[QUOTE=Pollux;867301]As to Addison's, I know that an autoimmune disorder doesn't quite fall under the same category as adrenal fatigue induced by other factors. However, I've been fully Primal for about 2 months now and have noticed an easing, albeit not reversal, of my symptoms.[/QUOTE]
Thanks for this confirmation, Pollux. Hang in there, 2~3 months seems to be the threshold for noticeable body changes from my point of view.
[QUOTE=teach2183;866932]What's key is that they suggest not to eat straight carbs at any time so as to limit the blood sugar spikes. Eating carbs with protein will provide a more steady stream of glucose to the body.
Ok, agreed on not taking carbs straight up. But my first alternative choice would be to take fats, not extra protein, to maintain a levelled metabolism. A partially ketogenic diet looks a lot safer to me than a high-protein one, be it because of blood sugar excess or protein metabolite toxicity.
Here's the part that I don't get: isn't high protein going to require extra cortisol? because gluconeogenesis seems to be driven by cortisol...
[QUOTE=vnevoa;867860]I've been bundling PB and Low carb a little bit too much.[/QUOTE]
It's hardly surprising that you should have, since Mark, who devised the diet, does:
[url=http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-carbohydrate-continuum/]How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple[/url]
[url=http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-metabolic-paradigm-shift-fat-carbs-human-body-metabolism/]Why Fat, Not Carbs, Are the Preferred Fuel for the Human Body | Mark's Daily Apple[/url]
7. Long-chain fatty-acids (found a lot in processed foods) may put [URL="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1993440"]stress on the adrenals[/URL]. She should consume a lot of medium-chain fatty acid foods. Give her a bottle of coconut oil.
I'm totally on board with the coconut oil. :)
I've re-read the article and what it really says is that people with adrenomyeloneuropathy have high LCFA in blood and Addison's is another complication. Doesn't seem to be a relationship between the LCFA and Addison's. But this condition is very specifically a genetic brain disease with very specific symptoms not observed in my friend's case. Fortunately. :)
I realize that this thread is a few months old, but thought I would post my insight anyway.
I started trying to the PB (well diet portion - not exercise) about 2 1/2 years ago when my health started going downhill. Got VERY, VERY ill 3 days in so gave up. A month later started feeling a little better so tried giving it another go got sick again a few days in. Gave up the idea of giving up all carbs/grains for almost a year but did reduce them significantly (general kept them to b'fast only), but as my health continued to go downhill (and waiting months for a specialist referal) I decided to give it one last shot. I was a little ill on day 3, but not as severe as the first two times. Pushed through and have been fully primal since (almost a year and a half). This past December I finally saw the specialist and got my diagnosis of Addison's disease. The illness that I had when started primal the first time was an Addisonian crisis (glad I didn't know it at the time b/c it scares the he!! out of me now).
I find eating a primal diet really helps to keep my blood sugar under control. I do think that I need to add some starchy carbs back in as I have been crashing and exhausted a lot lately - probably in the form of white rice since I really want/need to get nightshades out of my diet so potatoes aren't a good option. I too am curious if the reason for my lethargy is that I don't have enough cortisol to convert fats into energy. If you find out any more I'd LOVE to hear it please. I really would love to have others to talk to about this - I feel so alone in my journey much of the time.
I find I have no problem keeping my weight in line with primal - I'm 5'5" and 125lbs. That can go up when I am on holidays/off plan, but drops back quickly when I cut the non-primal foods.
Exercise is still my demon. Unlike a normal person, exercising when I don't feel 100% is a bad idea - sure way to lead to a big crash. I need to pre-meditate my exercise and dose up on my hydrocortisone before hand and often a little after as well. If I'm sick at all, then I skip the exercise - even walks are a bad idea on those days.
Celiac disease is strongly correlated with Addison's. One of the first things my endo wanted to do was test me for celiacs (didn't work though as I was already gluten free). When I do cheat and have a bit of gluten though I feel rotten for days - have been doing that a lot less frequently b/c of it.
So, if your friend does decide on changing her diet/lifestyle please advise her to do it slowly. A big dietary change is stressful on the body and without the ability to make cortisol it could bring on a crisis. I would probably advise dropping carbs from one meal/day first - probably starting with supper. She'll need to evaluate how she feels as she goes along.
If she does decide to make the change and wants to talk to someone that is in a similar situation, please pm me and I can pass along contact info.
Thank you so much for your advice and for posting a real life case. I'm happy to find an Addison sufferer that has gone through the whole deal. It's "small" details like those crashes you had the first times that I'm looking for and I find very important, so thanks for sharing.
