeeding was as hard or difficult as American culture leads moms to believe then we as a species would have died out long ago.

            Furthermore the letdown reflex is akin to orgasm – a lot of it is in the mind. This is why a mother may have difficulty pumping successfully but has a fat bouncing breastfed baby in her lap. She can’t let down for the pump but can for her baby whom she loves and has that emotional attachment to. So galactagogues often work by placebo effect – mom thinks that because she’s eating well, she has more/better milk – and so she does. In some cultures women have no idea that they “can’t” produce enough milk. And so … low milk supply doesn’t exist.

          • I kind of disagree with you. Yes, of course milk is going to be similar despite of our very different diets. Of course, there must be certain amount of carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, vitamins. But, mothers across the world have different fat content of their milk. Check this out:

            http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/fat-and-cholesterol-in-human-milk

            The cows can also produce different amount of fat in their milk depending on their diets.

            I know a woman who determined with the help of LLL leader that really her milk was low fat, and she found out it was usually low fat whenever she was running.

            There are a lot of examples like these if you search the web.

            Although, by training i am a research scientist, i believe in anecdotal evidence even though the limited research gives me the opposite conclusions.

            I think that milk production isn’t just so simple – nutrients being constant despite the reduced metabolism and inadequate caloric intake. For one, there won’t be enough thyroid hormone in the milk if mother is not fed well.

            Again, just because there is no study proving that fat can’t be changed, it doesn’t mean it cannot be changed. Hundred years ago we thought that atom was the smallest particle and that was written as a fact in science books. I’d prefer that advice would be “try and see,” instead of “it cannot be done.”

            If cows can change fat content of their milk, and fat content is found to be different for women across the globe, that is enough for me to look for my own solutions instead of relying on scientists and their precious little studies.

            Or… maybe my case is different since i don’t have much stored fat in my body and thus the fat content of my milk changes if i eat more, but then this should also be mentioned to mothers!!!

            I don’t agree with the placebo effect argument for the galactagogues or eating better because i’ve experienced it directly.

            I used to be convinced that all you have to do is nurse very often, but recently i noticed a drop in supply despite nursing my twins so very very often. It wasn’t changing, even after a week.

            Only when i realized that i wasn’t eating my usual breakfast of 4-5 eggs, and was just barely snacking in order to save time, plus not eating proper dinner again to save time, did i finally bring supply back up nicely, and within hours.

            I experimented and tried not eating much again, and in the morning there was only little milk. Then repeated with lots of food, and milk was abundant, even in evening when it’s usually low.

            I mean, yeah, women don’t need to eat special diet to nurse, but in most cases calories are extremely important. I didn’t have this problem with my first child. Hunger didn’t seem to matter then. But with two babies…frequent nursing was not the solution.

            Anyway, you’ve got a really nice website :)

          • Just a little anecdote,

            I’ve been buying raw milk from a few different farmers for years and fat supply can definitely change. During the rainy season the milk get’s “skinny” as they call it here. This could be because the grass is watery and less calorie and nutrient dense.

            I’m breastfeeding an almost 4-month-old. I had been on a low-carb diet for a month which didn’t affect my supply or fat content but made me feel like crap. Then I RRARFed for a week and I had too much milk supply and my baby would get full of foremilk before getting to the hind milk, but I fixed this by taking a hot shower and letting my milk fall out with let down without stimulating the nipple so as not to stimulate milk supply. Then I went back to eating until appetite and I have noticed that I have fattier milk and less supply.

          • Thanks!

            And I appreciate that link… very interesting and I’ll have to chew on that for awhile! I hope the researchers understood that fat content in breastmilk varies considerably in the same woman depending on what time of day, how “empty” her breast is at the time of observation, etc.

            My takeaway on the article is that ultimately those differences in fat content of women’s milk must not matter too much – after all, the Holstein calves aren’t suffering from their mom’s lower fat content. ;)

            Sigh. I guess my bias is wishing that moms in America wouldn’t worry so much about their milk and just sit a lot and nurse the baby! ;)

          • Oh yeah, i certainly hope researchers realized that fat content varies with the time of the day and “emptiness” of the breast. There are just so many variables.

            “The average amount of fat was 39 grams per liter of milk and the range was from 18 grams to 89 grams per liter of milk.”

            It could be that 89grams fat per liter was from the “hindmilk” but how would you get a liter of hindmilk? Haha, maybe it was just the extrapolation. We would have to check the study details…

            However, the difference above is really large.

            And i suppose the babies getting less fatty milk would just have to nurse more often.

            There are probably more articles on this online.

            By the way, i was not born in the US, and really don’t understand why breastfeeding after 1 year is not more prevalent as opposed to other countries around the world.

