Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

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peanut1
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby peanut1 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:16 pm

Beth,

Pain after eating is a huge red flag for digestive issues. I hope these new treatments do wonders for you!

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SIBO treatment - week 3

Postby badnights » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:25 pm

I have entered week 3. The only symptom up until yesterday that is clearly due to the treatment is a lack of fecal coherence (I call it disintegrating poo). It seems to be a bit better the last few days. Symptoms that may or may not have anything to do with it are random headachey feelings that I've had before, and 3 or 4 days of hot flashes at the end of week 1, which I suppose could be menopause if it coincidentally began one week after I started SIBO treatment. (I'm the right age, but I was also the right age 2 months ago, and 6 months ago, and 2 years ago, and I will be 6 months from now as well....)

Yesterday and today, however, I feel like I've gotten a cold. Watery eyes, stuffed head, runny nose. I was told I would feel cold/flu-like symptoms the first 2-3 days as the bacteria in my small intestine died off and their garbage bits ended up in my bloodstream. I was told if I felt such a thing later in the treatment, at 3 or 4 weeks, it might be a sign that my liver was failing to keep up with the load of detoxifying all the anti-microbials I was eating, and I might need "liver support". My doctor left me with a lab requisition to use in case this happens, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to talk to her first, or talk to the naturopath, or just do it. I will email the naturopath later today.

The incessant daily moderate to strong WED, that initiated in December when some major stress entered my life, has backed off a bit. Now it's all day but mild and mostly bearable WED.

I may be slipping into nutritional ketosis, which might explain the fatigue I'm experiencing after cross-fit classes; I have cut back on the already-low carbs I was on, since I am trying to starve these nasty bacteria in me. I have also upped my fat intake, so that finally, after months of having to eat almost constantly, I actually feel full for a reasonable length of time after eating. (I seriously don't mind eating this way, in fact I like the food - now that I don't have to spend all me free time cutting vegetables.)

In case I am puzzling people, there are two fuels that our body's cells can burn, glucose which comes from carbohydrates and proteins, and ketones which come from fat. Apparently, we don't burn ketones (including stored body fat) if there is enough glucose hanging around, so if we eat the typical carbohydrate-rich diet, we rarely burn ketones. If we restrict dietary carbs, and increase dietary fats, we can encourage our bodies to enter nutritional ketosis, which is the state in which our cells are burning ketones as their primary fuel. This is apparently associated with numerous health benefits. When the body first enters ketosis, however, there's a period of adjustment (2 weeks, more for some people) during which you feel fatigued.

Wahls diet - micronutrients

I have realized, as I read more, one of the key differences between the Wahls ketogenic diet and other keto diets. Wahls seems to be the only one that focuses on micronutrients. She approached it from that point of view - bodies with neurological disease need all those nutrients, so how much whole food do we have to eat to get them? She chose whole food rather than supplements because the idea that we know of every substance we need is laughable; eating whole foods will ensure we get the unknown as well as the known.

The trick was to create a diet that allows us to take in all the micronutrients we need, but still remain in ketosis. Lots of the micronutrients we need are found only in plants, which are largely carbohydrate; and if you eat too much carb, you can't stay in ketosis. (Ketogenic diets are very-low-carb, high-fat diets.) This is why she recommends that most of the fat we eat consists of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), like coconut oil. Apparently, eating this fat allows you to eat a slightly greater amount of carbs without going out of ketosis. The Wahls diet also recommends organ meats (from organic sources, and cattle should be grass-fed) twice a week, fish twice a week, etc. - every food you eat should be dense with micronutrients. I have read one of Phinney and Volek's books on keto diets, and Jimmy Moore's book, and neither of them give the time of day to micronutrients. Scary.

views wrote:Her other symptoms are anxiety, and insomnia. Those could be anything...or could be related.
They do say that many bacterial metabolites can cause neurological symptoms - that would include insomnia and anxiety.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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SquirmingSusan
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby SquirmingSusan » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:15 pm

Hi Beth. It's been way too long since I've checked into this forum. Interesting that you have been trying out the Wahls Diet to find out if it would help with your RLS/WED. I have been on a similar journey with diet, since December 2013, when I stopped eating gluten. I did it to find out if it would help with my narcolepsy and cataplexy though; my WED being under good control with methadone.

