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Thread: Anyone with multiple medical conditions getting on well with Paleo? page

  1. #1
    My Stomach Eats Me's Avatar
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    Question Anyone with multiple medical conditions getting on well with Paleo?

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    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum so apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place or anything...

    I've been looking at Paleo the past couple of months because it's the only diet which doesn't assume that the only thing I'm doing wrong is eating general rubbish (sweets, chocolate, cakes, fried food, acidic foods, blah blah blah -- I stopped eating these foods years ago so I am fed up of seeing advice which doesn't relate to me).

    I have a stomach condition which the almighty Science doesn't really understand. It's bradygastria (in case anyone has the same thing and I'm not alone?!) in which the electrical rhythms of my stomach slow down dramatically when I don't eat. It's also a motility condition (something like that...) so I regurgitate my foods. I basically have what feels like the stomach of a baby who can't absorb complicated meals, most sauces with salads, or too much food at once, but I also have to eat every 3 hours.

    If I can manage Paleo and it works for me then I will be cracking this condition, along with my others: thyroid disease (controlled by meds), reynauds (the genetic, not autoimmune, kind), polycystic ovaries, and hyper-mobility in the shoulders and ankles. I was pretty confident it was possible to crack all of these/manage them properly, until a shoulder which was operated on two years ago dislocated last night. So I need help! The paleo 'eat only when you're hungry' advice doesn't apply to me, while some of the tweaks to the diet contradict each other (I want to try and push my limits with strength and fitness, not just be healthy).

    If I can do this, I'll be cracking five conditions...reckon it's possible?

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    In a word, yes. Go really strict on the food, which you are already used to, and see how your life changes. I got off gluten years ago, and it got rid of early onset arthritis & IBS. (Turns out I have celiac disease.) This certainly can't hurt you, and you might be out of a world of hurt in exchange.

    Best of luck -- and tweak as you need to. It's your lifestyle to adjust as necessary.

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    Great, thanks!
    Getting hold of the right kind of meats is a challenge though

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    Quote Originally Posted by My Stomach Eats Me View Post
    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum so apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place or anything...

    I've been looking at Paleo the past couple of months because it's the only diet which doesn't assume that the only thing I'm doing wrong is eating general rubbish (sweets, chocolate, cakes, fried food, acidic foods, blah blah blah -- I stopped eating these foods years ago so I am fed up of seeing advice which doesn't relate to me).
    Yeah, Paleo is far more sophisticated than that. The video by Dr. Terry Wahls that's linked from this piece is worth anyone's time watching, and is also, I think, a great bringer of hope. The whole post it's embedded in is good, because it explicitly makes the contrast between the sophistication of the lady physician treating her (supposedly incurable) condition with a version of the Paleo Diet and the sheer mindblowing futility of much mainstream diet advice:

    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Mitochondria rejuvenating diet the nutritional ‘experts’ bash

    Dr. Wahls' own site:

    Terry Wahls MD | Defeating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis without Drugs | MS Recovery | Food As Medicine

    I have a stomach condition which the almighty Science doesn't really understand. It's bradygastria (in case anyone has the same thing and I'm not alone?!) in which the electrical rhythms of my stomach slow down dramatically when I don't eat. It's also a motility condition (something like that...) so I regurgitate my foods. I basically have what feels like the stomach of a baby who can't absorb complicated meals, most sauces with salads, or too much food at once, but I also have to eat every 3 hours.
    This is a purely amateur comment, but, FWIW, anything like a motility problem does tend to suggest gut flora -- microbiota -- to me. I tried a google on "bradygastria microbiota" just to see what came up. I don't know whether any of this of any help ...

    This guy has quite a few papers on that kind of thing:

    Giuseppe Riezzo | ResearchGate

    You could also try pubmed:

    bradygastria - PubMed - NCBI

    One thing I did notice there was a paper that notes "the percentage of bradygastria were significantly higher in diabetics than in controls".

    I wonder if insulin sensitivity may be playing a role here then. Again, a strictly amateur suggestion, but I can't see it could do any harm to try to get a handle on what your blood sugar is generally doing, if you don't already know that. A portable blood-glucose meter is cheap enough.

    If I can manage Paleo and it works for me then I will be cracking this condition, along with my others: thyroid disease (controlled by meds), reynauds (the genetic, not autoimmune, kind), polycystic ovaries
    AFAIK, PCOS is strongly correlated with insulin resistance. You might want to google "pcos insulin resistance".

    I wonder if a pretty low-carb version of Paleo might be appropriate for you.

    ... and hyper-mobility in the shoulders and ankles.
    I shouldn't think Paleo could do anything with that. The rest it maybe could.

    If you do get improvement in any of your conditions maybe you could drop Robb Wolf's site a line? He's trying to build up a base of knowledge on what conditions Paleo can help and what particular versions of Paleo or tweaks to it have been found helpful by people with particular conditions:

    Robb Wolf: Contact Us

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by Lewis; 08-09-2012 at 12:29 PM.

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    Wow. Thanks for all that info. I'm just going through the links now. Blood sugar wise - I've been checked. I used the portable meter last year and didn't find anything either way. It seems like how sensitive I am to foods/drinks (I only drink water, fennel tea + fruit juices) is more dependent on hormones and my stomach than the blood sugar. Slight changes may be happening though, and I still wonder what would happen if I fasted for long enough to get past the stomach pain and spasms which leave me feeling pretty weak anyway...