          • Would have been nice to have conversations like this when I was breastfeeding. 10 years after I struggled but finally succeeded in getting my (by then) 6 week old first baby to latch, I read (in a Mercola post!) that a side-effect of the epidural drug is to suppress the sucking reflex!! (But docs don’t bother to inform the mom about such a ‘tiny’ and ‘unimportant’ detail ;) Within weeks people were asking when I’d be weaning her (oh, for goodness sake!) but the great thing about doing it for 2 or 3 years or however long, is that there is no weaning hence no issue – it tails off naturally – and privately (bedtimes the last ones to go) .So much judgement and undermining, no wonder there’s anxiety and pressure around mothering!

      • So how would you reduce the supply? You’re thinking herbs?

        I had an oversupply with both of my babes and I don’t think it was caused by switching breasts too soon. At least the situation was only marginally improved by ‘emptying’ each side before switching. And for sure with the second baby I started out from day one with this method and I still had painfully too much milk.

        I read that an oversupply, much like an undersupply, can be caused by thyroid dysfunction. I do know my grandma had goiter and after she miscarried after my mom (the eldest) was born, she had thyroid surgery. She had five more kids after that. Both my mom and her youngest sister had issues with oversupply, as did I.

        Well, I don’t know if my situation could have been improved by upping my thyroid function since I was unaware of such things back then. It sure keeps me from wanting to have more kids though! It’s pure hell. First time I had mastitis twice a month for half a year or so. My babies would nurse strike often. I remember my oldest son finally stopped refusing the breast when I, in a rare moment of inspiration, sang to him before putting him on the breast. I’m guessing I’ve always had pretty high cortisol levels, maybe babies are sensitive to that. The singing perhaps signaled to him a calm mama, so it was safe to nurse. Interesting that we didn’t have any issues whatsoever after that day, he was 7 months old.

        With the second baby it wasn’t quite as bad because I was better at managing engorgement, but still, there was always too much milk. And he was a grouchy, picky baby and would also nurse strike when very little.

        Reply
        • Wow, i didn’t know that oversupply can be due to hypothyroidism.

          I also have a baby that goes on these nurse strikes, or maybe not so much anymore. But since i have another one at the same time that doesn’t do that, and they behave and grow very differently, i feel almost sure that this has something to do with the baby.

          At first, her swallowing was not so very well developed (another sign of hypothyroidism) so she would choke so easily, and therefore refuse breast, while the boy was happily taking down the milk no matter how fast it was going.

          Now, she must sit and nurse; won’t just nurse and be content, but there must be some distraction. The other one is not like that, so to me it seems that her brain is not in an optimum state.

          Were your babies chocking while milk was going fast? Maybe that’s why they refused the breast? Or maybe you relaxed him with singing?

          I feel like i am in an unique situation to observe human development and health since i have two babies of equal age but growing and developing and behaving differently. Of course, they are all different, but to me it seems that large part of difference has to do with energy available to the body – it affects teething, walking, talking, sleep…

          Reply
      • “Maybe not, because foremilk contains lots of sugar and other substances.”

        But baby still might get too much water since she needs to drink more foremilk to get to the hindmilk, even with the good substances.

        Reply
        • I solved a foremilk imbalance with one of my babies by keeping him on the same breast for a period of 8 hours. (Several feeds on one side without switching, then 8 hours later do the same on the other side.)

          That effectively lowered my supply.

          Reply
          • I think I went close to 8 hours too, cause any more than that, and I’d never nurse on the other side! It didn’t do much to correct my oversupply, only getting my baby to stop refusing the breast helped. But even then, there was more than he needed.

  14. I think it would help with not just seizures but actual fainting. My now 13yo has fainted a few times with no obvious cause (according to the many specialists). She used to feel dizzy frequently, and I would always encourage her to drink up – because obviously it was dehydration, right? And the more she drank, the more she drank… and then she would faint… and crack her skull and freak us all out…

    Now, post RBTI-world, I have her eat something sweet or salty, depending on what’s on hand. She hasn’t complained of dizziness in a long time. Not sure if her hands/feet ever turned cold at the time (she runs hot compared to the rest of us).

    Reply
    • Ah the wonders of skull cracking! Seeing a comment from you Hawaii is good for my skull.

      Reply
  15. Hey all,

    I have a semi unrelated question. Since switching to a RRARF diet a few months ago, I’ve noticed that my urine smells strongly of burnt rubber. It kind of freaks me out. After searching on Google, this seems to be a common problem among those eating large amounts of asparagus and other foods like garlic, but I was wondering whehter anybody else here has had this problem too. I’m thinking the increase in b vitamins and solutes in general might be causing this odor, but I’m not sure. I’ve also begun to pee much more than normal, although I eat plenty of salt and sugar with every meal.

    Any thoughts/similar experiences to put my mind at ease?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Burnt rubber doesn’t sound good (or smell good !). The only time my urine smells funky is after eating asparagus (any amount). I believe that is fairly common and nothing to worry about:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asparagus#Effects_on_urine

      As Matt has said earlier, the combo of peeing a lot + cold hands/feet (also known as juice cleansing lol) is something to keep an eye on. Not sure what your peeing ‘more than normal’ means – once in a couple of hours or more?

