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Can't digest enough. Digestive Enzymes?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Can't digest enough. Digestive Enzymes?

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    Coconut oil is not high in pufa. In fact, it’s one of the most highly saturated natural fats there is and extremely low in pufa. And eggs aren’t a great source of saturated fat unless you happen to eat a LOT of them (like a few dozen at a time). Just FYI.

    Actually, all the stuff you mention giving you rls symptoms are from restaurants. Is that generally the case? A lot of restaurants use high pufa seed oils or, worse yet, partially hydrogenated fats. Depends on the quality of the place. High end will probably use real fats, but most everywhere else will be using seed oils.

    I’ve read a study that claims that it is possible to absorb up to 1500 mg of thiamine hcl at once. And 1500 mg has been used several times a day to keep thiamine levels elevated. The half life is 8 hours or something like that. So if you take thiamine every 4 hours during the day you’ll maintain elevated levels. You can find thiamine hcl powder bulk from GMP suppliers online pretty cheap. Might be worth a try.

    The other thing to look into is allithiamine, which is the natural form. Some claim that thiamine hcl in high doses is just as effective if not more so. But some studies have shown that allithiamine is more effective at lower doses. You could try both.

    If you really have a thiamine deficiency, though, shouldn’t you be showing symptoms of beriberi?

    The trouble you’re going to find yourself in with such low body weight and low caloric intake, however, is that most things will disagree with you. And at some point you might have to face the fact that you have to choose between being uncomfortable while eating more (plus having alarming test results perhaps) or dying because you’re not eating.

    Having been in a very similar situation (I am 6′ and was down to under 120 lbs and feeling unable to eat anything substantial) I really can empathize. Honestly, as one human to another, I’d say just eat anything and everything that you can. If something is too problematic right now, try something else. If everything is too problematic then just eat. Don’t go out of your way to produce unpleasant symptoms by eating things that disagree with you if you can help it, of course. Be creative and keep trying new things. But at some point if nothing else is working, you’ve just got to eat.

    Even though I think that a high pufa diet can be a problem, in your case, just find whatever works for now. Don’t stress about finding the perfect foods. Just find the foods that will work for you and eat them. Don’t worry about arsenic in rice or thiamine being refined out of it. If you can eat white rice, then for the love of all things good, eat as much as you can. Arsenic is the least of your worries when you’re in the condition you’re in.

    And I’m always here to bounce stuff off or to get a reality check or whatever. Feel free to stay in touch.


    Also would be interested to know how fatty acids become ‘free’, and how that affects things.

    I just realized too that I when I added a tiny amount of sugar to my breakfast, I actually didn’t experience any tingling or neuropathy, but am having it now, I think as a result(?) of ending my lunch with a small salad w/sesame oil and vinegar.



    Fatty acids in circulation are always free as far as I know. A fat such as, say, the sesame oil you ate, is composed of fatty acids bound together. Once the fats reach the small intestine, they mix with bile and then are cleaved by enzymes into fatty acids. Hence free.

    There should be free fatty acids in the blood, as far as I know. But they shouldn’t be consistently elevated as is seen in so-called metabolic syndrome and insulin resistant diabetes. The fact that they can be consistently elevated suggests that there is a metabolic disorder. But which came first? The metabolic disorder or the elevated fatty acids? I don’t know, but I am proposing that the elevated fatty acids may have come first. And furthermore, I am proposing that certain types of fatty acids will have that effect – trans fat or elevated omega 6. I don’t know that for certain, but it’s an educated guess.

    In any case, unless you had really bad glucose control (and you don’t if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, I would say), sugar shouldn’t produce neuropathy. But perhaps there is a link between high omega 6 and neuropathy in your case. I don’t know. But sesame oil is high omega 6 pufa.

    Also, what the heck are you doing eating a salad? From what you’ve described, you need lots of calories. Salads don’t tend to provide that. And also, when digestion is weak raw vegetables are typically some of the worst things to eat. Typically, to get digestion on track, you’ll need a) lots of calories (as in, think 4000 calories a day range), b) lots of carbohydrates, and c) adequate quality protein. Oh, and enough salt too. If you are missing any of those things, you’re going to have a damn near impossible task set before you. So salads aren’t really good candidates. Think more like rice, potatoes, ice cream, bread, cheese, butter, pizza, pasta. Not raw vegetables.


    Thanks so much for your replies J-Lo — they mean a LOT to me, especially knowing you’ve been through a similar situation, at least weight and digestion-wise.

    It looks like I wasn’t responding to your 2nd reply above, but we must’ve been posting at the same time earlier, as your reply wasn’t there when I posted my “p.s.”.

    But it’s late now, so will have to reply in more detail tomorrow. Suffice to say that yes, I do indeed and unfortunately have many, if not most of the symptoms of beriberi, which you probably know translates to “I cannot, I cannot”.

    Hopefully that will change to “I can” in the future. You’ve given me hope.

    p.s. LOL about the salad! :)


    Another late night. Today was better at first, had corn cereal (w/sugar) and milk, and did ‘okay’ for the first part of the day, esp considering having to deal with a stressful potential plumbing problem discovered in my bathroom around noon. Feet were definitely tinglier, but it was tolerable because the “energy” increase helped balance things out.