    PCOS is also linked to thyroid disease, however. And given the link of digestive symptoms with thyroid disease it's likely that the cause for me was hormones, hormones, hormones. Not sure whether to growl or count myself lucky that there's a root cause.

    Well, I suspect I'll be experimenting for a while yet (as I always am with my stomach...) but I sure will drop Robb Wolf a line.

    Now to look at these links properly...

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    I have gastroparesis, which is slow emptying of the stomach. It's literally the main thing stopping me from thriving

    I know for my own good i should probably revert back to eating every 3hrs aswell, but it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do, eating every 3 hours. I would love to just eat 2 big meals a day and snack in the middle of the day but because this diet is more fat and protein concentrated, both very hard to digest and take longer than something simple as pure carbs, my brain tells me its not ideal but my heart wants to continue.

    Fat and fibre are longest to digest so balance is key. I'm thinking of reverting to 3 square meals for the day, something like fat+protein meal 1, carbs+fat meal 2, and meal 3 a little bit of everything. Something like the Perfect Health DIet i might give it a go. LIke me, it might help to find the right balance first.

    Hope this helps regarding motility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    I have gastroparesis, which is slow emptying of the stomach. It's literally the main thing stopping me from thriving

    I know for my own good i should probably revert back to eating every 3hrs aswell, but it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do, eating every 3 hours. I would love to just eat 2 big meals a day and snack in the middle of the day but because this diet is more fat and protein concentrated, both very hard to digest and take longer than something simple as pure carbs, my brain tells me its not ideal but my heart wants to continue.

    Fat and fibre are longest to digest so balance is key. I'm thinking of reverting to 3 square meals for the day, something like fat+protein meal 1, carbs+fat meal 2, and meal 3 a little bit of everything. Something like the Perfect Health DIet i might give it a go. LIke me, it might help to find the right balance first.

    Hope this helps regarding motility.
    I'd love to say it does help but my motility issues have nothing to do with slow emptying (honestly, been tested for that too! The radioactive mashed potato test, I think?! Was tons of fun.). If I go too long without eating I am in pain, and it's a draining sort of pain. I have wondered if the time it takes to digest these meals means that I can go longer than 3 hours though - it does sometimes seem to be that way, but not consistently at all.

    I hope you find a way to make the normal eating schedule work.

    I have noticed that eating the Paleo foods only reduces the amount of regurgitation (my other main symptom)...but what if, while it's great for my stomach, it's bad for hypermobility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by My Stomach Eats Me View Post
    I have noticed that eating the Paleo foods only reduces the amount of regurgitation (my other main symptom)...but what if, while it's great for my stomach, it's bad for hypermobility?
    I think this touches on how paleo paleo really is. IOW, if paleo as we understand it really is what our organism has adjusted to (over a couple of million years and more), then we're suited to it and it's going to be what works best.

    So then I don't think, in the main, it could, in the long run, be good for (a) but bad for (b) ... whatever (a) and (b) might be.

    So there may be tweaks that would be helpful for this or that condition, but, in the main, "paleo" broadly speaking becomes the base and the issue becomes: how accurately has the paleo movement been able to understand and replicate what the ancestral diet really was like?

    My feeling is it's done OK. I don't think it's been immune to ideas floating around the contemporary culture, so it's been influenced by contemporary fashions in nutrition as well as by disinterested research into what diet really was like in the Palaeolithic. But in the main, it's done well.

    I saw your "hormones, hormones, hormones" reference (post #5). Sounds likely. However, I don't see "hormones" as a "heuristic terminus" -- i.e., as the place at which you can stop asking questions. I think you implied that in the next sentence -- which speaks of a "root cause". But I wonder. I think everything in nature has a cause, so the question here has to be: "What caused the hormones to go adrift?"

    You can go pretty deep in speculation here. Maybe some of it is down to what our mothers did when we were in the womb, for example. However, i think the main environmental influences here are what count, and those seem to come down to two major factors: (1) what you eat, and (2) how much sleep you get (and how good it is). There are other environmental factors that could be considered -- for example, heavy metal pollution and endocrine disrupters in the water supply. But the first two are probably the most crucial.

    General, non-medical advice for anyone --

    (1) Get plenty of good-quality sleep in a properly darkened room. The importance of this cannot be underrated. A good short piece on this -- again from Robb Wolf:

    Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! How artificial lighting and cortisol impact zzz’s

    A more detailed reference for anyone who's really serious:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lights-out-T...dp/0671038680/

    (2) Make sure your status as regards vitamin D and omega-3 oils is OK. If your GP won't test your D levels for you, the City Hospital in Birmingham will do it very reasonably. Anyone who's UK-based should probably take advantage of that:

    Vitamin D Blood Spot Test to the Public Background Information

    Most authorities in the Paleosphere recommend that your total D should be around 100 nMol/L (40 ng/dl) or better.

    For omega-3 oils, either take a little fish-oil or -- better -- regularly consume cold-water fatty fish.

    (2) Take a good probiotic. Try a good health food shop or online. Bio Kult would be an example of a good one.

    (3) Eat some fermented vegetables (again for the probiotic effect) -- sauerkraut, beet kvass, etc. Either make them at home or find a good commercial source. Red 23 seems OK:

    http://www.red23.co.uk/

    (4) Drink good broth made from long-simmered bones -- preferably home-made. Failing that -- a OK source would be the "Heston" stocks that Waitrose sells. A couple of cups of broth a week would be good -- very healing to the gut -- but a cup a day would be even better.
    Last edited by Lewis; 08-12-2012 at 07:14 AM. Reason: spelling

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