My story... what led me here...

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
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malmohuset
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My story... what led me here...

Postby malmohuset » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:27 pm

Hello,
This is my first post - let me say how wonderful it is to find this site.
I am a newly discovered 4/4

My story starts in late 2013 having been eating a mainly raw and vegan diet for a number of years, and running maybe 30 miles per week and lifting twice a week, my numbers were:

Cholesterol Total 190
HDL 59
TRIG 62
LDL 133

I know that these numbers by themselves are meaningless, but at the time I did not. My (naturophathic) doctor didn't see any reason for concern, we had a brief discussion about LDL being lower if possible, but that was it.

Shortly after these results I changed my diet from raw and vegan to Paleo, then ketogenic high saturated fat - Still running 30 miles per week but now not using carbs for fuel (this was amazingly convenient to be able to run 18-20 miles with no need to eat, and no more 'bonking' on that long run) - and I should add, I was feeling great and I dropped about 10lbs. Fasting ketones would range anywhere from 0.5-4.0 (occasionally I would see 5.0 and higher when I would forget to eat for a full day as hunger was something that vanished) A year of living this way and my labs looked markedly different:

Cholesterol Total 352
HDL 69
TRIG 59
LDL 294

HS CRP 0.2
Homocysteine 10.6
Glucose 78 (fasted)
A1c 5.1

My doctor recommended an NMR - results were:

LDL Particle Number 2921
LDL Small 293
LDL Medium 451
HDL Large 7849

LDL Pattern: A
LDL Peak Size 225.6

So this is where my doctor and I could not agree. She felt that my new diet was clearly not a good fit for me and that these numbers probably represented some degree of insulin resistance. At the time, I was under the impression that LDL in the absence of high carbs was probably not something to worry about, and that the large particle size was optimal (I'm not sure I still hold this belief or if my understanding of the research validates it any longer) - But anyway, I went with my doctors advice to bring more carbohydrate into my diet - I used oats and rice mainly - upping my daily intake from well below 40g per day to around 100g per day. The results were weight gain over the course of about 9 months - I went from 160lbs (I'm 5'9") to 190lbs - felt lethargic, cut back on running in preference for lifting weights (possibly gained about 3 or 4lbs of lean mass) caught a terrible cold which led to a persistent cough for about 3 months and has finally been diagnosed as asthma and allegies. The shocking lab results were taken in March 2015 - and as of March 2016 I was due to get another set completed - but I postponed because I felt terrible in myself and did not want to see good blood markers in case I would then be convinced to carrying on eating this way - so instead I went back to a ketogenic diet, still high in saturated fat - it's so easy to eat that way! - I've dropped about 15lbs since the beginning of March - I feel the urge to run again, but the asthma is still something I have to learn to deal with - but I have better energy, and on my super low carb days the asthma is almost non-existent - I know it is still there because a couple of days ago I ran for the first time since November last year - only a mile or so... relatively fast for me - it felt great to be running again! until I stopped, and the wheezing and difficulty breathing led to a scolding from my wife.

BUT, then about 2 weeks ago, I discovered that I am a 4/4 and boom! another rabbit hole opens up...

To this point, I know carbs don't agree with me - I've switched out SFA for MUFA and PUFA so I keep SFAs to under 20g per day... and I am now on a new journey of discovery. This site will be my starting point.

Well, that was a long welcome/intro... I hope to be able to contribute here!

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Stavia
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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby Stavia » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:34 am

Hi Malmohuset and welcome.
We all understand the rabbit hole and how important it is not to fall down it and get lost.
May we find out a little more about you such as gender (I am asuming male) and age? It helps to visualise more about each member, as we are all more than lipid numbers.
Big picture is also important in AD and CVD prevention, many of us feel, and the tipping point seems to be governed by much more than lipids and IR as well.
We look forward to your thoughts on wherever your interest lies.

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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby cdamaden » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:47 am

Welcome Malmohuset
Thank you for that detailed intro. I'm also 4/4 and was not understanding my rising LDL numbers until learning about my APO status. Now my family just rolls their eyes at me for eating all that bacon. (They don't know about my 4/4 (except my wife) because they don't want to learn their Alzheimer's risk.)
I'm curious what your fat and protein sources are to keep your SFA below 20.
Regards
Chris
E4/E4
Alameda, CA, USA

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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby malmohuset » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:38 pm

Thanks Stavia,
Yes, I'm male - just turned 40. I was a heavy smoker when I was at college and through my early twenties - down to about a pack every two weeks through my early 30's (with occasional heavy periods of smoking more) and then finally quit 5 years ago.

My Dad suffered with a heart attack in his mid-50's and had a triple bypass operation - he is taking statins for high cholesterol and both my parents take medication for blood pressure - but they don't eat well or necessarily take great care of themselves - now in their 70's.

