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Using ketosis to deal with excess phlegm. I'd be grateful to get feedback

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  • #16
    Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
    To the OP, ever seen an ENT? I was told by the doctor that tested me for allergies that an ENT might be able to see something that could be corrected. Post-nasal drip is not an easy thing to cure or pin down the cause.
    I saw one years ago when I was a teenager but he was, how shall we say, a condescending prick. I still want to punch him in the face. I should probably go be seen by a better one.

    Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
    I take antihistamines daily and use a neti pot most days.

    NW brings up a good point have you seen an ENT? There could be a physical cause like polyps. Not everything is related to diet, there could also be a genetic cause (not likely) but you may want to look into it. My son has Cystic Fibrosis, it's a genetic condition where the body produces an excess of very thick mucous. Our first clue was that he constantly had a runny nose, the doctors kept treating him for allergies and didn't suspect CF because he didn't have any digestive issues. In most people with CF their pancreas does not function due to excess mucous, but in my son's case his pancreas functions fine. When the pancreas doesn't function CF is diagnosed early because the person (infant) can't digest fats.
    I'm sorry to hear your son has CF, I hope it's not too debilitating for him--it sounds like he's healthier than the average person with CF? What age is he now? I've heard that research into that area is flourishing and the future's bright for CF sufferers. The guy from that band House of Pain, Everlast, his daughter has CF and he was talking about in recent interviews and about the progress doctors are hoping to make.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
      First of all, ketosis=/=ZC. Also he is talking about a carb refeed once a week which I think is a great idea particularly for lean folks. As to any damage being done to the guts, I would be more likely to suspect Dave's huge intake of coffee as the culprit in his diet there. He also is a special snowflake n=1 because of the longstanding thyroid condition he writes about and the medication he takes for it. I'm not sure that his results are generalizable.
      Yeah, I think you're dead right about that.

      One question about the refeed--without going off topic--Does a refeed at the weekend (say) take you out of ketosis making it necessary to start the transition period back to ketones from scratch? Some say the transition to burning ketones can take weeks--if you're in ketosis and you do a refeed, do you have to start the whole transition thing all over again? Ideally I'd like to segue in and out seamlessly.

      Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
      Dave says, " If I had continued the diet with near 0 carbs I would likely have suffered gut permeability issues when I ran out of mucus to protect the lining of my stomach from stomach acid." He doesn't say he ever had that problem.
      Right, but in a later interview (I think it was on the Fatburning Man podcast), he said he did pick up some allergies, supposedly from his zero-carbing, but like you said there are a ton of confounding variables there.

      Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
      Allergens can be something you take with you, not necessarily something in the place as you say you have moved often. Personal care products, soaps, pets, etc.
      Hmm, that's interesting.

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      • #18
        Full Keto-adaption can take several weeks to several months, but you can still go in and out of it.

        How you feel will depend on your particular metabolism.
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        • #19
          Several months? Damnn.

          A question to anyone:

          How would one go about getting a "histopathological examination" here, and might it be useful?

          From an abstract of a paper on sinuses, "Many terms related to allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS) such as [...I chopped out the various complicated terminologies] have bee proposed. The authors define EMRS (eosinophilic mucin rhinosinusitis) as patients with rhinosinusitis who demonstrate eosinophilic mucin on histopathological examination"

          From what I gather, rhinosinusitis = sinusitis

          The language of the abstract is rather horrible. But from what I can break down from it--

          In some cases of sinisitis, a fungus may be involved.

          Patients are diagnosed with having, or not having, a certain fungus in the mucus. If they have the mucus, diagnosis = "eosinophilic fungal rhinosinusitis" (EFR)

          If they don't have the fungus, diagnosis = "eosinophilic fungal rhinosinusitis -like syndrome" (EFR-like syndrome)

          Of the people who have the fungus, there's:

          those who are allergic to it, diagnosis = allergic fungal rhinosinusitis

          Those who are not allergic to it = non-allergic fungal rhinosinusitis.


          Basically, that's a lot of wordy labels. I don't have access to the full paper.

          I'm wondering how fungi would be treated? Would anti-fungal tablets of some kind work, or surgery?

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          • #20
            Saber, thanks for that sinus balloon surgery video, I think that's what I need. Finding someone to perform the surgery and getting my insurance to cover it is a whole other thing.

            My son is doing really well; he's very fortunate to have a functioning pancreas which means he doesn't have the digestion problems most CF'ers have. He's 15 yrs. old and this year he's started working out, lifting weights, push-up, pull ups and occasionally sprinting, it seems to be contributing to his overall health. He also eats a primal diet.

