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  #1   ^
Old Tue, May-12-09, 19:21
DorianJ's Avatar
DorianJ DorianJ is offline
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Posts: 331
 
Plan: Moderate Protein Atkins
Stats: 175/160/165 Male 175
BF:
Progress: 150%
Default Why some don't tolerate very low carb diets?

The majority of people seems to be able to reap the benefits of a low carb diet by removing sugars and decreasing carbs around 100 to 60 grams a day. The same people when attempting a very low carb diet or Atking induction levels get very bad symptoms including chronic hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, depression, suicide thoughts, aggressivity. They can't be blamed on withdrawal since many were already on low no sugar carb diet and they can't be blamed on adapation since many had to raise their carbs after months of symptoms getting worse on the VLC diet. Even Atkins suggested people to eat more nuts and veggies if they don't feel good at induction, but Laura Donson even suggests to add fruits like berries and apple, even at induction.

I never understood why it happens. I remember reading something by Diana Schwarzbein explaining why too low carb is bad for certain people and why they need more carbohydrates in spite of the ideology according to which we never need carbs. Unfortunately I can find it anymore and lately I have met a lot of people on forums claiming problems (some very serious like the development of manias and panick attack out of the blue on healthy people) since starting a VLC diet.

What Schwarzbein says about these people and their need for more carbs?
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, May-20-09, 22:10
pangolina pangolina is offline
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Posts: 218
 
Plan: Pregnancy / Dr. K / SCD
Stats: 160/000/135 Female 5'6"
BF:
Progress: 640%
Location: USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DorianJ
The majority of people seems to be able to reap the benefits of a low carb diet by removing sugars and decreasing carbs around 100 to 60 grams a day. The same people when attempting a very low carb diet or Atking induction levels get very bad symptoms including chronic hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, depression, suicide thoughts, aggressivity.

The majority of people get those symptoms on Atkins induction? Do you have documentation for this?

Anyway, in answer to your question... I'm new to Dr. Schwarzbein's writings, but I just finished reading a couple of her books, so this is pretty fresh in my mind. She has you do some questionnaires so that you can figure out your insulin status (sensitive vs. resistant), and your adrenal status (healthy vs. burned out). This puts you into one of four groups, each of which has a different recommended carb intake. You can read about these in the sticky on this board.

In my case -- Insulin Sensitive, Burned Out Adrenals -- the carbs are supposed to be on the higher end: 20-25 g x 5 (3 meals, 2 snacks), for a total of 100+. This was hard for me to accept, as I've found that I actually feel happier and more energetic when I keep the carbs very low, but she says that this is an illusion. She believes that ketosis, which forces the release of adrenaline and cortisol, is just perpetuating the "adrenaline addiction" that's ultimately continuing to fry my adrenal glands. If eating a slightly larger amount of carbs makes me sleepier, that's not a sign that I can't handle the carbs themselves (which makes sense, as my blood sugar has always been fine); it's a sign that I need to make some lifestyle changes, rest more and take it easy. I hate to admit it, but I think she might be right.

There are other reasons behind the various carb recommendations, so this is just a partial answer -- maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in -- but I hope it's somewhat helpful.


I have no plans to stop following Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, but Dr. Schwarzbein has given me some new insight into the endocrine aspect of things. She also understands the negative health effects of the modern American lifestyle and mindset (and she writes about it in English, which is a big help ). So I'd like to take whatever I can of value from her ideas. In addition to the suggestions for stress reduction, I'm trying to follow her advice for getting off coffee. She's absolutely right in one thing: going "cold turkey" makes me very ill, practically unable to function. And I only drink one cup a day!

According to Dr. K, 50 g carbohydrate is a typical recommendation for someone my size, but there's flexibility; he acknowledges that some people do best with 30, while others might need as much as 100. In addition, he uses net carbs, and I've read that Dr. Schwarzbein uses total carbs. If that's true, I don't think it would be too hard for me to meet her numbers, given that most of my carbs come from nuts, fruits, and vegetables. We'll see how it goes.

(As for the high-fat issue, Dr. Schwarzbein says there's "no limit on natural fats," and "my patients who eat the most fat recover the fastest." But her recipes and suggested menus are nowhere near Dr. K's recommended fat levels of 75-80%. Maybe she's just being a wuss. )
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, May-31-09, 02:03
Kapri20 Kapri20 is offline
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Posts: 8
 
Plan: Eat Fat Get Thin
Stats: 162/158/144 Female 5 ft 6 inches
BF:
Progress: 22%
Location: UK
Default low carb questions + Hi from relative newbie

Dear all,

Hi, this is such a helpful discussion for me. I have a history of attempting low carb diets and either they suit me and I then find that I have become irritable and depressed (Atkins old style) - this was solved by introducing porridge oats in the morning, that simple - or they alomost immediately cause me to become pale, weak and listless.

