December 13, 2013 at 8:11 am #14245Chen2011Participant
I have a few questions regarding progress; How long did it take any of you to feel that you were actually getting better? Did you have up and down days? Did you feel like if you did a little too much or spent too much energy you were laid out for days? Did you have food allergies, if so what did you do about them? Probiotics? How long were you re-feeding before your temps shifted? I know sorry for all the questions but I need your help!December 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm #14246DellaParticipant
Do you want to provide a little background into your own situation to have a better ideaDecember 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm #14250cindy01Participant
Weaning off low carb here, progression from ketosis, Atkins, Primal, PHD, Ray Peat, back to low carb, it’s a chaotic, stressful nightmare.
Delving into ketosis and the Atkins induction phase destroyed my health. I started experiencing hypoglycemic episodes on a daily basis, sometimes a few times a day, and particularly after eating. This could NOT be reversed with returning to my previous diet, and it only improved my symptoms slightly but never completely eliminated them.
Low body temperature, brain fog, post-meal hypoglycemia, low appetite, energy crashes, no motivation, no interest, chronic fatigue. CHRONIC. Some never believe this was induced by shocking my system with eliminating glucose out of my body for the first time in my life…
I am still optimistic, though, and the improvement of my symptoms has encouraged me to not give up or feel despondent.
Since I reintroduced starch and sugar into my diet, I started progressively feeling worse. However, my body temperature regulated, my energy dips weren’t so frequent and the brain fog subsided slightly but I still was bed-ridden. Some symptoms subsided but new ones started appearing, like shortness of breath, dairy intolerance. My main stressor was the reactive hypoglycemia.
I could not figure it out (and still can’t). Adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, low thyroid function… I gave up speculating and guessing, as I had no formal diagnosis and blood tests were completely normal.
For the past two weeks I have been experimenting with intermittent fasting for 15-24 hours daily, and this has really helped with the reactive hypoglycemia and energy crashes. In fact, my energy dips have completely disappeared. Reactive hypoglycemia improved…
But I still lack productivity, concentration, attention span etc. I’m patient, and my venture to perfect health continues…
Switched to keto April this year. Progressed to Primal by June, switched to PHD by July/August, throughout this fall I’ve been on and off Peat. Worst year of my life. Experiencing the epitome of the severity of dietary restrictions and its consequences. It has definitely taught me a valuable lesson… health is a priority over vanity.December 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm #14265islandsneezerParticipant
I’m two weeks into RRARF’ing…
I’ve been low carbing (with loads of sugar/starch cheating) & the HCG Protocol on & off for the past 2.5 years. Before that I did a 5 month candida cleanse and was unable to reintroduce wheat back into my diet without severe double-me-over excruciating pain. I’ve been wheat free for almost 3 years now. Last night I intentionally tried wheat for the first time in years and was surprised to find I’ve had no pain yet… interesting…
Other good improvements, my body temp was as low as 92 at night the first week, and now I’ve had two nights in the last week where it was over 98…
Less heartburn, better bowel movements, better sleep (for a few nights anyway, I’ll take what I can get, being a chronic insomniac!), no cravings…
I’m still having terrible hayfever allergies, congestion, and hormone fluctuations causing severe mood swings. Hoping those improve over time.
Oddly enough, I’ve gained weight, but people keep asking if I’ve LOST weight. LOLDecember 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm #14268
I have been doing RRARF for about a month. I wouldn’t say I have been aggressive with refeeding however, just eating fully to appetite and eating exactly what I am craving.
I spent my twenties obsessing about staying thin through exercise and diet, was usually a vegan but also dabbled with restricting carbs. I cut out all or most sugar and generally ate sugar free for years with only an occasional “treat”. I’ve never been overweight, usually fluctuate between 54 and 58kgs (around 120-130lbs).
For the first week of RRARF I ate a lot, 3 large meals per day and 2-3 snacks. However, my appetite dropped significantly after about 5 days (this coincided with TOM so that is probably a factor).
I noticed an immediate improvement in terms of energy level, increased motivation, better mood fromm upping my starches and even eating sugar.
I haven’t taken my temperature but I can tell I feel warmer and actually sweat (I didn’t before!).
I didn’t have the usual PMS symptoms this month. I felt a bit withdrawn/antisocial but didn’t feel irritable or anxious.
