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Old 11-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
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Inflammation?

I've seen a lot of posters commenting on improvement/decrease in inflammation after going LC.

What is it, how is it measured, and how can you tell it's decreased?
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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That's an excellent question! I can only speak from personal anecdotal evidence, so my opinion is nothing to bank on.

I honestly have no idea what my C-Reactive Protein (CRP) level is right now. It has been excessively high in the past (before LC), measuring 25 at one point. The American Heart Association generally considers a person to be at high risk for cardiovascular disease if the level is 3.0 or higher.

CRP levels can rise due to any inflammation in the body, be it chronic systemic infection, an injury, a sinus infection, etc. It is often measured to check for flare-ups of inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

That said, here's my experience: prior to changing my way of eating to low carb, I had many physical ailments--most of which were merely annoying and considered a sign of aging. But some of it lead to a sense of "I feel horrible all-over and I never have energy anymore"! My head usually hurt--I was often dizzy with visual disturbances, my right thumb joint ached, the bones in my feet hurt when I walked, my hips frequently hurt, and my knees protested when I took the stairs or knelt down. The gastro doc told me I'd be on Prilosec for the rest of my life for several reasons: hiatal hernia, IBS, esophogeal erosions, but more devastating to me--the lining of my stomach was inflamed and tender. It caused intense pain (often excruciating) on a regular basis for a couple of years before beginning the meds (which only worked for awhile, btw). All of these are inflammatory diseases or cause inflammatory responses in the body

Since changing to low carb, these pains have become almost non-existent. I have stopped taking Prilosec with no need for even Tums. I can have nothing but bacon & cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers so hot they burn my mouth for dinner and my tummy doesn't care! Acid reflux is gone--NEVER have it anymore unless I eat bread-type foods. All of this leads me to assume that the inflammation in my digestive tract is either greatly reduced or eliminated.

My joints no longer hurt. I know weight affected some of this, but I'm still overweight--and weight did NOT affect my thumb joint. Knowing that arthritis is an inflammatory process, that also leads me to assume that inflammation has been greatly reduced or eliminated.

My overall sense of well-being has improved tremendously. I don't get dizzy and my vision is now consistent. In the past, I felt I would likely not live to an old age. There are no guarantees, but barring something unforeseen, I now believe my body just might make it to old age! And the improvements just continue the longer I eat this way.

Hopefully somebody else can chime in with more--and better--input!
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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I am definitely NOT well read on the subject of inflammation, but I do know that I have issues with it, as manifested in how my bones/joints feel. I'm sure it affects me in plenty of other ways too, but I have not been to the doctor about this and am one of those self-diagnosers.

When I eat LC, my bones and joints feel soooo much better! I generally have lots of knee pain and sometimes hip pain and/or back pain. When I eat carby foods, I ACHE, and my bones feel creaky and weak. When I don't eat them, I feel SO much more spry and flexible (even if I haven't lost any weight). I chalk this up to inflammation. This is something I can notice on a daily or even hourly basis -- it REALLY changes with what I eat. Carbs have a profound effect on my bones!!

On a possibly related note, I often do not eat until the afternoon. When I am out running errands or doing whatever on an empty stomach, I feel SO much better and energetic than when I have food in my tummy. If I have eaten some low-carb food, I feel just OK -- but if I have eaten carbs, I don't even like to be moving at all. I am not sure how much of that is an inflammation and carb/low-carb issue and how much of it is the notion that I am probably meant to be an intermittent faster (making it more of a food/no food issue).
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Sometimes you don't notice a huge improvement. But, when you add the offending food back into your diet after an extended "detox", the reaction is ten times worse. This is how I discovered a number of food sensitivities.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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The pain is evident in my knees within hours when I overdo carbs. Not worth it.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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One of the main reasons I decided to adopt a LC diet is the possibility that it may reduce discomfort from arthritis. I'd read about some studies which seem to indicate that LC diets may help arthritis sufferers so I decided to give it a try especially since I was also suffering from another type of inflammation (i.e. weight gain).
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:26 AM   #7
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Interesting that this subject comes up at this time, because lately my inflammation seems to be worsening despite the fact that I have been eating low carb for a little over four months. I've been having pain in my knuckles, knees, and shoulders, as well as having a chronically puffy face. I've slowly lost about twenty pounds, but in some recent pictures that were taken on vacation, my face looks bloated and my eyes look puffy. I hate it. In addition to all this, my fingernails have developed significant pitting, and I have terrible brain fog.