I've never taken any medication that I can remember (beyond maybe a course of antibiotics as a kid) - I don't get sick very often and generally feel quite robust if that makes sense. Being diagnosed with Asthma was a real blow for me... it just seemed to come out of the blue - a cough that wouldn't go away and would get worse with random triggers - I've narrowed the major triggers down to dust, smoke, cats (we have 3!), Alder pollen and exertion - and am working to avoid those if possible.

I sleep well - we have two kids (2&4.5) and we live fairly remote on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest - We try to stay in tune with a natural circadian rhythm as much as possible - no artificial blue light after sunset - so in the winter we're usually asleep by 9PM (up at 5) and this time of year around 10PM and up at 6 - We do co-sleep with both kids (we don't have a bed as such, rather a giant nest) - so sleep has been disturbed for periods over the last 5 years but is quite settled now.

I'm self-employed, which brings maybe its own kind of stress - sometimes dealing with tricky clients - but I work from home and can often keep the hours I choose.

As I mentioned, I used to run quite a bit, though didn't really start that until my early 30's - now with the Asthma it has become difficult -though I am determined to find a way. I get my movement walking here through forest trails, or splitting wood (we only have a wood stove for heat) or gardening.

I am concerned about both CVD and AD - but probably more about CVD - I'm thinking a calcium scan is probably a good starting point too.

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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby malmohuset » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:41 pm

Hi cdamaden,
I've switched out coconut oil and bacon grease for olive oil and avocado oil - replaced the fatty steaks and fried eggs with leafy green salads and have upped my nuts/seeds and avocado consumption too.
Protein is more fish and chicken, whereas it used to be rib-eye and pork chops :)

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Julie G
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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby Julie G » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:46 am

Welcome, Mal! Learning about 4/4 tends to cause many of us to switch up diet and focus on optimizing health ;). Regarding diet, it sounds like you're on the right path. Many of us remain in mild ketosis using primarily MUFAs & PUFAs and still manage to yield good lipids. FWIW, you may be a little young to get much benefit from an EBT as your soft plaque (if present) probably wouldn't have calcified much.

Are you still tracking your A1c, fasting glucose & insulin? Your one reported result is excellent. Glycemic control is one of the most important strategies we can employ.

Because you've started so early, you're perfectly poised to avoid both CVD & AD. Kudos to you. The family nest sounds cozy. I love the age of your kids- precious.

Chris, your comment scares me a bit. I hope I'm misunderstanding... Are you really eating tons of bacon in response to learning about your E4 status?

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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby Gilgamesh » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:10 am

Välkommen Malmöhuset! (Sorry if I'm parsing your name wrong -- could mean "bad" something in a Latinate language :D ).

Just a quick note about dietary constituents:

Weight changes per se -- dietary constituents aside -- have a huge effect on most biomarkers, so having lost and gained weight complicates comparisons.

Myself, I had (mostly) better numbers on high-fiber, low-fat, non-keto diets than I do now. (But I was younger.)

I now alternate in a complicated pattern of low-fat, very low-calorie ("quasi-fasting"), and high-fat, high-calorie. Two days of the latter, so my average intake is very high in fat (55% or so by calories).

In any event, the interesting test is to try upping the carbs without gaining weight. It could be the weight gain, not the carbs, that you and many here experienced that is the culprit.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other factors. If it's hard to keep your weight from going up on higher carbs, why bother? And, for me, I enjoy my high-fat days (usually two out of three) of macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts... (drooling) såååååååå much that I don't care if it increases my cholesterol (and if the research about particle size proves wrong, and that higher overall cholesterol in mid-life really is dangerous, like the older research said, whatever its makeup). There should be more pleasure in life, I'm increasingly feeling. Macadamia nuts are more pleasurable than oats.

Insulin resistance is tricky so I won't comment on that -- tricky, but important.

In any event, welcome.

G

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cdamaden
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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby cdamaden » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:35 am

malmohuset wrote:Hi cdamaden,
I've switched out coconut oil and bacon grease for olive oil and avocado oil - replaced the fatty steaks and fried eggs with leafy green salads and have upped my nuts/seeds and avocado consumption too.
Protein is more fish and chicken, whereas it used to be rib-eye and pork chops :)


Thanks - so that means you've dropped out liver and egg yolks too. I've tried to keep those in but at much lower levels than during my paleo days. I haven't had my numbers run since I've done the change. I might drop the liver if I don't see improvements.
Chris
E4/E4
Alameda, CA, USA

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malmohuset
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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby malmohuset » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:48 pm

I eat egg yolks occasionally - and still the very occasional fried egg... Live is tough because my wife and kids won't go near it and the journey to Whole Foods to get organic livers is a 2 hour+ round trip.
We do have liver supplements... not sure how valuable they are -

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Re: My story... what led me here...

Postby cdamaden » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:01 pm

Have you looked at US Wellness meats? They have very tasty organ meat blends and ship them frozen. I used to eat 5-6 oz of braunschweiger or liverwurst at a serving but now it's 2-3 oz. That's my only source of red meat. We'll see if I reorder when my supply runs out.
Chris
E4/E4
Alameda, CA, USA


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