I have gained 3 kilos, but am not worried at all. It feels different to other episodes of weight gain I’ve had, seems more all over with a lot in the boob region! NONE of my bras fit anymore. I bought a new one in a bigger size and that is still too small! I may now be a C cup at the age of 34, having always been an A/B. My 16 year old self would be so happy for me :D Sorry if that is TMI, but my inner teenager is happy :DDecember 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm #14269
Oh, p.s. forgot to add, I felt warmer from about 3 days in and have consistently felt warm since. I was always feeling cold before! The only change to my diet is eating more starches and some sugars, the actual foods I eat remain about the same (about 90% vegetarian – just my natural preference), if anything I am eating less protein now too.December 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm #14270
p.p.s. sorry for hogging this thread, just another thing, I’m still gluten intolerant :( (made myself very ill figuring that out LOL). Obviously need more time to fix that one!January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm #14646jdmc123Participant
“My main stressor was the reactive hypoglycemia.
I could not figure it out (and still can’t). Adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, low thyroid function? I gave up speculating and guessing, as I had no formal diagnosis and blood tests were completely normal.”
Hi Cindy, I am in the exact same boat as you in terms of reactive hypoglaecemia causing problems. Also all my bloodwork says i’m perfectly healthy!(Sigh) I seem to have it in varying intensities throughout the day, its almost like a heart rate monitor, up down up down etc, always there to some degree. In my foggy haze, just like you I can imagine, Im trying to figure out what the heck this hormonal reaction is after eating foods…is it adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance low thyroid function OR all of them?!
What I’ve learnt is that when your not supplying enough sugar to your body your adrenal glands start pumping out hormones (cortisol) to raise
blood sugar levels. Since I’ve gone off the low carb to medium/high carb the symptoms were still there all day, every day, but since I’ve been ingesting more sugar with starches my adrenal fatigue/power plate feeling has MUCH reduced and I feel much more balanced (parasympathetic) BUT i still get the slight hypoglaecemic reaction to fruits and eating starches, is this insulin resistance?
Can anyone explain this?
Cindy keep in touch as it seems were travelling a similar path.
JamieJanuary 14, 2014 at 2:56 am #14652
Hey Cindy/Jaime, I started RRARFing about a month ago, and I used to get really bad “hyploglycemia” spells similar to what you both describe. Used to = not anymore!
For me, the trick (in the beginning) was actually not to eat too much in one sitting, and especially really limit protein (at least in the first half of the day), because in its compromised metabolic state my body really struggled to process large amounts of food or difficult to digest foods. I think the biggest key was to coax my body out of a stress state with high-carb easily digested meals, and eating frequently enough to avoid ever letting my body go back into the stress state. This meant I was eating different kinds of porridge (mostly oat bran and millet–they were the easiest to digest, and felt healing for my digestive system) with lots of salt and butter pretty much every hour. I wasn’t eating a ton of it at each sitting, but I was eating it consistently enough to get a lot of calories in. Once I’d eat the porridge, I’d wait a bit to see how I was feeling and then follow up with whatever other food I wanted.
I did notice that if I had more than a couple grams of protein in the meal, especially any earlier than 3pm, I’d feel like total shit. Back to the hypoglycemic haze, heart racing and then total knock-out fatigue. Vegetables made me feel horrible too, as did fruits other than bananas. Recently I’ve been able to add in a bit more protein, but only after I’ve already had some easy-to-digest carbs. I’ve also been able to add in fresh fruits and vegetables, even things like grapefruit and raw salad (but I’m careful about those, especially if I haven’t eaten in a while).
I’ll describe the rest of my experience a bit: I’m coming off of nearly 10 years of damage to my metabolism via sporadic abusive/restrictive eating behaviors, most damagingly a few months of low-carb idiocy this summer that nearly killed me (or at least made me feel like I was dying). I’d largely gotten over my ED tendencies in the past year–I graduated from college and started working on a farm, getting strong and feeling good about myself, and eating a ton of really high quality food. While I was doing a lot of physical exercise (farming, biking for transportation, yoga) I’d also stopped restricting for the first time, so it was generally good for my body.
