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  1. #1
    Konnor's Avatar
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    CFS/ME with gut inflammation/liver toxicity

    Hi there,

    This is my first post after lurking for quite a while and I was interested to hear from others perhaps in a similar boat, and any advice people can pass on.

    I suffer from gut dysbiosis, chronic fatigue (most likely adrenals), and subsequent liver toxicity. Those are the 'alternative' terms anyway (could be Candida and leaky gut as well). I've unfortunately been round the houses with doctors and had nothing show up (perhaps a good thing) and have been left with a diagnosis of IBS and chronic fatigue.

    This trigger for my poor health has been an extremely poor high carb diet along with plenty of lifestyle stressors and antibiotics. This combination has effectively done a number on my gut and energy levels. I suffered from an addictive personality and binge eating, and I REALLY went to town with the carbs, on one occasion ending up in the emergency room!

    Symptoms

    I've probably been through about 30 different ones but the main ones are....

    - Fatigue
    - Light sensitivity
    - Constipation
    - Food sensitivities (IgG test)
    - Post nasal drip
    - Liver ache (dull ache over the liver/gallbladder region, often co-inciding with the constipation)
    - Brain fog
    - Digestive - pretty much the full range - gas, bloating, undigested food in stools (much better since switching to paleo) and constipation.

    There are some positives...

    - Hypoglycemia no longer a problem.
    - Slightly better sleep, although will usually wake in the night at some point to urinate.
    - I certainly enjoy the meat and fats!
    - Sugar cravings gone and depression slightly better

    I am a very low weight as well which is to be expected, but stabilized on a calorie intake of around 2500. Like others in my position it's difficult to raise carbs to try and put on weight as this will have a negative impact on my digestion. Weight is the least of my worries at the moment as the focus is improving my general health. No doubt when my gut has healed somewhat I will absorb nutrients a little better.

    Other points to note

    - Despite the ache under the ribs around the liver and the feeling of constipation, I usually do eliminate at least once a day. Sometimes it is hard and difficult to pass or feels incomplete.
    - Blood panel normal
    - No diarrhea or blood in stool
    - Liver enzymes within normal range despite it feeling like a stone in my side! Ultrasound didn't reveal any gallstones.
    - No celiacs, stomach ulcers or H. Pylori (endoscopy)

    Essentially I'm not ill enough for orthadox medicine to pick anything up, but certainly finding life a constant struggle with my symptoms! Seems to be a familiar story for those with CFS, adrenal problems and intestinal trouble.

    Diet

    Focused on animal meats and fats. Beans and grains pretty much come out undigested and cause irritation. Fruits and starchy veg will swing blood sugars and trigger an urge to binge, one of the reasons I ended up with all this trouble, so naturally I am very low carb. Also struggle with fiber - I once tried psyllium husk - boy was that a mistake! Felt like cement going through my system!

    Protein wise I go for beef (ground/steaks), pork (ground/chops), turkey (steaks), chicken, lamb (ground/steak/joints), livers (chicken/lamb), mackeral, sardines, tuna (albacore), occasional game meats, occasional duck.

    Fats I go for cod liver oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil (occasionally), animals fats (a fair amount from duck, goose and lard). Unfortunately I'm dairy sensitive so not on the butter yet but hope to test this intolerance at some point.

    Veggies are mainly greens - green beans, lettuce, cucumber, zuchinni, asparagus, fennel, chicory. I have trouble with nightshades, sulphur and too much fiber, so things like tomatos, onions, brocolli and cauliflower usually cause me some trouble.

    I often make veggie broth with the veg that I find is too fibrous (I have tried cooking it for longer, blending etc) and I also make gelatin rich bone broth.

    I'm also trialling raw egg yolks at the moment having avoided them for 2 years due to showing up on an IgG test. I do get certain symptoms from them but not much in the way of intestinal flare ups and suspect it's more the sulphur and their ability to detoxify rather than a genuine allergy. I'm not too convinced on the reliability of those IgG tests. Dairy however does give me a little trouble, probly due to being a cheese and milk addict when younger. I've not yet trialled any raw forms or things like kefir which some have success with.

    How does this look as a diet for reducing inflammation and promoting good bowel movements and intestinal repair?

