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Sean's very un-optimal Journal

Discussion in 'My Optimal Journal' started by seanb4, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    Hi guys, starting this journal in hopes to paint a better picture for those trying to help me and to provide information to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position... and because caroline told me to.

    Was a bit chubby as a kid. At 16 decided to get rid of the fat by skipping breakfast/dinner for a few months. This worked-ish and I returned to normal eating and was a stable skinny fat for the next few years.

    Around 19 I was getting my life in order so I decided I should eat healthy. Got recomended mark sissons primal diet (paleo) on a random forum and started that. I got some results, felt healthier, got rid of some of the fat, etc but never got ripped and never felt full. Decided that calories in calories out sounded about right so reduced calories a lot whilst intimitantly fasting and managed to get my bf% down so I had a six pack, etc. This was very unsustainable as I was hungry all the time, felt freezing cold, and a bit weak. Gave in trying to keep this up and gained back the fat.

    At 20 I stumbled across the leptin reset thread on marks daily apple and thought I'd give it a go, not expecting much. Results were instant and awesome, my extremities stopped being cold for the first time in my life, my excema went away and my hair wasn't dry all the time, effortlessly got ripped, high performance when kickboxing, etc.

    Trouble in paradise
    Not 2 weeks after finishing the leptin reset and feeling great I shot myself in the foot and life slapped me in the face...

    I got tonsillitis thanks to freshers week. So for 2 weeks I was not really eating, and taking lots of NSAIDs to mask the pain. Tonsillitis went away but was replaced by an extreme gnawing sensation just below my sternum at 5am every morning. Went to doctors who gave me PPI's, it was still there so went back to docs who gave me PPI's + Antibiotics to take for 2 weeks. This eliminated it somewhat although it was still noticeable some days.

    I noticed during this time that my stomach would get quite bloated some times, ignored for a while but then decided to try do something about it. Amongst other things I tried cutting out dairy, this seemed to work and my bloating was completely gone in 2 days. However this only lasted until the next time I went drinking, then the bloating was back and cutting out dairy did nothing to stop it. The same thing happened a few months later when I cut out FODMAPs, bloating was completely gone for a couple days until I went drinking again. Decided to cut out drinking entirely at this point but still the bloating remained. This bloating would happen everytime I ate anything.

    In this time I noticed my gums had receded massively, my breath had started to smell, my BM's seemed to have slowed.

    Over the next 6 months I noticed I was getting fatigued way more easily (had to quit kickboxing as I couldn't keep up), I had heart palpitations, I felt pretty weak, I noticed large dark circles appear under my eyes. Because this seemed to happen over time I assume this is a result of whatever my stomach problems are and thus are not directly related.

    This all started almost 2 years ago.

    Tests that have been done
    -H Pylori Stool Test, came back normal.
    -Upper Endoscopy, came back normal.
    -CT scan, came back normal.
    -Barium swallow, came back normal.
    -Basic blood work, mostly normal, mean cell haemoglobin concentration below normal, serum albumin level above range.

    Current Symptoms
    -Strong fatigue and weakness
    -Heart Palpitations
    -Dizziness whilst standing
    -Low libido
    -Heavy bloating/distension
    -Heaviness/pressure in stomach (after eating)
    -Reflux without burning (happens sometimes at night)
    -Cold extremities
    -Dry Hair/Skin
    -Bad Breath / Coated Tongue
    -Back ache (probably from change of posture due to bloating)
    -Feels like food sits in stomach for too long
    -Bags under eyes

    It seems like all these symptoms relate to how much food/drink I put into my digestive system. This seems like the only variable. Doesn't matter what the content of the food is, symptoms always the same.

    What I have tried
    Elimination diets:
    I have tried just eggs, fodmaps, GAPs, just fruit, just water. Nothing diet wise seems to matter.

    Betaine HCL/Digestive Enzymes:
    Didn't notice any burning sensation even when going up to really high doses. Bloating was reduced at real high doses but I also got burning diarrhoea. I think bloating was reduced because food was being rushed through digestive system thanks to too high enzymes. So didn't work.

    Candida diet:
    No difference.

