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  1. #1
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    Default Pain in my hands = gone! Here's why...

    Just recently I was complaining about inflammation in my hands causing me pain... "carpal tunnel" syndrome in my right hand, "trigger finger" in my left. Between that and the pain in my knees, dealing with my particularly virulent strain of diabetes, and my currently-in-remission Crohn's, I just couldn't see a lot of fun left in life.

    I was taking oral meds for the diabetes, and they weren't working well, so we moved on Humilin N, a self-injected slow-acting time release insulin. It did some good, but not enough. So we added a shot each day of Humilin R (for "regular" insulin), and that helped, but not enough. So we added a second shot of R earlier in the day.

    The result was that I was testing 4 or 5 times a day, injecting insulin 4 times a day... just constantly dealing with it. The R had to be injected 30 minutes before a meal, which I could never remember or time out properly, and I had to do some math based my constant testing to figure out how much insulin to take and and and and and....

    Two weeks ago today, I just got so pissed about it that I decided I was going to do what my uncle Bob (a dead ringer for me... our DNA is so close I could probably frame him for murder) does: stop eating carbs. No sweets, no bread, nothing but the trace amounts found in everything.

    My blood sugar came straight down. I lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks. My gut shrank to nothing (it was mostly bloat from fermenting sugars, a true "beer belly" even though I don't drink beer). AND...

    The inflammation in my joints vanished.
    Within 3 days of cutting out carbs, my hands stopped hurting. My knees got about 80% better. I'm sharper, more productive, in a better mood, more even and composed. And since I can't have carb-y snacks, our grocery bill went WAY down. I'm spending 60 dollars less a week, no lie.

    I'm posting this as a public service announcement, because I know some of you guys are around my age and suffering some of the same arthritic stuff. Here's the takeaway: SUGAR IS POISON. Even if you don't cut out all carbs, just try avoiding sweets, and see if your aches and pains don't clear up.

    Everybody told me how hard it would be to give up carbs, but I'm finding it easy... I just remember that I feel great, and eating those donuts is gonna make me feel bad. Like I used to.
    "No matter how smart you thought you were, you are actually way less smart than that." - David Foster Wallace, from Infinite Jest

  2. #2
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    That is amazing, Mike. I stopped eating carbs last November and lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks, and have kept it off. I have been avoiding sugar for years, and use stevia in my coffee. I found a simple supplement to help very much with my previously constant cravings for things like double cheeseburgers, egg Mcmuffins, pizza, pasta, etc. It's called Garcinia Cambogia (nothing more than the extract of a southeastern Asian tamarind). Amazing stuff. If anyone wants to try it, find a product that includes potassium and chromium. Also, a great natural anti-inflammatory that will not ravage your kidneys is Turmeric. You can buy the powder cheap at an Asian food market, get some gelatin capsules and a "Capsile Machine" and make your own capsules. If you do, add ground black pepper, which increases absorption.

    Folks, sugar really is poison. I tell my kids that they have only so many cells in their pancreas and when they have overworked enough of them, they will be diabetic. Seriously bad stuff. One 12-oz can of Coke has the FDA's recommendation of 4 days' allotment of sugar intake.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

  3. #3
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    Guys,

    I've never had a sweet tooth (don't eat sweets, never take sugar in coffee or tea) but I do suffer from arthritic type symptoms in feet and knees.

    When you say you gave up carbs, what do you mean exactly?

    Just sugars (fast burn carbs) and bread?

    What other carbs have you cut out and what are you eating instead?
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  4. #4
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    I am not eating potatoes, pasta, rice, nuts rich in carbs (cashews), ANY processed food, nothing breaded... if a serving has more than 1 or 2 carbs in it, it's out. The exceptions are cruciferous, leafy green or yellow vegetables. So I'm eating cauliflower, but not melon... romaine and kale, but only with oil and vinegar.

    Instead? Nothing instead. My new diet consists of eggs, meat, fish, chicken and all the raw or cooked veggies I can handle. The search for zero-carb snacks is a fool's errand, so if I get peckish in the evenings, I chew on a carrot or celery. Last night, I made a tiny chef's salad: greens, oil & vinegar, a sliced hard-cooked egg, some cheese and a crumbled bacon strip left over from breakfast. It fit in a cereal bowl. MmmmMmmm.

