?over the past 6 months I’ve been following a low carb candida diet 20-30 grams of carbs a day??
??my severe constant runny nose got better but i still had days when I was having constant post nasal drip all day-I’m itchy at times, every few weeks I am up all night-insomnia but otherwise, I am also very tired and sleep 10-11 hours a night, hypoglycemic feeling/low energy-(I can barely work too low energy), low weight, I lost weight and can’t seem to gain muscle despite working out, body odor, bad breath, i cant tolerate cold temperatures that well, occasional diarrhea-i thought this was yeast die-off, upset stomach. I still have mild acne, and bad dandruff especially if I don’t wash hair…
This was written to me in a personal email recently, evidence of what I’ve seen happen with a low-carbohydrate diet. This is not a totally unusual response. All of these symptoms are classic signs of low active thyroid levels, induced by the drastic reduction of carbohydrates below 50 grams, considered the magic number that separates a low-carb diet from a ketogenic diet (that induces the metabolic state known as ketosis).
Dr. Fatkins himself was even aware of the hypothyroid pitfalls that his diet could induce. On page 303 of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution he states?
??remember that prolonged dieting [including ‘this one?] tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical grounds with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature.
Sounds like my email eh? These are real issues, and this can happen to a long-term low-carber. It’s these kind of stories and personal encounters that has always made me very wary of a low-carb diet that dips below 50 grams of carbs. That and the fact that my most-respected health advisor, Endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein, states that if you don’t have insulin resistance or type II diabetes?
‘then you can’t go that low (15 grams of carbs, five times per day), and you certainly can’t go lower than that. I don’t care who you are or what you think.
But even the almighty guru of hypothyroidism, Dr. Broda Barnes, recommended a low carb diet, but with the provision? ?at least 50 grams of carbohydrates to prevent ketosis.
Will my experience help to somehow solve the standoff between the low-carb haters that insist that going really low in carbohydrates is dangerous and the almost purely carnivorous folks who speak of their diet as if they’ve found the holy grail? Well, probably not, but it can’t hurt (anyone but me that is).
Still going strong on day 3. Ate like a barbarian today (and up to the next belt loop already)?
Breakfast 6 eggs with 1 slice fatty bacon and 5 medium shrimp
Snack 8 ounces fatty ribeye
Snack 3 ounces raw milk cheddar and 4 ounces fatty ribeye
Lunch 8 ounces fatty ribeye
Dinner 10 ounces fatty ribeye
FWIW. As you state you are eating a carnivorous diet and not a zero carb diet. You are getting some carbs via the shrimp (1 g per shrimp), the eggs (.6 g per large egg), and the cheese. Hidden carbs: http://www.lowcarb.ca/tips/tips009.html Are you aware of “The Bear” who has eaten a carnivorous diet for 50 years?
Hi Matt, Great Blog!
I was hypothyroid when I started low carb 11 months ago. After dropping 50 lbs I dropped the thyroid meds. Went on supplements high in iodine for awhile then dropped them to. I am Zero carb no AS for 1 week now. 1 multi vitamin(with iodine)and 1 cal-mag. What made my thyroid quit working in the first place? I think it was over consumption of carbs that caused an iodine deffeincy.IMO once you damage the thyroid you have to go through a healing process to get it working again. Like doing a scan disk on your computer, the more files you have out of place the longer it will take to sort out.
Hi Matt, don’t forget organ meats for balance. I figure the glycogen in liver won’t count for much of a carb content…will be following with curiosity!
Liver, heart, and kidney have carbs, but brain, lung, spleen, sweetbreads, tripe, and thymus don’t. Anyway, you don’t have to eat organs every day. That is another fallacy of the zero-carb church. They’re like if you can’t eat something everyday in unlimited amounts without gaining any weight, you shouldn’t eat it at all. And they don’t care at all for food quality. Charles buys meat from Wal-Mart…
No tribe has ever eaten a zero-carb diet or anything close. A study by Heinbecker found one group of Eskimos eating 54g of carbs a day from their meat diet. So the idea that their diet was zero-carb isn’t true. They weren’t even in ketosis, most likely. Also, something must be said for the fact that they ate all parts of the animals, boiled the bones and made soup, etc. They weren’t eating a diet of steak from Wal-Mart by any means. Their health was probably degraded more by an excess of omega-3 than too much carbs from the meat. They had nose bleeds which lasted for days and left them incapacitated as a result of poor blood clotting.
Yes, I’ve heard the Eskimos weren’t in ketosis. I too am wondering if I will go into obvious ketosis or not. I have extreme apprehensions about the supposedly healhty state called ketosis that you go into WHEN YOU’RE STARVING. That could damn well be what precipitates hypothyroidism amongst some low-carbers.