    Parsite cleanse:
    No difference.

    Bowel cleanse / constipation supplements:
    No difference. It takes a lot high dose for me than others to get the desired effect.

    H Pylori diet:
    No difference.

    High dose probiotics:
    Didn't notice a difference really with anything apart from raw sauerkraut. When I was eating a LOT of this I noticed my hair got healthy again. I am thinking that maybe it stopped some things getting through my leaky gut or maybe it was the structured water rehydrating me. Cant afford to keep this up and every batch of sauerkraut I make always goes wrong.

    Cold thermogenesis:
    1 month of cold baths, 1hr/day @ 55f. 2 Months of spot icing 4hrs per day. Turning all radiators off and living in minimal clothes. I maybe noticed a slight increase in tollerance to cold however this was really hard for me to do as I was freezing cold all the time, especially my extremities. I was eating entirely epi-paleo at this time, lots of fish and shell fish. Didn't help my symptoms noticeably.

    30 day fast:
    Started w/ 7 day dry fast where all my bloating was gone for the first time in a year. As soon as I started drinking water for the rest of the fast the bloating was back. This suggests to me it is not a problem with bacterial overgrowth or stomach acidity.

    I have tried various other things and supplements that I cannot remember at this moment in time. None of note

    I have recently been taking pregnenolone which improves my hair and skin quality slightly, d-ribose which seems to have reduced my heart palpitations, and magnesium malate which helps with constipation.

    The only consistent way I can reduce bloating and some other symptoms is by reducing total volume of food and drink that passes through my digestive system.

    I suspect I have adrenal fatigue and leaky gut/dysbiosis which is caused by whatever problem my stomach has with food/drink and the resulting stress response.
  2. fitness@home

    fitness@home Silver

    Welcome to the world of journals Sean...may you find the anwers you are searching for!
  3. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Ha! how come you listen to me when my kids don't......
    There is alot to think about in your thread...
    My first impressions .... I sort of do think that you have an eating disorder..... and you have tried a ton of things but never for long enough?
    I think you need to do a lot more reading of Jack's blogs - we all have to keep re reading until it sticks!

    I am going to think about all you said some more ........
  4. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    @fitness@home thanks!

    @caroline yeah I wont be happy until I understand all jacks blogs on an intermidiate level and have run all the tests I can. Interesting that you think I have an eating disorder, why is that?
  5. Linz

    Linz Gold


    Starting with a positive: Don't forget the leptin reset worked. You thought you were finished and then destroyed all the good work in freshers week. An epic week in life at just the worst time as students are leaving home, eating the cheapest food, wrecking circadian rhythms, drinking heavily and using technology at all times of day and night (usually keeping it right beside them day and night), living in small insulated boxes. We all like to think we can outwit the rules of life but think about your friends in that first term and how many of them were pale and tired, gaining weight and sometimes becoming depressed, even those that didn't start with previous weight problems. I guess you weren't alone.

    I have gut problems that began in a similar but less dramatic way and I too think the final straw was a prescription for NSAIDs. I am much older than you (survived freshers week nearly intact) and I think I was already vulnerable before I started the medication because of an emotionally difficult year when I had also started working on a bright computer screen in late evenings and bought a mobile and dect phones for the first time ever in the previous months. Tightening up my diet really helped me for a few years but I was only just containing it until I added in the circadian rules and more time grounded. I might never have believed the difference the little things can make if I hadn't already tied down the diet but I didn't notice them today, only last month, last year etc. Skin improving and no longer burning in the sun is a very visible sign you are on the right road, or realising the next meal is two hours late and you didn't even notice (without deliberate fasting).

    Back to the Leptin reset. KEEP GOING, the timing issues -meals, light, sleep etc- are incredibly important as you already discovered - and don't think of finishing it ever, just gradually changing towards the next stages and making it into a sustainable way of normal life for you once you know better. As Caroline says - give it time. Do you have f.lux on your screens and amber glasses? Better still, turn them off and unplug after dusk. The cold may be an extreme way to actually allow recovery but the other things are really just tightening up everyday life. Deal with the emf, the flouride and the water the best you can and read the squat blog if you haven't already. I think your experience with sauerkraut is a sure sign dehydration is involved (mine goes wrong too. I'm a little bit frightened of it!!). I don't have any advice for your specific problems, just overall strengthening of everything. I'm still working on finding which part actually broke and if it can be actually mended for myself.

