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Thread: Gastroparesis, Carb Malabsorption, and Chris Kresser's take on it page

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    Joe B's Avatar
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    Gastroparesis, Carb Malabsorption, and Chris Kresser's take on it

    Primal Fuel
    Chris Kresser did a series on GERD, carb malabsorption, and how to treat it through diet here: Get rid of heartburn and GERD forever in three simple step

    Many of his points hit home with me: stomach pains, bloating, constipation, etc. I've been suffering from gastroparesis and an inflammed small intestines for about four years but only 2 months ago learned that I had this. I also did have an H. pylori infection but a 14 day treatment of antibiotics killed it off. I plan on following Chris Kresser's advice, as well as someone from paleo hacks who has had great success doing a similar thing to what Chris recommends. He basically says to limit carbs (around 30g/day), eat probiotic rich foods such as kefir and yogurt, and supplement with betaine HCL. My question is has anyone who has suffered from this or GERD found success in following Kresser's advice? If so, how long did it take you to cure yourself and were you able to return to a more balanced paleo/primal diet concerning carbs?

    I've been eating paleo since 2007 and am surprised to have these issues,but I want to beat them. The only problem with going low carb is that due to gastroparesis I've lost a significant amount of weight and fear that I will lose more if I limit the amount carbs I eat (sweet/white potatoes, bananas, and berries). Gastroparesis means that food empties slower than normal from my stomach, so eating high fat high fiber food will only exascerbate the problem; so you can see the conundrum that I'm in. I am 5'10 23yrs old, and was 144lbs on Jan 8th but am currently 123lbs. A high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet is more of a weight loss diet, but if anything I want to gain weight. I cannot handle olive oil, but besides avocadoes, almond butter, coconut oil, and the fat from meat I eat, does anyone have any recommendations of good fat sources? I'm trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet to help heal my inflammed small intestines, so chicken skin is out, but any other suggestions are welcomed.

    Honestly, I'm frustrated and scared as to how to proceed. I've read people advocating low carb to starve the bacteria, but then others recommend high carb to restore hormonal balance which will restore gut health as well. I don't know which way to go.

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    I wish I could be more help, but the only thing I know from experience is that my mom took antacids constantly, and she had H.pylori give her multiple ulcers twice. So I know that's not the way to go because antacids create the perfect breeding ground for it.

    I had acid reflux pretty bad for a while, and that was like he said too - actually a matter of too little stomach acid.

    So... even though I can't speak to the specific questions you have, I can say that I've never come across anything Chris Kresser has said about GERD that was wrong when it came to myself and my mom. I can't speak for anyone else.
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    I feel ya bro. Im 24 diagnosed with gastroparesis, fructose malabsorption, slight colon inflammation and have lost weight. Its good to hear from some one in such a similar prediciment. Im short on time now but ill share a few of my experiences. I did the low carb high fat and protein thing and thought i was on to a winner initially. After the settling in period of getting used to higher fat and overcomming carb flu it was smoothe sailing. Unfortunattely i head some common things kick in like lower body temp and lack of libido.

    Im now on a more balanced and id say gastroparesis is the biggest hindrance on me because of the slow emptying and whatno. I also have these food intolerances and it would make sense leaky gut is at play after wreaking my digestive system with a destructible diet during my bodybuilding stages. Funnily enouugh i dont think i have stomach acid issues but have not necessairily done any personal or professional testing to verify that. I dont suffer from gerd unless i overdo it on something or
    Have a bad combination of foods. See how you go test what works for you. I'm just pushing along constantly trying to work out what works for me and unfortunately i cant say im there yet. Probiotics will help you especially if you ferment the veggies yourself. Im sure your aware that its recomemended to eat 4-6small meals a day, which i used to do but i prefer 2big meals or 3 moderated sized becaue im too stubborn to take on that advise of eating soo many times throughout the day.

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    Thanks for posting the Kresser articles. I've been struggling w digestive issues for the last month or so. I've been primal for 2 yrs, strict paleo for 5 months, completed a whole50, then soon after the issues began. I've adjusted my diet to more of a low fat, higher carb, but now after Kressers articles maybe I shouldn't. High fat foods trigger massive stomach pain about an hr after I eat. I can't pinpoint though bc it can be triggered by random stuff too (had kale yesterday and was dying). I've also been doing FODMAPS. A bit of relief but nothing major.


