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Thread: Reaction to carbs? How many carbs to eat for me? page

  1. #1
    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
    ShannonPA-S is offline Senior Member
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    Reaction to carbs? How many carbs to eat for me?

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    I have not yet started eating primally. I posted the other day about my intense sugar/carb cravings and got lots of great responses and very helpful advice.

    I am incredibly busy (full time physician assistant student in grad school, hours of studying, mommy to a toddler who is on a strict GAPS diet, and wife). So I haven't started totally eating primally, but I am preparing to start on my upcoming 2 week break (to avoid lots of side effects during school that I know I'm going to experience).

    Anyway, I have been keeping a diet journal to see what I feel like when I eat certain foods. Generally, I feel well when I eat cheese, nuts, eggs, meat, veggies, and some fruit. However, I had half of a bagel and a coffee and I felt panicked, my heart rate increased from resting rate of 55-60 normally to 90. I could feel my heart beating (palpitations) and my cheeks start to burn and turn red. I don't think it's the caffeine because I consume lots of coffee. I also felt irritable and depressed. I noticed this is a pattern. Sounds like sugar shock. I can't believe I haven't noticed this before.

    Since I appear to be carb sensitive, should I start with really low carbs (under 50 g)? I am worried about energy since I have so much to do, but I know my energy will increase with time. If it helps to know, my fasting insulin levels are normal and I am not diabetic. However, I am reactive hypoglycemic (obviously, based on my reaction to carbs). And I am trying to lose about 80 more pounds (I've lost over 100 already). I had weight loss surgery 15 months ago. And, no, I am NOT getting "dumping"...I did not have gastric bypass. I just have a restrictive procedure which limits my food intake significantly.

    Thanks!
    Shannon
    Last edited by ShannonPA-S; 08-04-2010 at 09:33 AM.

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    Katie82's Avatar
    Katie82 is offline Senior Member
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    Have you tested your blood sugars right after eating (like 30min after) to see if you are experiencing high blood sugars? I used to get that feeling from eating carbs too, especially something like a bagel. This could be the beginning of pre-diabetes especially w/ the reactive hypoglycemia which I also used to have before getting pre-diabetes.
    The good thing is eating this way will stop all that from happening to you as long as you stick to the diet. It's that simple. I don't know if it will go away after a while and after you've lost all the weight. I'm not there yet either.

  3. #3
    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    Shannon, you sound a lot like me. I used to be able to eat sugar any time in any quantity and not even gain weight (probably b/c I just didn't eat anything else since I was already full from the sweets & white crap).

    There came a time when suddenly I started having intense reactions to sugar. It was while I was pg w/ my third, and I started getting seriously dizzy and even feel faint after sugar, with serious palpitations. It got worse, continuing after pregnancy, and by a few years later, I would even have serious chest pains after eating sugar. I knew it was killing me, in addition to causing slow weight gain.

    I think that with sugar/carb cravings this intense, you have to go zero grains, zero sugar, as much as you can humanly manage. YOu have to starve the totally messed up bad gut beasties. But my problem was, I couldn't just say no. The "eat some carbies" urge wasn't something I could just say no to and it would go away. I would have to say no to it every five minutes. I constantly found myself walking by the pantry and looking for something w/o even knowing how I got there. I'd stop at the grocery store just to be able to buy something b/c I finally got it all out of my house. I was totally an addict looking for a hit.

    The first help was adding fat, and the more I added, the more it helped (it took me a long time to really trust how much I could add). Then the next thing was adding protein - I was eating way too little of it, and way too infrequently. I know IF is a big thing here, and I think it's probably very helpful once you have a healthy gut, but I suspect it isn't possible to do it w/o being bombarded by grain/sugar voices if your gut is still causing intense cravings. So I ate 1/3 of my daily protein at each meal, and moved my snacks to meals, including any sugar/grains I wanted to eat. That helped SO much to steady my blood sugar so I wasn't crashingi so much. I was gradually losing my interest in grain/sugar as my gut healed. (I also take 4 drops of antifungal oil of oregano & 1TB of antifungal coconut oil daily.)

    I still struggle from time to time, but there is absolutely no comparison between the level of the cravings now and then. It's just a different world. I CAN say no to grains/sugar if they call 1-2x/day. When they were calling 12x/hr, it just beat me down and eventually I'd give in to "just one," which of course led to more cravings.

    So long story short, I'd go zero grains, zero sugar in your shoes. Eat all the veggies you want (exception: I have to keep my carbs below 40g or so to limit bloating and increased craving, so I can't have more than one serving of potatoes or other starchy stuff each day). You may find you need to limit fruit or you may not - watch your reactions to it and modify as needed. Mark says <50g for super weight loss, anyway, and this is just what I find I need.

    I plan on doing GAPS for our whole family for a few months (my kids totally got my bad gut flora at birth and I worsened it with a heavy grain diet for the oldest three), and my great hope is that at the end of it, I'll be a normal person again. I want a life where I could, conceivably, eat a piece of wedding cake and not have it increase cravings the next day. I want a healed gut! I want this particular battle to be over!

