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29 Mar 2010

Post195: Trying to Eat properly

I was going to try and keep things warm and fuzzy today but two things intervened: Firstly I realised it was Monday and even though it's a four day weekend coming up (still the only useful thing about Christianity); the Second was listening to Chris Moyles suck up to west-country wookie and fat moron, former ABBA member (In this photo anyway) Justin Lee Collins. I know there are lots of things to be indignant about on Mondays but this took the biscuit, much like the pair of them probably horde biscuits! JLC should be ploughing a field in Somerset not being interviewed on Radio 1 or making 'hilarious' quips on such trailblazing shows as 'Ooops TV' unless he's trying to slip into the roomy space left by Jeremy Beadle. I should have just turned the radio off but it's well out of my reach!
Anyhoo the constructive stuff was that I wanted to reproduce the email this guy David who has put me on this diet sent me yesterday after I sent him one expressing my concerns about it and asking for answers to some nagging questions I had. I like to reproduce these sorts of things here for two reasons: Firstly it's interesting plus it gives me a chance to check the veracity of his claims and give you an example of the level of intelligence/expertise of people who advise me, and bear in mind that he only contacted me through reading this! Secondly, because typing with one finger is so slow, exhausting and frustrating being able to copy and paste something is a huge relief, it's been the same since college but don't tell my tutor!

'Don't be nervous about the diet, it's much more open than most. A packet of crisps every now and again won't kill you. But i'll have to explain about blood sugar level and the importance of maintaining it and how to counter blood sugar spikes after eating something processed or drinking something like wine. This doesn't mean that you can eat processed food every day though! Try and think of it as being good on school nights and relaxing a bit at the weekends. So try and stick with a healthy natural diet on weekdays and if you fancy some wine or a bit of processed food on a saturday night then it wont be the end of the world. Be aware that the more unnatural foods and drinks you take in, the slower progress will be.

In answer to your question about energy levels before the stroke you were in a very different place then. You were active and in a healthy mind state. Your lack of energy now isn't solely caused by the foods you eat or 99% of the people out there would have CFS. You have something called adrenal fatigue. Due to the stoke and the unavoidable stress it puts on your body and mind, your body would have released a lot of stress hormones, mostly cortisol. Once you came out of the coma and realised what had happened you became even more stressed, mentally, which lead to the constant release of cortisol. Now cortisol is your 'fight or flight' and 'wake up' hormone. It gets all your bodies systems up and working, simply put it gives you energy. You released so much Cortisol that your body ran out, so it moved onto the next best hormone - testosterone. You then depleted your stores of that as well. What i aim to do with you is replenish your testosterone stores and the cortisol will follow. The first stage of this is getting you to eat properly. By not eating the right types of foods, or in the right quantities, for your metabolic type you're putting your body under stress. I'll give you 2 simple examples of how you've been putting your body under stress (and therefore trying to release more stress hormones leading to even more fatigue). In your every day routine.

1., You haven't been eating every 2 - 2 and a half hours. What happens then is your body goes into 'starvation' mode. As Homo sapiens were made to graze, to eat regularly, little and often, normally about 7 times a day. If we didn't eat regularly enough our body tries to defend itself, it thinks that you haven't eaten for a while so there must be a food shortage around you. You will then release stress hormones, as a defensive measure, and horde the next meal you have i.e. turn most of it into fat straight away so that energy can be used later in case the 'food shortage' keeps going. This means you won't use most of the nutrients from the food you've eaten to repair the cells in the body that you need.

2. The Insulin roller coaster
When you take in carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, any fruit or vegetable) your body will immediately turn them into glucose, a sugar. Your body does this as it's easy to either use for instant energy, in case of a fight or flight situation, or to move into storage (turn to fat) for later use. The problem is that our body always wants to maintain homeostasis - a constant internal environment - and it doesn't like anything to deviate from a happy norm. I.e. it doesn't like your temperature to change too much, or acidity levels or, very importantly here, your blood sugar levels. So it has mechanisms to keep everything level. So when you eat your muesli breakfast with your 'non fat' yoghurt you are eating a meal that is densely packed with processed carbohydrates. Soon after you have eaten your breakfast all those carbs will be turned into glucose, this raises your blood sugar level significantly. The alarms go off in the body telling it that your blood sugar level is too high so it releases Insulin, a storage and blood sugar regulator hormone. Insulin is very efficient at its job and takes nearly all your blood sugar and stores it as fat. The problem then is that your blood sugar level drops very low, this is called being hypoglycaemic and sometimes you can even feel it with a 'carb-slump' where you feel tired after eating a carb heavy meal, like a Pizza as we discussed when i saw you. The problem is that your brain uses glucose as its energy source so alarm bells again ring as your brain panics, thinking its going to run out of fuel and die. So your body then releases cortisol, the stress hormone, which has various effects on the body, one of which is to make you crave carbohydrates (read fruit and veg as hunter gatherers and sweets \ processed food as modern day man) in order to bring your blood sugar levels back up. So people then tend to eat some processed carbs and the exact same process occurs again!

Simpfied the process is Carb heavy food -> increase in blood sugar -> Insulin release -> hypoglycemia -> cortisol release

So there are two simple ways in which each day, just through your diet, you're making hormonal imbalances in your body and stopping it repairing itself.

Dom, please feel free to ask as many questions about anything i ask you to do as you like. Whether it be out of interest to learn or more likely scepticism, i dont mind as i think it's very important you understand how your body works in order for us to progress and get rid of your CFS. However, i do want to try everything i say. These wont be massive, awkward life changes, just habitual changes, mostly for those who cook for you, that will make a very big difference in the long run.

I'm in the process of ordering you 2 supplements to help raise your testosterone levels. I'll let you know how it goes. In regards to tomorrow night could you ask Maurisz not to cook for you, i'll bring some stuff over and show him how to proportion your meals correctly. Could you possibly ask your morning carer if she could be around for a bit, i wont necessarily get her to cook anything or watch me cook but i'd like to make sure she's reading off the same page'
This, to me is useful stuff, medical 'experts' don't explain sh*t!

1 comment:

Simon said...

"Once you came out of the coma and realised what had happened you became even more stressed, mentally, which lead to the constant release of cortisol. Now cortisol is your 'fight or flight' and 'wake up' hormone. It gets all your bodies systems up and working, simply put it gives you energy. You released so much Cortisol that your body ran out, so it moved onto the next best hormone - testosterone. You then depleted your stores of that as well. "

Has this guy given you a blood test? How does he know you have run out of Cortisol and Testosterone?

Dom, if you can get the audio book of 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldarce i really do recommend you get it and give it a read/listen.

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