    Food sensitivities

    Different food groups have different effects on me it seems. It's hard to know for sure, but going on what my body 'feels' I have trouble with sulphur foods, high-GI foods, and anything that is more likely to ferment/putrify in the gut.

    So this results in trouble with eggs, dairy, onions, nightshades, garlic, cabbage, most root veg, fruit, grains, legumes. Things like sauerkraut I'm very sensitive to which made me think sulphur could be a problem, as many others have reported success from fermented foods.

    Supplements

    Not really on too much as I'm going slowly and trying to keep as much nutrition from the diet as possible. Is pretty much only vitamin C, pantethine, magnesium (both help a little with bowel movements), betaine HCL, bile acids and molybdenum. I've not yet found things like probiotics or L-glutamine that helpful.

    So that's it. I think I'm doing allot of things right but could use some advice/encouragement from those that perhaps have managed to improve similar symptoms.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    EGYnutrition's Avatar
    EGYnutrition is offline Senior Member
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    Common symptoms that are related to hormonal issues. It's hard but you'll get through it with enough effort and willpower.

    I'm gonna recommend a site people here don't really like but that I think will help (in terms of adrenals)
    www.180degreehealth.com

    He's helped a lot of low carbers/high carbers/ whatever carbers recover from dieting/adrenal fatigue/hormonal issues. Go back to blog post 1 and read up from there or just get one of his E-books (he's got a good deal going on for the bundle).

    I really think it'll help ya out, and stay positive, there are plenty of people who've gone through what you're going through and made it!

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

  3. #3
    Alan M's Avatar
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    Lately I've been listening to a lot of Robb Wolf's pod casts. You may find them interesting with regard to your own gut health. You probably need to spend a long time on a rigid paleo diet (no grains, legumes, dairy, or eggs) to get things under control. Include sweet potatoes and yams for extra carbs due to your weight needs. Try to get your omega six and threes to a 1:1 ratio. Forgo the CLO for regular fish oil. I take Carlson's by the spoonful (it's very important to keep it refrigerated to avoid oxidation). Make sure you're getting enough vitamin D and magnesium. Do a little research on Milk Thistle, it may help with your liver.

    I'm not an expert. Please take what I say with a grain of salt and a reading of The Primal BluePrint.

  4. #4
    cillakat's Avatar
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    I've been where you are. I had all of your symptons plus some (have a look at my first journal entry....linked below). With good nutrition and plenty of vitamin D, it all resolved.

    You might find this suprisingly simple:

    1. start/continue eating primally (sounds like you're almost there).
    -consider reading the Perfect Health Diet as well as the Primal Blueprint
    -50-65% of cals from fat, 20-30% of cals from protein, the rest carbs (non starchy veggies, sweet potato, winter squash and maybe white rice
    -produce as tolerated (possibly most/all of it well cooked or however you tolerate it best and low fructose/no fruit given your issues.
    -Here are a few saved links on fructose and the problems associated with it (including the common fructose malabsorption): http://goo.gl/lists/aIKw
    -minimize or eliminate dairy and nuts *for the time being* as dairy is problematic for some and nuts contain a lot of Ω6
    -continue homemade bone broths as they add significant nutrition (as you know)
    -organ meats (b vites, magnesium, potassium) and bone marrow (phospholipids) offer nutrients that are otherwise difficult to get.

    2. supplement as needed.
    -just about everyone will need copious amounts of D (see my linked doc). I'd encourage you to stop taking cod liver oil for now due to the vitamin A and your likely D deficiency (do you know your level?)
    -most will need magnesium, potassium, zinc and some b vites, and enough fish oil to bring Ω3:Ω6 ratios to 1:1
    -a few will also need iron and smallish amounts of vitamin a....

    3. take probiotics (rotating through different products) and digestive enzymes to ease the transition to more protein and saturated fat and to help optimize nutrient absorption/assimilation. My linked docs below have information on the ones I happen to like.

    4. aim to be asleep by 10/10:30 nearly every night and to get sufficient sleep *every single night*.

