Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Turning "things" on their heads for a better understanding; part I of a Letter to the J-Pouch Community on improving "the Experience"..

After suffering at least 12 years with J-Pouch related issues/discomforts, it seems that I've encountered a solution.

Before I go into this very interesting topic, I must inform you that I just spent 18 hours without eating or ingesting fluids and endured 8 hours in the radiologist's office having x-rays of my small intestine and J-Pouch (routine procedure). So, I'm a bit drained; meaning that the following description of what I've done over the past 9 months will be semi-brief. Last week I had my first upper-endoscopy in 8.5 years and the gastroenterologist ordered the x-rays since he found polyps in my duodenum.

That said...

Before March 2014, I suffered greatly from Pouchitis and bathroom-related sleep disturbances (name it, I suffered it; to spare you the details). I awakened in the night on the average of 3 times; leading to Adrenal Fatigue that mimics hypothyroidism due to cortisol dumping. I weighed at least 33 pounds more and couldn't drop the weight with exercise and with controlling calorie intake/fat consumption. I couldn't eat fruit, vegetables (raw and cooked), seeds or nuts without having issues with diarrhea/blockage (at the same time). I blamed it all on the fibre... and bought a Vitamix Blender believing that would solve the problem. Truthfully, it didn't. What I believe was the problem was chronic inflamation. Today I can eat anything natural I want without suffering the consequences, since the fibre wasn't the culprit.

In March I removed most refined carbs (simple carbs) and removed all wheat products (I don't believe that dramatic wheat-related health issues are limited to those with Celiac Disease nor are they limited to gluten in wheat). I do consume added sugar (maximally 24 grams/6 teaspoons per day) in my coffee or occasional lime/Flaxseed water... I eat occasional corn tortillas and occasional sweet potatoes or plantains (I discovered a wonderful flourless pancake recipe that utilizes blended plantains instead of flour). I do not limit my fruit intake, especially if it is high in fibre, especially if it is high in vitamin C. Aside from the occasional corn tortilla, I'm not eating corn on the cob or corn kernels. I'm also not eating potatoes. One more thing; I've greatly decreased my usage/consumption of commercial vegetable oils, including Canola, since they are very high in pro-inflamatory Omega 6 fatty acids; we obtain enough Omega 6 in our diet of animal fat and vegetables. The vegetable oils throw us way over the top and create an extreme Omega 6/Omega 3 imbalance. I don't drink sodas or fruit juices, since fruit juices often have more added sugar than do sodas. (Just a note: commercial cerials and flavored yogurts generally have more sugar than do sodas or cakes; just in case you thought you were giving your children healthier food in the name of Dannon or Kelloggs...) I'm not drinking alcoholic beverages, since alcohol affects the liver just as does fructose (Another note: Parents, if you thought only alcoholics suffered from fatty liver disease that converts to cirosis, today you will be seeing an epidemic in fructose related non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in children, adolescents and young adults. Have you noticed pot-bellied children?... 6-year-old boys and girls with beer-bellies for instance...)

Without exercise, both my wife and I lost around 22 pounds in 3 months. Then we found that we could exercise more easily and withstand longer periods of exercise than in the past. We also found that we endured much longer periods without eating. Diets high in refined carbs cause hunger on the average of every 2 hours. Diets high in protein cause hunger on the average of every 5 hours and diets high in fat cause hunger on the average of every 7 hours.

When we all but removed the refined carbs from our diet we increased greatly our consumption of fat and complex carbs. We always had a diet high in protein. But, without "cutting" the protein with simple carbs (rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, tortillas) we realized that we must cut it with fresh fruits and vegetables, which was a severe worry for me, considering the havoc fibre reeped upon my digestive tract. After 9 months of this incredible experiment, I've realized that what caused the issues was NOT the fibre or the fresh fruit and fresh and cooked vegetables... It was the refined carbs, the wheat products and the commercial (Industrial) vegetable oils.

In 9 months I've lowered greatly my triglycerides, my blood-glucose and my total cholesterol, while raising my HDL cholesterol... while eating much animal protein and animal fat (especially eggs and cheese). Due to work intensity between late September and early November I spent 7 weeks without any exercise and with an increased consumption of animal protein and fat, cheese and eggs and noticed a decrease in cholesterol, glucose and Uric Acid (Uric Acid is supposedly related to high consumption of animal protein and considered a risk in both gout, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease). And I didn't gain weight with the 7 week hiatus from exercise.

I cannot over-stress a very important point: calorie counting and lowfat dieting has absolutely nothing to do with health and weightloss. More accurately: I don't worry about my calorie count or fat consumption (animal fats from chicken, beef, cheese, yogurt, cream, butter...) and I have blood tests every 2 months and my wife's and my weight measures and physical appearance as the testiment. Daily exercise increases muscle mass and may prevent weight loss, although the body becomes trimmer and more attractive. However, if you are concerned about being able to tell people that you continue losing weight and you don't... you must maintain faith in how you look and feel and forget about the numbers you believe they seek for truly believing you.

All this said, most importantly is the fact that I sleep through the night and don't suffer blockage/diarrhea or pouchitis.

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