I read a series of books that inspired me to try going gluten free. First I read Wheat Belly, then Grain Brain. Then I joined a Facebook group for gluten-free people with narcolepsy, and that group has been a huge source of support and information. The group was reading The Wahls Diet, so I joined in and read that too. Having had gastric bypass surgery, I found the volume of vegetables to be overwhelming, and had been eating veganish for 3 years, so all those organ meats seemed like a difficult goal to achieve.

From there I was introduced to The Perfect Health Diet (PHD Diet), which really goes into the science behind how much to eat of what, and how many carbs are truly optimal. They recommend some intermittent fasting and about 100 grams of carbs a day. The authors are both PHD level scientists, so they are all about the research.

Anyway, about 3 weeks after giving up the gluten, I started to come out of the fog, and really wake up. I started to have energy again, like I had had 30 years ago, before I started feeling like I always needed a nap. After that, there were a couple times that I ate some gluten-free oats, and within about 20 minutes I had an overwhelming sleep attack, along with some mild, but long lasting cataplexy. I no longer eat oats!

I have remained gluten-free since that time, except for part of a piece of cake that a waitress told me was gluten-free, which turned out not to be. I had narcolepsy again for the next 3 weeks. :evil: But, for the most part, eating a gluten-free, low dairy, high fat, low carb diet has me feeling so much better that it's worth the inconvenience of having to cook my own food almost all of the time. I no longer need Adderall to stay awake during the day, but get by with an e-cig to provide a small bit of stimulation and focus for my scattered brain. I take Xyrem at night, which gives me the deep, restorative sleep that I need, and once that is out of my system I go about my day without the need to nap. It's truly been a miracle.

The one thing that did not improve, but got much, much worse, was my RLS/WED. The methadone was no longer controlling the symptoms well and I had to take a bit more, and then even had breakthrough symptoms. I asked my neurologist about it, and he said that the gluteomorphins from the wheat were likely helping suppress the RLS.

I do not eat enough organ meats, though. In the Wahls Diet, you can substitute seafood for organ meat, and I do eat a lot of that. My spouse is vegetarian and so is my daughter. My daughter refuses to acknowledge the changes in my from being gluten free, and views any discussion of it on my part as trying to force her to give up gluten too. She has been quite angry with me over the whole issue. Fortunately she has also started to eat seafood and fish again, as does my dh, so at least we can all compromise on veggies and fish/seafood for family meals.

I have been trying to heal my own guts with fermented foods, like sauerkraut, and kombucha. I just can't afford a lot of testing, but did the 23andMe genetic testing. I do have the high risk celiac gene, what is known as HLA 2.5. And I do wonder if I have that because of my complete and total inability to absorb iron and the extreme symptoms I get from eating gluten. I may never know because I will not eat gluten so that I can be tested for it. I also had extreme heartburn symptoms for many years and took omeprazole to manage that. Once I ditched the gluten I was able to go off of the omeprazole.

I truly applaud your efforts, Beth, and your ongoing reporting on how you are doing. I'm glad I signed in here today and saw this thread. I wish all of us relief of this evil affliction called RLS/WED.
Susan

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:59 am

Susan, interesting experience. I honestly believe that anyone with ideopathic WED and no genetic connection should absolutely check out the celiac possibility....and preferably before stopping gluten! As you know, testing after you stop is almost impossible.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:00 am

Wow, Susan! Diet really seems to be critical to good health in ways we never imagined while we were merrily eating mainstream. I had the same thing from oats - not cataplexy, but general malaise. There is a protein in oats whose name I can't remember but it starts with "a", and it's apparently very similar to gluten. This is suspected to be why lots of gluten-intolerant people can't eat oats that are said to be gluten free.

Although I noticed benefit after stopping gluten, it was only after I stopped dairy as well that things really changed for me. Casein and gluten are so similar in structure that lots of people are sensitive to both if they are sensitive to (or allergic to) one.

WED was definitely one of the things that was helped. but I can't say which was more important: stopping gluten and dairy, or going low-carb/high-fat and adding all those vegetables in.

How odd that a very similar diet made your WED worse. What could the explanation be, I wonder? Your doctor's guess at the reason cannot be right because going gluten free has not harmed my WED and is one of the things that I think has improved it so much. There must be a fundamental difference between our bodies. I wonder if it has to do with the SIBO in me ... but I don't see how.