It's no big shocker. While eating low carb, I have been guilty of eating too much dairy, processed meats, processed fats (like those found in salad dressings), and artificial sweeteners. I know that these are all believed to be inflammatory foods, and they make up the bulk of my diet right now, to be perfectly honest. I don't get enough fresh vegetables. Even though I have been technically eating low carb, I know it's time to tweak my diet and make it healthier.

This is a problem for me. I have cut out so much from my diet (sugar, starches, grains), but I'm still hanging on to the things that taste good that are "low carb" but totally unhealthy. I can feel that it's taking its toll now.

About ten years ago, I cut out dairy, with the exception of very small amounts of butter for cooking. I did this for a couple of months. After the first three or four weeks, I felt better than I had in years. The thought of cutting out dairy while eating low carb is scary, though. Where is the flavor? Cheese is my favorite food and also an enemy.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #8
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Dr. Dwight Lundell, a cardiologist, wrote, The Cure For Heart Disease the truth will save a nation. In it, he tells how other wise perfectly healthy looking people ended up on his table. No, outwardly visible signs that any thing was wrong. But almost with out fail, these people all had serious signs of inflammation. He thinks we all should be taking a low dose aspirin, everyday. As he put it, no one is immune.

He credits this inflammation to our SAD. I have also read others who agree and I think it won't be long before inflammation is named as the culprit in all diseases. That, that is where everything starts. With your body trying to protect you from refined and processed foods, i.e., flour, sugar, rice etc. Not to mention the chemicals in or food that are toxic...

Joints feeling better, totally makes sense in that sugar is an inflammatory. Cutting out sugar and starchy carbs I know has helped me move easier..
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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I did not notice a marked difference until I cut both wheat and dairy. And concentrated tomato products. I thought I was salt sensitive. Not so. Only when I'm consuming one or more of the above three categories. I'm not retaining water, even though I recently resumed jogging. I had a whole packet of soy sauce last night. No water retention to speak of. My cravings have greatly diminished, and I attribute that to my body not constantly having to fight substances I wasn't built to consume. I eat a more paleo-esque diet, fwiw.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses! I didn't realize my achy joints were a sign of inflammation. I just assumed they were due to excess weight and age. And, I definitely am improved eating on plan.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:47 AM   #11
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I have noticed a huge change in some of my joints, especially my hands. My hands used to hurt every time a weather system was moving in. I haven't had that problem in almost a year now. I also had sever heartburn and reflux issues. I was on some type of reflux med most of the time. That is now gone as well. However the biggest sign is that my CRP score went from an 8.5 down to 3. Now I know 3 is still considered high, but that's a huge drop in one year!
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowangel9 View Post
Dr. Dwight Lundell, a cardiologist, wrote, The Cure For Heart Disease the truth will save a nation. In it, he tells how other wise perfectly healthy looking people ended up on his table. No, outwardly visible signs that any thing was wrong. But almost with out fail, these people all had serious signs of inflammation. He thinks we all should be taking a low dose aspirin, everyday. As he put it, no one is immune.

He credits this inflammation to our SAD. I have also read others who agree and I think it won't be long before inflammation is named as the culprit in all diseases. That, that is where everything starts. With your body trying to protect you from refined and processed foods, i.e., flour, sugar, rice etc. Not to mention the chemicals in or food that are toxic...

Joints feeling better, totally makes sense in that sugar is an inflammatory. Cutting out sugar and starchy carbs I know has helped me move easier..
A friend on Facebook posted a link to an article/video by Dr. Lundell just today, ironically! Here's the link if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting that vanilla, I always like listening/reading that kind of I formation. Nice refresher...
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by snowangel9 View Post
Thanks for posting that vanilla, I always like listening/reading that kind of I formation. Nice refresher...
You're welcome!
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astribling View Post
I have noticed a huge change in some of my joints, especially my hands. My hands used to hurt every time a weather system was moving in. I haven't had that problem in almost a year now. I also had sever heartburn and reflux issues. I was on some type of reflux med most of the time. That is now gone as well. However the biggest sign is that my CRP score went from an 8.5 down to 3. Now I know 3 is still considered high, but that's a huge drop in one year!
This is so encouraging to learn, astribling. My major motivation for adopting a strict low carb diet was the fact that the discomfort in my hands often made holding a book or the iPad for an extended period quite difficult. And, as was your experience, weather conditions seemed to exacerbate my discomfort. I've only been following this WOE for 2 1/2 months but after reading your comment suddenly realized my hands haven't bothered me at all during this time. I so hope that the LC diet will prove as effective for me as it has been for you. The fact that your hands haven't hurt for an entire year strikes me as amazing and wonderful.
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