Results and Changes

Had a lipid panel done today, about 2 weeks after my last one.  Over the past week I did the following:

  • Aimed for a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.  I found this difficult because I don’t particularly like sweet food, so I fell short some days.
  • Aimed for a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, because Ray Peat says.
  • Ate no starchy foods, getting all of my carbohydrates from sugar (fruit, honey, juice, and white sugar)
  • Maintained a lower-fat diet (averaged 59g fat/day or about 24% of total calories, on average).
  • Took niacinamide and aspirin 3x a day
  • Doubled thyroid supplement (Cynoplus, a combination T3/T4) from a very small dose -1/4 tablet (7.5mcg T3 / 30mcg T4) to two 1/4 tablets per day.

The results of today’s lipid panel:

  • Total Cholesterol: 316 (first time ever above 300).  Shouldn’t increased thyroid supplement decrease cholesterol?
  • Triglycerides: 495 (a 3% improvement. I’m not impressed.)
  • HDL Cholesterol: 30 (lowest ever)
  • LDL Cholesterol: Couldn’t be computed because Trigs were so high (this was the case last time too).

So, not great.

Here’s a handy chart showing my lipid panels over the last 2 years, along with brief notes about my diet during that time:

lipid panels

So you don’t have to turn your monitor on it’s side, here are the notes that correspond with the different testing dates:

3/27/2012 – Low Carb/Leptin Reset

11/14/2012 – Low Carb + Stress (Moved to a new state, started a new and very stressful job, was doing the Wiley Protocol and supplementing estrogen + progesterone).

6/19/2013 – Low Carb, without following any particular plan.  When I ate carbs they were in the form of starches from potatoes and rice, some vegetables, no fruit.

12/30/13 – Ray Peat, low sugar – around a 1:2 carb:protein ratio.  I was fiddling around with eating fruit, juice, and sugar but I was scared by the effect it was having on my blood sugar.  It was about this time I realized I was diabetic and was afraid of eating more carbohydrates.

4/19/14 – Ray Peat, high sugar – 2:1 carb:protein ratio – I decided to jump in with both feet and start eating more carbohydrates. When this test was done I was eating high fat (90-120g/day), high sugar (over 200g/day, some of which were starches), moderate protein (about 110-120g/day).  Pressure under my left ribcage was making me concerned that something might be wrong.

5/2/14 – Ray Peat – high sugar (2:1 carb:protein), low fat (around 25% of calories), taking niacinamide/aspirin/increased thyroid to address scary lab results.

According to this, my body (well, at least my lipid panel) responds best to a low carbohydrate diet, with minimized environmental stress.  I can tell you I didn’t feel great eating low carb after a while – I felt tired all the time, irritable.  But maybe that was because I wasn’t getting enough nutrition – I wasn’t tracking my food back then – vitamins/minerals were pretty much off the radar for me. I wasn’t eating liver or taking progesterone then.

Of course, other things were worse then.  My BUN/Creatinine ratio for example, got worse the longer I was on low carb, and improved since then.


Maybe eating too much meat is stressful on the kidneys after all?

Let’s look at thyroid:


Seems sort of unrelated to sugar intake, actually, and more related to environmental stress. When I had the labs drawn in 12/2013 I was experimenting with resistant starch.  I think that was stressful on my body – I know it was stressful on my emotional state. So that may account for the increase in TSH last December.  I know TSH isn’t the ideal measure for thyroid function, according to many people…but Peat seems to think it’s a decent gross measure, so good enough.

And of great importance to me is my blood sugar.  Let’s see the data:

blood sugar

This is a crazy graph, right?  There was definitely an increase in fasting blood sugar when I started following Peat and adding carbohydrates to my diet, but that’s to be expected.  Anyone can have “well managed diabetes” with a low carb diet.  I wanted to actually FIX my diabetes, so I was experimenting with adding carbs back in to see what it would take to do that.  From the graph it looks like the best things I did for my blood sugar were bicycle for 30 minutes a day and eat a low-fat diet.

Holy crap!  Just like my conventional doctor told me!  Exercise and eat a low fat diet!


It does seem my current supplements are confounding things.  The graph shows that eating a low-fat high sugar diet results in lower fasting blood sugar…but not if I add niacinamide, aspirin, and increase thyroid.  Hm…interesting.  If I was a patient person, and if I really loved sweet food, I’d probably just eliminate the supplements I’m taking and go back to high-sugar/low fat for a while to see if that trend continues.