The Wahls diet, as I understand it, does not actually allow you to subsitute seafood for organ meat. There is no CoQ in seafood, nor is seafood a good source of other nutrients like B12 and iron that are concentrated in organs. EDIT: see Susan's correction to this in a later post.

People are so weird. I have learned to never mention fat or diet to my son, because he assumes I'm telling him to lose weight. I think he was half right; I was trying to open his mind to the dangers of being overweight, but he already knew. But he was partly wrong too, because he was quite sensitive about it. I trained my brain to stop being concerned about it, and that's the way we've been for 2-3 years. Then last week he called and told me he had lost 8 kg (almost 20 lbs). Nice!

I wish I could do fermented food NOW but I have to wait til later in the SIBO treatment. I am allowed nothing with yeast or fungus in it, even good yeast, which puzzles me and I think is wrong. The idea is that I am overgrown with yeast so don't add more, but I am adding good bacteria while I'm trying to kill the bacteria, so why not add good yeast while trying to kill the yeast? Maybe they think bad yeast hang out in kimchi. Or maybe they just don't think like I do!

I am glad you discovered this relatively simple method of improving your health dramatically ! I bet you're celiac but as you said, the actual diagnosis makes no difference in your life. Or mine. It's not like I'm ever going to eat gluten again (intentionally). I still hold a hope that I'm actually lactose-intolerant, not casein-intolerant, but that may be wishful thinking.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby peanut1 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:25 am

I'm doing a lot of the Wahls diet with the no dairy and I can't do grain or gluten as that activates the WED. I've also incorporated the vegetables and most of the meat. Between that and the acupuncture herbs, my sleep has recently gotten better, but I'm not sure if this is a temporary thing and/or which has helped it the most, the herbs or the diet. I know the diet has helped me focus better, improved my immune system and given me more energy. So even if it didn't do anything for the WED, I would still want to stay on it. I'm not really rigid with it as I still eat chicken, nuts and raisins and an occasional dab of butter. But I do notice a difference and I can see where it would help with disease and digestion.

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:10 pm

Chicken, nuts and butter are all encouraged on the Wahls diet. Raisins and dried fruits in general are allowed only in small quantities on Level 2 and not at all on Level 3.
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby SquirmingSusan » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:06 am

There are different types of casein depending on the source. The larger cows, like Friesians and Holsteins produce milk with a1 beta casein, and that type of casein has been associated with health concerns and inflammation. The smaller cows, like Jerseys and Guernseys, as well as sheep and goats, produce milk with a2 beta casein, which has not been associated with negative health effects. This article summarizes the evidence here: https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/201 ... -evidence/

I try to stick to the dairy that has the a2 beta casein, but sometimes eat the other as when I am eating out. I haven't noticed that I have any problems with it, but I do have the genetics for digesting dairy.

Dr. Wahls does lump organ meats and seafood into the same category and encourages people to eat both. I know that is in the book, somewhere, but they do provide different nutrients to some extent. Clams, mussels and oysters have even more iron than liver, and other seafood ranks highly for iron content. Since my vegitarian spouse and daughter will eat seafood and fish, that is what I usually eat as well. I really should try to eat liver again, though, but it does seem to make me have gout. Especially when combined with mushrooms and made into pate. For a while I took capsules of dessicated liver to try to increase my ferritin levels, but nothing seems to help me there.
Susan

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby peanut1 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:55 pm

Beth,

I don't think I can give up my addiction to dried figs, but can probably do the rest of the diet.

Kathy

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:00 pm

Dr. Wahls does lump organ meats and seafood into the same category and encourages people to eat both. I know that is in the book, somewhere,
Maybe she did this in her first book, Minding your Mitochondria, which I haven't read. She does not in any fashion lump them together in the book I have on my kitchen table, called The Wahls Protocol.

She does have a section called "Add seaweed and organ meat" but it is divided into subsections, one on seaweed and one on organs (p. 168-174). She wants you to eat both. She talks about them together probably because they provide a similar density of micronutrients, but she doesn't intend for you to eat either/or. And that's seaweed, not seafood. In a separate section, she speaks of the need to eat wild-caught cold-water fish.

Maybe the confusion comes from the diet summary for the Level 2 diet on page 150, where she says
"2. Eat animal protein every day. Shoot for between 9 and 12 ounces ,,,, (Adjust that according to your weight...). Sixteen ounces per week of this allowance should be wild, cold-water fish.
3. Add seaweed and organ meat to your diet: 1/4 teaspoon powdered kelp or 1 teaspoon dulse flakes per day, and 12 ounces of organ meat per week. (Organ meat is included as part of your animal protein allowance.)"

