There are several posters around here with neurological issues that have been improved by staying to the lower carb side of paleo. Rita Rose was dealing with a series of head injuries a while back. Cori has an ongoing brain swelling issue that she thought was going to necessitate brain surgery but VLC brought it under control. Knifegill and several others who talk about being "on the spectrum" of autism to one degree or another have found that VLC stabilizes mood and energy levels. For me it is epilepsy. I've been ably to cut my meds by 25% so far while maintaining total seizure control.
Nora Gedgaudas' book, "Primal Body, Primal Mind" is a great read. You also might like the blog of Dr. Georgia Ede, a psychiatrist, which is called "Diagnosis: Diet".
I think your craving for seafood should be indulged. And try some coconut or MCT as well.
My best wishes to your bonked noggin.
First of all, thank you everyone for your kind thoughts!
Paleobird - your advice is, as ever, pertinent. I had, prior to this injury, been trying to keep around the 20 - 30g of carbs per day, as generally I feel much better at that level. I am sure that it would be helping now as well if only I could maintain it for more than a week at a time! I do, thankfully, eat plenty of coconut oil, too. Maybe I should be exploring the "make your own chocolate" threads, and use the stevia that arrived this morning instead of sugar ...
Some inspirational information to help you do what you already know works well for you.
I'm thinking the head injury and craving must be linked. Glucose is the brain food, I wonder whether the brain is requesting additional energy for healing? In my experience the aspect of sugar that causes the problems is the fructose bit. It might be worth seeing if a small amount of pure glucose satisfies the brain and lowers the general sweet craving? But as Paleobird says many brain 'conditions' do best with VLC but this doesn't feel in quite the same category - assuming you normally have a 'condition-free' brain (so to speak!) what you have is a temporary injury that requires healing which seems different to me.
Just a thought.
But as Nora said in that video, VLC is good for any condition involving brain inflammation (why it works so well for Cori). A brain trying to heal from a trauma is going to have a lot of inflammation to resolve before healing can take place.
And that "glucose is the brain fuel" thing is not really true. The only cells in out body that absolutely need glucose are the red blood cells. All others, once adapted to ketosis run just fine and even better on ketones.
BTW, Hiya Kelda.
Yep. Don't go ZERO carb, but if you low carb it your body will prioritise the glucose for the brain.
Brain injury can [I]absolutely [/I]change your eating.
I had 2 within a year, one that knocked me out completely, then another about 8 months later that wasn't anywhere near as bad (just a knot on my head) but actually had worse after effects.
After the 1st hit, I noticed my immune system was compromised and I gained a little weight (maybe 5 pounds) even though I was eating the exact same foods. I had been eating Primal for about 3 months at the time. Then my immune system fixed itself and the weight went away within about a month. All good.
After the 2nd hit, even though it seemed to be minor, I got really moody and irritable. Everything pissed me off. I got really insane cravings for the most horrible crap food ever. It was worse than before I went Primal. I had an MRI, and there is scar tissue on my frontal lobe (insert sarcastic "yay!" here), but I'm definitely better now. Your brain WILL reroute, given time and good nutrition.
I've kind of been MIA on these boards for the past year or so because I honestly couldn't control what I ate. I tried, probably every month for a year, to start eating Primal again and I just couldn't last more than a day. Wednesday, for example, I had 3 donuts, 2 candy bars and a 20oz mocha frapp - all before lunch. Yeah, that bad. I felt like crap because that's how the food made me feel and because I knew I was hurting myself. It was honestly embarrassing.
So... now I'm back again. I guess I healed up enough to have some control over what I eat. It has been a little over a year, which seems to be pretty typical. As of today, I've been able to stick with it for 5 full days, which doesn't sound like much, but it's a really big deal.
Get some cold pressed, unrefined, organic coconut oil - [URL="http://www.amazon.com/Carrington-Farms-Coconut-Oil-54/dp/B0094IX9FC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367283378&sr=8-1&keywords=carrington+farms+coconut+oil+54+oz"]this is the one I have[/URL] - and have a spoonful at least once a day. Ease into it if your stomach is sensitive. I noticed HUGE difference in my moods, focus and ability to control my impulses when I did. And coconut oil has been shown to be incredibly good for brain health in general.
If your brain is telling you to eat certain foods, [I]and they're healthy foods [/I](like the fish you mentioned) then I would absolutely do it. Sometimes our bodies crave certain foods when they're lacking the nutrients in them, like wanting chocolate when you're low on magnesium. If you start craving ice cream, donuts, cookies, etc., then that's a downward spiral you do not want to be on, though.
Unfortunately, it's just plain going to take some time. But it WILL get better. Our brains find new paths. That's just what they do.
Hi, Rita I was hoping you would jump in for Olivia here. I'm glad to know you're doing better.
The problem is that you shouldn't try to force damaged tissues to alter their metabolism. They are already damaged and don't need more insult by starving them until they change their energy source. Short term stick with the healthy carbs and don't worry about it. Long term you can think about going low carb again. TBI is very different from many of the conditions mentioned and shouldn't be compared.
[QUOTE=Paleobird;1176244]Hi, Rita I was hoping you would jump in for Olivia here. I'm glad to know you're doing better.[/QUOTE]
Thanks, Paleobird. Now I have an extra 30 pounds to lose and a frozen shoulder to heal. 4 pounds down already...