According to Stefansson; however, all organ meats were fed to the dogs. They did eat whole fish that were boiled.
For organ meats and other random nutrients not contained in regular fleshy foods, I made a large shellfish broth with shrimp heads, crab tomalleys, and shrimp and crab shells. I eat a little organ meats from time to time (like on Thursday), but don’t lose any sleep over it. Especially when eating things like eggs, cheese, and butter. Pemmican, as far as I know, was almost exclusively flesh and fat with little organ meats.
Shrimp have carbs! Oh god I hope I don’t get fat! Jesus Christ man. My diet is still FUMP-approved.
Thanks too for the hypothyroid commentary. Going low carb is nice on one hand because it realeases all that stored fat energy as insulin levels subside. This allows all the fat in your diet and protein to actually make it to your active tissues and stimulate metabolism – whereas before, if you are overweight, you are carrying the proof that your food was getting siphoned off into fat cells and starving the rest of you, thus shutting down your metabolism in defense.
As for food quality, our pets eat the unhealthiest quality food in existence. They are healthier than we are. They don’t even have crooked teeth (for the most part). Sure quality is important, but most people get overly stressed out about it.
Yes I’ve heard of Bear. That dude is the man! Him getting Cancer kind of spoils the whole “potential meat diet panacea against cancer” though.
Thanks for the comments everyone. Good stuff.
The Bear also had a heart attack that he blamed on being fed BROCCOLI by his mom. He blames every issue on his past, as if his health was forever ruined by what he did 20-50 years ago, even though he says he’s been eating zero-carb for almost 50 years with no drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Something tells me he’s in denial.
Some pets may be healthier (for a while) than their owners, but they still die of modern diseases and become obese as they age. They are much healthier on raw meat diets. It’s ironic Charles feeds his dog raw meat, then fails to see that it may have some benefits to himself. Let’s see him feed his dog just cooked meats, with nothing else. See what happens.
Stefansson didn’t write that Eskimos fed ALL of the organ meats to the dogs. This is a distortion to say the least. Charles likes to distort things and lie, but his own quotes from Stefansson show they ate the head, brain, tongue, etc.
“Among the Mackenzie, the head was considered the best part of the caribou, not just the tongue and brain but the head as a whole. The fat behind the eyes and the meat, a blend of lean and fat inside the angle of the lower jaw were considered the best. The Eskimo and Native American of the Great Plain all had this preference. In New England, chowder from fresh heads is preferred over chowder made from other parts.
“After the head, come the brisket, ribs, pelvis and backbone. If there are four in a family, with a team of eight dogs, they divide the caribou nearly half and half. Two dogs eat what a man does who lives in the house. The dogs get the tenderloin, lungs, liver, sweetbreads, and everything else from within the body except the kidney fat and intestinal fat. The kidney, intestines and heart go to the dogs.”
This is not the same as Charles’s claim that they didn’t eat organ meats at all. Most primitives ate marrow, brains, and tongues, at the very least. None of the tribes ate diets with All Muscle Meats, and No Organ Meats. This quote above is just talking about caribou. Charles has admitted that they ate fish, “including the bones, organs, tails, and heads.”
Also, Charles says that Stefansson lived on nothing but sirloin during his term at Bellevue with Anderson. This is false and shows Charles never read the study or Stefansson’s article “Adventures in Diet” carefully. The study itself said “boiled meat was preferred to fried. The meat was usually cooked lightly and the bone marrow eaten raw.” They drank “meat broths”, unlike Charles.
Stefansson says they ate “steaks, chops, brains fried in bacon fat, boiled short ribs, chicken, fish, liver and bacon.” I count at least three foods that Charles does not eat. So his diet isn’t similar to Stefansson’s and he can’t use Stef’s diet to defend his own. He only has one year’s worth of anecdotal evidence that does not prove his diet is healthy, any more than eating raw vegan for one year proves that it’s healthy.
Despite these facts, Charles claims that a diet of ground beef would be perfectly adequate for a pregnant or nursing woman or growing child. The Bear’s version of zero-carb (which allows butter, cheese, eggs, and organ meats in moderation) is probably adequate for those conditions, but ground beef isn’t IMO.
Thanks Bruce. I of course am aware of how treasured all parts of the animal were, especially the organ meats.
Just thinking from a logical perspective, an entire creature contains everything it needs to survive and contains everything we need to survive.
But if you eat some parts and omit others you are bound to run into some problems.
Hence the shrimp head/tomalley broth.