    All of the above will work together to reduce inflammation, optimize immune function, promote gut health. While you may feel worse for 1-8 weeks depending on how strict you have been recently with your grain and sugar avoidance, your gut will heal and so will the rest of you.

    gut dysbiosis
    which basically means you're suffering from
    -a poor diet
    -inflammation (due to grains, sugar, excessive carb intake and out of kilter Ω3:Ω6 ratios
    ľand the resulting poor immune function due to insufficient zinc and d intake, excessive sugar and inflammation

    Due to the poor diet, inflammation and immune dysregulation, gut health falls apart and problems appear with thyroid function, adrenal health, joint health and oh so much more. Candida is, in part, gut dysbiosis, though not all dysbiosis is candida.

    The liver, when faced with chronically high carb intake will begin to amass fatty deposits which decreases it's functional capabilities. From there gall bladder function is affected, gut motility and the ability of the liver to do it's important filtering work. The liver is also the first stop for D3 where it is hydroxylated into the all important storage form of vitamin d: 25(OH)D.


    This trigger for my poor health has been an extremely poor high carb diet along with plenty of lifestyle stressors and antibiotics.
    It really can all just about go back to diet. With appropriate nutrition and various coping skills on board, we can (mostly) handle what life throws our way - including stress.

    You're totally correct in stating that the poor diet is mostly responsible....though the role of vitamin D - which cannot be ingested in sufficient quantities through diet alone - cannot be overstated.

    Antibiotics, though, are not one of the causes of your poor health but rather the result of it. Had your immune function been functioning optimally, your need for abx would have been greatly reduced. When immune function is excellent, the occasional or rare use of antibiotics is generally not problematic.

    and energy levels. I suffered from an addictive personality and binge eating
    This is so so indicative of nutritional issues. Helpful books would include, in order:
    Depression Free Naturally_ by Joan Matthews Larson
    Anything by Carl Pfeiffer
    Anything by Abraham Hoffer


    (I would skip Julia Ross' _Mood Cure_- it's like the "lite" version of Joan Matthews-Larson's book)


    Like others in my position it's difficult to raise carbs to try and put on weight as this will have a negative impact on my digestion.
    The gut dysbiosis will mostly be treated indirectly by working on immune function. A well funtioning immune system can keep gut bacteria and microorganisms in check without much trouble. You will likely be able to fix your gut issues by optimizing D intake, zinc intake, D to A ratio (some A but not the excessive amounts in cod liver oil),

    [quoe=]Focused on animal meats and fats. Beans and grains pretty much come out undigested and cause irritation. Fruits and starchy veg will swing blood sugars and trigger an urge to binge,[/quote]

    ahhhh yes, that's a very familiar one and for that alone, worth staying low carb.

    Protein wise I go for beef (ground/steaks), pork (ground/chops), turkey (steaks), chicken, lamb (ground/steak/joints), livers (chicken/lamb), mackeral, sardines, tuna (albacore), occasional game meats, occasional duck.
    It may be worth tracking your inake in nutritiondata.self.com. How much A are you getting daily? How often are you eating liver?


    As you mention though, the sulphurous veggies may be giving you trouble because they're jump starting your liver and causing uncomfortable, though ultimately beneficial, symptoms.

    I'm also trialling raw egg yolks
    Excellent. You need a source of phospolipids. Egg yolks and bone marrow are pretty much it. Bone marrow is great if you can stomach the taste, texture and effect. It's incredibly rich, so tiny amounts go a long way - especially if one is prone to loose stools.

    I'm not too convinced on the reliability of those IgG tests.
    They simply aren't reliable. There is an incredibly high incidence of both false positives and negatives.

    Dairy however does give me a little trouble, probly due to being a cheese and milk addict when younger.
    Maybe. Or maybe it's just because of the misfiring immune system. Or possibly the very real fact that 'breastmilk' made for baby cows isn't appropriate for humans. The milk of any species is of course a calorie delivery system for the young of that species but it's also a nutrient and *hormone* delivery system based on the needs of the species specific young.

    Wishing you the very best in healing,
    Katherine



    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


  5. #5
    loneviking's Avatar
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    Just to add to Katherines excellent advice, I'd add that you really should get some Kefir grains and begin brewing your own Kefir. You need a good probiotic and homemade Kefir has around 50 different bacillus and yeasts that colonize the gut, changing and healing both the gut and the immune system. The kefirstore.com is one source for grains, hunt around on the net and there are free sources as well. If you want to find more info you can check out You tube and there are lots of good videos on Kefir.