I am currently doing Eat Fat Get Thin (and getting great internet support on it) which has an upper carb limit of 60g and am finding that ok but three weeks in I am aware of a slight decrease in stamina. Last weekend I walked for hours this weekend 40 minutes felt quite a lot! I know there are lots of possible reasons for this but wonder whether the S Principle holds some clues.

I had chronic fatigue for a year back in the early nineties, have PCO (but not the syndrome), a small amount of genetic hair loss, a tendency to burn out, hormonal ups and downs. I am now 48.

I have ordered the first book 1999 The Schwarzbein Principle the truth etc and am wondering whether I should also order The Programme (2005) ..it seems she goes into more of the issues around carb usage in that.

People keep talking about 1 anad 11 and I'm not sure which books they are refering to.

I am very concerned not to raise my carb in-take too far ...I do need to drop 18 pounds and the EAT FAT GET THIN approach is preventing me from bingeing. I have also tried Protein Power and South Beach.

I wonder whether I could adopt some of the SPrinciples or even transition onto her eating plan.

Advice welcomed and thanks for an interesting and illuminating thread.

Kapri
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, May-31-09, 02:05
Kapri20 Kapri20 is offline
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Posts: 8
 
Plan: Eat Fat Get Thin
Stats: 162/158/144 Female 5 ft 6 inches
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Progress: 22%
Location: UK
Default

ps

I love the low carb bread recipe on Dr K's site!! It is a godsend. Can no longer stomach buttery jelly though (big smile!)
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, May-31-09, 04:35
DorianJ's Avatar
DorianJ DorianJ is offline
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Posts: 331
 
Plan: Moderate Protein Atkins
Stats: 175/160/165 Male 175
BF:
Progress: 150%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pangolina
The majority of people get those symptoms on Atkins induction? Do you have documentation for this?


I used a bad word there.
Let's just say that on induction level a relevant number of people will have severe enough distresses, which seem to be relieved by simply upping carb to 30 or 40 carbs during the induction phase itself.
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Jun-01-09, 20:34
pmezak pmezak is offline
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Posts: 132
 
Plan: Schwarzbein/gluten free
Stats: 148/146/120 Female 5'2"
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Progress: 7%
Location: SF bay area, CA
Default

I read most of Schwarzbein's books a while back. I think it does have to do with insulin resistance and the state of the adrenals as already mentioned. Those things affect our metabolisms. Some people get sort of sick if there aren't enough complex carbohydrates, as already mentioned.....I get depressed on strict low carb; I believe it changes my neurotransmitters or something. I don't know for sure, but I do know that she's correct. It could also be genetic, like the blood type diet/genotype diet from Dr. D'Adamo says. Some people really need more carbs, some need more protein, less carbs....according to him, some type A's need more vegetable protein, less red meat. Type B's and O's need more meat and less carbs.....It would be fun to see what types are on this board and what type of food helps them lose weight....
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Jun-07-09, 18:06
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FroheFrau FroheFrau is offline
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Plan: my own/ IF
Stats: 155/155/125 Female 63.75 inches
BF:I/don't/care
Progress: 0%
Location: cactus country
Default

Hi,
Schwarzbein says that a diet too low in carbs can cause stress to the adrenal glands. It can also stress the thyroid gland.

Some people, for what ever reason (job, finances, family, etc) are under a lot of stress anyway---and are living unaware that their adrenal glands are in some stage of exhaustion. When the adrenals are stressed, it puts stress on the thyroid.

Because eating a VLC diet requires a strong,healthy endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, etc.) those people who have a stressed, overworked, endocrine system will feel worse on fewer carbs! A VLC diet for an already weakened endocrine system is a recipe for disaster.

I speak from personal experience as well as having read Dr. Schwarzbein's books.

Frohefrau
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Jun-07-09, 18:22
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Judynyc Judynyc is offline
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Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FroheFrau
Hi,
Schwarzbein says that a diet too low in carbs can cause stress to the adrenal glands. It can also stress the thyroid gland.

Some people, for what ever reason (job, finances, family, etc) are under a lot of stress anyway---and are living unaware that their adrenal glands are in some stage of exhaustion. When the adrenals are stressed, it puts stress on the thyroid.

Because eating a VLC diet requires a strong,healthy endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, etc.) those people who have a stressed, overworked, endocrine system will feel worse on fewer carbs! A VLC diet for an already weakened endocrine system is a recipe for disaster.

I speak from personal experience as well as having read Dr. Schwarzbein's books.

Frohefrau

Thanks for sharing that and Welcome!!
Thats very valuable experience you have there.
I know of a few people who do well to take heed of your story.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Jun-07-09, 19:12
pmezak pmezak is offline
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Posts: 132
 
Plan: Schwarzbein/gluten free
Stats: 148/146/120 Female 5'2"
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: SF bay area, CA
Default

I also think she said we need some carbs to help with "low serotonin" state that is the Schwarzbein 1 (first book she wrote).
I definitely feel better with some carbs. I think I have this low serotonin state she talks about because of longterm use of coffee/caffeine. I am currently trying to "self medicate" with black tea instead, then hope to wean off it at some future point....
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Jun-30-09, 01:13
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skeeweeaka skeeweeaka is offline
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Plan: Moderate Carb...
Stats: 235/195/140 Female 5'3
BF:HELP!!!
Progress: 42%
Location: Ohio
Default

I, too, have the low serotonin state and stressed adrenals. However, I am frustrated but will start the 15 carbs per meal on Wednesday through the weekend and see how I do.... My depression definitely gets better when I'm eating more carbs...lately around 125 carbs per day...seem to have more energy as well... Right now I'm trying to find a balance where I can still lose weight and not worsen my depression and still have energy...