I’m neither patient nor in love with sugar.

And considering that I’m STILL having hot flashes – even while sitting right here, right now, I’m going to stop taking niacinamide, aspirin, and thyroid.  One of them is bothering me.  Later on I may try to add them in one at a time and see what I can tolerate.

So to sum up: It looks like the best thing for my lipids is low-carb.  The best thing for my BUN/Creatinine is low meat.  The best thing for my thyroid is low-stress.  The best thing for my blood sugar is low fat and bicycling 30min a day on flat terrain.  The best thing for my enjoyment of life – to not have to eat so much sugar.  I really don’t look forward to it.

So what kind of diet is low-carb, low-meat, low-fat, and lower-sugar?  Maybe one with dairy (mostly low-fat), some lean meat, lots of vegetables, some fruit (when I feel like it).  Plus avoid stress and get exercise.

I still love Ray Peat – he gave me progesterone, Vitamin E, red lights, liver, vitamin K, dairy, raw carrots, and taught me that estrogen, PUFAs and serotonin are bad guys.  I’m continuing on with much of what he has to say.  Just less sugar.  More vegetables.  More exercise.

I might as well retire the blog.  I have nothing original to say anymore.

So there it is.  That’s my new plan.

16 thoughts on “Results and Changes

  1. Oh Lanie, do not give up! I’€™d love to hear your successes as you continue on€¦ didn’€™t get like this overnight, and the body does need to have more time to get back on track. Youth does have advantages, and when you are on a low carb diet, the liver does not have what it takes to detoxify the estrogen, endotoxin, environmental pollution, you name it, etc. RP says that the liver needs at least 180 grams of carbs daily to stay on course¦..give your body more time. I feel I have been in your boat too, and I like more energy even if I have higher blood sugar levels€¦. Maybe some people that have broken their metabolism may never recover fully with 85 blood sugar levels upon rising. I like that you are pushing through the harder times¦. But do not stress about it! Do I sound like a Mom???

  2. You’re sweet, Toni! I’m not giving up – Maybe just going a little more slowly. Thank you for the info about 180g of carbohydrate – I hadn’t heard that before. Do you know where he says that? Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Oh, don’t give up now. You’re just getting going. I am wondering if you have ever considered a low-ish carb, low GI diet like Perfect Health Diet or Dr. Davis. I find that I do better being out of keto for most of the time, but really have to watch how many carbs because I can get in trouble fast. Davis recommends limiting carbs to 15 grams per meal with little fruit. PHD recommends “safe” starches only, little fruit, and the starches eaten with enough fat to blunt a blood glucose spike.

  4. I’ll look into these – thanks for the info! I’m not sure exactly how this is going to look. I’ll have to read their rationales for avoiding fruit (Davis and PHD) – Isn’t fruit generally accepted as good? Fructose is low GI, for those who care about that. I’d much rather eat starches – I find them much more satisfying. Unfortunately my gut isn’t in great shape and when I eat them I get depressed. Lots of things to work on. 🙂 Oh, and I’m not really quitting the blog.

  5. Didnt expect anything different this time. It will take time before you can adapt to such a high carb diet. Take it slower.

    your co2 was about 28 couple years ago. Once you get it back there you should be able to crank up the carb ratios.

    Remember how you got here?
    “Just meat and vegetables and fat. And water. Simple!”

    Going back to low carb would be a mistake. Start somewhere in between.

  6. Haha…Darn you, N2P! Throwing my words back at me!!

    Yeah, it’ll be somewhere in between. 🙂

  7. Just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog! I’ve had a very frustrating time as well trying to lose weight. I just wanted to share with you the diet I’ve been following for the last 2 months with some success. I’ve lost about 8 lbs. so far. It’s been slow but steady. My husband has been following it part time when he’s not traveling and has lost 14 lbs. It’s called The Fast Metabolism diet by Haylie Pomroy. It’s a book and I just checked it out of the library to give it a try. There’s also an app for the I-phone. So far I really like it. It has 3 phases that you follow every week. Phase 1 is for 2 days and is high carb, moderate protein, low fat. Phase 2 is the next 2 days and it is only protein and veggies, no carbs, no fat. Phase 3 is the last 3 days and it is moderate carbs, moderate protein, and lots of good fats like nuts, olive oil, hummus, etc. Haylie Pomroy studied animal science and noticed that the metabolism of animals could be manipulated and thought why not try it out on humans? Her strategy is kind of cross-training your metabolism. The best part of the diet is she also provides recipes and a meal plan to follow. There is a fast metabolism website where you can get lots of info and get questions answered. Hopefully this doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. I haven’t been able to lose weight in a very long time and am very happy to have lost as much as I have! There is a Facebook page where people have been reporting that their cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL have been hugely improved! It’s not the easiest diet to follow but it does seem to be working! So, please don’t give up! Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my struggles.