    And above all, give things time to change. Changes from diet, herbs, probiotics take much longer than pharmaceutically prepared meds. I'd figure on at least six months to heal enough to really be noticeable.

  6. #6
    confused_monkey's Avatar
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    I am on the exact same boat as you and follow a similar plan. I suggest upping your coconut oil intake to help fight off any "nasties," and then maybe adding some probiotics after you have killed what ever has taken over you. Something that has really helped my digestion is to not overcook meats and to overcook veggies. I know many people recommend to just lightly steam vegetables to retain their nutrients, but I personally find that if I lightly boil them for a prolonged amount of time, until you could mush them with the fork, they are much easier for me to digest.

    Edit: NVM haha I just read you already do cook your veggies that way.

  7. #7
    Konnor's Avatar
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    Thankyou all. Some useful tips.

    Does anyone struggle with ferments? Oddly, the foods I struggle with I tend to crave, which includes the sourness of things like sauerkraut, and even things like apple cider vinegar, onions etc. Is very strange. Potentially an understandable craving from the body for genuine nutrients.

    2. supplement as needed.
    -just about everyone will need copious amounts of D (see my linked doc). I'd encourage you to stop taking cod liver oil for now due to the vitamin A and your likely D deficiency (do you know your level?)
    -most will need magnesium, potassium, zinc and some b vites, and enough fish oil to bring Ω3:Ω6 ratios to 1:1
    -a few will also need iron and smallish amounts of vitamin a....
    I would never have thoughts vitamin D would be a nutrient to consider with my symptom set. We certainly don't get much sun here in England (*moan, grumble etc). I've not looked into it but I'm sure I would be able to find a lab that can check levels. Not sure if they do it on the NHS but then I don't have the most understanding of GP's - His approach thus far has been an antidepressent perscription.

    My immune system certainly is misfiring, evidenced by my egg trial. Gastrointestinally, not much has changed, however I have added brain fog and feel slightly 'ramped up' as a result. I suspect introducing any quantity after 2 years with such a sensitive body was always going to be a tough transition. Will have to monitor this for a while and keep intake low as if I remain a little sensitive it's not likely to be beneficial to healing long term. Fortunately I am able to track any symptom changes by only changing one thing at a time.

    It may be worth tracking your inake in nutritiondata.self.com. How much A are you getting daily? How often are you eating liver?
    Not sure on the A intake. I eat livers maybe twice a week. It's tough finding another source of B vits, as nutritional yeast doesn't sit well in my gut and synthetic B complex's are very stimulatory.

    Kefir is certainly on my list to try at some point. I suspect I have to be very careful with it, perhaps opting for goat's or coconut first.

    Excellent stuff that you've made some progress cilla. Will check out those links.

    Ta,

  8. #8
    PrimalWannabeGirl's Avatar
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    I just want to say hello from a sister sufferer.

    About 3 years ago I was an uber-athlete following a paleo diet, when all hell broke loose in my life and I just........broke along with it. Today I am dealing with what appears to be stress overload, weight gain (especially around the belly), profound fatigue, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, insomnia.

    I supplement with Vit. D, fish oil, magnesium, and Mark's Master Control Damage Formula and his Primal Calm formula. I just started the latter two a few days ago and I had my first decent sleep in ages.

    May we all find the road to health on this primal journey. Best wishes.

    PWG

  9. #9
    MalPaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    I've been where you are. I had all of your symptons plus some (have a look at my first journal entry....linked below). With good nutrition and plenty of vitamin D, it all resolved.

    You might find this suprisingly simple:

    1. start/continue eating primally (sounds like you're almost there).
    -consider reading the Perfect Health Diet as well as the Primal Blueprint
    -50-65% of cals from fat, 20-30% of cals from protein, the rest carbs (non starchy veggies, sweet potato, winter squash and maybe white rice
    -produce as tolerated (possibly most/all of it well cooked or however you tolerate it best and low fructose/no fruit given your issues.
    -Here are a few saved links on fructose and the problems associated with it (including the common fructose malabsorption): http://goo.gl/lists/aIKw
    -minimize or eliminate dairy and nuts *for the time being* as dairy is problematic for some and nuts contain a lot of Ω6
    -continue homemade bone broths as they add significant nutrition (as you know)
    -organ meats (b vites, magnesium, potassium) and bone marrow (phospholipids) offer nutrients that are otherwise difficult to get.