    I definitely want to minimize the negative effects as much as possible. Not stress like crazy about them, but minimize them, as this glycation affects microcirculation all over the body, and certainly can’t afford for my eyes to get any worse. Having said that, my eyes (and my sinuses) seemed to be better yesterday, and have been worse during the second (late) half of the day, perhaps because I didn’t take any sugar at the end of my lunch today, like I did yesterday.

    Also, my teeth are in bad shape, have been for more than a decade, but can’t afford to have them fixed — so I’m worried about lots of sugar in that regard. Plus, my frail state makes it almost impossible to have dental work done right now. Wound healing isn’t good at all. I did have them cleaned 4 years ago (already) and just having that done left me feeling like I had MS for the next several days. The pockets were surprisingly better than both the dentist or I expected them to be. Still, need several crowns, multiple small cavities filled, a couple of cracked teeth redone, which would probably total $20,000???

    The salad — I almost never have salad, and like you, I’ve read, and experienced that raw vegetables and fruit often aren’t digested as well. But I guess I had it for the folate and viatmin c/bioflavonoids, and the fact that I DON’T eat and haven’t eaten almost any raw foods for years now (because I thought I was had a salicylate intolerance, and still not sure). But not eating some fresh foods resulted in another problem connected w/both pre-diabetes/insulin resistance, but also insufficient bioflavonoids/vitamin c and a lack of exercise — and that’s venous insufficiency in my legs.

    It manifests as a weird looking tan/rashy looking patch of very dry skin, due to poor circulation or ‘insufficiency’. The factors mentioned above result in ‘leaky valves’, another thing that I wish I could fix now, but probably needs to wait in line.

    I’d be very interested in hearing more details about your prior situation — if you were bedridden or housebound? 120lbs — that’s extremely severe — not sure how you could possibly stand, let alone walk. My feet have become increasingly painful over the last 6 years or so, and thus my ability to stand or walk has decreased as a result. It feels like I’m walking on bone, as I’ve so little muscle (and almost no fat) on the bottoms of my feet, but still have flub around my middle — again, classic beri-beri.

    I’m curious however, if you’re on Facebook (and a member of the FB group?), as it would be easier to ‘chat’ or perhaps exchange email addresses, or skype? I guess, at least personally, I’d feel more comfortable talking about some of these things in less of a public way.


    Thanks again.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by DannyJ.


    You are free to email me directly at if you’d like.

    All in all, it sounds an awful lot like you’ve found yourself in the same sort of situation I was in and that far too many people are finding themselves in these days. I was terrified of most food after long enough. I had read too much and learned too many half truths or outright lies. It happened one thing at a time, but they all added up until I was afraid of grain, meat, sugar, fat, dairy, eggs, seeds, nuts, fish, root vegetables, green vegetables, raw food, and cooked food. As a result, I was eating very little and having terrible difficulty with the little that I ate. I couldn’t even deal with water ultimately.

    At 120 pounds I was not able to walk very much and it required a great deal of effort to do so.

    Sugar is not inherently bad for teeth. In fact, I wrote a book titled How I Healed My Teeth by Eating Sugar because I did exactly that. Yes, any carbohydrates left in the mouth can feed bacteria that can then secrete acids that will harm teeth. However, the sugar itself is not harmful. And eating too little is far worse than eating enough and including plenty of sugar. The keys are:
    1) eat enough calories
    2) eat enough fat soluble vitamins
    3) eat enough minerals
    4) reduce stress
    5) sleep enough
    6) rinse the mouth well after eating to minimize decay



    @DannyJ Regarding your concern about teeth&sugars. Sugars (though I think white sugar doesn’t have much value compared to natural sugars) don’t necessarily cause bad teeth.
    I don’t want to make anyone food OCD,but My father was a baker and had really bad teeth turned out it wasn’t bc of sugar…it aws all the wheat. His dentist told him,it was quite common amongst bakers to have bad teeth bc of all the wheat&tasting they have to do.
    I don’t know why,but my own assumptions is bc wheat’s high in phosphorus and low in calcium…


    I was going to recommend Joey’s “how I healed my teeth with sugar” book, but Joey beat me to it!! :)

    Also – load up on Vitamin D. You need D to be able to use calcium and rebuild enamel…. then load up on calories and nutritious foods, so your body has the energy and raw materials to get to work on fixing stuff up.

    You might also find a probiotic/enzyme supplement helpful, if your gut is having issues with digestion.


    Well… ignore my last sentence… I just read the responses to the original post. :p


    Hey there,I was just wondering if you knew how to get rid of the elevated free fatty acids and PUFAs, or are those with metabolic syndrome at the mercy of the body releasing them at a deadly rate the rest of forever. Is there hope for a dysfunctional sugar metabolism? Thanks


    MandiJ: I used to have poor sugar metabolism too. My fasting glucose was in the 110-120 range and I would spike to the 200’s after eating a carby meal. Now I’m consistently in the 80-90s and don’t spike above 120 unless I really stuff myself.

    What fixed it for me was the potato hack – eating nothing but potatoes for a few days. I know it sounds like an insane thing to do when you have blood sugar problems but for whatever reason it works. There will be some big spikes initially but they will settle down very quickly. There are a lot of anecdotes about it on the ‘net as well if you want to look it up.

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