  8. Even though I want my last comments here to be positive, I feel compelled to point out some problems with your new plan. I loved that line about Cosmo. But Cosmo’s plans are for 18 year old girls who feel the need to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, metabolic/bone/heart/emotional health be damned.

    It seems that you intend to follow some sort of hybrid lowfat/lowish carb plan. You MUST know where that will get you: excessive protein. I became lean and model-thin eating nothing but egg whites for a summer when I was a teenager. Yeah I got loads of compliments , but I might have also set myself on the path for osteoporosis, among other things.

    If you limit your protein to 100 grams a day, as I personally think you should, that accounts for about 400 calories. Where are you going to get the other 1200-1600 or so calories? From starchless veggies and a few of pieces of fruit? You will undoubtedly find yourself with profound food cravings, but because of your lowfat/lowish carb rule, you’ll likely resort to more meat.

    Just one last word from Ray Peat, in an answer to a question that I believe about suggested protein intake:
    “That’s more than enough, and with low thyroid function the excess of tryptophan, methionine, and cystein can lower your thyroid even more. Until your metabolic rate is higher, 80 to 100 grams would be better. Replacing it with sugar, or very well cooked starch, would support thyroid function.”

    Yet again more questions than answers from me, I’m afraid. Whatever you do decide, I wish you all the best. I want to thank you for providing this wonderfully insightful, down-to-earth, and often hilarious blog. You need to prioritize your own needs and even though that sucks for your readers, we’ll deal with it. Whenever it ends, it will be sorely missed.

  9. Hey Karin, thanks for your insights and thoughts on this. I actually removed the “Cosmo” comment yesterday and replaced it with “my doctor” to be more accurate (though Cosmo was kinda funny.) Here’s how I see it. All food seems to be poison to me. Sugar elevates my triglycerides and blood sugar to unhealthy levels, starch makes me tired and depressed, meat is high in tryptophan and phosphorus (and apparently methionine and cysteine!), grains will give me (and everyone) a leaky gut, fat makes me diabetic and…well, fat…what’s left? Dairy. How about an all-dairy diet? Do you see how ridiculous this is? Hahaha…at some point (and I think that point is drawing near) I just need to decide to eat a moderate amount of everything, because the alternative is a while lotta nothing! I’m experimenting today with some things..will report back. I shouldn’t have joked about stopping my blog – I didn’t mean it. Just playing around. Thanks for all of your support – and don’t hesitate to challenge me or the things I’m trying. Look at NewToPaleo – he doesn’t even try to be nice about it anymore. Hahaha…I truly appreciate it all.

  10. Easier than you think. Coffee with milk/sugar, eggs, fruits for breakfast, well cooked greens, some meat/fish/shrimp, greek yogurt, orange juice for lunch, same for dinner, orange juice plus cheese for snack. Easy to be on without getting into extremes that are not sustainable long term. Once the gut heals add some starches.

  11. Yeah, easy for you…if I eat sugar I have a hunger that requires I eat more sugar all day long. I’m serious. So coffee with milk/sugar is out – without sugar, coffee makes me hypoglycemic. The OJ will make me hungry for more sugar (which again, I can’t have much of). The rest of it – the meat/fish/shrimp, dairy in all forms, that looks great. I’m probably going to have to add some starches now so I have a source of carbohydrate.

  12. At this point you dont have a choice. If you go low carb you are back at square A. 2012 when you had a much better co2. very high carb we seen already you are having trouble. What I outlined above is like 40-50% carbs. The other thing I can think of is to change your gut bacteria. Flush them and take the right probiotics. See if then you can add some starches or the resistant starches.

  13. I do have a choice as to which carbs to eat – I can eat sugar and be hungry all day, or I can eat starches and deal with some fatigue and depression (maybe). I was eating like 50% carbs when I ended up with trigs in the 500s. 50% carbs won’t work for me. I’m considering your ideas about bacteria flushing. Seriously.

  14. Well I was thinking the reason you cant handle resistant starches and your husband can has to be them buggers right? Its not like you can absorb it. Sterile gut may work for lab rats but seems impractical.

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