My conclusion is that anyone that is already aware of their condition, monitoring their symptoms, and in control of the medication dose should be able to transition into PB / LCHF without much of a problem. But of course a controlled transition is better than an abrupt one.
Regarding your condition, I think you might look into one other adrenal hormone that doctors forget to supplement you with: aldosterone. This is especially true if you feel frequent salt cravings and have low blood pressure. Maybe it helps avoiding the lows and would enable you to exercise. You should probably discuss this with your endocrinologist.
Wish you all the best,
Keep the information flowing.
Actually cortef supplies some mineralcorticoid, so my endo does not think I need florinef quiete yet. I have new blood work coming next month though so that might have changed in the last few months. Definitely something that is on both of our radar though.
I have Addison's and felt compelled to join the conversation even though it's about two years after this thread was last commented on. I nearly died from an Addisonian crisis when my sodium level dipped to a mere 99. I was diagnosed as a result of labs and tests they ran after I recovered (I spent a week in the ICU and I'm lucky to be alive). Several years later, I was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (adult-onset, also known as LADA Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults). I have done a ton of research to learn to cope with my illnesses. vnevoa, I noticed you had said excess cortisol makes you thin, while deficiency of cortisol makes you gain weight. That is actually incorrect; it's the other way around. Excess cortisol makes you gain weight, while deficiency of cortisol will make you lose weight. That is why weight loss is a symptom of undiagnosed Addison's. My understanding is that cortisols play an important role in the metabolism of the macronutrients, and not having enough means you will not metabolize your sources of energy properly.
I hope your friend is doing well. The initial weight gain that occurred after starting on hydrocortisone was likely the result of the hydrocortisone itself. It is very common for Addison's sufferers to gain weight after starting treatment. It is impossible to get a physiologically perfect dosing regimen, since corsisols are secreted throughout the day according to a normal circadian rhythm in a non-Addisonian. An Addisonian can try to mimic this by taking hydrocortisone in several divided doses daily, but it will never be what it would have been if secreted naturally. It can also take some troubleshooting to find the right dose. Sufferers are often slightly overmedicated, and this can contribute to weight gain. Speaking for myself, I would far rather be overmedicated than undermedicated because Addison's is life-threatening, but your friend may need to visit another Endo and talk about making an adjustment. Adjustments must be made SLOWLY and under medical supervision, because an Addisonian crisis can happen quickly and be fatal. Many Addisonians just have to accept that their weight regulation is always going to be a little more difficult because of the fact that hydrocortisone doesn't mimic natural cortisols perfectly.
Your friend would probably also benefit from getting their thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and tends to co-exist with Addison's. (Having two out of three of Addison's, type 1 diabetes, and autoimmune hypothyroidism is a syndrome called Schmidt's, and though rare in the general population, it is relatively common among Addisonians.)
Speaking of diet, I definitely recommend going gluten-free. It has made a huge difference to how I feel even though I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac. In general, going gluten-free is a great idea for anyone with an autoimmune disorder. I also recommend making dietary changes slowly. I have personally accidentally induced Addisonian crisis in myself by trying to go vegan suddenly. For reasons I don't fully understand, protein does seem to be important to maintaining stability in Addison's. I find the right diet for me is like a love child of Paleo and Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live: that is to say, HUGE quantities of vegetables, moderate quantities of fruits, eliminate the dairy and grains, small amounts of starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, plenty of beans, and a little bit of animal protein in the form of meats and fishes. This keeps my blood sugar in check and minimizes the amount of insulin I need. I have experimented quite a bit with my diet, trying Paleo, trying vegan, and this seems to be the best combo for me personally, but I do believe everyone is different.
One other thing: your friend would do well to seek out a support group of some kind, even online. I highly recommend NADF: the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation ([url]http://www.nadf.us/[/url]). They are a great source of information and support. The Addison's Disease Self-Help Group of the UK is also an amazing source of information ([url=http://www.addisons.org.uk/]Addison's Disease Self Help Group (UK)[/url]). Good luck! I am rooting for your friend and it's awesome you are there to help them through it!
Have a good day,
I forgot to add one thing... salt intake is important in Addison's. How much salt you can eat will depend on the fludrocortisone dosage, but I find that it is ok for me to eat plenty of salt. Some dietary advice out there says to reduce salt consumption. That does not apply to an Addisonian. It is a salt-wasting disease, so too little can be dangerous. Again, Addison's patients should work with their endos and monitor their fludrocortisone (brand name florinef) dosages in conjunction with their salt intake.
I too, am an Addisonian who is following the PB. Nice to see that I am not the only one here, and a lot of really good information has been shared. Will add in my 2 cents if its wanted.
Did not know about the correlation between addisons and celiac. Explains a lot, actually.