Continued Improvement from Magnesium Supplementation

Wow!   So many of my remaining issues have resolved with these Epsom salt baths!  

My peripheral numbness continues to improve.  I still get it from long periods of inactivity but moving around resolves most of it now.

My sugar cravings are GONE!!!  I mean, I had some chocolate at a party last night but it tasted super sweet and I didn’t want seconds.  

Minimal appetite – I checked online and magnesium improves insulin sensitivity!

My weight gain corresponds to the timeline of my long- term antacid abuse so this is making sense.  I had already started taking a supplement recently after my feet turned bright yellow, but guess it wasn’t quite enough.  I think this was my missing link!! Even things like my 2-week eye twitch and extreme light sensitivity could be attributed to magnesium deficiency.  And any blue in my toes goes away next day after an Epsom bath. Continuing to do them every other day.

I think I need to get an overall panel done to see what nutritional deficiencies may remain.  

Update:  getting better every day!  Continuing with the Epsom baths daily now and seeing ongoing improvement. I realized maybe the oral supplement didn’t work as well because it includes calcium and I’m likely hypercalcemic.  My toe joints and bone spur in my knee are much improved. I have a little more energy now and I’m getting slightly more active. Still having ridiculous hot flashes that last a couple hours but I heard that may improve soon as well.  Sometimes magnesium can have an effect.  Fingers crossed!

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Carb Cycling /Blood Sugar Update

I’m already feeling much better. I’m tracking my food and I’ve naturally settled in about 1700 calories. Aiming for macronutrient ratio of 50% fat, 30% carbs and 20% protein as that ratio makes me always feel best.

I was actually a bit low on carbs yesterday and had a protein shake with banana and a small red potato cooked in ghee for dinner and did ok as far as blood sugar. Seems to just be processed sugar or snacks/grains and alcohol that messed me up when I was cycling carbs.  Inflammation in my feet/legs greatly improved already. Did another Epsom salt bath yesterday too.

Reading a new book, Sugar Crush by Richard Jacoby.  All about the relationship between sugar and inflammation/nerve damage.  Very motivating!!

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Better Magnesium Absorption

I’ve been concerned that I’m still not absorbing enough magnesium, as the tops of my feet still get yellow-y sometimes (but not bright yellow like before).  Either I need to change magnesium supplement brands, or I still have Celiac damage affecting intestinal absorption.

Per Dr. Mark Hyman’s book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, I tried his “Detox Bath” and increased the amount of Epsom salts in my bath to 2 cups and added 1/2 cup baking soda. Wow!   I’m definitely absorbing it now!

The recent increased numbness in my feet was greatly reduced before I even finished my bath. FYI….I also don’t recommend straying too far from the bathroom the next day!  I’m not sure if it was the extra Epsom or adding the baking soda that helped it to absorb better, but I’ll definitely add this to my routine!

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Facing Hard Facts

I wanted to like this CAD/CALP carb cycling diet.  I really did.

I still think that if I’m in a situation where I’m extremely stressed out (like a recent project I did) and feel I MUST have sweets and carby foods, that partitioning my carbs into a one-hour period daily will do the least damage as far as gaining weight.

However, attempting this CAD/CALP diet the past couple weeks has comfirmed for me that next to gluten, sugar is my #2 issue.  Every time I do the carb meal my legs swell up and get numb.  My heart has been pounding strangely too.  I keep passing out from hypoglycemia. Clearly my health situation is too extreme for big daily swings between low and high carb, and more moderation is needed.

This experiment has reminded me why I did Paleo in the first place – it removed all the chemicals and food sensitivities I was having issues with, including sugar.

So…..looks like it’s back to what worked before, Paleo with low to moderate carbs. I’m adding back moderate amounts of fruit and nuts,  but I’ll save any starch, sweets and alcohol for dining out/social events only.

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Carb Cycling Redux

Ok – I had both good and bad results from carb backloading, so I’m going to customize a bit.

I was trying the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet approach, which has worked for me in the past.  Essentially you do very low carb for 2 meals and then you get a free meal, preferably at dinner. Guess both me and my pancreas are getting older so I had some issues this time.

The good part:  I LOVED that I had no appetite and lost 4 lbs in 4 days. Sweets and packaged foods lost their appeal. My cognition/focus improved as well.

The bad part:  Occasionally dehydrated, dizzy, hypoglycemic.

What I SHOULD do is just cut back my carbs gradually down to about 50-70 net carbs/day.  It worked for me before.  But I’m really sick of tracking.  Plus I’m going on vacation soon.

It didn’t work when I had my carb meal at breakfast or dinner, but lunch seems ok.  I think also I was having fruit, starch, a drink and dessert all at once and my insulin spiked too high then my blood sugar crashed later.