      Reply
      • I have to pee even when I drink very little liquids. (In fact, I consciously drink as little as possible, and this differs significantly from what I used to imbibe). On average, I pee at least once per hour, and this is a new development in my daily life. I’m paranoid my frequent need to go might be a sign of pre diabetes. My temps are up to the 98s in the evenings and the mid 97s during the day, so I’m continuing forward. In fact, I feel better overall. (Less anxiety, less fatigue, etc.). The only hangup is the increase in urination and the strange smell. Hopefully it passes. I’m hoping this problem stems from my body continuing to adjust. I’ve read a lot of Peat’s forums but can’t find anybody else complaining of the same smell. The increased frequency seems to be a common predicament though.

        Reply
        • Are you eating a lot of meat Bill? It’s not an ammonia-like smell is it?

          Reply
          • Hey Matt,

            I have been eating a little more meat, yes. I’ve also upped my intake of coffee (mostly decaf for the niacin and magnesium), and, after doing a bit more research, it sounds like this might be contributing to my issues as well. I’ll keep an eye on everything and work on getting more protein from gelatin.

            Thanks for all your work on this blog, my friend. You and Peat have changed my life. The last couple years, my anxiety reached the point of becoming borderline crippling, but I’m making a come back big time. I can go out without stupid anti anxiety pills of late, and this equals celebration!

    • Ray gives me a mental boner sometimes. Like right now.

      Reply
      • My mental boner goes limp when in the same breath he mentions drinking quarts of OJ and milk!

        Reply
        • Total boner kill. Not sure how such a smart guy ends up recommending a bunch of watery substances to hypothyroid people.

          Reply
          • haha funny stuff.
            Perhaps he doesn´t fully realize that, in order to improve, people with a low metabolsim need much less fluid than those with a high metabolism. A diet that keeps your metabolism rocking doesn’t neccesarily get you there.
            But with that in mind I’m getting good results with some more of the specific RP stuff. I’m even drinking coke now with meals and I love it!

          • That’s because he usually recommends one of the three to help you get through it:

            - Salt (This has helped many through the early liquid diet woes)
            - Thyroid Hormone (He seems very adamant of experimenting with this early)
            - Progesterone (if you are a woman.

            I personally eat a metric shit ton of salt and take progesterone. Has done wonders for me if anything. I’ve also become rather good at expecting “shitty emotions” when I eat too much tryptophan food(when I eat chicken I get outright bitchy to people).

          • In addition to salt, sucrose would be his other favorite to keep body temp up while drinking a lot of milk. That works for body temp but consuming lots of sugar in liquid form can make one hyper. His last video on YouTube is an example .

          • Do you have a link?

          • Ah, this one. Thank you.

          • You make an excellent point.

            Peat has all this supposed miracle dietary advice, but we need to keep in mind that he IS ON THYROID MEDS, and has been for 20-30 years.

            That seems to never enter into the equation during discussions of his advice…

          • My take on it is that he does not recommend anything for anyone, especially not in articles. I just see him as someone who likes milk and orange juice, then writes some long winded scientific novel about why those things might be useful for certain things.

            He likes to write in half riddles which is why online “guru>hucksters>fox hair neuropsychiatrics>>”, seem to think they are “smart” if they can “figure” him out.

            Ray Peat is simple, with a load of fluff around it for people to swim in.

            Basically, the gist I get from that article/ him is that drinking more fluids than you feel you need is terrible especially in a hypothyroid person. He also notes that people with good thyroid, will have a strong drive to consume plenty of liquids (and food) because they will lose more due to invisible loss of fluids via sweat/ metabolism/ breathing.

            So, I think Ray is still correct in whatever way you want to interpret him.

            And, Matt, I think your method would be great for a severely underweight person, who is intentionally starving for whatever reason. Though not for someone obese or with any other health niggle. Other than “orthorexia”, which admittedly is the whole healthblog market who are too scared to wipe Robb Wolfs arse without permission much less eating what the hell they damn please.

            I also do not believe that restricting liquid intake to artificially create a hyper saturated blood is either a good idea long term. Sure I can see the benefit for someone who against their “need/ desire” drinks too much and has severe health consequences. Though for overall long term I do not believe so.

            It is my opinion that an over saturated system via an excess of calories, salt with inadequate fluid dilution in a susceptible or damaged or hypothyroid or similar type person may bring relief to the general problem but not is certainly not a cure and I would hasten to suggest that your type of protocol is a good general outline of why people are fat and diabetic as is.

            Stuffing calories/ salt/ sugar etc. into an already overly saturated person due to a physiological system that does not have the systematic drive to utilise the inputs properly = shit storm output.