    Tele, I have ordered a bacon cheeseburger with no bun and a side salad instead of the fries. Supremely satisfying. Also great if you order a chili burger... legumes are still good things, and most chili is reasonably low in soluble carbs.
    "No matter how smart you thought you were, you are actually way less smart than that." - David Foster Wallace, from Infinite Jest

  5. #5
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    I'm with you, Mike - when we do burgers I skip the bun and it's all good. No fries, bread, pasta, etc. the only grain I will consider is quinoa. Eggs, meat and cheese are enough to get me past the starchy foods I used to enjoy. Cap'n, get some turmeric into your system on a daily basis. It might help and it definitely won't hurt.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

  6. #6
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    Giving up sugar is an easy thing for me but giving up rice, bread and pasta would be a tough ride.

    However, I can see me cutting down a lot, so will give it a shot.

    The Wife came across a drink recipe the other day that is a supposed cure-all for gout. I remember turmeric being one the ingredients. I'll have to check it out.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  7. #7
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    I should add: one needs to include legumes in one's diet to avoid nutritional problems. All kinds of beans, peanuts, and peas are good for you. A pot of homemade chili is low sugar, high fiber and won't impact your blood sugar enough to be concerned about.

    My wife tried numeric and was disappointed, but since humans are crazy individual in their chemistry, YMMV.
    "No matter how smart you thought you were, you are actually way less smart than that." - David Foster Wallace, from Infinite Jest

  8. #8
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    Legumes are the only carbs I willingly eat, because they also have a considerable ratio of protein and then there is the fiber.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

  9. #9
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    Mike, thanks for that wonderfully informative post.

    I have always been powerfully addicted to sugar, basically unable to control myself. For a guy who doesn't drink or otherwise indulge in hallucinogens, I totally empathize with drug addicts because that's exactly what I am. Whenever I drove by a Dunkin Donuts, I would often find that the next thing I remembered was driving out with a half dozen assorted donuts, which I would then scarf down in one sitting watching Netflix in my recliner. I'm not proud of it, but there you have it. About four months ago, I decided to cut out sweets completely. It was extremely difficult going cold turkey, but I pulled through it. A month later I started feeling better, and although I'm a little Indian guy - hardly overweight - my mid section flattened out almost as if by magic.

    Then, last week, I had gone out to lunch and figured, hey, a little dessert isn't going to hurt. Wrong! I fell off the wagon so bad that the next few days were nothing less than a manic indulgence as if to make up for lost time. I cut it out again a couple of days back and I hope it won't be as painful as the first time.

    I learned a couple of lessons from this. As you correctly point out, not only is sugar poison, but it is unbelievably addictive. I can't overemphasize how completely it can take over your self control if you don't watch it. The other lesson is that I actually felt terrible physically last week after eating that junk. You've pointed this out as well, and it should be a reminder to myself to stay away. This morning I've started using Ceylon cinnamon in my great tea - I hear that helps alleviate sugar cravings.

    That said, do you find any truth in the claim that whole grain carbs are not a bad thing? I do like my sprouted grain toast in the morning and occasional whole grain pasta. I've tried "substitutes" like zucchini pasta, and they just don't do it for me. But if I have to, I'll give that up as well.

    Anyway, I'm so glad you found your natural remedy. Sure ain't easy!

    Srini

  10. #10
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    Srini, I am exactly that guy. Could never bring any kind of sweet treat home with the expectation that any would be left the next day. One of my caregivers says she doesn't like to use the term "addiction" referring to sugar, preferring to keep that term for abusers of psychoactives... but it certainly does fit one major medical definition of addiction, which is: "continued use in the face of harm." You know it's bad for you, but you eat/smoke/shoot it anyway.

    The "magic mid-section" happened to me, too, and it's because the gut that grows on we sugarics (not "sugarholic") is almost entirely bloating from gasses created as the sugar ferments in your stomach. I wasn't a heavy guy (5'11", 190lbs) but was really self-conscious about my disproportionate belly... watching it vanish in the first week was a bonus I didn't expect.

    As for complex carbs: I tried a less harsh version of this diet years back, and it worked very well. I was allowing myself 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day: a slice of good toast in the AM was almost always 2/3rds of that. So, yeah, I think that's perfectly fine. Right now, I'm eating zero carbs because I am trying to fix years of abusing my pancreas... when my blood sugar levels out in the normal range (which will happen as soon as my foie-gras-ready liver finally runs out of fat to turn into glycogen overnight), I can start adding small amounts of carbs. Keep adding a few grams every couple of days until your blood sugar shoots up, and, boom. That's your limit.

    I am sure looking forward to having a dish of baked ziti with sausage!
    "No matter how smart you thought you were, you are actually way less smart than that." - David Foster Wallace, from Infinite Jest

 

 
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