I agree Charles’ diet cannot truly be compared, and 1 year on a diet don’t mean shiat.
At least an all-meat diet has been documented as sufficient whereas an all-vegan diet, historically, has never been followed by any ethnic group known to have excellent health – regardless of what following it for a year or two might lead one to conclude.
Again, thanks everyone for the great commentary.
Maybe it’s better to eat less nutritious food once you’re grown. This seems to be intuitive somewhat. The needs of a child are greater than an adult. People aren’t harmed as much by mild deficiencies when they’re adults. There may not be as much benefit to eating “healthier” foods when you’re already fully grown. If you don’t want kids, you can survive on a somewhat deficient diet and be otherwise healthy. There’s a continuum of nutrition/health, not a sharp dividing line.
“No tribe has ever eaten a zero-carb diet or anything close. A study by Heinbecker found one group of Eskimos eating 54g of carbs a day from their meat diet.”
The Siuox Indians ate Zero carb.
Straight Buffalo meat. Somtimes raw some times cooked.
There are carbs in meats, esp the heart, liver, kidney, and certain other organs, which primitives sometimes ate. They ate the tongue, brain, eyes, and bone marrow at the very least. The tongue has carbs, and that was a preferred meat. The claim that they ate zero-carb is based on some biased person’s interpretation, IMO, not detailed analysis of their diet. When an Eskimo’s diet is analyzed, it might have over 50g of carbs from the glycogen, the organ meats, the blood, etc.
It just depends on the region and the time of year. Meat-based carbohydrates were probably more abundant in some diets than in others. There were certainly times when they were extremely scarce. No matter, through gluconeogenesis excess protein above and beyond the body’s requirement can be broken down into glucose.
Eskimos were found to be running on glucose and oxidized fatty acids with little or no ketone production. They were found to have excellent glucose metaoblism when it was administered in a labratory setting.
The real questions are, can one live off of meat alone, and can one obtain glucose from meat? The answers to both questions are yes, whether the meat itself contains carbohydrates or not. Of course, getting glucose from carbohydrate rather than protein is unquestionably more efficient, which is probably why these cuts of meat were preferred, and also why every group of humans that had reasonable access to a carbohydrate staple ate that carbohydrate with every meal!
I think all meat must contain some amount of carbs – after all if you’re ONLY eating meat, you’re eating a lot of it, and if that happens, you are actually getting more carbs then if you were to just count things that are known to have carbs, yeah? I don’t know, but the body is pretty smart. I think some extremists who aren’t happy on the insides who just have a strong belief – not so much a feeling about their diet (they may just be stubborn) – are the ones who fail to show that they have found the greatest diet. But who knows, the one they died of cancer on could be your ticket to heaven on earth if you’re a totally different person! Plus, how do we really know what these people who die of cancer really ate…hmm.
Wow, I can really relate to this post. I had exactly all those symptoms described in the email, and I still struggle with most of them, but the most severe disappeared after only a few days on RRARF.
I certainly felt all those symptoms despite sticking to a 56g carb intake each day. It just wasn't enough for me.
I also find it a bit of a struggle to deal with people who just totally dismiss low carb as "crazy". Cause that "crazy" was my best bet, and my choice for a few years. It comes from a place of deep need, and having tried so much else with no improvements. Not to mention the false promises of health improvements….
Now, thanks to 180 Degree Health, I'm so much more educated. I certainly will never go back to low carb again. Thank you Matt!
Also, yes some people like the Eskimos seem to be doing well on a low carb diet, (that's so interesting that hey ate 54g carbs….I had no idea. I also didn't know that thing about the nose bleeds….) but I think that would demand a super great beginning health/metabolism. All I can say is that the Eskimo diet didn't work for my body, with it's current poor health status/metabolism. I guess it's super great for health to be on a fishing boat most days in freezing conditions (which was part of their life style) and I can also guess that I would freeze and eventually collapse if I tried that life style at my current poor health status. Once my health has returned, then it's possible that I could eat low carb and be outdoors in the freezing cold while hunting whale, but I doubt those changes could help me regain health. Also, I think that most other tribes did eat high carb, so why not follow their wisdom too?
Also, Dr Buteyko has seen in his research that all animal protein is very hard on the breathing. I guess the Eskimos had excellent breath capabilities too.
Also, to add to the discussion, I read in George Catlin's book from 1870 "Close Your Mouth Save Your Life" that the Sharretarrushe indians, and the Tribe of Mandans, that he stayed with ate "Buffalo flesh and Maize, or Indian corn" page 7. He also noted, like did Weston A Price, that these people, still eating their traditional foods, were all strict nose breathers (ie had great breathing, no difficulties).