            Everything that is input into a system has to be internally driven, then used correctly. Anything that is consciously input against any kind of animalistic drive and/ or anything that is animalistically input though not interpreted in the system properly will all cause the problems of excess, obesity/ diabetes and furthermore.

            Basically the system has to be working properly internally, truthfully I do not believe it can be fixed conceivably with any kind of external concious diet intervention.

            The system needs to preferably never be broken down in the first place, then to fix it once broken…..?….well I think it will take more than what will ever get said in the health blog world.

            In the mean time, people should just stop reading blogs for advice on what to eat. Really, how pathetic is that?

          • “The system needs to preferably never be broken down in the first place, then to fix it once broken…..?….well I think it will take more than what will ever get said in the health blog world.”

            Telling people who have a problem that it would be best to not have developed the problem isn’t terribly useful.

            “In the mean time, people should just stop reading blogs for advice on what to eat. Really, how pathetic is that?”

            Yes, it’s pathetic for people who are having health problems to seek information about it so that they can try to correct it.

          • yes it is pathetic, information is just that, seek some wisdom, and we do that by looking for the cause behind the cause, not some bullshit cures on the blog-o-sphere. thw only thing we cure is ham. we heal thru wisdom. people love their illness and they wollow in it. timmy

          • Hi Zogby,
            It is not useful, no. Though what I said was a statement, not advice. Thankyou for letting me ruffle your feathers.

            You do realise that Matt, without outright saying it, would probably agree with me to stop reading health blogs for health advice. He does himself criticise everything under the sun, with his whole ideology at the root is to not follow advice.

            You or anyone can continue to read health blogs for entertainment value if you want, that’ll kill no one. Reading for information might though.

          • Matt gives health advice. It is different from other advice, and often it comes down to listening to your own body. That is itself advice.

            We would all agree that listening to bad advice is bad.

          • Lee, I agree with some of what you have written here. In any case, you make some good points worth considering. However, how can you say that Ray Peat never recommends anything for anyone? Maybe I am not understanding you, He does make some “blanket recommendations” and, even if you disagree with that statement, he definitely does private consultations with people in which he recommends certain foods/supplements. As it turns out, his specific recommendations (in consultation) do not differ much from his public recommendations. As I have noted before, I find some of his recommendations careless and even dangerous.

            I can’t remember the exact quote. However, somewhere in one of his articles he says that nutritional science should receive as much or more research than the other sciences. That always sat poorly with me, even when I was interested in his diet. How in the hell could eating be so damn complicated?

            You are correct. His writing does read like a “riddle”. I don’t know if that’s because he’s not a lucid writer (he should be…after all, didn’t he study English literature before diving into biology?). Is it that the subject matter requires the use of scientific jargon that most of us don’t understand? Is he just trying to appear clever and disguising simple stuff in obscure language in order to give himself a patina of authority? I don’t really know. I may be wrong, but I certainly don’t think it’s the latter case. Nonetheless, the “riddle-language” surely adds to his mystique and, make no mistake, there is a strong (misplaced) religious component to diet-faddism. Ray Peat fits the “Wise Old Man” archetype to perfection. Unwittingly perhaps, he’s a sort of Yoda for the desperate internet health nuts who have found all of their former gods wanting.

            His obscurity has provided the development of a new animal, “The Peat Practioner”, presbyters like Fox-boy and San Diego dude, who can explain the Master’s words to the laity.

            You are right that there is something pathetic and pitiful about people having to read blogs about what to eat. Nonetheless, people really are suffering and have found little or no help from mainstream or, to be truthful, alternative medicines. The idea persists that dietary changes can help. Perhaps we are putting our money on the wrong horse, but who can blame us? I saw one of those nature shows last night. A certain breed of African monkeys is required to get most of its nutrition from leaves…leaves containing relatively large amounts of cyanide. These monkeys have not completely evolved to eat these leaves. They don’t die from the cyanide but it does cause gastro-intestinal upset. Another monkey eats the same leaves but has discovered that eating charcoal from human encampments resolves the stomach problems. My point is that I guess many of us here are just hoping that we someday stumble upon the analog of the monkey’s charcoal.

            You are probably right that Matt’s protocol will not be proper for everybody or that it might be proper only for certain people in certain circumstances. I will let Matt speak for himself, but I doubt he would entirely disagree with you. Or this protocol might be just one more complete failure in the long list of dietary failures that we have all been through. Only time will tell. In any case, at least it’s not complicated, does not require ascetic practices or practices that are so weird that they alienate us from other people. Perhaps it will turn out that this blog is only some sort of half-way house, but that’s already an improvement, isn’t it?

          • Haha, Thomas, a good read as usual. Loved this one:
            “His obscurity has provided the development of a new animal, “The Peat Practioner”, presbyters like Fox-boy and San Diego dude, who can explain the Master’s words to the laity.”

