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Wiped out by carbohydrates

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by strategist, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What happens in the body when a carb heavy meals wipes out my energy for a few hours, forcing me into bed? It's interesting that smaller amounts are energizing, but a large amount can have, with some delay, the opposite effect.

    How many people here have this?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  2. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As far as I remember the conventional explanation is that digesting food takes energy, and blood, leaving less for other things, some carbs are absorbed rapidly, which presumably takes more resources than slower digesting food.

    Smaller amounts, less expenditure and or blood required, I would assume.

    Even people without ME suffer this effect, to some degree ;)
     
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Too many carbs for me wipe me out and bring back a whole load of horrible gut related symptoms. Nothing to do with Gluten I might add...can be mashed potato, sugar, bread or rice. I've adapted my diet now to eat less than 150g of carbs per day and this has made a moderate improvement in the gut symptoms and afternoon cognition problems. I also avoid eating anything other than D ribose in my morning coffee until about 1pm.

    I'm thinking this may be related to speed of digestion? Easily digested food like starch and sugar are the most efficient at being digested as oppose to protein and fat which is a bit slower. May have something to do with GI?
     
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  4. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yep.

    With zero scientific evidence - here's what I think:

    1. As the body starts digest the insulin levels rise. There is a slight delay where blood sugar levels rise before insulin levels rise. If the meal is mainly comprised of simple carbs the insulin spike peaks after the sugar levels starts to decline and this may lead to sugar cravings and/or tiredness.

    2. Gastropareisis or delayed gastric emptying - the carbs can make you feel very full. The stomach doesn't gradually released contents and carries on trying to work away. Even if this doesn't actually cause pain or a physical sensation of heaviness in the stomach it can feel like a switch has been thrown, shutting off power to th brain.

    I find I have to be very careful of the amounts of carbs I eat and when I eat them.
     
  5. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Nowadays my body tells me to eat carb. If I don't it screams: come on give me some.

    I can not eat large amounts. Something is telling me: that is enough, stop.
     
  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not eating after 6 p.m has made a difference for me, except the odd popcorn frenzy every once in a while.
     
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  7. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I couldn't do that, the jet lag would kill me ;)
     
  8. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It' s the relationship between hormones - insulin, ghrelin and leptin that modulate hunger and " full"
    If you eat a lot of processed carbs the " tuning" of the relationship alters - easy to read explanation www.eattoperform.com/2013/05/10/myth-insulin-makes-you-hungry/amp/
     
  9. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It may have to do with your blood glucose levels in the same ways that diabetics feel if they have a high carb meal. You may be able to process small amounts especially if your meal consists of both carbs and proteins.

    If you have access to a glucometer, you may want to test that hypothesis, and regardless you may want to discuss this issue and your personal situation (meds you take, medical history, family history, and such) with your doctor..
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Some of the best explanations for vit D function, choleresterol and carb metabolism i have found on the fat emporer blog.
    Some people, due to lipid metabolism problems simply can' t do ketogenic diet - it dosn' t work for everyone, but i do know people who have improved function on keto.
    Interesting background - chemical engineer who researched and reversed non alcoholic fatty liver disease through diet.
    He is evangelical , so not for everyone.

    http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2...eleased-if-you-care-please-share?rq=Vitamin D

    http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2...ulin-versus-cholesterol?rq=Insulin resistance
     
  11. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I would add, kind of along the lines of what @Milo was saying, that it may be hyperglycemia, or something close to that. Carbs give me more 'energy', but I have paid the price with worsening pre-diabetic-type issues, and more napping after meals. I am trying to increase fats to both balance things out and help curb glucose fluctuations.
     
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  12. Ryan31337

    Ryan31337 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'd encourage anyone having post-prandial issues in the context of autonomic dysfunction (so the majority of us with ME) to read the theories presented by Prof Aziz: http://www.potsuk.org/UserFiles/File/Prof_Q_Aziz_Gut_and_PoTS.pdf

    He sees it as a combination of hemodynamics & gastric dysmotility, specifically rapid gastric emptying (dumping syndrome). I haven't seen many sources acknowledge this, normally its just gastroparesis mentioned which presents quite differently.

    When I was able to see my post-prandial symptoms as two flip-flopping states, early rapid emptying and delayed rapid emptying, it suddenly made a lot more sense! For me a ketogenic intervention (high fat to slow emptying, low carb to minimise insulin/fluid shifts) also worked wonders as he suggests.

    Ryan
     
  13. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    I also get this. The worst sensations would get me in the evening, after an evening meal. I would feel so full I couldn't get to sleep. Even when the actual food serving I'd had didn't seem exceptionally large.