    BTW, my energy levels went progressively worse over the time that my cravings went up, and it is now getting better, slowly, again. I also think that tons of antibiotics around the time it started worsening is the underlying trigger for the gut issue for me.
    Last edited by MamaGrok; 08-04-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: myself = my house
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Mama, I wanted to PM you based on my other thread, but I don't think you have that feature set up. I tried to email you through your website. Did you get my email? If not, PM me (if you want, of course). My daughter is on GAPS. I feel like we have a lot in common.

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    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    Okay, I just enabled PMs. I didn't know they were disabled by default - thanks for letting me know!
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

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    Griff's Avatar
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    If you have reactive hypoglycemia, the best thing you can do for your body is to not give it stuff to react hypoglycemically to - i.e. carbs. Avoid the carbs as much as possible and load up on fatty meats, eggs, cheese, and non-starchy veggies.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Mama, I'll PM you later. We have a lot in common!

    Griff, thanks. I have read some of your posts and your progress is amazing. I guess that's what I'll do. Fatty meats/eggs/low starch veggies. I think I'll even leave fruit alone for awhile, which the exception of wild blueberries occasionally. BTW, you look like my brother. ha ha...not that you're funny looking, it's just funny to see someone who looks like my brother who is not my brother.

    Katie, my glucose has been tested during glucose tolerance tests multiple times. My glucose is fine after eating (if anything, low), but apparently that's due to my pancreas kicking out serious insulin. Yet during all these glucose tolerance tests, they never once tested my insulin levels at any time other than fasting. How stupid. Obviously I'm kicking out serious insulin, even if my normal fasting insulin is normal. My teachers at school call me a walking anomaly. I have never had high triglyerides (they're 38), HDL is high, LDL is low, fasting insulin is normal, not diabetic, BP of 105/65, etc. In fact, pre-surgery, when I had blood work, my doctor was amazed. I kept telling her, though, that my sugar metabolism is NOT right. It's whacked out. I told her about the reactive hypoglycemia and she said, "lots of people get that. You just have to eat something." Every time someone tells me their blood sugar is "low" I think about Nora Gedgaudas' comment that if you get hypoglycemia, you are a sugar-burner, not a fat burner. My blood glucose plummeted to 42 during a GTT...I couldn't finish the test. Knowing my insulin levels at that point would be interesting.

  8. #8
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    Hi Shannon!

    Many of us have had to play with our food a bit to find out what each of our bodies likes best. Listening to my body and eating only when hungry for the first time ever has been surprisingly challenging and foreign. Someone here described it as a muscle that needs to be conditioned. I agree -- and my muscle sure was weak to begin with!

    You'll try some things that won't quite work for you and will need revising, and it's a work in progress.

    What I did to get started:
    I was absolutely, completely addicted to Pepsis. So, to start, I was "primal plus Pepsi." I put no pressure on myself for that Pepsi, knowing that, over time, my body would self-regulate once given a fighting chance. And, sure enough, less than 6 weeks into it, I didn't want that crap no more. It was easy and natural to move away from it.

    I recommend you ease into things. A good way to start might be cutting out the fast food and breads, then you can phase out from there. Go easy on yourself. This is not a diet. Haven't we beaten ourselves up enough, already?

    I am pulling for you and am excited because I know amazing things lie waiting for you just around the bend.

    All my best,
    Ginger

  9. #9
    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    Wow. I've never tested + for GDD, despite being a total sugar addict. Before, during, and after the worst of my sugar addiction, I had low trig, high HDL, food LDL, low BP, and a very low RHR. Yet sugar makes my head spin (and so much more). I actually considered testing my blood sugar levels before and after meals while pregnant, b/c I tend toward very very severe "morning" sickness, which I suspect is extremely tied up with blood sugar levels.

    Sounds like we have a WHOLE lot in common!

    The beauty of this way of eating is that blood sugar swings don't play a part in my life when I'm eating well. No grains = no roller coaster. Steady steady steady. I finally decided to throw out the grains when I looked up blood sugar charts for white vs. whole grains. Ridiculous. It still spike, extremely, just not *quite* as much. Then I wanted to know what it looked like after eating protein, so I found a chart for that - steady, steady. Why on earth did no one, even the anti-sugar-addiction program I was doing (and it talks a LOT about blood sugar steadiness), tell me that you can't keep blood sugar steady if you're eating grains? Duh!
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

  10. #10
    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    I put no pressure on myself for that Pepsi, knowing that, over time, my body would self-regulate once given a fighting chance.
    This is so true. So many cravings just faded away while I was working on other parts, esp. adding in the fat & protein I needed. I still had to fight some battles (and still do), but I have a winning chance now - the decks isn't loaded against my success!

    I remember the first time I heard of someone not eating sugar - it struck me as something I should do and terrified me. I felt like I was contemplating losing my best friend. I thought, how could I ever be happy without XYZ ever again? Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would just stop tasting good, that the only reason they tasted good in the first place was b/c I had a messed up gut speaking nonsense to my brain.

    Loved your beautiful and gentle encouragement, Ginger!
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

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