            I had to google ‘laity’ and ‘presbyters’ – and then you accuse RP of using “riddle-language” :-)

          • Narain. LOL. Ok, busted! I’m guilty as charged. What’s worse is that I am not a guru so there won’t be the equivalent of a Fox Boy or San Diego Dude to come along and parse out my meaning for you :)

          • I know the blog train has moved on to the next station but if you do read this, Thomas, I just wanted to say, what a thoughtful reply – one reason I read this blog, the other being a sense that warts and all, we are getting somewhere.

          • Thank you SueW for your kind words!

          • Hi Thomas,
            Excellent, nice meaty response, hopefully not too meaty though that I might eat too much tryptophan and need 2 quarts(litre!!!!) of coca cola to balance out the excess. (I love the Peaties that drink coke because Ray mentioned that he did that one time….)

            I take it that most of Peat’s “recommendations” have been distilled down like chinese whispers through the internet over time. I am referring mainly to his public internet articles, which is the only thing from which I can make my opinion as that is as far as I took Peat reading. The gist of his writing style I got from his articles is suggestive opinions. Not recommendations. I take it he does not really give a damn what anyone does. He gives his opinion and of which expects people to form their own. The reason he does not sell a foxtrot plagiaristic type e-book I guess, with step by step instructions. He wants people to think for themselves, if at all possible with the health blog crowd.

            Foxy boy is obviously catering to the people who can not, and do not want to think for themselves. Obviously not with their wallet brain either. How an ex “balding” bass guitarist with no education can have the conscious to write a book, titled after someone and their lives work, with god knows what information, for profit, without asking the damn guy or being asked to write it is, a little distasteful in the least.

            If people want to think and pay for an illusion that foxystud is magically uncovering the Peat mystery, then they need more than a Peat inspired diet. Brain transplant perhaps.

            Hair like a balding fox would suck a carrot out of Peats bum given the slightest opportunity. Then write an e-book about it. People would buy it. They’d suck a carrot out of DanRod’s arse no problem I’m also sure. Bit of salt, coconut oil, good to go.

            I do not think Peat does himself any favours by appearing on obscure alternative health radio shows and having oddities like fox and that irritatingly puffy East/west coast guy pimping his info out (which not even the man himself does.) Very distasteful.

            As for Peats ideas. I generally think he has some good things to say. Some bad things. Just like everybody else with a brain and an opinion.

            This is how I would distill a Ray Peat Protocol, and totally for free:

            Base your diet on fruit and dairy. Think for yourself, do what you want.

            I think Ray writes how he wants with no prerogative. It just feels so disjointed from one paragraph to the next.

            Monkeys charcoal or human pixie dust. Neither are found in the internet.

            Only through living life will you find health.

            The internet health blogs create an illusion that there is some kind of secret, somewhere, anywhere, that will turn you into Superman one eventual day. Or even just a Man.

          • Lee, I think that you are, at least in part, right. The blogs create an illusion of there being ascended masters somewhere with a secret diet that will transform you into superman. For some people the diet game is act of desperation, for others it is an act of vanity. I would say that I have done it for both reasons.

            That said, along the way I have stumbled upon a couple of things that work, so it hasn’t been a complete waste of time. I would form my own cult, but I don’t have proper qualifications. The only qualification that is essential is that you be gullible (or sociopathic) enough to believe your own bullshit. If you believe your own bullshit, then it’s a cinch to get others to believe it. Alas, I am just too cynical about all of this to carry that off. That sucks because I am sure these guys are surrounded by groupies willing to spread their legs on command!

          • Thomas,
            You reckon Peat holds Progesterone Pantie Parties? I reckon he does, I can picture it now. The old sly fox, in a warmly glowing room surrounded by naked, horny, writhing hot sweaty young ladies. Easel in the corner, progesterone tabs in smartie(candy) tubes freely and encouragingly distributed etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.

            Lulush,
            I will leave with one last statement. Restrict any blog/ health reading to say, once a month perhaps. Frequent enough to stay on top of any magic that might appear, though long enough to kind of distance yourself away from all of the noise and to regain some kind of self reliance. Then go and eat “normal” food with “normal” people in the “real” world.

          • Lee, I don’t know. I suspect that Peat is a rather decent person. He could really have cashed in on this whole deal, and he hasn’t. He’s held true to his anarcho-syndicalist ideals (at least I have him pegged as some kind of anarcho-syndicalist given his admiration for Ivan Illich). So, no matter what I might find at fault with his dietary ideas or his obscure writing style, I have to hold him in high esteem.

            That said, judging from his paintings, he is obviously a lover of the ladies. If he has a bevy of wanton females then good on him.

            Now the “Peat Practitioners” (or ‘PPs’ as I call them) are another story. I think you and I share a certain contempt for them.