There is a newer version of CAD called the Carbohydrate Addicts Lifespan Program (CALP) that advocates a more moderate approach.  Having basically a regular meal that includes protein and veggies 1/3 each and only the remaining 1/3 is glycemic carbs.  I think fat would also work to give more absorption.

So for now I’ll try it again with a carby treat meal (like gluten free pizza) really just once or twice a week and otherwise a normal meal plus a little something extra for lunch, or switch to dinner if I have plans with friends.  It’s hard to avoid some kind of starch/fruit when dining out or at a friends house, even if it’s gluten free.  If I do have dessert I’ll have just a few bites or choose something higher in fat.  I’ll avoid more glycemic drinks and stick to vodka/tequila when possible or at least dry wine.  Cider really seems to affect my blood sugar.

And if this doesn’t work, it’s back to carb counting!

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Cognitive Improvements

So – wow.  I’ve been posting that I’d noticed some cognitive decline recently.  I’ve been casually taking some supplements like B12, MCT Oil and Glutathione to help improve my memory and focus.

I use a Fit Brains app on my smartphone and my score had declined by about 1000 points. Taking me from excellent to average which alarmed me.

Recently I saw some improvement and was in the very good category, up to about 67% compared to my age group overall. I was seeing incremental improvements of 2-10 points usually when I played.  More like 2-5 points usually.

Well – wow!!  Today it seemed super easy and I did amazingly well.  In one category I went up 200+ points and another I went up 300+ points.  This is super encouraging!!!!!

I think my malnutrition from gluten intolerance is finally getting fixed.  I’ll still finish out the supplements I already have but it’s a good sign.  

I had experimented with carb cycling earlier in the week to reduce my insulin levels.  I lost 4 pounds in 4 days but abandoned it due to fatigue and dehydration.  Maybe I need to revisit that carb back loading concept, since this is such an extreme improvement.  I can try easing into it more gradually.

Update – the categories that improved were visual and memory.  Memory & focus are the two worst for me currently (I do have ADHD also).  I went back and did another exercise but only gained a couple more points.  The first test I did today was on a new device so maybe it calculated my improvement based on an earlier saved score.  My overall percent didn’t go up which is weird. However my scores on the first test were like 100% so I know they were good.  So not sure if it was a glitch, but I am still optimistic! 

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Paleo + Carb Backloading

As I’ve posted before, I’ve seen great physical results and better lab results with the Paleo diet, especially removing gluten 100% from my diet.  

I’ve consistently kept off 20 lbs for about 15 months.  However,  I have been yo-yo-ing another 15 lbs for the past 6 months due entirely to eating too much sugar (and other foods that convert to sugar, like chips).  My feet/legs also swell up if I have too much sugar.

I went back to low-carb Atkins for a bit and lost the weight, but my hair started thinning again and my fatigue returned.  Prior to that,  most of my remaining fatigue was resolved with Vitamin D supplements (6,000 iu/day).  

So my new solution – in addition to eating Paleo and 100% gluten free – is “carb backloading.”

Although my blood sugar levels are almost normal now, I have had a lifetime history of insulin & leptin  issues, since infancy.  The good news is that my pancreas is also abnormally resilient.  Per my doctor based on my previous pre-Paleo diet insulin levels, I should have become an insulin-dependent diabetic 10 years ago.  He said my levels of insulin at that time were toxic, except that I’d built up such a huge resistance to insulin.

Soooo… I think my insulin levels are still higher than normal although my other markers have improved.  I still have 60 lbs of mostly central obesity to lose.  Obviously a low-carb ketogenic diet is the answer, but if I don’t eat at least 45-70 carbs/day it impacts my thyroid negatively,  as much as 25% of function per lab tests.  I feel better at about 100 carbs/day.

Enter my solution:  Carb Backloading.  Based loosely on “The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet” from the 1990’s.  I eat a ketogenic diet for 23 hours a day.  For 1 hour per day (dinner is best) I can eat insulin-spiking foods like: fruit, starch, nuts, sweets, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.

The rest of the day is like Atkins “induction” phase with only meat, eggs, veggies and fats.  Coffee & tea are also ok. Cream, butter and cheese are also allowed if you can tolerate dairy – I use ghee.

Technically you can “pig out” during the one hour, but I don’t plan to do that often.  I have already lost 2 pounds in 2 days by pushing my higher carbs foods to the end of the day.  My appetite is totally gone as well! And I don’t feel sick like I do on Atkins “induction” phase.

Obviously I won’t be able to do this every day or on vacation, but if I can follow this approach most days I think it will really help with insulin control.  I was eating more fruit and nuts throughout the day than I’d realized.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

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