    2. supplement as needed.
    -just about everyone will need copious amounts of D (see my linked doc). I'd encourage you to stop taking cod liver oil for now due to the vitamin A and your likely D deficiency (do you know your level?)
    -most will need magnesium, potassium, zinc and some b vites, and enough fish oil to bring Ω3:Ω6 ratios to 1:1
    -a few will also need iron and smallish amounts of vitamin a....

    3. take probiotics (rotating through different products) and digestive enzymes to ease the transition to more protein and saturated fat and to help optimize nutrient absorption/assimilation. My linked docs below have information on the ones I happen to like.

    4. aim to be asleep by 10/10:30 nearly every night and to get sufficient sleep *every single night*.

    All of the above will work together to reduce inflammation, optimize immune function, promote gut health. While you may feel worse for 1-8 weeks depending on how strict you have been recently with your grain and sugar avoidance, your gut will heal and so will the rest of you.



    which basically means you're suffering from
    -a poor diet
    -inflammation (due to grains, sugar, excessive carb intake and out of kilter Ω3:Ω6 ratios
    –and the resulting poor immune function due to insufficient zinc and d intake, excessive sugar and inflammation

    Due to the poor diet, inflammation and immune dysregulation, gut health falls apart and problems appear with thyroid function, adrenal health, joint health and oh so much more. Candida is, in part, gut dysbiosis, though not all dysbiosis is candida.

    The liver, when faced with chronically high carb intake will begin to amass fatty deposits which decreases it's functional capabilities. From there gall bladder function is affected, gut motility and the ability of the liver to do it's important filtering work. The liver is also the first stop for D3 where it is hydroxylated into the all important storage form of vitamin d: 25(OH)D.




    It really can all just about go back to diet. With appropriate nutrition and various coping skills on board, we can (mostly) handle what life throws our way - including stress.

    You're totally correct in stating that the poor diet is mostly responsible....though the role of vitamin D - which cannot be ingested in sufficient quantities through diet alone - cannot be overstated.

    Antibiotics, though, are not one of the causes of your poor health but rather the result of it. Had your immune function been functioning optimally, your need for abx would have been greatly reduced. When immune function is excellent, the occasional or rare use of antibiotics is generally not problematic.



    This is so so indicative of nutritional issues. Helpful books would include, in order:
    Depression Free Naturally_ by Joan Matthews Larson
    Anything by Carl Pfeiffer
    Anything by Abraham Hoffer


    (I would skip Julia Ross' _Mood Cure_- it's like the "lite" version of Joan Matthews-Larson's book)




    The gut dysbiosis will mostly be treated indirectly by working on immune function. A well funtioning immune system can keep gut bacteria and microorganisms in check without much trouble. You will likely be able to fix your gut issues by optimizing D intake, zinc intake, D to A ratio (some A but not the excessive amounts in cod liver oil),

    [quoe=]Focused on animal meats and fats. Beans and grains pretty much come out undigested and cause irritation. Fruits and starchy veg will swing blood sugars and trigger an urge to binge,
    ahhhh yes, that's a very familiar one and for that alone, worth staying low carb.



    It may be worth tracking your inake in nutritiondata.self.com. How much A are you getting daily? How often are you eating liver?


    As you mention though, the sulphurous veggies may be giving you trouble because they're jump starting your liver and causing uncomfortable, though ultimately beneficial, symptoms.



    Excellent. You need a source of phospolipids. Egg yolks and bone marrow are pretty much it. Bone marrow is great if you can stomach the taste, texture and effect. It's incredibly rich, so tiny amounts go a long way - especially if one is prone to loose stools.


    They simply aren't reliable. There is an incredibly high incidence of both false positives and negatives.



    Maybe. Or maybe it's just because of the misfiring immune system. Or possibly the very real fact that 'breastmilk' made for baby cows isn't appropriate for humans. The milk of any species is of course a calorie delivery system for the young of that species but it's also a nutrient and *hormone* delivery system based on the needs of the species specific young.

    Wishing you the very best in healing,
    Katherine[/QUOTE]

    umm....can we make this a sticky????? best advice ever

  10. #10
    cillakat's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    awww, thanks MalPaz. I was on a roll. lol



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