          • Ha! The funny thing is that’s what I do now, the only blog I still read is matt’s because its so anti-dogmatic and relaxed and I feel normal rather than guilty for being so “unhealthy” eating huge portions of bread and cereal. And even then I only read a bit here and there, I’ve been frequenting more stress friendly art and painting sites and doing things I love (like painting) with all the time I’ve saved by not reading nutritional blogs and conspiracy sites (I do think there’s a small line between being a healthfreak and conspiracy nut). Better to stress less and be productive is what I’ve ultimately learnt. Thanks for the advice:D

          • Instead of reading blogs, we should listen to mainstream advice. They have our best interest at heart.

          • Hi Bill,
            I noted the sarcasm.

            Nobody has Bills best interest at heart. Especially not random internet bloggers. Nobody.

            Except at best, family and friends.

            Go eat with family and friends, eat what they eat, enjoy it. To follow your own instincts is the best you can do. Being dazzled on the internet. GOOD LUCK.

            I would go as far as to say that I would take mainstream advice over for example semi attractive ex-vegan English students, ex-”balding” bass guitarists, North/South st”healing”, bulletproof conjobs, Ad infinitium. They all have your best interest at heart Bill, they will never let you forget that and don’t you forget it either.

            Go to your local doctor instead, in your own community, you know, who actually studied and has a reputation to maintain in the health field. You want to know the reason why mainstream advice is mainstream?…. It ain’t because it is wrong as a clue.

            Stick with Elvis conspiracy theories, they can’t hurt you.

            Bloggers can come an go with any crack pot idea, polish it up as magic candy and sell it to you.

            Are you buying magic candy Bill?

          • Lee your comments are refreshing, funny and truthful. After years following obscure nutritional dogma myself including the (frankly dangerous) 80/10/10 raw vegan diet, I’m left exhausted by it all in more ways than one, having chronic fatigue and hypothyroid. Enough! Who would think I’ve done 2 degrees and can’t even think for myself over the seemingly simple task of feeding. Keep the comments coming :)

          • Mainstream medicine doesn’t exactly have it all figured out. There’s a reason we have epidemic levels of obesity, auto-immune illnesses, autism, cancer, etc. I watched my naturally strong and healthy father’s health be weakened from mainstream medicine. Not saying that the “attractive ex-vegan English students, ex-”balding” bass guitarists, North/South st”healing”, bulletproof conjobs” have the answers either. But plenty of non-extreme TCM, Ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors can be helpful. In the end listening to your own body is probably the key.

          • How about drinking bone broth or salt water if your hypothyroid? Maybe its better to just put more salt on your food instead?

    • hm this got me thinking. Matt, do you think you can balance drinking more liquid with consuming more salt, or is there something inherently bad about drinking too much regardless of salt consumption?
      Liquids (juice, milk) are such an easy way to get calories and nutrients. It’d be super nice if I could drink 2 or 3 quarts a day.

      Reply
      • Most of the guys who are hardcore Peatarians have said that they need to eat 1-2 teaspoons of salt a day. That might give you an idea if you are looking for one. :)

        I personally hover around 1 teaspoon as I am just too lazy to go on a full liquid diet. I, for some reason, like chewing food.

        Reply
        • yeah, no way I could do a full liquid diet! But more liquid, like 1/3 of my calories sounds pretty sweet.

          Reply
          • I am kinda doing that now. I try to drink 3 tall glasses of milk every day, and because I am addict(although I guess Ray might favour this one) I also drink half a liter of Coke every day or so.

            Slowly I’ve been losing fat, while also taking progesterone.

  16. Matt, There have been some negative comments from folks on the RBTI yahoo group about this post. Don’t quite understand what they’re on about. Something to do with potassium levels I think. But they don’t seem to have expressed them here to you. Any comment?

    Reply
    • Well in RBTI there is a lot of belief in things that don’t exist, like low density urine being a sign of “potassium deficiency.” In reality, the extracellular fluid should be very low in potassium and high sodium or you have a breakdown in the strength of the cell membrane, which maintains great polarity between these two ions to prevent osmosis. Many problems associated with “low sugar” in RBTI are due to hyponatremia and the flow of extracellular fluid into the cells.

      Reply
      • Hey Matt,
        Potassium has an affinity for protein, so I think low urea scores just indicate potassium deficiency by association, not by any direct measure like “there’s not enough potassium in your urine.” This is why corn, despite having no potassium content, will improve potassium levels: because it raises ureas, which in turn facilitates greater potassium retention (with the potassium coming from other sources).

        Reply
      • cell membrane strength is a calcium issue. timmy

        Reply
  17. Off topic, I realize, but do you have any plans of revisiting your ‘Poor, Poor Jimmy Moore’ post? I know many are wondering about this, especially in light of his (apparently) successful weight loss through nutritional ketosis – but alarmingly high cholesterol. A 180 degree health take on all this would be highly interesting to many of us.