    With malabsorbtion your mineral status is probably poor. I certainly think that was one of my problems early on when my gums and teeth deteriorated - and fully recovered, the dentist just looked confused. Look again at the early paleo supp blog for the best vits and mins, find a good vit K2 mark 4 supp to help teeth and gut ( I use Thorne drops with D3 as well and I notice differences fast). Perhaps investigate Quinton marine plasma. Make sure to add liver and heart to your diet. The full complement of mito supps (ubiquinol and acetyl-carnitine as well as Mg and d rib) helps me a lot. Raw fish helps promote estriol (safest oestrogen) in the gut. Just don't ask me about gut mos. My worst experience ever was a result of annoying them with pro and pre-biotics - I've still got a lot to learn.

    Do you use coconut oil? And do you ever go camping? I think a wild camping holiday somewhere by a sea loch - persuade some easy going friends, cook on your own fire and drink boiled stream water (phone off, no tech)- would be an interesting experiment to see how your gut responds. Or at least make a point of doing a regular walk in the woods, along the coast, up a river, stopping to sit on a tree branch or a big rock just watching the world passing by for a little while and letting everything slow down. Modern life has forgotten this.

    Best of luck. There is a huge quantity of information to think about here but when you begin to understand the underlying reasons for things it really does become easier to make your own choices.

    Caroline, perhaps we should all swap kids sometimes...
  6. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    Hi, Linz.

    Glad you are getting your health issues sorted.

    There is some real good information here although I will see I don't think it's a case of tightening up protocols for me...

    for example when I first started doing the leptin rx I wasn't following it fully and my diet was like 80% good (still consuming alcohol, dairy, etc), despite this I got excellent results suggesting that I wasn't that unhealthy to begin with.
    It was only after I noticed symptoms that I started really tightening up my diet (cut out alcohol, dairy, increased fish, etc) watching light cycles more closely, etc. Despite this "tightening" I still got gradually worse which suggests that the leptin rx etc wasn't targeting the cause of my ills. So whilst it will help to do the protocols the best I can, I need to do something more and think outside the box to repair myself, I think.

    Camping seems a cool idea, use coconut oil quite a lot.

    I am confused about eating raw foods though. Do you have to buy them like really fresh and then they are okay to eat raw? What about parasites etc?
  7. Linz

    Linz Gold

    Inger is the best person to ask about raw food and read the MHS thread if you haven't already. I think freezing first helps to kill parasites and you just have to make your own educated judgement on safety. Sushi is raw and many eat it without problems. Don't use already minced meat and you can sear the outside a little if you want to and don't use anything that has been stored near raw poultry or pork.
  8. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    I am still thinking about your post ..... I am going to the beach now and going to think some more.....
  9. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Sean - I didn't mean "eating disorder" in the traditional sense. I think a lot of us here did a lot of damage to our bodies by fasting and doing all kinds of crazy things - so, I guess in my mind, I think of that as an eating disorder. I would have done anything to get rid of the blubber and did do all kinds of stupid things.

    It seems to me that the key is when you got sick at freshers week ........so do you think that all the stuff you took could have done some lasting damage?

    Linz has great imput for you ....maybe just keep reading the BG series - and don't forget the comments. There has to be an answer somewhere.

    I do eat raw meat .... but don't know how that would be for you. I am not sure calling it "raw" is accurate tho. I buy GF rump steak with as much fat as possible and put it on a wooden board in the fridge. I sprinkle it with some black pepper and hot chilli flakes and just leave it there - I usually leave it for a few days and it starts to dry a bit and then slice it thin and enjoy. I love it! I now find if I cook a steak it is much harder to digest than the raw and I don't need nearly as much.
    I have no problem at all digesting the raw. I just buy it at the supermarket - where I shop is quite a high turnover. Maybe if you went to your butcher and told him you wanted to eat it raw and it needs to be very fresh. Tell the butcher that you want to make carpaccio or steak tartare. Have you ever had that? It is very delicious. Inger has a recipe here or google.