Unfortunately my gluten sensitivity, which I’d developed a few years after my restrictive behaviors began, persisted (and even got worse). Out of a desperate desire to permanently heal my gut, I started GAPS. While GAPS isn’t specifically low cal or low carb, it was both for me, considering how restrictive it is and how high my activity level was. On the plus side, GAPS cured my idiotic fear of fatty foods (thank god). On the down side, my energy levels were horribly low, and when I started weaning myself off GAPS, reintroducing sugar and simpler carbs, I started having yeast problems (mostly tinea versicolor on my skin). So this summmer I fucked up big time by doing a strict anti-Candida diet. This was extremely low carb, like under 50 net carbs per day. While I do believe it helped clear up the yeast-related issues, it messed me up in every other possible way. I lost 15 pounds that I didn’t necessarily need to lose (and was disturbingly proud of myself–eek), looked like I had two permanent black eyes, my blood pressure averaged 90/55, and my temperatures were anywhere between 94.5-96. Super messed up!! This persisted even after I stopped the candida diet and added carbs. I had no energy whatsoever, had horrible stomach aches from almost everything I ate, and constantly felt like crying. Really intense “adrenal fatigue” symptoms, which I now understand were mostly STARVATION symptoms.
The worst were the hypoglycemic spells, which were ever-more frustrating because they’d be worse after I’d eat. I would feel weak, dizzy, helpless, heart racing and know that I needed to eat something. Then I’d eat something and feel even worse, often with horrible stomach aches to boot, to the point that after most meals I could do nothing but lay down while tears pathetically trickled down my face. I totally lost my appetite, and developed some pathalogical fear of food. It was, needless to say, really lame.
So like I outlined in the beginning, when I started RRARFing I kinda went slow because my digestion was so compromised that large meals (especially if they weren’t exclusively carb-based) would debilitate me. I worked my way up to a more appropriately RRARF-like lifestyle over the course of two weeks, and my temperatures started to gradually increase–like from 95 to high96’s–and my energy slooooowly began to increase as well (barely, but I was still stoked). I even dared to reintroduce gluten, mostly in the form of gingerbread cookies. And, after one initial gassy episode (probably because I ate the gluten while stressed out), I stopped having problems with it!! Okay, there was a bit of constipation at first, but far from the excruciating stomach cramps, bloating, and gas I used to get. I’ve also been taking a lot of strong probiotics, drinking kefir & eating other cultured dairy, and eating lots of sauerkraut–that’s because I visited a gastroenterologist (before I realized I was just chronically hungry) who discovered I had extremely low “good bacteria,” though I knew all about that issue from my GAPS days.
What really helped my progress was visiting my boyfriend’s family in kazakhstan for the holidays: his mom took care of the “aggressive” aspect of the refeeding (which I’d been kind of sheepish about). I’m so glad I’d already been riding the RRARFing train when I visitied, because my old restricting self would have driven his mom (and herself) crazy. Though I felt uncomfortably full and lazy the whole time I was visiting his family (it was a lot of meat pies, piles of meat and rice, piles of meat dumplings, etc), now that I’m back my temps are shockingly warm and my energy levels are, dare I say, normal! About one month into it, I’m averaging 97.8+ upon waking, and getting as high as 99 (after meals) during the day, though I’ll still sometimes go down to 97 before bed. I’ve even (cautiously) started practicing yoga again, and going for longer walks when I feel like it. It hasn’t negatively affected my temperatures.
Okay this response is already really long but I’m down to my last comments, about the good-day bad-day thing. Yeah some days I have less energy than other days, which I think mostly happens if I haven’t had enough salt the day before. If I’m having a particularly low energy day, I really emphasize eating more (like as soon as I’m no longer feeling full from my last meal, I eat again) and getting a lot of salt–it doesn’t necessarily help that very day, but the next day I’ll usually feel great.January 14, 2014 at 2:56 am #14653
Holy crap, I wrote a novel. I guess I’m allowed, it was my first post ;)January 14, 2014 at 8:01 am #14654cindy01Participant
I have tried a low starch, high sugar diet with no success (Ray Peat). In fact, I have been frantically experimenting with NO improvement in symptoms. Intermittent fasting, revisting low carb (the root of my problems! And funnily enough… applying those principles in my diet again left me short of breath for 3 weeks after that brief 7 day stint), mixing protein with my meals.
I still have no formal diagnosis. Refeeding has only improved my fatigue to an extent (nothing significant). I have regular bowel movements, my breathing rhythm is nice and comfortable, I feel stronger – but the fatigue still plagues me. Since I feel a little better, I might start exercising. The next stop will be low GI. If neither work, I will continue refeeding and be patient. I need my life back.
Have you researched into Chinese medicine? I went for an acupuncture session last week, and she pinned needles around my abdominal area, claiming that my digestion was weak… can’t say I feel any different. I’m considering arranging an appointment with a Chinese herbalist instead.