TJ
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Jun-30-09, 06:27
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JAnn JAnn is offline
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Posts: 4,026
 
Plan: LC/GF/IF
Stats: 237.0/217.6/174.6 Female 5 ft 10 in
BF:42%.
Progress: 31%
Location: Central Arizona
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I need to go back and read her book as I am being treated for adrenal fatigue and I have a real problem with low energy, even with treatment.
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Jun-30-09, 22:59
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skeeweeaka skeeweeaka is offline
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Posts: 2,154
 
Plan: Moderate Carb...
Stats: 235/195/140 Female 5'3
BF:HELP!!!
Progress: 42%
Location: Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAnn
I need to go back and read her book as I am being treated for adrenal fatigue and I have a real problem with low energy, even with treatment.


Have you tried magnesium, it has helped me greatly with my energy and I also suffer adrenal insufficiency. Oddly enough I started eating a banana a day and that has really helped and I'm sleeping better at night because I have enough energy to do some exercise... I was taking all of the supplements and that wasn't helping...

When I started eating more carbs and taking the magnesium my sleeping improved...and my thinking and my depression! The problem is I'm trying to figure out how to lose weight and increase my carbs to help the depression at the same time. It is difficult because I'm not losing any weight...but without the banana smoothie for breakfast my energy is in the toilet...even though the magnesium gives me some energy the banana definitely helps more...I'm guessing it is the carb content!


Today I did better with my carb count and was at 83 at the end of the day but she wants 75 so I need to tweak it some more....but I did have some difficulties with deeper depression throughout the day...but I'm wondering if insuliin levels are effecting it as well...


TJ

Last edited by skeeweeaka : Tue, Jun-30-09 at 23:05.
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Jul-01-09, 02:16
Kapri20 Kapri20 is offline
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Posts: 8
 
Plan: Eat Fat Get Thin
Stats: 162/158/144 Female 5 ft 6 inches
BF:
Progress: 22%
Location: UK
Default

Where is the survey in Schwarzbein's work that explains the level of burn out and relative need for carbs?

Many thanks,
Kapri
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Jul-01-09, 12:22
pmezak pmezak is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 132
 
Plan: Schwarzbein/gluten free
Stats: 148/146/120 Female 5'2"
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: SF bay area, CA
Default

In Schwarzbein's first book, she mentions some of this on pages 35-36, and the guide for choosing carb amounts at meals is on page 260. But I think it's in The Schwarzbein Principle II that she talks more about adrenal burnout and carb guidelines on page 452.
I have these and just looked it up. I've been having weight trouble lately after doing long strenuous hikes with my husband. I think it is raising my cortisol or something, but I seem to be gaining weight, it's not muscle either, cause the weight goes straight to my abdomen. It's time to reread her books for me....
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Jul-01-09, 12:28
JAnn's Avatar
JAnn JAnn is offline
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Posts: 4,026
 
Plan: LC/GF/IF
Stats: 237.0/217.6/174.6 Female 5 ft 10 in
BF:42%.
Progress: 31%
Location: Central Arizona
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeweeaka
Have you tried magnesium, it has helped me greatly with my energy and I also suffer adrenal insufficiency. Oddly enough I started eating a banana a day and that has really helped and I'm sleeping better at night because I have enough energy to do some exercise... I was taking all of the supplements and that wasn't helping...

When I started eating more carbs and taking the magnesium my sleeping improved...and my thinking and my depression! The problem is I'm trying to figure out how to lose weight and increase my carbs to help the depression at the same time. It is difficult because I'm not losing any weight...but without the banana smoothie for breakfast my energy is in the toilet...even though the magnesium gives me some energy the banana definitely helps more...I'm guessing it is the carb content!

Today I did better with my carb count and was at 83 at the end of the day but she wants 75 so I need to tweak it some more....but I did have some difficulties with deeper depression throughout the day...but I'm wondering if insuliin levels are effecting it as well...

TJ
The Dr. has me on 150 mg/day. Yesterday I succumb to TWO donuts, sugar and gluten, both no-nos but last night and today I feel so much better so I'm thinking I've been too low carb.

I'm thinking of upping my carbs to between 60 and 75. The problem with that is that I will have to keep track of my cals as, like you, I have trouble losing the weight. I think I will strive for 1600 cals a day. It is a tightrope walk.

I am not having any problems with depression but I do take 5HTP and Valerian before bed.
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