    Also do fresh salmon - Inger has a recipe for that too and great pics.....
  10. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    @caroline oh okay.

    Yeah it would seem like the NSAIDs I took in freshers would have done some lasting damage however everything I read about them suggests it will only damage your stomach/small intestinal lining and this will heal very quickly. I have had an endoscopy which showed everything was fine a year afterwards so I don't think this is the case. Unless it indirectly messed something else up? The antibiotics could be a possibility however I only took them for 2 weeks and I don't think they were really powerfull ones. I know 2 weeks can be enough but still my symptoms don't really jive with dysbiosis.

    Come to think of it I had the worst constipation of my life like a week or so before freshers. I was up all night (12hrs straight) in pain trying to have this BM. That was the day following going out drinking. Think I was bloated after that as well. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

    Hmm... so you are buying your meat from the butcher in the supermarket? What about buying already frozen meat/fish thats just in the supermarket and not from the butcher? Is that risky territory?
  11. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Hi Sean .... I buy my meat at the supemarket [Aldi] and it is prepackaged. Do you know of the book - The Art of fermentation .....by Sandor Ellix Katz? Did you say you have tried making sauerkraut? It all sounds so right for a gut that needs repair. Do you have a library close by where you could get it and have a look?
  12. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Do you keep a diary of how you feel everyday? long term that might give you clues? You talk about the night you had the worst constipation of your life - had you had problems prior to that?
    Vickie wrote you a great post somewhere - and she talks about how her tests showed nothing - but her reality was much different..... Do you follow her journal?
    Are you still in school? under a lot of stress?
  13. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    So regular supermarket meat is ok to eat raw?

    I have kept a food log diary for over a year now that mentions what I ate/drank what time and general symptoms.

    I had problems prior to leptin reset + paleo but they all seemed to vanish after the leptin reset.

    I will look for vickie's post and I finished university last year and am not really under emotional stress.
  14. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Hi Sean..... all I can tell you is that I eat raw meat and others do here as well.....but I wouldn't know how it would be for you. I would hate to see you have more problems than you already have. I think you should have a look at the whole thread where we talked about it .... I will look it up and get back to you.
  15. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    The thread that I mentioned above is in the forum - the Epi Paleo diet

    Eating epi paleo .....on page three - posted by Inger - about half way down the page......
    video - me eating high meat - so good for your gut

    hope you can find it ....if you can't - let me know...
  16. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    found it! thank caro, will read now
  17. Linz

    Linz Gold

    I restrict raw food to oysters, fresh fish (or pre-packed frozen soon after catching) and some marinated heart.

    Lamb is mostly grass-fed in UK (and NZ) and should be fine from the supermarket but I look at the beef more closely - roasts and steaks should have a good layer of their own sub-cutaneous fat and some fat marbling in the muscle (choose other cuts from the same source). Bright red with separate fat tied on is not good. I also look for beef-breed labelling and I rarely buy supermarket pork. Like poultry, pigs are fed a much more manufactured diet than the ruminants.

    Did you read the CPC 6 blog Dr Kruse has just re-referenced? Lots of good info linking Vitamin A/light/timing/water etc. Keep thinking outside the box.
  18. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    Hmmm, okay I think I will try some raw meat soon. I have some beef liver thats been in my freezer for ages so If I just put this in the fridge for about 2 days it should be good to eat?
  19. Linz

    Linz Gold

    I would leave the liver where it is and from your other post, don't eat raw pork/bacon either. Pigs can share some nasty parasites with us. Perhaps a little raw fish... and it's probably safest to start with sushi etc that has been prepared for you.

    Read CPC6 upside down and inside out before you go looking for any more food solutions. You did say you thought your answer was going to be much more than diet.
  20. seanb4

    seanb4 New Member

    Yeah the solution will be a lot more than diet however if eating raw helps, even slightly, and is affordable I'm all for it.

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