Thank you for that. The advice is quite contradictory, since ‘conventional wisdom’ (labelled Satan advice on the MDA forums) advises limiting carbs (or anything that will spike insulin) throughout the morning and eating carby meals at night… will attempt this experiment myself. How did you feel when you started experimenting with this? How long did it take you to reverse morning hypoglycemia? Did you focus on sugar or starch? Thanks.January 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm #14662jdmc123Participant
@shallowmeya, thanks so much for your incredibly well written response.
@cindy01 – I’ve had tests to show “leaky gut”, SIBO and yeast overgrowth. Surprisingly, those are not my greatest issue….the fact that when I ingest anything, and I mean anything…within 1-20 minutes my body releases a cortisol/adrenal/inflammatory stress response. This cannot be an intolerance or sensitivity as that takes at least 45mins to 2 hours for food to reach the small intestine. (Unless it’s E.E. mentioned below)
Carbohydrate sensitivity? Glucose intolerance? Insulin resistance? It’s obviously something metabolic or my greatest fear, esophageal encephalitis. If you’ve got that, game over. People have to be on elemental diets for pretty much the rest of their lives because their sensitive to all foods. Basically both of us have some metabolic issues>blood sugar issues>hormonal issues. Interestingly, since I’ve been working on my supposed low metabolic issues by eating the most devilishly naughty starchy/carby/sugary foods my blood sugar issues have become a little less eratic and my stress response hasn’t been going off left right and centre and as a result my adrenal fatigue/ hormonal (whatever you want to call it) issues have improved. But I still get post carb hypoglaecemic symptoms being mainly brain fog>speech/thinking issues, shaking and this rushing feeling(basically sympathetic state). I also get the hormonal issues @shallowmeya I’ve found if i don’t eat within an hour to an hour and a half, so what your saying seems to make sense about eating every hour so not every 3-4 recommended to people with hypoglaecemia! I guess the fact that my body is having these reactions and sending out stress hormones because it’s starving?! And I guess the higher the amount of times per day the stress response is sent out the more you need to eat? I’m starting to warm to the idea of doing this diet.
Finally, am I right in thinking I can eat all this sugar/fat/carbs/salt can be eaten with my above IBS issues?January 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm #14671
@jdmc123 I wasn’t paying specific attention to the sugar vs starch thing, I’d say I was pretty balanced between the two. I was eating neither refined sugar nor potatoes. I was getting my carbs in the form of the porridge I mentioned, as well as the natural dairy sugars in the kefir/yogurts I was eating, and that was it. Potatoes felt not so good at first, but I think I adjusted to them after the first 10 days so now they’re fine. I would say it took about a week for me to start seeing improvements.
Yes @cindy01, I think you can keep eating those things! In fact, I think you must! I’ve was diagnosed with IBS when I was about 8, and I’m only now starting to feel some relief. I’m not quite sure exactly what the issue was as a child because I had a super high metabolism, I just also had stomach aches all the time (maybe amalgam fillings? flouride treatments? antibiotics for strep throat? repressed anxiety? who knows), but battling stress and anxiety has definitely been the biggest component of my recovery. I’ve had to fight to convince my body that everything is okay, that it will get what it needs, and that it’s safe to relegate resources to digestion–which always seemed to be last on its priority list. And so much of sparing myself from stress and anxiety meant overcoming the crippling feeling that there’s something wrong with my stomach and no one understands what, so no one can help me. This became so deeply ingrained within me that at some point I realized I believed more in my illness than in my ability to get well. It’s especially hard to overcome this when you have guaranteed symptoms with real physiological indicators, and a real desire to free yourself from their bondage! And, as a fellow IBS sufferer, you’re probably familiar with being made to feel like “it’s all in your head,” which is frustrating as hell. Which is why my next statement will likely seem weird and off-putting: in order to cure my IBS, I had to decide that I no longer had IBS.
Now let me explain a bit. I downplayed my recent visit to the gastroenterologist, which was actually a really intense series of visits that included a CT scan, an ultrasound, a rectal exam, 10+ blood tests for all possible metabolic issues or intolerances, all sorts of hormonal tests (for thyroid & adrenals), the full scope of stool tests for enzymatic activity, parasites, etc, and even an endoscopy (truly traumatic). Some results were abnormal, but not enough to give clarity. The most significant results: the doctors found that my small intestine was distorted and inflamed (explaining the pain), that my intestinal microvilli were atrophied (normally a sign of celiac or chron’s, but I’m negative), and that my microflora were compromised (explaning the immune suppression and subsequent chronic fatigue). What the doctor couldn’t explain is why this was all happening–it ultimately seemed the most likely culprit was hormonal issues, but those tests are frustratingly inconclusive.