    Reply
    • I thought about it. I don’t feel the need to bust out some I told ya so action on him. I will let Mr. Moore pursue his skinny fat world record without comment from me.

      Reply
      • Ha. Ha.

        He looks like an egg on sticks.

        Reply
    • Well, even if we cast aside debate about whether saturated fat is ‘bad’– high cholesterol is a sign of hypothyroidism; having followed 180 (and living without a thyroid for 15 years) my amateur assessment is that Jimmy’s low carb/ extreme dieting has and continues to contribute to metabolic damage. I used to be a big believer in low carb (in theory– never could quite go low enough in practice). Funny how once you allow a little sunlight to creep through the cracks in your ‘theory” , how quickly it all falls apart. Long live crackers!

      Reply
  18. Hi, I’m interested in buying a refractometer but i cannt buy the one you reccomended cause they don’t ship to Ireland. So I looked on eBay ie they have a good selection of reasonably priced models but I don’t know which one to buy. There are ones for salt water marine, wine, fruit juice wine etc. I would appreciate a bit of advice, thanks.

    Reply
    • Any one will probably work. I like the 0-10% refractometers over the 0-32% ones for accuracy.

      Reply
      • Great, thanks Matt

        Reply
        • If you want you buy one from an Irish ‘bricks-and-mortar’ shop, HomeBrew West based in Galway have one for €50. Probably cheaper on eBay but they only charge €5 delivery. They’re close to me so thinking of popping in and getting it. I like to actually see what I’m buying before I buy if at all possible!

          Reply
          • Hi again,
            I ended up buying what looks like a good refractometer on e bay before i saw Melissa s post about the shop in Galway. Now I’m wondering how to read it? The right hand side reads 0 to 100% PPT. The left hand side reads 1.000 to 1.070 (d 20/20 SG). When I took a reading this morning it read 25%. I would appreciate your advice . Does a Brix of 3 = 30% ? thanks.

          • Matt, after all your advice looks like I got myself the wrong refractometer. I was sure it advertised 0 to 10% Thankyou for the link, my readings appear to vary quite a lot. This morning it was approx 9. Along with a waking temp of 97.3 which sadly seems to be average for me.
            I have really cut down on fluid intake and find my blood sugars more stable, I can make it to 11 s without a crash. Definately eating more in the first half of the day helps me. I’m finding it hard to read my body feedback though regarding salt/fluid intake. I had
            given up salt for years and deprived my children of it. My youngest went through bags of popcorn so I suppose her body knew what it needed! I agree, food taste so much better with salt especially eggs and spuds(potatoes). I also feel so much happier to be feeding my children real butter, cream, coconut oil and more carbs, thanks to you.
            I have been following you since June with great hope, as I feel I have thyroid problems. When I first started RRARF I began eating lamb stew for breakfast, I couldn’t believe how hungry I was. My allergies have improved so much. I have gone up a size but I started off fairly skinny. I feel less of a weakling now. Since the birth of my 3 kids my belly often looks 4 months pregnant, looks worse since I put on weight. I love the idea of maxersise, and attempted to do so by skipping, my heart starts pumping within minutes. Feels great! I also try doing a few sit ups to tone my sad looking abs. I find it difficult to be consistant as my lower back, neck and shoulders get really stiff and sore. This has been going on for years. I’m not sure if this is triggered by stress, exercise or low metabolism ? (should I still be resting?)
            I have your cook book and diet recovery book and found them both very helpful. I know I still need to increase my temperature I just wish it would happen sooner than later.
            Thanks for reading ;-) B

  19. My 3 1/2 year old won’t eat anything for lunch or dinner. And I noticed he’s been more thirsty and peeing more often. After looking on google and coming up with not so good advice (like don’t give you kid anything if he doesn’t eat what you give him) I found this post. Do you suggest giving him an unlimited supply of what he will eat? Crackers, ice cream, yogurt, sweets, etc? He’s eaten very little for the past 4 months (besides sweets) and I am starting to worry. Sometimes I don’t know how he survives with how little he eats.

    Reply
    • Oh definitely Sarah. Take that kid to Golden Corral or something.

      Reply
      • I love Golden Corral. It was my favorite place to go when I was working at Disney World. I found that it was very palatable in spite of the hot humid weather.

        Reply
  20. thanks for posting per my request! now i have to figure out a way to share this with my mommy friends without seeming pedantic.

    (i’ll take credit even though you said you already had it in mind :P )

    Reply
  21. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to infants but salt in general. You mention if feeling cold and having a suspected low metabolism, a low fluid, calorie dense, salty and sugary breakfast can often help. Once you’re nice and warm, you’ve said adding fluids back in could be fine, and possibly helpful, for the rest of the day. Should these fluids (like milk and orange juice) be salted as well?

    Reply
  22. People read blogs like this because we are anything but normal. In normal living, people never give food a second thought unless hungry. Eating for them is second nature and takes a back seat to the rest of their life.