She is saying to eat at least 9 ounces of protein daily, with approximately 2 days per week that being fish and 1 to 2 days per week organ meat. Leaving only 3-4 days per week for other meat. Again, even though she chose to make her points about seaweed and organs in the same list item and book section, she does say to eat some of both, and in the other list item/ book section, to eat fish as well.

In level 1 of the Wahls diet, the main requirements are to eat 9 cups of 3 classes of vegetable daily, all meat is to be grass-fed/pastured and fish wild-caught, and don't eat gluten or casien. (Other requirements are to avoid cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavor enhancers like MSG, trans-fat hydrogenated oils, and vegetable oils rich in omega-6's.)

Level 2 (which she calls Wahls Paleo) is Level 1 with modifications: a reduction of grains and legumes to twice weekly, eating protein as above (9 ounces per day, and twice a week this has to be fish, twice a week organ), add seaweed, add fermented food, add soaked seeds and nuts, and reduce the amount of cooked foods.

Level 3, where I am, involves a decrease in the vegetables and protein, elimination of all grains and legumes, limiting starchy vegetables to twice a week, and an increase in fat intake, to enable a state of nutritional ketosis. (She calls this level Wahls Paleo Plus, but I can't make myself say that!).
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:04 pm

There are different types of casein depending on the source. The larger cows, like Friesians and Holsteins produce milk with a1 beta casein, and that type of casein has been associated with health concerns and inflammation. The smaller cows, like Jerseys and Guernseys, as well as sheep and goats, produce milk with a2 beta casein, which has not been associated with negative health effects. This article summarizes the evidence here: https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/201 ... -evidence/
Ah ha!! Then maybe someday I can resume eating cheese, as long as it's made from small cows or goats or sheep! :) I live in hope.

Re the organ meats, if liver pukes you out, try heart. You can do all sorts of things with chicken hearts to disguise what they are, but I prefer the bigger hearts (beef, wild game). The organs provide CoenzymeQ which is essential for something - I forget what - and decreases in our bodies as we age. Statins block its uptake too, so if you're on statins, eat lots of organs.
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peanut1
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby peanut1 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:12 am

I just got the book this weekend. Hoping to slowly implement the diet in. I'm already doing the vegetables. However, some of the foods I'm not able to do as it activates WED. For example, I cannot do fermented beer and wine as that turns into sugar which ramps up the WED something fierce. I also cannot do the coconut yogart or coconut cream or milk as it has guar gum, or locus bean gum (an excitotoxin) or cane sugar which activates the WED. However, I can do the rest of the diet so we'll see what happens.

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:34 am

There's only two places I can buy coconut milk with minimal additives - however it does have guar gum (Coconut, water, guar gum). Do you have issues with xanthan gum? Maybe you can find a brand... I don't know what I would do without coconut milk. I use it for lots of things.

I also don't eat cane sugar - one of those naturopath tests showed that I reacted to it - and you're right, most of the coconut and almond "yogurts" have cane sugar. They taste like **** anyway. I want to try to make my own yogurts.

I don't understand why she mentions beer and wine in the level 2 diet ... it's not as if they're nutritious, and she doesn't require them, I think she was just getting carried away. Anyway level 3 is as alcohol-free as you can stand.

There are still fermented foods you could have, like kombuca tea and kimchi - she tells you how to make them in the back of the book. I'm a little scared to try, but I did make some sauerkraut. It doesn't taste very good (I used the wrong spice) but I don't think it got moldy or anything, so I suppose I have a success of sorts under my belt. And you can have apple cider vinegar with the mother/SCOBY in it (eg. Bragg's), and pickles with something ... I forget...
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby peanut1 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:38 am

Thanks Beth! I tried taking coconut oil by myself and got super nauseous. I can only take it in tiny bits by itself. Still not willing to let go of my dried figs, in fact I'm on my way to the store to get some now. :D

I'm assuming all caffeine, including decaf is off limits?

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Re: Wahls diet for WED? Trying it.

Postby badnights » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:54 pm

I Can't remember what she said - if no coffee at all or just try to limit it. I haven't been drinking any at all since I started teh SIBO treatment, but I had a cup every month or so before as a rare "treat"
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