After all of these traumatic invasive exams and many hundreds of dollars spent (and I’m a 23-year-old farmer/aspiring filmmaker, aka – poor) I was really devastated to walk away with disturbing evidence of how effed up my gut is, but ZERO explanations or solutions. Just for the sake of prescribing something, the doctor put me on something called Intetrix to reduce the intestinal inflammation and an immune-targeted probiotic called RioFlora for two weeks. I don’t think those exist in the states — I’m currently living in Russia. I also don’t think they’re entirely necessary.
What actually helped was getting my body to stop stressing out. This, like I said, meant eating constantly but eating gentle foods so I never experienced hunger-related stress. After a few weeks of eating carbs I deemed “safe” for my damaged gut, I had to eliminate the stress of my IBS-inspired food fears. I had to decide that I could eat anything because I’m totally fine, and I only feel bad when I put bad energy into the food due to negative thoughts/fear/hesitation.
IBS is a catch-22 situation. Your weakened state elicits a nearly constant stress response and compromises digestive abilities, subsequently irritating your gut and causing pain, leaving your body incapable of extracting the necessary nutrients (ie calories) to crawl out of the weakened state, and leaving you conditioned to expect the pain to return, guaranteeing further stress. That’s why, in order to return to a state of strong confident digestion, you need to enter a strong and confident emotional state, especially in relation to food and health. The symptoms may persist for a while, but they will eventually recede!!
Finally, there is real physiological damage that the guts of IBS sufferers incur, and I do think it’s important to address this in addition to addressing food phobias and low metabolism. You can supplement with Colostrum and L-glutamine to repair the intestine if you suspect leaky-gut, if consuming bone broth/ gelatin is undesirable (though jello’s great!) or insufficient. I also recommend a probiotic called HMF Neuro Powder. It’s the only probiotic derived from human microflora so it’s more likely to recolonize in your intestine, and it also contains L-glutamine. Mix one scoop with a small glass of juice (I always make it salty!) and drink first thing in the morning or between meals.January 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm #14731OldMateParticipant
I did the low carb thing for two years. Before that I was overexercising, overworking, not eating enough, lots of alcohol.
When I began the low carb phase I was experiencing dizziness, extreme fatigue, neck and jaw pain. I did low carb for about 2 years. I felt great at first, had abs, and grew stonger and then as I declined my poor symptoms increased. No libido, no energy, poor digestion, acne, freezing hands and feet, receding gums so on.. My temp was around 35.5 and pulse 50.
I began refeeding about 6 months ago. I have been quite aggressive and have been eating anything and everything I feel like. Including gluten which I had not had for at least 3 years.
At first i felt extremely horrible experiencing poor digestion, abdominal pains, back pains, shoulder pains, corpse like fatigue, shivering, dental pain, but I just kept on listening to my body, and kept track of the positive signs that my metabolism is improving. Body temp, Stronger hair and nails, libido, skin quality, handling more fluids, motivation to be creative and artistic, a lot more social, and less motivation to sit on the internet and read heaps of bullshit about nutrition.
So far I have gained around 35kgs, and I think my weight has stabilised. Now my body temp is usually 36.8 – 37.2 and pulse 80-85. No more cold hands :)
Things have improved dramatically and its still early days. I am experimenting with small workouts but only if I really feel like my energy stores are above normal.
You really must listen to your body and try stay positive. If you crave something, eat it. If you feel like sleeping, sleep. If you feel like crying, CRY! Be kind to yourself, and lay your expectations that you must do more, earn more, achieve more, socialise more, lose weight, grow muscle, do what others expect, in order to love and approve of yourself to rest. Go easy on yourself, try not to shame yourself, and don’t shame yourself for shaming yourself.
There is a lot to learn about yourself in this process beyond ‘what is the perfect food’.
Best wishes!January 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm #14734Chen2011Participant
Thank you for checking in and telling us about your progress. It’s always good to hear how others are doing. Tell me how are you day to day? DO you work? Can you work? You mentioned working out what do you do as far working out? One last questioned have you noticed that your temp drops after you work out? If it does by how much? Sorry one more question, did you take any probiotics? What was your temp when you started. Thanks for the reply. Look to hear from you soon.
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