            I'll check out the Chris Kresser talk you mentioned.
            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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            • #21
              Some select quotes from an article "Dispelling Myths About Sinusitis":

              "The best available studies suggest the lack of an infectious process in most patients with chronic sinusitis; these studies revealed only nonvirulent aerobic and anaerobic organisms—such as Streptococcus veridans, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus aureus, and group B streptococci—in sinus tissue from sinusitis patients. “That is a sign of colonization, not infection,” said Dr. Borish."

              "Chronic sinusitis is asthma of the upper airway."

              "nasal polyps and hyperplastic tissue have been shown to redevelop one to two years after surgical debulking in most chronic sinusitis patients treated surgically. Corticosteroids, aspirin desensitization, and leukotriene modifiers (particularly zileuton) are among the most effective treatments for chronic sinusitis, said Dr. Borish"

              Certain fungal-sinusitis seems to respond well to surgery and cortico-steroids:

              "The first step is surgery to ensure that all fungal material and polyps are removed and that the osteomeatal complex is open and functional. Postoperatively, patients receive oral corticosteroids for two weeks and then are given intranasal corticosteroids for long-term administration. They are also given leukotriene modifiers and immunotherapy for any fungi to which they are allergic. Daily saline lavage is necessary to remove mucoid material from the sinuses."

              Dispelling Myths About Sinusitis

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                Saber, thanks for that sinus balloon surgery video, I think that's what I need. Finding someone to perform the surgery and getting my insurance to cover it is a whole other thing.

                My son is doing really well; he's very fortunate to have a functioning pancreas which means he doesn't have the digestion problems most CF'ers have. He's 15 yrs. old and this year he's started working out, lifting weights, push-up, pull ups and occasionally sprinting, it seems to be contributing to his overall health. He also eats a primal diet.

                I'll check out the Chris Kresser talk you mentioned.
                That's good to hear. And yeah the surgery looks promising, definitely gonna look into it myself. Going private it probably is pretty expensive at this point unfortunately.

                Edit: a question occurred to me. You might know the answer. I'm Irish and we have a big problem with cistic fibrosis here, it seems to be quite prevalent in our gene pool. If one is a carrier of the gene for CF, but don't have CF, could one still be affected by carrying the gene? In other words, maybe you or I don't have CF but by carrying one of the genes for it we might have mucus/sinus problems as a result?

                Edit2 : apparently not.

                From http://cysticfibrosis.about.com/od/c.../CFcarrier.htm

                "If you are a CF carrier, you do not have to worry that it will someday turn into CF disease. This can never happen because you have one normal CFTR gene. Being a CF carrier will not cause you to be ill or require you to seek treatment."

                Still, I wonder....
                Last edited by Sabre; 06-05-2013, 08:51 PM.

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                • #23
                  Hmm, this is interesting and disquieting, from a CF message board:

                  "A dominant gene does not always repress every phenotypic expression of the recessive, so as a carrier some CF symptoms are possible. The most common are usually digestive issues and sinus/allergy issues. As others have stated, sometimes it's a matter of an unknown second mutation that isn't caught."

                  "My Mother has most of the Cf Symptoms, but is only a Carrier. It is of course getting worse as She gets older. My Father had some symptoms also before He passed."

                  "My husband is only a CF carrier (verified by Ambry sequencing and sweat test), yet he has symptoms. He sees a pulmonologist every 6 months and does many of the same treatments as my daughter with CF"

                  "By luck, I had a pancreatic function test and sweat tests (at 50) first and given the diagnosis of CF."

                  "My son's pulmonologist says there is now more data indicating that carriers can have symptoms either because he has a currently unknown mutation or because researchers have not figured out the whole mechanism of CF."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Sabre View Post
                    Gross topic, yep. Hardly anybody seems to be afflicted with this, so I don't know who among you can relate.

                    I've heard--but by no means have verified--that ketosis can contribute to (or cause) leakygut via the reduction in mucus: the protective mucus layering in the stomach becomes reduced, and leakygut follows.

                    Is there any evidence for that? In my case I have had excessive phlegm production, or "sinus issues", for the past 15 years or so--basically as far back as I can remember; I'm 25 now. I had colic as a baby, but I don't know of anything specific that could have caused this.

                    Doctors have been unhelpful (one guy condescendingly said "well everyone gets mucus, it's a normal part of being human"). Yeah, but not to this extent; I can't go an hour without having to hawk up phlegm. This isn't very sexy. And it's interfering with the quality of my personal life and career--I have to give talks for over an hour and it gets tricky.

                    I've been on paleo for the past 2 years--pretty strictly so (absolutely no dairy)-- and it has helped the problem but has not eliminated it or reduced it to a level that's manageable. I'm in good shape physically, though I am prone to blotchy skin.

                    So I'm going to try ketosis. I started about a week ago, and I'm starting to feel pretty damn good from it, and the phlegm issue seems to have improved.