    For people like most of us that read these blogs, eating/food has taken a front row seat. I’m sure we are all trying to move back into mainstream but come to places like this for support and out of desperation.

    I really believe relinquishing to and accepting our own personal situations is the first step to getting back into something ‘normal’.

    Reply
  23. Matt, I have rejoiced since I discovered you, just in time to stop me from going down the GAPS road. Whew! I was only trying to help my son, but good God, I could have killed him. You have opened my eyes and filled me with relief all at once.

    But even with RRARF, which I’m just barely attempting to embark upon myself (with some good results in terms of body temp and energy so far)… it’s tricky when it comes to a little, developmentally and speech delayed (basically non-verbal) 3 year old, with a rare vascular abnormality condition (sturge-weber syndrome), involving over-growths of blood vessels in the skin on his face (port-wine stain), eye (causing glaucoma) and brain (causing seizures and, apparently, growth hormone deficiency – a common subcondition of SWS). Then there’s the anti-seizure medication and its wonderful array of side effects.

    Trying to sort out what issues are related to his diet, or dietary problems due to his medication depleting him of things, and what are just unavoidable consequences of all these extra blood vessels (and calcification) all over his brain and pituitary gland and so on. I would love – LOVE – to be able to take him off of the seizure meds (gradually of course), and to altogether avoid growth hormone replacement therapy, but I struggle with how much hope to have for dietary changes alone, given the complicating factor of his condition (which it’s sad to know could very well have been caused by my own high stress levels and misguided dietary choices before during and after pregnancy). I would love to talk with you privately about this but it’s not in the cards financially at this time. I realize this is an unusual case and maybe you only have time for those more generally helpful to more people. But I had to throw it out there anyway, in case you have any insights that pop to mind. :)

    It is worth noting that he, like other commenters’ kids, seems to crave crackers and sunchips and the like a lot (and often refuses to eat much else, other than yogurt), probably because he drinks so much juice due to the dehydrating affect of his medication (his juice I always give half n half with water. He refuses to drink plain water, so at least there’s that).

    I have noticed less frequent peeing and it being more concentrated since I’ve been gradually phasing out the old ways and phasing in your dietary suggestions.

    There’s a nice jumble of information for you. If you have any flashes of insight on ways I could help him based on this, though, I would appreciate it beyond words.

    Reply
  24. Lee, there is some truth in what you say. Getting into alternative health is a dangerous thing to do. Though, alternative health blogs and information websited do have their value. I for one got very fatigued and miserable doing whatever I wanted and eating what I wanted, with just a tiny bit of mainstream health watching.
    I´m pretty sure blogs like this one have given me my life back.

    Reply
  25. Thomas,
    You reckon Peat holds Progesterone Pantie Parties? I reckon he does, I can picture it now. The old sly fox, in a warmly glowing room surrounded by naked, horny, writhing hot sweaty young ladies. Easel in the corner, progesterone tabs in smartie(candy) tubes freely and encouragingly distributed etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.

    Lulush,
    I will leave with one last statement. Restrict any blog/ health reading to say, once a month perhaps. Frequent enough to stay on top of any magic that might appear, though long enough to kind of distance yourself away from all of the noise and to regain some kind of self reliance. Then go and eat “normal” food with “normal” people in the “real” world.

    Reply
  26. Hey Matt,
    I know this is off topic but I am hoping maybe some of your readers or yourself might have something to pass on about this. My 13 month old all of the sudden developed a cough that has lasted two months, which has now turned into wheezing and retractions. I’ve been to a few doctors and the ER twice in the past two weeks, and they are saying asthma. But what was strange to me was when I took him into the doctor yesterday and they took his temperature 4 times trying to get a better reading. It was coming up 96.4. He feels really cold lately too, however when I give him bread or crackers it seems to increase his coughing. I am at a loss of what to do. I was thinking food allergy, but maybe it’s something else? Could low metabolism cause asthmatic symptoms or stress the immune system enough to cause an over-active immune system?

    Reply
    • Yes, the lower the metabolic rate the more cytokines you produce. Who knows what the root cause of the reduced metabolic rate is though. It could be any number of different things. Weird that it would happen so suddenly. Concentrated carbs often make symptoms worse postmeal because they lower the corticosteroids which are powerfully anti-inflammatory. I have a history of asthma of course and eating big late at night (when cortisol is at its lowest) aggravates symptoms, but only for like an hour or so. My asthma has actually gotten better over time with big, cortisol-lowering, metabolism-stimulating eating though.

      Reply
      • Ok, makes sense…but what do I do about it? Keep pushing the carbs, making sure he is eating enough and watching liquids? If I do give liquids what do I give him though? One doc recommended keeping him away from dairy for awhile, but that is usually what he drinks. Thank you so much for replying!

        Reply

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