The Why’s and Wherefore’s of Nightshade Free Low Carb Paleo for Fibro

I’m cooking for my girlfriend Gail for three weeks to see if a Low Carb Paleo Auto-Immune Protocol diet might help with her body pain, fatigue, and mood issues.  Here’s a little more info on why I think it might help.

There have been at least three or four posts from Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solutions site about people with fibro seeing improvement. Here’s the latest.

Since the whole idea is to omit certain things from your diet to see if it helps with body pain and fatigue, it’s best to be as strict as you can get away with when dealing with things like gluten. It’s been shown that eating gluten even once a month can have a noticeable effect, and the damage that long-term gluten consumption can do to someone who’s sensitive can take years to undo. Among other things, for the much-bigger-than-previously-thought group of people who are sensitive to it, gluten causes one to become allergic to foods eaten *with* gluten, because it allows undigested food to pass directly into your bloodstream. Your body not only attacks it because it shouldn’t be there, but then attacks the same food more vigorously *next* time it’s eaten, so the reactions to food *other* than gluten get worse. One major problem with food sensitivities in general is that the ill effects of some foods aren’t felt for days or even weeks after it’s eaten, or are only harmful when they build up over a period of time. People can test negative for Celiac and still have serious issues with gluten, though better tests are being developed. The only real way to find out is to try going without it for as long as you can and see if it makes a difference. Chris Kresser is someone who’s opinion I respect when it comes to the science behind all this, and here’s an interview and the transcript on his show with a Dr. who’s on the cutting edge of gluten research:

The bottom line is that celiac proper is much more common than previously thought, it’s possible to have the condition even when one tests negative with current testing, because it doesn’t catch all the cases, and some people have gluten sensitivity even though they’re not celiac, which produced some similar symptoms but generally isn’t as bad.

The thing with nightshades is mostly anecdotal. Although a lot of people with body pain and fatigue seem improvement when they’re off them, there isn’t as much direct scientific support as there is for gluten. In the absence of evidence of how long one has to be off them to see benefit, it makes sense to avoid them for as long as possible to maximize the chance that removing them will make you feel better. This blog has an excellent series on nightshade replacements, and experiments here are already underway.

There’s another angle here, too, which is metabolic derangement, which a huge number of American’s suffer because they eat way to many carbs. It leads to bodily inflammation, which makes pretty much all body pain and allergies worse, weight gain (why so many Americans are obese) and directly to Type II diabetes, among other things. It’s not necessary to eat nothing but meat and fat to fix this, but the amount of carb reduction necessary to help with it varies from person to person, so it’s better to err on the side of caution. Also, since we have a limited amount of time for this trial, it’s better to hit it harder now, and then let up more later. The thyroid thing may complicate this, because eating really low carb for too long can make low thyroid worse, but I don’t think three weeks is going to cause significant issues that weren’t already there. Here’s more info on <a href="”>metabolic derangement from Robb Wolf:

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2 Responses to The Why’s and Wherefore’s of Nightshade Free Low Carb Paleo for Fibro

  1. ShanMan says:

    Well put, and agreed on all fronts. Three weeks should show some difference, but it can take years for the immune system to re-balance…

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