    Wondering why I've never had issues beforehand and now I'm having distress. Going to drink less water with food since Kresser says that irritates the gut, and maybe begin eating some sauerkraut. Gross.

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    Why should you worry that going low carb will make you lose weight? As long as your calories are okay there should be no unwanted weight loss.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    I wish I could be more help, but the only thing I know from experience is that my mom took antacids constantly, and she had H.pylori give her multiple ulcers twice. So I know that's not the way to go because antacids create the perfect breeding ground for it.

    I had acid reflux pretty bad for a while, and that was like he said too - actually a matter of too little stomach acid.

    So... even though I can't speak to the specific questions you have, I can say that I've never come across anything Chris Kresser has said about GERD that was wrong when it came to myself and my mom. I can't speak for anyone else.
    Thanks for personal experience, it is helpful to hear about people who have had success with what I'm trying to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    I feel ya bro. Im 24 diagnosed with gastroparesis, fructose malabsorption, slight colon inflammation and have lost weight. Its good to hear from some one in such a similar prediciment. Im short on time now but ill share a few of my experiences. I did the low carb high fat and protein thing and thought i was on to a winner initially. After the settling in period of getting used to higher fat and overcomming carb flu it was smoothe sailing. Unfortunattely i head some common things kick in like lower body temp and lack of libido.

    Im now on a more balanced and id say gastroparesis is the biggest hindrance on me because of the slow emptying and whatno. I also have these food intolerances and it would make sense leaky gut is at play after wreaking my digestive system with a destructible diet during my bodybuilding stages. Funnily enouugh i dont think i have stomach acid issues but have not necessairily done any personal or professional testing to verify that. I dont suffer from gerd unless i overdo it on something or
    Have a bad combination of foods. See how you go test what works for you. I'm just pushing along constantly trying to work out what works for me and unfortunately i cant say im there yet. Probiotics will help you especially if you ferment the veggies yourself. Im sure your aware that its recomemended to eat 4-6small meals a day, which i used to do but i prefer 2big meals or 3 moderated sized becaue im too stubborn to take on that advise of eating soo many times throughout the day.
    Besides the fructose malabsorption you sound just like me, unfortunately. I've been suspecting that I have a fructose malabsorption but have not been tested for it. Is the test just a breathe test? I love bananas with almond butter, and frozen blueberries, so it would suck to give them up but I'd do it if I knew it would help. When you say balanced diet, do you mean you are eating more carbs? If so, around how many grams per day and what kinds? You might have low stomach acid, try supplementing with betaine HCL. If you don't get intense stomach pains then you know you are deficient, and it will help digestion if you take it.

    I already suffer from low body temp and a lower libido, which is why I'm asking this question since I don't want to try something that might make me feel worse. It definitely is just trial and error because there is no one universal fix. But one thing for sure is that I too cannot do the 4-6 small meals, my stomach empties too slowly to do it and I prefer to do 2-3 bigger meals as well. I've been supplementing wih probiotics for some time now, eat kim chi pretty often, and also take miralax once a day. I am having bowel movements, but I want to eventually see if I can maintain it without the miralax.


    Quote Originally Posted by TLoRu View Post
    Thanks for posting the Kresser articles. I've been struggling w digestive issues for the last month or so. I've been primal for 2 yrs, strict paleo for 5 months, completed a whole50, then soon after the issues began. I've adjusted my diet to more of a low fat, higher carb, but now after Kressers articles maybe I shouldn't. High fat foods trigger massive stomach pain about an hr after I eat. I can't pinpoint though bc it can be triggered by random stuff too (had kale yesterday and was dying). I've also been doing FODMAPS. A bit of relief but nothing major.

    Wondering why I've never had issues beforehand and now I'm having distress. Going to drink less water with food since Kresser says that irritates the gut, and maybe begin eating some sauerkraut. Gross.
    The most frustrating part of digestive issues is that anything can set them off, even food that you know you tolerated well in the past. I've been reading about it a lot and stress is supposed to play a huge factor and can even be the sole reason some times. Do you have a stressful life? I'm thinking mine is due in part to stress, but it's easier said than done in trying to reduce it. Certain high fat foods trigger stomach pains for me too. It's weird though because some fats I tolerate well (coconut oil and almond butter), others give me stomach pain but make me have a big bowel movement, which makes me feel better afterwards, and others completely wreck me (olive oil in particular). Again, it requires tinkering to manage, but the tinkering gets annoying at times due to the random nature of digestive problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Why should you worry that going low carb will make you lose weight? As long as your calories are okay there should be no unwanted weight loss.
    I'm worried because a high fat, moderate-high protein, and low carb diet promotes satiety big time and it might kill my appetite. I've been eating around 120-150g of carbs everyday and it definitely stimulates my appetite moreso than when I was low carb. Plus, like I said in a reply above, I already suffer from low body temp and lower libido, and a high fat diet doesn't help fix that, only carbs