                    If you'll bear with me, I have a couple more questions.
                    Could a naturopath help me? Or an "allopathic" practitioner? The one naturopath I saw didn't seem to have a clue. Is it possible I have candida, or some kind of fungus or parasite, which is causing this?

                    I'd do anything to get this taken care of.

                    Any input, suggestions, ideas, are very welcome.
                    Yep, the Perfect Health Diet describes mucus deficiency as one of the justifications for safe starches. So feel free to shoot for ketosis, but if you get dry eyes, you've probably gone too far.
                    Last edited by magicmerl; 06-05-2013, 10:12 PM.
                    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                    Griff's cholesterol primer
                    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                    bloodorchid is always right

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                    • #25
                      Interesting info about CF carriers. My older sister was diagnosed with CF at 50 and another sister of mine who passed at 38 most likely had it too. Both my son and my sister have rare mutations that did not show up on the typical genetic screenings. The definitive test is the sweat test and it's the test that should be done first.

                      Do you have any digestive issues? If the pancreas doesn't function correctly you're not able to digest fats and you'll have some pretty severe cramping. But like my son and my sister not all people with CF have insufficient pancreas, in which case doctors often neglect to check for CF. I practically had to force my son's doctor to order a sweat test for him.
                      Last edited by Urban Forager; 06-05-2013, 10:31 PM.
                      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sabre View Post
                        One question about the refeed--without going off topic--Does a refeed at the weekend (say) take you out of ketosis making it necessary to start the transition period back to ketones from scratch? Some say the transition to burning ketones can take weeks--if you're in ketosis and you do a refeed, do you have to start the whole transition thing all over again? Ideally I'd like to segue in and out seamlessly.

                        Right, but in a later interview (I think it was on the Fatburning Man podcast), he said he did pick up some allergies, supposedly from his zero-carbing, but like you said there are a ton of confounding variables there.
                        If your body is well and truly fat adapted (aka the Fat Burning Beast of which Mark posts) then, no, a one day refeed is not a problem. You can drop back into ketosis without a problem. It is only a problem if you are still in the adaptation phase.

                        I really think your mucus problem sounds like either a histamine problem or perhaps a mold/fungal issue. Neither of which has anything to do with carb levels.

                        A full allergy panel will be the only way to know for sure.

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                        • #27
                          I just read Chris Kresser's article on histamine intolerance. Wow, the diet sounds really challenging, even leftover meat is high in histamines. I'm not sure I could do it, it sounds even more limiting than the paleo autoimmune protocol that I'm doing now.
                          Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                          • #28
                            WRT cystic fibrosis, how is your D3 blood level? After all my reading about D deficiency in pregnancy, I am speculating that low D in gestation can be an epigenetic trigger for certain diseases, like my asthma.

                            E.g.: My mom is from London and was pregnant with me there. Moved to the States, where she got lots more sun (due to latitude and lifestyle), then had my four sisters, none of whom has asthma.

                            Interestingly, I have no asthma symptoms when I keep my D3 level around 80 ng/ml.
                            Last edited by Dragonfly; 06-06-2013, 07:10 AM.
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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                              Yep, the Perfect Health Diet describes mucus deficiency as one of the justifications for safe starches. So feel free to shoot for ketosis, but if you get dry eyes, you've probably gone too far.
                              Interesting. I don't plan to go zero carb. I have non-starchy vegetables with every meal.

                              Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                              Interesting info about CF carriers. My older sister was diagnosed with CF at 50 and another sister of mine who passed at 38 most likely had it too. Both my son and my sister have rare mutations that did not show up on the typical genetic screenings. The definitive test is the sweat test and it's the test that should be done first.

                              Do you have any digestive issues? If the pancreas doesn't function correctly you're not able to digest fats and you'll have some pretty severe cramping. But like my son and my sister not all people with CF have insufficient pancreas, in which case doctors often neglect to check for CF. I practically had to force my son's doctor to order a sweat test for him.
                              At 50! Wow. I didn't realise a person could be diagnosed so late!

                              So was it the sweat test alone that confirmed you son's CF?

                              Given that he has one of the rare mutations, I wonder just how many false negatives slip through the cracks.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                                WRT cystic fibrosis, how is your D3 blood level? After all my reading about D deficiency in pregnancy, I am speculating that low D in gestation can be an epigenetic trigger for certain diseases, like my asthma.

                                E.g.: My mom is from London and was pregnant with me there. Moved to the States, where she got lots more sun (due to latitude and lifestyle), then had my four sisters, none of whom has asthma.

                                Interestingly, I have no asthma symptoms when I keep my D3 level around 80 ng/ml.
                                That speculation sounds plausible. I don't know what my D3 levels are, I'll get it tested. Do you keep your levels up with supplements?

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