    Since I've been on a weight reduction diet (since September), the problem has almost completely vanished. Perhaps because I have smaller meals, perhaps because I no longer eat foods with flour or added sugars. Perhaps both?
     
  14. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If I eat a lot of carbs or sugary stuff or gorge on fruit I've realised it causes my heart rate to speed up massively. My HbA1c has never been in the pre-diabetic or diabetic range, and my morning fasting glucose has always been fine, but too much carbs/sugar/fructose can raise my heart rate to 120 or 130 on the worst occasions. I have assumed, on the basis of very little knowledge, that my problem is caused by too much insulin, that I am insulin resistant, and I am on my way to being pre-diabetic - I just haven't quite got there yet.

    I really need to change my diet permanently but I have no will-power. I don't think I'm quite as bad as I used to be in terms of carbs and sugar, but I still have a long way to go.
     
  15. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I relate to problems with sugars and carbs, but also wonder if a large meal, regardless of the component food stuffs, can also trigger PEM.
     
  16. Bluesky

    Bluesky Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    the smaller meals and no added sugars epecially added sugars will be helping you. you are keeping your insulin levels even and not spiking up and down

    the way you were eating before could have benn reactive hypoglycemia.

    also mood changes with high sugar rush and then crash
     
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  17. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In this country in the old days farmers went to bed after lunch for an hour or so. It was hard physical labour back then and they had to eat a lot.
     
  18. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I can't eat carbs anymore...but boy do I miss my popcorn frenzies!
     
  19. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As a society in the developed world we are eating more calories per portion, are having more eating occasions (snacks etc) and burning a lot less calories by leading more sedentary lives. I think refined carbs are sited as a problem mainly because they are the cheapest element so are found at high levels in the more consumer popular convenience foods (price driven). So the issue isn't food type avoidance it's more about eating less of everything which will bring the overall carbs down. In other words, if the overall calorie consumption is reduced to match calories out, the refined CHO problem miraculously becomes less of a problem.

    For people with ME I suspect that there is in part a problem with glucose metabolism in terms of symptoms etc, but being sedentary and eating too many overall calories probably doesn't help (not that there is anything we can do about the sedentary bit). For me I put on 30lb in the 6 months after getting ill. That is extra weight I'm carrying around. This seems a little silly when I can't even carry a light shopping basket around the store for more than 5 minutes without getting PEM.

    I've been looking at what I eat for a while, but recently I have been looking at portion sizes and meal occasions. I seem to need around 1600-1900 calories per day. I'm mild/moderate doing around 2000-3000 steps per day (6 ft male). I was definitely overeating (2000-2300) for the calories I was burning (around 150-250 exercise calories). Since reducing carbs to under 150g, my gut problems (IBS type with acid indigestion) have reduced significantly. However I have also now reduced overall calories and this has improved things further. (Not one instance of IBS since October when this was a daily occurrence). This may be something else of course (reduced histmaine?) and I realise that loads of PWME have lots of other digestive complaints due to sensitivities etc. and this can actually lead to weight loss.

    I do agree with earlier postings that eating more than we use can waste valuable ATP on digestion (moving metabolites around, secreting enzymes/acid, liver metabolism etc etc) that could be used for other things.

    The problem is, when energy is low we are programmed to crave the foods that give us the quickest boost/conversion to energy ... sugar or flour based products. So the natural inclination is to reach for sugary foods (well it was for me anyway). I include fruit or dried fruit in terms of sugary foods. this is effectively boom or bust as others have mentioned. So I think glycemic index of foods is important for some of us.

    There have been plenty of studies showing that foods rich in protein and fibre (nuts, pulses etc) can stabilise cravings by making you feel fuller for longer and reduce snacking ...so grabbing a controlled amount of these, or incorporating them into a main meal should help (watch the nuts ...25g is a 120-140 calorie portion not 100g otherwise you blow your calories for the day). I've found salted almonds to be particularly good, but I weigh them following @Tom Kindlon advice.

    Bit off track but thought I would mention it. Realised I've rambled a bit. I can repost this in the weight loss thread if it's too off topic.
     
  20. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    I don't think it was anything like that. Its not like my dinner consisted of lots of sugar (never dessert or sweets). I did have pasta when the family was having it, but the feeling wasn't specific to those evenings. And I never had any rush-then-crash or mood changes. Just a feeling of tiredness and fullness right from when I had the meal.

    Now I eat very little at night (you know how low you have to go to lose weight when you're largely bedbound), and I think that's what's helped.
     

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