    On a different note, has anyone tried Matt stone's Rrarf program? I'm not going to bounce around among programs, I'm sticking to the one from Chris kresser. I just thought I'd ask since many people have seen success with that too. Gah! Sometimes I wish it was as easy as "eat these foods, avoid the others, and you will heal." There are a number of different protocols, it feels overwhelming at times as to which one to try.
    Last edited by Joe B; 08-20-2012 at 12:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    I'm worried because a high fat, moderate-high protein, and low carb diet promotes satiety big time and it might kill my appetite. I've been eating around 120-150g of carbs everyday and it definitely stimulates my appetite moreso than when I was low carb. Plus, like I said in a reply above, I already suffer from low body temp and lower libido, and a high fat diet doesn't help fix that, only carbs
    You just have to have a little willpower over your appetite, that's all. But in reverse of others who are fat.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    I hear ya on the bouncing around trying different programs, I'm trying to stick to fodmaps and lower fat, higher carb. The thing is I don't need to use the bathroom... I'm totally normal w #2, just get a massive stomach ache about an hr after I eat. So it's got me totally confused.

    As for digestive issues and stress I've read a lot about that- huge issue. I don't have an overly stressful life.... But w that said my husband is deployed in afghanistan, I'm moving in a month without him to our new base, and I had to leave my job. So I suppose that might have a bit of an effect

    And definitely hear you on some fatty foods causing pain while others don't. I cut out some of my faces (avocados, almonds, olive oil) but am still having issues. So perplexing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    You just have to have a little willpower over your appetite, that's all. But in reverse of others who are fat.
    Well yea, it is much more unpleasant to stuff yourself with fat instead of carbs but it's worth a shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by TLoRu View Post
    I hear ya on the bouncing around trying different programs, I'm trying to stick to fodmaps and lower fat, higher carb. The thing is I don't need to use the bathroom... I'm totally normal w #2, just get a massive stomach ache about an hr after I eat. So it's got me totally confused.

    As for digestive issues and stress I've read a lot about that- huge issue. I don't have an overly stressful life.... But w that said my husband is deployed in afghanistan, I'm moving in a month without him to our new base, and I had to leave my job. So I suppose that might have a bit of an effect

    And definitely hear you on some fatty foods causing pain while others don't. I cut out some of my faces (avocados, almonds, olive oil) but am still having issues. So perplexing!
    I get the same exact thing regarding #2, it's odd and is confusing for me too. Regarding stress, in some cases stress can be the sole cause of the digestive issues in the first place! What's more is even if you are not leading a stressful life, but workout alot and don't sleep enough, that raises cortisol, which raises stress, which hurts the brain-gut signals. So many factors go into this, it's almost like we have to act how when we were kids to solve it (ex: care-free, playing, sleeping whenever we want, etc....but who has time for that hah).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    Besides the fructose malabsorption you sound just like me, unfortunately. I've been suspecting that I have a fructose malabsorption but have not been tested for it. Is the test just a breathe test? I love bananas with almond butter, and frozen blueberries, so it would suck to give them up but I'd do it if I knew it would help.
    You don't necessarily have to give up any of those. Berries and bananas tend to be well tolerated by most with FM and if you make your own almond butter with blanched almonds you'll likely be fine. Blueberries are iffy for me and I can only eat a little bit of banana if it's overripe, but I have particularly finicky guts. Almond skins kill me but blanched almonds are no problem. You just have to learn to adjust for things. Most citrus fruit is okay for most; I have a tendency to overdo it because I love oranges but that's more due to the acid. Look for a list of FODMAP foods to get an idea of what you should be able to eat.

    There are some weird things that most don't realize until they get a bit deeper into it. Greens can be an issue but if you skip iceberg lettuce (pretty worthless anyhow) and remove the rib you should be fine, as that's where the bulk of the fructose is. Prebiotic foods, like collards, asparagus, leeks and broccoli, are usually tolerable as long as they're cooked. Some cut out garlic and onions but I never did and don't have a problem, although raw or undercooked onions in large quantities will mess me up.

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